IT Infrastructure Support Onsite, Remote & in the Cloud

IT Infrastructure Support Onsite, Remote & in the Cloud

Computer Servers Built or Bought to Specification

Whether its designing, pricing, building or configuring servers we have got you covered. Doesn’t matter if it is straight from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Cisco or something we build from Supermicro or Quanta its all the same to us. Dell, HP, Lenovo and Cisco are all great they come already assembled and tested with a warranty. The downside is the lead time is usually at least two weeks before it ships, they are 25%-50% more expensive, the upgrade parts can only be bought through the vendor at a significant markup and most of them use Supermicro or Quanta parts just re-branded then marked up. For this reason most data centers and content providers prefer to build their own servers. With the massive amount of servers they purchase that 25%-50% savings really adds up.

Various Computer Servers

Various Computer Servers

Chassis or Case
The chassis is what holds are the parts together and comes in many shapes and sizes. Either a tower which just stands upright on the floor or rack mountable in which case is measured in rack units or Us. Most servers come in either 1u-4u the bigger the chassis generally the more hard drives it hold or in some cases nodes. The latest generation of chassis can fit four nodes in a single 2u chassis each node being its own server saving on space which at the data center is at a premium and the added cost of three more chassis with power supplies.

Server Chassis or Case w/ 2U Rack Mount Form Factor

Server Chassis or Case w/ 2U Rack Mount Form Factor

Power Supply Units (PSU)
Takes wall power generally 120v or 220v AC and turns it into DC for the server components. The piece usually comes with the chassis but not always. It is also generally made redundant meaning there will be two or more in the server with each PSU having the ability to power the server alone in the case of part failure. Causing no downtime in the event of failure and can be hot swapped meaning taken out and replaced without powering down the server.

Redundant Power Supply Unit (PSU)

Redundant Power Supply Unit (PSU)

Motherboards
The Motherboard connects all of the internal parts of the server together such as the CPU, RAM, PSU, Storage Controller Card and NIC. Many motherboards now have the network card, storage controller, video card and out of band management all built in to the motherboard itself. This provides a drastic amount of space saved and a vast reduction in complexity. Server motherboards contain extra DIMM slots for RAM expansion and multiple CPU sockets for increased load handling and redundancy in the same amount of physical space of a server only containing one of each. There are now even motherboards that fit two separate dual CPU socket servers in the space of a single 1u server. This allows for much greater server density in places that matter such as a data center where space is at a premium. Effectively allowing for twice as many servers in the same amount of rack space. Utilizing out of band management such as IPMI or ILO the server can be operated without an operating system installed first. Plus you’ll have access to preboot functions such as the BIOS and CMOS settings. You will see exactly what the monitor would display via a web portal and will even allow you to boot from a remotely stored ISO image. Allowing you to install / reinstall an operating system or hypervisor remotely without the disk being in the server.

Server Motherboard w/ CPU Dual Sockets & 12 RAM DIMM Slots

Server Motherboard w/ CPU Dual Sockets & 12 RAM DIMM Slots

Central Processing Units (CPUs)
Performs all of the calculations and processing. In servers you will generally have two or more CPUs running with anywhere from 4 to 64 cores each. Every core also has a clock rate which determines the speed of each individual core. The clock rates can be increased threw over clocking however it puts extra strain on the system in the form of increased electrical consumption and heat that needs to be dissipated. Intel’s Xeon and AMD’s EPYC processor models are designed for the heavy hitting high performance computing (HPC) server environments.

Central Processing Unit (CPU) Intel & AMD

Central Processing Unit (CPU) Intel & AMD

Graphics Processing Units (GPUs)
A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a computer chip that performs rapid mathematical calculations, primarily for the purpose of rendering images. In the early days of computing, the central processing unit (CPU) performed these calculations. Now because of the raw number of cores in each unit such as Nvidia’s Tesla model accelerators are also being used in the worlds fastest super computers. Such as the Summit that are best suited to perform AI / Deep learning, advanced calculations / simulations and code breaking.

Nvidia Tesla GPU Accelerator

Nvidia Tesla GPU Accelerator

Random Access Memory (RAM)
Provides a storage buffer that sits in between the CPU and the Hard drives. The reason being RAM is much faster but is volatile meaning all the data is purged when power is lost. RAM is also much more expensive so is not well suited for mass storage. Servers will generally use Error Correcting Code (ECC) RAM that detects and corrects errors in the data using a ninth parity bit. RAM is very important when utilizing virtualization because the hard drives become a bottleneck. So increased RAM storage helps to eliminate that bottleneck and allow for more virtual machines per node.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Network Interface Cards (NICs)
Enables the server to connect to a network(s) to facilitate communications between devices. Server Generally servers will have more than one NIC port or more than one NIC. This is due to the increased amount of traffic they handle especially in a file server or a virtualization node. Servers also tend to use higher capacity Ethernet standards such as 10g, 40g and even 100g. There’s also some other players on the field such as infiniband which promises a more reliable connection at a lower cost.

Network Interface Card (NIC) 4 Port Ethernet

Network Interface Card (NIC) 4 Port Ethernet

Supermicro InfiniBand (IB) Dual Port Card

Supermicro InfiniBand (IB) Dual Port Card

Hard Drive Back-Planes
Connects all of the hard drives to the controller card generally over SAS cables. This way you don’t require a port for each hard drive on the controller. This also supports hot-swappable drive bays so hard drives can be added and removed from a live server without powering down.

Server Hard Drive Back-Plane

Server Hard Drive Back-Plane

Hard Drive Controller Cards
Facilitates the communication between hard drives allowing them to be set up in a RAID. Then making that RAID accessible to the operating system of the server. High end controllers will have a BBU or cache vault which utilizes batteries or capacitors in order to store data on RAM built in to the controller card while its waiting to be written to the hard drives. Overcoming some of the speed issues caused by running a RAID especially while making parity calculations in RAIDs 5 & 6 or 50 & 60. However with the recent speed increases in servers the technology has moved back to software RAIDs which were used to save money over a hardware controller card. Now that software RAIDs aren’t any slower the ease of management comes in to play since the RAID can be managed directly through the operating system. Making management much easier than having to log in to the controller card to make changes. It also gives the operating system more insight in to the conditions on each hard drive. Allowing for more dynamic RAIDs including software SANs which allow for the RAID to be spanned across several physical hosts. Increasing speed and redundancy while also eliminating the need for dedicated SAN hardware.

Storage Drive Controller Card

Storage Drive Controller Card

Hard Drives 
A magnetic disk on which you can store computer data. The term hard is used to distinguish it from a soft, or floppy, disk. Hard disks hold more data and are faster than floppy disks. A single hard disk usually consists of several platters. Each platter requires two read/write heads, one for each side. The speed is determined by the RPM rate at which the platter spins 5200-15,000 and the connections speed SATA 1,2,3 and SAS 1,2. Benefits from defragmentation which aligns the data on the platter making it faster to read.  SAS is for enterprise drives and are hot swappable plus have several other enterprise features such as RAID support.

Inside View of a Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

Inside View of a Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

Solid State Drives (SSDs)
Stores the data in non-volatile memory which has the speed benefits of RAM with the retention ability of magnetic hard drives. Since there are no moving parts the read and write times are much quicker. The throughput is also greater since it doesn’t need to read the data sequentially. Does not benefit from defragmentation since the read head doesn’t need to physically read the data by spinning around the platter. Due to the much faster speeds of SSDs they can take advantage of faster connectors. Coming in three connection types including SATA/SAS that is built in to most storage controllers, can be used in replace of traditional Hard Drives and supports RAID. NVMe which is the newest, having all the features of SATA/SAS with much faster speeds, smaller drives meaning cheaper to manufacture plus can fit more drives on the server in the same amount of space. Finally PCIe which is the fastest but the most expensive and due to limited card space these are best used for the caching of frequently accessed data.

Samsung Solid State Drive SATA (SSD)

Samsung Solid State Drive SATA (SSD)

Samsung SSD NVMe

Samsung SSD NVMe

Intel SSD PCIe Card

Intel SSD PCIe Card

Solid State Drive (SSD) Caching
Takes frequently accessed data and places it on SSDs which have better access times, throughput and IOPs over traditional magnetic hard drives. This is what is referred to as a hybrid solution benefiting from the cheap per gigabyte cost of magnetic drives and the increased speeds of SSDs. However since not all the data can fit on the SSDs occasionally data has to be pulled from the magnetic drives and if they aren’t already spinning it can take extra time to get the magnetic drives spinning up to top speed.

Solid State Drive (SSD) Caching Diagram

Solid State Drive (SSD) Caching Diagram

Apple / Mac Product Support

We support all apple products and are very familiar with integrating them in to a Microsoft server environment. Gaining access to email, file/print servers, single sign on authentication (LDAP) and document management. We can even deploy desktop virtualization to run windows on your mac to access those pesky Microsoft only applications or vice versa.

Apple / Mac Product Support

Apple / Mac Product Support

Microsoft Installations, Maintenance & Support

Microsoft has been the leader in full business application suites for over 20 years. They make everything from the server and desktop operating systems to programming languages (ASP .NET & C++ to name a few) for the creation of applications that run in their environment via visual studio. For all the services a business requires such as single sign on capabilities, email, doc management, SQL databases, Web hosting and remote access. Their model has shifted a lot of the past few years to a cloud based one over a software based model however they still offer both.

Microsoft Support

Exchange Email
Microsoft’s flagship email server supporting active directory authentication, SMTP, POP3, IMAP and Microsoft’s own ActiveSync. With ActiveSync exchange can synchronize your email box and settings across many devices. Now when you add a folder, move an email, delete an email or add calendar events it is synchronized across all your devices so you see the same thing on every device. Works best with the outlook email client but supports many other email clients. Supports android, iPhone and blackberry smart phones via BES also including a web app that can be reached over any web browser. Exchange is the back-end server to the popular office 365 which is bundled with the Microsoft office suite and billed on a per user monthly basis with multiple plans depending on which applications you require and other variables. Much the same as googles g suite which all boils down to preference when making the decision on which to use.

Exchange Email Diagram

Exchange Email Diagram

SharePoint Document Management
Microsoft’s premier document management and intranet solution. Collaboration has never been easier with the sharing of documents, track changes real time with the ability for multiple individuals to work on the same document at the same time. Also the ability to search the contents of documents as SharePoint indexes the entire file making it searchable and allowing for the tracking of changes.

SharePoint Home Page

SharePoint Home Page

Internet Information Services (IIS) Web Services
Microsoft’s web hosting service comparable to Apache on Linux servers. For a long time Apache dwarfed IIS on web servers but that has changed in recent time. With IISs solid integration with Microsoft’s other services makes it a lot easier to develop web applications that tie in to your existing Microsoft infrastructure. IIS is required to run SharePoint, Exchange and RDS for providing web access to each application. There’s also seamless integration with Microsoft SQL which is also required for SharePoint and Exchange.

Microsoft IIS

Microsoft IIS

Active Directory (AD)
Microsoft’s single sign on authentication and permissioning service. Seamless integration with all of Microsoft’s other services providing a single username and password to log on to everything. That will work when logging in to either your computer or other computers on the same domain. To your email and files contained on a windows file server including the permissions of the files or directories you have access to down to whether you can read, write or delete said files or directories. With a centralized design a password reset or change done in active directory on the same domain which carries over to all the other services so your not managing usernames and passwords on each server or desktop. Once a computer or server is joined to a domain using active directory it can be managed through a single pane allowing for domain wide changes in a single click. Making the administration of hundred even thousands of PCs spread across a large geographically dispersed region a breeze. AD also allows for the configuration of group policies that will set the security policy for each user or group of users which is applied at log on. Group policy also allows for the mapping of network drives, the installation of software, displaying of logon messages, restricting access to websites or network resources, synchronizing the time & date, enabling or disabling of individual services, redirecting your desktop icons, files, my documents, pictures, music, videos & bookmarks so no matter which PC you log on to in the domain you have the same experience down to display settings. Can also be integrated with VPNs, remote desktop services, web applications for remote access of systems, networks and applications.

Active Directory Diagram

Active Directory Diagram

Remote Desktop Services (RDS) formally Terminal Services
RDS provides a virtual windows desktop experience set to emulate windows 10 or any other windows desktop version. In which you can connect using Microsoft’s remote desktop protocol (RDP) or several other remote connection protocols. Connections can be made from a PC running windows, apple OSX, Linux, a smart phone, smart TVs even a thin clients which are dumb terminals that rely on the remote desktop server for storage and compute. Replacing the need for expensive desktop computers and adding another layer of security since the desktop itself cant be hacked.

Microsoft SQL Server
SQL Server is Microsoft’s relational database management system (RDBMS). It is a full-featured database primarily designed to compete against competitors Oracle Database (DB) and MySQL. Like all major RBDMS, SQL Server supports ANSI SQL, the standard SQL language. Provides the database features for SharePoint plus exchange and is required as part of the deployments.

Microsoft File & Print Services
Stores files and directories making them available to all of the computers on a domain with the proper access. Capable of storing several terabytes worth of data in a hierarchical directory structure. Generally designed with a directory per department, then a directory per project within the departments directory, a personal directory for each user that only they have access to, a directory accessible by everyone in the domain for tools and software everyone uses. Lastly for making printers available to the domain with some per department only, providing the drivers for each printer so that they don’t have to be downloaded and installed on each PC. Also the printer queue that takes load off the PC also so the PC can be shutdown and the project will continue to print.

Visual Studio Development Suite
Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft. It is used to develop computer programs, as well as websites, web apps, web services and mobile apps. Visual Studio includes a code editor supporting IntelliSense (the code completion component) as well as code refactoring.

Linux Installations, Maintenance & Support

Linux Support

Lets face it Linux just does some things better such as web servers, PBXs, DVR/NVR, basic email SMTP/POP3/IMAP and web applications. This is why now even Microsoft supports Linux in its azure cloud plus support for Apache and MYSQL which is a huge change of course for them. We support all major brands of Linux including Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, RedHat and OpenSUSE. We provide support, installations, monitoring, updates, preventative maintenance and backups.

CentOS Linux

CentOS Linux

Debian Linux

Debian Linux

RedHat Linux

RedHat Linux

Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Linux

OpenSUSE Linux

OpenSUSE Linux

Routers Switches Networking Equipment Installations & Support

Routers & Switches are used to connect networks and devices together enabling communication between each other through the creation of routing and mac address tables. Allowing devices to locate one another on a local or wide area networks. Once located a packet switched circuit is created to facilitate communication across many networks and devices as if the devices were directly connected. We incorporate some of the latest technologies such as software defined networking (SDN), SD-WAN and route optimization technology. Then embracing new topologies like leaf-spine which is more suited for the cloud era.

Network Top of Rack (ToR) 1U Switches

Network Top of Rack (ToR) 1U Switches

White Label Switches & Routers
This is something tat has really picked up speed in the last five years or so with companies like Facebook and Google. Who realized how much more they were paying for equipment from companies like Cisco and Juniper the leaders in the industry. Then to top it off their equipment didn’t have the features they want and lack the open source programability to add those features. Out of this was born the white label switches and routers with run on commodity hardware from the likes of Quanta and Broadcom which in a lot of cases is the same hardware found in those big name brand products. Running an open source purpose built Linux operating system. Which provides the programability and enhanced security in a world of state sponsored spying. Facebook even released their own publicly downloadable open source Linux operating system for routers and switches. The saving can be tremendous if your alright not having the support community that Cisco and Juniper have.

Route Optimization
The ability to analyze many active internet connections at once for metrics such as jitter, latency, hop count, throughput, loss, unreachable networks & custom. Then using what its learned directs traffic as which route to take by making updates to the routing tables. Then by combining the data from many of the devices you get insight in to network issues happening beyond the next hop.

Route Optimization Explanation Diagram

Route Optimization Explanation Diagram

Internet Fail Over
Having a primary and a fail over internet connection. The fail over connection could be a broadband provider, 4G LTE, DSL, T1 or 5G when available. In conjunction with a device that has more than one WAN port with the ability to sense an outage and two access control lists one for each provider.

Automated Internet Failover

Automated Internet Failover

Variable Length Subnet Masking (VLSM)
Is a numerical masking sequence, or IP address subset, based on overall network requirements. A VLSM allows a network administrator to use long masks for networks with few hosts and short masks for networks with multiple hosts.

Port Bonding or EtherChannels
The ability to take two or more Ethernet ports and link them together for the purpose of increasing bandwidth between switches or redundancy. Should be done in any business grade network with three or more switches especially in the case of non redundant physical units.

Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)
Is the most widely used open source internal routing protocol with support for a large amount of connected devices. Utilized on layer 3 switches in medium to large local area networks.

Intermediate System Intermediate System (IS-IS)
Is an open source internal routing protocol used on networks with the largest amount of connected devices. Utilized on layer 3 switches in very large local area networks.

IInternal Border Gateway Protocol (iBGP)
Is a term used to describe an area of BGP operation that runs within an organization or autonomous system. iBGP could be said to be one of the peers of BGP routers. Routes can be injected from the iGBP into eBGP, vise versa.

External Border Gateway Protocol (eBGP)
Is a BGP term or process used when referring to BGP peers or neighbors that are in a different Autonomous System and Number (ASN). In other words, eBGP is used to exchange route information between different autonomous systems.

Ethernet Fabric
An Ethernet fabric is a type of network topology that collapses traditional three-tier data center switching architectures into one or two tiers, ensures network traffic is never more than two hops away from its destination and operationally behaves like one big switch.

Leaf-Spine
The Spine layer (made up of switches that perform routing) is the backbone of the network, where every Leaf switch is interconnected with each and every Spine switch. This type of network is for data center architectures with a focus on “East-West” network traffic. Especially important in cloud based networks and systems as there is a lot of east west traffic.

Spine Leaf vs Traditional 3 Tier Switching Topology

Spine Leaf vs Traditional 3 Tier Switching Topology

SD-WAN
Helps facilitate the connection of geographically dispersed offices together over several types of connection mediums, such as the internet, MPLS, Metro Ethernet and wireless technologies such as 4G LTE and the upcoming 5G standard. Also performs several router-centric WAN services such as QoS, traffic shaping, route optimization, data compression and ACLs.

SD-WAN Explained Diagram

SD-WAN Explained Diagram

Software Defined Networking (SDN)
Is an approach to network management that enables dynamic, programmatically efficient network configuration in order to improve network performance and monitoring making it more like cloud computing than traditional network management.

Traditional vs Software Defined Network

Traditional vs Software Defined Network

Manufacturers
We support all major brands of hardware or software routers and switches including Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, Alcatel Lucent, HP, Dell, Aruba, Avaya, Extreme, Netgear, Linksys, D-link, Quanta, Pica8 and Huawei.

WiFi Wireless Networking Solutions

We work with the latest in WiFi technology including WiFi 6, mesh technology and dual radio access points. Our usual setup includes doing a wireless survey to determine the optimal position for each access point. Then in a mesh configuration we will then create either an SSID per department or a single corporate network and a guest network that can only access the internet with a bandwidth cap and a schedule so that its only active during business hours.

Access Points (AP)
In computer networking, a wireless access point, or more generally just access point or AP, is a networking hardware device that allows other WiFi devices to connect to a wired network. The AP usually connects to a router as a standalone device, but it can also be an integral component of the router itself.

Various WiFi Access Points (APs)

Various WiFi Access Points (APs)

WiFi 6 / 802.11ax
WiFi 6, also known as 802.11ax, is the latest generation and standard for wireless internet that replaces the 802.11ac, or WiFi 5, standard. Prior to the release of WiFi 6, WiFi standards were identified by version numbers ranging from 802.11b to 802.11ac. However, the WiFi Alliance decided to rename the past standards with the latest iteration with user-friendly conventions to help decrease confusion and identify compatibility between devices. WiFi 6 combines high speed Gigabit Ethernet wireless with the reliability of licensed radio.

WiFi 6 Features

WiFi 6 Features

Wireless Mesh
Mesh WiFi or Whole Office WiFi systems consists of a main router that connects directly to your modem, and a series of satellite access points, or nodes, placed around your office for full WiFi coverage. They are all part of a single wireless network and share the same SSID and password, unlike traditional WiFi routers.

Wireless WiFi Mesh Network Diagram

Wireless WiFi Mesh Network Diagram

Dual Band
Dual radio allows for the use of both the 2.4ghz range and the 5ghz range. Newer devices support the 5ghz range but some of the older only the 2.4ghz. The 5ghz range has more available channels and allows for faster speeds.

Dual Radio
Dual radio which is only found in higher and access points allows for two simultaneous connections. Either allowing for more devices to use the access point at once or we can double the throughput to a singe device allowing for gigabit speeds.

Service Set Identifier (SSID)
Is a sequence of characters that uniquely names a wireless local area network (WLAN). An SSID is sometimes referred to as a “network name.” This name allows stations to connect to the desired network when multiple independent networks operate in the same physical area.We can even broadcast multiple SSIDs with different access level such as a guest network that only has internet access and a corporate network with full access to the system resources.

WEP, WPA & WPA2 Wireless Encryption Standards
Are all encryption standards used to protect the information going across your wireless network. It is also important to know the password can be cracked after listening for enough time to capture a million packets. So we recommend changing the wireless password every 6-12 months. Its also very important to only use the WPA2 encryption standard as WEP provides almost no protection and can be cracked very easily. WPA is better than WEP but still not sufficient enough because keep in mind WiFi is a broadcast so all the devices receive all the communication whether its intended for that device or not. In normal operation a device will receive everything and just drop whats not intended for it however a device can be set not to drop anything receiving all the traffic on the network. Giving it the ability to see the traffic intended for other devices.

Server, Network & Desktop Virtualization (Container & Hypervisor Based)

Using virtualization we can take a single physical server and have it run many virtual instances. This allows for much more efficient use of hardware. In recent years servers have gotten so fast that having it performing a single task is a waste of physical rack space, power and cooling. Virtualization also allows for running multiple operating systems from the same server including virtual desktops. A server with a terabyte plus of RAM, 32 CPU cores or more, SSD storage utilizing a RAID, GPU acceleration with 2000+ Cuda cores and 10gbit, 40gbit even 100gbit Ethernet or infiband network connections are capable of hosting anywhere from 10-100 conventional servers depending on the load. There are also two main kinds of virtualization hypervisor based and container based. In a nutshell hypervisor based virtualization has its own operating system then each virtual machine is installed using its own operating system that is completely separate from the hypervisor’s operating system and any other virtual machines operating system. Thus allowing for more security, flexibility in hardware virtualization and operating system selection with the trade off being performance. Where as container based virtualization all share the same operating system and each virtual machine or virtual software instance is just a jailed off extension of the root operating system. This has the draw back of being less secure, having less flexibility in operating system choice but what it lacks it makes up for in performance. Since the virtual host doesn’t need to make individual calculations for each virtual machine a lot of them being duplicates it allows for 10x-100x the amount of virtual instances on the same hardware. So depending on intended use each virtualization type is better suited for different tasks. All forms of virtualization allow for easier management all the instances can be viewed from a single pain making diagnosing issues much quicker. Faster boot times, near instant backups, restorations and better load handling automatically moving higher utilization instances to the physical hosts with the most available resource and even the ability to power down physical hosts that aren’t needed then powering them back up during times of increased system load.. The next level of virtualization is the over mentioned but never explained properly “cloud computing platform”. Now we have taken physical hardware and made each component a resource in a larger pool. Giving us the ability to utilize multiple physical servers as though it were a single large server. Allowing for load balancing, better overall utilization of hardware, a reduction in physical space required, less power, less cooling and fault tolerance. Since the physical servers get broken down into their constituent components and place in a pool losing one or even multiple physical servers would not impact functionality. The pool would have less available resources but their would be zero impact on the virtual machines hosted within. There are of course limits and if enough servers go down you would lose functionality but when properly configures and managed the likely hood of that is slim to none. Then add in full snapshot image backups and restoration can be done in a matter of minutes not hours or days. Thus living up to the hype of the cloud and why its such a revolutionary step forward.

Virtualization Comparison Diagram

Virtualization Comparison Diagram

Hypervisor Virtualization
Is a hardware virtualization technique that allows multiple guest operating systems (OS) to run on a single host system at the same time. Each instance is referred to as a virtual machine and share no code with the other virtual machines running on the same physical host. While this approach puts more strain on the host it provides a higher level of security and separation of the virtual machines. Allowing each virtual machine to run custom drivers and software without interfering with any of the other virtual machines. Examples of hypervisor based virtualization are VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V.

Container Virtualization
Is a virtual run time environment that runs on top of a single operating system (OS) kernel and emulates an operating system rather than the underlying hardware. Which is much more efficient than hypervisor based virtualization but limited to the same guest and host operating system. Also less secure and does not allow for the installation of custom drivers or software that effects the kernel that may cause issues for other containers on the same host. Container virtualization is best suited for Linux web applications.

Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
Network functions virtualization is a network architecture concept that uses the technologies of IT virtualization to virtualize entire classes of network node functions into building blocks that may connect, or chain together, to create communication services.

Voice Over IP (VoIP) Telephony Systems

We support all brands of VoIP systems, IP phones and PBXs including Cisco, Juniper, Avaya, Fonality, 3CX, Asterisk, Free PBX, Polycom, Allworx, Snom, Yealink, Shoretel, 8×8, Ooma, Grandstream, Ringcentral and Nextiva. Most VoIP solutions included all the business features you need. Calling groups, Call forwarding to cell phones or other extensions, Intercom, Caller ID, Voicemail to email, System attendant w/ customizable greeting message, Call recording, Call transfer, Hold music and IVR auto dialer. Save money with pay per minute sip trunking versus a fixed rate per line.

VoIP w/ PBX & IP Phones System Diagram

VoIP w/ PBX & IP Phones System Diagram

Voice over IP (VoIP)
Voice over Internet Protocol, also called IP telephony, is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol networks, such as the Internet.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX)
A telephone system within an enterprise that switches calls between enterprise users on local lines while allowing all users to share a certain number of external phone lines.

Sip Trunking
Enables the end point’s PBX to send and receive calls via Internet. As SIP is applied for the signalling protocol for multiple real-time application, SIP trunk is able to control voice, video and messaging applications.

Direct Inward Dialing (DID)
Is a service of a local phone company (or local exchange carrier) that provides a block of telephone numbers for calling into a company’s private branch exchange (PBX) system.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Is an automated telephony system that interacts with callers, gathers information and routes calls to the appropriate recipients. Perfect for taking automated phone payments and system attendant for directing calls to the appropriate team.

IP Phones
Are phones that utilize the same network as your computers so separate equipment isn’t required. IP phones require a PBX either hosted in-house or in the cloud. Instead of copper lines like a T1 on a PSTN phone system the PBX utilizes internet bandwidth and sip trunks. Because of this you no longer need a line for every phone and can take advantage of very low per minute pricing.

Various Cisco IP Phones

Various Cisco IP Phones

File & Data Storage Solutions

Storage Area Networks (SANs)
Is a dedicated, high-performance storage system that transfers block-level data between servers and storage devices. SAN is typically used in data centers, enterprises or virtual computing environments. It offers the speed of DAS with the sharing, flexibility and reliability of NAS. SAN storage is a very sophisticated option that’s meant to support complex, mission-critical applications.

Storage Area Network (SAN)

Best Use Case Scenario: SAN is best for block-level data sharing of mission- critical files or applications at data centers or large-scale enterprise organizations.
Worst Use Case Scenario: SANs can be a significant investment and is a sophisticated solution that’s typically reserved for serious large-scale computing needs. A small-to-midsize organization with a limited budget and few IT staff or resources likely wouldn’t need a SAN.

Network Attached Storage (NAS)
Offers dedicated file serving and sharing through a network. It increases performance and reliability with features like RAID and swappable drives designed for higher multi-drive workloads. NAS storage is also a good solution for consolidating storage systems from DAS – plus, having one centralized, shared storage system will save money in the long run, eliminate confusion and increase reliability in case of system failure or an outage. NAS is known as a top choice for SMBs.

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Best Use Case Scenario: NAS is perfect for SMBs and organizations that need a minimal-maintenance, reliable and flexible storage system that can quickly scale up as needed to accommodate new users or growing data.
Worst Use Case Scenario: Server-class devices at enterprise organizations that need to transfer block-level data supported by a Fibre Channel connection may find that NAS can’t deliver everything that’s needed. Maximum data transfer issues could be a problem with NAS.

Direct Attached Storage (DAS)
Is a fairly basic, low-maintenance, low-cost solution where the storage system is a part of the actual host computer or connected directly to the host computer. This could be as simple as an external hard drive and it’s the opposite of network storage, where workstations and servers connect through a network. DAS is used in many IT infrastructures and larger DAS storage units can accommodate multiple disks in one enclosure. However, for some business applications requiring greater flexibility and data-sharing across teams, DAS’s ability to grow and scale is limited – especially if you expect to see a lot of business growth over a short period of time.

Direct Attached Storage (DAS) Best Use Case Scenario: DAS is ideal for small businesses that only need to share data locally, have a defined, non-growth budget to work with and have little to no IT support to maintain a complex system.

Worst Use Case Scenario: DAS is not a good choice for businesses that are growing quickly, need to scale quickly, need to share across distance and collaborate or support a lot of system users and activity at once.

Just a Bunch of Disks (JBOD)
A server with multiple hard drives connected without using a RAID. In some newer deployments JBOD is used at the hardware layer then a software RAID is implemented at the OS layer to manage the array.

Just a Bunch of Disks (JBOD) Diagram

Just a Bunch of Disks (JBOD) Diagram

Redundant Array of Independent Drives (RAID)
Allows many hard drives to act as one to gain speed and redundancy. This is achieved through the many different RAID levels. Each has strengths and weaknesses through trade offs in either speed, usable space or redundancy. We support all forms of hard drive RAIDs including 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60 & 100. Almost all servers will implement a RAID of some form depending on its needs. Check out chart included here that shows the ups and downs of each form of RAID. This information is all for reference and you will not be required to choose the RAID level for each server. The only time you may be forced to make a decision is if there are budgetary constraints and when concessions must be made. We will of course make recommendations and explain the trade-offs of each decision.

Redundant Array of Independent Drives (RAID) RAID 6 Diagram

Redundant Array of Independent Drives (RAID) RAID 6 Diagram

RAID Levels Comparison Chart

RAID Levels Comparison Chart

GlusterFS
Is a scalable network file system suitable for data-intensive tasks such as cloud storage and media streaming. GlusterFS is free and open source software and can utilize common off-the-shelf hardware. Designed for a Linux operating system which was later purchased by RedHat.

Audio Visual (AV) Installations & Support

We install, mount flat screen TVs, projectors and custom digital signage for showcasing your work or just watching television. Dual, quad even six monitor setups for massive work areas. Multi room, club, venue and bar sound systems calibrated specifically for the space with 100% coverage.

Audio Visual (AV) Equipment Support

Audio Visual (AV) Equipment Support

Printers Copiers Scanners & Fax Machines

Sure the world is moving further and further away from paper but there’s no escaping needing a multi function printer scanner copier fax machine.  We still support these behemoths whether its one on your desk or once that’s the size of a small car. It all depends on how often you need to use it and the speed at which it prints. Then there’s the choice of ink or toner and color or black and white.  Obviously color is more expensive and toner is more expensive up front but you end up saving a lot in toner refills over ink refills. Also the speed toner is significantly faster. As for scanners you have quality, size & speed. If speed is important you’ll want an auto feeder and most all but not every scanner comes with scan to email or file folder. We really only install network printers these days that can be printed to by any computer on the network vs the one its plugged in to. We also almost always use a print server that will install the drivers on any computer and hold the queue so that it doesn’t take up the memory of the printing computer. Also so if the computer was turned off during the print job it would continue to print. For faxing most people rely on a fax to email solution so you don’t need the dedicated phone line which can be rather high monthly and isn’t nearly as convenient.

Printer Copier Scanner (MFP) Support

Printer Copier Scanner (MFP) Support

Security Camera Systems

Cameras have become more prevalent than ever especially in a retail environment. We can hook you up with the latest security system technology. Including motion activated recording so your not just recording empty rooms all day wasting recording space. You can also be alerted to motion based on a schedule or in a protected area like a vault. All of our systems have the ability to be viewed in real time or past recordings from anywhere with an internet connection including over your phone. With fisheye and IR lenses you’ll never miss a thing. Then with the new h.265 recording codec you’ll get higher quality footage that takes up less valuable hard drive space. Allowing for longer recording retention time with better looking images.

Digital Video Recorders (DVR)
A PC or server with a card that has an analog input for each camera. Has software for the recording and viewing of the camera feeds locally or remotely.

Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

Network Video Recorders (NVR)
Acts exactly like a DVR except instead of using a card it uses the an Ethernet network to communicate with IP cameras. Which is the same network used by the rest of your infrastructure meaning no additional equipment is required. With a power over Ethernet (PoE) switch a single cable can provide the data and power to the camera simplifying the installation. Has software for the recording and viewing of the camera feeds locally or remotely.

Network Video Recorder (NVR)

Network Video Recorder (NVR)

IP Cameras
Connects via a standard Ethernet local area network and support power over Ethernet (PoE) for a single cable deployment. Using IP cameras they can be accessed individually through a computer or linked together using an NVR with support for up to 128 cameras from a single system.

IP Security Camera System Diagram

IP Security Camera System Diagram

Fisheye Lens
Has a much wider angle of view allowing the camera to see what would take up to four normal camera lenses to see. Meaning less cameras can be used to cover the same amount of area. Using special software on the NVR or DVR you can split the feed from a single fish eye lens in to multiple channels emulating several different cameras feeds.

Single Fisheye Lens View

Single Fisheye Lens View

Infrared (IR) Lens
Can produce a visible picture even in low light conditions.

Infrared (IR) Lens View

Infrared (IR) Lens View

h.265 High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)
The predecessor to h.264 that allows for higher quality 4k recordings and a more efficient compression that allows for higher quality recordings that take up less data space. Thus allowing for a longer retention period before the footage has to overwritten.

H.265 vs H.264 Image Quality Comparison

H.265 vs H.264 Image Quality Comparison

H.265 vs H.264 Storage Usage Comparison

H.265 vs H.264 Storage Usage Comparison

Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Cameras 
Allows a user to change the view of the camera in real time so as not to miss something that’s currently out of the field of view or to get a better view of something to make out more detail.

Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Camera

Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Camera

Smart Phone Support

We support all major brands of smart phones including android, iPhone and blackberry. Whether its setting up your business email, installing apps or fixing a cracked screen we’ve got you covered. With our management software we can perform work on your phone remotely. Track the phone if its been stolen even wipe the data remotely to keep it from falling in to the wrong hands.

Google Android Smart Phone Support

Google Android Smart Phone Support

Apple iPhone Smart Phone Support

Apple iPhone Smart Phone Support

Blackberry Smart Phone Support

Blackberry Smart Phone Support

Point of Sales (POS) Systems

Point of Sales (POS) Support

Point of Sales (POS) Support

Point of sales systems setup with receipt printer and credit card processing. Also including a back-end for generating reports to checkout each employee calculating their gross sales, tip outs, tips earned, automatically withholding the taxes and the ability to balance out the cash drawer. Profit & Loss reports w/ each employees sales numbers including inventory management. With a real time count of inventory left in stock w/ alerts when items need to be reordered. Track missing inventory based on what was sold vs whats left in stock. Camera integration that shows on the screen what should be being put in and taken out of the register after each sale. Track the expiration date of items that spoil so that nothing is served past the expiration date. Know whats close to spoiling for a daily special discount to move the item before expiration. Generate a daily list of what has expired and needs to be thrown out. Have the ability to weigh each bottle to track over pours, drinks that are being given away or consumed without being paid for. Track ticket times so that you know how long people are waiting for their food. Track best selling items and items with the best margins. Track all coupons and discounts applied. Track how much alcohol a guest has been served to avoid over serving. Maintain a list of preferred customers email addresses for marketing purposes. Send out a newsletter to each preferred guest with upcoming events, new menu items and current promotions.

Supercomputers

IBM Summit Supercomputer

IBM Summit Supercomputer

supercomputer is a computer with a high level of performance compared to a general-purpose computer. The performance of a supercomputer is commonly measured in floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) instead of million instructions per second (MIPS). This is achieved by running thousands of traditional servers linked together utilizing not only fast high core count CPUs but GPU accelerators such as Nvidia’s Tesla GPU as well. Which pushes the core count too the tens of thousands per server. Making these machines very well suited for performing AI / Deep learning,  Advanced calculations / simulations and code breaking. The big players out of the US include Cray and IBM with the title holding worlds fastest supercomputer the Summit.

Quantum Computing Systems

D-Wave Quantum Computer

D-Wave Quantum Computer

Quantum computing is the use of quantum-mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computation. A quantum computer is used to perform such computation, which can be implemented theoretically or physically. There are currently two main approaches to physically implementing a quantum computer: analog and digital. Analog approaches are further divided into quantum simulation, quantum annealing, and adiabatic quantum computation. Digital quantum computers use quantum logic gates to do computation. Both approaches use quantum bits or qubits.

Qubits are fundamental to quantum computing and are somewhat analogous to bits in a classical computer. Qubits can be in a 1 or 0 quantum state. But they can also be in a superposition of the 1 and 0 states. However, when qubits are measured the result is always either a 0 or a 1; the probabilities of the two outcomes depends on the quantum state they were in.

Today’s physical quantum computers are very noisy and quantum error correction is a burgeoning field of research. Unfortunately existing hardware is so noisy that fault-tolerant quantum computing [is] still a rather distant dream. As of April 2019, no large scalable quantum hardware has been demonstrated, nor have commercially useful algorithms been published for today’s small, noisy quantum computers. There is an increasing amount of investment in quantum computing by governments, established companies, and start-ups. Both applications of near-term intermediate-scale device and the demonstration of quantum supremacy are actively pursued in academic and industrial research.