• There are things in every system that if they fail will cause the entire system to be crippled. These single points of failure can be hardware based, software based or even people based. If a problem occurs in these sensitive areas then an entire business can grind to a halt while the problem is being resolved.Single Points of Failure: Human

    Previously, we looked at hardware based failure points and then at software based failure points. There is however another type of failure that can occur, those created by people! Human error can often be the hardest to guard against — hardware can be replaced, software can be re-installed or patched — but as Alexander Pope said, to err is human, and the ramifications can sometimes be enormous.

    Keep reading…

    Top
  • Top 5 How-To Posts of 2012The need and desire to learn, understand and develop skills in new areas applies equally to all aspects of daily life including the use and mastering of technology. To this end, how-to tutorials continue to be a fantastic tool for passing on key information. How-to blogs posts have proved to be very popular on this blog during 2012 and have covered a diverse range of topics from how to run Android using vmware player to how to create a silent installer for ANSYS 14.

    Keep reading…

    Top
  • The time has finally come! Just a few days ago, major internet companies participated in IPv6 Launch Day – meaning from this point forward, they will be running their production systems and making their services available to you via the IPv6 in addition to IPv4. Amongst this good news, however there is a good chance that you may be with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that has not yet provided IPv6 connectivity to your location. I wanted to introduce you to a way that you can connect a small network to the IPv6 internet by way of a Tunnel Broker – for free.

    deploying IPv^ on a Cisco IOS routerMoving forward, the only requirements needed for this type of connection are a consistent WAN/internet connection (cable modem, optical, T1 or similar), a static public IP address (or at least one that does not change very often) and a compatible router or host.

    Keep reading…

    Top
  • One of the common tasks for any system administrator is managing disk space on a server. It doesn’t matter what operating system the server is running, free disk space is always something you keep an eye on. I won’t go into a boring lecture on why managing disk space is critical, as I’m sure many of you are well aware of what happens when a server runs out of available disk space. So, instead of getting that phone call or page saying that your server is out of space, you can manage your free space by adding more of it dynamically! Yes, with a single reboot of your machine (to install a physical or virtual disk), you can easily add more space and keep things running smoothly.

    Keep reading…

    Top
  • The paradigm of computing resource configurations have changed several times of the last 40 years. From mainframes to mini computers, through desktops and file servers to server farms, software as a service and the cloud.

    Any company that uses server farms or engineering compute farms needs to manage those machines efficiently and effectively to reduce the total cost of ownership and increase value for money. However managing a compute farm isn’t as simple as managing a simple web server or as straight forward as administrating a domain controller. If the right skills can’t be found in-house then outsourcing server and computer farm management can be the best solution. Using the people with the right skills will save money and boost performance.

    Here are five reasons why server farm or engineering compute farm management and administration should be outsourced: Keep reading…

    Top
  • How to Restore Data Using BaculaImagine (if you dare) the worst case scenario with your company’s data. Double disk drive failure, all data lost. You need to recover that data as fast as possible due to deadlines. You’ve been diligent about your backups using Bacula, but now they are going to be put to the test.

    How do you go about recovering that data? Fortunately, doing a restore job using Bacula is very simple, but there are some things you need to be aware of when doing it. I’ve written up a document that describes exactly how to do the restore.

    Feel free to download it here. I really hope you don’t have to use it, but if you do, feel free to follow it and provide comments below about your success!

    Bradley Tinder
    Systems Integrator, SPK & Associates

    Top
  • Top Five IT Outsourcing TrendsAs the global economy remains turbulent, corporate decisions-makers continue to remain laser-focused on cost containment and finding new ways of generating additional productivity and value to their organizations. As a result, these macro factors are shaping many of the current trends in IT outsourcing, though not all.

    Below are the key IT outsourcing trends that have emerged in 2011 and are likely to continue for the foreseeable future:

    Keep reading…

    Top
  • VPN SetupTraditionally, using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect to a remote site has been a technical – and oftentimes troublesome – requirement. With the growing popularity of using “remote programmers”, I see requests for purchasing Cisco routers and Windows servers. Tiny businesses often expect VPN setup to be daunting and assume that you need to buy expensive hardware, complicated software, and an IT manager.

    Hamachi is an easy, seamless solution that will let you access Work (or Home) resources from another site without configuring firewalls and writing routing tables! Communications are encrypted for security, meaning the person with the sunglasses at the local Starbucks won’t be eavesdropping on your Skype conversation. Attached are some instructions for getting Hamachi VPN setup in just a few minutes!

    PDFHow to setup Hamachi VPN

    Edwin Chung
    Application Integration Engineer, SPK

    Top
  • DB2 UpgradeDB2 is one of the best databases available today for the money and features. It also offers a relatively easy upgrade from 8.2 to 9.1 database versions.  The primary issue was finding which level of DB2 that other application vendors all supported.

    The attached article describes the steps necessary to setup a new database server with DB2 9.1 fixpack 10 and migrate databases to this server from another.

    We invite you to download our quick guide to installing and upgrading DB2 from a 8.2 database server to a  9.1 database server.

    Top
  • Picture your ideal company technological infrastructure. Servers to handle day to day tasks, servers to do engineering IT infrastructure managementsimulations, network equipment to handle communication, network-attached storage for your company critical data, and last but not least, uninterruptible power supplies otherwise known as UPS. It’s a given that you will probably have monitoring setup on your servers, network equipment and even your network attached storage, but what about the UPS units? These definitely can be monitored, but it requires a bit of setup. In this 2 part post series, I’ll be detailing how SPK and Associates does monitoring of APC-based UPS units as part of our infrastructure support services.

    Keep reading…

    Top