Thursday, February 25, 2010

Advantages And Disadvantages Of GPON

Does GPON have any advantages over Gig ethernet over long distance fibre?

I’m going to presume we're talking IEEE 802.3ah GEPON (Gig Ethernet over PON).

PON is designed as an access technology not a network interconnect technology. If the application is private campus LAN interconnect rather than Metro Access layer / central services -> subscribers (FTTx type stuff) then PON probably isn't the right technology as you'd have to add a PON line cards (OLT), splitters and subscriber CPE (ONU) + configure / manage the PON network + you probably would have asymmetrical data rates on the PON links.

I think the main GEPON advantage is around the passive nature of the infrastructure (and so very high reliability). There are some other potential benefits around PON in that you can guarantee bandwidth to services / subscribers (as you allocated TDMA slots to subscribers). Staying with traditional (active) gig ethernet for Campus type applications means one infrastructure, ethernet media port flexibility and just banging in the right 1000Base-X transceivers - so if there are just a few links that's probably going to be cheaper than using use PON anyway.

PON uses passive (unpowered) splitters in the distribution so the maximum length for a subscriber from the OLT is usually shorter than a AON connection BUT you'll need powered device(s) in the network between the headend and the subscriber.

Remember PON is a shared architecture through the use of passive splitters. So a GPON solution can serve many location dependent upon how you structure your splitter arrangements. GigE is a point to point structure and good for Business class access tails etc.

GPON tends to be used by a carrier to provide commercial grade access to many locations in a cost effective manner (excluding the fibre dig)...

Also look at the MEF and try to come to grips with the E-Line types of service ….. as these are also useful applications.

Should you need help in deciding what GigE solution would work best for your given business application …. take advantage of the free assistance available through:

Ethernet Bandwidth Solutions

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Apple iPad - Hit or Miss?

Is the Apple iPad the best thing since sliced bread? Or is it just another Gee Whiz Wow gadget that'll blast off at first then flame out just as quickly?

Given the Apple mastery of generating excitement for new products .... and their acumen in actually delivering what they promise ..... IMHO I doubt iPad will be disappear into the "could have been" category. I think we've seen a definite shift in the realm of what is now possible.

The Apple iPad garnered a lot of attention initially in the pre-launch marketing .... and then even more after Steve Job left the stage. However, it seems a lot of tech folk are disappointed with what has been left out. Yet others are excited that the iPad is going to make technology easy for Grandma to use.

What do you think?

Will the iPad do for Apple what the iPod did ..... or is it destined to be a Newton failure?

I believe the iPad will be a success ..... with Apple's having created yet another device further defining what will become a broad niche market for a special type of casual user / use. The iPad will likely find popularity in multiple rooms of a home or abroad. Most important of all they will not cannibalize sales from the iPhone. Rather iPad will compliment iPhone and help further strengthen the brand of Apple

Not to throw a downer into the mix .... but in the inital release the iPad does have a few missing items. These are Camera, USB Port, and Multitasking. The ability to store and edit documents also needs to be included. Once these are in place .... likely in a future upgrade .... the device will be very useful. One nitpick I have is that I don't like the idea of installing applications via Itunes ..... as this restricts choice. So .... yes, there's still work to do on the iPad. But this is a 1st release ..... so expect improvements over time.

Now if VOIP becomes a possibility with iPad then this is excellent news too ..... and a real opportunity for the present AND future of Unified Communications.

Kepp in mind that what is left out is usually what makes Apple devices simple and elegant to use. I think it is way to early to tell for this just released version of iPad. I don't think we will know the true impact until this time next year.

Personally I think iPad will be a hit because this type of product is ready to be exploited. The MessagePad failed because it tried to do too many things before its time .... and did not have the connectivity options that we have now. Also, other PDAs were coming out that were a fraction of the size, which was important. The pricing at the time was a bit steep for what some folks got.

Even so, from a useability point of view .... the intial release of The iPad knocks everthing else aside. Microsoft had every opportunity to develop a similar product but has struggled to deliver. Perhaps its not too late (now that they know what everyone wants).

What we need is competition, not complaints and snide comments from other manufacturers. We have a real opportunity here to really use Unified Communications. I say go for it.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

How To Explain SIP To A Non-Technical Person

Good luck with this one, trying to explain SIP to technical people is tough enough.

Here’s some very simple short statements that may help …..

- SIP enables telephony over the internet network

- SIP allows us to packetize and prioritize voice traffic over digital circuits.

- SIP is a way voice is packed into a digital signal that is then enabled for transfer through the internet.

- SIP digs a channel in an IP network so voice/video can flow between two (or more) places. When you finish talking, SIP shuts the channel up.

- It's an internet protocol like HTTP for web browsing, only this one is used to make a phone-like connection between computers, pda, voip-phones or other devices that can talk over the internet.

- SIP is a protocol that allows unlike mediums to communicate. All you really need to know is that SIP is the new PRI and is more cost effective from a trunking perspective.

- SIP has nothing to do with the internet.... regardless of where, when, or how voice traffic is being transmitted. f it's being sent as 0's and 1's... SIP is what differentiates voice from all other data.

- SIP enables you to eliminate the cost of maintaining two networks (POTS + Ethernet) by putting your phone traffic on your Ethernet network.

- SIP is a business-class, integrated voice and data service with connectivity provided to your IP-PBX (a telephone switch that supports voice over IP)

Or … you may explain to a non-technical person by describing the SIP VoIP operation like this:

1. Callers and callees are identified by SIP addresses.

2. When making a SIP call, a caller first locates the appropriate server and then sends a SIP request. (The most common SIP operation is the invitation).

3. SIP or VoIP is a technology that allows you to make calls between devices, be it over the local network or over the Internet (Managed or un-managed). SIP is a standards based technology that behaves very much like your old telephone line but just uses the Internet as its medium.

4. Instead of directly reaching the intended callee, a SIP request may be redirected or may trigger a chain of new SIP requests by proxies.

5. Users can register their location(s) with SIP servers.

6. SIP messages can be transmitted either over TCP or UDP

7. SIP messages are text based and use the ISO 10646 character set in UTF-8 encoding.

8. Lines must be terminated with CRLF.

9. Much of the message syntax and header field are similar to HTTP.

10. Messages can be request messages or response messages.

Now you are armed with some basic background in simple (or as simple possible) terms …. to explain what SIP is and does. Should you need help of a more technical nature in deciding what SIP solution would work best for your given business application …. take advantage of the free assistance available through:

Business VoIP Solution

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What Is SIP?

In the digital age, SIP is analogous to the the dial, ringer and hookswitch on a conventional landline (POTS-Plain Old Telephone Service) telephone. Where the POTS telephone made use of the analog domain (DC voltages and currents, audible tones and large AC ringing voltages) for signaling and supervision, using rotary dialing or touch-tones for telling the telco where to route your call, the hookswitch for initiating/answering/terminating the call, and the ringer for alerting you to an incoming call, SIP uses specialized messages sent over packet networks to do the routing, signaling and supervision over digital networks.

Old style telephony depends on analog (continuously varying) voice signals between the customer premise and the telephone company central office, while modern SIP telephony digitizes voice signals (discrete 1 & 0 voltage levels) at the source, and transmits them over packet networks. The digitized Voice is sent over the Packet Network using Internet Protocol, much the same as data, hence the familiar acronym VoIP, Voice over Internet Protocol.

Note that VoIP and SIP can be used together, but there are other signaling methods aside from SIP. Skype, for example, uses a proprietary messaging protocol , whereas SIP is more of a near-universal standard. Hence, SIP networks tend to interoperate well, while it's difficult to make a VoIP call between SIP and Skype without traversing a specialized gateway.

SIP is one of several VoIP protocols like Megaco H.248, MGCP, RVP over IP, SAPv2, SDP, SGCP and Skinny.

To put it in very basic terms …….

SIP says it all. Just picture (pitcher ;-) a glass of water.

It's not the glass (network) nor the water (the communication itself).

SIP is the straw, the signalling channel which sends the water to the right location (your mouth).

Should you need help in deciding what SIP solution would work best for your given business application …. take advantage of the free assistance available through:

Business VoIP Solution

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

How To Find Cheap Phone Calls, Cell Phones, VoIP Phones, & Internet Access

Why pay more than you absolutely have to for Phone Calls, Cell Phones, VoIP Phones, & Internet Access??

Here's a free to use Best Rate calculator available which allows you to input your phone usage patterns and receive back in real time (on your computer screen) an analysis of your phone bill comparing about 20 available providers in your area (US only). [works for home and business usage]

Types of services in the analysis include traditional dial-up phone lines....can also include calling cards and 800 toll free numbers if you need them. Fees are included too. Analysis covers local, in-state toll, interstate, and international calling.

You're welcome to use the calculator anytime to see if you can better manage your phone costs for business and/or personal needs.

Simply visit this website and see what you come up with:

Cheap Phone Call

If you have an interest in a similar "search and compare" function for cell phones, cell phone accessories, and cellular plans....you can do that here too:

Cheap Cell Phones

Should you be more interested in a broadband phone (VoIP)...and the savings that come with that....you can learn more about special deals for flat rate unlimited calling also here:

Cheap VoIP Phone Plans

If you are looking for high speed internet access at the best possible price ... you can find and compare multiple providers available by location here:

Cheap Internet Access

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

How To Save Money On Computer Notebooks, Custom PCs, Servers, Handhelds, Business Software, & More....

You can get GREAT deals on computers, monitors, laptops, servers, handhelds/PDAs, and more. How about EXACTLY what you want ... at a big SAVINGS .... with a CUSTOM "build-to-order" Computer or Laptop? How about a wide selection of business & productivity software? There's even more to choose from .... and SAVE .... with Camcorders, Digital Cameras, DVD Players, GPS Navigators, MP3 Players, TVs, Cables & wires, Routers & Switches, Office Supplies, Key Boards, Monitors, Printers, Webcams, Computer cases, Hard drives, Motherboards, and Operating Systems. Whatever you need .... we've got it OR will build it .... for LESS.

Whatever computer or electronics related item you may need....you'll find it here. A veritable superstore for the techie in you:

Electronics Superstore

Here's a sampling of what you'll find..........

Components
Barebone systems
Computer cases
Hard drives
More...

Computers
Custom PC's
Desktop/workstations
Notebooks
Handhelds/PDAs
Servers
More...

Electronics
Cameras
Portable Music
TVs
More...

Networking
Cables & wires
Security
Routers & gateways
Wireless
More...

Office Supplies
Binders
Files & filing supplies
Paper
Pens
More...

Peripherals
Keyboards
Monitors
Mice & game controls
Printers
More...

Software
Accounting & finance
Business & productivity
Games
Operating systems
Security & antivirus
More...

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Router Solution For A Small Business Needing A Reliable Cost Effective High Bandwidth Internet Connection (e.g. DS3 Bandwidth)

The simplest solution is indeed a specialist off the shelf router which handles dual WAN and understands failover with failback and load balancing etc. However there's a problem with most kit currently available in the SoHo market; they're not especially robust and resilient and they often don't have good tech support.

By contrast enterprise market solutions from the likes of Cisco aren't cheap and require a level of Cisco awareness that can take months or years to acquire.

There's another and more complex issue to consider when you have 2 WANs from diverse suppliers; session failure. Packets for a specific session - such as a connection to a web browser - generally travel on only one of the 2 WANs - in other words you make a connection to your bank via only one WAN link and the return packets from your bank come in on the same link. If that WAN fails or becomes unreliable during the session the packets won't magically start travelling down the 2nd WAN. You've lost your session and you have to start again. For some environments this isn't too critical; for others it can be life threatening. Only you can judge the risks.

However if you have 2 WANs from the _same_ supplier then it may be possible to arrange for bonding and failover/failback to take place at their end of the link; in those circumstances the packets _WILL_ continue to flow even if one WAN fails. Some suppliers here in Europe will even supply managed routers to maintain the services for you; can't speak to the US market but I'd be surprised if similar services were not on offer..

If you decide to go with a diverse supply using 2 or more WANs then the simpler alternative to buying a specialist dual WAN router is to roll your own solution using an older PC [such as a P3 of circa 1ghz with 512mb ram and a small disk] with multiple network interfaces and one or other of Smoothwall or pfSense - which are open source distributions of specialist firewalls designed to do exactly what you describe: deliver failover/failback and load balancing etc.

Installation of pfSense in particular is relatively pain free and can be up and running in about 90 minutes or so if one takes the trouble to read the docs carefully [shock horror: an IT professional should RTFM?].

For help navigating the maze of issues to find the most cost effective solution …. and comparing what is available from multiple vendors (e.g. T1 Bandwidth, DS3 Bandwidth) … I recommend the free services found at Bandwidth Solution. Their help includes a low price guarantee from the providers they list.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Why Should You (Or Should You Not) Get An iPhone?

The reasons why you should choose the iPhone are:

- Ability to check email from anywhere

- Ability to find my way with either the Maps or the Say Where app (great free app - you just speak where you want to go and it maps it out for you so you don't need to type when you're driving)

- Ability to easily find what I'm looking for - even if it's a last minute thing - iWant app is an awesome free app that allows you to find anything from gas stations to cinemas - comes in handy when you're in a new area

- Ability to use the iPod - don't need to carry around a separate piece of technology to listen to music

Basically it comes down to the fact that you now have one piece of equipment that is your Phone, Calendar, Music Player, Maps, Camera (when you actually need one). Being that your iPhone is used for everything …. make sure you keep backups - sure don't want to lose anything.

As far as reasons not to choose the iPhone, it just works until ...

... the internal battery dies outside of warranty

... you want to enter more than one APN (commercial data plan, corporate mail server)

... you want to use a music service other than the inbuilt iPod while ... well, doing anything else other than using that single service

... you want to do background downloading

... you want to store more than 32GB of stuff on memory cards and swap them

The iPhone is great for consumer grade stuff. Android has been built to do a little more heavy lifting. Plus, the Nexus One is more powerful and cheaper.

If you’re in the market for any of the iPhone, Android, or Nexus One …. You can get more details and order online (at a discount) via Mobile Phone Online Store

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