Knowledge Base

Access CFTS knowledge base articles to aid you with locating help, as well as troubleshoot issues or learning.

Ethernet Cable: Types and Performance - Cat 5, 5e, 6, 6a, 7, 8

Various cables are used for carrying Ethernet: current common types include Cat 5, 5e, Cat 6, 6a, 7 and Cat…

Various cables are used for carrying Ethernet: current common types include Cat 5, 5e, Cat 6, 6a, 7 and Cat 8 and the RJ45 connector is widely used

There are many Ethernet cables that can be bought. Often these cables are supplied free with equipment that uses Ethernet connectivity in some way or another.

There are several different varieties of Ethernet cable that can be obtained: speed variations, crossover cables, Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat6, Cat 6a, Cat 7etc.

Normally Ethernet cables will be bought and there is no major need to understand what is inside or on the connectors, although it can be both interesting and helpful on some occasions. Even so, an understanding of the different types of Ethernet cable and the maximum lengths that should be used is helpful.

The commonly used network cables: Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6a, Cat7 all have different levels of performance, and therefore to is necessary to buy or select the right cable for the right application.

These network cables are used for connecting a variety of network elements from Ethernet switches and Ethernet routers to computers, servers and other network items - if there is an Ethernet interface, they can be connected using Ethernet cables.

Ethernet cable basics

The Ethernet cables for connectivity in most office and home environments rely on twisted wire pairs within an overall cable - Cat 5, Cat 6 and Cat 7 all used this format. Twisting the wires together enables the currents to balance, i.e in one wire the current is moving in one direction, and int he other wire of the pair the current is going in the other, enabling the overall fields around the twisted pair to cancel.

In this way, data can be transmitted over considerable lengths without the need for undue precautions.

As several twisted pairs are contained within a particular network cable, the number of twists per unit length is arranged to be different for each pair - the rate being based on prime numbers so that no two twists ever align. This reduces crosstalk within the cable.

The Ethernet cables are available in a variety of lengths as patch cables, or the cable itself is available for incorporating into systems, buildings, etc. The terminations can then be made to the required connector using a crimp tool. These network cables are available in a variety of lengths - long Ethernet cables are available, some of the longest being up to 75 metres.

Earlier network cables were unshielded, but later ones were shielded to improve the performance. For example, an unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable may be satisfactory for a short run between a computer and router, but a foil shielded cable, FTP, is best longer runs or where the cable passes through areas of high electrical noise.

There are different methods that can be used for shielding Ethernet cables. The most common is to place a shield around each twisted pair. This not only provides shielding for the cable externally, but also reduces crosstalk between the internal twisted pairs as well. Manufacturers can further enhance the performance by placing shielding around all the wires in the cable just under the cable sheath. There are different codes used to indicate the differs types of shielding:

  • U/UTP - Unshielded cable, unshielded twisted pairs
  • F/UTP - Foil shielded cable, unshielded twisted pairs
  • U/FTP - Unshielded cable, foil shielded twisted pairs
  • S/FTP - braided shielded cable, foil shielded twisted pairs

Key: TP = twisted pair, U = unshielded, F = foil shielded, S = braided shielding

A further difference within the Ethernet cables whether Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6e, or Cat 7 can be whether solid or stranded wires are used within the cable. As the description implies, a solid cable uses a single piece of copper for the electrical conductor within each wire of the cable whilst stranded wire uses a series of copper strands twisted together. Although when buying a patch cable, it may not be necessary to know this, when installing a long cable run it may be important as each type is slightly more suitable for different applications.

  • Stranded cable: This type of wire is more flexible and it is more applicable for Ethernet cables where the cable may be moved - often it is idea for patch leads at desks or general connections to PCs, etc where some movement may be needed and expected.
  • Solid cable: Solid cable is not as flexible as the stranded type, but it is also more durable. This makes it best for use in permanent installations like cable installations under floors, embedded in walls and the like.

Categories for Ethernet Cables

A variety of different cables are available for Ethernet and other telecommunications and networking applications. These network cables that are described by their different categories, e.g. Cat 5 cables, Cat-6 cables, etc, which are often recognised by the TIA (Telecommunications Industries Association) and they are summarised below:

  • Cat-1: This is not recognised by the TIA/EIA. It is the form of wiring that is used for standard telephone (POTS) wiring, or for ISDN.
  • Cat-2: This is not recognised by theTIA/EIA. It was the form of wiring that was used for 4Mbit/s token ring networks.
  • Cat-3: This cable is defined in TIA/EIA-568-B. It is used for data networks employing frequencies up to 16 MHz. It was popular for use with 10 Mbps Ethernet networks (100Base-T), but has now been superseded by Cat-5 cable.
  • Cat-4: This cable is not recognised by the TIA/EIA. However, it can be used for networks carrying frequencies up to 20 MHz. It was often used on 16Mbps token ring networks.
  • Cat-5: This is not recognised by the TIA/EIA. This is the network cable that is widely used for 100Base-T and 1000Base-T networks as it provides performance to allow data at 100 Mbps and slightly more (125 MHz for 1000Base-T) Ethernet. The Cat 5 cable superseded the Cat 3 version and for a number of years, it became the standard for Ethernet cabling. Cat 5 cable is now obsolete and therefore it is not recommended for new installations.
    Cat 5 cable uses twisted pairs to prevent internal crosstalk, XT and also crosstalk to external wires, AXT, although not standardised, Cat 5 cable normally uses 1.5 - 2 twists per centimetre
    Cat-5e: This form of cable is recognised by the TIA/EIA and is defined in TIA/EIA-568, being last revised in 2001. It has a slightly higher frequency specification that Cat-5 cable as the performance extends up to 125 Mbps.
    Cat-5e can be used for 100Base-T and 1000Base-t (Gigabit Ethernet). Cat 5e standard for Cat 5 enhanced and it is a form of Cat 5 cable manufactured to higher specifications although physically the same as Cat 5. It is tested to a higher specification to ensure it can perform at the higher data speeds. The twisted pairs within the network cables tend to have the same level of twisting as the Cat 5 cables.
  • Cat-6: This cable is defined in TIA/EIA-568-B provides a significant improvement in performance over Cat5 and Cat 5e. During the manufacturing process, Cat-6 cables are more tightly wound than either Cat 5 or Cat 5e and they often have an outer foil or braided shielding. The shielding protects the twisted pairs of wires inside the Ethernet cable, helping to prevent crosstalk and noise interference. Cat-6 cables can technically support speeds up to 10 Gbps, but can only do so for up to 55 metres - even so, this makes them relatively long Ethernet cables.
  • The Cat 6 Ethernet cables generally have 2+ twists per cm and some may include a nylon spline to reduce crosstalk, although this is not actually required by the standard.
    Cat-6a: The “a” in Cat 6a stands for “Augmented” and the standard was revised in 2008. The Cat 6a cables are able to support twice the maximum bandwidth and are capable of maintaining higher transmission speeds over longer network cable lengths. Cat 6a cables utilise shielded which is sufficient to all but eliminate crosstalk. However, this makes them less flexible than Cat 6 cable.
  • Cat-7: This is an informal number for ISO/IEC 11801 Class F cabling. It comprises four individually shielded pairs inside an overall shield. It is aimed at applications where transmission of frequencies up to 600 Mbps is required.
  • Cat-8: is designed only for data centres where distances between switches and servers are short. It is not intended for general office cabling.

Category Speed Bamdwidth Max Distance Class Use case
CAT3 10 Mbps 16Mhz 100m Class C Telephone
CAT5 10/100 Mbps 100Mhz 100m - LAN
CAT5e 1 Gbps 100Mhz 100m Class D LAN
CAT6 1 Gbps 250Mhz 100m Class E LAN
CAT6a 10 Gbps 500Mhz 100m Class EA LAN
CAT7 10 Gbps 600Mhz 100m Class F LAN
CAT7a 10 Gpbs 1000Mhz 100m Class FA LAN
CAT8 25/40 Gbps 2000Mhz 24m Class I/II Data Centre

0 answers269 viewsPosted 3 months agoby external
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How to block pictures, video or other files from direct URL Access via the .htaccess file?

We were having issues with excessive bandwidth usage on our site cfts.co recently a lot of people were downloading .mp4 background…

We were having issues with excessive bandwidth usage on our site cfts.co recently a lot of people were downloading .mp4 background from our site, consuming over 25GB bandwidth a month so very quickly we had to come up with a solution, after a lot of duckduck going (a google alternative) and a few mins of playing around we came up with the below, this has been working very well for us and have seen no issues to date.

Add the below text to your .httacces file

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^https://(www\.)?cfts\.co [NC]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^https://(www\.)?cfts\.co.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(txt|mp4)$ - [F]
# or you can use this for a more frendly denial.
# RewriteRule \.(txt|mp4)$ /messageforcurious [L]

This returns 403, if you access images directly, but allows them to be displayed on site.

You can change/add files extensions to exclude from direct URL access by changing this part, for example (txt|mp4|png|jpg|pdf)

If you're using a local web server for development etc. this may be more useful.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?localhost [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?localhost.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg)$ - [F]

Note: It is possible that when you open some pages with image and then copy that image's path into the address bar you can see that image, it is only because of the browser's cache, in fact, that image has not been loaded from the server.

0 answers659 viewsPosted 8 months agoby peter2cfu
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How to Change/Reset the Joomla Administrator Password

Your Joomla administrator account was configured as part of the Joomla installation. You can change your username, password and email…

Your Joomla administrator account was configured as part of the Joomla installation. You can change your username, password and email address that was configured for you. When you choose a new password, be sure to use a strong one.

  1. Login to the back end of your Joomla site. If you need help logging into your back end you can go here: How do I access the back end of my Joomla site?
  2. Under the Users, Menu choose User Manager.
  3. Click Super User account.
  4. You can now change the login name, password and email address for your administrator account
  5. Click Save & Close

How to Reset the Joomla Administrator Password

  1. Login to your Control Panel.
  2. Click the System tab.
  3. Under My Subscriptions select your domain name.
  4. Click Websites & Domains.
  5. Select Databases.
  6. Click on the name of your database.
  7. Under the Tools menu choose Webadmin to open phpMyAdmin.
  8. Click on the *_users table. The full table name has a prefix and will look similar to jos_users.
  9. Find your admin user and click on Edit.
    admin password
  10. Copy d2064d358136996bd22421584a7cb33e:trd7TvKHx6dMeoMmBVxYmg0vuXEA4199 into the password field and click on Go.
  11. You will see a "1 row affected" message and your password will have been changed to secret.
  12. Login to the back end of your Joomla site with your admin account and the password secret and change your password to something more secure.
0 answers625 viewsPosted 11 months agoby peter2cfu
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How to do IP/URL Canonicalization via .htaceess?

What is IP and URL  Canonicalization and why it is important for SEO? It is quite important to understand Canonicalization.…

What is IP and URL  Canonicalization and why it is important for SEO?

It is quite important to understand Canonicalization. Probably the term is very difficult to pronounce, but it is one of the most important terms in the world of SEO. Canonicalization refers to how a website can use different URLs and/or IP's for the same piece of content (usually the entire web page). For example; every website resolve to a particular IP address of the hosting machine.

“Canonicalization is the process of picking the best URL when there are several choices, and it usually refers to home pages. For example, most people would consider these the same URLs:

http://www.cfts.co
http://cfts.co
https://www.cfts.co
https://cfts.co

But technically all of these URLs are different. A web server could return completely different content for all the URLs above. When Google “canonicalizes” a URL, we try to pick the URL that seems like the best representative from that set.

This behaviour is not search-engine friendly, because the spiders are unsure as which URL is the correct one (If I put it right, which page is a Canonical one among the set of pages with same contents). The search engines don’t like duplicate contents and so URL and to a much lesser extent, IP canonicalization is very important in SEO point of view.

Here’s what Google says about Canonical Page:

A canonical page is the preferred version of a set of pages with highly similar content.

There are 2 types of Canonicalization the most common URL and the other IP, let's take our domain as an example

  1. URL http://cfts.co and http://www.cfts.co get redirected to https://cfts.co
  2. IP 212.38.189.64 gets redirected to https://cfts.co also. (do not do this if you're on a shared IP)

How to configure IP canonicalization in Apache Web server?

The problems with IP Canonicalization can be fixed using the mod_rewrite module and .htaccess. If your website is running on an Apache web server, then you can copy the below lines and paste into the appropriate place in the  .htaccess file located in website’s root directory.

IP Canonicalization has more to do with server-side configuration – although, we can sort this out with a 301 redirect.

IP Canonicalization -- BEGIN
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^212\.38\.189\.64
RewriteRule (.*) https://cfts.co/$1 [R=301,L]
##### IP Canonicalization -- END

*There is no guarantee that IP canonicalization will improve a site's search engine ranking.

Remove the www prefix and redirect to https

To ensure that all URLs of a given domain present without the www prefix, open the domain’s root .htaccess file and add the following chunk of code:

IP Canonicalization -- BEGIN
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^cfts\.co$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://cfts.co/$1 [R=301,L]
##### IP Canonicalization -- END

Some control panels like ours will just allow you to make the URL or Domain redirects without having to mess with systems files directly.

For strong SEO, IP Canonicalization you should use 301 redirects and become sure that the IP does not get indexed.

This tells Google, Bing, Yahoo! and all other Search engine crawlers that the current page should be treated as though it were a copy of the URL https://cfts.co and that all of the links & contents should technically flow back to said URL and don’t mark the URL https://cfts.co page content as a duplicate.

0 answers933 viewsPosted 1 year agoby peter
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Some useful Links when updating/reinstalling windows

There comes a time when you need you updated or reinstall your OS, here are a few links to make…

There comes a time when you need you updated or reinstall your OS, here are a few links to make your life a little simpler, this is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

OS and Core Updates Tools  Applications
Media Creation Tool (Windows 10)
Latest Windows N Media Feature Packs
Microsoft .Net Framework
WinDirStat
Sysinternals Utilities
Bitvise SSH Client
Image Resizer
Paint.Net
Notepad ++
Signal
Foxit PDF Reader

Won't some free safe alternatives to the mainstream paid apps

Free Alternative Applications
Libra Office    
0 answers1573 viewsPosted 1 year agoby peter
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Ways to Protect Your Business From a Cyber Attack!

Cybersecurity was pretty simple back in the 1990s. Anti-virus software and firewalls offered plenty of resources to combat attacks that…

Cybersecurity was pretty simple back in the 1990s. Anti-virus software and firewalls offered plenty of resources to combat attacks that were more annoying than dangerous, that world is gone.

 

Cybersecurity threats pose significant risks to businesses, particularly those that have poor security measures in place.

The vast majority of all breaches happen to small and medium-sized businesses, and most of the breaches could have been prevented with current technology.

If you are responsible for protecting your data and confidential information from hackers and other cyber threats, take the time to review these best practices. It could make the difference in guarding against potentially ruinous data theft or privacy invasions.

Security Awareness

Train your users - often! Teach them about data security, email attacks, and your policies and procedures. We offer training security and policy training.

Advanced Endpoint Detection & Response Protect your computer's data from malware, viruses and cyber attacks with advanced endpoint security. Today's latest technology (which replaces your outdated anti-virus solution) protects against file-less and script-based threats and can even rollback a ransomware attack.

Updates

Keep your firmware and software updated, we provide a “critical update” service via automation to protect your computers and servers from the latest known attacks.

Antivirus / Malware

Choose your software with care, not all that glitters is not gold, for our recommendations see here

Passwords

The stronger the passwords you use are, the more secure you will be against potential cyber attacks. we made a short introduction to strong passwords here:

Firewall

Make use of services and rules for both in and outside threats, most people only think about outside threats coming in but with communications today, IM, email, social media, USB the threat is just as likely to come from inside, assume the worst.

If you have a UTM (Unified ThreManagementmnt) device a good start is to deny sites based on content as well as know security risks.

Encryption

Whenever possible, the goal is to encrypt files at rest, in motion (think email) and especially on mobile devices.

Spam Email

Secure your email, the majority of attacks originate in/via your email, there are several steps to securing this medium, and they start at the domain level then work your way inwards, see here for more info on that.

Backup

I cannot stress this enough, Backup local. Backup to the cloud. Have an offine backup for each month of the year. Test your backups often, if your aren’t convinced your backups are working properly call us,

Multi-Factor Authentication

Utilize Multi-Factor Authentication whenever you can including on your network, banking websites, and even social media. It adds an additional layer of protection to ensure that even if your password does get stolen, your data stays protected.

Web Gateway Security

Internet security is a race against time. Cloud-based security detects web and email threats as they emerge on the internet, and blocks them on your network within seconds – before they reach the user.

Mobile Device Security

Today's cybercriminals attempt to steal data or access your network by way of your employees' phones and tablets. They're counting on you to neglect this piece of the puzzle. Mobile device security closes this gap.

Stay Current

Moving industry news can cover plenty of relevant topics, including online safety concerns. This is why you should always make sure that you follow industry trends and news. Stay informed about the latest incidents with malware and by doing so, it will be all the easier to take necessary measure to protect your business from cyber attacks.

Security Assessment

It's important to establish a baseline and close existing vulnerabilities. When was your last assessment?

call us Tel: +256-(0)414-533784 or email support at for more advice or help.

Dark Web Research

If you can, Knowing in real-time what passwords and accounts have been posted on the Dark Web will allow you to be proactive in preventing a data breach. We scan the Dark Web and take action to protect your business from stolen credentials that have been posted for sale.

SIEM/Log Management

(Security Incident & Event Management)
Uses big data engines to review all event and security logs from all covered devices to protect against advanced threats and to meet compliance requirements.

0 answers1847 viewsPosted 1 year agoby peter
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How to reset LVE settings in CloudLinux?

You might get into a situation where you have really screwed up your LVE (lightweight Virtual Environment), here is a…

You might get into a situation where you have really screwed up your LVE (lightweight Virtual Environment), here is a quick way to reset them, the best way is to create a new ve.cfg file with the following default content, within an ssh or terminal session with root privileges. 

Backup the original config just in case

mv/etc/container/ve.cfg /etc/container/ve.cfg_back

Make a new config

nano /etc/container/ve.cfg

copy paste (as text only) this into the new config

<lveconfig>
<system>
<ubc enabled="false"></ubc>
</system>
<defaults>
<cpu limit="100"></cpu>
<ncpu limit="1"></ncpu>
<io limit="1024"></io>
<mem limit="0"></mem>
<pmem limit="262144"></pmem>
<nproc limit="100"></nproc>
<other maxentryprocs="20"></other>
</defaults>
</lveconfig>

Save and exit then apply the new config settings using the cmd line below.

lvectl apply all

This is exactly as I have done it works a treat with CloudLinux 7.x, yep I screwed up too.

0 answers1765 viewsPosted 1 year agoby peter
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MDaemon - Configuring Windows Firewall

Windows firewall allows access to ports and applications individually or in combination depending on your requirements. The quick and easiest…

Windows firewall allows access to ports and applications individually or in combination depending on your requirements.

The quick and easiest way is: Under Windows Control Panel, open the Windows Firewall applet, Select the Exceptions tab, Add each of the following executables as per 'Executables as Exceptions' list below, not very fine grained but will do the job.

Assuming a default configuration, the following ports are required (depending on which services you want to make publicly available). All ports are TCP, unless otherwise stated.

Executables as Exceptions Default Location (Version 18) Default MDaemon Ports
AVUpdate.exe
clamd.exe
CFEngine.exe
MDaemon.exe
MDSpamD.exe
WorldClient.exe
WebAdmin.exe
MDUpdater.exe
WCXMPPServer.exe
\MDaemon\SecurityPlus
\MDaemon\SecurityPlus\ClamAVPlugin
\MDaemon\App
\MDaemon\App
\MDaemon\SpamAssassin
\MDaemon\WorldClient
\MDaemon\WebAdmin
\MDaemon\App
\MDaemon\XMPPServer
25
587
336
465
80
443
110
143
995
993
53
1000
444
3000
443
4069
3101
SMTP
MSA
ODMR
SMTP SSL
ActiveSync
ActiveSync SSL
POP3
IMAP
POP3 SSL
IMAP SSL 
DNS
Remote Administration
Remote Administration SSL
WorldClient
WorldClient SSL
Minger UDP
BES

Ports may vary depending on how MDaemon and the firewall are set up, also what functions and features in MDaemon are in use.

Note that various parts of MDaemon interact using sockets to localhost IP addresses if using a software firewall, do not block any traffic to/from 127.0.0.1 this may include SpamAssassin, WorldClient, BES and other features.

Alt-N recommends that the \MDaemon directory be excluded from any/all third-party scanning or monitoring applications.

Some useful links: 

0 answers3854 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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Developer-Delivered

As the data center real estate industry has experienced exponential growth over the past few years, the number of real…

As the data center real estate industry has experienced exponential growth over the past few years, the number of real estate developers and REITs with a dedicated focus on identifying, developing, and marketing data center properties has also grown. In this approach, the developer manages that process, creating a move-in-ready facility for data center users.

Strengths

With this option, the work is essentially done for the owner, aside from input into specific user needs. This option also provides owners some flexibility to consider all kinds of locations—greenfield, adaptive reuse, built-to-suit—while deferring capital spend. Developers may also offer incentives, from triple net leases to operation and maintenance agreements.

Weaknesses

The main drawback here is the potential for inconsistent tier requirements and reliability. Clear and detailed documentation of the requirements and a peer review of the design prior to signing any contracts will help protect the investment, as well as a detailed service level agreement. This approach also gives the developer the upper hand in lease renewals. Relocating or replicating a data center is a complex, expensive process—and the developers know it. Similarly, because the data center development cycle typically last three to five years, pre-planning for the next facility or renewed lease will need to begin almost immediately, again, giving the lease owner more leverage.

0 answers477 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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Premanufactured/Prefabricated Solutions

The original inspiration for prefabricated data centers was to deploy data processing facilities in difficult or remote locations, typically for…

The original inspiration for prefabricated data centers was to deploy data processing facilities in difficult or remote locations, typically for the military. Today, with many more manufacturers and materials to choose from, options include two main categories: 1) modular components based on a standard ISO shipping container footprint; or 2) modular components sized per client requirements, manufactured in a factory and shipped in multiple pieces.

Strengths

The most obvious advantage to this approach is faster deployment time. With a standard design and repeatable implementation process, owners get a consistent product with extremely efficient use of space and infrastructure, typically exceeding 20kW per cabinet and PUEs in the 1.2 to 1.5 range. Using this scalable approach, owners also have the ability to expand the facility as needs change.

Weaknesses

This standardization, however, does have a down side—in some cases, the lack of options could result in less-than-optimal capacities or significant issues in swapping out or moving components as needs change. Also, because the mechanical and electrical system topology and capacities are defined by the manufacturer, they could be integrated within the module and proprietary, making it more difficult to resolve communications issues with existing facilities. These modules are also typically shipped by ground, which can expose equipment to vibration and G forces that could affect their ultimate performance.

0 answers498 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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Design-Build

A design-build contract offers a one-team approach for architecture, engineering, and construction. The design and construction teams work together from…

A design-build contract offers a one-team approach for architecture, engineering, and construction. The design and construction teams work together from the start toward a single goal of exceeding the client’s expectations.

Strengths

The primary benefit of this approach is that the design and construction teams act together to manage the project and resolve issues. The owner focuses on performance specifications, design review and general project progress. This early coordination can lead to a more efficient schedule, fewer change orders, and more innovation as the team works together to solve problems.

Weaknesses

The checks and balances of more traditional models aren’t as apparent in this system, so the owner does need to pay close attention to performance specifications throughout development and understand the project scope and risk contracted to the design-build team. In other words, the representation of the client interest in the program is strictly the responsibility of the client; the design-build contractual relationship limits the design team’s typical advocacy of the client interests. With this approach, competition may not be as robust since fewer firms have the experience and expertise to manage a large-scale, design-build program.

0 answers489 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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Design-Bid-Build

This traditional contracting and program delivery model is typically used to build large-scale data centers in the US. In this…

This traditional contracting and program delivery model is typically used to build large-scale data centers in the US. In this approach, the owner contracts individually with the design teams, consultants, and construction manager in a linear process as the planning, design and construction phases take shape.

Strengths

The primary strength of this approach is nearly everyone involved understands it. In other words, there is no real learning curve. What’s more, because the design and construction teams remain separate, the system includes inherent checks and balances to help protect quality control and design intent. The owner holds the reins of the project, maintaining control over all aspects of the design and how it is implemented. Financially, this method encourages competition, generally providing the best value to the client.

Weaknesses

The flip side of this approach is the owner must have the expertise and resources to manage the project team, help resolve design and constructability issues, and assume responsibility for design errors and changes. Depending on the timing of the award to the various team members, there may be limited opportunities for the value engineering, collaboration and schedule enhancements usually achieved by overlapping design and construction activities. These factors can also affect costs—if changes are required once construction begins, the cost of change orders and schedule impacts can be significant.

0 answers464 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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Four approaches to building a data center

One size rarely fits all—and that’s certainly the case when it comes to building data centers. A uniform design and…

One size rarely fits all—and that’s certainly the case when it comes to building data centers. A uniform design and construction approach will not always apply, as the geographic, functional, financial and other circumstances of a specific project typically influence its direction.

There are, however, four key construction approaches that tend to dominate data center development, each with its advantages and challenges.

0 answers1157 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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Synchronize time with external NTP server on Windows Server 2008 (R2)

Time synchronization is an important aspect for all computers on the network. By default, the client's computers get their time…

Time synchronization is an important aspect for all computers on the network. By default, the client's computers get their time from a Domain Controller and the Domain Controller gets his time from the domain’s PDC Operation Master. Therefore the PDC must synchronize his time from an external source.

Before you begin, don’t forget to open the default UDP 123 port (in- and outbound) on your (corporate) firewall. I required our time sources between our storage devices, firewall and PDC to be synced, so now all devices get there time synced from the same source

  1. First, locate your PDC Server. Open the command prompt and type:
    netdom /query fsmo
  2. Log in to your PDC Server and open the command prompt.
  3. Stop the W32Time service:
    net stop w32time
  4. Configure the external time sources, type:
    w32tm /config /syncfromflags:manual /manualpeerlist:”0.pool.ntp.org, 1.pool.ntp.org, 2.pool.ntp.org”
  5. Make your PDC a reliable time source for the clients. Type:
    w32tm /config /reliable:yes
  6. Start the w32time service:
    net start w32time
  7. The windows time service should begin synchronizing the time. You can check the external NTP servers in the time configuration by typing:
    w32tm /query /configuration
  8. Check the Event Viewer for any errors.

his is what worked for me on our 2008R2 Standard SP1 Server:

Another way for line item 4.
w32tm /config /syncfromflags:manual /manualpeerlist:time.nist.gov /update /reliable:yes

I then did a query using:
w32tm /query /status

Leap Indicator: 0(no warning)
Stratum: 2 (secondary reference – syncd by (S)NTP)
Precision: -6 (15.625ms per tick)
Root Delay: 0.3060097s
Root Dispersion: 7.7757678s
ReferenceId: 0x808A8DAC (source IP: 128.138.141.172)
Last Successful Sync Time: 12/22/2012 9:44:22 PM
Source: time.nist.gov
Poll Interval: 6 (64s)

0 answers69454 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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What are the expected costs?

Because of the very nature of data recovery nothing can be guaranteed, by default data recovery is needed because of…

Because of the very nature of data recovery nothing can be guaranteed, by default data recovery is needed because of either software or hardware damage, which cannot be fully evaluated before data recovery begins.

However we have a lot of experience in this field and can offer a pre-recovery service for a minimal fee of $20.00 (for walk-in clients), this will give us a fair idea on how to proceed or not as the case may be, thus limiting your initial financial exposure, should data recovery not to be possible.

Once you have agreed to data recovery there is a minimum charge of $180.00 to be paid upfront and non-refundable for local recovery, the final bill depending on circumstances can be as high as $650.00 for a single none raided drive / media when data is recovered locally.

Experience has shown that the average price of data recovery varies from $180.00 to $340.00 while this is not a certainty it is the norm.

We have spent time developing both hardware and software to aid in this process as such we have a very high success rate.

0 answers1821 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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Confidentiality

We treat customers' data with the highest level of confidentiality. Our recovery process is implemented in such a way that…

We treat customers' data with the highest level of confidentiality. Our recovery process is implemented in such a way that only the customers themselves will look through the recovered data in our office to verify that the recovered data is good for acceptance unless agreed otherwise.

During this data reviewing session, the customer will be given access temporarily to the recovered data through temporary local access, storage media or network share protected with passwords in all instance and are hardware encrypted. Besides that, the recovered data is never put on-line to reduce the risk of unauthorized access.

Our internal office and lab units are installed with security CCTV to monitor any unauthorized access. This includes the whole building that is installed with security CCTV providing 24-hour round the clock surveillance.

Only personnel who are assigned to the recovery jobs are permitted to access to the recovered data. The original data media sent for recovery process is securely held in a dedicated environment.

If your organization requires specific agreements, these are accommodated on a case-by-case basis and for many major corporations, we can sign a perpetual non-disclosure agreement.

0 answers1966 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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Recovery procedure

The following are the procedures that take place during a standard and RAID recovery: You need to send us (or…

The following are the procedures that take place during a standard and RAID recovery:

You need to send us (or deliver personally if local) the failed hard drive or storage medium, don’t forget to include your contact details.

  • Download our recovery form, fill it out and email back to us, we will contact directly back with payment details.
  • Please see the instructions on how to pack your device.
  • On receiving your storage medium, we immediately label it with your details and create a job card.
  • We examine the device and diagnose it for the cause of failure.
  • We provide you with a firm quotation for the recovery, and the length of time expected for the recovery.
  • In the event of mechanical failure, we will need to send to our partners in the UK for recovery.
  • We make images of all the original drives. We never work from the original drives unless time constraints or damage force us to, although this is rare.
  • When the recovery process is complete, we verify the quality of the recovered data.
  • We send you a file listing containing the names of the recovered files. You can examine the file listing and tell us which data is important, so we can verify it before returning your recovered data. (The presence of a file name in a list does not necessarily mean the file is healthy.
  • We discuss with you the best way of returning your data. Up to 20GB can be copied free of charge to DVD. Alternatively, you can purchase one of our drives (desktop or portable) to contain the data, or you can send us one of your own drives.
0 answers1888 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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Recovery time

A standard recovery takes between two and five days, or from three hours for an emergency recovery.However, a complex RAID…

A standard recovery takes between two and five days, or from three hours for an emergency recovery.However, a complex RAID storage device that has suffered severe corruption, and especially one that has defied other recovery attempts, can take much longer; We will keep you updated of progress throughout.

0 answers1883 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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Backing up the website

So you’ve finally sorted out that website for your business. You’ve chosen the perfect domain name, created (or hired someone…

So you’ve finally sorted out that website for your business. You’ve chosen the perfect domain name, created (or hired someone else to create) the perfect design and now it's online and ready for customers. A lot of work has gone into it and you have it all backed up just in case something should go wrong…don't you?

Backing up your website regularly is incredibly important. For a start, think of all the time, planning and money that went into getting it online in the first place. Every image was chosen for a reason, hours of thought and effort went into every passage of text. Not to mention the stressful task of planning, designing and re-designing your layout over and over again. How much would it cost you to do that all over again? Can you even remember exactly where and how everything was? Chances are you can’t, particularly if your site has been up and running for a while.

There are numerous reasons why your site should be backed up regularly, and preferably in more than one location. All of these reasons are different but all could cause equal devastation to your website, your business and your revenue. Here are just a couple of the most common occurrences which could be disastrous without a backup.

It’s all too easy to accidentally hit delete, particularly when more than one person has access to your control panel. Can you imagine clicking the wrong button and inadvertently deleting your entire site? Your content, contacts, orders…all gone. Rebuilding it all would be a nightmare, very expensive and damaging to your reputation if and when orders are not fulfilled.
In this day and age, website content tends to be updated quite regularly. Keeping your backups up to date will make this process a lot easier and ensure that you can restore the most recent version of the site with minimal disruption. If, for example, your site contains a forum or discussion board, your members won’t be too pleased after some planned updates that all of their posts, photos etc are gone. Another potentially catastrophic event.
Basically, what it comes down to is that you and your business are risking a lot by not backing up your site. Think again about how much time, effort and money would be involved in rebuilding everything from scratch. It’s almost certainly a lot easier and cheaper to back it up.

The next question is how? Luckily, as well as being incredibly important, creating a backup is incredibly easy. All you need to do is access your control panel, enable backups and select the most appropriate option. Simple!

If you’re still unsure about why or how to back up your website, give us a call on 0414-533784 and we will be more than willing to help you out.

0 answers1775 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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Packing drives for shipping

It is critical that your device is correctly packaged so that it does not suffer further damage in transit to…

It is critical that your device is correctly packaged so that it does not suffer further damage in transit to us. If you do not have a proper packing box, the following alternatives are adequate.

  • For the postage of a single hard drive, place it in an anti-static bag, then wrap it in bubble-wrap or foam at least 8cm thick on all sides. Place that in a sturdy cardboard box, making sure that it fits snugly and cannot shake around inside the box.
  • For an external storage device, use the original box in which it was purchased, or follow the above procedures (without the anti-static bag) but use at least a 15cm thick padding of packing foam or bubble-wrap.
  • For multiple drives, wrap each drive in at least 3cm of bubble-wrap. Then layer all the drives together in an additional 5cm of bubble-wrap and place in a sturdy box. Make sure the drives fit snugly. Please do not use polystyrene chips or any packaging material that contains dust.
  • For a large drive array, complete computer system or server, this should be delivered by a specialist courier or taxi, or placed in the original packaging in which it was purchased in order to post it or send by another courier.
0 answers1906 viewsPosted 2 years agoby peter
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