12/23/2011

Beware of the EnGenius Access Point default IP address

The default IP address of an EnGenius Wireless Access Point (WAP) is 192.168.1.1. This happens to coincide with the internal address used by many routers and firewalls. Connecting this device to your network in its default configuration may cause internet or network issues.

With this in mind, connect the wireless access point directly to your own laptop or desktop for configuration.

12/22/2011

SharePoint Online: Best Practices for Using the Share Site Feature

Microsoft added the ability to invite external users (via a Microsoft Live ID) to your SharePoint Online environment.

However, you should be cautious when using this feature. Sharing any site within a Site Collection enables the external user to see everything in that Site Collection, not just the sub-site you think you're sharing.

Microsoft recommends creating a new Site Collection and sharing that with External Users if you don't want them seeing internal information.

To create a new Site Collection in SharePoint Online:


  • Then select Manage site collections on the next page. From here you will be taken to the administration center:



  • Select the New dropdown, the Private Site Collection.
  • Once this site collection is created, it can be shared using the Site Actions menu.
Always keep network security in the forefront of your mind when making any external connections.

See our previous posts on SharePoint and the SharePoint solutions page on our site for more SharePoint info!

12/19/2011

How “The Cloud” helps with Disaster Recovery

If you would like some background on “The Cloud,” check out our previous post. At Baroan Technologies, we have partnered with multiple 3rd party cloud vendors to offer the best possible solutions in the case of a disaster, which could be due to a server crash or total site failure.

One of the products that we resell is a Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) server. The BDR allows us to have an onsite image based copy of your server(s). In the case of a single server failure, the BDR allows us to use that virtual image to turn on a virtual copy of the server to allow you to get back to business while the issue with the server is corrected.

An additional feature of the BDR is its offsite capability. After creating the initial backup, we send it off to our cloud provider and as more backups are taken, they are sent offsite via the internet to the cloud. In the case of a complete site failure, the cloud provider allows us to turn the online backup images on as virtual servers so you can start working even when your site is down. 

Does this sound like a good solution for your business? For more information and a visual of how the BDR works, our disaster recovery page or contact us.

Leveraging QuickBooks' API to integrate with Baroan Technologies' Ticketing Software

For over five years, Baroan Technologies has been using a custom-written software to track all of our help desk tickets and on-site worksheets. For several years we had an employee manually enter each billable help desk call into QuickBooks (small business accounting software) for Invoicing. Now, using the built-in functionality of QuickBooks, the QuickBooks Web Connector, and their well-documented API, we are able to cut the work that used to take several hours each day into a single click that takes less than a minute to run.

We are constantly sharpening our own day-to-day systems by customizing the programs we utilize and integrating new software when we reach a plateau. Why not let us see what we can do to make your daily operations smoother? Contact us.

Using VMware and vRanger to keep business going when the lights go out


VMware leads the industry when it comes to virtualization. Its Quest vRanger Pro is one of the best in Image-Based Backup, Replication and Recovery. At Baroan Technologies, we use VMware to consolidate the number of Windows servers we can run on as little physical hardware as possible. We also use vRanger’s replication feature to send copies of our virtual servers to a disaster recovery site.

The 2011 Halloween nor'easter that caused power outages all over the Tri-State area was a wake up call for many who were caught without a disaster recovery plan in place. One of the towns that lost power was Elmwood Park, which is where Baroan Technologies is located. 
 
That Sunday, when it became apparent that power would not be restored by the beginning of business hours on Monday that week, we connected to our disaster recovery site and started the Windows Servers we would need for business operations. Less than 2 hours later, Baroan was completely ready for business, including a fully functioning phone system complete with call forwarding and extensions (courtesy of Altigen). After distributing the access information to the rest of the Baroan team, we were able to start working Monday morning with little delay.

What was the "wake up call" that your company needed a new disaster recovery plan? Hurricane Irene? The nor'easter? Maybe you were lucky and your business emerged from 2011 unscathed. No one likes being caught off guard, why wait for your company to be unable to operate to take action? See what you can do to plan ahead for disaster recovery.

12/14/2011

What is virtualization?

As you all know, technology just keeps on getting better. One of the most impressive technology enhancements in the past few years has been virtualization. What, exactly, is virtualization? Virtualization is when you take a physical computer that has memory, CPU(s), hard drives, and network adapters and then install a layer of software that manages these items. This layer is called a hypervisor. On top of this layer, you can install your server or workstation systems, then applications, all on the same physical box but running independently of each other. The hypervisor manages the memory, CPU(s), hard drives, and network adapters and can assign a certain amount of each and only make it available to certain virtual machines. The physical box is considered a HOST and the servers or workstations installed on top of the hypervisor layer are called GUESTS. WOW!
So how does that help me, you ask? Well, instead of buying multiple servers for one purpose, i.e. File Serving, database, or email, and spending several thousands of dollars, you can now use the hardware in one server and split the resources between multiple servers. In fact, today’s servers are so advanced with multiple core processors, higher speed ram, and faster hard drives, that a single use of a server today will result in maybe 5% utilization of the resources. What a waste! So why not take advantage of this great technology that allows you to get the most out of the money you spend on your technology?
There are several companies that have virtual server solutions. The biggest ones are VMware, Microsoft and Citrix. All of them offer free versions of this software as a starting point. So the next time you need a server, consider buying one for multiple uses rather than just one for a single purpose. Many workstations are now also being virtualized. Many companies are moving their servers to a data center and creating what is called a private cloud. This is when they own the equipment at the data center and they run the applications and servers remotely.
Tune in for more on the benefits of virtualization technology...

(This has been a President Post by Guy Baroan)

12/13/2011

What is the "CLOUD"?

Over the past few years, many have been hearing the term “CLOUD.” During my meetings with clients, I am asked all the time, "What is meant by the 'CLOUD'?" Simply put, the “CLOUD” refers to servers or applications that are located at various data centers throughout the world and having access to applications that are not located in your physical office.

Some successful examples of “CLOUD” applications include: CRM applications such as SalesForce.com, MicrosoftDynamics, Netsuite and others; E-MAIL applications such as Hosted Exchange by Microsoft. Online Backup applications have been around for a very long time and are a form of “CLOUD.” Everyday new applications are moving to the “CLOUD.”

In the next 5 to 10 years, most of the applications that we use will be in the “CLOUD.” Your office of today will be different. You may have a smaller, thinner workstation or client, maybe even your smart phone, that will access your business applications, but the servers will be somewhere else in the world. Your data access speeds will be unlike anything we have available today.

Tune in again to find out more about the “CLOUD,” and check out our Cloud Computing page for the benefits and types of cloud.

(This has been a President Post by Guy Baroan)

12/02/2011

Setting Attachment Size Limits in Office 365

1) Login to your administration portal at https://portal.microsoftonline.com/

2) Click on Manage under Exchange Online


3) Click on Mail Control, then click on Rules:
4) Click New under Rules, then select More Options in the pop-up:


5) In the If dropdown select any attachment->is larger than or equal to:



6) Enter a size in KB in the popup. Click OK.

7) In the Do the following box, select Block the message->Reject the message and include an explanation:

8) Enter the Rejection Message and click OK. Then slick Save.