Question: What is cloud computing?
Answer: Cloud computing refers to using a network of remote, Internet-based servers to process, store and manage data (rather than a local server or a personal computer). In common usage, the term ‘the cloud’ is a metaphor for the Internet.
Question: What is a Private Cloud?
Answer: A Private Cloud refers to a cloud computing platform that provides the mobility and efficiency of a public cloud but is built on infrastructure dedicated exclusively for one organization. Private Clouds remove a number of objections to Public Cloud Computing including control over data, security and regulatory compliance. In the case of Abacus Private Cloud, your firm will have a physical server that you can access virtually, that is exclusive to your firm. This means that no other firm’s data will reside on your server and no other firm can access your server.
Question: Does a “cloud” solution work as fast as a dedicated in-house solution?
Answer: Abacus Private Cloud is designed and deployed using solid state disk technology, therefore, rendering a redundant, secure and even faster experience than an in-house network.
Question: Can I access the Abacus Private Cloud environment from my smartphone or tablet?
Answer: Yes. Remote Desktop is available free of charge for both smartphones
Question: Is Microsoft Lync available from my smartphone?
Answer: Yes. Lync is available for both smartphones and tablets on Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows Phones.
Question: What security measures does Abacus have in place to protect my data?
- Security at our SOC2/SSAE16 certified Datacenter is paramount. A multi-tiered approach comprised of 5 layers of Physical, Network, and Data Security provides a robust and safe environment for your data.
- Network Security: All the physical security in the world can’t protect your network from a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. That’s why our facility is protected by the industry leading Arbor Networks PeakFlow traffic protection and management system.
- Data Security: The cabinet which houses your data includes a Digitus Biometric locking system, 24/7/365 monitoring, and predefined access list. In addition, the system provides reporting and alerts for when the cabinet doors are opened and closed.
- Facility Security: Our data center is protected by a perimeter fence and automatic closing gates that require pin code
access during off hours. The exterior of the facility is monitored with HD, night vision and motion sensitive cameras, all monitored by both Network Operation Center personnel and our Armed Security Response team.
- Human Security: All security is handled by our CISSP, CRISC and CISA certified employees. Maintaining these coveted industry certifications ensures that our policies and procedures meet and exceed our clients’ high standards.
- Access Control: Employees, clients, and visitors alike wear identification badges at all times when inside our facilities. In addition to the badge and human authentication system, each Data Center entrance and exit require two-factor authentications of both key code and biometric signature.
- Fire Suppression: Individual fire detection, suppression, and EPO systems are deployed at the cabinet level. The system utilizes FM-200 gas, which has no impact on the server and network hardware within the cabinet. Further, in the event of a fire, following the discharge of the system – an individual rack can be reset, recharged, and powered back up in minutes instead of hours.
Question: How often is my data backed up?
Answer: Nightly backups are performed for your AbacusLaw database as well as your data drive. Additional backups are available under a separate Professional Services Fee.
Question: Will I have unrestricted access to my data?
Answer: Absolutely! Unlike SaaS products, with the Abacus Private Cloud solution, you are in complete control of your data. You will always be able to access what you need when you need it. We will never delete, destroy or lose your data.
Question: Who will have access to my data? Will they have my passwords?
Answer: Your Abacus Private Cloud environment comes fully provisioned with a temporary password. When you log into your virtual server for the first time you may update your password to one of your choices. The Abacus Private Cloud Total Care Team will have administrative access to your virtual server to perform routine maintenance and upgrades.
Question: Is there a secondary, offsite Data Center?
Answer: Yes. All core servers that support the Abacus Private Cloud environment are replicated every 30 seconds to alternative physical servers. Additionally, we have offsite replication to another Datacenter in Houston, TX.
Question: Will we have password protection in order to access all of our data?
Answer: Yes, each user will be assigned a username, password and appropriate levels of security.
Question: How does Microsoft Office 365 address our compliance needs?
Answer: Microsoft 365 goes to great lengths to satisfy the many compliance requirements of multiple industries. Office 365 is ISO 27001, FISMA, HIPAA BAA, ITAR, EU Safe Harbor and EU Model Clauses compliant. Office 365 is offered as a value-add solution and is not mandatory to utilize Abacus Private Cloud and/or AbacusLaw.
Question: How is data corruption monitored, detected and remedied?
Answer: Data is monitored 24/7/365 for potential problems, including corruption. Data corruption is detected by an alarm mechanism of system failure and if need be, is responded to in real-time by our 24×7 technicians who would restore your data from the backup.
Question: What applications are compatible with the Abacus Private Cloud environment?
Answer: Please see our online APC Software/Hardware Compatibility KB article.
Question: Who is responsible for updating third party applications?
Answer: For security purposes, all third party applications are installed by the APC Total Care Team. Third party apps can be updated by Abacus, under a separate Professional Services contract.
Question: Are there any requirements for my computer in order to access the virtual environment?
Answer: PC-Devices used to access your virtual server need to have Windows Vista or above. Mac-Devices need Microsoft Remote Desktop version 8.05 or above.
Question: Can I use any practice management software within Abacus Private Cloud or am I required to use AbacusLaw?
Answer: Abacus Private Cloud is software agnostic so you can use any program that you require or wish. However, we recommend AbacusLaw as it is fully tailored to the Abacus Private Cloud environment and fully managed.
Question: Does Abacus Private Cloud include monthly updates and maintenance to AbacusLaw?
Answer: Yes, updates are installed at no additional cost when requested to AbacusLaw and Accounting, but must be scheduled online.
Question: Will all of my software programs be upgraded automatically?
Answer: Abacus-provided software applications are updated for you by request or when deemed urgent (AbacusLaw & Abacus Accounting). Additionally, if you choose to utilize Microsoft 365, your Microsoft programs, including Exchange, will be updated by request, once tested and qualified in the APC environment. Client provided applications, such as QuickBooks and Adobe Acrobat, can be updated by Abacus under a separate Professional Services Fee or by the client at their preference.
Question: Where are your data centers located?
Answer: All Abacus Private Cloud Datacenters are located within the continental United States. This ensures compliance with the ABA and your State/Local Bar Associations.
Question: Where is the equipment physically located?
Answer: In the Abacus Datacenter located within the continental United States.
Question: Where are your administrative offices located?
Answer: Our headquarters are located at 9171 Towne Centre Dr. Suite 200 San Diego, CA 92122.
Question: Who owns the equipment that contains my data?
Answer: Abacus Data Systems, Inc.
Question: How do I get my files and data into Abacus Private Cloud?
Answer: There are three main ways to migrate data into your Abacus Private Cloud environment. First, you can simply copy a file or folder from your local machine and paste it into your Abacus Private Cloud environment. However, if you have large quantities of data, we recommend using a large capacity thumb drive to transfer your data to save time and avoid any unnecessary bandwidth overages. In some cases we may also set up an FTP target to allow file transfer, but there may be an additional cost for this service. Please contact us for more details. .
Question: What type of Internet connection do I need to access Abacus Private Cloud?
Answer: Successful use of Client’s APC Environment requires a properly routed internet connection that can reliably sustain a sub 100 millisecond (ms) response time between the network that Client’s APC Compatible Device is connected to and Client’s APC Server. Where more than one of Client’s APC users are trying to connect to Client’s APC server through the same internet connection concurrently, there must be a minimum of 1Mbps/1Mbps dedicated to each one of those users.
Question: Can I print from within Abacus Private Cloud?
Answer: Yes, with any modern printer. We highly recommend a printer that supports scanning to email.
Question: Can I scan into my Abacus Private Cloud environment?
Answer: Yes. We highly recommend procuring a scanner that supports scanning to email.
Question: Will I be able to hear audio within Abacus Private Cloud?
Answer: Yes. All audio from within Abacus Private Cloud will come through your physical workstation (or mobile device) speakers. Additionally, you can record audio from your physical workstation into Abacus Private Cloud with supported microphones.
Question: How much memory and storage should a small firm require storing both past and future data?
Answer: We allocate the proper amount of computing power for your size of the firm based on standard usage (see below). Depending on the number of applications and the amount of historic data you bring over, we can always scale up or down according to your specific requirements. And the cost adjusts accordingly so you only pay for what you need – and not more.
Question: Are the monthly charges based on number of employees, or the a number of work stations?
Answer: Pricing is based on the number of login/password users.
Question: If I want to use multiple devices will I need to pay extra?
Answer: No! Abacus Private Cloud is accessible from any device at no additional cost.
Question: Will my firm share an Operating System with other firms?
Answer: No – you have a dedicated Operating System on your dedicated Virtual Server.
Question: Will our use of the internet be independent of Abacus Private Cloud, or do we do web browsing through our virtual servers?
Answer: You can do both. You can browse the Internet within your Abacus Private Cloud environment or you can browse locally on your device(s).
Question: Are internet searches private and protected by an anti-virus program?
Answer: Yes. Abacus Private Cloud provides managed antivirus & malware protection in addition to firewall & intrusion prevention.
Question: What are the specifications of the Virtual Server?
- Processor – Intel Xeon E5-2600 V2 Series (Ivy Bridge)
- Memory: ECC, Registered DDR3 1600Mhz
- 100% Intel Solid Sate Disk (SSD) Raid Array
- Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Edition
Question: Is there any protection against price increases?
Answer: Term agreements are decided based upon the unique needs of each client. Solutions are tailored to meet each firm’s requirements; therefore, pricing will vary.
Question: What happens if we wish to cancel?
Answer: Either party may terminate Services at any time without cause by providing 30 days written notice to the other party. In the event of termination by the Client under any circumstance, Client shall pay Abacus the Early Termination Fee, which shall be equal to the Total Contracted Monthly Recurring Charge times the remaining months left under the agreement, due and payable as of the date of early termination.
Question: Upon termination, do we get our data back?
Answer: Yes. You own your data perpetually and will always have access to it.
Question: What is the policy for scheduled maintenance?
Answer: System Updates are designed to keep your Abacus Private Cloud System running at its maximum potential continuously and without interruption. From time to time, Abacus may require opening a maintenance window in order to perform System Updates that may cause service interruption or service delays. Under these circumstances, Abacus Policy is to provide, at a minimum, 48-hour notice via email to clients potentially affected. Abacus reserves the right to perform emergency or corrective maintenance at any time without notice.