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All About the Cisco PA-T3+ Port Adapter

January 28th, 2012

The PA-T3+ is also referred to as the Cisco PA-T3+, 1 Port T3 Serial Port Adapter Enhanced series of port adapters. These port adapters are available on the Cisco 7200 router series as well as on second-generation Versatile Interface Processor (VIP2) in all members of the Cisco 7500 router series. They are also on Cisco 7000 series routers with RSP7000 and RSP7000CI. These high-quality port adapters reliably provide one PA-T3+ or two PA-T3+ high-speed full-duplex synchronous serial T3 interfaces as well as integrated DSU functionality.

The PA-T3+ port adapters are able to transmit and receive data at T3 rates of up to 45 Mbps and utilize a 75-ohm coaxial cable (also manufactured by Cisco) to connect to a serial T3 network. If you’d like more information on purchasing one of these coaxial cables, please contact us. The PA-T3+ port adapters support several features including: high-speed HDLC data; HDB3 line coding; 16- and 32-bit cyclic redundancy checks; DS3 MIB (RFC 1407); remote and local loopbacks; scrambling and reduced bandwidth; C-bit, M13, and bypass framing; and ATM-DXI, Frame Relay, HDLC, PPP, and SMDS serial encapsulation.

MULTI-LINK Communications Products (MLCP) is currently (January 2012) offering this port adapter for $165 which represents 98% off the manufacturer’s price.

Three Great Deals on Cisco CP-7900 series IP Phones

January 23rd, 2012

Now is the time to buy an IP phone if you’re looking for a great selection of Cisco IP telephony products at the best prices you may ever find.

The CP-7960G is a Cisco-manufactured global IP phone also known as the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G. This phone system was designed to successfully meet the needs of employees in enclosed office environments and those who manage a great deal of daily phone traffic. The CP-7960G supports multiple phone line access and includes several noteworthy features such as: hands-free speakerphone, built-in headset connectivity, and clear high-quality sound. The large display is the phone’s most prominent feature with a pixel-based screen that provides access to applications, supplemental information, and user-friendly navigation of all of the CP-7960G features. Like all of Cisco Systems’ telephony systems, this phone is reliable and easy to use.  MULTI-LINK Communications Products (MLCP) is offering this model, this month, for $125 which represents 66% off the manufacturer’s list price.

The Cisco CP-7961G is a full-featured, enhanced manager VoIP phone. Designed to meet the needs of managers and admin staff, it provides six backlit line/feature buttons which are fully programmable and four interactive soft keys to guide users through call features. The Cisco Unified IP Phone 7961G has high-quality audio controls for high-quality duplex speakerphone, handset, and headset. A top-line built-in headset port and integrated Ethernet switch are standard with the Cisco CP-7961G. The phone also boasts a large, higher-resolution grayscale pixel-based LCD which provides date and time, calling party name, calling party number, and digits dialed. MLCP is offering this model, this month, for $180 which represents 60% off the manufacturer’s list price.

The CP-7962G IP is for customers who are looking for the security, resilience, and scalability of the network that enables users in any workspace to easily connect anywhere, anytime, and anyplace, using any media, device or operating system. The CP-7962G phone has a large, 4-bit grayscale graphical LCD that provides features such as date and time, calling party name, calling party number, digits dialed, and presence information. A hands-free speakerphone and handset designed for hi-fidelity wideband audio are standard on the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7962G, as is a built-in headset connection and an integrated Ethernet switch. Enjoy the benefits of a comprehensive solution that includes network infrastructure, security, wireless, management applications, lifecycle services, flexible deployment and outsourced management options, and third-party applications available on the CP-7962G. MLCP is offering this model, this month, for $235 which represents 50% off the manufacturer’s list price.

A Quick Overview of the Cisco 800 Series ISRs

January 19th, 2012

With eight models to choose from, the Cisco 800 Series Integrated Services Routers successfully combine a multitude of services including unified communications, wireless, data, and security into a single, easily deployable device.  All routers in this series support concurrent services at broadband speed to limit business interruption. Security features like VPN give teleworkers and remote staff secure access to data with a highly secure connection without worry about the threat of viruses, and the wireless features allows them to access company assets even when they’re away.

Different routers in this series offer different features.  While all provide 4-port 10/100 Mbps managed switch, a choice of 10/100 Mbps or ADSL2/2+ WAN connections, optional wireless connectivity, and strong security features like Cisco IOS Firewall, the Cisco 881, 887, and 888 models also boast advanced IP services and choice VDSL2 and G.SHDSL WAN connections as well as Cisco IOS Content Filtering and Cisco Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN).

The 891 and 892 models extend benefits even further with dual WAN connections, optional high-speed 802.11n wireless access point with dual radios, and high performance for secure broadband, optional support for 4 Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch ports,  8-port 10/100 Mbps managed switch, and Metro Ethernet access.
Overall, the variety in features give customers exactly the ones they need to enhance business growth while still maintaining simple management.


What to Look for in a Warranty

January 14th, 2012

Not every warranty is created equal and we thought it might be helpful to give you a few tips on what makes a warranty stand out, as well as what a warranty suggests about the company providing it.  Truly, you can tell a lot about a company from its warranty. Here are a few things to look for:

1. Does the company offer an unconditional warranty? What we mean by this  is, is there a standard warranty that covers everything the company sells? If they offer better-than-standard on some components, that’s terrific, but if no standard warranty exists– or if there are components that they sell but won’t cover– that means they don’t really stand behind all of their products and could be a clue that the company doesn’t test products before shipping or is willing to use other suppliers that don’t test products.

2. Does the company offer a warranty on used hardware as well as new? It’s easy to offer warranties on new or new surplus equipment. They’re just utilizing the manufacturer’s existing warranty. But whether a company will provide its own warranty on used or refurbished equipment that’s no longer under the manufacturer’s warranty says a lot. It means they personally take accountability for making sure the equipment you buy from them will work.

3. Is the full warranty posted on the company’s website so that it can be read and downloaded at any time? Or is it complicated with lots of asterisks implying that restrictions apply but it’s difficult to know exactly what those restrictions are? A company that sticks to the letter of its warranty isn’t afraid to let you know what it is. Those that hope you never really know what the warranty covers will make it difficult for you to find that information. A link from the homepage to the warranty page is also a good sign.

4. Is there a cooling off period? Or once you bought it, you’re stuck? A reputable company will often give you a week or more to decide whether you want to keep a non-defective product. This is important because companies that are willing to take that risk have a goal other than to just sell you a component and take your money– they want you to be happy with your purchase and build a professional relationship with you.

5. Last, always see how long the company has been in business. Remember, even the best warranty in the world is worthless if the company that offered it is no longer in business.

Juniper and its Stock

January 10th, 2012

It’s been a bumpy ride for Juniper shareholders the past few months. With shares reaching under $19 in December after tumbling from nearly $25 per share in November, it looks like the manufacturer of networking hardware like high speed reliable switches, is now on the rise once again. Overall, Juniper predicted less than stellar quarterly returns and claims that a reduced demand for routers by service providers is to blame. While that may be the case, analysts are optimistic forecasting better results in the second quarter of 2012.

In 2010, the company reported $4.093 billion USD in revenue making it one of the industry leaders in networking hardware equipment.  In 2011, it also received the Ethics Inside Certification from the Ethisphere Institute given to companies that exhibit high levels of corporate citizenship and social responsibility.  Does anyone really care about that? Or do they just want to see the company turn a profit?

Recent trends suggest that people are caring more and more about patronizing companies that prove to be ethical, socially responsible, and green.  That’s good news for Juniper’s future, even though it may not alter revenue right now, especially during the economic crisis. As the economy recovers, however, and businesses begin to pour more money into things like network enhancements, they will likely begin to become more picky about who they do business with. Juniper’s history of producing high quality, reliable, innovative hardware as well as its dedication to corporate citizenship may be what it needs to tackle some of the bigger competitors like Cisco. Either way, it will be good for Juniper’s stock.

January 2012 Product of the Month: Cisco 880 Series Routers

January 4th, 2012

To kick off the new year, we chose the Cisco 880 Series routers as our product of the month. These fixed-configuration routers combine voice, Internet access, security, and wireless services onto a single, secure device that is simple to use and manage for small businesses and enterprise small branch offices and teleworkers.  Simplicity is the key when it comes to the 880 series Integrated Services routers. Easy deployment and centralized management features– which give network managers visibility and control of the network configurations at the remote site– allow users to benefit from firewall, content filtering, VPNs, and wireless LANs (WLANs) at broadband speeds without complicated set up or downtime.

The Cisco 880 series offers secure analog, digital voice, and data communication; Fast Ethernet; Multimode DSL; 3G; ISDN; SRST voice continuity; small private branch exchange (PBX) capabilities for small and medium business customers; and much more.  They also provide impressive security features.  Firewall, IPSec, VPNs, IPS, content-filtering, and URL blocking are just a few of the security measures provided to protect both hardware and critical data.

Overall, this is a small but powerful addition to the network. It may not have all the bells and whistles that some other routers have, and it may not be the best if you think your business will suddenly grow exponentially in the next year, but strong and steady often wins the race.  And these routers give you a serious bang for your buck.


Why we love the Cisco 2800 Series Routers

December 30th, 2011

Delivering integrated data, IP telephony, voicemail, and automated-attendant functions, the Cisco C2801-4SHDSL/K9 router bundle simplifies management and delivers a lower total cost of ownership. It’s a great router and we love it. But it gets even better…

Enterprise branch offices and small to mid-sized businesses will benefit from the multitude of features the Cisco C2811-2SHDSL/K9 offers. Designed to bring voice, video, data, and mobility to help employees communicate effectively no matter where they work or what devices they use, the C2811-2SHDSL/K9 delivers integrated data, IP telephony, voicemail, and automated-attendant functions, allowing customers to deploy one device to address all their business needs. These features simplify operations and management, and reduce TCO.

And if you’re trying to find your voice…

The CISCO2801-CCME/K9, or Cisco Systems 2801 Voice Bundle w/ is one of twelve voice bundles designed for the Cisco 2800 Series Routers, and created specifically for the 2801 Model within that high-performing series. There are three voice bundle options for this model and the CISCO2801-CCME/K9 is the intermediate option. The most limited in features is the CISCO2801-V/K9 with IOS SP Services, PVDM2-8, 64 MB Flash/256 MB DRAM. The model featured on this page (Cisco 2801-CCME/K9) is equipped with IOS SP Services, PVDM2-8, FL-CCME (24 users), 128 MB Flash/256 MB DRAM. It is important to note that this product is a voice-only bundle. Bundles that include both voice and security are also available and provide the extra security measures that this bundle, while providing increased scalability, does not.

Overall, each platform in this series offers something different and valuable to the network. Consider the Cisco 2800 series before purchasing anything else. With the protection these routers offer, it may be worth the investment.

Should Employees Be Allowed to Use Their Own Devices?

December 25th, 2011

This is a question that business owners must deal with more and more each day.  In this age of increased mobility, people want to use one device (their personal cell phones, for example) when they’re on the go. And why not?  There’s a huge benefit to your employees being willing and able to answer business emails or check on accounts when they’re off the clock or out and about. But it also presents a security issue with so many diverse devices hopping on and off your network. So what’s the answer?

Public VPNs, instead of corporate VPNs, according to tech writer Steve Wildstrom, may be the answer.  Choosing the right security components for your network also makes a difference.

Security breaches are expensive and can destroy consumer trust. Before you start allowing employees to use their own devices, find out the best way to protect your critical data and hardware by researching the various options or speaking to a network hardware provider.

Networking Resolutions 2012

December 20th, 2011

As the end of the year draws to a close, it’s time to reassess your networking needs and whether your current network is meeting the demand.  Here are a few tips to help you put this complicated task in perspective.

1. How often did your network go down last year?  And why? If it caused significant business interruptions, it may be time to upgrade. If the interruptions were due more often than not to viruses or hacking, or if any critical data was lost or hardware was damaged, it’s definitely time to upgrade to components with better network security.

2. Does it offer the mobility and flexibility your employees need?  You may think it does, but ask your staff. In this world of increasing mobility, employees may be able to increase their productivity with devices that don’t chain them to their desk. You may be surprised by their answers.

3. Are components in your network obsolete? If you’ve been told you’ll need to migrate at some point by the manufacturer, this may be the time to do it. But don’t fret! You don’t have to pay the exorbitant prices that the manufacturer charges. Consider purchasing a used or refurbished component from an alternative source like MULTI-LINK Communications Products (MLCP). There are several reputable companies out there, but MLCP has a long history of being in business and also warrants refurbished hardware for one full year.

4. Has the volume of your business changed? Whether it’s gone up or down, that’s a sign that your network may need a revamping.  Sometimes downgrading can save money as well so take a good hard look at what type of hardware best fits your current and growing needs.

Social Networking

December 15th, 2011

How much are you spending on social networking? It’s December, a great time to reflect on whether this year’s marketing dollars pulled in more business than you anticipated, and decide what your plans are for next year.

According to a research study, U.S. companies will spend approximately $2.1 billion on social media marketing. But again, is it worth it?  A little research on your part can go a long way.  Finding out which fans on Facebook and Twitter share the most can increase sales.  Typically, these people, the ones that constantly blog about your products, comment on your page, repost your posts, etc., are great influences on other people in their circles.

The old belief that word of mouth can be your best advertising is still true, it’s just taken on a new form in the 21st century.  Take the time to reward your true fans for promoting you. This is more valuable than hiring companies to blog about your product because these people already believe in what you do.

Upgrading your network so that it works well with mobile devices can enhance your social networking productivity. Sometimes, it’s as simple as adding a new router that increases mobility. However you choose to stay on top of the social networking scene, the more you do it, the more likely it is to pay off.

Used and Refurbished Network Hardware Resources

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