Zynstra Software for the Retail Edge - July 2019
Zynstra enables the virtualization of retail back office and front offices IT resources, and offers specific virtualization solutions for Point of Sale (POS), Portable Tablets, and Self-Checkout.
The Zynstra solution combines on premise, Cloud functionality, and support services:
- Deployed in-store, the Zynstra Intelligent Edge provides core IT services and virtual machine resources for hosting virtualized POS and applications. It comprises an edge-scale, hyperconverged core with tightly integrated compute, storage, and networking.
- Zynstra Intelligent Edge Client software runs on POS terminals, self-checkouts, and tablets, securely connecting their screen and peripherals to the virtualized software running on the Intelligent Edge. The Intelligent Edge supports a range of modern and legacy client devices, including USB, Bluetooth, and serial connected peripherals.
- The Intelligent Control Plane enables the provisioning, management, control and updating of hundreds or thousands of Intelligent Edge servers across your retail estate. It simplifies and accelerates what would otherwise be complex IT tasks, while ensuring a consistent, secure IT environment in every store. Intelligent Control Plane services are hosted in your private-Cloud, datacenter, public-Cloud or optionally hosted and operated by Zynstra.
- The Zynstra Support Team provides support and maintenance, plus the option of enhanced services for on-going monitoring, patching and update of the Zynstra solution.
- Installed on your choice of hardware, Zynstra’s architecture is designed for the edge delivering significantly lower store IT hardware costs than data center virtualization solutions.
A number of features are available to all Zynstra customers. This constitutes the core product offering, below. For the avoidance of doubt, customer Orders will specify which features are to be provided by Zynstra, including any changes or alterations to core features of Zynstra’s solution. Unless otherwise set forth on an Order, the Zynstra Software for the retail edge and related services do not include any POS software or other hardware, which are the sole responsibility of the customer.
Optional add-on products provide additional features or third-party software licenses. These are listed separately in this section.
Core Product Features
Zynstra Intelligent Edge provides Zynstra’s core hyper-converged technology and IT services for a single server, with the right to use the Zynstra Intelligent Control Plane to manage each server.
- Command Centre. Monitoring, management and automation. Manage all your virtualized edge servers from the Cloud, rapidly provision new sites, and access detailed event and diagnostic information.
- Keep Current. Intelligent Edge HCI Core, Infrastructure Services, and curated applications provided by Zynstra are regularly patched and updated.
- Keep Secure. Zynstra’s control plane and servers are secure, monitored and automatically able to identify both internal and external security threats.
- Keep Running. Self-healing architecture, performance monitoring and tuning.
- Virtual Machines. Compute capacity to host your applications. Allocate CPUs, RAM and storage to virtual machines for virtualized POS and local applications that benefit from the security and reliability of the Intelligent Edge HCI Core.
- High Performance. Intelligent Edge servers support both RAM and SSD caches, in addition to multiple hard disks. The file system, applications running in VMs, and all other components of the server benefit from improved read/write performance.
- DNS and DHCP. Critical network services on-premises.
- Virtual switch supports secure LAN configurations allowing segregation of shop floor, back office and guest networks.
- Secure remote access to services for users and IT administrators.
- Securely connects multiple sites using IPsec over the public Internet.
- File Share. Individual file storage and group file shares on resilient high-performance disk arrays.
Reliable & Resilient
- Resilient Storage. Support for redundant disk arrays to ensure that, if a hard disk fails, your server continues to work and your data remains available.
- Local Backup. All data, including your application virtual machines’ data, can be backed up locally on the server reducing the risk of files becoming lost or corrupted.
- VM Snapshots. Space-efficient, delta-based snapshot of VMs provides the option to roll-back in the event of data loss, corruption, or application/OS update problems.
- High Availability. Combine two servers for dual-node clustering with automated failover.
- Edge Scale. Designed for low cost servers, scaled for the edge, not the datacenter. Zynstra file system and software architecture remove the need for high-end server components and require fewer servers to achieve high-availability.
Zynstra Intelligent Edge Clients
Zynstra’s virtualized store solution virtualizes the combination of POS application software and operating system on an Intelligent Edge server. A Linux operating system is run on the existing POS terminal, whether that is a traditional sales till, tablet, or self-check-out.
Zynstra’s solution connects the POS terminal and all of its peripherals to the virtualized version of the software running on the server.
Users continue to interact through the screen of the original POS Terminal, presenting the POS application exactly as it appears and operates today.
The solution allows existing peripherals such as printers, cash drawers, magnetic stripe readers, barcode scanners, check readers and ancillary displays to continue to operate without the need for replacement or upgrade.
Virtual POS Client
Zynstra Virtual POS Client provides virtualization of a single traditional POS till or register allowing the POS software to run on a virtualized edge server, interfacing with the POS terminal’s peripherals over a secure network connection.
The product includes:
- Zynstra POS Client User Interface. The component that allows the POS software's UI to be shared across the network to the terminal touch-screen.
- Zynstra POS Client Device Connectors. Drivers that connect the terminal’s physical peripherals to make them available across the network to the VM hosting the POS software.
- Zynstra POS Client Operating System. The unique thin-Linux operating system created by Zynstra to run on the terminal.
- Zynstra POS Virtual Connectors. Drivers running on an Intelligent Edge server, which hosts the POS software, which connect the VM to the terminal's peripherals.
Virtual Tablet Client
Zynstra Virtual Tablet Client provides virtualization of a single traditional POS till or register on a tablet device, allowing the POS software to run on a virtualized edge server and the terminal’s user interface on the tablet.
The product includes:
- Zynstra POS Tablet Client User Interface. The component that allows the POS software's UI to be shared across the network to the tablet.
- Zynstra POS Tablet Client Device Connectors. Drivers that connect the tablet’s physical peripherals to make them available across the network to the VM hosting the POS software.
- Zynstra POS Tablet Client Operating System. The unique thin-Linux operating system created by Zynstra to run on the tablet.
- Zynstra POS Virtual Connectors. Drivers running on an Intelligent Edge server, which hosts the POS software, which connect the VM to the tablet’s peripherals.
Virtual Self-Checkout (SCO) Client
Zynstra Virtual Self-Checkout Client provides virtualization of a single SCO terminal allowing SCO software to run on a virtualized edge server , interfacing with the SCO terminal’s peripherals over a secure network connection.
The product includes:
- Zynstra Self-Checkout Client User Interface. The component that allows the SCO software's UI to be shared across the network to the terminal touch-screen.
- Zynstra Self-Checkout Client Device Connectors. Drivers that connect the terminal’s physical peripherals to make them available across the network to the VM hosting the SCO software.
- Zynstra Self-Checkout Client Operating System. The unique thin-Linux operating system created by Zynstra to run on the terminal.
- Zynstra Self-Checkout Virtual Connectors. Drivers running on an Intelligent Edge server, which hosts the SCO software, which connects the VM to the terminal's peripherals.
Additional Product Options
Zynstra Dual Edge
Zynstra Dual Edge delivers high availability server clustering technology allowing a second server to be added to a Zynstra Intelligent Edge for deploying a dual-node, resilient system.
- Dual-node Cluster. Two virtualized edge servers working together to remove single points of hardware failure, increasing up-time and resiliency.
- Data Replication. Data is automatically replicated between each node, making it available during a fail-over event while also increasing overall data resiliency.
- Active-Active Load Balancing. In normal conditions, VMs benefit from the compute resources of both nodes in the cluster. In the event of node failure, affected VMs are started-up automatically on the remaining node.
- Independent Updates. Allows each node’s Zynstra software to be updated independently, reducing planned downtime and de-risking the update process.
Enhanced PCI-DSS Compliance
An independently audited solution delivers PCI-DSS 3.2 compliant IT, as defined by a Matrix of Responsibility (MoR) and Attestation of Compliance (AoC).
- PCI-DSS Compliant Service Provider. Zynstra operates as a PCI-DSS Tier 1 Service Provider.
- Heightened security event and log auditing by the Zynstra Support Team.
- Hardened security features enabled in the Intelligent Control Plane and on Intelligent Edge Servers.
- Enforcement of compliant intrusion prevention measures such as password policy, failed-logon blocking, and port blocking.
With Integrated Backup, you benefit from an automated local backup capability and the ability to send encrypted backups to off-server storage. This off-server storage could be your own AWS capacity, or Zynstra-managed storage (bought separately as part of the Managed Backup option).
- Backup Profiles. Automatic creation of VM snapshot backups and file share backups, at a frequency and schedule to meet business continuity objectives.
- Cloud Backup. Securely move backup files to your AWS or Azure cloud storage, with data being encrypted on the server, in transit and in the cloud.
- Retention Policy. Flexible retention policies for short or long-term storage of backup files in the cloud. Zynstra makes use of Azure and AWS ‘infrequent access’ and ‘cold’ storage tiers to minimize costs.
Managed Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery
In addition to the Integrated Backup function, Managed Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery adds Zynstra-managed cloud storage and disaster recovery services, for a predictable subscription price.
- Managed Cloud Storage. Cloud storage is used to store encrypted backup files from Zynstra Integrated Backup. The cloud storage is managed and monitored by Zynstra and supplied by a major cloud service provider in your region.
- Disaster Recovery. Zynstra Support provides an SLA-assured response to a major server outage, assisting in the restoration of data to a repaired or replacement server.
- Simple Pricing. Managed Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery is provided for a subscription price per server, inclusive of cloud storage, recovery and support costs.
Every Zynstra Intelligent Edge is monitored and managed by a Zynstra Intelligent Control Plane (ICP). The ICP Hosting product offers cloud compute resources to host the ICP software, fully installed, managed and monitored by Zynstra.
- Pre-configured ICP. Zynstra ICP deployed in the cloud and ready to use without the need to procure and configure your own data center resources.
- Keep Current. The ICP is kept current with regularly updates installed by Zynstra.
- The ICP software and cloud resources are monitored by Zynstra, helping reduce downtime while minimizing your IT overhead to maintain the system.
Curated Application Product Options
Curated Applications are available for a number of core IT services that are often required locally in retail and ROBO environments. These are deployed from Zynstra VM images as part of the server commissioning process, kept current as part of the regular Zynstra maintenance process, and monitored from the cloud.
Choosing a Curated Application reduces installation time, simplifies configuration, and ensures the applications is kept secure thanks to regular updates.
Microsoft Active Directory
A curated version of Microsoft Active Directory, providing local domain controller services.
Windows Server licenses to host this curated application must be purchased separately.
Microsoft Remote Desktop Services
Deliver desktop or client applications to end- users with Microsoft RDS.
Two or more Windows Server licenses must be provided to host RDS services: One to support the RDS broker and at least one to support the desktop or application payloads.
Support and Maintenance
Zynstra offers a range of support and maintenance contracts to ensure a reliable, up-to-date solution while also helping customers reduce the cost and effort to maintain their in-store IT. You and your IT partners are backed by Zynstra’s team and modern IT support systems.
Please refer to Zynstra’s published SLA document for full details about support hours, response and resolution times.
Standard Support and Maintenance
Standard Support and Maintenance provides the basic level of support required for deployment of Zynstra in to a production environment.
- 24x7 Support. Phone and email support 24 hours a day for the highest priority (P1) issues affecting your Zynstra solution.
- Standard Support Service SLAs. Published SLA for target response and resolution times.
- Access to Updates. The right to software updates for licensed Zynstra software.
Gold Support and Maintenance
Gold Support and Maintenance provides all the benefits of Standard Support and Maintenance, with the addition of managed services - Zynstra proactively monitors and manages your virtualized edge servers on your behalf. This reduces your IT effort required to look after your server inventory, allowing you to focus on the hosted business applications and users.
- The Zynstra Support Team provides assistance for the lifecycle of the solution including configuration, patching, update roll-out and general support.
- Proactive monitoring of the Zynstra platform and curated applications, identifying performance, reliability and security issues.
Platinum Support and Maintenance
Premium Support and Maintenance provides all the benefits of both Gold and Standard Support and Maintenance, with priority response times and other Premium SLA targets.
- Extended 24x7 Support. Phone and email support 24 hours a day extends to more issue priorities (P1 and P2) affecting your Zynstra solution.
- Priority Response. Response and resolution targets for high priority issues are at least twice as fast as Zynstra’s Standard SLA.