Monday, December 31, 2007

Which SmartPhone Should You Get - And Why?

For the average Joe looking to get a SmartPhone the search can be confusing and frustrating. Understanding the basic decision factors to consider is key. Here ya go....

First off, the difference between BlackBerry and Treo - is push vs. pull technology. Push technology means every time you get an email in your inbox, you get it on your BlackBerry. With pull technology, every time you wish to review your emails, you ask the unit to grab them from the server. I prefer pull technology as I don't wish to be constantly interrupted at my desk, let alone when I'm mobile!

Also, what environment/operating system do you prefer? A Windows Mobile environment works particularly well if you use Outlook and and Exchange Server - all Microsoft products. However, if you do not, then I suggest you look at the Palm devices. Palm comes with its own contact manager software - but also syncs with Outlook (attached to a USB port and push a button) and is a very stable OS (Operating System).

However, even before looking for the phones, what service provider are you considering? Tmobile has older technology; Sprint/Nextel has a good reputation, but Verizon's Treo 700p gets mixed reviews particularly for their email function. Shop carefully. Not all provider phones are equal.

Next, you'll want to make sure you get an unlimited data plan (and if you can make them throw in unlimited texting - all the better). Don't forget the insurance, these devices are expensive. Pay the extra $7.00 or so per month for full insurance and peace of mind.

Of course, also get cases. The units will most likely be dropped at some point. A case can literally save you hours of phone/leg time as the unit doesn't break!

Now take all you've just learned above .... and use this 1 stop resource to find just the right smart phone for you: Smart Phone Deals

There ya go. The facts, the facts, and nothing but the facts.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Cell Phone Deals .... Blackberry, Smart Phone, Family Plan, RAZR, And More

Looking for the right mobile or cellular phone is easy when you can see everything all in one place. You'll find smart phones, Blackberries, RAZR, family plans, music phones, Bluetooth, digital camera phones, and much more .... from providers like AT&T, Nextel, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint .... all from one convenient online location.

Plus you'll discover cell phone accessories for every need imaginable. Includes FREE Fed-Ex shipping too. Even better is the free phones and special deals offered regularly. Everything you want from a one stop shop ..... see for yourself right here: Cell Phone Deal

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Is The Cost Of Bandwidth Decreasing?

Bandwidth cost is always a primary consideration for any business evaluating their computer network requirements. Fortunately businesses no longer need to sacrifice quality of service, functionality, and more ..... choosing cheap deals from small unstable providers ...... just to get the best price.

The market forces that so profoundly affected voice prices and service in the 1980s and 90s are being brought to bear on data and multimedia in this decade. If bandwidth supply continues to outstrip demand, as is currently the case, bandwidth prices will have no place to go but down.

In the past couple of years, the average price for transmitting a megabyte of data over domestic or international lines fell by 25 percent on average according to market data from an online bandwidth exchange vendor. However, in some remote locations, prices have not changed much since the local loop charges have remained constant.

To make sure you navigate the current bandwidth cost landscape from a position of strength .... and find the best deals from major providers for your bandwidth needs .... take advantage of the no cost assistance available at: DS3 Cost

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Service Level Agreement (SLA): Tips And Insights To Get More From Your Business Bandwidth Package

Q: What is a service level agreement (SLA)?

A service level agreement is a contract that sets performance goals as well as penalties for failure to meet these goals. In other words, an SLA commits a service provider to sharing responsibility for service reliability. Though SLAs often come with their fair share of hype and fine print, some do credit customers with a refund for every hour or portion of an hour of disrupted service. Providers may also offer credits if they miss a delivery date or don't report an outage promptly.

You may want to incorporate some additional provisions in your SLA, such as:

* Negotiate a more reliable connection that includes alternate routes for your data.

* Create on-call backup circuits.

* Attempt to specify more stringent penalties for service provider failures.

Because the terms of an SLA are negotiable and can vary significantly, they should be discussed up front with the provider.

Q: What types of provisions should be addressed in a service level agreement?

* Outage duration: The amount of time in minutes that service is unavailable

* Degraded service: Service which is slower than the performance specified in your contract

* Defects per million: Minutes of downtime per million minutes of service

* Mean time between failures (MTBF): Average amount of time, typically in minutes or days, between outages. (The target figure depends on your negotiated total-service-availability rate.)

* Mean time to restore (MTTR): Average amount of time, typically in minutes, required to restore service

* Maximum time between failures/maximum time to restore: A cap on the total number of minutes for restoration of service

* Trouble rate: How often technical support needs to be contacted. (This should be limited to five times before escalation is mandated.)

* Average round-trip latency: The time required for the first transmission to be completed. (The target should be less than 100 msec on the backbone and up to 130 msec longer from end to end, depending on the type of service being contracted for and on application requirements.)

* Average round-trip delay: The time it takes for routine transmission after the first transmission establishes the connection. (The target should be the same as the average round-trip latency.)

Q: What additional guidelines are recommended for negotiating a service level agreement?

* Pricing:

Expect wholesale prices to fall at least 50 percent per year on competitive routes.

Avoid long-term "IRU" or capital-type leases unless the lease payback is less than three years.

Include regular benchmark price reviews in contracts longer than one year.

Look for contracts that allow you to buy network capacity and that offer discounts for larger volumes, but which also allow you to alter the routing later at little or no cost.

Monitor prices and availability of dark optical fiber (unused fiber-optic cable), especially on terrestrial routes.

* Quality and Reliability:

Avoid multiple, service provider supply chains unless no alternative exists or the financial benefits are substantial.

Find out to what extent the network fiber is actually owned by the provider. If it's not, request information on its type and performance.

Inquire about and continue to monitor emerging bandwidth-on-demand products that might help you meet unexpected peaks in demand.

To ensure you get the most from your SLA .... it's highly recommended to take advantage of the no cost support provided by Bandwidth Cost when searching for quotes on T1, DS3, OC3, MPLS, Ethernet, and other business bandwidth solutions.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

How Do You Avoid Overspending On Internet Bandwidth For Business?

The following four basic guidelines will help you avoid overspending on Internet bandwidth for business use:

1. Understand how much bandwidth you really use. For instance, use the SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) statistics from your router to monitor usage.

2. Buy a usage-sensitive connection. Being able to accommodate bursty traffic at times is fine, but if you're only going to use 64 Kbps, then that's all you should be paying for.

3. Find an ISP that will offer you a flat service, which you will know the flat fee you're paying instead of the burstable service.

4. If possible, instead of having one "large" connection, consider buying two smaller connections for disaster recovery and load balancing reasons.

For help navigating the decisions you'll be faced with ..... and finding the most cost effective solution ..... take advantage of the free consultation service provided at: Business Bandwidth

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How Do You Determine Your Business Bandwidth Needs?

One approach to determining your bandwidth needs is to conduct the following four-step analysis:

Determine baseline usage..... First of all, measure current network utilization levels and traffic patterns. Network performance management software can monitor and measure network activity levels, report this data in easy-to-interpret formats, and help estimate future demand. However, avoid conducting quick baseline studies that don't measure traffic patterns for a full business cycle-it may be necessary to measure activity for an entire quarter. Without collecting data for a full cycle, you may not capture all the information you need.

Benchmark competitors..... Compare your utilization levels and traffic patterns with your industry peers or companies with similar business patterns.

Perform modeling/forecast analyses..... Using your findings from the baseline and benchmark analyses, determine technology requirements under various scenarios by using modeling programs. These programs enable you to test alternative bandwidth solutions, estimate relative costs, and decide on the best course of action.

Assess your processes..... Process assessment involves determining how to optimize the performance of your network(s) and ensure cost-effective bandwidth utilization. Often, the most important aspect of network and systems management involves process assessment rather than purchasing additional technology.

You can get help in finding just the right bandwidth solution for your business needs from this free service: Bandwidth Cost

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Monday, December 17, 2007

What Can A Bonded T1 Do For Your Business?

When designing your LAN or WAN, the logical solution for your business is to figure out your expected bandwidth usage. If your company has more than 50 employees or it uses a lot of bandwidth for various applications such as VOIP, videoconferencing, CRM, this may often indicate that you may need to get multiple T1 lines, which is often referred to as bonded T1's.

A bonded T1 just means that the you have two T1 lines (from the same provider) which have been joined together in a special way so that you can use the combined total of 3.0 Mbps of Internet data or the 46 channels for voice/phone use. You cannot bond T1's together if they are not through the same provider. The best technology these days is through MLPPP (Multi-link point to point protocol). Multilink is a bandwidth-on-demand protocol that can connect multiple links between two systems as needed to provide bandwidth on demand.

If you were to have two T1's, unbonded, then you could not use the full 3.0 Mbps of bandwidth all at once. For example, if you did a speed test, you wouldn't be able to get a result of "3.0 Mbps", the max you could download/upload at any one time would be 1.5 Mbps, even though you had two T1's. That's why it's important you get the T1's from the same provider and that they use MLPPP to bond the T1's together.

You can bond quite a few T1 together, up to 8 of them together to make 12 mbps (equivalent to fractional DS3). However, if you go beyond 4 bonded T1's it makes more sense to start looking at a fractional/burstable DS3 because sometimes the DS3 loop pricing is similar so the DS3 service would allow you to scale much easier, up to a full T3 line.

It's best that you use the services of a bandwidth broker such as Telarus and FreedomFire Communications to walk you through all of your choices for network design utilizing a bonded T1. If you need more than what a bonded T1 can provide, such as a fractional or full DS3, they can assist you in figuring out what the best solution is going to be for your business. Plus, they'll do this at no cost to you.

Many small to midsize businesses have used these services. They offer bandwidth pricing on T1 lines, T3 lines or DS3 lines, OC3 service, MPLS or Frame relay, Ethernet, as well as other internet connections. Whatever your need you'll find it here: Bandwidth Solution

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Main Reasons For A Business To Consider Moving To MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching)

More and more businesses with multiple locations are looking to migrate from frame relay or point to point circuits to Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and in the process increase their bandwidth and save in terms of overall cost. According to Search Telecom, MPLS is "a standards-approved technology for speeding up network traffic flow and making it easier to manage. MPLS involves setting up a specific path for a given sequence of packets, identified by a label put in each packet, thus saving the time needed for a router to look up the address to the next node to forward the packet to. MPLS is called multiprotocol because it works with the Internet Protocol (IP), Asynchronous Transport Mode (ATM), and frame relay network protocols. In addition to moving traffic faster overall, MPLS makes it easy to manage a network for quality of service (QoS) and MPLS has different types of class of service (CoS).

There are several main reasons more businesses are migrating to MPLS .....

1. Cost savings - Depending on the types of applications, and network configurations, MPLS services can reduce costs by up to 25% over comparable data services (frame relay, point to point T1 or point to point T3/DS3 and ATM). As companies add voice (VOIP - voice over internet protocol) and video traffic (video/web conferencing), cost savings can rise to as much as 40%.

2. QOS/CoS enablement - One of the main benefits of MPLS networks is the ability to support QoS/CoS, important for companies that run VOIP, videoconferencing, ERP, CRM, etc.

3. Improve performance - Because of the nature of MPLS services, network designers can reduce the number of "hops" between network points, which directly increases response times and improves application performance.

4. Disaster recovery - MPLS-based services enable disaster recovery efficiencies in a variety of ways. First, data centers and other key sites can be connected in multiple redundant ways (and thus to other sites on the network). Second, remote sites can quickly and easily reconnect to backup locations if needed (unlike with ATM and frame relay networks, in which either switched or backup permanent-virtual-circuits are required). "Flexibility for business recovery" is one of the biggest advantages for MPLS rollouts for multi-location corporations keeping in mind the importance of choosing the right MPLS providers.

5. Protect the network - Most companies are realizing that MPLS solutions represent "the wave of the future." Investment in legacy WAN services (ATM, frame) has pretty much stopped growing and virtually no companies plan to invest in ATM or frame services within the next six to 12 months. As a result, more companies are migrating to MPLS primarily to avoid being left behind. In the world of the information superhighway, in order to keep the edge, businesses have to keep ahead of the competition and be as efficient in running their operations. MPLS enables them to be as efficient as possible.

To get free quotes for MPLS service go to MPLS Cost

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Background On OC-3 Broadband - Bandwidth Network

While a majority of internet users worldwide know the distinction between such common phrases like dial-up, broadband, Cable, or DSL, there are few internet users who are familiar with OC service. While there are many different types of internet services including T1 lines and T3 connections, the most common OC (which stands for Optical Carrier) speeds are OC3, OC12, OC48, and OC192. While only the most pressing technological needs would call for a network system running on OC48 or OC192 connections, there are many small to midsize businesses, especially those with remote program servers and graphics engines or those who provide hosting or database services, who have already converted to, or would benefit greatly from converting to, an OC3 Broadband network.

So first off, what exactly is an OC3 connection? How does it differ from more traditional networking solutions? Primarily, it is a fiber optic cable network that conforms to the SONET standard, a type of administrator system developed for this type of network. The OC3 has many benefits, including ultra-fast connectivity for critical internet needs, and burstable bandwidth from 50 megabytes per second to 155 megabytes per second available from a variety of the most common providers like AT&T, Qwest, Sprint, MCI/Verizon, and Level3.

OC3 connections are, much like T3 lines, available in Burstable configuration. The benefits that an OC3 Burstable connection provides make sense for business owners. A Burstable connection not only improves efficiency by making use of the highest speed connection of our time, but also increases flexibility: with OC3 you can choose the level of bandwidth that fits the needs of your business, and you can order extra bandwidth at any point you deem it necessary. OC3 service also maximizes every particle of bandwidth available and significantly quells inefficiencies in the data transfer process using Packet Over SONET technology, an incredibly exclusive packet software that transfers large files with amazing ease and speed.

A fixed monthly cost that is primarily based on port speed, not usage, can help your business to manage its billing more smoothly, as well as often times saving you money since it's lowest cost per megabit. With an OC3 line, there is increased accessibility for your employees and customers because the necessary amount of bandwidth is provided, rather than a lower level than should be taken into consideration. Besides this, the sales of your business or company can be increased by wildly improving the quality of access between your organization and the customers who visit you online.

For a speed and data transfer rate this is undeniably the fastest in the industry. Your business would be smart to consider an OC3 connection, which is over 100 times faster than T1 and 20 times faster than T3. If you are looking for more information on which bandwidth providers provide OC3 connections and setup in your local area, visit OC3 Bandwidth , a free comprehensive service to assist you in finding the right solution at the best pricing.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Is Ethernet The End Of SONET Bandwidth Network Solutions?

Greg Collins and Mark Streaker wrote a great article in the Business Communication Review magazine about how Ethernet will eventually replace SONET. See Ethernet and SONET

[As a quick refresher for anyone needing it .... SONET establishes Optical Carrier (OC) levels from 51.8 Mbps (OC-1) to 9.95 Gbps (OC-192). OC3 bandwidth is probably the most common version in the business environment.]

Keep in mind that this article was published back in 2001, when the Internet bubble was in the midst of bursting.

Fast forward 6 years later and the telecommunication industry has fully recovered, carriers are now focusing on filling the capacity of their "dark fiber" sitting in the ground.

Mr. Collins has a great point, but at the pace at which carriers can afford to build out lit buildings I believe it will still be quite some time before we see the end of SONET. Investors aren't throwing money at Telecoms for more fiber like they did in the late 90's - carriers have to wait for existing footprint to fill up before charging up the next hill to plant their fiberous flag.

Now the other side of the build out assessment is more rosy in their view. Believing that leading carriers tend to be extremely willing to "lite" a building if reasonably close to their current presence .... and if the business case supports it. It may well be that we will soon see new carriers exploiting this space as (1) I agree the telcos are slow; and (2) the investment dollars appear to be coming back.

Keep in mind too that Ethernet over Copper, DS1, and DS3 are viable options currently. You do not have to physically be in a lit building to get fast and gig-E ethernet ..... when in fact you may still be able to get it if you are close enough to have the signal piped in using copper Cat-5, a naked DS1 or DS3 circuit.

If you want to get really technical and to the point about ethernet connectivity, here you go. Ethernet connectivity logically makes more sense than any other bandwidth connection that exists today ..... mainly because of the low cost compared to the traditional fiber connectivity. Let's face it, people are cost conscience nowadays due to the uncertainty of our economy and their cost of doing business. In all reality, if a business can surf faster, send emails and files faster, and so on ...... then time = $ and $ = time.

If your business is searching for an ethernet solution for your network infrastructure I suggest using this tool to find what's available to you: Ethernet Solution

If you're more inclined to use a SONET based solution try this free consultant service for assistance: OC3 Bandwidth Solution

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Friday, December 07, 2007

1.54 MBPS = T1 Speed! Perfect Solution For Small Business Computer Networks

T1 speed connections aren't just for large corporations any more. As pricing declines many people are opting for the more reliable and flexible service over a DSL connection. Also, the growing number of bandwidth hungry applications like ASP service, VOIP, streaming video and graphic heavy files is pushing the demand for more reliable connections. So, what does it take to get one of these connections?

Getting a connection isn't as complicated as it was just two years ago. Products have been streamlined and bundled for small businesses to be able to take advantage. While a standard connection was between $1,000 and $2,000 just a few years ago a small business can now find integrated service including both voice and data on a single line for as little as $3-500! For most companies this is comparable the price they already pay for DSL service and their phone service. So why not switch?

Switching to a more reliable connection is not only less expensive than a few years ago, the implementation has been streamlined. Companies quote a minimum of 30 days to perform an installation but some can perform the implementation in as few as 20 days! While this is possible with some companies not all companies are capable of this speed yet. Much of the implementation process is handled by the LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) and is out of the hand of your service provider. With the reduced price and streamlined implementation available you may want to reconsider your current connections and get a large company service at a small company price.

For assistance in finding just the right T1 solution for your small business .... at no cost to you .... I highly recommend using this service: T1 Service

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What Is The Ideal Bandwidth Solution For Critical Business Applications?

When deciding on a bandwidth solution for your business's computer network architecture there are many options to choose from .... and even more factors to consider in the process. Be sure to assess both business and technology implications to arrive at the best choice.

First, the increased availability of metrics for SONET-based facilities through the use of APS and rings (folded on traditional such as BLSR) should be considered. A well designed SONET - based interconnect or network can achieve 99.999% availability. This is something typical electronic interfaces would be hard pressed to do without gobs of additional complexity and layers.

Next concatenated STS-1 provide great flexibility to data-enabled equipment, permitting network operators to run larger and larger virtual pipes into their gear. In a data-centric world such as POE, MPLS and ATM .... this is invaluable. Replicating such flexibility with copper-based solutions is a kludge, not plausible, or a near impossibility.

Remember too that SONET-based solutions are pretty much limited to mostly North-American eye balls. If you were to open the scope to include SDH-based solutions, your addressable options now become global as far as installation locales.

Another factor for consideration is that SONET ADM and next generation multi-service switches permit an extraordinary amount of flexibility with regard to MUX/drop options, and have several OSI layers of ability and configuration within the single platform. This heavy reduces the amount of boxes required to complete the same functionality, as well as simplifies the overall network topology.

Lastly, the cost per usable Mbps payload drops considerably as you move up the bandwidth ladder. For example, the costs of a DS-1 worth of bandwidth plummets as you move from an OC-3, to OC-12, to an OC-48, etc.

But keep in mind that the geography where your business is located will yield different solutions. For example, you may be able to work on OC-3 Sonnet rings with dual entry points to your install Premise. This solution is far more bullit proof than any other solution because it is connected to multiple CO's .... and there is a backup ring that travels in an opposite direction from the primary ring. Plus the provider may well do the build out at no NRC to a bsuiness customer. Also, you may be able to bury the MRC so that the loop cost essentialy goes away. This type of buildout would normally cost between 350K and 475K through Qwest, Verizon or sprint .... and also have a similar MRC associated with it.

Now although the option of Metro Ethernet in this case is cheap bandwidth .... there is still a single point of failure with this product. Thus Metro E may not be the best choice if your applications can not tolerate single point failures.

This is an example of how every company will have slightly different needs .... and a solution at this level should be evaluated carefully.

Many suppliers will offer various options, but increasingly businesses are coming over to Ethernet based solutions. Smaller locations can be connected using 10 or 100 mbps Ethernet, often for the same price as SDSL. For a hub you want Gig-E or 10 Gig-E, and with the ability to provide point to multipoint or even meshed configurations. In this case Ethernet has much more flexibility than point to point circuits.

Ethernet can and does come in many different flavours. Over SDH or SONET you get guaranteed throughput ..... and either "all you can eat" bandwidth or upgradable in T1/E1 increments (depending on platform it can be even smaller increments).

Many platforms also allow flexible usage also. Pay for what you need only, but still be allowed to burst high for periods of time. This is very handy for backing up those application servers to a disaster recovery site overnight.

Ethernet is also available over SDH/SONET. So if a T1 or E1 is more cost effective, you still get the low cost of the Ethernet port to plug your equipment in. Naturally too Ethernet supports IP. So you can buy your Ethernet at Layer 2 or 3 - depending on your own organizations requirements for security, ease of management, and so forth.

Of course OCx and STM-y still have their place in the world. But with interfaces now going up towards 100 G for Metro and Long Haul .... Ethernet will continue to scale in speed and grow in popularity. The attractiveness once driven primarily by cost effectiveness is fast adding performance as a factor.

So there you have it. Your primary options for high demand critical business applications should be SONET based OCx solutions .... and Ethernet based solutions. Remember to weigh both your specific business and technology implications in your decision. Whatever direction you go in ..... do your homework and choose wisely.

If you're looking for a SONET based OCx solution try here first: OC3 Bandwidth

If you're looking for an ethernet based solution I suggest starting here: Ethernet Solution

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Blackberry 8800 vs. Blackberry 8820 vs. Blackberry Curve 8310?

For many looking at getting themselves a Blackberry .... choosing between the Blackberry 8800, Blackberry 8820, and the Blackberry Curve 8310 can be a tad confusing.

So here's a few tidbits to help clear the fog a little bit .... and help you on your way.

The Blackberry 8800 and 8820 are practically identical (dimensions and features). However, only the 8820 has WLAN (802.11b/g). The Blackberry Curve 8310, while slightly smaller, has a 2MP camera. The 8310 2MP camera is excellent for a phone camera. Plus the 8310 plays movies/music, has built in GPS works with Google Maps, Infospace, Yahoo GO (all free), and of course Telenav. Actually all three of the 8800, 8820, and 8310 have built in GPS navigation with Blackberry Maps.

It seems to me that the Curve 8310 is the superior product with the exception of not having WiFi. The often made comment in wireless discussion forums is that .... "the 8310is by far the best smartphone/pda/mobile computing device Ive ever owned". That's pretty high praise.

If you're looking for a Blackberry ..... or any PDA or Smart Phone (or cell phone too for that matter) .... here's a handy online tool that will make your search much easier. Includes listing and comparison of what's available in your location for phone, style, call plan provider, and even accessories.

Smart Phone Deals

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