Monday, January 25, 2016

Telecom and Network Domain Names For Sale

By: John Shepler

Having a great domain name is key to any online business. Ideally, you want a name that reflects the nature of your business, is easy to remember for off-line advertising & business cards, and pronounceable. A random collection of letters and numbers or a "slash" area on someone else's domain can't compare to having your own identity. This gives you complete control of your website, email and branding.

I've been in the business telecom field for nearly 15 years. In that time, I've accumulated several dozen domain names appropriate to the niches that I elected to serve. As things evolve, I find myself with an inventory of really nice domain names that I'm unable to put to good use right now. As such, I'm offering them for sale at, one of the world's largest domain brokers. Their escrow service ensures that both buyer and seller are protected from negotiation through sale and transfer.

Perhaps one or more of these are just what you need for your own online enterprise. If so, please visit the offer page and enter your offer. We'll take it from there.


Also available is a non-telecom related name that is perfect for anyone involved in selling art or services such as picture framing.


If the domain names I have available right now aren't quite right for you, there are literally thousands and thousands of other possiblities available for sale by other domain owners on SEDO. Enter a search term that describes what you have in mind and see what pops up.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Are Your WAN Circuits Monitored For Quality?

By: John Shepler

As we transition from circuit switched telephony and make the move from in-house data centers to the cloud, our WAN (Wide Area Network) circuits become more critical than ever before. A misbehaving network connection that might once have been a mere inconvenience is now a productivity killer at best and a business shutdown at worst. It is essential that every copper and fiber optic line that leaves the building be running at peak performance all the time. But… how do you make sure that is the case?

Are you WAN Circuits monitored?Do You Know What is Going On Behind Your Back?
Technology has a sneaky side. When your outside network circuits are installed and checked out, the lines are verified to make sure they meet specs for latency, packet loss, jitter and bandwidth. Everything is running great. Tomorrow it’s still running great. But the next day, next week or next month something goes wrong. it might be a subtle change that degrades performance rather than knocking the line out completely.

Where do you point the finger?
The problem could be anywhere in the system. Is your LAN congested or are you dealing with a failing switch? Is it just your computer or telephone set that is having problems? Perhaps it is one of several network circuits that connect you to the outside world. How do you find out for sure?

Circuit Monitoring Is Your Eye on the Network
You can’t just blindly trust that everything is running smoothly. You need a way to look into the system. Likely, you already have that capability. You can run Ping and Traceroute diagnostic tests from your computer whenever you want. That’s great for troubleshooting if you know there is a problem and have time to sit down and run the tests. But what happens when no one is running diagnostics? Hard to say.

That’s where continuous circuit monitoring shines. You don’t have to jump in and run some tests. They are running all the time. Better yet, a monitoring program gives you a chart of how the circuit has been performing over time. Run a diagnostic yourself and you have only a single data point.

Get Automatic Heads-Up Messages
The other beauty of automating the performance monitoring of your WAN circuits is that the monitor can let you know when something goes out of whack. You can get an email when something goes wrong. That way, you don’t have to sit there and watch the screen continuously just in case there is an anomaly. You’ll get notified 24/7. The monitor never sleeps.

Best Deal Ever: Free Circuit Monitoring
The best way to get your WAN circuits monitored is to have it done for free. Ever hear of this? Probably not. This is a fairly new service powered by VXSuite and offered by Telarus on Internet and coax circuits with static IP addresses that they provide. MPLS and other monitoring is available. Telarus is well known for the extensive suite of carriers that they partner with and the best prices on WAN circuits. Now you get this bonus of free circuit monitoring included on both domestic and international circuits.

This circuit monitoring includes a ping and traceroute to that circuit. Packet loss and latency are also measured. If the circuit goes down, you get an email. You also have access to a web-based dashboard to view your current circuit status and performance graphics. A monthly email report is available if you wish.

Do you need WAN circuits you can depend on? Would you like those circuits to be monitored with the powerful VXSuite tools at no extra cost? If so, it is time to get the latest competitive pricing and availability of monitored WAN network circuits for your business.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2016 Domain Auction

Due to popular demand, I am auctioning the domain through SEDO, the global domain marketplace. If you are interested, please place your bid now, as this auction ends soon.

Please note that this domain auction was successfully completed on January 12, 2016. However, there is a wealth of other domains available. Have a look....

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Internet SDN Mimics MPLS At Much Lower Cost

By: John Shepler

High performance, high cost. Low performance, low cost. This has been the story of WAN bandwidth connections for business. You can save a bundle with Cable or DSL Internet broadband, but the reliability and performance variations may drive you nuts. Or, you can pay up for a proprietary private line solution or MPLS network and enjoy high reliability, low latency and consistent line speed… if you can afford the price. If there was only a way to make the Internet perform like an MPLS network, that would be a huge cost saver. Well, thanks to SDN, now there is.

SDN networks can manage Internet connections to replace MPLS networks.What SDN is All About
SDN is the latest buzzword for the cutting edge of telecommunications connections. Sometimes you’ll see it described as Hybrid SDN or SDN-WAN. Here’s what those acronyms mean and how they can work to your advantage.

SDN simply means Software Defined Network. That’s to distinguish it from the traditional hardware-based networks that were pioneered by the telephone companies and later used to create digital private lines and the backbone of the Internet. Today’s IP networks are chock full of individual routers and switches that set the architecture of the network. MPLS networks have an even more rigid topology created from specialized label switches that do the traffic routing.

A software defined network moves the intelligence of how the network makes decisions away from the pre-determined and hard to change path and routing assignments to a software program that orchestrates how the hardware elements behave at any given time. SDN-WAN is a Wide Area Network running under SDN control. This may be a hybrid of Internet, private line and MPLS networks all connected together to make one virtual WAN network.

What’s Holding Back The Internet?
The lure of the Internet is a siren song that has been easy to embrace, but, sometimes, with dire consequences. The reason is that the Internet was never designed to be a replacement for the hardware defined circuit switched telecom networks. It was meant to be a shared pool of resources that moves packets of data from one place to another accurately, no matter what goes wrong on the network. TCP/IP ensures intact files. It doesn’t offer any guarantees as to when those files will get to their destination. Your files aren’t any more or less important than anyone else’s.

Consequently, today’s Internet users experience variations in performance that might be annoying to a home user trying to watch a movie, but a productivity killer to a business running software as a service in the cloud. Voice and video two-way communication is dicey because network neutrality means there is no way to prioritize traffic. The streams of VoIP packets take their turns with huge file transfers. When the paths get congested, conversations become garbled and calls sometimes drop.

Making The Internet Great For Business
Take a closer look at what’s going on in the Internet and you’ll see that most of the problems are concentrated in “the last mile” connections and not the core network. The reasons that compromises are made to keep the cost of connecting low. For instance, DSL and Cable, the two lowest cost wireline broadband access technologies, include shared and asymmetrical bandwidth with no service level agreements. You take what you get in the way of instantaneous bandwidth, network congestion, latency, packet loss and reliability.

You can improve on this by moving to Dedicated Internet Access or DIA. That includes T1 lines, DS3 bandwidth, OCx SONET, Ethernet over Copper, and Fiber Optic Carrier Ethernet. All of these “carrier grade” solutions provide a more solid connection to the Internet, but at a price. That price is anywhere from 2 or 3x the cost on up to 10x or more.

Where Do Private Lines and MPLS Fit In?
You can get the highest performance network in terms of high bandwidth, low latency, jitter and packet loss, and availability by building your own private Internet. A classic way to do this is to run dedicated private lines between every location you wish to connect. That gets very pricey very fast. MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) networks improve on cost by essentially giving you a private Internet among all your desired locations for a price that’s better than dedicated private lines but still much higher than the Internet.

Companies have embraced MPLS for their internal communications among headquarters, branch offices and data centers when performance is paramount.

How SDN Mimics MPLS at Lower Cost
Truth be told, the performance of Cable Broadband solutions is far superior to what you could get a decade ago. You can get bandwidth levels of 100 Mbps or even 1 Gbps at bargain rates. It’s the variability that’s the bugaboo of Cable, DSL, 4G Wireless and the Internet itself.

What SDN controllers do is manage your connectivity resources on a continuous basis. You’ll need more than one connection for the SDN to have something to manage. These might include Cable broadband, DSL, 4G, Dedicated Internet access, private lines and even satellite in remote areas. The SDN will decide what traffic goes over what circuit depending on the characteristics of each network moment by moment. If no circuit is perfect, it might send the same traffic over multiple paths. More critical applications, such as VoIP and video conferencing, will get priority on the higher performance paths.

In essence, you are creating classes of service to prioritize your traffic even though the Internet itself does no such thing. Your costs will be lower than an all-private solution and you have the added advantage of being able to connect anywhere on Earth, including to your customers and suppliers, via the Internet. The world-wide core infrastructure is already in place and the cost is being amortized over many millions of users.

Do you suspect that you are paying much more that you could be for your wide area network connections? Find out now if there is a readily available lower cost SDN-based bandwidth solution that meets your requirements.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

The Ultimate Wireless Firewall: Networks That Don’t Connect

By: John Shepler

Network security has become a major concern of any business that connects to the Internet. There’s hardly a day goes by that we don’t seen another announcement of a company that has been breached. We may be seeing only the tip of that iceberg. The public reports tend to be about companies that have their customer information compromised, especially credit card numbers. Other businesses might discover intrusions that don’t affect their customers and may elect to remain mum simply to avoid the embarrassment and bad press.

Secure your network before anyone breaks in.Who Can Afford Cyber Security?
The result of all this hacking and cyber warfare is that IT departments have gone on high alert. If they are going to stay connected on the Internet, they have no choice but to pay up for security appliances and cloud based network security. But what about small and medium size businesses? Can your typical doctor’s office or restaurant really afford to pay for cyber defense?

Common Sense Measures
Certainly, any independent professional or small business can take the basic common sense steps to keep casual snoops and hackers scanning for low hanging fruit out of their networks. Nearly every router also includes a firewall function and encryption for Wi-Fi access. Anyone who neglects to change the default login and password and enable the highest level of encryption their equipment will handle, is just too naieve for words.

Public Access Is Always Vulnerable
Even so, there are still those lingering doubts that the network is protected. When you unlock Wi-Fi access so that customers can use your hotspot, you run two risks. First, you open a vulnerability. The vast majority of your customers will only use the broadband access as a convenience. They’re not out to cause you trouble. But… there are characters with malicious software on their laptops who can sit themselves down and troll other customers or try to break into your network. Wi-Fi doesn’t stop at the door these days, so they may be parked outside or even sitting a block away.

Wired Only?
The safest solution is to only use wired access inside the business and avoid Wi-Fi altogether. That may really limit you and your employees by ruling out any portable and mobile devices. The next step up is to have a Wi-Fi router but lock it for employee use only. That leaves customers and guests frustrated, since they’d like to use their tablets while waiting.

Will a Firewall Work?
Is it sufficient to simply install a firewall between your business network and your public-facing Wi-Fi hotspot? The idea makes a lot of business owners nervous. It’s hard to tell, especially when you don’t have a full-time IT department watching everything, whether you are truly protected or not. Consequently, they opt for either locking down their wireless network or not having one at all.

The Two Network Solution
Here’s another approach. Install TWO networks instead of one. The first is your internal business network. This can be high performance Ethernet over Copper or Fiber Optic WAN bandwidth. It might not even connect to the Internet. Either way, connect only your own equipment to this network. If you have wireless access, lock it down. Then order a second Internet connection. This one is for your customers and does not need the performance characteristics of your primary network. A good choice for many small and medium businesses who deal with the public is cable broadband, just like they have at home.

Why Cable Broadband?
The beauty of cable broadband is that it is inexpensive, even for business locations. You get decent bandwidth levels of 10 to 100 Mbps and it's pretty reliable these days. There’s a bonus for businesses with customer waiting areas. You can bundle cable TV service with your broadband for little extra cost. You may want the TV service anyway. Why not add Internet broadband as an extra convenience?

Keep 'em Apart
Here’s what you don’t do. You NEVER connect your business network with your customer network. They remain completely separate. If you get them from different providers and keep the wires apart, there is no chance of an interconnection. If someone sits outside at night and steals your broadband signal or tries to break into the public wireless network, they won’t get far. It doesn't really connect to anything other than the Internet.

What About Your Primary Internet Access?
Most organizations do need some type of Internet access to acquire information, place orders and connect with their customers. If your main business network is not strictly internal to your company, you still need network security between your LAN and the Internet. If you have the expertise on-board, you may be able to install and manage your own firewalls. Most smaller and medium size companies will find it more cost effective to order managed security in the cloud. WAN bandwidth providers who offer this option have the necessary expertise in-house and available 24/7.

For Emergencies Only
I know. There’s a temptation to use that second network for business purposes if your primary network runs out of capacity or suffers an outage. Be very careful. In such an emergency, you may wish to disconnect the public Wi-Fi hotspot or lock it to prevent any but employee access.

Do you need point to point WAN bandwidth, primary dedicated Internet access or separate customer-facing hotspot bandwidth? How about managed security for your company? If so, find out what secure network solutions are available and appropriate for your size business.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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