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Every Great Project Starts with a Plan

Planning for IT Growth Improves Results and Keeps Costs Down

As we get to know each other you’ll find out that I’m a HUGE foodie. I love to cook and I drive my family a crazy with my cooking shows, recipe books, and celebrity chef sightings. But I think the thing I drive them most insane with is my ridiculous Ratatouille doll (2007, Disney Pixar cartoon). If you touch his nose, he talks. And the first thing he says every time is:

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Greening your small business IT

I recently lived in a great apartment, I liked almost everything about it--the location, the space, the view--but it was built almost 30 years ago. As you can imagine, a building from the 1980′s isn’t as energy efficient as you might hope for these days.

Although everything generally worked fine, I wasn’t thrilled with the environmental “friendliness” of the place and my utilities bills were quite steep. I decided to approach the owner of the building about investing in greener window panes and more energy efficient appliances. He dismissed the idea, and I am happy to report that, for a wide array of reasons, I now live in a new apartment, that better satisfies my environmental standards.

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What Is Virtualization and How Does It Work for Your Small Business?

I hear people talking about virtualization all the time. They’re usually talking about enterprises and data centers and they usually mean server virtualization. But desktops can be virtualized too, which can be helpful to small and medium-size businesses.

First things first: what is virtualization? Virtualization is the process of running multiple virtual machines on a single physical machine. The virtual machines share the resources of one physical computer, and each virtual machine is its own environment.

Large companies--the ones with dozens, even hundreds, of servers--use server virtualization to consolidate the number of machines they”re running while making them operate more efficiently. Few smaller-sized companies have the number of servers needed to make server virtualization a cost-cutting item on their balance sheet.

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Review: Cisco Smart Storage is Network Attached Storage Made Easy

We recently announced our next generation of network attached storage products for small business, Cisco NSS 300 Series Smart Storage.  CRN got their hands on one and has a great review of the product.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Setup is absolutely idiot-proof, and that’s saying a lot about a box that not only serves files to Linux, Mac and Windows clients, but also does performs FTP, HTTP, NFS, iTunes, Twonky media, WordPress and MySQL services by simply checking a box.”

We know how important ease of use is when it comes to technology, and we made that a priority with this product--glad to see it pay off!

Read the entire review at

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Small Business Networking Do’s and Don’ts

Most of us agree “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Unfortunately, this mindset can cost you dearly when it comes to your network. Like many small businesses, you probably don’t think about the network until something goes horribly wrong.  Suddenly you are fighting fires when you could have been strategically planning.  (And we all know which of those scenarios is least expensive!)

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

“A stitch in time saves nine.”

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