Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Is The Best Cell Phone .... Or Cell Phone Deal .... For YOU

In all honesty this is not an easy question to answer.

Why?

Simply because there is no easy answer. What may be best for "me" ..... may not be best for "you".

In reality, the best cellular phone is simply any phone that has features that match your needs. Alot of phones have fancy features that you may not use. Some phones are geared towards media, text, email, browsing, etc... The main feature you should truly focus on is being able to make and recieve a phone call. Period. After that everything else is icing on the cake. I suggest before making a purchase for a cellular phone, research the forums and see what people like and don't like, before you purchase.

In general you can start with these guidelines to narrow things down a bit......

If you want a real good phone with good value for the money -- Sony Ericsson.
If you want a good phone with good signal reception -- Motorola
If you want a good PDA type phone -- HP / Palm
If you can afford it and frequently change phones -- Nokia

Now to be a bit more specific ......

The best phones out there are the ones that use the famous Symbian OS. Which is an open mobile operating system. Depending on your needs and budget, you can find a cell phone that is suitable.

For the general consumer .....

A highly recommended cell phone for personal use is the Nokia 6120 (newer version coming soon 6121). It's a well-priced and feature-packed Symbian phone. You'll also find some Samsung's to be cute gadgets. Moreover, a cell phone with no A2DP profile means nothing to me. Probably won't to you either. The Sony-Ericsson is a must if you are planning on buying the Abacus Bluetooth Watch or the Sony-Ericsson MBW-100 (with Caller ID) as no support is yet available for Symbian phones.

For the business consumer ......

Again, any Symbian phone such as the Nokia Series 60 comes highly recommended. Blackberry is also a winner. Always has been and probably always will be. Palm OS based phones like the Treo's are also a good choice for business users. As far as the new Apple iPhones .... jury is still out on issues with provider plans and purchase costs being in the news. I personally would wait for the fallout to settle and the phone to mature a bit before willy nilly recommended an iPhone.

The ultimate solution for a business cellular geek or general cell phone afficianado is a Nokia Symbian phone + Nokia Internet Tablet N800 (or the newer N810) ..... both connected via Bluetooth.

Now ..... before you run right out to your nearest mall kiosk to hunt down the phone that's caught your eye .... sit down. Here's a tip that will save you time .... AND money.

This neat little online tool will search and compare available cell phones and providers for you by area (sorry, USA only) .... covering every item you may be interested in.

Cell Phone Deals

Covers standard cell phones, wireless devices such as the popular Blackberry, calling plans from all major providers ..... and even includes a section on cell phone accessories.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

What Are The Advantages Of T1 Bandwidth Over DSL?

Here's the question many small to medium size businesses ponder... sometimes to the point of paralysis. "What are the advantages of a T1 over DSL at the same bandwidth?"

The answer is really much simpler than one would think. The key word here though is... "think".

Unless your major and only concern is cost, a T-1 will win hands down. A T-1 is going to be more reliable. The big plus is if it does go down, the SLA (Service Level Agreement) and QoS (Quality of Service) negotiated with the provider mandates a quick response (as in a few hours) to start fixing any T-1 issues. Whereas a DSL could go down for days and there is nothing you can do about it. With DSL there's rarely any mandated response times for repairs.

Also a T-1 is usually more dedicated than DSL. For example the provider could have 200 customers or more out of one DSLAM... but the T-1 is all for you. You will therefore see less latency and bandwidth problems with your T-1 than you would with a DSL from the same provider. This may not be the case all over... but for most it is true.

Now here's a few facts to further confuse you (hopefully not... but be forewarned).

The DSL cost at about 1.5M is not that much less than burstable T-1 service (sometimes refered to as Full T-1 "as you need it"). This may surprise you, but in the long run (and you'd be foolish to pay full price rather than taking a 36 month term reduction), in this particular situation SDSL may not be that much less expensive even than Full T-1 services. But... and this is a BIG but .... T-1 is the better choice on a straight internet cost/benefit analysis. (not to mention performance issues).

Let me explain...

Internet access (as in internet or data only) is the biggest waste of T-carrier bandwidth for businesses who are not teeny tiny ISP's. The smart thing to do is take your total voice investment (monthly, installation, maintenance, hardware, etc.) and add it to your total internet/data investment. What you will find is that even if you need the full 1.544Mbps for internet/data, you will save thousands of dollars or more by fully integrating voice and data services.

Let me give you some examples of how you can do this:

1) Fiber optics. A very large infrastructure cost offset by a relatively small bandwith usage cost means fiber pays for itself within a couple of years. No brainer - unless there's no fiber to be found.

2) ADTS-E over T-3. Like T-1, DS-3 can also be purchased fractionally. Dedicating certain DS3 channels (1.544Mbps each) for voice and certain ones for data. Configured in this way, DS-3 is not going to be as expensive as you think, and you'll have the advantage of cost/benefit by bundling voice/data and internet through one pipe.

3) ISDN-PRI. Don't laugh, because I know what you're thinking: ISDN???? But your typical ISDN line is ISDN-BRI (2B + D) giving 64k x 64k at a set kbps D channel for signaling. However, ISDN-PRI is technically understood as 23B + D. Meaning 23 B channels at 64k + one D channel at 64k for signal. With intelligent CPE, i.e. a brand new PBX, you can dynamically allocate bandwidth back and forth between voice and data channels as needed. So if your internet requires the entire 1.544Mbps (it probably won't) at any given time it will be available. And when traffic subsides on the data side the channels are returned to be available for voice. ISDN-PRI runs piggyback over a T-carrier line. However, you need at least 1.544 Mbps for dedicated Internet access. Iin which case ISDN-PRI is a brilliant solution because you can provision up to 8 PRI's (that's a maximum of 184 B channels at 64k each) working together. That's a boatload of bandwidth capable of running switched and/or dedicated services dynamically allocated between voice/data and internet at a net savings over your current voice/data internet costs.

Given a reliability comparison between DSL and any of the technologies above, DSL will probably lose until its stabilized, if ever. However, the business rationale for increasing bandwidth must necessarily lean toward integration or become a ridiculous mess of wires, services, and vendors. That means at least T1 or something more.

Here's another overlooked factor ..... The consolidation of unnecessary vendors (through integrating your voice and data) is going to save you money, no matter what area of the business you're talking about. It will save you the confusion of terms, products, pricing, and simple communication factors. Further, your reliability increases because your point of contact/escalation is just a single person or team assigned to your account, and it's just easier in general to hold one company responsible (rather than many) when something goes wrong.

You'll have to get quotes to know for sure, but telecom service integration is the only way to intelligently make use of bandwidth at this time.

It must be pointed out that business applications drive business connectivity. Meaning that in the end the only thing that matters is what you're doing. The means to support the applications will present themselves as viable options along a cost/benefit scale. At that point you will be able to pick and choose according to your budgeting and bandwidth agenda. If you're not then able to decide on a technology, you probably need to hire a consultant.

Here's a tip. You can get that level of assistance to navigate the murky waters of deciding the right bandwidth solution....at no cost too. Simply request a free bandwidth rate quote and requirements analysis assistance from DS3-Bandwidth.com.

Bandwidth Cost

Bottom line is if your Internet connection is "Mission Critical" and your business depends on it, GET THE T-1!! If you just need it for basic email and web surfing .... and it wouldn't kill you if it was down for a day .... look at DSL. If you really want to make the smart play ..... opt for integrated voice and data over a T1 or DS3.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Telarus Offers Top Telecom Equipment, Networking, And Wiring VAR Opportunity

In 2005, Telarus set out to create a program that provided actual value to VARs of equipment leads, networking leads, wiring leads, and MACs. In addition to the actual core business leads, Telarus also set out to create software that the carrier sales divisions of many solution providers could use to work with greater speed and effectiveness.

These ideas are so revolutionary that the Telarus VAR Program is turning heads in the industry. No one has ever successfully created a program like the Telarus VAR Program. Never before has a company been able to bring together a cohesive network of business opportunities involving BOTH equipment leads and telecom service leads.

As VARs turn over their T1, DS3, MPLS, VoIP, VPN, Ethernet, Private Line, and OCX requests to Telarus, they focus more and more of their daily equipment prospects back to them. The program is truly and WIN-WIN for everyone!

After all, knowing the industry, the products, and the many carriers is their niche. Telarus can help your customers find what they need at the best prices possible, as well as supporting your customers' telecom needs for the life of the accounts. Billing inaccuracies, new service paperwork, installation delays, outages - Telarus is the expert in dealing with all of these issues, taking that headache off your plate!

.....What You Get.....

As a Telarus VAR partner you get all of the following tools you need to manage your organization:

* Full access to the VAR Network Reporting System (VAR Back Office)
* Warm equipment and service leads from VARSearch
* Dedicated agent to support your telecom business
* Monthly training calls
* Private-labelled marketing sites
* Add GeoQuote real-time pricing to your web site using our XML plug-in
* Access to 30 carrier contracts, including AT&T and Qwest
* Internal Telarus carrier support
* Residual commission and on all carrier contracts*
* 100% SPIFF pass-through*
* Transfer existing book to our stable contracts
* Payments from Telarus via Electronic Funds Transfer

Over 2,200 VARs nationwide currently rely on Telarus as a telecom partner .... and I recommend that you do too.

If you are interested in speaking to Telarus about their VAR Program, simply start by visiting their website at Telarus ..... or you can register now online at VAR Network

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why Buy The Blackberry 8700g .... An Honest Review

When you go to the cell phone store and look at all the new phones and different technology available, it can be very overwhelming!

What phone should I get? What price should I pay? Is this sales person more concerned about my needs or the commission?

If you are asking yourself these very questions, I would like to give an honest opinion of the Blackberry 8700g and the reasons you would benefit from such a device.

Though a blackberry may not be for everyone, for those of you looking for an email device/phone in one ..... this is for you!

Now to answer.... “Why buy the Blackberry 8700g?”

The QWERTY keyboard makes sending and responding to emails quick and easy! The alt key is located as conveniently on the device as it is on a computer keyboard. For those of you concerned about small buttons might want to try typing on the keyboard before your purchase though because the keys are a bit small.

While you are checking and responding to your email on the blackberry you might think your battery is running out quickly, but that’s not true with the 8700. According to the book the battery has 4 hours talk time and 16 days stand by. The battery life on this phone is out of this world. I have gone over a week without charging the battery and the device it still vibrating every time an email comes in. (An optional setting)

How is the phone quality you ask! My answer is fantastic and clear as a bell. Of course you will enter coverage areas where cell phones don’t work as well as in other areas, but you will the best possible service available with a phone like this!

Overall I would recommend the 8700 to someone who an active email user and is looking for a user-friendly email/phone device. This is the type of phone you won’t be able to live without!

The BlackBerry 8700g features complete functionality, including:

* Phone

* Email

* Text Messaging (SMS and MMS)

* Wireless Data Access

* Address Book

* Internet Browser

* Calendar

* Memo Pad

* Tasks

* Dynamic, highly responsive experience when viewing attachments and graphics, browsing the web and running applications

* Access up to 10 supported business and/or personal email accounts

* Integrated attachment viewing for popular file formats

* MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) allows you to combine text and images on a single message*

* Bright, high-resolution screen provides large viewable workspace and includes intelligent light sensing technology to automatically optimize screen lighting levels for ideal indoor and outdoor viewing

* Built-in speakerphone for hands-free dialog and convenient conference calls with excellent sound quality

* Bluetooth® hands-free headset and car kit support

* Polyphonic and MP3 ringtones can be assigned to your contacts

* Ergonomic, full QWERTY keyboard for a familiar typing and data entry experience

* Large, dedicated “Send”, “End” and “Mute” keys, plus user definable convenience keys

* 64 MB of memory

* Quad-Band network support on 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM™/GPRS and EDGE networks allows for international roaming between North America, Europe and Asia Pacific

All in all the Blackberry 8700g is a great wireless device. Once more....the recently released 8800 may be another option to consider.

And here's another tip. You can avoid the cell phone store experience entirely and shop online for the best deal for your Blackberry 8700g (or any cell phone/wireless device for that matter).

Now there's an online tool available to you where you can find pricing details for every cell phone and wireless device available in your location .... including specials, rebates, family plans, and so on .... and take advantage of the deal you find by ordering right there. This free online tool evens shows accessories (Chargers and Batteries, Cases and Holsters, Bluetooth, Memory and Data, Faceplates & Covers, Headsets, Value Bundles, Wireless Signal Boosters, and more). It's as simple as searching by your zip code.

Cell Phone And Wireless Device Deals

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Tips For A Small Business VoIP Solution

Small companies are increasingly choosing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) hosted business phone packages, like Packet8’s Virtual Office, instead of conventional telephone systems. VoIP can mean a lot more than just savings to a small business. The greater versatility of hosted VoIP allows each business to tailor a telecommunications package, regardless of geography, specifically to meet its needs without spending heavily on equipment, installation, maintenance or an IT staff. All that’s needed is a broadband connection and the Virtual Office service to create a low cost, high feature, professional telephone system for companies with as few as three employees in the same office, region or spread across the globe.....

For bigger companies an Enterprise VoIP solution is likely necessary. Generally speaking this will require a larger deployment of equipment and some degree of onsite installation and maintenance. Although this can often be negotiated into the support aspect of the provider contract. There are a number of quality providers available and it's best to compare so as to ensure meeting the exact needs of your organization. In other words "all Enterprise VoIP is not created equal".

For more information on the small business solutions from Packet8 go here:

Packet8 Virtual Office

For no cost assistance in finding an Enterprise (large business) VoIP Solution ..... including comparison of available providers in your specific install location .... go here:

Business VoIP

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Is A Co-Location Server Right for You?

If you are outgrowing the services provided by your current web host, co-location (also termed colocated server) may be a viable solution for you. Co-location differs from leasing a dedicated web server in that you actually provide the hardware to the hosting company. You basically "rent" space in their Network Operations Center (NOC) where you receive the bandwidth and facilities to get your web server up and running.

In other words.....the primary difference between co-located or dedicated server services is that with co-location, you provide the hardware and the Web Host provides the facility, bandwidth, etc. With a dedicated server you lease or rent the hardware that is owned by the Web Host.

The big advantage of co-location is that you can use your own machine. This allows for greater flexibility in terms of administration and implementation of services, especially when dealing with your own clients and customers. This is also beneficial if you have an existing machine that will suit your web server needs but lack the appropriate facilities to get that machine online. Co-locating your server with a hosting company is usually cheaper than leasing a dedicated server directly from the company bercause you are providing the hardware rather than leasing a machine.

Typically your machine will be housed in a Network Operations Center (NOC). This gives you many benefits that would not be otherwise available. These include an environmentally controlled and secure facility, uninterruptible power supplies, 24x7 monitoring and the availability of bandwidth to meet your web hosting needs.

One of the biggest drawbacks to co-locating your web server is that hardware tends to become obsolete very quickly. Unless you have an existing machine that will serve your needs, purchasing a new machine specifically for use as a web server may not be cost effective. For instance, a new server that costs $3000 today may loose a tremendous amount of value in an little as 6 months due to the rapid technology improvements. Another drawback to co-location is that you must purchase the server initially rather than having the ability to spread the cost over a period of time.

Co-location advantages include.....

- Greater flexibility
- Ability to use existing hardware.
- More control over web server administration
- Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Co-location disadvantages include.....

- Initial cost up front.
- Hardware may become outdated quickly.
- Web Server Administration is your responsibility.

When considering co-location, it is important to determine your specific needs and compare the cost associated with co-location and other types of web hosting solutions. When evaluating a company, be sure to ask plenty of questions and ask for references.

For assistance finding co-location service check here (click on the Managed IT Services link): Managed IT Services

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How To Predict Bandwidth Consumption In An ISP Network

There is no single way to do this. The methods are generally dictated by the level of service you offer or your SLAs (Service Level Agreements).

Most ISPs work with an over subscription model. The assumption is similar to the way phone networks operate - you assume that only a portion of your customer base uses the network at any one time. If everyone starts to use the phone, the network will generally crash. Famous examples of this include the Bay Area in California during the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.

The key for you is to craft a model that reflects a) the service you desire to offer, b) the legal constraints of your agreements and state policies, and c) practical operating circumstances.

These are interactive. For example, you might include limitations in your service-restore-on-failure policy to reflect the difficulty of debugging a network at 2.00 am on Sunday morning. Most businesses will not care. Few private individuals will be using the net. Those that do, will probably accept such a limit if the other aspects of the service are good value.

Most ISPs run a ratio of signed members to backbone capability. Simple example: You want to offer a 1 Mbps service to users. You are provisioning an OC-3 connection (155 MBps). If you provision at 7:1, you can offer service to 1,085 customers before you have to upgrade your backbone with more capability.

Generally, this ration and consequences will be covered in your service contract. Disclosing it is necessary to avoid complaints or legal action by customers during period of high traffic in the ISP network.

Customers usually fall into multiple categories, residential and business being the two most obvious. It is common for an ISP with a mix to create customer expectations in line with practical traffic. If you have a set of business customers who work 8-6 on five days a week, it is to your advantage to have lower residential traffic during this time. This may be reflected in lower service contract terms for residential customers during business hours. This is usually acceptable as most customers will also be at work. By contrast, the business user may get a lower service performance during non-business hours.

These variations are shared only to show that any model must take each of the tiers into account. You can play what-if scenarios to get a feel for the mix that best fits your situation.

Remember to allow for the common customer (e.g. the 5-day 8-6 office) and the more rigorous customer (7 x 24 operation or doing intense backups in the middle of the night). Having multiple pricing tiers and contracts usually cover these circumstances.

An older book that covers the general field and will give you food for thought would be "ISP Survival Guide - Strategies for Running a Competitive ISP" by Geoff Huston (Wiley).

If you find you do need more bandwidth ..... I strongly suggest taking advantage of the free assistance to find the right solution for your specific application here:

Bandwidth Solution

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Monday, October 15, 2007

How To Find Deals For Fast Ethernet And Gigabit Ethernet

Businesses looking for Fast Ethernet (100 mbps) and Gigabit Ethernet (1 gbps) broadband availability are often frustrated by challenges they face getting current accurate information. The search for lit buildings where broadband carriers have a physical presence can be daunting at best.

That's a shame since finding "lit" buildings where Ethernet broadband is available is very important to larger companies with high bandwidth requirements. By plugging in directly to a telecommunications carrier via Ethernet, customers avoid the expensive loop charges assessed by the local phone company.

Well.....no more jumping through hoops.

Simply plug in the details of your ethernet requirements in this website for personal assistance in finding just the right "real time" solution .......

How To Find Where Ethernet Services Are Available

This Ethernet lookup tool runs in "carrier agnostic mode" on the public web site. This means that no carrier Lit Building information is openly accessible to the general public at any time. However... your personal assigned support staff will work with you to research carrier offerings for the location you desire, access instant pricing and availability information, and find the best solution to meet your requirements. Saving you time, effort, and frustration. Plus.....this service is at no cost to you.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Disaster Recovery And Data Centers

In today’s complex and challenging market, intensive business continuity plans or state of the art disaster recovery techniques for nonstop data availability have become critical to organizations if they are to survive an outage. Most IT related disasters are actually logical disasters, such as data corruption, viruses, and human error, as opposed to physical disasters like fire, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunami, etc. Logical disasters occur all the time and pose a bigger threat to businesses. However, because of being invisible to the general public, logical disasters tend to be taken less seriously.

Data Center Disaster Recovery is smart business no matter what industry you are in. Think about these stats for a minute. It costs the average Fortune 500 corporations $50,000 per minute of downtime (IBM). The average hourly revenue lost from downtime is $78,000 and 355 worker hours are lost for each hour of unscheduled downtime (Disaster Recovery Journal). 43% of enterprises that sustain a major disaster never reopen (Wall Street Journal). Data centers are the heart of most companies today. If and when this resource is compromised; whether by hardware failure, software failure, data corruption, or data loss; a company faces severe potential losses unless a robust data recovery plan is already in place. Below are simplified solutions that can be implemented for Disaster Recovery not only in Data Centers but also by small companies operating in an IT environment.

Situation You're Facing....

Data center companies today have to follow the continuous business paradigm, which combines high-availability solutions with state of the art disaster recovery solutions. The ultimate goal should be the ability to manage both premeditated and accidental situations with minimal or zero disruption.

When an accidental event occurs, the ideal scenario is:

- Recovery will happen almost automatically with no loss of data

- Costs of the solution and resources are minimal

- Impact to the production environment is zero

While technology is moving forward at a rapid pace to reach this ideal scenario, many other business and technological concerns exist, including some significant trade-offs dictated by technology, budgets, and personnel resources.

Simplified Data Recovery Solutions....

Recovery time objective (RTO) & Recovery point objective (RPO), along with their associated costs, are important criteria when evaluating the right solution.

- RTO describes the time frame in which business functions or applications must be restored.

- RPO describes the point in time to which data must be restored to successfully resume processing.

Many solutions are available depending on an organization’s recovery objectives. For example, when looking at the RPO, one may be concerned with the cost of some data loss (typically less than five minutes). While some may prefer to be able to quickly perform a database restart instead of a no-data-loss option, others may prioritize limiting possible impacts to the production environment and ensuring easy recovery at the secondary site.

When planning to install a Disaster Recovery solution, first, point to be considered is the Data Center’s environment. It’s important to understand that all data is not created equal. It is likely that only a portion of a corporation’s data is critical to its basic operation and that a variety of techniques could be used to secure that data, depending on the criticality of that particular business function. In general practice organizations choose not to take this approach, but to copy everything. This is a trade-off situation in terms of the cost of potentially having to re-engineer the entire environment compared to the cost of using a higher tier for all data.

Implementing a remote data replication policy is the first step towards a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, which is no longer an option but a necessity for companies operating in IT computing environments, now, let’s analyze the basic simplified disaster recovery solutions for a Data Centre of any size.

Data Replication....

Data replication is the basis of all disaster recovery solutions and involves periodically copying a volume's data onto a secondary storage device, which can be located any distance from the original. If the main storage device should fail, data on the secondary storage device can immediately be promoted to primary status and brought online. Replication is a continuous process that begins by establishing a complete copy of data at risk at the disaster recovery (secondary) site.

Mirroring....

Data mirroring can be employed in addition to basic replication process as part of the disaster recovery solution. The process of mirroring involves the use of a “shadow” disk that is updated in parallel with the primary disk, providing a real-time or near real-time copy of the primary disk. Mirroring provides the first level of data protection with a mirror disk attached to the host machine or an appliance located at the primary site. In the event of data loss on the primary disk, the data is retrieved seamlessly from the mirror disk.

Fast Recovery....

For protection against natural/logical disasters, Data Centers require remote sites to be located hundreds of miles away from the business, raising issues of data loss and synchronization of data between the primary and data recovery site. The ideal disaster recovery solution provides quick time-to-recovery, assuring continuance of operations. Additionally, the solution must minimize data loss for a graceful recovery, keeping primary and data center’s recovery data synchronized while minimizing human intervention to reduce errors during the recovery process.

Snapshot agents minimize recovery time. When data replication is used in conjunction with snapshot agents, the data has full transactional integrity in addition to point-in-time consistency. This means the replica can be immediately put into active use without going through a complete ‘consistency check’ process that can be very time-consuming for large datacenters or databases. Simply put data recovery and replication solutions have to be flexible, easily deployable, and scalable and support rapid recovery.

Accelerating Pre and Post Disaster Operation....

During initial set up of pre-disaster operation, synchronization of data between the two sites can be done using tape backups or local mirroring and shipped to the remote site, followed by a delta-sync process to facilitate minimal transfer of data over expensive WAN links. During an emergency, an IP link may be deployed to allow emergency access of the data at the data center’s recovery site over WAN by any server located anywhere. This IP connectivity provides significant advantages, offering more ways for temporary offices to access data during an emergency. A reverse delta-sync process facilitates fast recovery of the primary site when the emergency is over.

Reducing Cost....

Data centers use Fiber Channel for their storage networks and a simplified DR solution must provide interface to MAN and WAN routers without the need for extra FC-to-IP converter boxes. These solutions also need to be independent of the type of storage subsystems, application servers and operating system platforms rather than work only in a homogeneous environment. By eliminating the need to deploy matching disk arrays, file servers or application servers at the secondary disaster recovery site, such systems can offer unprecedented flexibility in creating disaster recovery environments and allowing for low-cost DR planning by using low cost JBOD or ATA-based RAID arrays at the data center’s recovery site.

Data replication whether remote or local, is no longer an option, but a necessity for corporate enterprises and a challenge for data centers. The amount of data at risk and the cost to replace that data if in fact it can be replaced highlight the need for a data protection solution that extends beyond a building, a campus, or even a country. While most customers recognize the need for this type of data protection, they are squeezed by the continued tight IT budgets and the cost and complexity of existing solutions.

The complexity problem in DR can be solved today by using fully integrated replication solutions built on performance/cost optimized appliances. Every additional dollar spent on DR solutions by a data center puts additional burden on the data centers and increases the cost for customers. By deploying data replication, mirroring, backup and snapshot storage applications on an affordable appliance platform, a comprehensive disaster recovery and replication solution can address the key customer requirements of flexibility, ease of deployment and scalability while keeping the operational costs low for the Data Centers.

If you find you do need more bandwidth to ensure appropriate redundancy or address other disaster recovery issues....I suggest taking advantage of the free assistance to find the right solution provided here:

Bandwidth Solution

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Benefits of Having a Dedicated Server

Having a Web hosting server that is totally your own. It is the American dream right? You could put a little white picket fence around it, plant some flowers and call it home. Well not exactly. Buying a dedicated Web hosting server may be a little out of your price range. Some can cost up to $500 or more a month to keep up and running. So with that being said, what are the benefits of having a dedicated Web hosting server?

Well the number one benefit of having your own dedicated server would be reliability. Think of it as you being stuck on a deserted island. You don't have to worry about anybody else throwing coconuts at you or trying to take over your island. You and you alone are there and you can do whatever you want.

When you are on a shared Web hosting server, sometimes other people on the server can make life for you a little harder. Due to processes, scripts or other activities, your Web site might start coming up slower due to those other folks. With a dedicated Web hosting server, you are the only one on that server and you are not subject to such pesky activity. Well, unless you are the one causing it.

Having your own Web hosting server also provides you with a more cost effective way of hosting more than one domain. You can split that Web hosting server up as many times as you want, depending on how much space each Web site needs. True, you could do that with a Web hosting reseller account too. The only problem is a reseller account is still on a shared Web hosting server. As long as you are on a shared Web hosting server you are going to have reliability problems.

With that being said, you can also expect to see greater performance from your Web sites. Without sharing the server's resources with 10 to 100 other people, your pages will come up quicker, your scripts will run faster, and it will be as if your entire Web hosting experience was on steroids.

Security is another good reason to go with a dedicated Web hosting server. With a shared Web hosting server, some things on the server itself are more open to see. Within a dedicated Web hosting server though you can keep more things to yourself and locked down for only your eyes to see.

Now when shopping for a dedicated Web hosting server, you might be confused by the "managed" and "unmanaged" lingo. With an unmanaged Web hosting account, you or somebody in your company will need to know how to deal with the server first hand. That is when hiring a system administrator might come in handy. Then they can worry about all the server side problems and configurations.

With a managed dedicated server though, more of those worries are in the hands of the Web host you bought it from. The only problem you might run into there is you want to make sure your Web host has a good quality staff of folks who know what they are doing when they are working on your dedicated server.

So there you have it, those are the big benefits of having your own dedicated Web hosting server. If you want to know more or want to learn about shared Web hosting solutions, you might go check out Lockergnome's Guide to Web Hosting . It is the best guide into the Web hosting world you will ever read or need.

If you are looking for quality hosting services .... a couple options to check into as you start your search are these:

Shared Hosting ....

Dedicated Server ....

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Monday, October 08, 2007

How To Find A Cisco, Avaya, Lucent, 3Com, Or Toshiba Dealer [and more] Near You .... VAR Search Engine Tool

Here's a valuable resource for finding a network installer or maintenance/repair service for your voice/data network needs. This VAR search engine will save you time, effort, money, and headaches.

VAR Finder

This free tool will allow you to find network and phone system specialists for Cisco, Avaya, Lucent, 3Com, Mitel, Toshiba, Nortel, Vodavi, NEC, and more. Input your address, services desired, and equipment manufacturer that you desire .... and you will be provided with a list of qualified companies near you.

This list even provides a ranking score based on the company's location, customer satisfaction, and other factors that will help you make an informed choice.

The database contains professionals nationwide (US) that can setup, maintain, or repair your computer network and phone systems. Makes your search easier, faster, and will save you money.

For help in finding the right bandwidth solution (e.g. T1, DS3, OC3, MPLS, Metro Ethernet, and more) .... should that be a need .... use the no cost services at DS3 Bandwidth.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Free Rate Quotes For DS3 Bandwidth, OC3 Bandwidth, MPLS, And Metro Ethernet

Here's a valuable tool for business owners/IT staff looking for a bandwidth solution for voice/data connections and LAN/WAN network projects.

The website is located at DS3 Bandwidth

The website offers the following resource.....

** Instant Pricing Tool for voice and data solutions including the following available services.....

Data-Internet T1, Fractional T1, Bonded or NxT1, Local & Long Distance Voice T1 or PRI, 1FB/POTS, Integrated Voice & Data T1, T3/DS3, Fractional DS3, Point-to-Point/Private Line, MPLS, VoIP, SIP Trunking, Multi-Location Wide Area Networking, Fiber Optic Buildout, Fast Ethernet and GigE, plus OC3 all the way up to OC192 bandwidth!

NOTE: Your privacy is 100% protected. You will not receive unsolicited emails nor will your contact info be sold for any reason. This is strictly just to provide you with a free no obligation quote for your company's evaluation.

The tool is powered by Geoquote - The first online tool to quote real-time prices from over twenty providers.

The quotes are customized to your specific location via a powerful XML/API link connected to the back office computer systems of over two dozen tier 1 and 2 telecommunications carriers, such as: AT&T, Verizon, Qwest, XO, Paetec, Level 3, Sprint, Covad, USLEC, XO, BroadSky, Telepacific, Time Warner, New Edge, Telnes, Nuvox, UCN, Splice Com, PNG, ACC, Network Innovations, and more.

Please enter your main (land-line) telephone number, plus your site's physical address for an instant online quote. Incomplete or bogus submissions will not receive a reply.....or the quote will be inaccurate and useless.

The site again is OC3 Bandwidth

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cell Phone Deals....Great New High-Tech Cellular Offerings From Cognigen

If you're a Cognigen agent this is for you. If you're not a Cognigen agent maybe you should consider becoming one (it's FREE).

For info on what Cognigen offers to agents look at this: Cognigen

For more on all the cellular and wireless products and services from Cognigen check here: Cell Phone Deals

Great New High-Tech Cellular Offerings From Cognigen....

Unless you have been living under a rock, you should understand that cellular is HOT in today's world. It is difficult to find anyone under age 10 who does not have a cell phone these days, and this is a market that you can capitalize on.

Remember, you can offer cell phones and cellular packages from the major wireless providers. If you have a "credit-challenged" customer, you can also offer several pre-paid wireless options to them, which are much more cost effective than the wireless options available at 7-11 or similar outlets.

High-tech devices are all the rage. A cell phone that can play MP3's, watch video, create and respond to IM (Instant Messenger) conversations, and send and receive email are the hot products right now, and you can offer them all. It goes without saying that the cell phone has a built-in digital camera with outstanding picture resolution, since all cell phones except the very lowest offerings have this capability today.

Two of the hottest high-tech phones right now are the Sprint Mogul and the T-Mobile Wing. Both are PDA's (Personal Digital Assistant) as well as cell phones, allowing you to keep track of contacts, your calendar, appointments, and also having a real keyboard that can be used to enter information and send/receive emails.

All of the wireless cellular providers have a wide range of cell phones, depending on what your customer needs, ranging from a very basic cell phone that simply makes and receives phone calls, to the top end models such as those featured above, which are an entire personal organizer in the palm of your hand.

Remember that you can also offer DATA services from our cellular providers. This is a card that plugs into the PCMCIA port or USB port of a laptop computer, and allows the user to get highspeed Internet service through the cellular carrier. In more than 200 major metro areas across the country, the speeds are very respectable where this service is available, as much as 700-800k down and 300-400k up. These services are available from AT&T (Cingular), Sprint, and Verizon. For someone who needs this level of connectivity and cannot accomplish it with a Blackberry or smartphone, this avenue is a tremendous boon to them, and very affordable, especially if the customer is already a cellular customer of that provider.

Be sure with the data services that you get the right card for your customer's laptop. Most of the newer laptop computers do not have a PCMCIA slot anymore, so you will need to get the USB version of the card.

Let your customers know what you can offer and let them know how you will keep them informed with all the latest technology in cell phones and cellular plans, which can all make a huge difference in your commission checks!

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Datacenter Setup Guide

A newbie surfer won't really think where does yahoo.com serve from when visiting the site. Its basically not an issue of concern for a normal internet user. But people with "that" extra curiosity surely like to know what happens "Behind the Scenes" as it would be called if yahoo.com was a hollywood movie. Each site active on the internet is served from some or the other webserver/webservers in the world .... which are generally located in high speed and top class networked facilities called as datacenters.

Following are the major inputs needed for setting up a datacenter.

1. Space / Location :

You need to have sufficient space keeping in mind the number of servers you are planning to accomodate. Future expansion should also be given importance when selecting a space. Location is another important factor when you are setting up a datacenter. You need to select a location keeping in mind the following points :

* Accessibility to high speed networks / ISPs.

* Well connected transportation environment because you need to have a 24x7 staff working there.

* Reliable Continious Power Supply

2. Connectivity Providers :

Without connectivity to the internet your datacenter will be nothing more than a computer store room. You have to be very careful when selecting your connectivity providers. It is mandatory that you have connectivity from multiple service providers to provide 24x7 connectivity regardless of any outages. You need to consider the following factors when selecting the connectivity providers :

3. Connectivity speed :

For a datacenter environment you need very good quality and high speed broadband connections. Following are some types of high speed connections :

* T1 - Speed is 1.544 Mbps in full T1 capacity

* DS3 / T3 - Speed is up to 45Mbps in full capacity

* OC3 - Speed is up to 155Mbps

* OC12 - Speed is upto 622 Mbps

* GigE - Speed is up to 1000Mpbs

Selection of speed ideally depends on the number of servers you plan to keep. But a rough calculation suggests you need atleast multiple DS3 lines from different providers to get you decent connectivity for around 50-100 servers depending on their bandwidth usage.

For assistance in finding the right high speed broadband connection for your data center I strongly suggest the free services here: Bandwidth Solution

4. Bandwidth Cost :

Backbone providers charge you per GB or in blocks of GBs for bandwidth. You may calculate your rough usage and calculate the monthly charge you will have if and select the best deal if you ave options to choose from.

5. Gateway connectivity that they have.

Most big ISPs have their own backbones, others lease connectivity from major backbones like UUNET, AT&T,Verio,Cogent, Level3, Sprint etc particularly in US. You will have to do some analysis and research to trace the backbones if you are outside US. You can get this information from major ISPs in your country like in Singapore, it is Singtel. Some major networks are covered at : http://www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/casa/mart...s/isp_maps.html . When selecting multiple ISPs you must select ISPs using different backbones so you have connectivity atleast one provider when a backbone goes down.

6. Power Delivery/ UPS

Continious power supply is the most important requirement along with connectivity to have 0% outages for the servers. Multiple power backups are preferred. Depending on the number of server you will accomodate you need to place the power backup infrastructure. A combination of battery backups plus heavy duty diesel generators is generally preferred in most leading datacenters of the world. The idea is to maintain power supply through battery backups till generators become operational in times of power grid failures. If you can build a backup infrastructure to give you about 24 hours of backup it is more than sufficient for normal power outages.

7. Airconditioning / Fire Control Equipment /Security .

Servers are bound to get heated due to their continious working. A temperature controlled environment is very essential for proper functioning of the servers. When calculating power backup capcity you must consider airconditioning use as well. The temperature of the server rooms need to be maintained at 20-22 degrees celcius at all times. With the thousands/millions of wires connecting the servers to the power sources and connectivity sources, they are prone to some short-circuits which at times can cause fire. Fire control equipment needs to be installed in every room with automated triggering functions to prevent any damage. There are various types of fire control equipments available to opt from. Equipments which will not cause direct harm to server hardware should be selected. Use of liquid extinguishers should be avoided. Mist entinguishers can be used at the most. You also need to have security equipments in place to protect any critical or confidential data that the servers might be handling. Secure entry, logging of each visitor, limited staff access to actual server rooms, video camera monitoring are some things you need to implement for security.

8. Hardware / Internal Network

With the amount of investment being put in it is necessary to have reliable and robust hardware for best performance of the server. We will discuss about the server hardware itself in a seperate topic. Apart from servers hardwares like cables, routers, switches, racks etc. are also needed. You need to form a rigid internal network structure which should include backups for each active network when designing your internal network. We will discuss the contructions of the internal network and the exact applications of each hardware in the "Actual Setup of a Datacenter" article to follow.

9. Staff

Datacenters operate 24x7 and so you need to have staff present their 24 hours a day. Staff levels range from cleaning personnel to senior system administrators, reboot guys, network technicians etc. An experienced and knowledgable staff will ensure smooth operaing of a datacenter. If you have selected a transportationwise well connected location you should get good staff as well.

Use the above list to set up your data center and you'll be more likely to have a smooth experience.

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