Solid State drive recovery is now possible!

Solid state hard drives or SSD Drives are very fast and assumed to be more reliable than typical hard drives.  Makes sense initially because they have no moving parts.   Unfortunately, due to the requirement of storing the data on multiple chips with parity and moving the data around, corruption can occur.

We have seen several SSD drives just crash in a seemingly UN-recoverable way.

Now we have a solution to recover them!  The memory chips are actually removed from the drive, read, and then data recovered!  It’s an involved and intense process, but we can do it.

So if you forget to back up your SSD drive we can now recover it.  It’s not easy or cheap, but we can do it.

Please contact us if you need help with a SSD recovery.

 

Time for a serious password solution

Its 2012 and even with my clever password algorithms, I’m often overwhelmed with the number of usernames and passwords I have to remember for all of my different devices and accounts. As a result, I’ve made the inevitable compromises that I preach against with customers all the time!  I have a passwords note tucked here and there… ENOUGH!  Its time to take security more seriously, I’m implementing STRONG passwords everywhere and will be storing them with a solid and secure program to help me remember and recall them whenever needed.  Stay tuned for the results of my testing.  KeePass is first on my list.  When I’m finished, I’ll be bugging all of you to do the same, so get ready to get secure.

 

Low Cost Disaster Recovery Options For VMware

For years now Corner Edge Solutions has been using VMware exclusively for all of our new server installs, and even for hardware upgrades by virtualizing the original server install and configuration to a new physical server with VMware.  This goes for even a small, one server setup as well.  We have felt this is a great way to increase reliability as well as improve disaster recovery times.

While having two complete setups of VMware is probably cost prohibitive, with the small footprint of VMware ESXi, you can use a simple workstation or even a laptop as a cold spare DR backup.  As you’ll see below, I have easily installed VMware on my laptop, and with a large enough hard drive, and enough memory, I could run a small to medium office server environment setup on my one laptop, or even a mid-range business desktop.  The cost of these is usually around $1500-2500, and when you consider the cost of a second server may come in at $5000 or more, this is a great low-budget way to have your office back up and working quickly in the event of a major disaster.

To do this simply, just power off the VM’s on a schedule that fits your DR needs and copy the files from the main DataStore and upload them the the DataStore on your backup setup.  You will want to make sure your backup processor is a 64-bit proc with VT enabled if you are running 64-bit VM’s, you have enough storage space for the foreseeable future, and definitely install as much memory as your budget and workstation will allow, and that should be it.

You clearly shouldn’t expect the same performance of this setup as you would get from a true server, but it would get people back online and running again while you work on the main server.

image

Here is a quick picture I took of my laptop running VMware ESXi just for fun.  I had installed ESXi on a USB stick, and booted to that when I powered on my laptop.  This install was originally done on a PowerEdge 2950, and without any modifications to the install, it came up just fine on an Dell Latitude E6500.  Simply carry a USB flash drive and a large external storage drive and you can have a backup ESXi server wherever you go.

VMware ESXi Server Keeps Running with Failed RAID Array

We at Corner Edge Solutions LOVE VMware.  It’s not too hard to tell that based on our blog, but this past week we found a new reason to fall in love all over again.  One of our ESXi 4 servers in a cluster had a double drive failure on our RAID 5 array, which would have completely crashed a server had it been a typical setup, but since it is running VMware ESXi with all the VM DataStores on a iSCSI storage device, we had ZERO impact on our environment.  ESXi is the lightweight version of the original ESX server which runs entirely in memory, not requiring disk access once it has been loaded at startup.

Since this machine was part of a cluster, we simply migrated the VMs on the failed server to the other working ESXi server through vSphere vCenter Server.  The working VMware server was able to overcommit the available physical memory by almost 50% with room to spare.  We then took down the server with the bad drives to rebuild.  We also took this opportunity to install the OS onto a USB flash drive, which installed internally to the server, and remove the remaining two working hard drives to run a completely diskless server configuration.  With a small amount of configuring to VMware, the newly rebuilt server was ready to join the cluster again and the VMs were then evenly distributed throughout the cluster, all the while never having to power anything off.  That means never having to send out maintenance notices to customers that their hosted servers will be offline, and keeping out uptime in tact.  The whole process took only about 5 hours as well.  When was the last time a total failure on a system RAID drive, and nothing went down, and everything was upgraded and repaired in 5 hours?

Files Files Files, stored and shared securely.

There are plenty of file sharing services available but none more secure or as easy to administer than those developed by Corner Edge. Best of all it’s your own! Completely custom branded to fit your company or product. If your company is sharing sensitive documents between employees, vendors and/or clients then you should seriously consider using a system that is designed for that purpose. Sharing files through email is highly insecure and often will not support large documents, and many on-line sharing alternatives are impersonal and do not present your company in the most professional manner. Give your customers, clients and vendors the piece of mind that their sensitive documents and files are safe from prying eyes by directing them to your own file sharing website and not a public tool.  Corner Edge has helped countless companies and entrepreneurs with secure file sharing and archiving solutions like the one pictured that was developed for Bennett Associates. Call Corner Edge today to learn more 973-285-9900.

Corner Edge Solutions

New website for Wild Heart Bulk Landscape Supplies

Wild Heart Bulk Landscape Supplies

Wild Heart Bulk Landscape Supplies Exciting New Website

Wild Heart Bulk Landscape Supplies is a woman owned business with a goal to create superior work and service at a reasonable price. Wild Heart offers a  wide variety of products and services from their store in Hillsborough, NJ. To help the company grow Corner Edge has designed and developed a new web site that highlights  their bulk products, custom sheds and landscaping and maintenance services. Corner Edge custom developed specially designed calculators to help customers and staff to determine the volume of product needed for a given project. The site also includes order request forms for bulk supplies and sheds, which will soon be incorporated into a full online e-commerce site linked directly to the company’s sales ticket system also developed and securely hosted by Corner Edge. Be sure to visit the various services pages to see some fun Flash animation created to represent each service. In addition to Flash Corner Edge has begun implementing the latest website development techniques available through the use of  html5 and CSS3.

A paradigm shift – from workstation & laptop to just a laptop and docking stations

When I started corneredge in 2001 laptop technology was pretty good but for performance I needed to have a workstation at home and at the office.  We have used that model at CES ever since.  The ability to run VMware, graphics apps, do video editing all required a dedicated workstation for speed, storage space etc..

Now, with SSD laptops that can handle mutiple hard drives, docking stations that can handle dual DVI connections for monitors, and the flexibility in windows 7 to quickly boot into all these different docked/un-docked modes, we are making a complete shift away from all the workstations and towards living off of laptops only.  We are also saving energy and operating in a more “green” fashion this way.

So, when considering a replacement computer for your power users, I strongly consider a nice laptop and docking stations again.

SPAM alert – CES will NEVER – temporanly prevented access to your account

Our support team will NEVER send you a spam message like this below.

————————————————————

Dear Customer,

This e-mail was send by corneredge.net to notify you that we have temporanly prevented access to your account.

We have reasons to beleive that your account may have been accessed by someone else. Please run attached file and Follow instructions.

(C) corneredge.net

Get things done with Remember the milk

I have used several ways to track my to-do list.  Ranging from paper to outlook to separate tools, and nothing has really worked for me until I found Remember the Milk.

If you need to get organized with your to-do list, check out remember the milk

Also check out these advanced tips

Corneredge ticket system

We are excite to launch our new ticket system today.  We have been working with various systems, and have finally completed our in house program released into beta today!   All of our systems support will be tracked in the new systems, emails will be automated, and details recorded in this new central database.  Ultimaltey, we plan on serving you better.  Let us know what you think!