The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Best Router for Your Needs

The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Best Router for Your Needs

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How to Choose the Best Router for Your Needs

 

 

Remember back in the late 1980s and the 1990s when anyone who wanted to access the internet had to play the waiting game while listening to that awful screeching sound of the modem dialing the ISP? Ah, the nostalgia of good old dial-up! Thankfully, companies like Cisco make it so we no longer have to deal with the slow connection and loading speeds.

dial up internet router

 

The speeds and capabilities of the internet have grown exponentially since the development of the wireless internet. All of the hardware involved from modems, routers, and processors have managed to outgrow each other year over year. In fact, in April 2015, Linksys (owned by Cisco) announced that they had achieved over 100 million units in router sales. That’s a lot of routers, but how do you know which one is right or you?

When it comes to choosing a Cisco router, there are many tools available to help you make the best decision. The manner in which you go about choosing switches is very comparable.

Go with Your Gut

When you think of Cisco routers, what is the first thing that comes to mind? It might be Cisco’s 2600 and 3600 series lines. For years, these lines of routers served as the ideal model for midsize business’ networks. Even though Cisco discontinued both lines, some organizations still use them today.

Going with your gut is just one way to choose a router for a current network. However, this method does have a major downside. Choosing a discontinued product could mean that your business misses out on a lot of the features in newer models.

Do Some Research

Most of us were forced to do homework for almost 20 years of our lives. So, what’s a little more? When choosing a router for a new network, the same old routers can’t always be counted on. Do your homework and evaluate different criteria and features that are offered in different models. The shortlist below can help you with the right questions.

Performance

Try looking at how many packets per second the router can forward. For instance, a Cisco 2610 or 2612 series router can forward an approximate 15,000 packets per second. Cisco 7500 series routers can forward an approximate 2 million packets per second. However, those numbers have a tendency to be altered once features such as firewalls and VoIP are added.

Growth

Growth implies the number of interfaces that can be supported by the router. Routers typically have a preset number of interfaces (WAN or LAN). Some routers, like the 3600 series, for instance, have no interfaces. So, take note of the number of interfaces that can be added to the default.

Software

Depending on your current set up, the router you chose might need to support a certain interface or a VoIP feature.

Services

Services refer to the integrated services supported by the router. Today’s routers support features that once needed separate boxes to function. A great example is a 32-port switching module that cancels out the need for an Ethernet switch. Also having a firewall, VPN server, and an IDS/IPS built into the router can cancel the need to have each individual feature as a separate box.

Redundancy

Does the router offer the necessary redundancy for working at a critical point in the network? Some redundancy examples include hot-swappable power supplies or high-availability routing protocols such as HSRP or VRRP.

Support

Cisco routers have a reputation for being very reliable products. Furthermore, Cisco systems usually provide exceptional levels of customer support. When buying the router, many levels of support should be available. Be sure to choose the best level for you and your business.

Ask the Pros

When it comes to choosing a router, Cisco offers a Product Advisor, which virtually makes the router decision for you. As a bonus, you don’t need to be a registered Cisco user to access this amazingly helpful tool.

The Cisco Product Advisor is a simple, time-saving tool that assists in choosing the right Cisco router for your network. It asks the questions and suggests a product based on your answers. So you can sit back, relax, and continue to surf… the internet that is.

 

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Data Protection and Information Security – Together at Last.

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Any IT professional that spent time around a corporate data center for several years has more than likely adapted to the separation of data protection and data security fields. The division in specialties has long historical roots, but does it really make sense anymore?

data protection

Data protection is a major component of any corporate disaster recovery plan. A disaster recovery plan is a set of strategies and processes put in place to prevent, avoid, and minimize the impact of a data loss in the event of a catastrophe. Data protection is essential to a disaster recovery plan as business-critical data cannot be substituted.

The only way to protect data is to make a copy of the original and store the copy adequately secluded from the primary. That way in the event of an unfortunate incident, the same disaster cannot destroy both copies.

In fact, a sufficient disaster recovery plan should also include requirements for application, network, and user data retrievals, as well as procedures for testing and training management.

Disaster recovery planning can be compared to information security planning in many ways. They both intend to protect business-critical practices and data assets. However, InfoSec uses various intertwining tactics that are exclusive to security.

infosec

Information Security

Infosec has established its own terminology and set of strategies for securing vital data assets. These policies are then enhanced by methods of constant monitoring and seasonal analysis to ensure that security precautions are keeping data confidential.

Until recently there have been few exchanges between data protection and information security fields. However, when someone in the data protection field is worried about retrieving data that is encrypted, communication with the InfoSec team is mandatory.

On the other hand, the InfoSec team might only collaborate with the data protection team to confirm that continuous data protection resources are being implemented and used. This would allow speedy restoration in the wake of a cyber-attack by basically reversing data to a point prior to the attack.

Together at Last

Believe it or not, both data protection and InfoSec fields have a lot to learn from each other. Data protection has already dipped into quantitative techniques for matching protection services to detailed data provided the threats to the organization.  These quantitative methods, Single Loss Expectancy (SLE) and Annual Loss Expectancy (ALE), were trivial at face value and abandoned by disaster recovery experts.

InfoSec is moving down a similar path.  Attack surface reduction modeling techniques are akin to the pseudo-scientific numerical looking practices as ALE and SLE. Certain experts see these methods as an upgrade over the threat modeling that was applied by many InfoSec specialists in the 90s.  Before the turn of the century, it was widely thought that the cost to protect data should not be much higher than the cost to hackers to sidestep the security. In spite of this, the correlation was lopsided as hackers suffered little to no expense in testing the protection of their targets or to rout the actions that were taken to keep them out.

Selecting the Best Server for Your Data Center

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Server Selection

In order to improve bottom line performance in the workplace, IT professionals should assess top priorities to establish protocol on how to choose a server while constructing the most efficient workloads.

Some may say that servers are the heart and lungs of the modern internet, but the deliberation on how to select a server can every so often create a confusing range of hardware choices. Even though it’s possible to pack a data center with matching, virtualized and bundled systems that have the ability to handle any job, the cloud is forever altering how businesses run applications. As more organizations move workloads in the public cloud, local data centers need less resources to host the workloads that remain on site. This is encouraging IT administrators and business professionals to pursue more value and performance from the dwindling server fleet.

These days, the infinity of computer hardware systems is being tested by a new trend in customization with server attributes. Some businesses are encountering the idea that one size may in fact fit all in regards to servers. However, you can opt for and even design server cluster hardware to accommodate specific usage categories.

server selection

Figure from: http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/tip/How-to-choose-a-server-based-on-your-data-centers-needs

VM Merger and Network I/O

An advantage of server virtualization is the capacity to host several virtual machines on the same physical server in order to use more of a server’s existing resources. VMs largely depend on RAM and processor cores. It’s impractical to decide exactly how many VMs can exist on any given server because you can arrange them in a way that they can use an extensive range of memory space and processor cores. However, selecting a server with more memory and processor cores will usually permit more VMs to exist on the same server, improving consolidation.

For instance, a Dell EMC PowerEdge R940 rack server can host up to 28 processor cores and offers 48 DDR4 DIMM slots that support up to 6 TB of memory. Some system administrators may choose to pass on individual rack servers with a preference of blade servers for another form factor or as part of hyper-converged infrastructure. Servers meant for high levels of VM merger should also contain resiliency server features.

Another thing to consider when choosing a server for consolidation reasons is the extra attention to network I/O. Enterprise workloads regularly exchange data, access centralized storage resources, and interface with users across the LAN or WAN. Server merging can take advantage of a fast network interface, such as a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port.

Visualization and Scientific Computing

Graphics processing units (GPUs) are surfacing at the server level more and more to help with statistically intensive tasks from big data processing and scientific computing to modeling and visualization. GPUs also allow IT to retain and procedure sensitive, valuable data sets in a more secure data center rather than let that data flow to business endpoints.

GPUs need more than an extra GPU card in the server since there is a slight effect on the server’s traditional processor, memory, I/O, storage, networking or other hardware. The GPU adapters contained in enterprise-class servers are usually far more advanced than the GPU adapters offered for desktops. Graphics processing units are progressively more available as highly specific modules for blade systems.

Take HPE’s ProLiant Graphics Server Blade for instance. The graphics system flaunts support for up to 48 GPUs through the use of multiple graphics server blades. The huge volume of supported GPU hardware gives several users and workloads the ability to share the graphics subsystem.

Info from: http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/tip/How-to-choose-a-server-based-on-your-data-centers-needs

Data Storage Faceoff: Tape vs Disk vs Cloud

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face off

Data Storage Faceoff: Tape vs Disk vs Cloud

In September 2010, Virgin Blue airline’s check-in and online booking systems went down for a period of 11 days, affecting around 50,000 passengers and 400 flights. Ultimately the downtime ended up costing the company over $20 million. So, what is the true cost of downtime you ask? Studies have shown that cost of partial data storage backup outages cost an average of $5600 per minute or $300 thousand dollars per hour! Depending on the industry, any single downtime can run into the millions of dollars of lost revenue. Just ask Virgin Blue.

Most businesses have (or should have) plans in place for emergency outages. Data backup procedures are a critical part of these emergency downtime plans. However, as the number of possible backup options multiplies with the introduction of new technologies it can be difficult to ensure you made the correct data backup decision.

Whether companies are looking to upgrade and retire aging infrastructure or are just preparing for the future, an assessment of options is needed. Welcome to the data storage face off- tape vs. disk vs. cloud backup.

Data Tape Storage Backuptape data storage

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, tape was the main way to store any backup data. Since then, it has evolved and grown with changes in technology and growing infrastructures for more than forty years. By deciding to implement or continue using tape will leave your organization with very few infrastructure improvements.

Tape is also the most affordable data storage option due to minimal infrastructure enhancements and the cost of tape itself. Usually, tape is an inexpensive alternative to both disk and cloud storage options; however, its dependent on the total amount and type of data your organization backs up.

Another major benefit of using tape as a main data storage method is the ability to take advantage multi-site storage. As with any organization’s emergency downtime initiative, it is ideal to ensure multi-site data storage. That way a disaster at one storage site doesn’t risk destroying all of the company’s proprietary data. Nevertheless, the multi-site tape storage method can be pricey once you factor in costs of secure tape transfer and storage in data centers at off site facilities. Although tapes have certainly been in existence the longest, like everything else they’re bound to evolve.

Hard Disk Storage Backuphard disk data storage

Disk-based backup such as hard drives, is vastly quicker and more consistent for data repair than tape backup. Instead of writing from disk to a tape, writing from a disk to a disk is purely a more effective method of data transfer.

In the same way, restoration from disk based storage is a fairly efficient process. Restoration allows the avoidance of retrieving, sequencing and then replicating tapes one at a time.

The biggest downside to disk-based storage backups is that they’re located in an on-site facility. For multi-location storage, a third-party is needed for off-site backup. If you don’t want to use an off-site storage provider, it can become extremely expensive to keep increasing disk space.

Cloud Storage Backupcloud data storage

Cloud-based backup refers to an online off-site back up through cloud enablement technologies. Organizations can typically store data with superior cost efficiency in a cloud, by eliminating the need to buy and refresh tapes or disks. Cloud backup is also a much less painstaking process, as data replication is done as a service.

Cloud backup normally consist of multi-site data storage. A local data copy can live in an on-site appliance like the SmartFrame, while it also replicates data to your off-site data storage provider. These applications and enablement technologies constantly run in the background of your IT processes, removing some manual IT processes.

Since cloud based back up is still a relatively new technology, there are some perceived security concerns around the cloud. Questions remain whether cloud backup will open their data to being hacked or even leaked from a third party. There are also concerns of accidental mixing of data with other customers existing in the same data center.

Decision Time

No matter which data backup method an organization chooses to implement, it will have its fair share of both benefits and drawbacks due to technology continuing to make advances in speed, efficiency and security. When the time is right for your business to install a data storage infrastructure or upgrade the infrastructure currently in place, let We Buy Used Tape do the work for you. Since 1965, We Buy Used Tape has been assisting IT professionals and their companies efficiently update their data back up systems. Used and surplus tape and disk storage can be repurposed; helping businesses increase initial return on investment while staying socially responsible. Contact one of our IT experts today for a hassle-free quote on your IT assets. Let us take care of your infrastructure update and security from start to finish.

 

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E-Waste Recycling: A Corporate How-To Guide

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computers in trash

As we all know, e-waste continues to become an escalating issue around the world. Old and obsolete gadgets keep ending up in landfills as consumers demand new products and the life expectancy of electronics decreases. Trying to strategically manage electronic disposal with e-waste recycling can be a major burden for business owners in any industry. In the United States, businesses are regulated by state and federal laws concerning proper disposal of unwanted electronics. Hefty fines can be warranted if regulations are not followed.

E-Waste Recycling Options

That leaves businesses with four options when it comes to the electronic waste disposal: trash, recycle, sell, or donate.

Trash trash bin

In order for any organization to trash their obsolete goods, they must follow regulations governing hazardous waste or prove that the electronic equipment is not harmful. As much as this method is the least favorable, it is the most commonly used. Not only does it hurt the environment with toxins in the metals, but the ones throwing the electronics away don’t reap any benefits from it either.

Recyclerecycle bin

Recycling is the most socially responsible option available to business owners and gives any organization a sense of pride by doing their part to help the environment. We Buy Used IT Equipment can help you with your electronic recycling needs and ensure your data is 100% secure from the moment it leaves your facility. We offer chain of custody and certificate of data destruction to every customer upon request.

Sellgirl with cash money

Selling old and obsolete electronics is the most popular option among businesses. By selling old equipment, it gives companies a chance to recoup some of their original investment and balance budgets for the next year. Send We Buy Used IT Equipment a list of equipment you are looking to sell and we can make you an offer, helping you look like a hero to your organization.

Donatedonate now button

Many organizations chose to donate their unwanted electronics when it comes time to retire them. Not only do they reap the tax benefits of the donation, but it shows that they can socially responsible as well. We Buy Used IT Equipment offers donation assistance to anyone looking to contribute to a greater cause. Let us know which charity or nonprofit you would like to donate your goods to and we will take care of the rest.

Partner Checklist

When looking for a company to help dispose of electronic waste and IT assets, make sure you ask the following questions:

  • What measures do they take to ensure my data will be safe?
  • How are the toxic materials taken care of?
  • Are the reputable? How long have they been in business?

 

Why Choose We Buy Used IT Equipment?We Buy Used IT logo

The mishandling of electronic and IT asset disposal can result in a liability for any business. The organization that is having the e-waste disposed of, is ultimately responsible for every piece of data even after it is destroyed. Therefore, you want to choose a company that has a strong reputation of social responsibility and data security. We Buy Used IT Equipment has been a leader in the e-waste industry for over 50 years. Since 1965, we have made data security our top priority and have never had a data breach.

Electronic waste polluting our landfills won’t be ending any time soon. It is actually expected to grow 8% per year, forever. The EPA estimates that only 15-20% of e-waste is recycled, the rest of these electronics go directly into landfills. This is an epidemic that needs to end. Taking the time to properly examine your electronic waste options is the best way to begin. Choosing We Buy IT Equipment is the best way to end.