Category Archives: Hardware

PowerBiz Backup Essentials featuring Windows Storage Server 2008R2 Essentials now available in Australia

As the title implies, we are finally able to purchase, implement and deploy the Windows Storage Server 2008R2 Essentials solution for small businesses. This server, which comes in a variety of hard drive options from 1TB to 6TB of storage will provide an excellent out-of-box solution for small businesses.

Among the unique feature set are the following:

  • Automated daily client computer backups of Windows and Macintosh clients and server backups.
  • Simple recovery of individual files, folders and entire computers from image-based backups.
  • Centralized file organization.
  • Remote Access similar to what is available in SBS and SBS Essentials can provide RWA access in branch offices and locations where there is no SBS server.
  • Support for thrid party add-ins.

You can download the Datasheet here – http://www.powerbiz.net.au/files/WSSE2.pdf

PowerBiz Solutions has partnered with Hewlett-Packard to provide a custom solution called PowerBiz Backup Essentials. Using the HP Proliant Microserver, the PowerBiz Backup Essentials unit is a self contained Windows Storage Server 2008R2 Essentials solution. Just start up the unit, and configure a few settings to your network, and it is ready to go.

For pricing, specifications and availability, send an email to info@powerbiz.net.au.

For more information on the HP Proliant Microserver, check out this blog post – http://blog.powerbiz.net.au/features/hp-proliant-microserver/

 

Why use Enterprise Drives in RAID instead of Desktop Drives?

Desktop Drives are cheap(er), but are not suited for use in a RAID array with a proper RAID controller. Why is that? Were the drive manufacturers pulling wool over our eyes so that they could sell more drives?

Western Digital put out a KB article to explain how desktop drives were different from Enterprise drives, and why you should not put desktop drives into a RAID array. http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1397/~/difference-between-desktop-edition-and-raid-(enterprise)-edition-drives

The bottom line is that WD drives have a special feature for automatic recovery within the drive electronics which will interfere with the automatic recovery code in the RAID controller. The end result is a hard drive failing in the array, when it actually hasn’t. It is worth repeating the Critical Caution note here:

Critical: WD Caviar Black, Caviar Green, and Caviar Blue hard drives are not recommended for and are not warranted for use in RAID environments utilizing Enterprise HBAs and/or expanders and in multi-bay chassis, as they are not designed for, nor tested in, these specific types of RAID applications. For all Business Critical RAID applications, please consider WD’s Enterprise Hard Drives that are specifically designed with RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER), are tested extensively in 24×7 RAID applications, and include features like enhanced RAFF technology and thermal extended burn-in testing.

Configuring the iPhone for Microsoft Online Services (BPOS)

With a bigger push towards Cloud based services, I have decided to put down a quick reference on how to configure the iPhone to work with Microsoft’s Onlince Services (BPOS).

The starting place is to read Microsoft’s Help and How to section – http://www.microsoft.com/online/help/en-us/helphowto/914df3cf-0135-46a7-a975-fd767b6d9a96.htm

  1. On the iPhone, go to Settings> Mail Contacts, Calendar> Add Account…> Microsoft Exchange
     
  2. Fill in the relevant details
    • Email: Your email address
    • Domain: Leave blank
    • Username: Your email address (the login to your BPOS account)
    • Password: Your Password
    • Description: Put in the email address or give it a friendly name
       
  3. The iPhone will Verify the information and will bring up a new field. Type in the relevant field depending on the location of your region in the Mobile Device URLs section here – http://www.microsoft.com/online/help/en-us/helphowto/c0a1a4b9-111f-4bd4-8fab-8147344cd278.htm. Remove the “https://” ie. For Australia, use “red003.mail.apac.microsoftonline.com”
     
  4. Select the information you want to synchronise. That’s it.

HP Proliant Microserver

I’ve been working with the HP Proliant Microserver. This little unit makes an excellent cost effective server for SBS 2011 Essentials, or Windows Home Server 2011. The unit is inexpensive, and can handle up to 4 plug in Hard Drives. In fact, it also make an excellent NAS device or backup server when running Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials.

The full information for this unit can be found here – http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/au/en/sm/WF25a/15351-15351-4237916-4237917-4237917-4248009.html

For SBS2011 Essentials, go with the maximum 8GB RAM, 2 x mirrored 1TB, and additional drives to suit use.

For Windows Home Server 2011, go with 4GB RAM, and as many drives as you need, preferably with a mirrored OS and main data volume.

Always get the UR482E – 3 year Next Business Day Carepack warranty, as this is reasonably inexpensive, and quite worthwhile in protecting your investment.I would also strongly recommend installing the HP Proliant Microserver Remote Access Card ( 615095-B21) – http://h30094.www3.hp.com/product.asp?sku=10265812&mfg_part=615095%2DB21&pagemode=ca

This is an excellent Remote KVM and IPMI card, which would normally be found in higher end servers, but is available for this little unit. The documentation is rather sparse, and if you need to access the device out of the box, the default username and password combination is admin and password. More information on how to reset this card if you have lost this password can be found here – http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&objectID=c02681440&jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN
 

The Importance of Backup

An excellent article today from Flying Solo on why backups are important – http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/business-technology/data-backups-pay-attention-or-you-will-pay

  1. Your backup needs to involve a person who cares about the data
  2. Build a backup mindset into the way you work
  3. You need at least two completely different backup strategies
  4. You must have an offsite backup

The full article is well worth the read.

iPhone IOS4 problem with ActiveSync and Exchange

Apple have released an update for the iPhone IOS4. This problem causes Exchange Mail, Contactas, or Calendars not to sync, or to sync very slowly. Users might also experience increased data usage, which may result in some hefty data charges.
 
The easiest way is to open the link in Safari on the iPhone and run it.
 
The Apple support article can be found here – http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3398

Installing Blackberry Enterprise Server Express on SBS2008

I don’t use the Blackberry, but there are people out there who do. For those users, there is now free server software from Blackberry. Mariette Knap has written an precise and clear guide on how to install this server software on SBS2008. There is quite a bit of work involved, and a far cry from what iPhone and Windows Mobile users need to do to get set up on SBS2008.
 
 

Tethering the iPhone for Telstra users

One of the features I missed when I switched over to the iPhone from Windows Mobile is the ability to use the phone as a modem. This is called tethering in the Apple circles. Apparently, the 3 and Vodafone networks have enabled this on their ipHones, but Telstra has yet to come to the party.
 
There is a way to enable this on your iPhone without a Jailbreak.
 
First, determine whether you are using the telstra.internet or telstra.iph APN (access point for the Carrier).
To do this, browse to Settings, General, Network, Cellular Data Network and view the APN setting.
   
 
 
 
Then, on the iPhone Safari Browser, got to one of the following links.
 
You will be asked to install a Profile called Enable Tethering.
 
After it is installed, browse back to Settings, General, Network and there will be a new item called Internet Tethering, This can now be turned on or off as required.

Sync iPhone email

I’ve been working on the iPhone, since my old HTC died. One thing I found annoying about the iPhone was the inability to sync more than a few days email. I searched and found what I needed.
 
 
To sync more than the default of 3 days, Open up Settings,
 
Mail, Contacts, Calendars, [your exchange account],
 
Mail Days to Sync.
Select the desired setting.