Importance of network security

I remember the old days when internet home user was mostly dial up.  We would dial into the internet using a 56k modem or actually 9600 baud rate modem.  Yes you heard right, for those of you who still remember, that was still state of the art.  I remember, when you wanted to check email or surf the web, you actually had to set aside time to do such thing, as you have to sit in front of a computer that has access to the internet.  Nowadays with so much access to high speed internet (business, home, hot spot, cellular, etc).  Nowadays, it ‘s not use an option, it’s almost a necessity.  With access to much high speed internet also comes with side effects.  This can be malware, spyware, ransomware, virus, pornography, spam, sexual predators, and the lists goes on.  With that being said, what are we doing to help keep our office and home safe?  There are plenty of options out there, software antivirus, endpoint security, firewalls with content filtering, email spam filtering system,  app blocker, IDP, etc.  Need help with networks security for your home and business, give us a call, let us help you take away the headache so you can focus on your life.

Surveillance Camera System

We are pleased to announce due to requests and demands, we are now selling, servicing, and installing video surveillance system.  It was a process to get certified and licensed, but it was well worth it.  Did you know that most burglary happens during the day time?  I first thought it happens at night, but after going through some training, I’ve learn that most burglary happens during the day time.  I guess in a way it make sense, burglars typically try to avoid being seen, so they normally try to do it when people are most likely at work.  Typically between 10 am and 3pm.  With that being said, camera system have been getting more and more affordable.  It use to cost thousands for a low end system, now depending on how many cameras and the quality you require, it you can still get a decent system installed for hundreds.  That’s a big drop in prices.  Even with the lower end cameras, the quality are still decent compare to what it used to be.

Cat 6A cables or Fibers?

We just finished a job that customer requested that we install OM3 fiber (multi-mode 50 micron plenum) to tie their two suites together.  After we did a free site survey, we recommended that they go with Cat 6 or Cat 6A as the distant was under 200 feet.  Their have been lots of noise regarding Fiber and how fast it can be.  Fiber indeed can be much faster than Ethernet cable, however in my opinion, I don’t think fiber is the first thing that I would recommend due to the cost of equipment and labor involve.  Dollar for dollar with no doubt fiber sometimes can be the cheapest transport medium for data, but not necessary true all the time.  In this case for instant, Fiber would cost probably 3 times more than Ethernet due to the cost of labor and extra equipment require.  To do fiber correctly, typically you will need two housing on each side to protect the hair size strand as fiber can be very fragile, especially on the terminated ends.  Typically when we run fiber, we have to run an orange conduit to help protect the fiber.  I’m not sure why, but I typically see mainly orange conduit for fiber.  I think it may be back then 62.5 was the most common fiber use to tie short distant suites and buildings together and 62.5 was normally orange.  Regardless, I’ve seen other single mode fiber and OM3 (normally aqua) also enclosed in orange conduit, I think it may be because there are more supply of orange conduit available then other colors.  Wow, I got side track…… back to my point, depending on the distant and or applications, there are reasons why we still have CAT cables vs Fibers, so choose them wisely.

NEC SV9100 – built upon the success of NEC SV8100 and more

I’ve been excited about the NEC SV9100, but never got the time to take the course.  Finally I’ve spend some time to take the course.  Wow, finally a more reasonable licensing system.  It use to be we had to verify and then double check the licensing just to make a quote.  Now, it’s reasonable.

NECSV9100E – Focus on Small to Medium Customer – Expandable up to 896 Stations and 400 Trunks.  NetLink expandable to host plus 49 remote sites for a total of 50 sites.
NECSV9100S – Focus on Very Small Customer
Simplified – Easier to configure with a New Licensing Concept.  Simple Licensing, Simple Admin, Simple User Interface.
Unified Communication, Voicemail, and Unified Messaging (voicemail to email) included with every user license.
NEC SV9100E – Now comes with VoIP Daughter Board.  You can activate using user licenses.. 8 or 16 user licenses included based on packages selection.  Messaging option activated via user licenses & system selection.  Inmail with 120 hours storage or UM8000 with 500 plus hours storage.
NEC SV9100s – Similiar to the SV8100, it does not comes with Voip Daughter Board unless you purchase it.  You can activate UC via User Licenses.  Inmail is 16 ports with 15 hours storage.  Nowadays with voicemail to email, voicemail storage has been the thing of the past.  Most customer prefer to have voicemail email to them, then automatically delete from the system, this way, they don’t have to log into their voicemail from their phone and delete the message.  Nec sv9100S has a 48 resource licenses included.  This is also the maximum total ports.  Once you go past this, you will need to migrate to the SV9100E.

With the new license model, it’s much easier to configure for customer that has CRM’s.  CRM’s that we support are Act! 2005 and above, Goldvine 6.7 and above, Time Matters, Tiger Paw, Salesforce, Browser Based CRMs.

In short, we are really excited about the SV9100.  We are  hoping to migrate our existing customers to it.

Allworx Interact integration with google chrome and firefox….

Allworx have came a long way.  The interface that we used to used called call assistant was already pretty good.  We were able to transfer call via drag and drop, see who’s on the phone, who’s on park, record a phone call, and see use just about any feature with just a click.  Now with Allworx Interactive, you can even set your interactive to always record your phone calls, make phone calls by simply click the Allworx icon on top right for google chrome, it will then allow you to choose from available phone numbers, or from Firefox, you can actually click on the phone number and dial, your Allworx phone will start dialing.  This would definitely be a great tools for call centers and user that makes a lot of outbound calls.  This will be a great tools for users that uses a web based CRM, that is compatible with google chrome or firefox.

Network Terminology

After 19 years of being in the industry, I decided to take some refresher course, I’m hoping to learning something new.  Today I decided to learn or revisit network terminology.

Network Terminology

Host:  A host is any device that is connected to a network.  Typically a host will use 1 ip address.  Here are some examples of host on most network:  computers, servers, printers, canner, ip phone, ip camera.  Hmmmm.. this lead me to a question… is a router consider a host?  Honestly, I’m not even sure.  Technically, it does take up 1 ip address, so I guess in a way, I would consider it a host.  I’m not 100% sure though, but in the interest of time, I’m moving on.  There are other devices on the network that is important, yet it does not take up an ip address, so it is not consider a host.  Example of non host devices on network can be modems, hubs, and some network switches.  Typically unmanaged switches does not take up an ip, so it’s not consider a host.  Managed switches on the other hand, does take up ip address, so it would be consider a host, at least in my book.

IP Address:  An ip address is a number that identifies a host.  In a network, each host have it’s own ip address.  If you have 2 host of the same ip address, it would be consider a conflict and those two host will most likely not work properly.  Ip address can be version 4 or version 6.  In version 4 ip address, it can be internal or public.  Internal ip is assign a number that only accessible via it’s direct neighbor or host on the same lan.  External ip address is typically a number that is assign to you by the isp (internet service provider).  A router, typically can use a public ip and an internal ip.  This is how you can multiple host on a network can share 1 internet connection.  Ip address is on the layer 3 of our network model.  A good example of an internal (local) ip address would be 192.168.1.1.  A good example of an external ip address would be 8.8.8.8 (google public dns).  You can’t access 192.168.1.1 from anywhere in the world, but you should be able to access 8.8.8.8 from anywhere as so long as you are not being blocked by some kind of security configuration.

LAN: A LAN (Local Area Network) consists of multiple host on the same network.  A good example would be you have your server, 3 computers, and 2 printers in your office in Austin, then that would be consider a LAN.  You can have multiple LAN on one network.  A good example would be you have your normal day to day data on LAN 1 (typically call VLAN), then you can have all your VOIP phones on LAN 2 (VLAN2).  You can tag all your traffic on VLAN2 to have priority over your normal data traffic.  If you have a remote office with the exact same setup in Dallas, then that would be consider another LAN.  You can actually tie two LANs together via VPN, Private Point to Point Ethernet Network, MPLS, and SD WAN.