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Get More Control Over Your Network with a Smart Switch

This entry-level managed switch provides basic features like QoS and security, but at a more cost-effective price.

We’ve written before about the difference between managed and unmanaged switches and choosing the one that’s right for your small business. However, there’s a third option you should consider if you’ve outgrown your unmanaged switch but don’t need the more advanced functionality of a managed switch: It’s a smart switch.

Think of a smart switch as an entry-level managed switch. Smart switches provide basic managed switch features—like Quality of Service (QoS), security, and web management—butwithout the advanced features of  their fully-managed counterparts. With less granular capabilities, smart switches are also less expensive than managed devices.

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Should I be working with my phone company, or some other big service provider, instead of a smaller partner?

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

It’s no secret that a lot of different types of channel partners are vying for your attention these days. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes: Resellers, consultant, cloud aggregators, cable companies and phone companies, just to name a few. Some of them may have their own products and services to sell, but many also resell the offerings of others.

To a certain extent, the value propositions can be dropped into one of two separate buckets: The first bucket is for partners who are large and can leverage that scale to provide lower prices for their customers. In this context the fee structure might be advantageous, but they tend to not break any land speed records in terms of customized customer service. The second bucket is for channel companies that are most customized and consultative. Their fees may be higher, but frequently they provide guidance and a level of service that can reduce total costs of IT over the long haul. On the other hand, they might not have the reach, resources, and technology breadth of larger companies.

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Improve Business Performance with a Hybrid Storage Solution

A network-attached storage device that offers both onsite and online backup frees up resources and can help minimize risk.

When you think of storage, you may not associate it with improving your business’s performance. However, if you’re talking about network-attached storage (NAS), that’s exactly what the right solution can do. Protecting your data and providing employees with fast access to files can save your company both time and money. Even more important, if disaster strikes, a NAS solution that offers both onsite and online backup can help keep your company in business.

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Does Your Small Business Need a Wireless LAN Controller?

Simplify the management of your wireless network plus give users advanced mobility services with this one device.

Small Businesses have embraced Wireless LAN for a number of reasons – initially it offered wireless access and connectivity to various devices but now it has become an integral part of business today, not only boosting employee productivity but also becoming a viable alternative to wired (Ethernet-based) access to the network. As the number of clients using wireless infrastructure continues to increase, so does the need for continuous wireless coverage, wireless network uptime and centralized management and monitoring.

Over a period of time as your business grows and you hire new employees and add new access points or move to new buildings or floors it becomes increasingly difficult to manage, configure your wireless infrastructure. And if you have more than two or three wireless access points, managing each of them separately is a time-consuming task.

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Three Tips for Improving Router Performance and Security

This post is brought to you by the Cisco Innovators Program.

Small is beautiful, cybercriminals agree.

Attacks on businesses of all sizes occur in essentially the same way. But they succeed much more often on smaller companies than on larger ones.

Information Week Analytics refers to small businesses as “filet mignon” for hackers and malware; it says the primary threat is external penetration into the business’s network.

Small businesses often rely on cheap, consumer-class technology, even at the external network interface—the router. Cheap routers jeopardize security, operational efficiency, and employee productivity. Their cost structure simply precludes business-class performance and security.

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