Online Computer Consulting – Just an email away!

I work as an I.T. professional by day and a podcaster, Jeep enthusiast at night.  Through the miracle of high speed Internet and free desktop sharing services I now have the ability to work on your computer from pretty much anywhere in the world.  That, of course, includes from my office! :D

If you’re having a problem with your computer chances are good I can help you out.  I’ve been helping people with computer problems for a very long time.

If you’d like some help we can discuss it, either via chat or via voice (a.k.a. a phone call).  We’ll discuss a price and there may be cases where the solution is so easy I’ll be able to fix it in seconds.

Interested?  Just send me an email to helpme@muccs.com


 

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Building your own SAN

20150619_152830SAN, Storage Area Network, is something most any small business will need eventually.  Even if they don’t know it!

Recently I was asked if I could find a way to build a SAN for a small business that didn’t want to spend $30k+ on a commercial Enterprise storage array solution.

I looked around and found this website article.

32TB of shared storage for $1,500 sounds pretty sweet, especially to a cash strapped small business.

What is SAN and what can you do with it?

Well a SAN is potentially a huge honking amount of storage.  Shared means that you can have more than one of your servers access this storage at the same time.

Traditionally there has been three things that have made SAN very expensive.  The hardware, the software and the disk drives (technically the hardware I know).

You can buy 2TB disk drives for $70 each.  That would be $1,120 of the $1,500 in this build!

Reading the above link will give you the details of what to buy and how to build the SAN.

I’ll tell you this.  If you’ve built a PC then you can build a SAN, at least from the aspect of getting the hardware put together and working.

If you go the Starwind iSCSI route you’ll need to purchase a copy of Windows Server 2008 R2, although I am testing the SAN using Windows Server 2008 and so far it’s working fine, actually better than fine with a 500mbs transfer rate.

I am using a Intel quad port 1 gigabit network card.  I downloaded and installed the Intel driver to “Team” the ports into a single 4 gigabit pipe.

On the server(s) side there is another 4 port 1 gigabit network card, but this one I “bound” the four ports into a single 4 gigabit pipe by using free CITRIX xenserver software.

I have added a 24 port gigabit HP switch that supports JUMBO frames.  The next step (currently waiting for the 32TB of disk storage to finish formatting) will be to add the second hardware Citrix xenserver, build a High Availability Pool and install VM’s.

What should happen is when one of the hardware servers fail, the second hardware server will restart the VMs that were running on it and in less than five minutes all VMs will be restored and I’ll receive an email telling me what happened.

Do you have mission critical (or user high b*tch factor) applications?  I mean people can usually do without email for long periods of time, but they’ll certainly complain every five minutes until it’s back up! :D

With this you can provide a quick and automated recovery of your email system.  Perhaps so quick that your user won’t complain at all, and even might have just picked up that phone only to see that email was back up, placing the handset back in the cradle! :D

So if you did’nt understand why SAN is something you need perhaps you have a better idea now.

Don’t have the ability to build your own SAN?  Perhaps you do but your the sole IT person and you just don’t have the time.  Contact MUCCS and we can help.

Oh! Maybe you’re interesting in a SAN at your house, but what could you use it for?  How about this. 32TB of RAID 6 storage is 28TB.  You can have two drive failures in this configuration, and not lose your data.  28TB of storage is over 4,200 DVDs!  Or a combination of DVDs (ripped and copied to your SAN) or many many hours of recorded HDTV!

Windows 7 32 bit VM running on SAN

Win7-32bit

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Viruses and Malware

Having problem with viruses and malware infections on your computer?  Enable your administrator account, create a new, complex password for it.  Now add the username to the “Users” group and remove it from the “Administrators” group.  This will stop 99% of the infections that happen via your web browser!

Remember that administrator password!  You’ll need to log on as administrator from time to time to install new software!

Now download and run MalWareBytes software.  Remember to update it first and do a FULL scan.

I’ve seen as many as 1,800 infections!

Need more detailed information, just ask.

Of course MUCCS can clean up your computer and set your user accounts to help protect your system.

UPDATE!

Driving yourself crazy trying to find what I’m describing?  Well you may be using the HOME edition of Windows XP or Windows 7.  Try clicking Start > Control Panel > Users and make your changes there.  This is available under the Professional and up versions of Win 7, however I recommend the method I described above.

 


 

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I’ll paint that computer for $39.95!

It seems that most people these days are either going for the quick fix or just buying a new computer!  I remember several years ago I had people coming to me to fix their slow or non-functional computers.  Not a hardware failure (most cases) but malware and viruses.

I think the record was over 200 infections on one computer!  I thought this might be an excellent way to make some extra cash so I started advertising.  Turned out people would rather trash their perfectly good computer, buy a new one, infect it by not buying and maintaining their anti-virus, amongst other things, and re-infect it.

Shortly after giving up on helping people clean their computers and fix it so re-infections were less likely (using free software) I started seeing advertisements for software that people could pay $39.95 for and it would “FIX” their computer.

Sorry, it doesn’t work that easy.  Actually I think I still see those commercials from time to time now.  Malware and viruses are being generated all the time.  Unless the software is updated often it’s not going to catch the bad programs and stop them.  You need a human to look, test and see what is going on to really free your computer.

 


 

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My business email address ends with @gmail.com

So many small to mid size businesses still use email addresses from other providers.  gmail.com, swbell.net, yahoo.com, yes and even the dreaded aol.com.  Many people hate using these services, not because they aren’t fine email vendors, and the price is free, but simply because it isn’t your company’s name as the domain.

Looks less than professional.  There are services out there they can create your own company branded email, however with a few steps you can have your own domain, email accounts and website and your customers/clients wouldn’t be able to distinguish your small company from IBM’s at least from your Internet presents! :D

“But everyone already knows my email address!”  Simple solution.  You set up your email to forward to your new corporate branded email address.  You adjust your new emails to have a reply address to your new email.  When your business cards run out you simple have the NEW email address printed on them.

Now people can ALWAYS use the old email address and you’ll still get those messages!

There are many ways to solve a problem, and the better one’s are where the computer does the work for you.

This is just one of the services I can offer to you.  Contact me to discuss how.


 

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Get help with your Windows or Linux Systems

I started with computers in 1978!  I’ve seen and done a lot.  The days of having to travel to the computer have been replaced with the Internet and some very nifty (yes I said nifty) free software.  I can connect to your computer, or network and help fix your problem.

I have worked in environments with thousands of users, responsible for the systems and network for 39 domestic locations.  Now there’s always going to be something I don’t know, but what I’ve done time and time again is figure it out and get the work flowing again.  The work must flow!

Of course you might not be “working” maybe you just want to get on Tumblr or get your Facebook fix.  You’d be surprised just how simple the solution can be.  If you’d like to understand what the problem and solution is I’ll be happy to explain it to you so you can fix it yourself next time.

My goal is to help you get back to where you want to be, computing, network, wise.

It doesn’t cost you anything to contact me and ask for help.  I may be able give you a couple of things to try.  You can ask your question right here on the site, or send me an email helpme@muccs.com.

I’m on Twitter @muccs, you can also find me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/MUCCS/517055271773141)


 

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