Technology: Thrive in the cloud
Solutions built on the zPaper platform can be hosted in one of three operational models depending on client needs:
- Multi-tenant Server hosted in a zPaper data center
- Dedicated Server hosted in a zPaper data center
- Private Cloud hosted in the client’s or third-party data center as an appliance on a virtual machine
Each of these models shares the same technology platform for the core digital paper processing with different interfaces or connectors to facilitate interaction with fax servers, fax gateways, Salesforce.com or client site systems.
For both model #1 and #2 the cloud computing facility used is Amazon EC2, which is the industry leader in providing scalable and reliable PaaS (Platform as a Service) facilities for application providers. Model #1 and #2 are identical with the exception that in model #2, the client has chosen to not be co-resident on the same hardware as other clients instead has chosen a dedicated platform (OS, Disk).
Model #3, the premise and/or private cloud based solution is also very similar to model #2, except the client has chosen to run the entire solution on their own platform within a network environment they control, either in their own data center or an independent cloud computing facility managed by the client.
The reliability section focuses in on model #1 and #2 since they represent the end-to-end Solution from zPaper. There are two major components which factor into end-to-end reliability, the Platform and the Connections to fax gateways/servers, clients and partners
In the non-premise models, zPaper utilizes the Amazon EC2 Environment which provides an elastic, flexible, and secure set of services coupled with the ability for a business to control its application and leverage Web Services provided by Amazon for virtual IP, elastic storage and multiple availability zones.
A zPaper technology solution is comprised of multiple zPaper Appliances interacting with purpose-built gateways for fax services and utilizing mySQL and Amazon EBS for local data storage.
The system is architected in such a way to provide internal redundancy via multiple appliances within a single Amazon Zone. In an alternate zone, a near-real time copy of the data is maintained via an agent running on a zPaper appliance operating in the alternate zone. In the event of a massive failure in Amazon Zone 1, zPaper can switch users to a read-only copy of all transactions assuring continuity of access to zPaper content during the outage period. In addition, the data stores are backed up daily to an alternate site.
The zPaper technology architecture can be configured to support multiple appliances in multiple Amazon regions if necessary to meet our business needs in the future.
The Amazon virtual cloud environment allows zPaper to provide highly secure and reliable connections to its clients. Its key gateway service providers and partners also benefit. Amazon EC2 provides Elastic IP which enables zPaper to easily reconfigure the connections to their virtual environment at Amazon. Salesforce certified the zPaper platform deployed in the EC2 cloud as early as 2009.
Fax and Email Gateway Technologies
zPaper:Fax utilizes Salesforce.com for all outgoing email services. The conduit to Salesforce.com exists today for only a single zone but can be extended to multiple zones/regions in the future if necessary. Incoming email is aggregated, filtered, and converted to PDF before being submitted for processing by secured agents.
zPaper:Fax utilizes gateways to multiple internal and external fax service providers and to client premise fax servers. These gateways can be operational in multiple EC2 zone/regions if business needs warrant the expansion.
One of the hallmarks of a true cloud computing infrastructure is its ability to scale. zPaper has taken advantage of this by architecting the zPaper platform in such a way to be able to add additional components at either a Web Tier, App Tier, or Agent Tier level to meet business growth needs. The underlying Amazon EC2 technology platform not only allows zPaper to easily add these components but also provides the increased communications bandwidth for connectivity and an easily expandable storage model.
The Amazon EC2 environment technology offers a highly secure operating model to application providers, see:
zPaper utilizes https and SSL connections for all external connections to partners, clients or services. zPaper will work with their business partners to design and then modify the operating model to incorporate partner-specific HIPAA compliance within the application. Key HIPAA technical requirements already in place include encrypting data-at-rest and in transit, audit trails for all transactions and access as well as internal policies and procedures for handling sensitive information. For more information take a look at our Security page.