APS - Application Private Server

The Application Private Server (APS) service offers comfortable operation of applications that you need available at all times, including when out of the office. Typical use is for accounting systems (Pohoda, Money, ABRA, ERP or CRM systems, i.e. third party software that is not used for web hosting.

The APS will be ready within one day of receiving the payment and its operation is subject to specific terms and conditions. The entire server, including the operating system, is backed up on daily basis, creating a so-called image server.

You can find additional information about our server solutions on the address active24.co.uk.
 

Warning: Backups are kept for 7 days. However, this is security backup in case of server crash. Application data has to be backed up by each customer individually. 

 

Terms and conditions of APS operation

Despite the fact that the operation of APS is dealt with by our experienced administrators, application maintenance is done by the customer who therefore takes over the responsibility for some aspects of server operation. The most important conditions of using an APS server are introduced below. Breaching these conditions may lead to termination of the service.

  1. All necessary software licences installed on an APS are maintained by the customer at the developer or distributor of the application. We are not involved in the process of purchase of an application.In case any software is installed by ACTIVE 24 and it requires agreeing to software developer's terms and conditions, the end user authorises ACTIVE 24 to agree to these terms and conditions in their behalf.
  2. The installation and update of applications are always performed by a special user account, the so-called admin account, which is the only account that has sufficient authorization. This special account serves only this above-mentioned purpose. It is prohibited to use this account for running the hosted applications. Logging into this account is monitored.
  3. It is only allowed to install applications that have been ordered. Potentially, it is possible to install other applications once they are approved by ACTIVE 24. If these conditions are breached, ACTIVE 24 reserves right to uninstall any unauthorized software without warning. As providers, we are not liable for the content of an APS, nor for correct licencing of all the applications being run on it, with the exception of applications that are part of the APS service.
  4. Each user has to have his own user account to access the application with. It is not allowed to share accounts between users. ACTIVE 24 is not responsible for any damage or loss of data in case a user loses the password to his encrypted drive. In case of loss of password, all data is irreversibly lost.
  5. On installation of the server, ACTIVE 24 ensures that the server is properly secured and that all necessary security updates and patches are applied. Updates released after the installation are installed by customers themselves via their APS admin account.
  6. ACTIVE 24 is responsible for the uninterrupted operation of the application server as well as its uninterrupted accessibility form the internet. The APS service is part of the Guaranteed service quality programme and customer is entitled to discount off the regular operating costs of the relevant service. Application servers are monitored online and system administrators are able to address a potential problem immediately as it occurs, 24/7. Customers may also contact the customer support which is available 24/7 if they find a problem with availability, stability or application server performance.
  7. ACTIVE 24 performs a daily backup of the entire server, including its operating system - resulting in so-called server image. We keep the backups for 7 days. However, these are only security backups to be used in case of system crash. Application data has to be backed up by each customer individually.
  8. If an application or system crash occurs as a result of the unprofessional use of the special account, ACTIVE 24 does not bear any responsibility for downtime or possible loss of data. In such case, server recovery from the last available backup may be ordered for the usual hourly rate of ACTIVE 24 technicians.
  9. ACTIVE 24 provides the customer necessary access rights to install and update his application of choice based on updates allowed by the licence agreement. The recommended way to install and maintain an application is to have employers of application developer (or its trained partners) perform any installation, updates and upgrades of the application. ACTIVE 24 is not responsible for licencing of the used software, nor for any possible problems resulting from an application update. However, we can restore data from last available backup and revert APS to previous working version.
  10. ACTIVE 24 is not involved with questions and queries about the application itself. For this purpose, the customer should use contacts provided by the developer or distributor of the software used.

 


How to connect to APS

You can connect to an application server via RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) secured by an SSL certificate with use of Remote Desktop Gateway (formerly "Terminal Services Gateway).

The Remote Desktop Gateway service uses the Remote Desktop Protocol via HTTPS protocol (standard port 443 for SSL - Secure Sockets Layer, allowed on most firewalls) to establish secure encrypted connection between remote users on the internet and the internal application server, therefore it is not necessary to configure VPN (Virtual Private Network) etc. 

After successful validation of the client, all following communication between RD Gateway and the specific application server located at Hyper-V Cluster occurs on standard port 3389. Each virtual application server in a cluster is safely separated from others, so it is not technically possible to log in to an application server of another customer.

  1. Launch RDP client on your PC.
  2. Enter IP address of your APS and your username (e.g. a24net.cz\a7971).
  3. In the Advanced tab, choose Settings. Use rdg.a24net.cz for the entire Remote Desktop Gateway.
  4. Connect to the server and fill username and password for the Remote Desktop Gateway (same as for the APS account).
  5. On logging in, a message about the SSL certificate used is shown. After its confirmation, you are logged in.


Detailed instructions:

  1. To log in, launch RDP client on your computer. You can launch it by clicking on the Start button in Windows, and enter remote desktop connection into the search field. Find Remote Desktop Connection in the results list and press Show options.

  1. Enter the APS name (e.g.aps6159.a24net.cz) or its IP address(1) (e.g. 81.95.106.159), The format of username(2) is a24net.cz\u7973. If you do not know the login, you can find it with help of the change of password article.
  2. Choose the Advanced(3) tab and once there, click Settings.
  3. Choose Use these RD Gateway server settings and enter rdg.a24net.cz(5) to the Server name box. Confirm the settings by clicking OK and Connect(6) to the server.
  4. Logging in has two steps. First, you enter login details for the RD Gateway(7). Again, enter username and password to the user account. In next step, only enter the password(8) for the Application server and confirm the information about SSL certificate(9). You can start working with the server now.

RemoteApp - shortcut for launching remote application


The remote access application is different between operating systems Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2. These applications are primarily accessed via a web portal. After logging in the user can see available programs and can launch them by clicking their icon. In this portal, it is possible to create shortcuts for launching the software that can be saved e.g. on a computer desktop.

The advantage of the above-mentioned procedure is that the server administrator can add and remove applications and users can always see a list of available programs when logged in to the web interface. Communication always occurs via secure HTTPS protocol, with self-signed server certificate by default (address of the portal is https://apsxxxx.a24net.cz/rdweb), but it is possible to establish higher security with commercial SSL and by using your own domain.

Detailed instructions:

 

 

  1. First, launch the RemoteApp Manager on the application server   (Start – All programs –Administrative Tools –Remote Desktop Services – RemoteApp).
  2. In the Actions tab, choose Add RemoteApp programs, which will launch a Wizard, and click Next.
  3. A list of programs installed on the server comes up, choose one, e.g. Calculator and click Next.
  4. Now you can see a confirmation window for adding a program, click Finish. Then, Calculator will appear in list of programs ready for remote access from APS server. 
  5. Now, create a connection for launching remote programs on your computer. Choose Calculator in the list of installed programs. In the Action menu, choose Create .rdp file. A Wizard launches, click Next
  6. Then enter the location to save the RDP output file, e.g. save it on the Desktop. 
  7. Using Browse, choose Desktop and confirm by clicking OK.
  8. Select file "calc" on desktop of the application server by clicking on it with mouse and copy it using CTRL+C (of course it is also possible to do this using right mouse button and selecting "Copy"). 
  9. Then right-click on the desktop of your computer and select "Paste" in the menu. The RDP connection for remote launch of Calculator is then saved to your computer. When it is launched and your login details are entered, you log in to the APS server and launch the Calculator.
  10. Now you can work with the Calculator just as if it was launched from your local computer.

 


How to add new accounts? 

A new user licence for connection to an APS can be ordered via ______authorized request_____.

It is not possible to use the admin account to use programs installed on the server, this account can only be used for setting up the server and installation of new programs. More information can be found in _____terms and conditions_____ for using an Application server. 

 


Changing password of a user account

An overview user accounts on an APS can be found in the Customer centre. It is also possible to manipulate them in in the Customer centre anytime

  1. Log in to the ___Customer centre___.
  2. Choose APS in the menu. An overview of all your established Application servers and all user licences with their passwords comes up (Services / Hosting and servers / APS).
  3. Click Change password next to a relevant user and set up a new password.
  4. This new password can immediately be used to log in to the server.

Detailed instructions:

  1. Log in to the ____Customer centre_____ using your login. If necessary, a _____forgotten password can be sent_____ to your e-mail address.
  2. Choose APS in the menu. An overview of all your established Application servers and all user licences with their passwords comes up (Services / Hosting and servers / APS).
  3. Click Change password next to a relevant user and set up a new password.
  4. This new password can immediately be used to log in to the server.

Installation of your own software

Programs installed on an Application server must comply with _____terms and conditions______ for using an APS, as well as with conditions of the software provider. Installation and maintenance of these programs is the responsibility of the server client (customer). Only the admin account can be used to install and maintain any software.

As a general rule, accounts are distinguished according to their first letter. There are two types of accounts. One starts with "a" for an administrator, the other starts with "u" for a user - e.g. a1126 is a username of an administrator, u3724 is a user licence.

When ordering a server, the final product parameter to be picked is an extra hosted application that is installed by our administrators. These programs usually supplement business applications and are necessary for reading and editing tables and documents. Following selection is available:

  • Open source applications - Adobe Acrobat Reader, FreeCommander and Firefox will be installed
  • Microsoft Office Standard - we will install Adobe Acrobat Reader CZ, FreeCommander, Firefox, and the Microsoft Office Standard bundle applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
  • Microsoft Office Professional - Adobe Acrobat Reader CZ, FreeCommander, Firefox and the Microsoft Office Professional bundle applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher) can be used.

 


Usage of disk space

After appliacation is created the the system disk size (C: \ disk) is not set to the total available disk space. Many users want to reserve a separate disk, such as data, so we leave free disk space unallocated. You can use unallocated space to raise the main disk or create new disk space.

Increase of the main disk

  1. Log in to APS.
  2. Click by right mouse button on Start option and choose option Disk management.
  3. Use right mouse button on disk C:\ and choose option Extend Volume.
  4. Allocate free disk space for maximal disk size of C:\ , continue and confirm the changes.
  5. In a few seconds the disk quota will be raised on C:\ .

Detailed walkthrough:

  1. Using login information connect to APS.
  2. Using right mouse button click on option Start(1) and choose option Disk management(2). Overview of disks will me shown and allocated and unallocated disk quota.
  3. Use right mouse button and click on disk C:\(3) and choose option Extend Volume(4).
  4. The Extend Volume Wizard will start, continue to settings(5) of new disk space. With the default selection you add maximal disk space to the main disk C:\, after the changes are made, continue by clicking on button Next(6).
  5. Within few seconds the allocated disk space will be seen.

Create new disk space (D:\ )

  1. Log in to APS.
  2. Using right mouse button click on option Start and choose option Disk management.
  3. Using right mouse button click on option  Unallocated and choose option New Simple Volume.
  4. Allocate disk space to new disk and choose its indication and name.
  5. Within few seconds the new disk will be created.

Detailed walkthrough:

  1. Using login detail connect to APS.
  2. Using right mouse button click on option Start(1) and choose option Disk management(2). Overview of disks will me shown and allocated and unallocated disk quota.
  3. Using right mouse button click on Unallocated(3) and choose option New Simple Volume(4). The New Simple Volume Wizard will start. Continue to disk quota settings (5).
  4. Allocate space(6) to new disk and choose his identification(7)
  5. In overview you can also check the chosen setting, the changes will be made after clicking on Finish(8). New disk will be created in a while.

 


Restart and turning off APS

In case the APS will freeze, you can restart it, or eventually turn it off using our interface in Customer center.
 

Note: Restart or turning off the server will immediately disconnect all users and can cause loose of data.
  1. Log in to Customer center.
  2. In menu choose APS, overview of all created APS will be shown (Services / Webhosting and servers / APS).
  3. There choose required action, each of them need another confirmation and will be executed almost immediately.

Detailed walkthrough:

  1. Using your login information log in to Customer center. Or you can ask for a forgotten password.
  2. In menu choose APS, the overview of all created APS will be shown as will be all user licenses with passwords (Services / Webhosting and servers / APS).
  3. At the name of APS you will find control buttons. By holding the mouse pointer on them describtion will show (Switching off the server, Switching off the server hard, Restart the server).
  4. Chosen action needs to be confirmed. After the confirmation is made, the changes will be executed almost immediately.
     

Changing configuration on APS

Parameters of APS can be changed, you just have to contact us using authorized request. Change of APS configuration requires short outage and is done during work days. 

For your APS you can buy extra RAM, disk or e-mail space and user licences. Of course you can also change APS package.