28 Aug

Answers for Today’s K-12 Network

Answers for Today's K-12 Network

Summer time fun is over and kids all over the country are going back to school or are already back in school.  The image of a small kid hauling a backpack filled with books is fast fading in favor of computer savvy kids with laptop, smart phones, tablets, and ipad’s!  Juxtaposed with the rapid movement of teaching, homework assignments, student records on line, etc. are bound to increase the workload and stress of most network administrators.

The Internet plays a vital part of daily activity in today’s K-12 network.  Students, teachers and administrators are using this tool as a means of expanding the classroom experience.  Network administrators are facing increasing pressure from federal, state, and local regulators to ensure it can meet ever growing demands.

Limitations in access to the Internet and other wide area network resources can affect an institutions ability to meet these directives.  Slow speeds and unresponsive systems are sure to raise the heckles of students, teachers and parents alike (not to mention school administrators).  Unfortunately, the network admin staff is the first ones blamed.  But fear not, planning and the use of technology can assist in overcoming and resolving many network related problems.  BYOD, PARCC and other requirements can be met along with a marked reduction in stress.  You can learn more from this informative paper.

Click HERE to download the white paper

21 Aug

Key WAN Design Considerations for Cloud Connectivity & Business Continuity

Designing the Perfect WAN

It is hard to believe the Internet is over 25 years old.  During this time the world witnessed exponential growth in the Internet and with it Wide Area Networks (WANs).  Today business life would be unimaginable without WANs.  Commerce, emails, data transfer, information searched all depends on WANs.  Thus WANs are not only ubiquitous, they are vital.

All of us have experiences WAN outages (if you have not you are lucky!).  the moment this happens every employee is up in arms, productivity plunges, use of cuss words increase and in general the mood turns sour – and who gets blamed? – the network administration group.  The only other thing that is bound to get people even more upset is if the paycheck is not deposited on time!

Unfortunately, if a WAN is only connected by one data-line, and the line is cut or goes down, chaos results.  Even though the ISP has an SLA with you, it is only a promise that the network with be up a certain percent of the time. If not they pay a penalty while you incur the wrath of employees.  To avoid this, many network administrators introduce redundancy to WANs.  Redundancy can be achieved in many ways.  Multiple lines aggregated using BGP or FatPipe technology solves the problem.  BGP is arcane and requires a great deal of expertise while FatPipe technology is “set it and forget it”.  This paper will discuss discusses WAN redundancy and reliability and is a good starting point in ensuring you have a “high availability WAN”

Click HERE to download the white paper

11 Aug

Top Pitfall to Avoid When Implementing Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing White Paper

I have been reading a lot about “Cloud Computing”.  Almost every networking journal, conference, seminar touches upon the subject.  Cloud services providers aver that the traditional premise based network will soon be obsolete and network administrator better jump on the bandwagon quickly.  They tend to overstate the benefits (as I would expect anyone selling anything to do) and brush aside some real concerns.  They admonish network administrators to stop wasting their time managing premise based networks.  “Move to our cloud service and relax while we do all the work”.  Really?

The premise of the argument is tempting and there is a place for cloud services.  Unfortunately, migration to the cloud is not as easy as flipping a switch.  As any savvy network admin knows, many issues have to be resolved before making such a move.

The biggest concerns are the security of the data you put on the cloud and connectivity to the cloud services.  While service providers strive to eliminate breaches, security breaches have been reports recently.  If your WAN is down and you cannot connect to the service provider, it will prove to be very costly in terms of lost productivity.  There are many others that should be weighed against the benefits before making the decision.

What I am advocating is a well thought out strategic process when making a decision to move to the cloud.  It is better to ask providers tough questions upfront rather than confront them later.  Some of the pitfalls in cloud computing are detailed in a white paper you can obtain here.

Click HERE to download the white paper

14 Jul

Designing the Perfect WAN: Business Continuity via WAN Redundancy

Designing the Perfect WAN

Resolve Wide Area Network bandwidth issues and eliminate network downtime.

The network plays a vital part in business activity in today’s market. Companies require viable Internet/WAN connectivity in order to succeed in an increasingly competitive and global business landscape and to insure that business is not interrupted. This paper explores how companies use the network to conduct day-to-day functions that help employees, customers, partners, suppliers and investors.

Click HERE to download the white paper