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The Network Equipment Solutions Blog

5 Benefits of Using a Single Hardware Vendor

Posted by John Ciarlone on Feb 26, 2015 6:00:00 AM

There's more reason than ever before to standardize on a single hardware vendor for your networking equipment!

In decades past, a lot of businesses could "get away" with mix-and-matching hardware from different vendors and still end up with a functional network.  This meant they could simply select hardware as needed, at the moment, based on what's most affordable across all the brands.

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Topics: Network Equipment, Business IT Network

Cisco SMARTNet vs. Small Business Support Service: Key Differences

Posted by John Ciarlone on Feb 24, 2015 6:00:00 AM

Small-to-medium sized businesses have more options for Cisco support than ever before, with a range of support contracts that can be purchased to extend the lifespan and ROI of Cisco hardware.

The two major options are between Cisco SMARTnet or the Cisco Small Business Support Service.  The latter is much more affordable for smaller operations, but brings a reduced set of services.

Here's a quick rundown of the major differences.

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Topics: Cisco Equipment

802.11ac Wave 2 Landed At CES 2015!

Posted by John Ciarlone on Feb 19, 2015 6:00:00 AM

While there are many different innovations on the horizon for WiFi, let's be honest: most people are primarily concerned with speeds.  While 802.11ac was certainly an improvement over prior standards, it wasn't exactly blazing-fast and is in danger of lagging behind advanced technologies like 4K video streaming.

Enter 802.11ac Wave 2, something that's been talked about for a couple years.  These newer units have more onboard hardware, and smarter sub-systems, to substantially boost speeds.  With 802.11ad on the horizon, this gives 802.11ac another shot in the arm with more reason buy.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points

ADTRAN NetVanta 3140 Router: Review

Posted by John Ciarlone on Feb 18, 2015 6:00:00 AM

Well, it's been a while since ADTRAN released a new router, but that's not because they've been resting on their laurels.  The brand-new Adtran NetVanta 3140 router is here, and it's an excellent option for growing small-to-midsize businesses because it's fast, easy to use, and amazingly flexible.

Like most ADTRAN products, the Adtran 3140 is designed to have a long lifespan and to be easily re-purposeable as your network grows and changes.  The 3140 incorporates multiple revolutionary features that make it a superior investment for your network.

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Topics: Adtran Routers, Routers

Why We Love NETGEAR M5300 Series Switches (And You Should, Too!)

Posted by John Ciarlone on Feb 17, 2015 6:00:00 AM

When you think "business-class network switching" NETGEAR is probably not the first company that comes to mind.  However, NETGEAR is rapidly working to change that!  Despite being best-known as a top-of-line consumer-grade company, they've recently been making serious inroads into the small-to-medium sized business market.

The new line of NETGEAR M5300 switches in the ProSAFE Series are surprisingly good, and offer a lot of value for the money, especially for smaller growing operations.

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Topics: Switches, NETGEAR Switches

The Future of Networking: No More Switches?

Posted by John Ciarlone on Feb 12, 2015 6:00:00 AM

We like to talk about how quickly networking is changing, but every now and then, even we don't see a curveball coming.  The venerable top-of-rack switches have been a mainstay of networking for practically as long as there has been networking... but will new and innovative server setups send the switches into obsolescence? 

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Topics: Adtran Switches, Cisco Switches, NETGEAR Switches

What You NEED To Know About DDOS Attacks, Part 2

Posted by John Ciarlone on Feb 11, 2015 6:00:00 AM

Welcome back!  In the first half of this blog, we discussed why DDOS attacks are such a big concern, where they come from, and why traditional security measures like router-and-firewall combinations really are not sufficient to stop a major attack.

The tactics being used by attack groups are becoming more advanced, and the only real solution is to step up your own security as well.  Backup network systems at a separate location are a good idea, but they're expensive to maintain, and largely a stopgap solution.

The good news is that new defenses are being developed to stand up to these attacks.  Let's take a look at what the latest-generation anti-DDOS systems look like.

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Topics: Cisco Routers, Secure Wireless Network

5 Hidden Costs of Using Multiple Hardware Vendors

Posted by John Ciarlone on Feb 10, 2015 6:00:00 AM

Are you still buying your networking equipment ad-hoc, from multiple hardware vendors?  If so, you may be creating far more problems for yourself than its worth!

A lot of shops fear "vendor lock in," and think it's going to ultimately limit their opportunities for network growth.  However, the reality is that a network built out of multiple vendors' components will never be able to reach its full potential.  Most hardware vendors these days, like Cisco or ADTRAN, specifically create their equipment to work together as a cohesive whole.

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Topics: Network Equipment

Desktop Wi-Fi: Good or Bad Idea?

Posted by John Ciarlone on Feb 5, 2015 6:00:00 AM

So, you're implementing Wi-Fi in your office.  Does that mean that everything needs to be WiFi?  

Probably not.

Despite having many advantages over wired networks, Wi-Fi isn't a magic bullet solution.  Desktop WiFi, especially in large deployments, can quickly create new problems that are, frankly, usually best-solved by leaving wires in place.  

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Topics: Wireless Access Points, BYOD

Firewalls and DDOS Protection: What You NEED To Know

Posted by John Ciarlone on Feb 4, 2015 6:00:00 AM

Anyone who follows tech news at all knows there's been a serious spate of high-profile DDOS attacks aimed at various entities recently, including outages affecting both the PlayStation Network and XBox Live online services over Christmas. 

What fewer know is that the attacks only ceased because a third party -Kim Dotcom, the controversial founder of Megaupload- actually paid a bounty to the hackers to make them stop.   

Many are (finally) seeing this as a wake-up call to start taking network security seriously.  A DDOS attack is relatively easy for a hacker group to set up, and it's relatively hard to defend against.  But given the huge costs -and embarrassment- associated with such attacks, self-defense is vital.

In this two-part article, we'll take an in-depth look at the problem.

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Topics: Secure Wireless Network, Secure Wi-Fi Solutions


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