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The Network Equipment Solutions Blog

Cisco SFP: Can You Use a 3rd Party SFP With Catalyst Switches?

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 16, 2014 6:00:00 AM

When we're doing support for clients, or recommending cost-cutting measures for upgrading their networks, one problem we often run into involves the Cisco Catalyst line of switches, and using a Cisco compatible SFP with them.

The Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) transceiver is an absolutely standardized technology, which allow Gigabit optical ports to host a variety of other connections.  Its hot-swapability means that it's simple to change the configuration of your switch or router, with minimal upgrade costs.

Theoretically, any Cisco compatible SFP should be able to work in any network hardware.  Unfortunately, some people run into issues using third-party SFPs with the Cisco Catalyst Line.

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Topics: Cisco Compatible Optics, Cisco Switches

The Best Hotel Wireless Access Points

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 11, 2014 6:00:00 AM

As one of the west coast's premiere networking consultants, we're often approached by larger businesses, such as those in hospitality, about the challenges of implementing effective WiFi on their premises.  Such discussions usually involve which hotel wireless access points are best.

Well, access points are important, but they're not the entire story.  At least, not usually.  By and large, the type of AP you buy will be dictated by the type of network you want to implement.  That, in turn, is based on how it's going to be used.   

So, choosing a brand of APs is one of the last steps in the process of outfitting a hotel with new WiFi.   The APs are determined largely as a result of what's changing on the back end.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points, Secure Wireless Network

Using Your Office Phone System To Improve Sales Effectiveness

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 10, 2014 7:10:00 AM

To mis-quote Nietzsche, do they not realize that the phone system is dead?

For nearly a century, the "telephone" was an entirely stand-alone product. Its networks were kept separate from other networks. Telephone service was purchased independently of all other communications services. Any attempt to integrate telephones into a larger system, prior to the last few years, was a hugely expensive proposition which only the largest of companies could undertake.

Today, however? It's easy, and affordable for businesses of virtually any size.

In a modern, integrated, data-based network, your telephones become simply one more extension of your overall communications system. Voice conversations and voicemails become as easy to store, transmit, or reformat as emails are.

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Topics: Adtran Phone Systems, Phone Systems

Adtran Switches vs. Cisco Switches: Price Comparison and Breakdown

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 9, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Do you really need to pay the extra money for Cisco Switches?   ADTRAN offers comparable products, easy virtualization, and great customer service - and all for far less than what Cisco asks.  While there are specific instances where Cisco is a better fit for a company, most small to medium sized businesses can get a far better solution going with ADTRAN.

In fact, ADTRAN was formed specifically to help get new technologies into the hands of smaller businesses.  Cisco earned its reputation over past decades for being the real leader in business networking, but it's led them to a high-end focus.  That's left a lot of customers who can't afford Cisco, but want comparable quality. That's when we recommend ADTRAN switches.

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Topics: Adtran Switches, Cisco Switches

4 Ways To Deliver Superior Guest Experiences With Hospitality WiFi

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 4, 2014 10:29:49 AM


At this point, is it even necessary to talk about how vital WiFi has gotten for virtually any business that is open to the public?  After all, according to a survey last year, more than 1/3 of travelers say free hospitality WiFi is their number one decision-maker, and over half of business travelers say WiFi is an absolute must-have.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points

How To Calculate Cost Savings Of Upgrading My Business Phone System

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 3, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Whenever a business looks to upgrade it's telecommunications, the focus should always be on the long-term benefits of the upgrade.  There's no reason to consider your phone system to be a money pit.  Well-planned upgrades, which take your future plans into account, can easily show a positive ROI and even bring financial benefits across your entire company.

Calculating your exact savings is beyond the scope of a simple blog, but we wanted to give you some idea of the options available, and how they can pay out down the line.  It's not hard to see how a round of upgrades can quickly pay for themselves through increased productivity and customer satisfaction.

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Topics: Business Phone Service, Phone Systems

5 Key Aspects In A Trustworthy Hotel WiFi Partner

Posted by John Ciarlone on Sep 2, 2014 6:00:00 AM

If your hotel or other hospitality business is looking to install a new WiFi network, now is a great time to do it.  Visitors are increasingly demanding free basic WiFi access virtually anywhere they go.  Plus, it opens up a wide range of new opportunities for monetization

So putting in a new WiFi network ultimately brings you three benefits at once:

  • More visitors coming to your doors,
  • More opportunities to sell to them, and
  • More productive employees also using the WiFi.

A relatively simple set of upgrades can end up paying off in plenty of ways, as well as getting you on firm footing for future network upgrades, whenever they come. 

When you partner with the right networking firm, you can get this done easily, at low costs, and with minimal disruption to your current business.  So, let's take a look at the most important factors when choosing a networking partner.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points, Secure Wi-Fi Solutions

Securing Your Medical Practice WiFi To Protect Patient Records

Posted by John Ciarlone on Aug 28, 2014 6:00:00 AM

A hospital, clinic, or other healthcare provider is going to face some specific challenges when implementing a new WiFi system. While proper data protection is necessary in all areas of business, the medical field specifically has a number of additional regulations over how data is handled.

Since, of course, your patients' medical histories are among the most highly confidential records in circulation, extra care is needed to keep them safe on a network with public access. Failure to do so wouldn't just harm the patients, it would also bring down substantial financial penalties on your operation.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points, BYOD, Secure Wi-Fi Solutions

4 Ways To Deliver Superior Guest Experiences With Hospitality WiFi

Posted by John Ciarlone on Aug 27, 2014 6:00:00 AM

When you add WiFi to your hotel or other hospitality business, people take notice, fast. Whether a business offers WiFi is becoming one of the single most important deciding factors when a customer is comparing offerings.

If your hotel isn't offering a WiFi service, guests are probably going elsewhere.

Of course, well-begun is only half done. Simply having WiFi isn't enough - it needs to provide a great user experience. These are are the areas where we most frequently see hotels struggle, in terms of setting up a WiFi service their guests embrace.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points, Secure Wi-Fi Solutions

5 Ways To Guard Your Guests From Hotel WiFi Security Risks

Posted by John Ciarlone on Aug 26, 2014 5:00:00 AM

When you advertise WiFi at your hotel or other hospitality organization, there are certain expectations your guests will carry away from that message.  One, of course, is that the WiFi will be there and be relatively reliable.  The other is that they'll be kept safe and secure while connected to your systems.

Network security at a hotel truly is an issue that affects all people at that hotel:  Yourself, your staff, and your guests.  Any sort of intrusion or systems breach that affects people or data can ultimately end up bringing large and costly liabilities upon you.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points, Secure Wireless Network


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