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RBS Virtual Hosting - FAQ

Let us worry about the servers while you concentrate on making sales!

RBS Virtual Hosting is an alternative to purchasing your own hardware and software to operate an Online Backup service. You distribute our industry leading Remote Backup Client software to your customers, and they back up to RBS' data centers. You maintain your own customer relationships and determine your own end-user pricing.

  • How do I learn about the Online Backup business?
  • How much does RBS Virtual Hosting cost?
  • I'm an existing Service Provider, and have bought your software. Can I move my clients to Virtual Hosting?
  • Will my customers know that Remote Backup Systems is doing their backups?
  • What is the difference between Virtual Hosting and buying your software to host it myself?
  • How will I manage my customer accounts and run reports? Can I access the server through RDP?
  • How do I bill my customers and collect payment?
  • How much can I charge for my service?
  • Can I brand my software with my own logo?
  • What reports are available to use for billing?
  • How will my customers know that their backups are hapenning on schedule?
  • How do I get Tech Support? How do my customers get Tech Support?
  • Do I have to pay a tech support fee like Service Providers who own their own software?
  • How do I know my customers' data is secure?
  • How many customers can I have, and how much storage space?
  • Are there any limits on the amount of data my customers can back up?

  • How do I learn about the Online Backup business?

    Remote Backup Systems founded the Online Backup business in 1986. We can tell you just about anything you'd like to know - and so can our customers. You can speak with some of our customers in our weekly live online chat, hosted on the remote-backup.com website every Tuesday at 4PM Central Time. Just come to our web site and select the Live Chat button.

    You can also log into our Public Forum and ask qustions there. You can email RBS at sales@remote-backup.com or phone us. Perhaps the best source of information is our own web site and Knowledge Base.


    How much does RBS Virtual Hosting cost?

    As a Virtual Service Provider, you pay a setup fee and a monthly fee for any Client Licenses you use, and a monthly fee for storage space. There's a minimum charge of $100/month except for your first month when we wave the minimum fee. During your first month you will be charged only for client licenses and storage space. You can find complete pricing information and examples on our Virtual Hosting Signup Page.


    Will my customers know that Remote Backup Systems is doing their backups?

    As far as the actual backups are concerned, there is no indication where the backup server is hosed, or who operates it.

    If you buy the Standard Virtual Hosting account, and customize your software, your customers will not see the "Remote Backup Systems" name unless 1) they dig deep into the License Agreement that displays when the software is installed; 2) they open the Security Certificate that secures the software or the certificate that secures the download site; or 3) they notice the 4-point copyright text on the About screen. Unfortunately, we can't remove any of those.


    What is the difference between Virtual Hosting and buying your software to host it myself?

    There are a few differences.

  • Virtual Hosting is much easier, quicker, and less expensive to get started.

  • RBS' Virtual Hosting Servers are probably bigger, faster, more secure, more redundant, and far more expensive than what you will want to install for yourself. Economies of scale make it possible for RBS to share just a few big servers among many VSPs at a reasonable price.

  • With Virtual Hosting you are not limited to a certain number of clients, as you are when you buy the software. Except for the monthly minimum charge, you can add and delete clients as needed.

  • The cost of Maintenance and Tech Support is built into your monthly charges, so you don't have to pay a yearly maintenance fee.

  • The Client software provided for Virtual Service Providers cannot back up network drives, nor local removable drives. So, you will need one Client license per computer, and each computer must run its own copy of the Client software.

  • If you buy the software and host it yourself you have much more control over your software distribution and features you want to deploy.

  • Over the long run, buying the software and hosting it yourself is less expensive, and there are no monthly fees.

  • Hosting the software yourself gives you far more flexibility with the back-end hardware and software.

  • Hosting the Server software yourself lets you more easily service customers with large data backup needs. It is far easier and less expensive to bulk-load a big client when you have your Server locally. bulk-loading is a process of doing the first backup to a removable hard drive, then copying the hard drive to your Server. It's far faster than sending a first big backup over the Internet.

  • In a catastrophic failure, returning a big customer's data is much faster, easier, and less expensive if you host the RBS Server locally. (This is almost the reverse of bulk-loading.)

  • How will I manage my customer accounts and run reports? Can I access the server through RDP?

    The web-based Virtual Hosting Portal is used to manage your accounts and run reports. No access to the Server console itself is needed.


    How do I bill my customers and collect payment?

    Your Portal gives you several reports that you can run to use for billing. You can also download your customer's activity data to your own computer in four popluar formats: Acrobat (PDF), MS Word (.DOC), Excel (.XLS), and Comma Delimited (.CSV).

    If you accept credit cards, you can bill your customers directly through your own Virtual Terminal, Shopping Cart, or any other means you have set up. Many Service Providers with fixed monthly prices use the Recurring Billing feature built into most Merchant Account interfaces and Shopping Carts. (RBS does not supply a billing portal, and at this time cannot do your billing for you.)


    How much can I charge for my service?

    RBS can't tell you how much to charge. You are free to charge your customers however you like. Our web site has some guidelines that many Service Providers use. You can also ask questions about pricing in our Tuesday Live Chats, and in the Public Forum and Service Provider's Forum.


    Can I brand my software with my own logo?

    Yes. You already know that branding and customization is FREE for Standard Virtual Hosting accounts, except for graphics. In the future we expect to be able to have the Virtual Hosting Portal do graphics customization, too. For now, however, RBS can customize your graphics for a fee. See the signup page for more information.


    How will my customers know that their backups are happening on schedule?

    Standard Virtual Hosting accounts have access to five types of configurable Email notifications that can be sent to your customers. The "Success" email can be sent after every backup, and can contain the total number of files backed up, drive space in use, and other statistics.


    How do I get Tech Support? How do my customers get Tech Support?

    As a VSP, you get Tech Support the same way regular Service Providers do. You will have our Basic Support Package. Your CUSTOMERS get tech support from you. As with standard Service Providers, RBS cannot deal directly with your customers.


    Do I have to pay a tech support fee like Service Providers who own their own software?

    Your tech support fee is built into your monthly fees. There is no additional anual fee.


    How do I know my customers' data is secure?

    Your customers' files are encrypted with a key assigned by your customers. You can select the level of protection you want to offer. Most Service Provider use Blowfish 448-bit encryption. This is higher than Military Grade. Files are trasmitted to our Data Centers in encrypted format, and stored encrypted. Our data centers are climate controlled with backup generators. They have very tight digital and physical security, 24/7 monitoring, and dedicated high-speed connections between the two. Our data centers are managed and maintained by RBS technicians, and tested daily for all known vulnerabilities.


    How many customers can I have, and how much storage space?

    You can have an unlimited number of customers and an unlimited amount of storage space. RBS has stand-by servers and storage arrays ready to come online on demand.


    Are there any limits on the amount of data my customers can back up?

    The only limits are bandwidth and time. Your customers' computers require time to encrypt their data before sending it. Because computers have different speeds and resources, we can't accurately predict how long it will take to prepare files for transmission to the Servers. This also depends on the number and size of the files.

    The speed at which your customers can transmit their data to RBS Servers is limited by their upload speed. Most customers with broadband Internet connections have different upload and download speeds. Unfortunately, Internet providers often sell their services by describing DOWNLOAD speeds only, which can range from 1MB to 8MB and beyond. It is often difficult to have them tell you the UPLOAD speed, which is more often than not, a fraction of the download speed. It's the UPLOAD speed that determines how long it takes for a customer to send a backup.

    On average, our Service Providers see backup sessions that last from 2 minutes to an hour or two, depending on the number of files and their size. It might take two hours to send 1 gigabyte of data. We consider any brand of Online Backup impractical for backing up more than 5 GB of data daily.

    When estimating the amount of data that needs to be backed up daily, remember that only changed files are backed up. So, the first backup is usually the biggest, because it has to send all data. Since subsequent backups send only data that has changed, they are usually quite smaller.


    I'm an existing Service Provider, and have bought your software. Can I move my clients to Virtual Hosting?

    Yes. There may be an additional hourly charge to move any existing customer data to the Virtual Hosting environment, if required. Contact Tech Support with further questions about moving existing clients.


    Recommended Next Page: Sign up for Virtual Hosting

    More Virtual Hosting Information
    Please contact RBS Sales to discuss your specific needs at (901) 405-1234.

    What is Virtual Hosting?
    Customizing and Branding your Software
    About the Virtual Hosting Management Portal
    Linking with your Web Site or Shopping Cart
    Virtual Hosting FAQ
    Sign up for Virtual Hosting.



           
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