Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Gigabit Ethernet {GIG-E}...Speed, Speed, Speed

What is Gigabit Ethernet?

Gigabit Ethernet, or "Gig-E" for short, is ultra-high capacity IP transit service offered to enterprises around the world by way of a fiber-optic cable that forms the backbone of the communication link between the carrier and the end-user. The word "Gigabit" refers to the capacity of the link, which is 1,000 Megabytes, or a Gigabyte, per second. The range of Gigabit Ethernet is typically between 1,000 Mb (1 Gb) and 40,000 Mb (40 Gb). Researchers today are in the process of creating industry standards for 100 Gb Ethernet, but that may still be a few years away.

The term "Ethernet" simply refers to the type of IP handoff that takes place at each end of the connection. Gig-E, unlike copper-based services that are typically available just about everywhere, is limited solely to structures where fiber has been built-in/installed/connected by a Gig-# service provider.

What is the difference between Metro Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet?

The main difference between these two services is primarly the speeds involved. Both travel over fiber and utilize Ethernet hand-offs. The term 'Metro Ethernet' is usually reserved for lower speed connections from between 10 Mb and 1 Gb. Conversely, the term 'Gigabit Ethernet' is used for bandwidth north of 1 Gb.

There is also a great difference in the way the two services are used. Metro Ethernet is commonly used in WAN designs that connect many different physical offices of a particular compapny. The endpoints of this network are commonly located in the same metropolitan region, and hence the name, "metro" Ethernet.

Gigabit Ethernet, on the other hand, is the Rolls Royce of IP transit. Typical users of this kind of bandwidth are companies whose very job is to be in the communications business themselves, like stock exchanges, medical companies, and small communications providers who buy the service from the big boys. Gig-E lines are also very common in datacenter-to-datacenter links that companies use within their global WAN infrastructure. Think of it as the main interstate in the landscape of the internet. It doesn't go everywhere, just from one major city to the next.

Gigabit is also very popular in international WAN deployments, and crossing the ocean doesn't come cheap. Transcontinential Gig-E lines can run into the hundres of thousands of dollars, if you don't know who will offer you the best deal. That's where we come in!

What to look for in a Gigabit Ethernet Provider

After helping clients find Gigabit Ethernet services for over 10 years, we've learned a few things. Here are the highlights:

* Up-Front Fees
* Cross-Connection Fees
* Ability to Upgrade
* Installation
* Term Commitments
* Cost

For FREE help designing and sourcing the best fit GIG-E Network Solution for YOUR business....simply ask HERE:

Gigabit Ethernet Network Solution

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Metro Ethernet....Get It Where You Can

What is Metro Ethernet?

Metro Ethernet, or "Metro-E" for short, is a high capacity broadband service offered to businesses around the world using a fiber optic cable for transit between the carrier network and the end-user. The word "metro" refers to the fact that the fiber optic run spans from one side of the city to another, and "Ethernet" refers to the type of IP handoff involved at each end of the connection. Unlike copper-based TDM services that are available just about everywhere, Metro-E is limited only to buildings in which fiber has been connected by a commercial internet service provider

What is the difference between Ethernet over Copper and Metro Ethernet?

The main difference between these two broadband delivery methods is the physical connection between the end-user and the carrier backbone. Both technologies employ Ethernet protocol, but the connections are what makes all of the difference.

In the EoC scenario, the carrier transmits the signal from it's backbone network to a LEC Central Office nearest the end-user. From there the signal rides over the LEC's copper pairs to the end-user's building, and from there into the carrier's router, and into the customer's LAN switch. In the Metro Ethernet scenario, the packets start in the carrier's backbone network (or from the data center where the end-user's private/public cloud is located) and run directly to end-user's building... directly. Metro-E is a direct as it gets.

"FreedomFire Communications was able to find a carrier that paid for a full build-out at no cost to my company and now we're enjoying our 250 MB fiber connection."
-Stephen Eades, REF Capital, LLP

What should I look for when purchasing Metro Ethernet services?

After helping clients find Metro Ethernet services for over 10 years, we've learned a few things. Here are the highlights:

* Upfront Fees - Unless your building is already lit, there is going to be some expense to build fiber into your building. The real question is: who is going to eat it? The answer: it depends. If you will commit to a higher speed (read: higher monthly spend), and a 3-year + term commitment, the amount a carrier is willing to swallow goes up. If you are looking for a 10MB connection on a 1-year term agreement, odds are the carrier is going to pass all of the construction costs on to you. But do not fear, if you can pool a group of companies in your building together, the carrier will see more revenue per month coming from your building and that could help justify a free build for you.

* Cross-Connection Fees - even if there is already fiber in a building, like data centers, a carrier can (and probably will) still charge you to plug-in to their network from your network. These fees typically aren't very much, but don't be shocked if you come across them.

* Term Commitments - every Metro Ethernet provider will ask you to commit to a 1, 2, 3, or even 5 year contract. There are some excellent discounts (on the order of 15-20% off) for you if sign longer term agreements. Second, customers who sign longer commitments are more likely to see the carrier swallow the entire construction cost (if construction is required).

* Upgrade-ability - the great thing about Metro Ethernet is that you can change (up or down) Expect to pay more for additional bandwidth, which can be upgraded in less than 24 hours from your request. Some carriers will let you 'burst' for a specified time and only charge you for the time your burst, keeping your bill nice and low.

* Installation - the Achilles heal of fiber is that construction can take a LONG time. Right-of-Entry permits, City permits, and construction crew schedules all have to allign for you to get your fiber, assuming the building you are in is "dark".

Important Considerations

The other main difference between EoC and Metro-E is the bandwidth capacity. Electrons are used to communicate information over the copper conduit, and when electrons move down a wire to create a current, they create consequently a magnetic field. Simply put, magnetic fields act like a un-greased wheel on a car, creating a sort of electronic friction that slowly degrades the signal each foot traveled down the wire. Fiber, the transport media in Metro-Ethernet, is a tube of glass - surrounded by a dielectric coating, that conducts light, as in photons. Light, which does NOT generate a magnetic field, can be transmitted in a strand of fiber almost an unlimited distance at close to the speed of light - which we know is very fast. The primary limitation on fiber data transmission is the pace at which the physical switches and routers can process the information. Today's best hardware, coupled with modern data compression techniques, allow for a transmission rate of 40 Gigabytes per second. Within the next five years it is expected that 100 Gig of capacity will be available through the fiber already in the ground. THAT is fast!

"So, why doesn't everyone just use fiber-based Metro Ethernet?" you ask. There is little question that Fiber optic transmission is important to wide area network architecture. Several businesses have already made the decision (and investment) to deploy fiber in their private WAN networks. However, total "fiber miles" in the United States is still quite a bit lower than "copper miles". This trend will continue until carriers and Cable companies invest billions of dollars to build up their fiber assets to reach the point of ubiquity with the copper network.

For FREE assistance sourcing the best fit Metro-Ethernet solution for your organization....simply ask HERE:

Metro Ethernet Solutions

Metro Ethernet technology has been widely accepted in enterprise deployments with a continued increase in popularity. Since its inception, it has emerged as one of the most cost-effective transport technologies used by service providers to connect subscribers and business customers alike. The technology has aided in the transformation of how data is delivered in today’s modern networks ranging from replacing legacy TDM circuits, mobile backhaul, Ethernet over SONET/ SDH, RPR and Ethernet transport. Metro Ethernet provides an effective solution to the challenges of bandwidth scalability and granularity to meet increasing customer demands.

Metro Ethernet is Ethernet service that is provided in a metropolitan area, such as any major city in the U.S. Telecom providers and carriers provide many central offices in large cities to meet the needs of densely populated areas. The result of these multiple CO's is that most large cities are meshed in fiber and therefore Ethernet is more widely available to businesses located in these larger cities. Metro Ethernet bandwidth pricing is established to a large degree by determining the distance between a telecom provider's central office (CO) that is fiber-fed, and the business location where the circuit terminates. Another dynamic involved in determining Metro Ethernet bandwidth pricing is the number of telecom providers who can supply Metro Ethernet to a specific location. As a general rule, the more providers who can supply a location, the lower the prices will be.

Examples of Metro Ethernet would be Fast Ethernet (Fast-E) and Gigabit Ethernet (Gig-E). A Fast-E circuit is 100 Megabits per second of bandwidth and a Gig-E circuit is 1000 mbps of bandwidth. Both Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet can also be provided in fractional increments. Fractional Fast-E is provided at any bandwidth increment from 10 mbps up to 100 mbps, fractional Gig-E is provided at any bandwidth increment from 100 mbps up to 1000 mbps. For example a customer could order a fractional Fast-E circuit at 20 mbps or a fractional Gig-E circuit at 400 mbps.

Metro Ethernet is often burstable. In order to obtain burstable bandwidth, for example, a business can order a burstable Fast-E circuit and pay for a minimum of 20 mbps of bandwidth per month, if this meets their normal requirements. However, if this same business has unique periods throughout the billing month where they need short bursts of increased bandwidth, with burstable Fast-E, they will receive extra bandwidth in real-time while having the ability to burst all the way up to 100 mbps as needed. They will only be charged for the bandwidth they used and for the period of time that they used it. This same concept applies to burstable Gig-E when bandwidth over 100 mbps is needed.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Satellite Broadband...Perfect Solution For Rural Businesses

What is Satellite Fixed Wireless

Satellite fixed wireless is an internet service that delivers broadband service through radio waves, rather than cable in the ground. While speeds will vary between different satellite broadband providers, they normally have a maximum of 15 Mbps download speed.

Benefits of Satellite Fixed Wireless

* Satellite broadband can be a great solution for businesses in rural areas with limited options for high speed internet or for redundancy/business continuity to a primary circuit. In regards to diversity, even if all the data circuits into a building are compromised, with a fixed wireless service, a business can still maintain reliable internet access.

* A majority of people in North America are covered and are eligible for this service.

* Could be a more cost effective solution for a business where building out underground circuits would incur costly construction expenses.

* For businesses that need immediate connection and cannot wait for months while a connection is built, installation of the satellite broadband antennas at the client’s location is also extremely quick and can be done in a matter of days.

Things to consider

The biggest concerns to be aware of when considering this service are data caps and weather conditions. Data caps allow internet traffic up to a certain cap. If a customer surpases their cap, additional charges could be applied. The service In storms and adverse weather, the signal can be interrupted. Also with the distance that the signal travels, satellite internet can experience higher latency.

The carrier that FreedomFire Communications partners with to provide this invaluable service is ViaSat. Using the world’s highest capacity satellites, they offer service to more than 80% of the population in the US and they continue to advance in technology to make this service available to the rest and eliminate data caps to service.

For FREE asstance designing and sourcing a Satellite Broadband solution for your business...simply ask HERE:

Satellite Broadband Solution

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Disaster Recovery For The Enterprise IT Environment

Many businesses have an incorrect understanding of what Backup & Data Disaster Recovery is. Data Backup is the act of copying and preserving your data in case of theft, fire, or any other natural disaster. Data Disaster Recovery is an action plan on how to restore and integrate that data back into your working systems, minimizing as much negative effects as possible to the company.

Backup & Data Disaster Recovery is simply the coupling of these two separate, though complementary services. In the event of a data loss, a company can have peace of mind knowing that their database has been copied AND migrated successfully back into their systems.

Benefits of Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery

1.Off-premises storage keeps data free from the damage.

2.Customer data is encrypted, allowing for piece of mind.

3.It eliminates the need and cost for physical storage space.

4.The solution can be designed to mirror the database in real-time.

5.The implementation of restoring lost data is quick, easy, and fast!

In today’s digital age, there is nothing more valuable to a company than its data. Data is literally the life-blood of a company. Without data coursing through its veins, the company would cease to live. For many companies, data loss could be a loss of patient or customer files. For others, it could be losing legal or financial records. Although data loss could mean different things for different companies, it translates into the same thing: closing company doors for good.

Studies have shown just how vital data is to a company, and how massive the ramifications can be if data were to be lost. For companies that experience a major data loss, over 40% of them closed their doors forever within only the first several weeks. The other 50% closed within two years of their data loss, leaving only a measly 6-10% of companies surviving their data loss.

In order for a company to get up and running quickly and efficiently after a tragedy, they need to purchase a tried-and-true Disaster Recovery solution from a premier provider. FreedomFire Communications has several premier providers, like C7 Data Centers, NaviSite or New Cloud, that can assist with any client’s needs they may have. Allow FreedomFire Communications to help you with your future!

For FREE assistance designing and sourcing the best fit Disaster Recovery solution for your organization....simply ask HERE:

Disaster Recovery Solutions

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Business Continuity For An Enterprise IT Environment

Nearly every telecommunications service will at some point experience downtime, necessitating a discussion of Business Continuity solutions. The potential impact of such downtime is an essential consideration in any solution design process. If minimal impact is expected; then lower-cost, potentially less-reliable solutions may be considered. If significant impact is expected or has been previously experienced, then premium quality, potentially-complex uptime solutions must be considered to ensure business continuity.

FreedomFire Communications is a national master agent providing clients with access to Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery solutions from all major providers. Popular remedies include Network Monitoring (to provide early notification of any service interruption) and Network Redundancy services (to provide immediate fail-over for essential services).

FOR AN AVERAGE BUSINESS, 4.7% OF THEIR ANNUAL REVENUE IS LOST TO THEIR NETWORKS GOING DOWN UNEXPECTEDLY.

Network Monitoring

Network Monitoring is offered by most network service providers -- either as a “managed” service by the provider, or as a portal-based “self service” performed by the customer. Simple and complex data and reporting are available on all components of the customer’s network. Additionally, changes and reconfiguration to the network may be performed (often in real time) to manipulate services or restore functionality after an outage.

Network Redundancy

Network Redundancy refers to backup systems able to replicate all or portions of the customer’s primary network. Low-cost cable services are an attractive backup alternative to more complex primary fiber-based systems. The ability to re-route toll-free number destinations, or the capacity to increase available bandwidth at still-operating locations are examples of Redundancy services.

Impacts to a business from telecommunications service interruptions vary widely; but nearly always affect Financial, Productivity and Security standards. Financial considerations during a period of telecom downtime include sales revenue loss, diminished investment return, and high costs of temporary recovery measures.

Consequences of IT Downtime

Productivity losses incurred in the absence of Business Continuity measures include idled employees, inaccessible data, and diversion of resources normally needed elsewhere.

Security is often compromised during service interruptions, as employees revert to alternative methods of electronic communication, internet and systems access, and workarounds to organizational processes.

While the term “Business Continuity” is most often used, it also references what was previously described as “Disaster Recovery”. Both are critical elements of business IT and Telecommunications planning; and both involve the immediate and real-time products, services, practices and measures involved in minimizing downtime and in restoring essential and desired services.

FreedomFire Communications is the Master Agent uniquely qualified to assist clients in evaluating and addressing their needs for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services. FreedomFire Communications Support, Engineering, Complex Sales, and Field Sales teams have extensive experience in consultatively comparing and recommending appropriate Supplier services for these critical needs.

For FREE assistance designing and sourcing the best fit Business Continuity solution for your organization....simply ask here:

Business Continuity Solutions

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Desktop Virtualization...Innovative And Cost Efficient Approach To Daily Business Computing Tasks

What is Desktop Virtualization

Desktop Virtualization is the concept of separating a desktop environment from the physical hardware or client that is used to access it. Often allowing a organizations to use cheaper resources as the display client because actual computing is being done on a high density server resource typically. Allowing the look and feel of a desktop often accessed by a browser interface. This allows lower end clients to be used for longer periods of time. Where they ultimately become an interface device for the end user to experience interacting with the remote desktop.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a desktop service allowing hosts to use their desktop on resources such as blade or remote servers. End users can access their desktops from many different locations and allowing them to have the same experience if they are at a home, office or any other office for that matter. It administrators have a single point of standardization, security policy enforcement, and administration. Allowing them to centrally maintain images as opposed to responding at the physical computers.

Remote desktop services is a windows based component which allows a user to control a remote computer as they were working on that server. Or Citrix XenApp is another similar remote terminal for services.

Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a cloud offering that many Cloud providers use as a Client has needs for a desktop but allow a cloud provider to take the responsibility of maintaining the underlying compute, and storage infrastructure. In many cases also providing software licensing that is needed to provide seats on a monthly basis.

For FREE asstance sourcing the best fit Desktop Virtualization solution for your enterprise simply ask here:

Desktop Virtualization Solutions

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Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Virtual Servers....Smart Choice Saves MonEy And Improves Efficiency For Company IT

Virtual servers allow you to save a substantial amount of money by leasing space in a data center and then using less servers by partitioning them. And forget about waiting endlessly for it to be set up. You can do setups and make changes in a matter of minutes, not days, or even weeks.

Benefits of Virtual Servers

* Ability to purchase a server that is partitioned into multiple servers
* Use Virtual servers for:
- server emails
- website servers
- development servers for IT
* In the past you’d have to buy multiple servers for each one of those. This technology allows you to buy less servers and partition them. This saves a lot of money
* It can be set up in a matter of minutes
* You can purchase on-demand as a pay-as-you-go, or sign up for monthly programs
* Very Scalable, you can turn it up or down at will
* All the software is shared so you can use the software as you need it.

Things to Consider

* Price and how you get charged
* Is it a shared service?
* Do you want to share a box with other companies, which is cheaper, or do you want your own box, which is more secure, but costs more?

Virtual Private Servers

You have the added security of not sharing anything, you get your own box. Everything in that server is for your use and all computing power is yours.

For FREE assistance determining and sourcing the best Virtual Server solution for your organization...simply ask here:

Virtual Server Solution

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Saturday, December 05, 2015

Cloud Backup {aka Remote Data Backup}....How To Make Sure Your Data Is Safe, Reliable, Protected

Cloud Backup, also known as Remote data backup, is an excellent tool used by many enterprise and small-medium size businesses to ensure data and other electronic files are backed up on a consistent basis. Many times, due to it being classified as remote it is commonly located in some type of data center or offsite facility. Remote data backup is also known through terms like Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) or managed backup service as well.

These services are usually built on scheduling platform through one of the many suppliers in the FreedomFire Communications portfolio. The platform determines when and how frequently critical data is identified for backup. The software is also efficient with replicating only items that have changed and are in need of being backed up. Typically, encryption is required as many of these services use internet access to connect end users with cloud providers. Encryption allows the files to be transmitted securely.

There are many products available in this space. Some are targeted to high end enterprise customers and services while others are targeting to single end user configurations.

Benefits of Cloud Backup

* Access Everywhere
* Scalable
* Billing Metric (unlimited or metered)
* Shared
* Security
* Enterprise Class Backup
For FREE assistance designing and sourcing the best fit Cloud Backup solution for your organization, simply ask here:

Cloud Backup Solution

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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Cloud Security....What You NEED To Know BEFORE Migrating To The Cloud

Cloud Services are not a just a whimsical trending fad that will soon go away. It is a real solution that has many facets enabling businesses everywhere to lower costs, backup their data, and increase efficiency. But with this wonderfully enabling technology comes its need for special attention to security.

A few Staggering STATISTICS About Cloud Computing

* By 2015, end-user spending on cloud services was estimated to be more than $180 billion
* It is predicted that the global market for cloud equipment will reach $79.1 billion by 2018
* 82% of companies reportedly saved money by moving to the cloud

Working Together with Your Cloud Provider to Stay Secure

Provider Responsibilities....

* Infrastructure is secure
* Client’ data and applications are protected
* Compliance with federal regulations

User Responsibilities...

* Take measures to protect their application
* Use strong passwords
* Strong authentication measures to secure their cloud provided assets.

How do you ensure you are working in a secure cloud service?

Having an established security plan with an audit trail is a must have for anyone using Cloud services. Cloud users must ensure that their cloud providers adequately have security measures.

Cloud providers must provide a layered approach to security. There must be firewall type control to keep people out. There must also be Preventative controls like strong password requirements and credential changes, Detection control where access and behavior must be monitored for anomalies, and Corrective control where restoring systems to full function from backup methods is fast and responsive. Cloud computing is one of the fasted growing segments of the IT industry and as a national master agent, FreedomFire Communications has access to provide many of these cloud services to its clients.

As with other major business decisions, an enterprise must evaluate the benefits and be prepared to address any risks and challenges cloud adoption brings. Moving applications to the cloud and accessing the benefits means first evaluating specific data security issues and cloud security issues. As more information on individuals and companies is placed in the cloud, companies MUST address cloud computing security issues.

Common Cloud Security Threats

* Data Breaches
* Data Loss
* Service Traffic Hijacking
* Insecure APIs
* Denial of Service
* Malicious Insiders
* Abuse of Cloud Services
* Insufficient Due Diligence
* Shared Technology

Solutions for Cloud Security Concerns

Cloud computing security issues include preserving confidentiality and privacy of data. The primary solutions for these problems include encryption or tokenization of data stored in the cloud. New solutions have emerged for improving cloud security and protecting sensitive data and important applications. One solution is the cloud encryption gateway, which helps enterprises address cloud security issues. The gateway can serve as a proxy “entry” to a cloud application, replacing sensitive data with encrypted or tokenized values for transmission and storage in the cloud.

For FREE assistance designing and securing the best fit cloud security solution for YOUR organization....simply ask us here:

Cloud Security Solutions

Data is shifting rapidly to the cloud and hackers are constantly looking to breach these valuable data sources. Take a look at one scenario that illustrates the importance of security on the cloud.

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