Thursday, June 28, 2007

SHDSL -- Why Hasn't It Replaced SDSL?

Are you frustrated by the pace of connectivity improvements? For how many years has (small) business been stuck with SDSL for affordable connectivity?

SHDSL was supposed to supplant SDSL as of 2003 (or so) I thought, but I never see advertised speeds go beyond a 1.5 Mbps SDSL line... SHDSL goes to 2.3 Mbps and has other advantages over SDSL (longer loop lengths for given speeds, less interference with other data lines, 4-wire mode). I'm not that well educated on the topic, but I also had the impression there could be some cost savings.

Today T1's are often delivered using this technology, but why not offer SHDSL from the customer to DSLAM like a normal dedicated DSL line.... and give customers the speed they want, distance depending???

Are ISPs just not ready to upgrade their DSLAM equipment, or don't want to cannibalize their higher priced bonded T1 services?

You may not need the SLA of a real T1, but you'd sure love 2.3 Mbps up and down for let's say $150/mo or so.

First.... you have to look at who is selling SDSL. Basically Covad and a few small CLECs. They bought non-standards-based SDSL long ago and they are still using the equipment.

Given the financial state of Covad I can see why they aren't going around ripping out all their DSLAMs.

There may be some hope though, with the new Earthlink money they are upgrading DSLAMs to support LPV and ADSL2 in larger markets. I *think* that the new DSLAMs will also be offering new SDSL speeds as well, which probably means SHDSL (and finally the ability to hook a real router up to an SDSL line).

Most DS-1s today are delivered using either HDSL or HDSL2 on 1 or 2 pairs.

Your ILECs aren't going to upgrade equipment necessarily because of the availability of a different technology. Even with existing technology many consumers and businesses are in a fight just to be able to get ADSL services.

Covad, XO, etc. that are selling SDSL services already may not upgrade given their investment in existing equipment.... and given the state of competition now for internet services.

With the price of service dropping to $12.99/mo and the uptake of those discounted services increasing, I wouldn't want to be one of the other players and be making large capital expenditures for upgrades right now. I'd be worried about staying in business. People are price driven.....

Just my opinion though, take it for what it's worth.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Review: Nokia 6265i Cell Phone

All in all this is a good phone with some great features.

Nokia 6265i Specs

* Weight: 4.44 oz (126 g)
* Dimensions: 3.86" x 1.89" x 0.87" (98 x 48 x 22 mm)
* Form Factor: Slide/Internal Antenna
* Battery Life: Talk: 3.50 hours (210 minutes) Standby: 288 hours (12 days)
* Battery Type: LiIon 1070 mAh
* Display Type: LCD (Color TFT/TFD) Colors: 262,144 (18-bit) Size: 240 x 320 pixels
* Memory: 23 MB
* Camera: 2 megapixel with 1.92 megapixel effective resolution

Pros:

-Has one of the better picture quality of some of the phones on the market.
-Great LCD screen, colors are and depth are excellent, LCD display is large, about 1.5 x 1.75 inches with 240 x 320
-Bluetooth capable (as usual)
-FM stereo is a nice plus, not found on some other phones of similar quality
-Battery life is actually what it says it is!

Cons:

-Ear and Speaker phone Volume is way too quiet, even on max.
-Some people have complained about the date and time being to small to read (not in my experience, but just putting it out there)
-Back-light can be blinding at night eg. don't use at night in your car!
-No screen protector.

This phone is pretty average when it comes to today's market. Its not high-tech by any means, and sliders aren't my favorite, but this phone does seem decently reliable and durable. The nice camera is a good plus, you can get 4 x 6 prints to come out great, thats better than most camera phones for this price range.

I'd recommend this phone to someone who's looking for a reliable phone that they won't have to read a manual to understand how to use. With the upgrade possibility and its slim design this is great for your average cell user.

For a little help finding a Nokia 6265i cell phone that includes the best provider plan in your area visit:

Nokia 6265i Cell Phone

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Speed vs Bandwidth.....The Age Old Question

It's easy to get bandwidth and speed confused.

In simple terms, the speed "depends" on the bandwidth.

Bandwidth is simply the "amount" of data that can be transmitted across a digital circuit within a specific amount of time. It's measured in bits per second(bps). Therefore, the higher the bandwidth, the "faster" (there's where your reference to "speed" comes in) that your data can be transferred.

Here's an example:

An ISDN BRI provides up to 128kbps of bandwidth (2 x 64kb for voice) or a "combined" 128kb for data.

Customer A wants a 128kbps BRI for their VTC circuit.

Customer B wants three separate 128kbps BRIs for their VTC enabling them a combined (bonded) bandwidth of 384kbps for their VTC.

Since customer B's circuit has 3 times the bandwidth, their data can be transferred at 3 times the "speed" as customer A.

There ya go.....question answered.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Motorola KRZR K1 Review

When you take the Motorola KRZR K1 cell phone and hold it in your hand you'll find it comfortable and slick....with a streamline appearance that defies cool and/or dapper (from a man’s point of view). The front screen shows off smudges and scuffs.... and yet you can shave with the mirror finish it has. The main screen of the KRZR is somewhat smaller than the RAZR, but should be sufficient enough for you.

You'll find the smart buttons located on the main body when you flip the phone open, accessible and ready to be selected if necessary I think it’s a little more convenient than having them on the flip open half of the phone and needing to re-adjust your hand for engagement. When you flip open you’ll notice it’s a RAZR that’s been streamlined with all the controls/navigation buttons somewhat smaller. That contributes to its compact size and dapper look. One nice feature for the person on the go is that pressing down the arrow on the navigation wheel will bring you to a calendar for storing events, appointments, reminders, and logs quickly.

You have an assortment of ring tones just as with the RAZR....with pretty much the same familiarity of navigating as the RAZR due to the same software. The camera is sufficient enough to take a quick photo when a 3 or 4 mega pixel camera is not at hand.

The battery has some extra life compared to the standard RAZR battery, but I still think the RAZR EXTENDED LIFE battery is the way to go for the talkative phone junkie or business phone user. Hopefully the KRZR comes out with a extended battery of similar quality.

All in all if you have a RAZR don’t feel left out or degraded with the release of the KRZR. Unless you’re into style and appearance that this phone has....with the feel of a well-made quality phone in your hand. There is no groundbreaking technology in the KRZR compared to the RAZR, so there's really no need to have a KZRZ other than style and appearance. The KRZR appearance will complement a Rolex watch, a Hugo Boss suit, and alligator shoes while walking down Rodeo drive shopping.

For a little help finding a Motorola KRZR K1 cell phone that includes the best provider plan in your area visit:

Motorola KRZR K1 Cell Phone


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Friday, June 15, 2007

PC Help Desk Service....Residential and Business IT Support Solutions

You know it's going to happen....it's only a matter of time.

What is "it"?

Could be anything....the "blue screen of death", a virus attack, software that won't work right, server shutdown, network problems, patch install needs...you name "it" you're bound to experience "it".

Besides the problem itself you also face the anxiety and expense of getting "it" fixed. Waiting is not an option. You need the problem resolved NOW....residential or business your PC is an integral part of your day.

Well now you can relax. You don't need an extra dose of high blood pressure medicine.... or to take out a loan.

What you need is a proactive/preventive maintenance and help desk service that takes care of your issues before they happen....for desktop, server, and software....and quickly fixes those that crop up out of the blue. You also deserve that service to fit your budget....not cost you an arm and a leg.

You're in luck....here it is:

PC Helpdesk Service

Enhanced Communications INC provides live PC and Laptop telephone and remote support (24/7/365), remote management and anti-virus and anti-spyware software for the Professional Consumer - Small Office/Home Office (SOHO), and comprehensive support for Small, Medium and Large business networks.

The service covers such items as Anti-virus and Spyware software, scan, and removal....preventative maintenance, patch management, software and sript deployment, asset reporting, server availability checks, server monitoring, server pack updates, server health check and analysis, 24/7/365 live telephone support via their help desk, and much more.

Plus.....this service is being offered at the phenomenal price of $39.00 per month per PC with a one time set-up fee of $39. Compared to other services, this is an incredibly low price! Not to mention that this type of service is generally only available to the small business with at least 5 computers to support.

This type of service is perfect for professionals that depend on their computers. Accountants, lawyers, sales people, and just about anyone that uses their computer for work need the peace of mind Enhanced Communications INC will provide. No matter what size your business....1 person self-employed or large company....this service is a god send.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Need A Cisco Router??

Need to find an authorized Cisco dealer or partner in your area?

You've come to the right place.

Begin your search for a certified and authorized Cisco Routers Dealer in your immediate area using this free online search tool:

Cisco Router

Some Information About Cisco Systems Dealers -

Headquartered in San Jose, California, Cisco System designs and manufactures premium internet routers, switches, and hubs. Most network engineers consider Cisco gear the Rolls Royce of internet backbone equipment.

Yet, finding a good Cisco dealer in your area isn't as easy as opening up the yellow pages. Many of them have tremendous technical skill but little marketing savvy. That is why we have searched them out for you, and ranked them in order using our "best fit" algorithm - which includes customer service surveys, product matches, and other search criteria.

The Cisco dealers who have registered with VARSearch(tm) specialize in the installation and sales of the most popular Cisco WAN and LAN routers, including the Cisco 801 ISDN/Ethernet Router, 801-1CAPI, 802 ISDN Router, 803 ISDN BRI/Ethernet Router, 4PORT HUB, Cisco - 803-20PK ISDN/Ethernet Router, 4 port hub 2 POTS, and the Cisco 805 Ethernet/Serial Router.

Also, using our VARSearch engine, you can easily find Cisco IP Phone, Cisco unified manager, Cisco CallManager, Cisco Call Manager, Cisco VoIP Phone, Cisco communications manager, and Cisco unified communications manager.

To find whatever you need from Cisco simply visit:

Cisco Equipment

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Bandwidth Ideal Solutions For Bandwidth Hungry Companies

Every business needs bandwidth solutions of some sort. For many businesses that require large amounts of bandwidth finding just the right solution....from a cost and application standpoint....can be a confusing process. It doesn't have to be if you understand what to base your decision on.

Like anything in information technology, it really depends on how you will utilize this infrastructure. It certainly doesn't make sense to provision high capacity transport links if you will use them for a small fraction of the day or the traffic doesn't warrant it.

I think one of the hardest things about this arena is that many times the people requesting the bandwidth are confused about what bandwidth really is. There's a misnomer that bandwidth automatically equals speed. "Well my application is slow, I need more bandwidth". Many times if a study is done on exactly what your needs are, it turns out to be a very different story from the initial conversation.

With a plethora of technologies out there for WAN and Metro services, wired or wireless customers can choose to subscribe to always on, dedicated access methods or go for a most cost effective model with somewhat "shared" topologies like Multi-Protocol Label Switching. The idea here is that you have options and each solution can satisfy any number of requirements. There's never been a better time in the industry for choices.

The best option is the cheapest one that works. Dark Fiber and Metro Ethernet, if an option, should usually be looked at first to establish a price for negotiating. I think you should focus on negotiating techniques that work to bring these bandwidths within affordable reach.

No matter how much bandwidth you are using, you will get a better deal for it at a major Network Access Point (NAP) where you have more bidders for your business, and from which you can easily shift carriers, set up failovers and redundancy, etc.. Every high end user needs their own boxes to shape traffic at the NAP, and they need them in two different racks connected to two different carriers. Accept the hit of that and you'll quickly see that the ten to thirty thousand dollars a typical urban company requires to get two boxes into a NAP (admittedly on a single dark fiber route) pays for itself in bandwidth charges in pretty much a single year. Even just to PLAN to do it and show your spreadsheet to your carrier, a project that might cost five grand to do right, will result in more than that much per year off your bill.

Think of it like any other high end purchase. You demonstrate that you're not a pushover, that you have options, that you understand the options and how to increase the number of options, and you bargain based on the bottom line of the cheapest solution you can find. When they tell you it will "cost too much to have your own boxes and dark fiber to the NAP", you snap back the lowest number you can justify, call it "insurance", and rule it out as a cost factor. When they tell you "we can monitor boxes far better than you can", leverage that into quality of service guarantees in the contract with real dollar penalties for failures or slowdowns. When they tell you "our facility is state of the art", GO THERE and count up the number of non-bulletproof windows and visible insecure perches that someone can shoot the servers from, grab the corded phone and walk over to the rack, pulling it right out of the wall and looking astonished: "how am I supposed to give someone instructions over the phone? They can't even walk to the rack! You expect them to scribble it down while cradling the phone in their neck and then go over to the box and do what I said?!?!?!?"

Basically, you must point out every deficiency in their facility or service and refuse to acknowledge that your own home-built solution would have any inadequacies, or that the competitors all have the same problems. In a high end negotiation, you must have NO mercy.

By the way, once you've got a contract with your carrier, you must be very nice to them, in total contrast to the way you leveraged like mad in the first negotiation. Don't nickel-and-dime them after you've agreed on terms, don't let your bandwidth payments get late. These people hold your crown jewels. As mean as you are to the salespeople, be that nice to the geeks.

Technologically, you should consider Storage Area Networks (SAN) if you have multiple locations in the same city, and the use of SAN links over IP which is increasingly common. Basically, the entire city becomes a vast RAID hard drive. You should also understand some of the good business reasons to adopt very high bandwidth such as reducing the number of over-the-Internet transactions which slow things down and may compromise security in favour of internal intranet transactions. Also, having as few layers of software as possible between the hard drive and the user is a major plus.

Also consider the price difference between Sonet equipment versus Ethernet. These days layer-3 ethernet switches are more and more capable for usage as a router. While Sonet traditionally is quite expensive vs Ethernet (especialy for the hardware).... dark fiber and ethernet solutions from carriers are getting broad industry support. Although I do favor Sonet for its better debuging capablities, error counters, alarms etc. Ethernet in wide area environments seems to do the jobs as well. Ethernet would save you the need to buy a decent router able to terminate Sonet and give you the choice to go with a decent layer-3 switch. Another option is 10GigE WAN PHY.....it still has all the advantages of Sonet combined with Ethernet, gives you the ability to use cheaper layer-3 switches, looks for the carrier as a normal Sonet service and works over long distances.

To look at the tradeoffs, you'll have to start by finding out what is available at your end user location. Within North America, the alternatives include ATM OC-3/12/48, SONET (and Next Generation SONET) probably more likely OC-12/48/192, and Metro Ethernet at 100 Mbps (a little slower than OC-3), 1 Gbps (about OC-24) and 10 Gbps (OC-192). Things that aren't available need not be considered.

What are the availability requirements? If you are thinking of SONET, find out if it will come to your premises as a star or ring or dual ring. Metro Ethernet might be faster but not necessarily physically diverse. Sometimes, you can be creative and use a short free-space link to get access to a physically diverse medium.

For more background and insights I suggest reading "WAN Survival Guide" and "Building Service Provider Networks" by Howard Berkowitz. Both are excellent resources.

I have worked with many customers to design infrastructure solutions that incorporate high-end DWDM or CWDM connections between datacenters. Now, this is a business solution and the common user would never dream of having a connection such as this, available to them. Other customers that I work with will incorporate leased lined anywhere from a T1 to OC3. Those connections are very much sized for purpose with a percentage of growth factored in.

The practice that I go through is to evaluate need. What are you trying to accomplish? Is it transactional based or are you replicating data for DR? Are you simply connecting two or more remote offices for the purpose of a Citrix solution? Each of these questions will result in different answers when all is said and done.

Remember that redundancy is ALWAYS a factor in business oriented solutions. Especially as it pertains to data replication and DR/HA failover to "hot" datacenters. We are starting to see more and more of this type of configuration. I have a few customers that are fortunate enough to have multi-ring DWDM infrastructures to make their valuable data available in the unfortunate event of a disaster.

As corny as it sounds, I have to say that your ultimate solution depends on the intended usage of that bandwidth. I would also say that there really is no generalized "ideal" bandwidth solution. It all comes down to intent and budget. With today's technology in WAN (TCP/IP/FC/FCIP/IFCP) acceleration (Juniper, Riverbed, Cisco), you can transfer vast amounts of data in a smaller pipe. It really is cool technology but still requires cost justification to implement.

Whatever you decide....do your homework....be prepared....negotiate....then install and enjoy.

Now if you'd like some help through this whole painful process.....provide your detailed requirements at Bandwidth Solutions and we'll make it easier for you.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Review: T-Mobile Dash Cell Phone

The Tmobile Dash is the upgrade to the Tmobile SDA. It adds a QWERTY keyboard and if you wish, an upgrade to Windows Mobile 6. The phone is a sturdy phone with a smooth skin. It has a big screen for watching movies and a loud speaker to listen to music. You can install plenty of applications onto the phone (considering they are Windows Mobile Capable). The screen is good and vibrant.

Here are some Specs:

* It's a GSM Quad Band Phone,

* The screen size is 320 by 240

* It's a pretty thin phone,the phone runs on a 200 mhz processor but you can over clock it to 240MHZ for better use.

Some pro's and con's of the phone are......

Pros:

* Windows Mobile phone

You can install Google maps on it. With the proxy settings, you'll be able to access it and use it perfectly. You'll also be able to connect google maps to a bluetooth GPS device to use your Dash as a GPS.

You can install Dash weather where you can constantly check up on the weather from any place in America. It has a radar and other fun features.

You can also I install Pocket Super nintendo so you can play some classical oldies. Set up was a breeze and you'll enjoy playing Super Mario and flaunting your phone to anyone.

* Big Screen

The big screen allows you to watch movies in landscape mode. You can install TCPMP(windows mobile app) and be able to watch movies in most formats (3gp,avi,mpeg,etc) with this program in full screen. The screen's quality is very impressive and you'll enjoy watching.

* Loud Speaker

The speaker is loud enough for you to use this phone outside. When you're outside, you should never miss a call with this phone. As a matter of fact, you shouldn't even need to put the volume on its highest setting to hear the phone.

* QWERTY keyboard on smartphone

The QWERTY keyboard is only a plus when texting or going online. You likely will be able to enjoy your phone even more with the simplicity of the keyboard. A feature you may be quite fond of is where you won't need to press "Alt" to access the symbols on the keyboard like most phones are. You simply hold the button for longer and poof! You'll get an exclamation point without pressing anything extra. This feature will come in handy once in a while. Although the keys are jammed together, they are actually not that hard to use.

* WiFi

WiFi on this phone is very nice. you'll be able to connect to a router without trouble..... and surf any website on it without it disconnecting. What you'll particularly like about this Wifi, is that it will give you a list of routers of which you can choose. Furthermore, it says if it is protected or not, which is a plus.)

* No buttons the side,except volume

This is good for holding the phone. With a program called Jogger, you can disable the side keys and make this phone that much better to hold and use.

* Memory card accessible without removing battery

Most phones make you remove the battery to remove or put in the memory card. The Dash however, lets you remove memory cards by simply removing the battery cover and swapping them.

* Very thin for a smart phone

This phone is very thin and very comfortable in your hands. It does not slip out of your hands and you'll really enjoy holding it to use it.

* Bluetooth compatible with A2DP

Having this feature is very nice!

* QUAD Band

You'll be able to unlock this phone and use it with different providers without coverage problems, a plus!

* Internet Explorer

This Internet Explorer is very nice to use. Not only can it go on most websites(Myspace included), but it can also have a desktop view. Just like you see it on your computer. The EDGE T-Mobile has is very nice to have and use. The internet isn't the fastest, but it's pretty fast for a phone.

* Improved COMM manager

With the improved COMM manager, you can basically turn on and off any wireless feature on this phone. This is a plus because with a push of a button, you don't need to search through millions of settings to turn something on.


Now the SoSo's/Cons:

* Windows Mobile phone,

(lol) Windows Phones aren't the most stable. They are nice, but still have their problems. For example, when closing a program, the program still doesn't end. You have to go to task manager and end it there. Although this is annoying, it also makes the phone work much faster without freezing.

* Camera

The camera lags and is slow to react. The quality isn't the best for a 1.3 megapixel, but it passes. You should be able to take some nice pictures with this phone, but you may like your RAZR camera better.

* Call quality

Call quality is something you could complain about. The volume is too low on the phone. You need to plug in the headphones to hear the other person clearly. The headphones are very loud though. The volume buttons are pressed a lot by your face when you're talking, even when they're deactivated.

* Battery for calling isn't the greatest

The battery for talking lasts about 3 hours. You'll probably be annoyed talking on the phone. For example you charge it wnever it says it has a low battery. Which seems to be often. Getting an extended battery should help.

* The volume strip is annoying when you're on a call> It changes by just a touch. So when you are holding the phone,it goes lower. The volume strip not only doesn't work to its full potential, but it also has a mind of its own. Touching it makes it choose which volume it wants, ON ITS OWN! I recommend disabling this feature.

* Not that good for TXT use, a bit slow in my opinion to type something. Although, you'll probably like the keyboard, you may find yourself making a lot of mistakes.

All in all, this is a very good phone. You'll enjoy using it and won't get bored with it as quickly as you may with other phones. You'll like the thinness of it and the durability of it. You'll also like that it turns heads. This phone is a keeper for anyone wanting it for light use e.g. music, video, calling, internet, ...or heavy duty use meaning using it to its fullest potential, e.g. Mobile Excel, Calendar, Power point, Etc.

I highly recommend this phone for anyone's needs. It's easy to use,not bad on the eyes, and a pleasure to use.

For a little help finding a T-Mobile Dash that includes the best provider plan in your area visit:

T-Mobile Dash

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Network Integrator (VAR) Program - The Details

We are looking for Value Added Resellers (VARs) who are looking for the ability to do real-time price and availability research for their clients, who are looking for one single point of contact for T1 services, and who want to be a recipient of network installation and equipment leads that we generate (both from retail marketing and business consulting). Conversely, we want to partner with you to so that we offer your VAR expertise, services and equipment leads for our T1 services. In basic terms, if you help us find T1 service customers, we will help find you equipment and service leads!

More information is available at: VAR Info

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