How to Achieve a Peaceful, Relaxing Relationship with your Business – Part One

Peaceful_Relaxing_BusinessThis article is part one of a three part series where we outline steps to take to help you achieve cohesion with your business technology. By following the steps outlined, you should see a dramatic increase in the stability and flexibility of your computers and equipment, freeing you up to focus on more important matters.

With regards to business, there is often a wide held belief that it cannot be easy. And, there’s some truth to this. With all the rules, government regulations, employee guidelines, HR regulations, industry specific information, and more that business owners must stay on top of, it is sometimes hard to remember if you’re coming or going.

Now add in additional business components, like making informed decisions about your office technology needs (and what all of that crazy industry lingo means), and it can end up being downright overwhelming.

But fret not. There’s an easy way to achieve peace and relaxation with your business, and it all starts with your technology. Having a strong, stable infrastructure in place does many great things for your business. It helps reduce staff frustration and downtime, while increasing productivity. It can also provide mobility, giving your business the flexibility to go anywhere.

Below is a list of the top 5 components we recommend for a stable business framework. Use this list while reviewing your current setup to see where your business is strong, and to assess what areas of your network need some extra attention.

5 Components of a Stable Business Infrastructure

1. Stable Systems

One of the quickest ways to have a stressful relationship with your business is to have technology that is unreliable or non-functioning. Resolve to reduce business frustrations by stabilizing your systems.

In order for a system to be stable, it should be up and running properly at least 98% of the time, or more. Additionally, when an outage occurs, it shouldn’t take down the entire office*, even if the outage involves your server.

Think about your current setup. How often is your system problematic or completely down? When an outage occurs, how does it impact the office? If your server went down, could your office be back up and running the same day, even when new equipment is required to fix the problem?

With technology as robust as it is today, there is little reason for your office to be down for a long period of time*, even if the outage involves your main server.

*In this context, we are talking about computer / hardware outages, not unforeseen issues such as natural disasters or acts of God.*

2. Backups and Redundancies

In order for your system to be stable and reliable, it is important to have backups and redundancies in place. Simply having one or the other in place, but not both, is not enough.

Backups are a necessary part of network stability, and are needed to ensure your data is safe should a disaster occur. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all backups are the same. In order for your business to be properly protected, your backups should occur at regular intervals (think hourly), and should be backed up off site.

Think about your current backup situation. Do backups happen on-site, or off? Where are your backups saved? Are they image backups or file backups? If your files are currently being backed up to an external hard drive that is in your IT room, you may want to consider putting a better backup system in place.

Aside from backups, it’s good to have some redundancies in place especially when it comes to your server, so that if hardware fails, you can easily switch over to the working hardware, and keep running. This often means having multiple hard drives. We also recommend a device like our Backup and Disaster Recovery (BRD) device, which not only backs up your data, but can serve as a spare server, should yours completely go down.

While these aren’t the only ways to achieve peace and relaxation, these are the top two areas of concern. Without having a handle on these areas, your business could be at risk for data loss, and more. Start assessing your current setup in these areas. Then, stay tuned for the second part of our series to see what else you can do with your technology to achieve peace and relaxation with your business.

What is the Cloud and Cloud Computing?

Cloud Enviroments

Image Credit: NetIQ’s Flickr

It has been a favorite buzzword of 2012 and all the rage lately, but do you really know what the Cloud is and how it works?

While it may seem like this mystical, far off place, the Cloud is basically the Internet. But it’s also more than the Internet – it’s Internet 2.0.

Traditionally, the Internet was a place to go to get information. Need to learn about something new? No problem, just get on the Internet and research it. After all, why do you think Google became so popular in the first place?

However, as time went on the Internet changed and evolved. No longer just a place to go for information, the Internet became social, and we started sharing information with one another on websites like Myspace and Facebook, instead of on our own personal webpages.

While all this was happening, other things were changing with the Internet too. Websites like Dropbox, Skydrive, and other websites emerged, giving us places to store our files, and later access them from anywhere, as long as we had an Internet connection.

Along the way, something new emerged – the Cloud, something that is still growing, and taking shape even today.

Currently, the Cloud is a hybrid of traditional computing and online storage. While you still load software and files on your computer, the Cloud gives you the ability to store your files online, so that you can access them from wherever you are as long as you have Internet access.

Today, many companies store their files in the Cloud, both as a way to access files from anywhere, and as a way to ensure files are protected off site and redundantly backed up.

In the future, we may never need to store anything on our computers ever again, including software. Think about tablet computers and smart phones, when you need something, you just go to the app store and download it. Computers will soon be like that. Instead of downloading software, we’ll just go online and access it.

In fact, in many ways, the benefits of the Cloud can be seen from current smart phones. What happens when you get a new smart phone? You enter your account information, and magically all of your contacts and other information are transferred to your new phone. Within minutes, you can begin using your new device, without spending time moving items, transferring data, and setting up your phone.

For computers, the Cloud may soon make this a reality. Instead of loading software on your computer, all you need is a basic operating system, and an Internet connection. Just boot up, hop online, and access your software, files, or more.

While the Cloud leaves us more dependent on the Internet and external servers, it allows us to be more independent with our hardware. We don’t have to be tethered to a particular machine, just one with Internet access. We don’t have to worry about equipment breaking, and not backing up items, because it’s already safe, in the Cloud.

While we all access and use the Cloud now, it’s important to remember that it’s still in its infancy, and may change as it grows and develops. However, as it’s shaping up now, the Cloud is poised to set us free from our computers, and allow for greater mobility with our technology.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you better understand your technology. Website:

Reasons to be Thankful for Technology

Self Driving Car - Google Car

Image Credit: jurvetson

Technology is a pretty amazing thing. It enables us to communicate with people around the world in an instant, without ever leaving home; it allows us to complete work faster than ever before; and it has drastically changed the way we live.

In fact, technology is so submersed in our culture that sometimes we even forget it’s there. From cars, to TVs, to kitchen appliances, and more, technology literally pervades practically everything we touch now days, whether you realize it or not.

That’s why we wanted to take a moment, to pause and reflect on the ways technology has already helped to shape our current reality, and to see how it’s changing our future.

Our Current Reality

Smart Phones: We now have cell phones that are so powerful, that they encompass several devices at once. It’s your phone, a computer, a GPS nav system, a clock, and more all rolled into one. Every day smart phones allow us to do more, while carrying less with us.

Mobile Technology: Laptops, tablets and other portable devices (yes, even our smart phones) help us connect and work remotely, from anywhere in the world. While this is a double-edged sword as it can cause people to work more, mobile technology can enable you to work from anywhere, regardless of your geographical location.

Computers: Without computers, there are many things that we would either still have to do manually, or that just wouldn’t get done at all. Computers enable us to work faster, smarter, create amazing items, and come up with live saving solutions.

Our Possible Future

And while we can do awesome and amazing things now with the aid of technology, we haven’t seen anything yet. Check out these amazing things technology is already doing, and what it could mean for our future.

Self-Driving Cars: Accidents may soon be a thing of the past, as Google and other teams are working to solve an answer to a modern day dilemma – distracted drivers – with a novel solution – a car that will drive itself. Think about how nice your commute to work would be, if you didn’t have to worry about driving, and could do whatever you needed to on the way. Think about how easily traffic would flow, if it were more regulated and automated, instead of manually maneuvered as it is now. Click here to read more about self-driving cars. 

Printable Parts: Technology is so advanced, that scientists have come up with a way to modify printers and other devices to use human cells to “print” organs and other parts. These 3D printers can make working parts and pieces, made from our own cells which can actually reduce the rate of rejection and more. Click here to read more about the business of printing organs on 3D printers.

These are only a few of the ways that technology has shaped today and is forming our future. What are some of your favorite technologies, new or old? How has it shaped your life? Leave us a comment and let us know.