The Global Switch, Sydney.

The Global Switch Sydney, is one of the largest data centres in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the leading wholesale data centre provider in Europe and Asia-pacific, providing the reliability, security and flexibility that we require to house our IT infrastructure. It’s our home. More importantly, it’s also home to our clients FileMaker Systems, clients from a diverse spectrum of industries – large and small companies and organisations.

Whether you are from the corporate world, the academic world or the small or medium enterprise sector, there is a place for you and your FileMaker systems on one of our dedicated FileMaker Servers.

Simply give us a call on 02 9487 8066 and join our growing membership of highly valued clients.


Here’s the detail of what’s involved and what you get…

1. Data Centre Monitoring & Management of Power, Fire, Aircon, Environmental & Security:

1.1 Power Specifications: Minimum N+1 Redundancy on Power Supply; Mains Power Via 2 x 33kV Dedicated Incomers; Diverse A&B Power Supply through UPS (uninterrupted power supply); Power and cooling supported by UPS Units and; On Site Diesel Tanks (360,000 Litres) Support Minimum of 24 Hours at Full Capacity (2 Hour Contract for Further Fuel Provision).

1.2 Fire Detection and Suppression: Aspiratory Analogue Addressable Fire Detection; Dry Pipe System and; Smoke and Gas Clearance System.

1.3 Controlled Environment: Minimum N+1 on Chilled Water Cooling System; Temperature Maintained at 22ºC (+/- 2ºC); Humidity Maintained at 50% (+/- 10%); Up to 7 Chillers Installed at Roof Level; Close Control Units Provide Conditioned Air; Diverse Chilled Water Distribution Pipework and; Environmental Monitoring.

1.4 Data Centre Security: Access Control Using Proximity Card Readers; Multiple CCTV Cameras (Interior and Exterior); Barrier Controlled Vehicle Access and; Secure Managed Delivery and Loading Area.

2. Remote Hands & Feet: The Global Switch Data Centre, Ultimo operates what is known as a “Lights-Out” facility. It literally operates in the dark. Global Switch is a world class facility with extremely stringent (physical) security access measures in place. The only time our staff need to go on-site is to physically install a new Server or remove an old one. So we are able to service, monitor and maintain our Servers, remotely. We can even switch the Servers on, off or reboot them remotely. This operating environment is known in IT circles as remote hands and feet.

3. Network Monitoring & Management: We employ sophisticated Network Monitoring tools to manage our network. These tools provide us with an insight into network usage, the peaks and troughs of network activity and other important information (like who is connecting to our network/servers for how long and from where…). This information and historical data enable us to manage network demand and capacity. If this is not managed (demand & capacity forecasting) users may be unsuccessful in their attempt to connect to their systems or a website. This is why certain websites go down, when the network traffic is badly forecast or not anticipated and the capacity/bandwidth is in turn not made available. We have to make sure that all users of our servers have access to their systems at all times and that adequate network capacity is ensured. Having access to multiple Tier 1 providers helps us ensure this connectivity and provides redundancy in the event of network failure.

4. Hardware Management: We use high specification Dell PowerEdge R510 RU (Rack Units) Servers. They are expensive and have an ‘end-of-life’ of around 5 years. At the end of their life, they need to be replaced with new machines. In the meantime, throughout their life they need to be maintained as there are moving parts and components get hot. One of the reasons the data centre temperature is constantly maintained throughout with air conditioning. Without it, the building would become a hot house (as computers generate a great deal of heat) and equipment would fail, fires would breakout… We have tools that manage, monitor and alert us to component failure, temperature and other important dashboard equipment KPI’s.

5. Server & Service Uptime Monitoring: We are supported by Service Providers that give us a 99.9% uptime guarantee of providing power, air and data services. We monitor that guarantee and are provided with alerts via sophisticated network monitoring tools, if any of these conditions fail. We in turn can offer our clients the same level of service.

6. Firewall Policy Changes: In addition to our physical Servers, we also have what is known as a ‘Hardware Firewall’. This is another type of physical computer with a specific task – to protect our Servers from Cyber attacks and unauthorised access. We use a Fortigate 80C Hardware Firewall Computer as our first line of defence. Access to systems hosted on our servers sitting behind the hardware firewall is provided to authorised users by telling the hardware firewall that a certain user/user account, accessing a certain FileMaker system on a certain FileMaker Server, is permitted. How we do that is by providing the Fortigate software with various instructions – known as policies. If new users are required to have access or users need to be removed from having access, policy changes are made.

7. Application Management: FileMaker Server is the Application Software that allows the sharing of FileMaker databases by multiple users across a network. FileMaker Server 12, 13 & 14 advanced technology does not limit the number of FileMaker Pro clients that can be networked. Technical limits are only imposed by Server hardware, database design, and operating system. It allows any sized group of FileMaker Pro users to be managed with greater security and network performance. From time to time, new updates, upgrades and bug-fixes are released from FileMaker and we in turn, update our FileMaker Server Application software with these changes to maintain currency, so that we always have the latest versions of the software.

8. Database Management: FileMaker Pro Client is the database Software that is installed on your computer and provides access to the FileMaker databases being served by the FileMaker Server Application Software, across a network. From time to time, new updates, upgrades and bug-fixes are released from FileMaker and we in turn, update our FileMaker Client database software with these changes to maintain currency, so that we always have the latest versions of the software.

9. Software Firewall Management: The physical Hardware Firewall provides the brawn, Firewall software provides the brains. From time to time new updates, upgrades and bug-fixes are released from Firewall Software vendors and we in turn, update our Firewall software with these changes to maintain currency, so that we always have the latest versions of the software. Also, given certain circumstances and conditions, the software may need to be re-configured to meet certain requirements. This is all part of Software Firewall Management with the sole purpose of reducing any cyber attacks and unauthorised access to our Servers and network.

10. Operating System Management: An operating system is a collection of software that manages the computer hardware resources and provides services for computer programs. The operating system of a computer is a vital component of the system software. Application programs – like FileMaker Server, require an operating system to function. Our hardware servers currently use Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Standard Edition.

10.1 Operating System Patching: From time to time, new updates, upgrades and bug-fixes are released from Microsoft and we in turn, update our Windows Server operating system software with these changes to maintain currency, so that we always have the latest versions of the software. This process is known as “patching” – some patches can be applied without the need to shut down the computer hardware while other patches (like firmware updates), require a shut down and a restart.

11. Backup Management: In the world of Information Technology, a backup or the process of backing up, refers to the copying and archiving of computer data so that it may be used to restore the original in the event of data loss. The purpose of backups is to recover data after its loss, be it by data deletion or data corruption. Data deletion refers to users (accidentally or intentionally) deleting data within an application program (ie: a FileMaker database). Data corruption refers to errors in computer data that occur during writing (to a hard drive), reading, storage, transmission, or processing, which introduce unintended changes to the original data. Our hosting environment employs a number of technologies that automate backup routines at a number of levels: Application Program; Operating System and; Server levels. At the Application Program level, FileMaker Server Advanced has the ability to define backup schedules to be performed on desired databases, via it’s Admin Console. It also has the ability to define where these backup files are saved. When the backup schedule is performed, FileMaker Server will pause the databases and then make a copy of them to the backup folder that is defined. Backup folders can include folders on another hard drive on another machine and we also provide a backup to a clients shared Dropbox folder if required. A backup is preserved to ensure the integrity and protection of data. These backups at this level are scheduled to occur daily from 11:00pm. The routines run on a daily basis, overwriting the previous days backup. We do not provide permanent archival services. However, we also have a backup regime that backs up every hour for the last 3 hours of current time and a backup every four hours. This captures the most recent state of the data on the Server. This data is stored until the destination backup drives reach capacity whereupon the oldest backups (snapshot by month), will drop off and be overwritten with the more recent backups. So, these backups will generally be preserved for a longer period. At the Server level, a third party backup utility and disk imaging software is used to produce an image of all our hard drives, across all of our Servers. These images are then backed up to a storage device located in another data centre in Adelaide.

12. Disaster Prevention and Recovery: Disaster prevention and disaster recovery (DR) is the process, policy and procedures that are in place in preparation for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure in the event of a natural or human-induced disaster. Disaster recovery is a subset of business continuity. While business continuity involves planning for keeping all aspects of a business functioning in the midst of disruptive events, disaster recovery focuses on the IT or technology systems that support business functions. The data stored on our Servers is precious. Our clients businesses may depend upon it, so taking precautionary measures to ensure that their data is safe is vital. We use disk imaging software to preserve our clients data and to avoid the frustrating and complex recovery process that can occur with a system crash or natural disaster. This imaging software simply takes a snapshot of our hard drives. It captures our hard drive piece by piece, so that we can simply load the disk image onto another Server in another location and restore our clients system with the minimum down time and disruption to sustain business continuity. This is known as Disaster Recovery. Disk imaging software is different from backup software because it creates a full copy of our entire hard drives, across all Servers, including the operating system, application software, file organisation and other data. Backup software simply creates a general copy of your data.