Century IT blog

3CX & Microsoft Windows XP Support

July 17th, 2012

3cx_certified_partner

 

Since the announcement that 3cx has released the new version (version 11) of the 3CX Phone System, and 3CX Myphone for Windows, IOS and Android, many of our existing customers have been asking Century IT Services why the new version of 3CX, version 11 that offers so many improvements as a phone system, now isn’t supported on Microsoft Windows XP.

 

This blog entry will hopefully answer that question explain the direction that software companies like 3CX are going in.

 

Many software companies create their software using a Microsoft development system called .net. This framework gives developers a stable platform to access all the different flavours of Microsoft Windows with ease, so that they can create the software code once and it will run on any version of Microsoft Windows. The disadvantage with this framework that when Microsoft decide to drop support of a certain version of Microsoft Windows from this system the software developers have to drop it from new versions of their software too. And that is really where we are with 3CX and Microsoft Windows XP.

 

3cx voip telephone system

 

If you stand back and look at Microsoft Windows XP the answer really is clear. Windows XP is now a very old Operating System that started off in 2001 and Microsoft have been trying to retire since the fated Windows Vista was released. Microsoft have extended support for XP but now that Windows 8 is looming the time has come to move on.

 

Support for Microsoft Windows XP has now stopped and it is now on ‘extended support’ and even this will stop in 2014 which isn’t really that far away. After the extended support period has ended no new security updates will be released. This will make Windows XP vulnerable to attack from new viruses and malware.

 

The other major reason for dropping Microsoft Windows XP is that 3CX are now developing their software to run using 64bit native code. The advantage of developing 64bit software is that the 3CX will run more efficiently on newer hardware. This means that the same hardware will be able to reliably handle more extensions, lines and conference calls etc. when running the 64bit version of the 3CX Phone System software.

 

3cx voip telephone system

To see more information about the latest version of 3CX phone system please see http://www.3cx.com/blog/featured-2/whats-new-in-3cx-phone-system-11/

 

Microsoft Windows availability and life cycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microsoft Windows End Of Support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More information of Microsoft’s life Windows lifecycle can be found at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle

 

 

This list of supported and unsupported Operating Systems is taken from the 3CX Web Site

 

3CX Phone System Version 11

 

Supported

 

• Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate/Enterprise SP1 (32-bit & 64-bit)

 

• Windows 2003 Web/Standard/Enterprise/DataCentre Editions (32-bit & 64-bit) (Abyss Only)

 

• Windows 2003 R2 Web/Standard/Enterprise/DataCentre Editions (32-bit & 64-bit) (Abyss Only)

 

• Windows 2003 SBS (Abyss Only)

 

• Windows 2003 SBS R2 (Abyss Only)

 

• Windows 2008 Foundation/Web/Standard/Enterprise/Datacentre (32-bit & 64-bit)

 

• Windows 2008 R2 Foundation/Web/Standard/Enterprise/ Datacentre (64-bit)

 

• Windows 2008 SBS (64-bit)

 

• Windows 2008 SBS R2 (64-bit)

 

• Windows 2011 SBS Essentials/Standard Edition (64 bit)

 

 

 

NOT Supported

 

• Windows 2000 and earlier

 

• Windows XP

 

• Windows Vista Home Basic/Premium Edition

 

• Windows 7 Starter Edition/home/premium Edition

 

• Windows 2008 for Itanium-based Systems

 

• Windows 2008 R2 ServerCore

 

 

If you are in the South of England, especially Southampton, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, or Isle of Wight areas and would like to talk more about the 3CX Phone System software, then please feel free to give us a call.

 

 

Century IT Services – Providing 3CX PBX VoIP Telephone System Installation & Support in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Surrey, Sussex & Berkshire

 

 

 

 

Full Data Backup / Differential Backup / Incremental Backups

July 10th, 2012

Different Types of Backup.

 

Backing up the data within your business is a business critical event

More than anything, it helps to make sure that you don’t lose any important files, whether they are quotes and order forms or customer or employee details. The loss of either would be a disaster to the business. Whichever way you look at it, investing in a backup system of some sort, is a something that needs to be done.

 

There are numerous different backup mediums that can be used, ranging from flash storage to tapes to hard disk drives and choosing the right one for your business or home use is purely based on your personal requirements and preferences.

CD’s and DVD’s if you have very little data to be backed up and a lot of time in which to do so, or flash storage if you have a bit more money to spare but need the fastest backup possible.

 

More importantly, there are different ways of backing up your data. Three of the most common of these, are Full Data Backup, Incremental Data Backup and Differential Data Backup.

 

Here’s a little further explanation on what each one does, and the good sides and the bad sides to each of them.

 

 

 

Full Data Backup

This form of Data Backup is fairly self-explanatory with its name and does what it says on the tin. It performs a full data backup of every folder and file that is specified to be backed up within the backup software whether the files it backs up are newly created or several years old since they were last opened, it backs it up either way.

 

The advantages to this sort of data backup are fairly clear in the respect that it is the most thorough form of data backup possible. But the other up-side to this form of backup is that should you ever need to restore the system from one of the created backups, then the process is the quickest and simplest of all the methods.

 

This method of course does have its downsides however, the most obvious being that it takes far longer to run a full data backup than any other, as absolutely everything is backed up, not just select files. The other disadvantage to this method of backup is the fact that you will need far more backup storage space available because of the amount of files that are going to be backed up.

 

Because of how long this way of backing up usually takes, it is often either run on a server in the very late hours of the night when the server is not being used or accessed, or over a weekend on a weekly basis.

 

 

 

Incremental Data Backup

This type of data backup works by only ever backing up files that have been modified, changed or created since the last data backup was made.

 

In turn, this results in a very fast data backup service as opposed to the full data backup option as well as needing a lot less in the way of storage requirements because of the considerably lower amount of files being backed up. On the other hand, there is the downside that if you ever need to restore data at any point, the restore process will take considerably longer than any other backup method.

 

 

Differential Data Backup

The final type of backup is Differential Data Backup. Essentially this is just a combination of the two above mentioned methods.

 

For example, a full data backup could be run late on a Sunday night and the rest of the week to follow would just use differential data backup methods. Making sure that only files that had been modified or created since the last full data backup, were backed up that time round.

 

Like the other methods, there are still slight disadvantages to this method, but all round it proves itself to be a good way to back up on a regular basis without using an excessive amount of storage space. Restoring data from the backup is faster than form incremental backup, but slower than a full data backup and likewise the backing up process is slower than the incremental data backup alone but still slower than a full data backup.

 

 

Summary

 

  • Full Data Backups take the longest to complete but the backup will contain a complete set of your data

 

  • Incremental Data Backups are the quickest types of backup to complete, but it will only contain a subset of your data, data that has changed since the last Data Backup

 

  • Differential Data Backups only backup data that has changed since the last Full Data Backup and are likely to be quicker than a Full Data Backup

 

 

Choosing the right style of backup for either personal or business use is a choice left up to you, but the above information hopefully leaves you a little more clued up as to what to expect from each type of backup before making a decision on one.

 

90% of businesses that found themselves without data for 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy inside 2 years*

 

Advice

We would advise that you seek expert advice before embarking on a suitable backup regime for your company. A mistake made in the planning of data backups can have a catastrophic consequences if the need to restore data arises and you do not have a complete set of your data.

 

 * Source – London Chamber of Trade & Commerce

 

 

Century IT Services – Getting IT Right

Providing Computer Support and I.T Support to businesses in Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey, Wiltshire, Sussex and Berkshire

RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

July 2nd, 2012

What is RAID?

To answer it shortly, RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive/Independent Disks.

 

This doesn’t really answer the question though, because if you look into it a bit more, it’s easy to see that there is more to RAID than first meets the eye.

 

RAID comes in different levels, ranging from RAID 0 all the way to RAID 10. Although RAID levels 8 and 9 do not exist. Each of these RAID levels work in a different way to each other. I will go over how RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 10 (RAID 10 also known as RAID 1+0 or 0+1).

 

RAID 0

 

 

RAID 0

RAID 0 is largely used to increase the performance and speed from a collection of hard disks. It works by striping data across the disks, sharing the data as if the two disks were just one. The major downside to this particular level of RAID, is that if one disk goes down, then you have lost all of the data even though one or more disks may still be perfectly healthy. This is no different however, to just having a single hard disk in your computer failing, causing you to lose whatever data was stored on it should you not have backed it up.

 

 

 

 

RAID1

 

RAID 1

The next level of RAID, is RAID 1. This works differently as it mirrors the data across however many disks are in the RAID, creating an exact copy on each disk. This is of course very useful should you store important data across this RAID setup, as if one of the disks were to fail, then you would have lost no data at all, as one of the other disks in the array will still have an exact copy of the data.

This array is only as large as the smallest disk in the array. This means that if you have two 500GB drives and a 250GB drive in the array, the RAID will only be 250GB, disregarding the remaining space left on the two 500GB drives.

 

 

 

RAID 5

The next level of RAID to look at is RAID 5. This type of array is one of the most popular as it provides good performance, good fault tolerance and allows for high storage amounts as well as having an exceptional read speed. Writing speed to the array however does suffer a fair amount so is not the best choice for a write intensive application, though if the array was used to host a database, RAID 5 would be an almost perfect choice.

 

 RAID5

 

 

RAID 10

Finally, there is RAID 10. Also known as RAID 1+0 or 0+1, this particular level of RAID array is generally regarded as the best. On the downside, it is also the most expensive form of RAID array to set up due to the fact that a minimum of 4 disks must be used. The reason behind RAID 10 being called either RAID 1+0 or 0+1, is because it’s simply a combination of RAID 1’s best features and RAID 0’s best features. This means that the data is both mirrored across drives as well as being striped leading to both very quick read speeds as well as fast write speeds. If you can afford to set up a RAID 10 array, then it is definitely the one to go for as it also allows for disk failures without loss of data.

 

RAID10

 

Hot Spare 

In the unfortunate event that a disk should fail in the array, you can also include what are called “Hot Spare” drives. These drives sit idle and unused until the failure of one of the disks in the array occurs. When one does, the Hot Spare drive then becomes active as it is then included as part of the array in place of the disk that was lost.

 

 

Summary

The above explanations try to clarify what RAID is and identify the benefits of each level of RAID. The subject of computer hardware specifications and the specifics of the types of disks and RAID levels available can be confusing and we would encourage you take advice from an I.T Expert before deciding upon the hardware specfication of a replacement server.

 

We offer FREE, confidential,  no obligation advice, so why not give us a call.

 

 

Century IT Services – Getting IT Right

Providing Computer Support & IT Support to businesses in Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey, Wiltshire, Sussex & Berkshire