Author: vz

Load Balancing – Multiple Internet Connections

With mission-critical applications being moved to the cloud like Customer Relationship Management, Financial transaction processing, Electronic Medical Records, etc, the need for a reliable Internet connection is very important to your business.

One strategy to provide extra reliability is to bring in a second Internet connection.  With a load balancing firewall, two Internet connections work together to provide redundancy in case one connection fails or has issues and smart routing for your client applications.

Ringtones! Make your own!

Yes.  You’ve heard something awesome and you want it to be your ringtone.  YES!  Me, too!

Here’s how I have done it:

I’ve used Audacity to record things off the web.  You can download Audacity here:



Record your soundfile with Audacity.

Export the selection (not more than 30 sec) and save as type:  “M4A (AAC) Files (FFmpeg)”  The file will want to save as .m4a.

Change the filename to whatever you want and the file extension from .m4a to .m4r.

Bring up iTunes

Plug in your iPhone.  It should show up in iTunes as a device “admin’s iPhone” or similar.

Find your exported Audacity file in Windows explorer.

Right-click on it and select “copy”

Go to iTunes under your device.  Right-click “admin’s iPhone” and select “Paste”

It should now be in the “tones” section as an available ringtone.



Record your soundfile with Audacity.

Plug in your Android phone.  It *should* show up in your Windows computer file explorer browser as “Pixel” or “Samsung” or whatever.  Drill down into that filesystem!

On my phone here’s the path:

This PC\Pixel 2 XL\Internal shared storage\Ringtones\storage-0

Yes, you’re looking for a folder called Ringtones.  I’ve put my recordings into “storage-o”

Transfer your exported Audacity recording into that folder!  It’s now available as a ringtone!





Easily Test Your EMR Backup

One of the requirements of a healthcare organization covered by the HIPAA-HITECH security rules is to have a recoverable backup of its EMR system.  After a local server crash is not the time to discover that the “automatic” backup system has been failing!


IDrive Business

Authorized Reseller

IDrive Business is a cloud-based disaster recovery (backup) solution priced at the amount of data (vs the number of computers like Crashplan for Small Business.)  The key benefits to this product are:

Unlimited Computers.  IDrive is sold based on the amount of data you have to backup.  The account administrator would need to carefully deploy the solution if a lot of computers are involved so as to not exceed the data limit.

Courier service available to “seed” your data or recover.  You would be able to ship a hard drive to IDrive with your data and (more…)

Archive Asterisk Voicemail

A client was looking for the capability to back up voicemails and have them easily accessible outside of the current Asterisk voicemail system.  It was standard practice in the organization to address voicemails daily and then delete from the system.  This solution enables the user to (more…)

Your Firewall is ALWAYS under attack

I’ve been using the SimpleWAN firewall to assist with quality Voice over IP connections.  Besides the VoIP features, the SimpleWAN has a cool visual display of the blocked attempted attacks that are always happening.  Here is a short video taken from one of my deployed firewalls:

The system logged 1000 blocked attacks over the past 16 hours.  This is why it’s so important to keep your firewall security software current!

Affordable Data Backup: CrashPlan for Small Business

I’ve been using CrashPlan since 2011.  I was exploring options to back up data to my own “cloud” environment and, at the time, Crashplan software was designed to share encrypted backup sets among friend computers.

Since then, the service has changed to remove that feature and now offers unlimited data backup to the cloud for $10 per month per computer.  The company’s website states that there are no contracts for this small business offering: you can cancel service at any time. (more…)

Ransomware Can Affect Your Backup!

I sympathize with folks in this scenario: you find out that your data backup didn’t work when you needed to restore it.  

With the evil ransomware bugs that are going around and you get infected, your data is destroyed and the best way to get it back is to restore from a backup.  There are two potential issues you might then face:  

  • Your automatic backup hasn’t been working 
  • Your backup solution was connected to your computer and the backup files are encrypted as well 

The best protection to avoid these problems is to have a backup solution that you understand AND that is disconnected from your computer: removable media or cloud-based solutions.  There are different solutions depending on your situation and budget. 

If you can’t afford to lose it, back it up! 

Voice over IP Gateway

You’re in a situation where you have a great working telephone system.  It doesn’t have a lot of crazy bells and whistles, but it gets the job done.  Phones ring, calls get transferred, everyone has their own voicemail, etc.  But you hear that you can SAVE MONEY by switching to a new Voice over IP system.  Every sales pitch you listen to ends up the same: You need to REPLACE all your phones and controller box.  That’s NOT saving money!

This is your working system:

Without replacing your current system that is working great, you could instead install a VoIP gateway.  The benefits come when you reduce the number of phone lines you pay for and go with a less-expensive SIP Trunk carrier.  I recommend a hybrid solution (retain one or two of your traditional phone lines and have overflow calls go to the SIP trunk carrier):

In this example, the overflow SIP carrier is Digium Cloud Services with it’s metered SIP trunk offering at one and one-half cents per minute.  It’s easy to do a cost comparison if you can see your current phone bill.  We can compare what you are paying now to what it would cost to buy a gateway and the SIP trunking services.

Shoot me an email at or text 605.381.1059 and let’s talk!