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Maximo Hosting | Frequently Asked Questions

What is Maximo as a Service BYOL?

There are two licensing models for our Maximo as a Service (MaaS); MaaS and MaaS Bring Your Own License (BYOL). MaaS is our base service that removes the need for the customer to purchase IBM Maximo software, as the right-to-use Maximo is included in the monthly, per user service fee. MaaS BYOL is for customers who own Maximo licenses but want them hosted in our cloud. Both services are priced based on the IBM Maximo product license types (i.e. full, limited use, express, self service).

Where are our Maximo instances hosted from?

 

Cohesive utilizes multiple service providers to manage portions of the infrastructure and

provide public connectivity to the internet. Our dedicated firewalls are managed by a cyber

services and compliance provider specializing in applied security intelligence – BAE Systems. It is our experience that infrastructure components such as data center infrastructure, network and firewall security are better left to organizations specializing in those areas such as SoftLayer.   Here is additional information on the locations:

 

Production Data Center and Infrastructure

IBM SoftLayer provides data centers and infrastructure for customer production instances out of the following locations:

  • Dallas Texas
  • Washington DC
  • Washington DC

http://www.softlayer.com/data-centers

 

Disaster Recovery / Non-Production Environments

Peak10 provides data center and colocation services for our non-production instances from Cincinnati, Ohio.

http://www.peak10.com/about-peak-10/data-center-locations/cincinnati-data-centers

How is hosting in your cloud different than hosting on Amazon or Azure?

The differences are many, but these are the ones we think are most important:

  • Both Amazon and Azure are public clouds, whereby tenants compete for the underlying physical resources. Our infrastructure is dedicated to our Maximo cloud customers. We work to ensure the cloud is architected to provide all in our cloud an optimal performance experience.
  • Our cloud is designed on enterprise grade infrastructure and with redundancy built in to make sure Maximo is always running utilizing the IBM SoftLayer Virtual offering. See this article for one comparison to Amazon and Azure: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/12/06/international-business-machines-corp-just-trounced.aspx.
  • Our solution provides a running instance of Maximo, tuned and scaled to handle your user load.
  • Our solution includes backup and disaster recovery out-of-the-box.
  • Our technical support team is only a phone call away. Large public clouds rely on forums and email or web support. If you need to speak to a person, you are out of
  • Public cloud providers are not Maximo experts, we are. We will support the entire solution stack, hardware and software, with Maximo performance and stability as our sole

 

Who provides level 1 Maximo support?

Cohesive Solutions provides Maximo product support during implementation and for ongoing support after go-live. This will provide us with natural opportunities to guide you in the proper use of Maximo and ensure successful implementation of Maximo.

How do customers access their application?

Our solution is provided over the internet, so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world via a supported web browser. Additional information on data center locations can be found here: http://www.softlayer.com/data-centers

Who interacts with IBM and creates PMRs to resolve customer issues?

Cohesive will be able to submit PMR’s on your behalf using your IBM support account information and authorization. Alternatively, with the BYOL option, you can always submit tickets directly to IBM as well.

Who will apply hotfixes to Maximo or perform other patching or upgrade activities?

The Cohesive team has proprietary processes for maintaining shared installations of Maximo, reducing the administrative overhead associated with hosting multiple customers on the same version of software. As such, we will maintain the product installation on a separate administrative server and patch or apply hotfixes to your Maximo instances as needed. This is included in your service.

Are you running Maximo on Windows or Linux servers?

We run on Windows servers by default. Linux servers are offered as a premium service.

Doesn’t Maximo run slower over the internet than it would on premise?

You might think so, and in some cases that can be true; however, we have found that companies don’t always invest in the fastest infrastructure, so typically our cloud includes higher grade equipment and runs faster than an on-premise approach. When providing a solution from the cloud, one of the biggest factors can be network latency. To combat this, we have partnered with datacenter / infrastructure service providers (i.e. SoftLayer) who have the best internet connectivity available and the ability to modify paths across the internet if that is what it takes to solve a problem. We also use Solid State Hard drives for our production systems which provide the fastest I/O possible. Our hosted Maximo applications also tend to perform better because they run on current generation infrastructure as our service includes hardware refresh schedules to make sure our cloud solution meets or beats the performance of an on-premise application.

How often do you update your servers?

Operating system updates are applied monthly. Middleware software (database, Websphere, etc.) updates occur as patches are released and the need presents itself, but are scheduled for review on a quarterly basis.

When is maintenance scheduled?

Patching is generally scheduled between 10:00 PM – 05:00 AM Eastern Time. Other maintenance, requested by customers or related to the patching of Maximo, is scheduled with the customer in advance at a time that is agreeable to all parties.

How are we notified of outages and how much notification will we receive?

Our team will provide outage notices via email to contacts identified on each customer account as a system owner or maintenance notification contact. Generally, patching notifications will be provided with at least 48 hours notification. Emergency maintenance activities may require us to act with less notification, but those situations are rare.

Do you support Maximo integrations?

Yes, we support Maximo integrations via the Maximo Integration Framework.

Regarding Integration, what types of End Points do you support?

We can support any type of end point within our cloud, but some types of end points require specific configurations and may require a setup and/or ongoing support fee. Each of the following end point types will require an integration fee:

  • Table End Points – We do not grant direct access to our Maximo back end database servers to customers. Additionally, most IT organizations will not allow direct access from the internet to their database servers. As such, Cohesive can host an integration database on our SQL Gateway database server to act as a secure SQL server instance for table
  • XML / Flat File End Points – File driven integrations are welcomed but will require the use of an FTP/SFTP server with our cloud. We do not allow FTP on the Maximo application server. Instead, we will host the FTP/SFTP server on a separate server and push files onto the Maximo application
  • Web Services / REST API – Cohesive only supports the use of Web Services / REST API calls over the secure HTTPS ports. Configuration is required within the EAR deployment to enable these types of end

What monitoring do you have in place?

There are multiple layers of monitoring in place to help preemptively identify issues, as well as to ensure prompt response when they do arise. First, a detailed layer of monitoring runs within our cloud that maintains a watchful eye over all of the key components that make up the solution. Second, the customer application URL is monitored from a location outside of our cloud, watching to ensure the customer application is always available from the internet. Both of these monitoring systems are hooked into our paging system, alerting our technical team on a 24x7 basis for issues affecting a production instance.

Do you support the use of Maximo “Attached Documents”?

Yes, this service includes the storage of up to 10GB of attached documents, with additional storage available as an add-on service. Our team will handle the configuration of attached documents as part of the setup of the Maximo instance. Attached documents are stored on a shared file server and backed up to our offsite backup vault as part of the backup/recovery processes for customer data.

Do you support the use of custom java programs in Maximo?

Yes! While Cohesive does not encourage the use of custom Java code, we do have the knowledge and ability to support the hosting of Maximo-related java programs which fit your organization’s specific needs. Obviously, if the custom code interacts with external applications in any manner this would need to be addressed in a one-off manner.

Do you support the use of the Maximo Email Listener functionality?

Yes, but as an add-on service. This add-on service includes a single emaximo.com (i.e. customerdomainname@emaximo.com) email inbox for the purposes of processing inbound email into Maximo.

Can the customer provide their own SSL certificate for use with their Maximo instance?

We recommend the use of emaximo.com domain and SSL certificates, which are provided as part of the base service.

Will I have access to the servers so I can access logs for troubleshooting?

With system stability as a goal, end customers do not have access to log into the console of our servers. However, Cohesive, on your behalf, has access to necessary logs via a web browser, so server access Is not required to basic troubleshooting and log access.

Why is there a fee for integrations that we develop and support?

Our fee is nominal and is intended to fund our efforts on the back end to configure and support any middleware or infrastructure layers. We also need to maintain documentation of the dependencies within our configuration management system.

What are your support hours?

Cohesive is available 24x7 for handling any urgent issues that are affecting all Maximo users in a production instance. Development instances are supported during normal business hours, which are 8-5 Monday- Friday Eastern time. Please read carefully the Cohesive Support document for details for contact methods and what is covered during normal business hours vs. after-hours.

How do we submit support requests?

Via the Cohesive FIRSTCall support process which supports web, email or telephone-based requests. See the Cohesive’s FIRSTCall support service for details.