Another DOE Grant

We are excited to announce that Accelerated Data Works (dba Acceleration) has been awarded a phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.  The grant is to support Acceleration’s work with network management systems.

Acceleration submitted a grant proposal for an Holistic Operations Planning System (HOPS):

Large-scale computer network planning is a difficult task with limited management-tool support. This software integrates with existing network management systems to provide operators the tools and high-level reports needed to reduce costs, make better decisions, and communicate the status of their network with stakeholders.

The Gainesville Sun posted an article just yesterday – Local firms get grants for new energy technologies

Local press picks up new voting system for UF

The voting system we are currently completing for the University of Florida Student Government elections was viewed and tested by current Senators yesterday evening. The test went well and elections are scheduled to proceed with the new system next week.

Both the Gainesville Sun and the Independent Florida Alligator sent representatives to observe and interview the participants, as well as our Director of Programming, Ryan Davis. Though not necessarily intentional on his part, Ryan’ choice of test data seems to be incredibly newsworthy, which is fun.

Alligator article: Senators test electronic voting system before elections

Gainesville Sun article: Student senators try out new electronic voting system

Vulnerability in ASP.NET Could Allow Information Disclosure

On Friday, September 17, Microsoft announced the discovery of a major security problem in any website using ASP.NET. Acceleration takes security very seriously, and pro-actively took steps to ensure the safety and privacy of our client sites and data.

To be clear, this security flaw is not a problem or error with individual websites.  It is a deeper issue with ASP.NET decryption error handling, in code developed and deployed by Microsoft.

Normally security updates of this sort are included in hosting fees, as they are provided by Microsoft as a server-wide updates.  Computer security researchers discover these flaws routinely, and whoever discovers the security holes usually gives Microsoft advanced notice so server-wide updates can be developed and deployed before the vulnerability is published.  In this case however, the flaw was announced prematurely, and Microsoft did not have time to provide a server-wide fix.  Microsoft did offer a per-website manual workaround that we applied and tested, going server-by-server and site-by-site.

For shared hosting and managed co-location clients, we have modified your web.config and added a error.aspx or error.html file (following Microsoft’s workaround).

For clients who develop their own website, please read through the changes we made to the web.config file(s).  To keep your site safe, you’ll need to adjust your source code accordingly so you don’t overwrite the fix when you next deploy your website.

For un-managed co-location clients, please read Microsoft Security Advisory (2416728): Vulnerability in ASP.NET Could Allow Information Disclosure and apply the fix to your affected sites.

See also:

Clearing a transaction log

To clear the transaction log of a SQL2000 database:

BACKUP LOG [databasename] WITH NO_LOG

This will break the log, and reduce the size of the log file.  This is a dangerous operation, and should not be part of a maintenance routine.  SQL Server has better mechanisms to manage log file size in almost every case.

For more detail, see:

Accelerated Data Works Awarded DOE Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Accelerated Data Works Awarded DOE Grant

Gainesville, FL – April 30, 2010 – Accelerated Data Works (dba Acceleration) has been awarded a phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.  The grant is to support Acceleration’s work with energy visualization on www.Gainesville-Green.com, under the topic of “Collaboration, Scientific Visualization, and Data Understanding.”

Acceleration submitted a grant proposal for an Energy Tracking Software Platform:

This project will create an interactive energy tracking and visualization platform that supports decreasing electric, water, and gas usage. Homeowners will be able to track their improvement as they make home efficiency upgrades and compete within social groups to lower utility bills while reducing their environmental footprint.

This platform has been in development for over 2 years, and is publicly available at http://www.Gainesville-Green.com.

Acceleration would also like to congratulate other Gainesville, FL awardees Sinmat Inc and UltraHiNet LLC. The DOE received 1,863 proposals for SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants, and awarded 268 SBIR and 45 STTR grants.

Acceleration is a technology service provider offering server hosting, business broadband solutions, custom programming, website design, and general consulting.

Contact:
Ryan Davis
www.acceleration.net

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Acceleration News

Acceleration Voice Coming Soon!

Over the years we’ve worked with a number of vendors that sell proprietary phone systems for business. These companies offer specialized hardware for private branch exchanges (PBX), which handle inter-office calls, individual phone extensions, and other office phone features. We’ve worked along side these vendors for mutual clients, supporting voice and data business needs. We’ve often wondered why all the specialized equipment is needed. There have been significant technological advances in phone systems over the last decade, and many PBX vendors appear unwilling to support the newer, more flexible, cheaper methods. To better meet our client’s needs, Acceleration will begin offering voice services in 2010.

The latest phone systems work with normal internet connections, using the world-standard internet protocol (IP). These new phones are referred to as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, and can operate over existing internet connections. Many PBX vendors simply don’t have the background in IP networking to support these new products. They have stuck with the same expensive, proprietary PBX systems they’ve always sold, occasionally offering a token VoIP add-on. Without the networking knowledge and infrastructure, these PBX/VoIP hybrids simply do not work well. As a result, customers conclude VoIP is “not ready for prime-time” when in actuality it’s simply a poor implementation. VoIP has had somewhat of a bad reputation with early adopters. Perversely, this usually works in favor of the poorly-performing vendor, driving customers back to the same old expensive hardware, which they sell at inflated prices without any incentive to innovate.

We don’t feel traditional PBX is in the best interest of our clients, so we have been busy researching and developing a better voice solution for business.

Acceleration will enter the voice market in 2010. We are well positioned to provide voice service due to our existing broadband infrastructure and experience running high-level networks. We will provide turn-key phone solutions, replacing all the separate relationships you probably manage today. We are planning hosted PBX services, PBX integration (if you’ve recently invested in a PBX), VoIP handsets, money-saving local and long-distance plans, all with the networking configuration to ensure your calls stay crystal clear.

Our flagship product for voice will be Hosted PBX. The PBX service will reside in our data center, and your physical phones will be directly connected. There is no specialized PBX hardware for you to purchase or maintain in your telephone closet. In fact, there’s no specialized PBX hardware at all. Hosted PBX is a software solution that runs on a high-powered server, the same kind of machine we’ve been managing for years for our hosting and database clients. The hosted PBX is built to handle many thousands of business customers, and offers all the features of a traditional PBX and more. This is the architecture of the future for most business phone systems.

The reason many PBX hardware providers haven’t gone this new direction is that they can’t control the Quality of Service (QoS). This is a critical component to your VoIP system to ensure smooth operation on a combined voice and data network. PBX hardware companies typically do not operate their own broadband networks like we do, so they can’t provide QoS. Often times, they can’t provide the phone lines either as they are not a phone company. Our goal is to replace all of those components and provide a comprehensive, reliable, and feature-rich solution for less money.

A few reasons to consider Acceleration for your voice solution:

  • Industry standard hardware – no proprietary phones or PBX packages, future-proof
  • Costs are much less than proprietary PBX systems and with more features
  • Web-based control panel to manage your phones
  • QoS support across the network ensuring reliability and clarity
  • HD Voice – high-definition voice (like HDTV): amazing sound quality
  • Competitive local and long-distance rates: down to $.02/minute!
  • Amazing features: have your cell phone as an extension, a home phone that’s a part of your office, and many more
  • 24/7 Support by the same high-level technicians you’ve come to trust for your broadband and hosting needs

If you’d be interested in our voice offerings, please contact us at sales@acceleration.net.

Budget Minded Virus Protection

Microsoft Security Essentials
A lot of Windows users have to bear the brunt of an annual subscription fee
to anti-virus companies which start from $30-$100. More often than not,
users aren’t protected and having to pay the fees deter them from
staying safe on the Internet. If this sounds like you, consider Microsoft
Security Essentials.

Released late last year, Microsoft Security Essentials is a completely free
anti-virus solution that’s available for Windows XP through Windows 7, and it’s
very easy to install and manage. Security updates are also published three
times a day and automatically downloaded by the software.

For more information, follow:

http://www.microsoft.com

Microsoft

Thank You For Your Business!

All of us at Acceleration have a great appreciation for our customers. The following businesses have been customers of Acceleration for 10 years or more.

Thank you for your continued patronage.


Go Paperless!

paperless office
20% of Acceleration clients have switched to paperless billing. Do you really need to receive that paper invoice in your mailbox?
Or, could you designate an email address to receive and go paperless? Do your part for the environment and lessen the paper – mark ‘Change to paperless’ on your next invoice!