Technology Advisor Blog

Ekaru Donates a Digital Sign to the Cameron Senior Center

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 1/21/16 6:09 PM

CameronDonation_2015.jpgWe’re proud to support the local community.  The Cameron Senior Center in Westford invited us for a tour and reception last week after donating a digital sign to the center. 

A digital sign displays dynamic digital content such as photos, videos, streaming media, and other information.  Instead of a static sign that needs to be printed and displayed, with a digital sign you can update content anywhere, anytime, and display multiple things on a single display.  If you’ve been to a Dunkin Donuts recently, you’ve noticed that all the menus on the wall are digital.  You’ve probably also seen digital signs at your local bank.  All content is uploaded through the cloud, so you can manage multiple displays from a single console without having to visit each site. 

 

The staff at the Cameron Senior Center are updating event notifications, calendars, and weather information, in addition to photos and news from the community.  The monitor is located right above the coffee station to keep everyone up to date.  We love technology, and it's exciting to see technology helping the community. 

We recently installed a digital sign in our own office for fun!  Ask us for a demo if you’re interested.

Protect your Computers with Proper Power Management

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 1/14/16 4:45 PM

Overloaded_Outlet.jpgDo your electrical outlets look like this?  Time to change!  One of the things we look for in a healthy network is proper power management.  For maximum uptime, and to protect your digital investments, it's time to clean house and get your power management in order. 

As a best practice, we recommend that all sites have ALL networking equipment, and all servers on a quality UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and ideally the UPS will have reporting and alert notifications sent to us.  A UPS is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power  when the input power source fails.  Generally, the battery power can sustain a very short outage, and will provide enough power to ensure a safe shutdown of a Server.

The advanced UPS units also can do compensation for overvoltage and undervoltage conditions without even needing to go on battery, thus preserving battery for possible real outages which often accompany low voltage conditions.

The more sophisticated units provide monitoring for various events.  Some of the power alerts we routinely monitor include:

  • Compensating or not compensating for High input voltage.
  • Switching on or off battery.
  • Distorted input

Takeaways:

  • Minor power disturbances are happening at all sites and are routine and frequent.
  • They are caused by routine behind the scenes activity or faults in the electric distribution system (like circuit fault where the utility automatically switches to a different alternate source to maintain power), with a very brief sub second interruption of service.
  • Sites without adequate power protection are subject to mysterious (and tough to diagnose) side effects, including internet outages.  If network equipment frequently requires a power cycle to restore operation it is a clear indication that there have been power disturbances (very common issue with Cable Modems in particular).
  • Surge strips alone are not adequate to deal with such power events, because they do not deal with power sags, nor overvoltage or undervoltage conditions.   Remember surge strips should NEVER be plugged into the OUTPUT of a UPS.
  • The network UPS can provide such alerts even when the site has no power, if all the required networking components are powered on the output of the UPS.  We can isolate the root cause of internet outages at sites without going onsite, because we will have received the alerts before the power in the battery is exhausted.  The fix is that we or the client notify the power provider and much time and angst is avoided all around.

 

Frits Riep and Ann Westerheim

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