TechStop


July 8, 2011  1:55 PM

New Cisco SMB Phone System



Posted by: Joshua Wood
3000, Cisco, CMBE, pricing

Hi all, as of late Cisco has been coming up some really amazing products that would work well for the SMB. However, not all of these products are for sale yet such as the 3560-c switches. While that is currently true of the phone system in a box that Cisco has recently put up on their website it will hopefully make it to the market sooner than later.

The Cisco Unified Communications Manager Business Edition 3000 supplies and amazing set or features. Some of these features are listed below. You can get more information about the product from the Cisco site or here.
• Connections for all your locations, with support for up 300 users and 10 sites
• Mobility capabilities at no extra charge keep you connected at all times
• Voicemail and auto attendant to help route critical calls and messages
• PC soft-phone application for desk-phone functionality when traveling

The specs are amazing for an SMB product but it won’t do you any good if it is overpriced for the market and this is where Cisco has published some preliminary pricing. On one of their marketing pages found here “The Unified CMBE 3000 will also be easy to quote. It has a core system price under $2,000 user licenses and phone hardware are purchased in bundled packs. Basically a quote will include the core system, phones, and installation, with only a handful of options.” That statement alone is huge. That implies that the base system will be very reasonably priced. Then combine that with this “Unified CMBE 3000 will initially be priced at approximately $124 per user list price reseller discounts bring the price below $100 per user” and what you have is the possibility of getting a multi-site product that can scale to 300 users for about $3,000.00 for the core system and 10 phone licenses.

I am very interested in seeing this product hit the market. The pricing is very competitive and the horse power is packed in a small box.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)

July 5, 2011  11:36 PM

Nortel Patents for Everyone



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Google, Nortel, patents

Hi all, Nortel’s patents are being sold off and everyone is getting in on the action. Google is buying 900 million dollars for about 6,000 patents. BlackBerry, Apple and several others are getting in on the ability to buy patents as well. Most of these patents are going to be fuelling change in the cell phone and mobile data fields for years to come. It is sad to see them go but it is good see that the work they did will carry on even if it is in the hands of someone else.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 29, 2011  11:57 PM

BroadBand Internet Getting a Bump



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Broadband, NIST

Hi all, Internet in the great white north has been slowly coming to maturity. There is a lot more space up here than normal so it makes sense. That said, the rate at which some things have been rolling out is or at least was getting ridiculous. That is until the ISPs decided to up their game. The new pricing from Shaw, for example, is a refreshing increase in both speeds and data caps. Hopefully this trend continues.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 28, 2011  11:55 PM

BlackBerry in Trouble



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Android, BlackBerry, Google, Microsoft

Hi all, the iPhone is doing well; the Android OS is making inroads but the BlackBerry brand is taking a beating. It is unlikely that such a giant in the market will disappear but they need to get a better OS. They have some of the best hardware in the business but their OS is seriously lacking. There are rumours that BlackBerry might be bought by Microsoft. That would be a good move for Microsoft but bad for BlackBerry. It all remains theory at this point but a merger/takeover like that might keep the iPhone out of the cooperate market, at least until Apple decides they want that market.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 26, 2011  11:24 PM

LulzSec is Good for Security



Posted by: Joshua Wood

Hi all, I am sure that we all have heard about the rampant hacker group making their rounds of the low hanging fruit (and some not so low). A good chunk of their hacking attempts, which you can find here, seem to be focused on Sony. Almost as if one of the guys worked for Sony or knew someone who worked for Sony. In any case of employment, they definitely have it out for Sony and for some reason the PBS. What did PBS ever to do hackers? Apart from the PBS, which is likely just underfunded, they are successful and that should make them public enemy number 1 but are you number 2 on their list, pun intended.

Well, everyone knows what they can do. There are volumes of books published on the problem. The problem usually comes down to money, man-power (also money) and expertise (kind-of also money). People see security as a flu shot. But IT departments who yell for security options don’t get heard by management … well not at least until LulzSec or someone similar rears their head. Then it is all panic and third-party reviews and finger pointing.

LulzSec is good for security because it makes people take it seriously. No one takes the flu shot seriously until there is enough of a panic to make people think about it. Even though everyone says you should eat well and drink lots of water, the IT version of donuts and coffee are what people will ingest until they get sick of being sick (or hacked). Let’s all take the adage that is in favor of prevention and use some security tools now. It will save you later.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 24, 2011  11:06 PM

FireFox 5 Goes Live



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Firefox

Hi all, like most in the world who use FireFox you should have been presented with the option to upgrade to FireFox 5. Like most in the world of IT you were likely wondering what the heck is different between FireFox 4 and FireFox 5 and you would be right to do so. You can find a list of the upgrades here. The list or improvements is long but is there anything in there that is really necessary?

FireFox 5 is a whole version update. The name is supposed to imply a deep seated well thought out change like the difference between Vista and Win 7. That doesn’t seem to be the case with FireFox 5 though, at least not with the users. Rickard at TechNewsWorld has confirmed that they won’t be releasing patches for FireFox 4, you can find his article here. That is huge for the user community but what else? What else is different about version 5? One blogger has a nice spin on why Mozilla would release another version of FireFox so early after the last release, that reason is press. That is actually a a fair and probably accurate rational. They need market share like anyone else and this keeps them in the front of everyone’s mind.

No matter how you look at it FireFox 5 is an easy upgrade that you will need to make, might as well do it sooner than later.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 7, 2011  7:13 PM

Hyper-V failover Clustering with StarWind



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Hyper-V

Live Webinar, Wednesday, June 8

During this session, Max Craft, StarWind’s Senior Solutions Engineer will demonstrate how the highly available shared storage solution from StarWind allows users to eliminate downtime and ensure business continuity providing fault tolerant storage for Hyper-V failover cluster.
Click to register for 2:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EDT):

Click to register for 2:00 PM EDT (6:00 PM GMT):

You can also read our “Hyper-V and HA Storage” White Paper, prepared by MVP Russ Kaufmann:

Download: Hyper-V and HA Storage White Paper


June 6, 2011  11:59 PM

HP is Catching Up to Cisco



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Cisco, HP, Procurve, router

Hi all, well HP bought 3Com. That was good move for HP. In fact, it was a great move for a company that wants to compete with Cisco on their own turf. Has HP integrated the 3Com product line into their own well enough? Gartner thinks so. Based on the link below Gartner gave HP a pretty sweet bump from where they were and put them in a place to directly compete with Cisco.

Cisco gear has been over-priced for some time now and everybody knows it. The basic jist is that they are charging for features that the vast VAST majority of people don’t even know about much less use. They need to come out with a lower end product that can more directly service the masses. The LAN Lite was supposed to fill the void that HP was gobbling up but it didn’t quite deliver enough to keep HP from taking some market share.

Cisco is very far from beat but they HP is doing is a good job of making the point that networking doesn’t always require advandced features to be useful.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)

Source: http://www.gartner.com/technology/media-products/reprints/juniper/vol6/article4/article4.html


June 4, 2011  11:59 PM

Will RAM and the HDD Merge



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Microsoft

Hi all, the solid state disk has been amazing for performance. Despite some initial issues of cost and longevity issues it has been a pretty quick road to the top. It only makes sense given that the underlying technology isn’t new and the high demand for it. But as the bus to the HDD evolves with the disks will the HDD and RAM merge to become one?

I don’t think that RAM will be erased all together, at least not at first, but quickly I can see the need for RAM being reduced. Look at it this way, if I have a laptop/desktop with 1 GB of RAM and a 256 GB solid state disk (SSD) why do I really care if the OS pages to the SSD. The performance of the SSD should be more than enough to keep up with the typical office workers paging file AND the OS just needs to understand that. I am sure that Microsoft would love to be able to tell its OS that it has as much RAM as it has hard disk. That could mean that Windows 8 could require 16 GB just like Vista did (just kidding Vista only required 8 GB of RAM).

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 2, 2011  11:59 PM

VMware Buys SocialCast



Posted by: Joshua Wood
SocialCast, VMweare

Hi all, I don’t know if you have heard of SocialCast. It seems that in the network or IT admin worlds there aren’t many that have heard of SocialCast and even fewer that use it. But VMware has heard of it and uses it a lot apparently. So much so that they decided that they were a good investment and bought them.

For those of you who don’t know what SocialCast is there here is the summary. It is a web based collaboration tools that combines the ideas of Twitter, SharePoint and FaceBook into an enterprise collaboration tool. It is quite a cool tool if it is used properly and integrates well as well. How this will play into VMwares plans for the future I don’t know but recently the virtualization giant has been diversifying and that is probably a really thing in this day where virtualization has many up and coming competitors.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)

Source: http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=02a3024dc48bc55f617945fc2&id=ac03690da4&e=71649d813b


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