The musings of an IT Consultant


October 6, 2009  6:59 PM

Will iPhone steal market share from BlackBerry?

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! As per my previous blog post, iPhone will soon be available at the major carriers across Canada. What does this mean to us?

Well obviously some might think this will foster competition but unfortunately the carriers haven’t been one to really compete with each other. They typically have prices that are in lock step with one another. One would almost think that they get together in the background and have meetings on setting their pricing the same. :)

No, I think the big thing here isn’t going to be a major shift in pricing, but a major shift in marketshare. What we will see is with the iPhone more readily available it will start to encroach on BlackBerry’s territory. Of Course the BlackBerry is still scene as the corporate smartphone leader but I think with this increased availability it will be hard for corporate types to resist taking a small peak at what else is out there.

-RP

October 6, 2009  3:08 PM

iPhone in Canada, coming to Bell and Telus

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! As some of you may know, Rogers is the only wireless provider that offers the iPhone in Canada. For a long time now customers of Bell and Telus have been hoping for Apple’s prize fighter of a smart phone to come to their networks.

Well it looks like the wait is going to finally be over. Bell and Telus are rumoured to have inked a deal with Apple regarding providing the iPhone. I haven’t heard any details on the types of plans that will be involved but I have heard that Internet speeds will be up to 21 mbps.

So for those of you that do have smartphones with Bell or Telus, this might be your chance to upgrade. If you were considering upgrading to a new smartphone, just wait a little longer and you can have a shiny new iPhone!

-RP


September 30, 2009  9:08 PM

Another way to P2V NT

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hello again folks! This is an update to a previous blog post. So I was P2V’ing another Windows NT server the other day and I was able to get P2V to work with an older version of VMware converter.

VMware converter version 3.0.3 is the version I used and it installed into Windows NT just fine (reboot required). Then I was able to launch the application and connect to my ESXi server and launch the conversion of the physical machine.

This means I was able to do a hot clone of Windows NT 4. I hate working with NT boxes but at least we have an easy method to virtualize them. A lot of NT servers out there are on ailing hardware that is not on warranty so having a method to hot clone them is always a good thing!

-RP


September 30, 2009  9:05 PM

Oversubscribing your Internet

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, I wanted to talk about your Internet bandwidth in your client networks! These days most people have either cable or DSL for their Internet access. It’s very rare that you see anyone with just dial-up access. Even wireless Internet services have become popular.

However, the one thing I see over and over again are people oversubscribing their Internet. I think what happens is that non IT people are used to the high speeds that cable and DSL provide at home, and instantly assume that will be good enough for their business. They get all hooked up and then as their business grows and more people join their company, things start to slow down. They don’t realize that the bandwidth on the line is shared amongst all their users.

This problem is now exacerbated because most people have smartphones that also get IP’s from the server via wireless connectivity and they also communicate out through the Internet. I have seen this cause numerous issues with customers and running out of licenses on their firewalls.

People need to analyze their Internet needs and average bandwidth usage and size the Internet pipe appropriately to their business. This doesn’t take much time and their are a lot of freely available tools you can use to help you figure these things out. If you aren’t comfortable doing this on your own, give a quick call to your local IT consulting company and in short order they should be able to help you out.

Don’t yell at your service provider for slow Internet, it might not be their fault.

-RP


September 30, 2009  8:59 PM

Differences between Cisco ASA 5505 base and security plus versions

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hello folks! One of the common questions I’ve been getting as of late is what are the differences between all the models of Cisco ASA 5505 firewalls available. This question has been asked of me numerous times, and it’s actually quite easy.

Here are the differences between the base model and the security plus version

  • 10000, instead of 25000 maximum firewall connections
  • 10 instead of 25 site-to-site vpn tunnels
  • 3 vlans total allowed, instead of 20 allowed
  • No vlan trunking, vs trunking
  • No high-availability vs stateless active/standby failover
  • The security plus version allows for unlimited users on the LAN accessing the Internet through the ASA

If you need more SSL VPN licenses you would need to purchase that separately. Also if you want to use the ASDM gui to manage the device then you want to make sure you purchase the version with “K9” in the SKU, not “K8“.

-RP


September 30, 2009  8:54 PM

IT Certification Standards for Testing

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hello again folks, time for another rant! This time it’s about certifications! Everyone who knows me knows that I am a big proponent of certifications combined with experience. Combined together I think they make for a great way to show an employer or a potential client your capabilities.

There’s nothing like being able to give a prospective client a nice client referral list with real world examples of projects you’ve done along with a list of your certifications. This gives the client confidence in the solutions you are proposing. Unfortunately a lot of people decide to take shortcuts and de-value the certifications we work for so hard. Well one of the ways we could curtail this is if we came up with set standards for certifications.

If we moved to a model of exam testing that was done only X amount of times a year across the world in accredited Universities, then we could guarantee less cheating and brain dumping because everyone would be writing the exams at the same time. Then every time a new exam time came, the exam would be different, just like real University. I’m not sure how well this would work, but I think it would go a long way to helping the industry out. It would help bring more value to our certs. Something to think about.

-RP


September 30, 2009  8:48 PM

VoIP Solutions for the SMB

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hello again folks! Last blog post I was speaking about wireless in the SMB. Let’s take that a step further shall we? How do we bring voice to our SMB environment?

Well luckily for us, Cisco offers us some nice solutions for our SMB network. Cisco has something they called Unified Communications which covers off their VoIP division. One of the products they mention is the Cisco UC 500 series of routers. The UC 500 routers is literally VoIP in a box!

The UC 500 series of routers supports such cool features as automated attendant, music on hold, wireless access, integrated voicemail and up to 64 IP phone stations. Up to 48 hardware based phones and 16 soft phones total.

For more information on this great solution, you can check it out here.

-RP


September 30, 2009  8:38 PM

Corporate Wireless for the Small Business

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! Most of you are probably quite familiar with the wonderful world of wireless. You’ve probably also read previous blog posts of mine where I have spoken about managed wireless in your environment. What’s that you might ask?

Managed wireless is when you have a wireless controller that manages all the access points in an organization. Cisco offers many options for this as do other vendors. One of my favorites is a good price point Cisco offers for the SMB. They have a SMB version of their wireless controllers that doesn’t offer everything the high end enterprise ones do but it does most of the job.

The wireless solution I’m talking about are from the Cisco wireless express mobility line. The Cisco 526 Wireless Express Mobility controller along with the Cisco 521wireless express access point will give you the managed wireless option you need in your SMB environment.

See here for more info.

-RP


September 30, 2009  8:29 PM

There is such a thing as too much documentation

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! Have you ever been on a project where you didn’t have enough documentation? I have! I’m sure everyone has!

Well one day you might find yourselves in a project where documentation is the focus. Where every last thing you do needs to be documented. Yes, you might find that old adage come true “Be careful what you wish for, it might come true!”.

Yes folks, there is such a thing as too much documentation. From all my time in industry, I have to say based on my experience, IT projects are best served by striking a nice middle ground for documentation. Enough that you can reference things and figure out what’s going on, but not so much that you are getting mired down in 99% documentation and 1% actual work.

You see if you’re not careful of this, that is one way projects might fail. Many a project has failed because there was too much paperwork, but no actual work was ever done. The project is seen as a failure and then cancelled, doomed forever to the IT graveyard of projects. At the following link you will find a humourous account of too much documentation.

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?TooMuchDocumentation

-RP


September 30, 2009  8:24 PM

New Router Announcement from Cisco

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hello! So for those of you that live in the world that is Cisco, you will be very excited to hear that the folks that brought us the self defending network are now going to be announcing a new router.

There is a big router announcement brewing from Cisco and the rumour mill states it is going to be openingĀ  a lot of new opportunities to you Cisco fans out there. I wonder what it’s going to be?

Apparently Cisco will announce this in a webcast on Tuesday, October 6th, 2009. If you are interested make sure you stay tuned.

-RP


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