The musings of an IT Consultant


April 30, 2011  10:00 PM

Online Backup



Posted by: Raj Perumal
cloud, online backup, restoration

Hi folks, so online backup is becoming a popular service these days. People like the idea of backing up their data over their Internet line to a provider that provides these services. Now this is all good and well if you are only doing restores of a small amount of data.

But you have to ask yourself, what if I had a total system failure that required a full restore of all of my servers? Would online backup still be for you? If you are like most people, this could be a large amount of data, and the time it takes to restore a large amount of data over a small Internet connection could take forever. And if you are down for days while you download your backed up data again, that can cost you large amounts of money in your business.

I’m all for online backup, but at the same time you should always have some form of local copy that you can access so you aren’t completely reliant on the cloud provider. Especially if they disappeared overnight.

-RP

April 30, 2011  9:55 PM

Cisco 3750 – using StackWise with X series and older models



Posted by: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! So I recently ran into this. A question came up regarding buying newer Cisco 3750 X series switches and stacking them with older 3750 non X series switches. People wanted to know if mixing and matching is possible.

I did some research and from talking to other people who have supposedly tried this. The answer I heard is that it might work with some features but will not work with routing features. I have no idea if this is actually true or not but this is what I heard and I figured I’d share it with you folks in the hopes that someone can shed light on this. If someone knows better, please post on this blog with the real information so the rest of us can benefit.

I for one at this point would not want to risk trying this and end up spending money on a brand new switch just to find out it doesn’t work with my old stack.

-RP


April 30, 2011  9:50 PM

Cisco cans the Flip



Posted by: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! So you probably heard about Cisco’s recent move to can the Flip video camera. The question is why?

Apparently Cisco is eager to show that it is realigning it’s priorities towards it’s core business and wanted to kill the Flip to show investors it was serious in doing so.

I get that you need to show investors you’re serious, but I don’t know if canning the Flip was the right move considering the market share it held. I guess time will tell.

-RP


April 30, 2011  9:44 PM

Where is your cloud data stored?



Posted by: Raj Perumal
cloud, hosted services, hosting, provider, services

Hi folks! So with the sheer volume of cloud providers out there it’s easy to get signed up on a new service and get carried away with all the benefits and features of the cloud. But the question everyone should be asking is, where is your data?

For example for those of you that live in different countries, are you ok with where your data is being stored where it can be subject to a foreign countries search and seizure laws? Often people don’t think about these things and only realize it when it’s too late to do anything about it.

When you sign up with a cloud provider make sure you ask all of these questions so you know your data is safe!

-RP


April 30, 2011  9:40 PM

Recovering Exchange 2003



Posted by: Raj Perumal
Exchange 2003, Recovery Storage Group, restore Exchange, RSG

Hi folks, so you have a failed Exchange 2003 server and you need to do a recovery. With all the Exchange 2010 installs out there now, sometimes it’s easy to forget how you use to do things. Well never fear it’s pretty straightforward.

As long as you are backing up your Exchange server with a program that is Exchange application aware (such as Backup Exec for example), you cause the Exchange Recovery Storage Group (RSG). This is a special area where you can restore your mail database without having to overwrite the production one.

Once this is restored you can then merge your mail from the RSG into your production database. It’s quite handy in an emergency. All you have to do is follow the instructions here.

-RP


April 30, 2011  9:36 PM

RIM not doing so well with the PlayBook



Posted by: Raj Perumal
Playbook, RIM, tablet

Hi everyone, so from the sounds of things RIM is off to a shaky start. The PlayBook is out and it’s not doing great.

From tethering to lack of an email app at launch it seems RIM has completely lost touch with it’s user base. Rumour has it that RIM’s shares are going down too. RIM needs to regroup and figure out what it is that they are doing wrong and quick otherwise they risk being relegated to the irrelevant bin.

Android and Apple are more than happy to take advantage of all of RIM’s mistakes so they better smarten up and soon!

-RP


March 31, 2011  9:55 PM

Dangers in cloud storage?



Posted by: Raj Perumal
cloud, encryption, secure data

Hi folks! So people often ask me how they can trust cloud storage. Why would they use it they ask. They are worried that the cloud provider will steal all their data.

Well this is a good point. You should be suspicious and not use services that are not well known and reputable. But what else can you do? Well for one, don’t store sensitive data in the public cloud. Secondly, use encryption!

By using encryption such as TrueCrypt which I have mentioned in previous blog entries, you can encrypt files and then place the encrypted containers in the cloud. This way if someone even tries to access them, they don’t have a hope in hell of getting at your data!

-RP


March 31, 2011  9:52 PM

Avoiding dangers with common sense



Posted by: Raj Perumal
common sense, dangers, hacking, phishing, viruses, web surfing

Hi folks! So in the last blog i talked about keeping up to date. But what about common sense?

You see for the most part, there are a certain type of people that always get viruses. They commonly blame their software for being crap. The reality is, it’s probably the user! There are other people that rarely, if ever have anything happen to them. These are the safe web surfers.

Basically when you are web surfing, use your common sense. Don’t download and run programs or allow scripts to run from unknown sites. Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know, and please question everything you see or read on the Internet. Just because you get a pop up on your screen telling you to “click here”, doesn’t mean you should!

Also with the advent of phishing scams, a lot more people are losing their information to identity theft. For example, if someone called you and asked you for personal information on the phone, would you give it to them? No. So why would you do that if they asked you for it in an email? If you think about it that way you will be a lot better off for it.

In these days where everyone is online, and with social media it’s very easy to get taken advantage of, but you don’t have to make yourself an easy target!

-RP


March 31, 2011  9:48 PM

You’re only as good as your latest updates!



Posted by: Raj Perumal
anti-virus, definitions, firmware, updates

Hi folks! So I wanted to speak about a pet peeve of mine. Not being up to date with the latest updates!

Whether it’s anti-virus definitions, windows updates, or firmware updates, people constantly fall behind on keeping their computers up to date. If you couple this with doing in-frequent or non-existent backups then you will find yourself in a really bad situation fast!

It’s easy to fall behind, but instead what you should do is make sure you renew your anti-virus and that you run your updates on a regular basis. If you can’t be bothered, there are a lot of automatic options you can set. For critical machines you probably don’t want to update automatically and instead verify the updates you are installing first.

Stay safe, keep updated!

-RP


March 31, 2011  9:41 PM

Killing processes on the iPhone



Posted by: Raj Perumal
battery drain, hung processes, iPhone, kill processes, SysInfoPlus

Hi folks! So you’ve finally had enough with the battery drain from hung processes on your iPhone. You keep trying to reboot it and it doesn’t seem to fix anything.

What do you do? Well if you jailbreak your iPhone you can download a program called SysinfoPlus which allows you to go through the list of processes on your iPhone and individually kill them. This is a great way to get rid of long running tasks that are draing precious battery life!

Granted, this might not always work, and you might end up having to do some further tweaking on your phone to fix it, but it’s a great first step!

-RP


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