Communication Line Redundancy

One of the items many of my clients have plans for is Backup for their computer systems, what they don’t always think about it communication line backups.

As computer systems are becoming more centralized or moved to some sort of cloud or hosted service, communication lines become much more important. If the office loses its connection, that office basically cannot work.

What I have been doing for the past 4-5 years is helping companies design redundant networks and you can do it fairly cost effectively.

The first think you should consider is if you have some sort of cable or DSL internet available. If you do, you can purchase an inexpensive firewall that has VPN capabilities. You can set it up so that if the primary line goes away, it utilizes the secondary connection.

The second item to consider is the type of connection. If you have T-1 line you more than likely will not want a DSL line. The reason is it will terminate in the same location and if the T-1 line is having issues, the DSL line will more than likely have issues. Chose a different media type and a different provider.

The third item is to make sure you are testing this system. The worst thing that you can do is have a redundant system that fails you when you need it. I would suggest a test at least quarterly to ensure that it is still operational.

Network Monitoring becomes much more important also. You will need to be notified if you have a down line and you are failed over. I have had a few clients over the years not even realize they had failed over. That is a good for avoiding an outage, but not good if you need to get the line fixed.

If you need some help with this design, send us an email or give us a call.

TBJ Monthly Word Find

Solve Our Word Find And You Could Win a $25 Dollar Gift Card

We have these simple rules:

  • One entry per person per month
  • One winner each month
  • Contest Closes on December 29th, 2012

All entries with correct answers will be entered into a Random draw that will determine the winner.
Last month’s winner was Scott Reid!

You can submit your crossword puzzle:

Correct answers will be featured in the TBJ Newsletter.

TBJ Gadget of the Month – Apple TV

Apple TV is a very interesting device. If you want to Internet enable your TV, this is a good way to do that. It can download movies from iTunes or you can connect to Netflix. You can also connect it to you IPAD and display what is on your IPAD on the Apple TV.

If you want a cheap way to internet enable your TV or if you would like to have a way to output your IPAD display, this is a way to do that.

Referrals

We at TBJ are looking to grow our business and we would like to enlist your help in finding clients who might benefit from our services.  For any qualified leads that result in a meeting, we are willing to send you a $100 dollar gift card. Our best leads come from referrals and we would like to reward you.

If you know of someone that you network with that could benefit from our services, use the form below or email us at sales@tbjconsulting.com

[si-contact-form form=’1′]

Planning and Goals for the Year 2013

December is a great month to sit down and plan for the New Year. This is something I have been doing for the past 5 years and it has helped me stay on track and achieve some very good goals.

The key is to find someplace quiet and think about what you want to accomplish in the Year 2013. I usually split it out into personal and business goals. The reason for the split is you need to make sure that you are spending some time on yourself and personal goals are a great way to accomplish this.

For Business goals list the top 5 things you would like to accomplish this year. It could be as simple as creating a Visio diagram of the network or upgrading to Windows 8. After you have your goals set, you then need to write down the steps you need to achieve them and the date you are going to achieve them by. You need to be specific as vague goals and time frames will lead you to failure.

Once you have those goals down and if you are ambitious, I would suggest laying out 5 year goals and even longer goals. The reason for this is it gives you something to shoot for and also allows you to start thinking long term.

You will be amazed at what you achieve once you start doing this. You will achieve more than you ever thought possible.

January Coffee Connection – Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

January 15th, 2013, From 9:00 am to 10:30 am

Enjoy Coffee and doughnuts on TBJ and  learn about Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

Join TBJ to learn more about Microsoft’s New Operating Systems.

Some of the items that will be discussed are:

  • SMB 3.0 (The ability to fail file servers over without interruption to users)
  • Ability to clone domain controllers
  • New File system called ReFs (Resilien FileSystem)
  • IIS 8.0
  • Hyper-V in 2012

Join us! Please learn more and RSVP Here. Seating is limited.

How do I Dispose of My Old Electronics?

Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace that many people replace electronic devices every two years. The growth in the number of devices we own has led to a large increase in the amount of e-waste we produce. Throwing it out in the garbage is bad for the environment and against the law in most states.

Disposal points E-waste is becoming a large problem and disposing of it safely is a big issue. In the West, many big-box retailers have programs where you can drop off your old devices and receiving store credit. Many  local municipalities are also setting up e-waste collection points.

If the devices still work, some stores may even repair/upgrade them and sell them. Some will be shipped to China or Africa, where the parts are often saved or passed onto those who are in need. You should contact your local municipality to see what they do with devices, and prepare accordingly. Most of the time, it’s as simple as bringing the device, with no cables or batteries attached, to the collection center and walking away.

Before Disposing your devices, consider the following

Computers When disposing of old computers, you need to wipe all data on the hard drives. If you don’t, you might be surprised at how easy it is to access hard drives. Often, all it takes is a program downloaded from the Internet, a few mouse clicks, a line of code and ‘bam’, access granted.

The best thing to do is use a utility program like Eraser for Windows and the included Disk Utility for Mac. Some people go so far as taking the hard drive and RAM out of the computer and physically smashing it, or wiping a magnet over it. It should be noted that simply hitting the drive with a hammer or exposing it to magnetism may not destroy all the data. To do so, you’ll need to open the hard drive’s case by taking the screws off smashing the plates inside and then wave a magnet over it.

Phones Phones are a little easier to dispose of. First transfer all important information and remove any added memory cards. Next, do a full Factory Reset and pick the option to wipe all data. Finally, remove the battery and you should be good to go.

Office equipment If you’re disposing of external hard drives, you can basically do the same things as you would with the hard drive in your computer – wipe, smash and magnetize. For office equipment like printers and faxes, it can be a bit harder. Most manufacturers will tell you to remove all ink cartridges and paper and may have a way to wipe any flash memory on the device. It’s best to contact the manufacturer before you try anything though.

Final Thought of the Month – TBJ Thank You

I really enjoy the Thanksgiving and Christmas season as it is a reminder to say thank you…

First I would like to say thank you to my wonderful clients. I truly enjoy working with you and value the relationships and advice. I also appreciate your support and business, TBJ would not exist without you.

I would also like to thank my vendors and partners. You are always there to help my client or TBJ. I also get some valuable advice and help from you.

Family and Friends, I am grateful that you understand how crazy it can be to run a business and for your continued support of TBJ.

I also want to say thanks to all of you out there who support TBJ in many other ways such as referrals, sharing ideas, giving great advice.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.