How to choose which one is right for you?

Reasons to go for the CLOUD OPTION

  • You are not a very technical person and/or your technical support is unreliable
  • Need to be mobile, you have a lot of remote / travelling users or your offices are distributed over multiple locations
  • You don’t like to be bothered with technical details, server maintenance, security or backups
  • You are concerned about the initial hardware cost and ongoing expenses of maintaining hardware over time
  • Want to “test drive” or assess the impact of the system on your network and infrastructure before you invest in a permanent infrastructure

Reasons to go for the MANAGED OPTION

  • You are a fairly technical person who performs his/her own software and network maintenance and/or have a good technical support service provider
  • Your email server is located at your own premises (on your local network)
  • You constantly work with very large files and/or need to share very large files with other users on the same network
  • You would like to repurpose old WorkPool Server hardware when you perform upgrades (e.g. reallocate it as someone’s desktop)
  • You have a very slow Internet connection or no way to control bandwidth so WorkPool takes priority

Detailed Comparison Matrix


“Cloud Solution” refers to the service offering available from WorkPool where a client can rent a virtual server that is managed and maintained as part of the WorkPool Server Hosting infrastructure and used for hosting of the WorkPool software application.


“Own Managed Server” refers to any server or solution configured to run WorkPool that is not a “Cloud Solution” as per column on left.


  • A WorkPool service plan is still required to manage WorkPool even if you manage your own server hardware and software. Details on services and related fees can be found here.
  • If you are not a technical person, the responsibilities listed below must be contracted to a suitably qualified professional or technology provider as a condition of managing your own server.


Included as part of the solution based on your package and resource requirements.


You are responsible to acquire suitable server hardware as per the recommended hardware requirements published here. This would include any upgrade to or purchase of additional network equipment as may be required.

Hardware upgrades and maintenance are included. Hardware configurations can be changed and upgraded over time based on utilisation and growth. Clients will also benefit from continued hardware upgrades as may be done from time to time. Should it be required, additional hardware resources (like more memory or hard drive space) can be allocated on a pay-as-you-go model and cancelled with due notice when no longer required.

Hardware upgrades and maintenance is your responsibility. Such responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • General maintenance
  • Testing of new hardware for compatibility
  • Replacing faulty hardware
  • Upgrading hardware to meet new minimum specifications as WorkPool is upgraded.

Should assistance from WorkPool Support be required to perform checks or make configuration changes this will be billable at normal support rates or fall under the terms of an SLA (if applicable).

Support or service contract (SLA) not required for server hardware as this will be maintained by WorkPool. Since hardware failures will affect multiple clients you can be assured that any problems on the infrastructure will receive highest priority attention.

A support or service contract (SLA) will have to be entered into with a qualified hardware service provider.

The hosted solution can be cancelled with 30 days notice (full calendar month). Service fees will apply for moving or downloading of data in the case where the client request a server move or the WorkPool service being discontinued and separate copies being required. This will be based on time and material and the client quoted in advance.

You own or rent the server hardware therefore different return/cancellation policies will apply.

Financial: Server rental is 100% tax deductible as an off balance sheet expense.

Financial: Depending on tax laws in your country, the hardware will be taken onto your balance sheet depreciated over a period. In addition server hardware can be re-used later for other purposes.

Power failures: Our Cloud facility is connected to a clean and reliable power source with an uninterrupted power supply that can last days during power failures.

Power failures: You are responsible to ensure your WorkPool server is protected from surges, power dips, power failures, etc. The server MUST be connected to an uninterrupted power supply or else data corruption will most likely occur if the server is not shut down properly.


Free / Open Source Software (Ubuntu Linux) will be installed. Ubuntu and all related software packages will be preconfigured to work with WorkPool and tuned for optimal performance. Operating System versions will be updated and older versions replaced over time as part of WorkPool’s cloud strategy. This is typically based on developments in the industry development, new major releases becoming available and the long term support strategies associated to these versions.


Operating System licensing, installation and ongoing maintenance is your responsibility. Conditions and special requirements apply, so please see the following section for more information here. Alternatively, a preconfigured distribution (ISO) of our hosting solution’s operating system can be downloaded for free from here. WorkPool Support does not take responsibility for and cannot guarantee technical assistance during the installation and configuration of your own server operating system or any of its components. Should the installation and configuration not meet our requirements or have conflicting services installed you will be required to change or fix these (a possible reinstall of the server may be necessary). Unless a WorkPool Support Service Agreement is in place, any time spent assisting you with a server installation will be billable at the standard rate, including the standard WorkPool Installation Fee.

A once off server configuration fee may apply for provisioning of your server and setting up the associated monitoring and backup services. Details on services and related fees can be found here.

The cost of installation and configuration of the operating system is your responsibility. This includes contracting with 3rd parties, where required.

Operating system maintenance and updates are included as part of the service. WorkPool will decide what components to update and when, as it deems necessary or appropriate.

Operating system maintenance and updates are your responsibility. This includes troubleshooting any potential issues that may arise from updates or changes and associated down time this may cause. This includes any rule changes (e.g. on firewalls or antivirus) and resolving problems with conflicting services. WorkPool Support cannot guarantee technical support for non-standard configurations, other than its default distribution. Should WorkPool be requested to offer assistance in troubleshooting your configurations, they cannot guarantee results and any time spent will be billable per hour.


No charge. WorkPool is preconfigured on the server and therefore the installation is included as part of the fee to provision your server. The following 3rd party software components, required by WorkPool, will typically be installed and configured:

  • MySQL
  • Java
  • JBoss
  • FTP Server


Standard Installation fee will apply based on whether the installation is done on site or remotely. Payment will be due in advance. The WorkPool software requires several 3rd party software components to be installed on the server. WorkPool Support will attempt to install and configure these on your server and operating system of choice using the most stable and nearest compatible versions available, if an exact match is not possible. As a result, WorkPool Support may need your assistance and cannot guarantee the stability of these packages and they may not always work as expected. Updates and monitoring of these packages will be your responsibility. Our preconfigured distribution will have these packages preinstalled and preconfigured.


If you can access the Internet, then you will be able to access WorkPool, just like any normal internet website. Please note that some corporate networks or service providers may block or reprioritise access to unknown sites. In such cases you will need to request access from your service provider (or IT department).


If access to your WorkPool server via the Internet is a requirement, you will be responsible to configure and maintain this. Many free services exist that can accomplish this (e.g. dyndns or setting up a VPN), however these must be configured and supported by yourself or your IT service provider. Configuration and setup may include the purchase of additional hardware (e.g. router, modem, etc) and software (e.g. firewall or connectivity software). WorkPool Support does not offer this as a service due to the multitude of providers, solutions, security risks and network configuration dependencies to maintain such a solution.

Speed: Your WorkPool server will be hosted in a facility with a very fast connection to the Internet. However the speed and responsiveness of your interactions depends entirely on the quality and speed of your Internet connection (bandwidth). If you have regular problems with connecting to the Internet, do a lot of downloads or your Internet connection is “slow” on a regular basis, then so to your access to the WorkPool server will be slow.

Speed: If your WorkPool server is in the same local area network as your computer the speed and responsiveness will be very good with very few delays (typically only with very big files). External users’ connectivity will depend on the quality of your internet or ADSL connection, or could be blocked entirely if the connection is down.

Access: If your connection to the Internet goes down, your connection to WorkPool will also be down until the connection can be re-established or the problem corrected. To mitigate this risk we recommend that the client consider investing in a secondary, or pay-as-you-go, internet connection as a backup to manage this risk.

Access: Should your office lose their Internet connection your local traffic would not be affected and users can continue to use WorkPool.

  • Email downloading and sending will be interrupted, if the mail server is not on site
  • External users (not on the local network) will be disconnected until the connection is re-established

Primary Backups: Your database and attachments will be backed up once a day. Database backups for the last 7 days are typically also stored locally on your server for quick access.

Primary Backups: Backups remain the responsibility of the Client. Examples and sample scripts, as well as instructions to configure and test backups can be found on our website here. It is essential that an IT person is assigned to monitor this on a continuous basis to prevent loss of data or backups not executing as expected. WorkPool does not support or guarantee non-standard backup mechanisms. Unless backups are covered as part of a formal service level agreement, should any assistance be required to configure or test backup configurations, such effort will be charged for on a time and material basis. Should WorkPool Support be responsible for the server installation they will offer assistance with the backup configuration, using our standard tools/mechanism. Once the installation has been completed the backups become your responsibility. If you feel you do not have the technical experience for this, we recommend you outsource this.

Secondary Backups: Backups are stored both locally and at a secondary, secure, offsite location. Secondary offsite backups are included in your hosting fee. Clients with high volumes or large data storage requirements may however need to sign up for extra storage space.

Secondary Backups: To protect against risks such as theft, fire and data corruption, it is important to keep secondary, offsite backups and redundant systems in place. This will be your responsibility.

Disaster/s at your place of work: In cases where your office equipment and computers are stolen or destroyed, or your place of work is no longer safe, the WorkPool server is not affected and will remain available and secure as well as accessible from any Internet connection. You can continue working form any PC or any location.

Disaster/s at your place of work: If the WorkPool server is stolen, destroyed, no longer accessible or no longer in a working condition steps will need to be taken by yourself to recover your data from backups, reinstall your server and put in place whatever infrastructure will be required to continue operations.

Disaster Recovery Plan: WorkPool has a disaster recovery plan in place in the event that the hosting facility has been compromised, destroyed, or is not going to be available for an extended period of time. In such an event WorkPool servers can be provisioned on short notice at a secondary hosting facility and client backups retrieved directly from the offsite backup facility. Furthermore, all of our service providers are under strict service level agreements to ensure we receive top priority to resolve issues. Every effort is taken to prevent and minimize down time, however in the unlikely event that a disaster does occur WorkPool Support will manage the recovery of all the clients hosted with us. Since such a disaster will affect all of our hosting clients you can be assured that recovery will be our highest priority. Once the primary hosting facility is back online, your server will be migrated back at the earliest possible time.

Disaster Recovery Plan: Disasters at the primary WorkPool hosting facility will not affect you, however you are responsible to define and execute your own disaster recovery plan in these situations. Please factor into your plan that WorkPool Support resources, or your IT provider, may not be available on short notice due to existing commitments; therefore a service level agreement is essential to ensure you can receive priority attention in the case of a disaster.


Your WorkPool server traffic is included in your monthly fee. WorkPool server traffic is seen as normal internet traffic by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) therefore will form part of your monthly service fee, along with any bandwidth charges and restrictions that may apply. For users with high volumes and large files it means they may need to switch to an uncapped solution or budget for additional bandwidth (only if applicable). Please speak to your service consultant and assess your requirements before making a final decision.


If your WorkPool server is on your local area network, there will be no additional Internet traffic generated by users working on the same network. Traffic caused by downloading of emails from your email provider and any other electronic communications between your WorkPool server and the outside world still applies as usual.

There will always be risks associated to systems connected to the Internet and there is no way to be 100% secure. The benefits of Internet access though typically outweigh the risks. To limit these risks and protect our clients WorkPool consults with various industry experts for advice and we make a continued investment in time and money to implement prudent security solutions. WorkPool will therefore keep servers updated and make changes and new information come to light. Please read our “Acceptable use Policy” for important information and tips on making your WorkPool more secure.

The security of your WorkPool server, your backups and your local area network will be your responsibility. You should consult with your IT provider to set up secure external access to your network and WorkPool server. Apart from internet based threats your server will also be exposed to threats from machines on your local area network (viruses, etc). Please read our “Acceptable use Policy” for important information and tips on making your WorkPool more secure. If you are not an expert in this area or do not have access to anyone reliable that does then we highly recommend using the hosted option as it will most likely be more secure and you will be better protected than taking this responsibility on yourself.

Since the server is located in the WorkPool facility, WorkPool Support can provide immediate remote support during normal office hours to identify and resolve any technical problems. Please note that while technical support for the server is included in the hosting fee, general user or WorkPool application specific support or requests fall under the normal support.

You or your IT provider will be responsible to identify, troubleshoot and fix any technical problems relating to your WorkPool server or your network. Should there be a Technical Problem that your own general trouble shooting or IT Support cannot resolve, and you require our assistance, WorkPool will assist but this time will be billable on a time and material basis, unless it is covered under a formal SLA. WorkPool will only be able to assist if we can establish a reliable connection for remote access. Should you require our assistance on site, a call out fee will apply. Payment may be required in advance.

WorkPool servers connected to a permanent, stable Internet connection have significantly less technical problems and support requirements. Downtime is limited as the environment is controlled and should any problems occur they are typically easy to identify and there is a clear line of responsibilities to resolve. The most frequent reason for a restart or problem on a hosted server is if the client’s email server cannot be reached, which is generally due to a problem at the client’s email provider. Should such a problem persist, the client may be required to move their mail server to a more reliable host provider.

WorkPool servers that do not run under a strictly controlled environment with a stable Internet connection has shown to have significantly more problems and a higher support requirement than a hosted server. For this reason clients may be required to enter into a service level agreement for WorkPool Support to provide assistance in identifying and resolving problems. There are significantly more factors that can play a role in a self managed/hosted server environment when compared to a hosted one. Downtime can be caused by e.g. network changes, new server installations, a bad or faulty internet connection (either due to the ISP or telecommunications provider). In such cases frequent server restarts may be required or downtime until a problem can be resolved. WorkPool Support can only assist if we have a reliable remote connection.


As part of our Cloud service our WorkPool support team will have remote access to your server and can therefore assist with any technical challenges that may arise. No remote access software will be required.


Customers will be required to provide their own remoting software/solution for our support team to render assistance or be charged a usage fee of R50 (excluding VAT) per interaction to make use of WorkPool’s commercial remoting software. Software such as Teamviewer may not be used unless it is confirmed as legally licensed by the customer.


Updates to the WorkPool software is included in the monthly cloud service fee (excludes bespoke code or plugins).


One of the reasons to enter into a service plan for own-managed servers is to ensure that the WorkPool software remains updated, therefore updates to the WorkPool software is included in the monthly service plan (excludes bespoke code or plugins).