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GFI Max Backup Review

August 12, 2013

Here's an early sneak peek of my TMC Labs review of GFI Max Backup, which will be published in the 4th quarter issue of Cloud Computing Magazine. I've always been impressed with GFI's software tools, going back over the last 10-15 years, including anti-spam for Exchange, server monitoring tools, and more. Over the last few years they've expanded their software tools into Remote Monitoring and Management tools (RMM) with their GFI Max product which competes with Kaseya. GFI Max is pretty powerful, but offers a much simpler user experience than Kaseya, which tends to be more complex.

Mark Spencer AsteriCon 2012 Keynote! [VIDEO]

October 24, 2012

Post Office 2.0 Plugin for Movable Type

March 15, 2012

Movable Type has a plugin called Post Office (now maintained on Github by Endevver) which is a cool email-to-blog (moblogging) Perl-based plugin. I wrote my own email-to-blog Perl script years ago, which has some advanced features like support for both images and videos in your email attachments. However, the script would run via a Linux bash shell and executed via a scheduled cron job. Because of that, for each Movable Type user that needed this feature I need to copy the Perl script to a new .pl Perl file and change the 'static' variables (email address, MT XML-RPC password, etc.).

Hacked Asterisk PBX Update

January 12, 2012


I wanted to give an update to my Asterisk Hack Post-mortem article. By the way, I love this image of a hacker sporting a fedora in case you're wondering why I used it in both articles!

I found this interesting error in the logs:
zdump[27161]: error: Bind to port 10001 on 0.0.0.0 failed: Address already in use.

I knew zdump was a Linux command related to timezone stuff, but it shouldn't be taking a port. I found the zdump command:
[root]/var/log/bak2>ll /usr/bin/zdump
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root 240512 Jan  6 13:36 /usr/bin/zdump

The date and time were roughly around the time of the hack.









Asterisk Hack Post-mortem

January 10, 2012


Having your production Asterisk-based phone system hacked is no fun, as I have learned from first-hand experience over the past few days. Even the best of IT administrators taking ever security precaution in the book dreads the day their critical server gets hacked. You hope you've done everything possible to stop your servers from being hacked, but you are never 100% sure. There is always some hacker smarter than you, but more importantly, smarter than the best security practices you put in place.

Fonality Names Former Microsoft Exec David Scult as CEO

January 10, 2012

Today, Fonality announced it has appointed former Microsoft Exec David Scult (image right) as Chief Executive Officer. This is the second CEO in just a couple years. Dean Mansfield replaced Chris Lyman CEO, the founder of Fonality. I'm a fan of Fonality's Asterisk-based products, especially their HUD client, so I'm hoping things are going well there.

Skype for Asterisk Killed - The Lowdown

May 25, 2011


In case you hadn't heard, Skype has decided to not renew the agreement for Digium's Skype for Asterisk, effectively killing Skype for Asterisk.

Skype for Asterisk will not be available for sale or activation after July 26, 2011.

Skype for Asterisk was developed by Digium in cooperation with Skype. It includes proprietary software from Skype that allows Asterisk to join the Skype network as a native client. Skype has decided not to renew the agreement that permits us to package this proprietary software. Therefore Skype for Asterisk sales and activations will cease on July 26, 2011.

This change should not affect any existing users of Skype for Asterisk.






$25 Computer Runs Linux on USB stick - Asterisk on a Stick?

May 6, 2011


Imagine being able to carry a PC on your keychain, well imagine no more! David Braben a game developer invented a skeletal computer on a USB stick that runs Linux (Ubuntu), and gets you connected to the Internet. This tiny USB stick PC sports a HDMI port on one end and a USB port on the other.  It comes equipped with a decent 700 MHz ARM 11 processor, 128 MB of RAM, a USB port, support 1080p video and the ability to add a webcam or WiFi module.

VoIP Hacker vs. VoIP Server Honeypots

March 10, 2011


It's VoIP hacker vs. VoIP Server. Who will lay the smack down and win this battle of good vs. evil? The stakes are high.

Nine Technology Targets Online Backup to MSPs

October 19, 2010

At ITEXPO I met with Gene Fay, Senior Vice President for Nine Technology, an online backup and recovery service designed for MSPs to brand and resell. Nine Technology’s "Powered by Nine" data backup and restore solutions enable managed service providers (MSPs) to offer cost-effective and secure online backup and recovery services for desktops, laptops and servers.

One of their main claims to fame is their patented global deduplication process. It uses "block level" global data deduplication and compression to minimize data size, number of files and bandwidth utilization. Gene Fay claimed that their partners have done some testing and Nine Technology is 5-15x faster at recovering files than the popular Mozy or Carbonite solutions.

Some new features recently announced include:
  • Seeded initial backups shipped to the data center
  • Semi-continuous data protection
  • Granular SQL server backups using VSS snapshots
  • Automated self-service branding of partner client software
  • Web-based restore processes
  • Updated, easier-to-control GUI
The "seeded" initial backups are a key feature, since many organizations have terabytes of data that would take a long time to backup even over a fast WAN Internet connection.




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