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Posts Tagged ‘FileMaker Hosting’

FileMaker Hosting – What Plan is Right for You?

November 22nd, 2017

When it comes to hosting your FileMaker solution, there are a lot of options out there. You can host it yourself onsite, you can host with a service, or you can explore FileMaker Cloud. Let’s assume that you’ve decided the hassle and costs associated with hosting your solution yourself are too prohibitive and you’ve decided to host with a service.

Now you’re looking at plans. There is shared hosting and dedicated hosting and concierge services for FileMaker Cloud (not discussed in this blog, but follow this link for more info).

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Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most economical option available on the market and very appealing to a lot of people looking to host their FileMaker solution.

In order to figure out if shared hosting is the right option for you and to help you choose between our Starter or Professional Plan, let’s start with a few questions:

First: What version of FileMaker Pro is your solution currently running on? What version of FileMaker Server are you currently using and what version of FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server do you want or need to be on?

Okay, that was technically three questions, but they are all important.

Our shared hosting plans support FileMaker Server 11-14 and FileMaker Pro (client) 7-16. The compatibility chart below details what FileMaker Pro versions are available on the different FileMaker Server versions.

Shared_Hosting_Compatibiity_ 2017

If don’t want to or don’t need to upgrade to FileMaker Server 15 or above, a shared hosting plan could be perfect for your needs.

Second: How many files do you want to host (and how big are your files)?

The Starter plan is ideal for one file and up to 1 GB of data. If you need to host more than one file, the Professional plan supports up to five database files and 5 GBs of storage.

Third: Do you need FileMaker WebDirect or FileMaker Go connections?

If yes, you need to go with the Professional plan. Our Starter plan does not support WebDirect or Go connections.

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Dedicated Hosting
If you want or need to be on FileMaker Server 15 or higher, you need to go with dedicated hosting.
We offer four plans (Micro Team, Small Team, Medium Team, and Large Team – henceforth referred to as Micro, Small, Medium, and Large) designed to cover, accommodate, and service a wide variety of needs and requirements.

Let’s review some of the factors that go into deciding which plan is the best fit for you.

1. File size

Each plan allows you to upload up to 125 database files, but the size of your files is a determining factor in deciding which plan is right for you.

Our dedicated hosting plans offer varying quantities of disk space to accommodate the overall size of your files. Our Micro and Small plans have limited storage. If the files being hosted are too large, it becomes difficult to provide redundant backups without incurring additional costs.

If your files’ total sizes are less than 5 GB, you are probably okay going with the Micro plan. With 60 GB of disk space available, anything larger than 5 GB becomes too big for the standard backup routines that are included with the plan.

What if your FileMaker files are just a little too big for the Micro plan? Then the Small plan should work for you since it can host files up to 10 GB. With either of these plans, you can also purchase additional blocks of 100 GB for $20 a month.

If you have files over 10 GB, then you may want to consider a Medium or Large plan. These servers can hold files up to 150 GB – giving you lots of room for your FileMaker file and even external data too.

2. Performance
What kind of performance do you need and what do you intend to do on your server? If you plan to run continuous routines or regular audit systems, you are going to want to opt for the Medium or Large plan. With more RAM available, these plans are better equipped to handle complex processes that won’t result in lag.

Interested in learning more about FileMaker performance when hosting? Check out this video Marc Larochelle, our CEO, did:

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3. Bandwidth
Depending upon how you use your solution, you may need a lot of bandwidth. Several things can determine if you need unlimited bandwidth:

A. if you work with a lot of interactive containers
B. if you plan to regularly download data to your local machine
C. if you use custom web publishing
D. your backup is going to Dropbox

All of these use a lot of bandwidth, so we’d suggest our Medium or Large plan.

If you use your solution more for regular data entry and as storage for historical documents that you are not downloading daily – you’ll be fine with a Small plan (or maybe even a Micro).

4. Number of FileMaker users / WebDirect access
Here are two more things to consider.

Do you have less than 10 FileMaker Pro users? Look at the Micro Plan. Anything over 10 users, your options are wide open with the Small, Medium or Large plans.

While all plans support FileMaker Go access, only the Small, Medium, and Large Team plans support FileMaker WebDirect access. If you intend to have more than 10 users connecting to your solution via FileMaker Go or you want to use WebDirect, also stay with any plan above the Micro plan. The Small, Medium and Large plans come with 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM, respectively – which is needed if you intend to have a larger number of users connecting remotely.

5. Backups
Each of our dedicated plans have a robust backup schedule. Your ideal plan will depend on your backup needs.

The Micro and Small plans keep a daily backup for 7 days. At any point, your oldest backup will be from one week ago. Additional backups or DropBox storage (for archive purposes) may be requested for an added cost.

If you need more longevity on your backups, you can consider a Medium or Large plan. These plans hold backups for up to one year.

Both plans (Medium and Large) include twice daily backups completed at 12:30 pm and 1:00 am. These daily backups are kept for one (1) week. We then run weekly backups that are kept for one (1) month and monthly backups that are kept for up to one (1) year. For redundancy and disaster recovery, all backups are stored on a 1 TB external drive and a daily backup is uploaded to a dedicated folder on Dropbox (see #6).

If you are considering creating your own backup schedules, we highly recommend the Medium or Large plan. Additional backups can be costly on the Micro or Small plan, due to the fact both are running on AWS. AWS charges per GB of space, as well as bandwidth usage.

6. Dropbox
Do you want your backups available via Dropbox and do you want the ability to access a Dropbox backup up to 365 days later?

Dropbox is automatically included with Medium and Large plans. Dropbox is available with our Micro and Small plans, but it does cost extra. With Dropbox, we can provide you with backups that are up to 365 days old. Dropbox also allows for more redundant storage of your backups.

7. SSL Certificates
We include a wildcard SSL certificate with all of our plans. If you would like a customized SSL cert for a custom domain name or other requirements, this options is available for an additional fee.

One last piece of advice. Before contacting a hosting provider, you should know:
1. How many users you will have using FileMaker Pro, Go, and WebDirect.
2. How many files you want to host, as well as the size of those files.
3. What version of FileMaker Pro and Server you plan to use.

If you’re interested in hosting your solution with us, give us a call today (760-510-1200) and talk to one of our hosting engineers. We’ll discuss your requirements and specifications and get you on track with exactly what you need.

FileMaker Server 16 Dedicated Hosting Now Available

May 19th, 2017

FileMaker Server 16 was released on May 9, 2017, and with it came an impressive increase in capacity. This optimization (see image below) will make it even easier for companies to scale their solutions and deal with increased user connections.

FMS_16_Connections Chart

To accompany these capacity increases, there are a number of new features as well – enough to sway even the most resistant of adapters.

New to FileMaker Server 16:

1. FileMaker Data API Trial: From now until September 27, 2018, you can use your FileMaker data in other applications and services with REST-based FileMaker Data API. For more information, check out this forum thread: https://community.filemaker.com/thread/173693

2. Tableau Web Data Connector for FileMaker: Tableau makes it easier to visualize your FileMaker Data. According to FileMaker’s website, the connector is a FileMaker Data API that provides integration with Tableau Desktop.

3. PDF Support: You can run automated reports and save PDFs using scripts performed on FileMaker Server.

4. OAuth 2.0 Support for Accounts: FileMaker Server is all about security. Simplify your credential management by specifying OAuth 2.0 third party authentication providers – such as Amazon, Google, or Microsoft Azure.
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For each FileMaker release, we work hard to prepare and ensure that our clients can utilize the new features available. To accommodate the increase in system requirement necessary to run FileMaker Server 15 and 16, we have doubled the RAM on our Small Team Plan from 4GB to 8GB. Clients can now get up and running with the latest technologies on their own dedicated server for $149/mo.

Every PCI Dedicated Hosting plan includes:
Free personalized setup – we talk with you about your requirements and then we do all the work necessary to get you hosted – giving you more time to focus on your priorities.

Fully managed dedicated server – just another perk of hosting with a third party, we handle ALL labor associated with operating and proactively managing your server.

SSL Certificate – included. That’s one less cost and hassle that you need to worry about.

FileMaker Server Admin Console access – in the event you want to manage or upload files – or set scheduled backups or scheduled scripts.

Unlimited users – scalability! As long as you have the licenses, you can have as many users as you want ( FMS 16 limits you to 500 concurrent connection – so unlimited is a relative term).

Regular automatic backups – schedules and redundancy vary based upon your plan, but if something should happen to your solution, we have you covered with a recent backup.

Dropbox availability – Dropbox is included with our Medium Workgroup and Large Department plans, but a little extra for our Small Team plan ($10/mo).

Access to FileMaker certified developers – we are just a call or email away. With support available almost 24/7, you’ll get the assistance you need in a timely manner.

Secure uploads, downloads and connections – utilizing the latest technologies and the strictest practices ensures your data is safe and secure from prying eyes and that your system itself is running like a fortress – constantly monitored by our experts.

PHP/ CWP/ ODBC/ JDBC/ XML access – integrate your solution and server with a variety of technologies.

Upload speeds of up to 100 MB/s – because no one likes waiting.

Clients can bring their own FileMaker Server license or purchase a license from Productive Computing at a discount. For more information, please visit www.filemakerhostingservice.com or call 760-510-1200.

Introducing BYO Cloud Setup, Consultation, and Account Management Services

October 13th, 2016

 

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FileMaker’s newest offering, FileMaker Cloud, is available through the Amazon Web Services Marketplace and provides reliable access to custom apps in the cloud. Users can get the simplicity, performance, and reliability they’ve come to expect from the FileMaker Platform without having to spend time and resources deploying and maintaining a traditional on-site server. With FileMaker Cloud you’ll get low up-front costs, speedy deployment, minimal administrative overhead, instant scalability, and more.

In order to help our customer’s get started with FileMaker Cloud, we have two new services available.

1. BYO Cloud Setup and Consultation – To someone unfamiliar with AWS, setting up a server may seem daunting and could take more time than you have available. Our FileMaker certified developers and Amazon Web Services experts will set up and configure your entire FileMaker Cloud and AWS account for you.

Licensing: We can help you purchase your licensing through the Amazon Marketplace or you can bring your own license. FileMaker Cloud requires FileMaker Licensing for Teams: hourly or annual. It is possible to convert existing FLT licenses to FileMaker Cloud. FileMaker allows a 30 day transitionary period for these conversions.

Instance Type Selection: Depending on your needs, usage, and computing power we will help you choose what type of instance (t2.small, t2.medium, m4.xlarge, etc.) you will want to purchase.

Storage Space Requirements: Based upon the size of your FileMaker solution and desired backup disk space, we can help you ensure that you’re only paying for the space you need.

SSL Certificate Installation: FileMaker Cloud accounts come with a free 90 day trail of a Comodo SSL certificate. If you intend to bring your own SSL certificate, we can install that for you.

FileMaker Cloud Dashboard Review: If you would like to monitor your AWS account going forward, we can walk you through the details and explain each metric on the dashboard.

Backup Process Explanation: It is important to understand how you can access your backups. We’ll show you how to preserve a specific backup and how to restore your solution back to a specific point.

ESS / ODBC / JDBC Access: Stands for External SQL Data Sources, Open Database Connectivity, Java Database Connectivity and deals with data transfer and database accessibility.

Plug-in Installation: FileMaker Cloud supports Linux based plug-ins. It is a good idea to check with your plug-in provider for availability of Linux plug-ins.

FileMaker Database Upload: Once your server is up and running, we’ll make sure your solution is correctly migrated and ready to be accessed.

Hosted File Connection Instructions: In order to take full advantage of the remote access features available with hosting, we’ll provide connection instructions on how to access your database from FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and FileMaker WebDirect.

Consultation for FileMaker Cloud and AWS: Our Setup and Consultation package includes consultation services to train you how to manage your FileMaker Cloud account yourself. We can instruct you in FileMaker Cloud management, AWS navigation, and FileMaker Cloud billing.

2. The BYO Cloud Managed Service plan includes all labor associated with maintaining your server.  Our AWS experts and FileMaker certified developers will monitor and maintain your FileMaker Cloud so you don’t have to.

Maintenance of your Server – We will handle all coordination and “rollout” of OS and FileMaker Cloud updates.

FileMaker Cloud License Management – If you need to “scale up” and add connections, we can provide assistance adding connections and updating your licenses.

Instance Adjustments – As your organization and hosting requirements grow, we can upgrade you to a larger instance, giving you more file space and faster computing power.

Storage Space Expansions – Is your solution growing? Upgrade your disk space to accommodate for larger file sizes and backup space requirements. Our staff can assess your hosting needs to ensure you’re not paying for something you don’t need.

SSL Certificate Installation – FileMaker Cloud comes with a free 90 day trial of a Comodo SSL. If you intend to use your own certificate, we can handle all installations of new, updated, or renewed SSL certificates.

FileMaker Cloud Dashboard Monitoring – We proactively monitor and review all dashboard metrics to ensure you’re operating at optimal capacity.

Backup Preservation and Restoration – We’ll manage on-demand backup preservation and restoration of your FM Cloud.

ESS / ODBC / JDBC Access – If you have changes in how you access and transfer your data, we’ll update your configuration.

Plug-in Installation – Expanding your solution’s capabilities with a server side plug-in? Let us know and we’ll handle the installation for you.

FileMaker Database Upload – Have updates to your database that you want to make live? Need to add another file to your solution? We can assist with database management – we’ll upload the file and make sure you can easily connect.

Hosted File Connection Assistance – If you lose your link, delete your shortcut, or need help connecting a new employee to your database, we can provide connection assistance to your database for FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and FileMaker WebDirect.

General Support for FileMaker Cloud and AWS – We’re always here to offer support and assistance and answer questions on basic usability and best practices.

BYO Cloud is one of multiple hosting options we offer. Check out www.filemakerhosting.com for more information on our FileMaker Cloud services, as well as Shared and Dedicated hosting plans. Want to figure out what type of hosting is best for you- shared, dedicated, cloud, AWS, FileMaker Server? Call us at 760-510-1200. Email us at sales@productivecomputing.com.

PCI is Now Offering Dedicated Hosting Plans for FileMaker Server 15

July 18th, 2016
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FileMaker Hosting

 

 

 

 

PCI is Now Offering Dedicated Hosting Plans for FileMaker Server 15

With the release of FileMaker Pro 15, a new End User License Agreement was introduced requiring a dedicated server for each customer.  This new requirement inspired us to develop a new series of hosting plans to accommodate our customers on this new platform.  Using a combination of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and our existing infrastructure we developed three affordable options for FileMaker 15 users.

These new plans allow users to host their solutions in a secure environment taking advantage of the benefits of FileMaker Server 15 with the peace of mind and convenience of having experienced and certified professionals manage and monitor their server.

 

Dedicated Hosting

PCI’s new dedicated hosting plans will offer the same benefits as our shared hosting plans:  free setup, robust backup schedule (daily, weekly, monthly), and SSL Certificates.

– Fully Managed Dedicated Server maintained by PCI so you don’t have to

– FileMaker Server Licensing conveniently purchased through PCI at a discount

– Amazon (AWS) Certified Engineer offers expertise for secure and scalable options

– FileMaker Certified Developers at your service

PCI is your outsourced hosting team!

 

Shared Hosting

Productive Computing will continue to offer shared hosting for those customers that do not need to upgrade to FileMaker Server 15.

 

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FileMaker Server Licensing

If you are choosing a Dedicated Hosting plan, a FileMaker Server license is required. You may provide your own server license or order FileMaker Server through Productive Computing at a discount.  FileMaker Licensing for Teams provides an affordable option to purchase or rent the server software along with access to FileMaker Pro.

 

Need more information about hosting?  Have a look at our overview video:

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Please visit www.filemakerhostingservice.com for a complete list of plans and hosting service details.

What You Need To Know about PCI’s Dedicated Hosting Plans

May 2nd, 2016

The Dedicated Hosting Plan begins with a personal consultation to review your specific needs and requirements. We will review the basic hardware requirements, determine if any additional hardware is necessary based on your processes and provide you with a written estimate.

In addition to the hardware, we can provide you discounted pricing on FileMaker Server licensing. If you already own a copy of FileMaker Server, we can install your license on the dedicated server (FileMaker Server 13 and above).
 
Dedicated Hosting Specifications and Minimum Requirements
Server Hardware Requirements
• Apple Mac Mini: 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz)
• 16 GB 1600 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
• 512 GB PCIe-based Flash Storage

Additional Hardware Requirements
• 2TB USB3 Hard Drive (required for OS and FileMaker backup procedures)
• HDMI Headless Adapter (required for improved remote connection performance)

Server Software Requirements
• FileMaker Server 13-14 (use your own license or purchase from PCI)
• FileMaker Go or WebDirect Concurrency Connections (if applicable)
• SSL Certificate (an annual SSL certificate is required to maintain secure connections)
 
Dedicated Hosting Features
• 125 Database Files
• 500GB SSD Storage Space
• Unlimited Users
• FileMaker Go or WebDirect Connections
• FileMaker Server Admin Console Access
• Dropbox Backup Access (on demand, daily and weekly routines)
• Personalized Setup
• Automatic Backups
• Multi-Version Support for FileMaker client (FileMaker 7 through 13 Mac or Windows)
• PHP Publishing API
• Secure Uploads, Downloads and Connections
• Non-virtualized (PCI-owned) FileMaker Servers
• Solid State Drives for Ultimate Performance
• Unlimited Bandwidth
• Upload Speeds up to 100 Mb/s
• Customer Service from PCI’s Expert Team
 
Managed Services for Dedicated Hosting
Managed Services
Our dedicated managed server plans offer the highest level of hosting services PCI provides. PCI becomes your hosting expert and maintains your server using the same proprietary systems and standards we use to maintain all our other hosting servers.

Our dedicated managed server plans include ALL labor associated with operating and proactively maintaining your server to include operating system patches and updates, web server installations and updates, FileMaker Server patches and upgrades, plug-in installations, SSL certificates, ODBC configurations, backup schedules, script schedules and anything else the server needs to run your FileMaker solution.

Managed Services Fees
• One-time initial server setup
• Monthly hosting service and support
• Monthly data center service fee billed through PCI
• Tier 2 technical support provided by the data center will be billed through PCI if needed

Turnaround Times for Customer Requests
Often customer requests are handled on the spot when you call in during regular office hours. Occasionally, you may need to leave a message and we’ll get the request done the same business day. On rare occasions, requests will spill over to the next business day. Our office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Data Center Locations
We have three (3) data center locations (Las Vegas, Atlanta and Milwaukee) and our proposal would be to put you in whichever data center is closest to the greatest number of your end users. We have done extensive testing and determined that latency, specifically how far the user’s computer is physically from the FileMaker server, has the biggest impact on WAN solution performance for users who are connecting directly to the server with the FileMaker Pro client.

Customer Connection Speed
Connection to your data on the server is also relative to how your FileMaker solution is programmed and the speeds provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). We generally recommend using internet connection speeds at a minimum of 10MB download and 3MB upload. However, we also recommend that customers purchases the fastest speeds they can reasonably afford above those minimums.

Data Center Upload/Download Speeds and Bandwidth Limitations
The data centers provide maximum upload/download speeds up to 100Mb up and down.

Bandwidth usage is determined by how much data is transmitted between you and the server. For most customers, bandwidth limitations are rarely exceeded.  Actual bandwidth limitations vary depending on the data center your server is located at.

Tier 2 Technical Support
Tier 2 support is a rare occurrence but a service that is occasionally necessary from the data center. For example, if an operating system needed to be reinstalled, we would need someone to be hands on at the data center itself so we would have to pay for that service on an hourly basis. In the event this level of support may be needed from the data center, you will be notified prior to work being performed and the billing with be processed through PCI.
 
Backup Information
Our system provides for multiple backups to keep your data safe in case you accidentally remove crucial data, or in the unlikely event of a main hard drive catastrophe.

Tier 1 Backup Schedules
Twice Daily – we do daily backups at 12:30 pm and again 1:00 am. This means that on a given business a day, your data is backed up twice and in a way that is easy for us to get to. These backups are done to a separate drive other than the main hard drive.

Tier 2 Backup Schedules
Weekly and Monthly Schedules – we keep backups daily for one (1) week, weekly for one (1) month, and monthly for up to two (2) years. These backups are also saved on a separate external drive.

Tier 3 Backup Protection
Cloud Protection and easy customer access – every client has what we call their personal daily backup. This backup copies the data from the main hard drive to a backup drive and this happens at 1:00 am every day. Every morning at 3:00 am, the latest backup is compressed and copied to your dedicated Dropbox account.

FileMaker 14 Server Progressive Backups
For FileMaker 14 hosting customers we take advantage of progressive backups, which means that data is never more than an hour out of date in the event of a main hard drive catastrophe. These progressive backups are stored on a different hard drive other than the main hard drive. They are rewritten every hour. This is something akin to an ongoing mirror style backup.

We can also set up a separate Dropbox backup for the purposes of you being able to run a backup on-the-fly at any time and having that backup available to you via Dropbox immediately.
 
Security
Utilizing the latest technologies and the strictest practices ensures that not only is your data safe and secure from prying eyes, but the system itself is run like a fortress and constantly monitored by our experts.

SSL Certificates
Data transfer is encrypted using SSL, direct server access is limited, only the necessary ports to run FileMaker Server (and IWP/PHP) are exposed (unlike other hosting companies), and the machines are Apple/Mac running Linux, which are not prone to the usual hacker environments of traditional Windows servers other hosting companies are plagued with. We also limit third party and other rogue services that add to the complexity and potential vulnerability of the machine.

Passwords and Accessing Data
Each customer’s data files are secured by a username and password authentication. Only Productive Computing, Inc. server administrators have access to where the files are stored, however they do not have the individual customer’s passwords to open the database files unless the hosting customer has provided those passwords to us. We require all hosting clients to maintain a password on the hosted file.
 
Other Hosting Service and Support Frequently Asked Questions
FileMaker Pro and Server Licensing
FileMaker Pro and Server licensing is priced separately from our hosting services.

As Platinum Partners in the FileMaker Business Alliance, we are able to provide our customers with preferred pricing on FileMaker Pro and Server licenses and in most cases can provide a best price guarantee.

Software Updates/Version Upgrades Included
Our dedicated managed server plans include ALL labor associated with software upgrades to include operating system patches and updates, Web Server installations and updates, FileMaker Server patches and upgrades, plug-in installations, SSL certificates, ODBC configurations and anything else the server needs to run your FileMaker solution. The only exception is that we don’t support other non-FileMaker Server related services (i.e. we won’t install a mail server, blog engine, FTP server, etc.).

FMS Admin Console Access
All customers will have access to the FMS Admin Console. Customers will also have access to remotely access the server itself upon request – although our managed server customers generally leave that to us.