TSI Recommended Hardware

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We have personally had excellent results with the following hardware. This list is by no means all-inclusive, but is an excellent starting point for the majority of all small and mid-sized business needs.  Always consider first contacting Troubleshoot before working on mission-critical hardware, including network servers and corporate workstations/laptops.

Dell Latitude Laptops

So you’re running a business and your staff uses multiple laptops.  How do you keep ongoing support costs down?  Buy purchasing a make and model laptop that has become a standard worldwide.  A durable and high-performance unit that seemly works with docking stations and is built for reliability and stability.  Most Dell Latitude units are for business use, not gaming.  They rarely overheat compared to the competition and they continue to be rock-solid reliable with most units remaining conservative with chosen hardware components.  The number one way to keep your office costs down with laptops is to ensure everyone uses the same make and model.  Not only are you able to quickly diagnose any software issues that may crop up, but ongoing support costs are reduced tremendously.

By having the same model laptop, you’re able to troubleshoot issues very quickly – often without having to rely on outside IT support.  If we are required to come onsite or support your systems remotely, Del Latitude laptops by design make our job easier.  Bottom line – reduced ongoing costs for your organization.


HP Laserjet Network Printers, n series

For small offices and home offices, you can’t beat the quality of an HP Laserjet network printer.  HP set the standard for built-in Ethernet printing with the JetDirect interface years ago.  Of note is that today’s most modern HPs don’t sport as much metal inside as their forefathers did.  This means less reliability and durability, though we’ll take a new HP monochrome Laserjet over a Dell or Brother laser printer anytime.  The day Dell decided to get into the printer market we knew our customers were in for some bad experiences (another article entirely).  This was about as smart of a decision as Cisco buying out Linksys and getting into the home user wireless market (don’t get us started).

It’s important to note that our personal disdain for inexpensive all-in-one printers includes both laser and/or ink jet.  Drivers and software bloat with most all-in-one printers.  Most all-in-one units seem not to last and often have poor build quality, regardless of brand.  We visit client offices on a regular basis that have a half dozen or so “non-functioning” mutifunction printers stacked up waiting for a trip to the e-waste graveyard.  If you’re serious about office printing, stick with dedicated monochrome networkable HP LaserJets.

Want color or quality multifunction capability, copying / scanning / faxing?  Be prepared to make that corporate long-term investment in a quality commercial Konica-Minolta, Panasonic or Ricoh color copier.  A unit that comes with an ongoing service plan (provided by a local service provider) and one that has high page capacity.  HP seems to have lost the copier and commercial mulit-function market to Konica-Minolta, Panasonic and Ricoh.

For folks in the San Francisco Bay Area, we recommend contacting Advanced Business Equipment Technologies http://abetco.com/.  Ask for Sam Duminego for an honest and great solution for high-capacity copier and multi-function printing solutions.  Be sure to tell Sam that Sean with Troubleshoot sent you.

Overall, we have found lemons are relatively far and few between with HP LaserJet n series printers.  Four Stars.


UPS Power Saving Back-UPS 750

APC power conditioning and battery backup.  As unreliable as the Bay Area is for AC power, be sure your equipment is protected before data or equipment loss occurs.

APC Power Saving Back-UPS 750 is our favorite for workstations, desktops, laptops and routers.

We often implement the APC Smart-UPS 1500VA LCD 120V for servers with related additional equipment when the server is not rack mounted.

APC Smart-UPS 1500VA LCD RM 2U 120V is our standard for server rack installations and with small server implementations.  For larger data center integration, we recommend the APC Smart-UPS 2200VA LCD 2U or APC Smart-UPS 3000VA.  Be sure to check your existing power outlet configurations against the requirements of the more power and amp hungry 2200 and 3000 rack models as you may be required to upgrade to NEMA 5-20P.  Always contact a licensed electrician when upgrading AC power outlets.



Name TSI Insider Comments
TSI Recommended Hardware
Purchase memory here for your server, workstation or laptop. Lifetime warranty. Be sure to check out their memory adviser tool when visiting their site.
Suburb wireless routers and wireless antenna accessories at outstanding pricing. We personal use the DIR-655 and DIR-825 series, not enough range for your N signal? Quickly add an external antenna booster – dozens on the market to choose from.
Gigabit switches for small and mid-size networks, i would stick with the models that have metal cases not plastic. Prosafe models seem to be built the best – we use them ourselves. For managed switches you may want to consider upgrading to Cisco enterprise products for superior management abilities, this particular upgrade comes with a jump in price.
Optiplex workstations, Latitude laptops and PowerEdge servers remain the industry standard, top notch next-day on-site business support warranty, nuff said.

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