Rethinking Wide Area Networking

SD WANThere is a shift in how businesses use technology. New applications, including Voice over IP VoIP phone systems, Cloud Based Email, File Sync & Sharing all require solid network infrastructure. According to a recent report from the Enterprise Strategy Group, Demonstrating SD-WAN Business Value: Rethinking WAN for a Modern Age, distributed organizations with multiple Remote Office/Branch Office (ROBO) locations may need to reduce unnecessary deployment and management of network infrastructure. Elements of infrastructure, such as head-end devices or appliances at branches, can be replaced with simple appliances supported by Cloud-based services. Here is a highlight of ESG’s findings:

Simplify your Wide Area Network

Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology can act as an enabler for Hybrid WAN technology by combining multiple transports, such as MPLS networks and business-class broadband networking. Managing your network can be streamlined by centralizing policy management, monitoring, and systems for troubleshooting. What’s more, reducing dependency on specific network suppliers and transport mechanisms results in the flexibility to find lower-cost alternates without compromising service levels.

Minimize Operational Expense

By using a zero-touch deployment model, companies can reduce truck rolls by remotely managing installation, configuration updates, and troubleshooting. Like Software as a Service (SaaS) works for application deployment, SD-WAN can remove the complexity of managing a Wide Area Network (WAN) for Remote Office/Branch Office (ROBO) environments.

Reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of Your Wide Area Network

Implementing SD-WAN technology is expected to save costs related to bandwidth by providing more flexible networking options. In addition, by reducing the operating expense of service delivery related to installation, configuration, operations, and management additional costs will be eliminated from moving services to the Cloud. Wide Area Networking (WAN) as a Service eases deployments by minimizing truck rolls.

If you are looking to save by upgrading your WAN infrastructure by using SD-WAN technologies, contact your network solutions advisors for an independent assessment of your needs.

Cybersecurity is Everybody’s Business

Cyber SecurityIt is no surprise, technology flattens the world for many businesses. What’s more, nearly every business sector finds it necessary to collect, maintain, analyze, and monetize user data. Many think Cybersecurity risks only apply to highly regulated industries, such as legal, healthcare and financial services.

Cybersecurity Risks Go Beyond Borders

Factors outside industry, including geographic considerations and sensitive consumer data, can create cybersecurity risks that need to be managed. These factors run the gamut of domestic and international laws, regulatory bodies, and private-party business agreements. Cybersecurity compliance can touch every business to some degree.

Internet of Things (IoT) and Cybersecurity

Adding to the list of concerns are non-traditional technologies entering your businesses network. IP-enabled technology called Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly being adopted in the workplace.  The Cybersecurity threat is moving beyond desktops, laptops and services. A new generation of mobile devices–Point of Sale (POS), IP video surveillance, embedded sensors, VoIP, and others–is just the first wave of emerging technologies that need to be secured.

How to Minimize Cybersecurity Risks

There are many things a business can do to reduce Cybersecurity threats. According to the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the following elements are the building blocks for a cybersecurity program:

  • Documented policies, procedures & standards

  • Asset management

  • Identity & access controls

  • Risk management

  • Vendor management

  • Physical & environmental security

  • Compliance

  • Privacy

  • Remote access

  • Data backups

  • Data destruction

Cybersecurity threats are a reality of today’s world. The risks of data compromise and/or loss can cost more than dollars; such risks can cost your reputation. Your business is only as secure as your Network. If you have questions about your business needs, ask your technology advisor about how to manage Cybersecurity threats to your business.

Achieving Network Peace of Mind

Network Peace of MindBy proactively monitoring and managing your Network infrastructure, you can avoid the hassles of downtime due to bottlenecks, security intrusions and more. By having the latest data at your fingertips, you can make the best decisions based on the current status of all the devices connected to your network. Proactively managed devices including desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, routers, switches and firewalls all contribute to the overall health of your network. By monitoring your network for performance and auditing your devices for compliance, you can keep things running smoothly.

Moving to Managed Services

Managed services offers a fixed-price model to manage your network and IT infrastructure. A managed service provider will proactively audit the assets on your network, monitor performance, and remediate or escalate issues as part of a fixed-price service agreement.  Because the cost of service delivery is fixed versus billable hours, the managed service provider has incentives to keep things running with minimal interruption. A managed service agreement often includes onsite and remote support options in addition to remote monitoring and management. As a result, you have a trusted source to call when problems arise.

Is Your Network Worry Free?

By having a consolidated asset inventory of your entire network, your managed service provider can isolate issues that cause your network performance to degrade. This helps avoid jitter, packet loss, and data delay for networking infrastructure. Desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets can be checked to ensure they are in compliance and free of malware, viruses and other sources of network intrusion.

 

Benefits of Managed Services

 

The managed service model provides a predictable cost to the business owner for service delivery. Surprises from hourly overruns and network downtime are avoided, because your infrastructure is proactively monitored and managed. With less downtime interruption and improved network performance, your employees are more productive. What’s more, productive employees feel better about coming to work each day.

If you want to take the worry out of your network performance contact your service provider to find out how you can achieve network peace of mind.

Best Tacos in Laguna Beach

It is only 90 miles from Laguna Beach to Mexico and in that short distance Laguna has adapted many great tastes from south of the border. While visiting Laguna Beach, nothing beats the Best tacos in Laguna’s tacos, enchiladas and burritos. Laguna has casual and upscale restaurant options to choose from, serving fresh and delicious Mexican fare. Many restaurants offer “Taco Tuesday” special deals for those traveling on a budget. Here are some local insights for the top spots for the best tacos in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach Guitarist, Alec Bridges suggests eating a salmon burrito at La Sirena Grill.

Alec bridgesAlec is an award winning musician and local Laguna legend.

La Sirena has a two locations in town. If you are downtown shopping, visit the location on tucked away on Mermaid Street.  The South Laguna Location is in the shopping center directly across from the Montage Resort.

Best Tacos in Laguna Beach

Adolpho’s Mexican Food, which serves a wide array of Mexican plates, is a local hang out and has some of the best tacos in Laguna Beach. Enjoy delicious shrimp tacos with your favorite Mexican beer across Pacific Coast Highway from Anita Street beach. Adolpho’s is a great place to go for lunch before or after surfing.

Laguna Feast is also a must try for best tacos in Laguna Beach. Carnitas, beef, and chicken tacos are only $1.25 on Tuesdays, which is a bargain you do not want to miss. This small shop offers authentic tacos and a relaxed atmosphere.

Go to Wahoo’s Fish Tacos for tacos unlike anywhere else. This Mexican fusion style restaurant offers quality, tacos with an Asian flare. Located right above Oak Street Beach, Wahoo’s is the perfect place to check the beach. Try a fish taco or the Kahlua pork. 

best tacos in  laguna beachFor a more upscale experience, visit Carmelita’s Kitchen. This bar and restaurant is reminiscent of a Cabo Cantina, and serves delicious tacos along with other Mexican specialties. Carmelita’s has some of the best ceviche in town. Carmelita’s offers a range of top shelf margaritas and is a great place for a night out.

Just north of Laguna Beach in the Crystal Cove center, is Javier’s Cantina. This nightclub style restaurant is the perfect place for a great food and drink. This trendy cantina offers some of the best tacos in Laguna Beach along with drinks and dancing. Come for dinner and stay to party!

Another Crystal Cove option is Taco Tuesday at Bear Flag Fish Company.  There is always a special on fish tacos every tuesday.  This is a perfect lunch spot after strolling on the empty beaches of Crystal Cove State Park.

A long time staple in Laguna, Olemendi’s Mexican Restaurant.  Located on the top floor of the Village Faire shopping center on Coast Highway at Oak Street, Olemendi’s offers a traditional menu accompanied by occasional minstrels singing your favorite mariachi tunes.  This family run restaurant is great if you are traveling with kids.

With all these fabulous taco options in Laguna the only questions you will ask yourself is – which taco to try first!

Laguna Beach: Best Beaches

Laguna Beach’s rocky cliffs and picturesque coves make it an ideal beach destination. Explore the beaches and tide pools of Laguna to make for a fun day with the family. Relax and suntan on the sandy beaches, or surf and swim in the beautiful Pacific Ocean.  With about 8 miles of coastline and over 30 beaches to choose from, Laguna Beach is the perfect place to stop while traveling through Orange County. There are so many beaches to choose from, so here’s a guide to the top beaches in Laguna.

Laguna Beach Lifeguard TowerThe most popular beach to visit in Laguna Beach is Main Beach, located just blocks away from Downtown Laguna Beach.  Marked by the iconic lifeguard tower, Main Beach offers an ideal family beach environment. Go for a walk on the adjacent boardwalk, or build a sandcastle by the water.

 Looking for some waves? Thalia Street Beach is the beach for you. Beach access at the bottom of Thalia Street leads to this local surf spot. Besides surfing, Thalia Street has murals by local artists, a palapa, and a variety of nearby restaurants.

A few blocks south of Thalia lies Pearl Street Beach. This less crowded beach is a must see. Snorkeling in the outer lying kelp beds provide a great way to see Laguna Beach’s diverse ocean habitat. At low tide, travel through the breathtaking rock arch at the south end of Pearl Street Beach to explore the tide pools. Next to Pearl Street Beach lies Woods Cove, a protected cove with calmer water. Visit Woods Cove at night, as a light makes this spot ideal for a nighttime swim.

Laguna BeachDivers’ Cove is another great beach spot and is one of Laguna’s most picturesque areas. With Heisler Park directly above, Divers’ Cove is an ideal picnic stop. Try body boarding or bodysurfing in the calm waves. Just north is Fishermans’ Cove.  Rent kayaks here and explore the surrounding beaches.

Laguna Beach’s world-class beaches are a must visit when in town. These beautiful beaches provide a wide array of activities for the whole family. If you’re a surfer, swimmer, sun tanner, or sand sculptor, Laguna’s beaches are for you.

Laguna Beach Restaurants: CaliFrench Cuisine

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The Laguna Beach restaurant  and food scene is defined by the eclectic talents of local Chefs.   Caroline Cazaumayou’s Califrench Cuisine perfectly describes her: a chef that combines the best of French and California cuisine.  Caroline is a native of the Provence region, an area in the south of France famous for its’ colorful and fragrant cuisine.

Califrench CuisineHer roots in the Laguna Beach Culinary community run deep.  Caroline has taught cooking in Laguna Beach and Orange County for the past 19 years in stores including: Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table and the Pottery Shack. She is the co-owner of Cooking by The Sea in San Clemente, and teaches at Antoine’s Café. Caroline also teaches privately. She is an adept, experienced and entertaining instructor with her main focus on delightful and elegant dishes with a special emphasis on simplicity and planning. Caroline also caters throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties.

To enjoy the food she had always loved from home, Caroline had to take matters into her own hands when she first moved to California. She started to cook for friends and one thing lead to the other, before she knew it she was teaching cooking and catering all over Southern California.  She fondly remembers her three years of cooking at the Pottery Shack when it was the Old Pottery Shack.

Where Chefs Dine Out in Laguna Beach

Caroline Cazaumayou Dining out as a chef is a tall order.  High quality ingredients and a menu with a twist are what Caroline looks for when seeking a Laguna Beach restaurant.  Caroline’s favorite Laguna Beach restaurant is Broadway by Amar Santana.  Chef Santana’s restaurant is inspired by New York and features Modern Cuisine of The Americas. The best seat in the house at Broadway is the Chef’s Table where you can view all the action and an intense dinner theater unfolds nightly.  Be sure to check out their Prix Fixe Menu on Mondays and Small Plate Specials on Tuesdays.

Caroline’s favorite activity in Laguna Beach is a sunset beach walk and picnic.  When dining al fresco, Caroline recommends a selection of fine cheeses, cold cuts, marinated olives, peppers and beans, great crackers and good wine.  And there you have the perfect day in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach Dining

Photo Courtesy of Mark Sanderson

Laguna Beach Farmers Market

To achieve the best in California cooking you must start fresh, local and in season ingredients.  Check out the Laguna Beach Certified Farmers’ Market, Caroline’s favorite shopping spot.  Every Saturday from 8-12 you will find many local farmers’ selling fresh and unique items.  One of the biggest trends in cooking is the local food movement.  This is a collaborative effort to build a more locally based food economy.  One can certainly see this in operation this at the Laguna Beach Farmers’ Market.  Not only will you find great local produce, seafood, and locally baked bread, you will see all the locals.  This is where the City shops. The Laguna Beach Certified Farmers’ Market is located in the Lumberyard parking lot near City Hall on Forest Avenue.

Laguna Beach Photographer: Tips from Mark Sanderson

Laguna Beach Photographer, Mark Sanderson has a keen eye when it comes to photography in Laguna Beach.  Mark is a Laguna Beach Local and professional photographer willing to share his “Insider Tips” on capturing the best moments in Laguna Beach.

When is the Best Time to Shoot Photography in Laguna Beach?

Mark recommends taking photos at sunset in Laguna Beach.  You can never go wrong when the ocean is your backdrop.  Beaches with a classic Laguna icon or an interesting foreground help to create an excellent opportunity to snap a photo.  Best Tip: hang around until after sunset or dusk – especially if you have a tripod to steady your camera with a low shutter speed.

Mark Sanderson says the coolest thing he has snapped was an elusive horizontal funnel cloud on a day he dubbed  “crazy clouds day”.  This photo of the Main Beach Lifeguard Tower was taken on that day.

Laguna Beach Lifeguard Tower

What is the Best Beach to Shoot in Laguna Beach?

Main Beach, just off Pacific Coast Highway and across the street from Downtown Laguna Beach is a prime location to take pictures.  The iconic Laguna Beach Lifeguard Tower and Hotel Laguna capture the charm and character of the town.  At the north end of Main Beach, Bird Rock projects just beyond the surfline, making a dramatic centerpiece for your photo.  If you have the time, take the stairs at the north end of the Main Beach Boardwalk, past the Inn at Laguna Beach towards Heisler Park.  Here you will find a walking path that clings to the cliffs and provides amazing views of the coves below.

Shaws Cove in North Laguna is local secret with a sandy beach, rocky cove studded with palm trees. This amazing and unique gem is a great place to swim and snorkel.   If you time it right, the palms provide a great silhouette against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean at sunset.

Treasure Island adjacent to the Montage Hotel is a winner of a beach for photography.  The cliffs have breathtaking vistas of sea caves, coves and wrap around points.  The manicured paths along the Montage also have secluded picnic tables, perfect for a sunset toast.

Other Options for Photography in Laguna Beach?

When you come to the City of Laguna Beach most people think of the coastline – but the canyons are full natural beauty.  Groves of sycamores and oaks provide a canvas of fall colors that have been painted by plein air artists for over a century.  Laguna is surrounded by a 170,000 acre wildlife corridor made up of the Laguna Beach Wilderness Park, Aliso Canyon State Park and El Morro/Crystal Cove State Park.  When you go for a hike make sure to bring your camera.  Mark likes to visit the waterfall at Big Bend, just below the Telonics hiking trail, as it creates a backdrop for wildlife including coyote and deer.

Laguna Beach Photographer Mark SandersonMark Sanderson has lived in Laguna Beach, California for over 30 years. He has been captivated by the ocean and the vibrant colors that nature has to offer. His passion is to capture the color he perceives in photographic form. To achieve this intensity, he spends hours at his chosen location, shooting several exposures  from daylight to sundown; expertly combining these exposures to create his vision.  His work can be seen at The Sawdust Art Festival and other art shows in the area.  Mark is also a member of the Laguna Craft Guild – where you can visit him on the cobble stone pavillion next to the Famous Laguna Beach Lifeguard Tower.  To see more of his work, please visit marksandersonphotography.com.

Best Beaches in Laguna

Laguna Beach’s rocky cliffs and picturesque coves make it an ideal beach destination. Exploring the sandy beaches and tide pools of Laguna makes for a fun day with the family. Relax and suntan on the sandy beaches, or surf and swim in the beautiful pacific. With about 8 miles of coastline, and over 30 beaches to choose from, Laguna Beach is the perfect place to stop while traveling through Orange County. As there are so many beaches to choose from, here’s a guide to the top beaches in Laguna!

The most popular beach to visit in Laguna Beach is Main beach. Marked by the iconic lifeguard tower, Main beach offers an ideal family beach environment. Go for a walk on the adjacent boardwalk, or build a sandcastle by the water. Main beach is a family friendly beach, only blocks away from Downtown Laguna Beach.

Looking for some waves? Thalia street beach is the beach for you. Beach access at the bottom of Thalia Street leads to this local surf spot. Besides surfing, Thalia street provides an amazing place to catch sun and play in the sand.

A few blocks south of Thailia lies Pearl Street beach. This less crowded beach is a must see. Snorkeling in the outer lying kelp beds is a great way to see Laguna Beach’s diverse ocean habitat. At low tide, travel through the breathtaking rock arch at the south end of Pearl Street Beach to explore the tide pools. Next to Pearl Street Beach lies woods cove, a protected cove with calmer water. Visit woods cove at night, as a light makes this spot ideal for a nighttime swim.

Divers cove is another great beach spot. This large cove is one of Laguna’s most picturesque areas. With Heisler Park directly above, diverse cove is an ideal picnic stop. Try body boarding or bodysurfing in the calm waves. Just north is fisherman’s cove. Rent kayaks here and explore the surrounding beaches.

Laguna beach’s world-class beaches are a must visit when in town. These beautiful beaches provide a wide array of activities for the whole family. If you’re a surfer, swimmer, sun-tanner or sand sculptor, Laguna’s beaches are for you.

Living Laguna Vida

I have lived in Laguna Beach  for over twenty enriching years and, like most, have fallen in love with the beauty, community and life style.  I am an avid waterman and take advantage of the surfing, stand up paddle, snorkeling, tide pools and rough water swimming that Laguna Beach is famous for.  Laguna is also renown for it’s art and art festivals, specialty shops, boutique hotels, bars, music venues and restaurants.  There are a variety of other activities including shopping, biking, hiking and walking through rugged canyons or sea side parks.

The word is out about our town which makes Laguna Beach  a popular vacation destination.

We get a steady flow of visitors from all over the world.  Recently, I was driving around and noticed a couple from out of town who looked a little lost.  Apparently, they walked down gallery filled Forest Avenue and headed south on Pacific Coast Highway to find themselves at a corner where all you could do was get gas.  They could have walked across the street and walked south on the beach to take in the magnificent views around town or stop off at an ocean front restaurant (e.g. the Deck) or make their way to the HIP district for a unique shopping experience.

What to do in Laguna Beach

I have surfed, shopped, walked, hiked, biked, paddled, played music and eaten my way around Laguna Beach for the past twenty years or so with the help of my family decided to create this blog for visitors to Laguna Beach. This travel site is dedicated to Laguna Beach visitors that want to experience Laguna the way the locals do. The best places to eat, shop and have fun. If you are in Laguna Beach for just the day or longer we have great tips for you.

I hope you enjoy the website and hope you enjoy your stay in Laguna Beach