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Change to your backup strategy?

How would your backup strategy change if you could burn a DVD that held 1TB, or even just 500GB at the cost of $30 per disk?

 Israel-based Mempile Inc. is set to demonstrate burning the 500GB DVD at CES International 2008.  Their market is currently aimed at backups but the entertainment industry says that this is just the next step towards a better HD recording system.  But for now…. could you imagine 250,000 high-resolution photos or MP3s, or about 40 HD movies or 115 DVD movies on the same DVD?


F5 is ‘out’?

Our quest for Link Aggrigation and Load Balancing continues and I ‘think’ we have removed one horse from the race.

F5 is a great product don’t get me wrong, they appear to have a great product line but they don’t appear to specialize in this space.  Our Reasons for taking them out of the running:
-While their linkcontroller would work, it also appears to be another solution repackaged to ‘fit’ in this niche.  They also wanted to tell us we needed a lot more stuff than we do.. i.e site caching, high amounts of compression, etc.  While these features are great we decided we don’t need them in this box.
-The other concern, it only has 4 ports.  All the competition has at lest 8 ports on their devices and would seem to grow and expand with us more.
- Lastly the price.  Their bids are $4k-$5K more than any other vendor in this space.  While their product might be worth the price, its out of our price range.

So who is still in the running?  The two front runners are Warp by FatPipe, Inc. and LinkProof50 by Radware.  Where do we stand with those two?  Radware has a little lead, we like their interface and the granularity they provide in the load-balancing.  The demo-to-buy units from FatPipe and Radware are in the works and on their way.

There are some dark horses entering the race… Larry our hardware specialist from Dell has recommended we look at products from Barracuda, Juniper and Citrix… we’ll see what they recommend.


FREE SharePoint Training Registration Closing Soon

Registration will close on December 21st for the SharePoint Training.  We must close the registration so we can finalize the numbers for the courseware Mindsharp is providing for each of the attendees.

If you haven’t registered yet, and you are planning to attend, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  If you are wavering as to are you going to attend why not, ITS FREE!

For Church Employees/Volunteer “Staff” Register Here

For Consultants and Vendors Serving the Church market Register Here


The Move is on…

A few days ago our call to arms was similar to that of Paul Revere … “The Data Racks are Comming, The Data Racks are Comming!”  Our new Data Racks had finally arrived we quickly unpacked them to install in the new DataCenter.

RacksArrive JasonInRack Adding Hardware 

Today,Day 3 of the telephone system relocation and has come to an end.  Or Technicans Darren and John from CTS have gone home for the day and plan to return for day 4 tomorrow.   Note: This was suppose to be a 2 day project.

The first stages of relocating to our DataCenter is moving the telephone system from its old location to the new telecom rack in the DataCenter.  The old phone location was not cooled nor did it have power from the generator… not to mention the “cleaned up wiring” was a disaster.  I have been told what we pulled out today was the improved ‘mess’ from the intial install.

 PhoneRelocation WiringMess 

Jasonandwire PBX MIA 

We have pulled the rats nest out out and are now rewiring the phone system on two new trunk lines (one 100 and one 200 pair trunks).

PhoneSystem121807-1

For more exciting DataCenter news, visit www.jkilgore.net


F5, FatPipe or Radware

Our continuing increase in online media, hosted services and a general need for speed has lead us to a quest for more bandwidth.  The acquiring of more bandwidth we are learning is the easy and less costly part of the venture.  The most expensive part of our quest is turning  out to be the hardware to combine multiple connections to deliver said bandwidth to our network.

We have contracted with AT&T to replace our A5T1 and with Insight (soon to be Comcast) to provide two 15mbx1.5mb cable modem connections.  We are ditching A5 for several reasons: 1 the price, they are charging double for the same service as AT&T and they won’t even try to match the price 2. Their support is plain awful; while the connectivity has been good, any time we call them its awful.  One example: during an outage we needed some information about our IP addresses and router.  I had previously given every possible contact info about me.  I verified that info and yet they still insisted on returning my call 90 minutes later… Since then we have been on a quest to change vendors.

So since the closest available fiber is over 2 miles away, we have landed with the 3 link solution.  We are currently evaluating 3 products. Link Controller by F5, FatPip’s 30Mb WARPand Radware’s Link Proof.

Have you ever used any of these products?  If you have and would like to chat with us email me or post your thoughts in the comments…

More to come… Online Demos: 2 down 1 to go.  So far each company is willing to give us a 30 day trial too….


Don’t forget to keep your templates

Well we had another great experince with VMware technical support.  Our $500 24/7 support for VMWare Server has paid off one more time. 

Because of our recent SAN crash we had to rebuild many of our virtual servers, one of those was our second Domain Controller.  I powered this ‘empty virtual server’ off earlier this week so I could make sure that I had completely removed all referances to its predicesor from the metadata in AD.  So we walked thru the microsoft KB article ‘How to remove data in Active Directory after an unsuccessful domain contorller demotion’ (Granted it was unsuccessful because the server didnt’ exist anymore not because DCPromo didn’t work).

So after AD is cleaned up I waited 24 hrs for AD to replicate and produce a days worth of clean event logs and all was well… until i tried to boot the virtual DC.  VMware returned a message that the server was not in inventory.  Not in invetory I could see the name displayed right there in the inventory list.  I quickly checked and the server’s VMDK and other files were all in the correct location… so i called VMware Support.

After the normal “I normally support ESX not Server, let me try to help” routine we are accustom to the tech remotely connected and remove the server from the host registration.  He then said build a new server and copy the hard drive into that directory… Better yet he said I could take the template we have and just copy that config over.

So I saved the harddrive file and put it with the template config and booted up the machine… And we are back in business.

100% success with VMware Support.


Congrats Crater Buddies!

Congrats to my Buddy Lukie the Salukie, ESQ and Little Buddy Laura on the birth of their daughter.

Adelyn Joy Crater was born Tuesday 12/11 at 6:23 PM  weighing 7.5 Oz. and 21.5 inches long.    

Adelyn Joy Crater


Progress… Finally

Jeremie has blogged about why we are moving to our new DataCenter so i’ll show you some photos of the progress.  The fire suppresion system was installed last week. 

New Strobe  Wiring Of FireAlarm  ControlPannel-FireAlarm  detector


Warm Fuzzies…being appreciated

It can’t go over looked how nice it makes you feel when you are appreciated!  The ‘Staff Christmas Party’ this year was another really fun event.  We started the day with a breakfast at the church where our leadership team gave each staff member an really cool jacket with our new northwoods logo on it…then 45 of our staff piled into a charter bus to head to the ‘windy city’.

Our 3 hour bus ride included the entertainment of Yankee Trader Gift Exchange.. this is always an EVENT at the staff Christmas party, but this year was different.  We didn’t give $10 gifts but rather gave our $10 bucks to a local charity and had to MAKE our gifts.  Jeremie Kilgore and I started to create our strategy early on as to how we would play the ‘game’.  We identified the ‘high value’ gifts within the first 10 rounds.  The ‘Black and white matted photo’, the 2 gift cards, and the book ends in the shape of crosses made from a melted down car chassis….  Our strategy paid off.. we both were ‘in play for 20+ of the 43 rounds… not bad for pulling an early number.  Well I ended up with about 4 lbs of awesome fudge.  I gave a home made Yule Log  and Jeremie gave a Snow Globe… well its nice especially since he made the thing… It was really cool… maybe he’ll post a photo on his site soon (HINT HINT JK).

Our day entailed an awesome lunch, a trip to the apple store to stump the genius, a trip to the audiologist for our music guys to get ear molds, and some expensive peppermint bark.

While my venture to stump the genius was fun especially when the genius tried to tell me that OS X.5 was built on a new technology… he just didn’t understand how we could think Unix wasn’t created this year….   While I was dishing out some teasting I got a taste of my own when a kid under 8 had to help me connect to the Internet with the  macbook pro. 

In my defense, the power was out in our office and that resulted in the sites I was trying to connect to being offline… but his squeaky voice explaining how to use Safari was too much for Jeremie, Ben and Dave not to give me a hard time.

Ben and Harold had some fun getting molds made of their ears for their IEM (In Ear Monitors).  We talked up how they might loose their hearing or even have the mold composite get too hard in their ears to pull it back out, but that didn’t phase them, too much…

I had the opportunity to try out the new Sensophonics IEM system.  It boasts in-ears that have microphones to pickup ambient sound.  I didn’t believe the quality would be very good… but i was pleasantly surprised… but for $2k they should be good… a little too much for our budget :(

All in all, a really great day (minus the power outage at home)!  The leadership team at NWCC knows how to give an awesome Staff party!


SharePoint Training for Consultants and Vendors Open

As mentioned previously, the SharePoint Training is now open to Vendors and Consultants who serve the church market.

The price for the training for individuals in the for-profit sector is $2495 ($1000 discount by Bill English for our event).  This includes the Course, Courseware, Snacks and Lunch during the 5 day training.

The registration is now open.  If you have a consultant who serves your church have them register along with you and attend the training together.

Register Now


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