Understanding the Advantages and Disadvantages of Different RAID Levels

Most people tend to understand RAID as a type of technology that enables you to backup data automatically. While this is partially true, it is by no means the whole picture – and the first step to understanding what RAID is all about is realizing that there are several standardized ‘levels’ involved that are unique in their own ways.

While RAID levels technically extend from 0 upwards – the most common varieties in use are RAID 0, 1, 5, and 6. Knowing what the advantages and disadvantages of each of these levels are could help you to choose between them.

  • RAID 0

Contrary to what you may expect, RAID 0 has no redundancy whatsoever, so there is no backup of data and if a disk fails then all data will be lost. However because it uses striping it provides superior read and write performance – better than any other level.

  • RAID 1

Unlike RAID 0, RAID 1 mirrors data exactly across the drives so that there is always an exact backup remaining. In terms of speed it is similar to that of a single drive, but because all data is written twice it will only ever utilize half of the total storage space available.

  • RAID 5

Essentially RAID 5 utilizes ‘parity’ to provide a backup of data that is stored on it. It does not mirror data, but instead spreads parity data across all drives allowing it to recalculate the data on any other block if it fails. In a RAID 5 system at least 3 drives are required, and it can withstand a single drive failing without losing any data. However while the read speeds are fast, the write speeds tend to be slower as the parity needs to be calculated each time data is written.

  • RAID 6

Basically RAID 6 is very similar to RAID 5 but the parity data is written twice – providing a backup of itself in a way. Because of the double parity, RAID 6 setups require at least 4 hard drives, but can withstand up to 2 hard drives failing without losing any data. Just like RAID 5, it has fast read speeds but slow write speeds due to the parity.

Now that you understand the differences between the various RAID levels, you should be able to quite easily find the best compromise between redundancy, performance and cost. Of course RAID systems can still be subject to data loss under certain conditions, but there are RAID recovery options that you can pursue if you suspect a RAID array failure. On the whole using RAID drives is a lot more secure, and will provide your data with a certain amount of safety.

Passion of Blogging after Retirement

Retirement is a next level of age period where the person isn’t associated with company or business after the age level. By continue to receive the financial benefit every month, the life goes on smoothly. However, it depends on the condition of home and other circumstances. Many people after retirement keep travelling or visit any place to reside permanently and keep doing things. Moreover, many prefer considering to follow the passion which wasn’t completed during the period before retirement. One such passion is blogging. For many, blogging is passion, but for others it is a source of income.

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You can blog about your experience of life till date, travel, casinos, food or any other activity you love to do. Tracy Luttrell is one such retired blogger who loves blogging and share experience of her life. An adventurous in nature, she loves travelling, running and other activities. Her blog describes about her life in 20s which is inspiring.

Let us check the benefits of blogging:

Pursuing your Passion:

One of the benefits of blogging after retirement is to follow the passion of sharing and helping people. Whether you blog about food, travel or your life experience, it is one way of pursuing passion. You’ll be getting feedback for your write ups that can be helpful for your further writing.

Continue to Indulge:

Even if you are retired, it is better to stay indulged into blogging activity that help your mind to keep thinking that rather than staying empty mind. Your mind will keep running on next topic and how it should be authored.

Visibility:

Blogging helps in increasing your visibility among followers and unknown people. This is one way of influencing your work to others and making them to follow you.

Getting an Expert Status:

It is witnessed that writers who post regularly about different topics are regarded as experts in the field. It is good to post and share knowledge among readers.

Source of Earning:

One of the benefits of blogging is to earn extra. Many blogs which post on specific niche are approached by companies for ad space, which is a good way to earn money. After retirement, apart from regular pension, earning blogging is one way of extra source that can very beneficial.

Sharing about your golden years with followers and readers will allow them to get inspired by a good life you had. In fact, if you love travelling, then showcase why golden years is the time to travel. According to Tracy, travel as much as you can and share the experience with people around you, to help them follow it during their golden years.

Live a good and happening life even after your retirement that will help you to keep going for long term.

Tech tools to help manage small business finances

Many small business entrepreneurs find it challenging to deal with the numerous financial management tasks required to keep a company operational. These include bookkeeping, accounting, invoicing and managing the payroll.

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In spite of its obvious challenges, financial management is a vital skill for every business owner. How you manage your business’s money can make all the difference between success and failure. Thanks to technology, you now have a wide range of tools that can go a long way towards helping you manage your business finances. These tools can save you both time and money, whilst keeping your firm in smooth operation.

We have come up with the following financial management tools and software for your small business:

  • Accounting software

When looking for good accounting software, look out for one that carries out basic functions such as expense tracking, quote and estimate creation, payroll processing, budget creation and tax preparation. The really good ones also allow multiple-user access as well as mobile access, allowing you to easily integrate credit card processing, point-of-sale software and other apps into the system. Traditional accounting software such as QuickBooks are gradually giving way to newer ones. Xero is one such modern software designed to provide small firms with a simple system for handling their business accounts.

  • Invoicing tools

Professional-looking invoices can improve your standing with your suppliers and can ensure that you get paid more reliably. An online invoicing tool such as Invoice Home allows you to easily create and customise business invoices using attractive templates. Check out the numerous invoicing templates available at https://invoicehome.com/.

  • Payroll management systems

As your business grows, you will have to deal with payroll management, which can be quite tedious and time-consuming. Thankfully, you can use software such as Gusto to streamline the payroll process. Gusto has a provision for processing payroll cheques as well as managing withholding taxes, making the whole process a breeze.

  • E-commerce tools

Your business will need a reliable e-commerce solution that enables your customers to instantly pay for your products. You need to ensure that the payment system you use is secure to prevent your customers’ financial data from landing in the wrong hands. You can use tried and tested e-commerce tools such as PayPal, Square or Apple Pay to get the job done.

  • Expense tracking software

All the hassle involved in running a small business can easily make you lose track of your company’s expenses. These can quickly pile up and create problems if they don’t get tracked. Tools such as Xpenditure and Expensify allow employees to use their mobile devices to scan receipts or add cash expenses and then upload them to a central system. You can then import all this information and use it to balance your accounts.

From the examples above, you can see that there are tools and software for literally all the processes involved in financial management. Find those that you can integrate into your business and use them to efficiently manage your finances.

What Is Reputation Management? A Broad Definition

There are three categories that exist within reputation management. These three categories are building a reputation, managing a reputation and recovering a reputation. Usually, when you hire a reputation management expert, they will concern themselves with each three of these three elements, but particularly the one that is most important at any given time.

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Why Reputation Management Matters

We live in a world that is almost fully online now. Furthermore, everybody knows that it is vital that you shop around for the best deals and the most trustworthy companies. This is why it is vital for any business to be portrayed online as a go-to source for a certain product or service. It is also a known fact that businesses with a positive reputation can increase their prices and that they are worth more on the stock market.

Reputation management is about far more than simply recovering a destroyed reputation. It is about being preventative and proactive. It helps to create a positive reputation and to maintain and even improve it. All online activities that involve the business have to be monitored very closely and they must be addressed. A true expert in the field of reputation management will be able to look at each piece of information that appears online and know whether to promote it, or whether to undertake SEO (search engine optimization) efforts in order to hide that piece of information.

There are many strategies used in order to build and maintain a reputation. This includes creating content through social media, blogs, forums and more. Promoting information that is already out there is also an important way of growing a good reputation. If a reputation is damaged, this will be noticed in decreased sales, lost partnerships and opportunities and more dissatisfied customers. If not handled correctly, this could actually mean the end of a business.

The way people perceive a certain business affects investment and sales alike. If this perception is negative, it could truly cripple a business. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to have a piece of content taken down from the internet. In fact, this is unsuccessful in 90% of cases. This is why it is far more important to work on having this information pushed back so far that people simply cannot find it anymore.

Quality of a Reputation Management Consultant

Good consultants have a number of qualities. These include:

  • They understand your situation.
  • They can help you build, maintain and repair your reputation.
  • They will get back to you very quickly.
  • They offer custom solutions specific to your needs.

A reputation is nothing something that you can just ‘have’. It is something that you must work towards earning and then you must work towards keeping that reputation. This takes a long time and a lot of effort. A reputation can also not be forced. It is created by perceptions and conventions. Destroying all your hard work, unfortunately, takes just a few minutes. This is why it is so important to work together with an excellent consultant.

The Benefits of Excel

Excel has all the data analysis tools you’ll ever need. It’s ideal if you know all about these tools, you can focus on the fun stuff while getting Excel to do the heavy lifting. The problem is what if you’re not an Excel expert? Don’t worry. Recommended training specialists provide Excel courses which offer everything you need to know about data analysis.

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Check out online Excel guides which explain how all the functions work. There are plenty of online SEO tools for Excel examples to follow as well as links to more useful technical articles. There’s also an appendix which contains:-

  1. A beginner’s guide to error checking

  2. A list of Excel short cuts that you can use day by day

There is a wide range of Excel functions so you can benefit from this type of data analysis tool.

Find out more about Excel

To find out more about Excel, click on different chapters provided by online training agencies like:-

  • Working with tables of data

  • Working with text and URL strings

  • Working with dates and days

  • Dealing with errors

  • 17 Excel shortcuts you’ll use every day

Great Excel resources

One thing’s for sure, no guideline would be complete without information regarding Excel’s use as an SEO tool. There is a widely used add-in designed specifically for SEOs that speeds up a lot of SEO tasks. This particular kind of add-in is also capable of crawling websites and providing the information directly onto a spreadsheet. Excel is available in basic versions which can also save you a huge amount of time.

Get the tools you need to make the most out of your data

Excel can provide your business with the tools it needs to make the most out of your data. When it comes to making the most of resources and maximising a return on investment, Excel ticks all right boxes. By using Excel, many firms are collecting even greater volumes of data from multiple sources which include:-

  1. In-store transactions

  2. Online sales

  3. Social media

It’s important for any company however large or small, to be able to collate and analyse information quickly. Excel spreadsheets are now commonly used across businesses to display financial information along with other data relevant to the running of the business. Excel provides information about:-

  1. Customer relationship management

  2. Sales

  3. Marketing or HR

With so many business functions now relying on IT and the internet, Excel continues to be seen as a vital tool for administration.

Cost-effective training courses

Hands-on instructors provide the very best in cost-effective Excel training courses. Dedicated trainers are passionate about helping delegates achieve their full potential. Classes are small so you will receive training in a relaxed and highly supportive learning environment.

Professional trainers have many years of experience working within commerce and industry, designing as well as delivering training programmes for multi-nationals, SMEs and private firms. Get in touch with online training specialists about Excel courses soon.

Advantages of Getting ISDN Phone Plans for Your Company

For businesses, there are often only two choices for landline: PSTN and ISDN. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, and choosing which of the two you should get depends on the state of your business. In a nutshell, PSTN phone plans are for smaller companies and supply only one phone line using a single number. ISDN phone plans on the other hand allow multiple channel transfer per line and is suitable for medium to large companies.

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PSTN, short for Public Switched Telephone Network, is traditionally used by companies which are fairly new as it is a cheaper option if you are only getting one or two phone lines. With a PSTN phone system, the line could only be used for one purpose, thus if you are receiving a call you would not be able to use it to transfer data and vice versa. PSTN also have a much lower bandwidth than ISDN, thus data transfer is slower in the former.

ISDN, or Integrated Services Digital Network, uses digital lines as opposed to PSTN’s analog lines, thus enables you to use one telephone line to carry both voice and data. Larger companies tend to use this phone system as it is way cheaper to get a multiple line ISDN network than a PSTN network with the same number of lines. It is also preferred because it has a much greater bandwidth, thus making them suitable for businesses which needs faster data transfer and reliable video conferencing. In an office with 20 employees where half uses the phone line, you would need 20 PSTN lines as compared to 10 ISDN lines, making an ISDN network much more cost-effective than a PSTN network. Here are the advantages of getting an ISDN phone plan for your company:

Faster Data Transfer

Any ISDN line is at least twice faster than PSTN phone line due to the fact that the former provides two channels for transferring data. This makes transferring important information across the network faster and more reliable.

Multiple Line Functionality

With an ISDN network, each digital line is capable of transferring multiple data simultaneously. Traditional PSTN networks only allow one transfer at a time, making it inefficient for your business. An ISDN network allows your employees to take calls and transfer customer information in one line at the same time, allowing you and your employees to be more productive, reliable, and efficient with their task.

Less Data Interference

Since data is transferred through a digital line, it is affected by less to none interference. Traditional analog lines are highly susceptible to outside interference, thus affecting their efficiency. With an ISDN phone network, you get clearer voice calls and faster data transfers.

If your company is beginning to grow, switching to ISDN phone plans might be better for your business. This will not only help boosts your company’s current performance but also help it grow. With ISDN phone plans usually upgradeable, rest assured that when a time comes for another upgrade, you have room for growth.

The Evolving Technology for the Legal Industry

For years, lawyers, legal professionals, and technology vendors have been finding better ways to improve the way modern legal firms utilize technology. Early in 2014, the legal technology market has seen an increased importance of cloud computing, a heightened need of paperless business, as well as widespread use of mobile platforms.

This article highlights some of the digital tools used and how they reflect the growing trend in the legal industry. Law firms who leverage on cutting-edge technology gains an edge over their competitors.

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The ongoing surge in legal technology

In 2012, the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates passed an amendment proposed by the ABA’s Ethics Commission, which aims to redefine “competence” as it pertains to grounds of legal malpractice.

The definition goes: “To keep the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should be updated regarding the changes in the law and its practice, including the advantages and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in steady education and study, comply with all continuing legal education prerequisites to which the lawyer is subject.” If a lawyer wants to avoid lawsuits directed at themselves, then it’s required to keep updated about all relevant technology.

Marketing: Online customer service

In our current digital age, a law firm needs to allocate a big portion of their marketing efforts to online marketing, or more specifically, to online customer service. A firm need to affirm their authority by giving outstanding customer service. When he does, the firm will be able to solidify the lawyer-client relationship in ways a non-tech savvy firm can.

Daily operations: Using the cloud

The top law firms use cloud computing – it’s that simple. When it comes to online business and cloud computing in general, law firms need to be careful to secure client data as well as avoid crossing any legal lines. Cloud computing is so reliable that the ABA provides a comprehensive list of “Popular Cloud Computing Services for Lawyers”.

Legal Research: Automation

Automatic legal research is a huge importance to most tech-savvy law firms. Based on an article of CNN Money, “Lawyers markup important information in a subset of documents and forward that to a computer program that they can be used for legal proceedings and further research later on”. Automated processes like this allows a law firm to accomplish legal work in much less time with lesser hands on the case.

Mobile Technology: Legal Industry Apps

Mobile devices are undoubtedly the norm these days. It’s a powerful tool that any law firm can apply in their dealings. When a lawyer goes to a trial, knowledge of a particular case (client or suspect) will amplify the evidence on a case. One good example of mobile technology lawyers can readily utilize is verification of identity.

InfoTrack’s IDfy, for instance, allows a legal firm, specifically a lawyer to verify the identity of clients for conveyancing transactions. IDfy lets lawyers take pictures of their client and their identification documents in order to satisfy VOI regulations. IDfy’s intuitive system understands the VOI category requirements and guides lawyers through simple steps to ensure a standardized and compliant VOI process within their office.

So, what’s next for your law firm? Technology is everywhere, but by using the most advantageous tools you can make a name or retain your firm on top.

How to Hire a Web Hosting Company for Online Business

One of the key issues that needs to be addressed before your online business can go live concerns the company that will be responsible for your web hosting. This is a decision you should not make lightly. Doing business with the wrong web hosting company has destroyed many new businesses in the past. You need to make sure that your business is not added to that list. There are certainly many web hosting companies to choose from these days. So how can you tell the good ones from the bad? Here are some tips to use when you are going to be hiring a web hosting company for your online business.

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1. Limit your amount of downtime

You will obviously not be able to make any money if your site is offline. This means that you need to affiliate yourself with a web hosting company that has a reputation for being very dependable. There are ways to go about finding out this information. The first thing you should do is talk to the current and former clients of any web hosting company you are thinking about using. Are they happy with the service they have received? Would they recommend that you use the same company to host your online business site? You will be able to tell if the company is good or bad based on the answers they give you. You should also do a simple Google search to see if there are any stories about the company going offline for an extended period of time. 

2. Customer service

You are paying the web hosting company a fee. Therefore, it is not unreasonable for you to expect a high level of customer service for the money you are spending. You should look for a web hosting company that will send somebody out to your house or place of business as soon as you inform them of a problem. Every minute you are offline is costing you money. Therefore, their goal should be to get you back online as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case with some of these companies. They act like they are being inconvenienced if you require their assistance. You should avoid dealing with a web hosting company that does not appreciate the business you are giving them. You can go to https://www.networksolutions.com/web-hosting/index.jsp to learn more about ecommerce web hosting services and marketing.

3. Contract

There are web hosting companies that require you to sign a contract. These contracts can actually be advantageous to the business owner because the rates will be significantly reduced from what you would be paying without a contract. However, some people are uncomfortable being under any sort of contract. They want the freedom to switch web hosting companies at any time without the threat of paying a large early termination fee. This decision basically comes down to personal preference and what you feel is right for your business. There is no right or wrong answer. However, think about this decision carefully. 

How Photo Sharing Is Changing The Face of Mobile Email

You probably shared a photo or two in the last 24 hours. If you’re like any normal power user, you’ve got a lot of different options to do that. For mobile email users, this hasn’t always been the most simple process.

The development team at My.com that work on the myMail app have introduced to their very large Mail.ru userbase a significantly easier way to send and forward photos. They took apart their existing mail app workflow and changed it into a much easier, faster process.

A Time Centric User Interface Brought To Emailing Photos

When you think about what you don’t like about it, it’s probably got something to do with including data other than the body of the message. Attachments, whether from your computer or from someone else’s email, are easily disorganized inside an email app.

So, when the guy’s at myMail sat down, they wanted to think of a way to completely solve this frustration. The first thing they did was sit down and develop a baseline for how the most popular email apps send photos.

Apple’s native email client takes 18 taps to attach 3 photos, Gmail’s mobile email app takes 15 taps to attach 3 photos. Not something you should be wasting time on, right?

People will start leaving an app that takes 18 taps to do something simple.

With an overall focus on saving time, the myMail got their app down to 5 taps to include photos in the app. They did that through a deep dive into what steps they could take out, and using new iterations on the staff.

Here’s the major things that made a difference:

  • Understanding the user-interface
  • Adding autosuggestion features
  • Compressing images before sending
  • Specific experience design updates
  • In email preview images added
  • Larger icons

And here’s how the preview looks now.

Market Implications & Resurgence Of ‘New Email”

Email has seen a recent surge of user acquisition and is actually beating social media acquisition overall, and specifically with mobile apps, the trend is now moving away from native apps.

Third party apps are acquiring a lot of clients because of the ability to be agile with different mail services, include a better scheduling interface and be social with files easily.

This new email style looks a lot more like chat, along with all of the features of business user needs.

Between these and other third party apps that approach scheduling, chatting, and calendars, email is changing as we know it. The good news is, developers are starting to design based on our ever-moving work lifestyles.

Email is Still The Primary Way People Share Information

As a related, but influenced, industry, let’s take email marketing as the example. Because of segments in security, age differences, territory, million of people share photos via email, and mobile clients will start losing userbase if it’s difficult to do.

How Email Will Change In The Future

Since everything in technologies history points to being more pervasive, seamless and quick, email will be the same. Think hardware and software here. In areas of our lives that we can interact, we should be able to.

It will become more wearable and built in. It’s on your wrist already, but where else could it go? Dermal displays or cochlear implants? Probably so.

There will also be an advancement of Natural Language Processing where the spoken word and written word will come together to make composing something even more simple. Thoughts on paper. Whoever helps us speed this process up will win in the biggest user base and will see other implications of social impact.

Email as we know it may look totally different, with a more widespread focus on communication as a whole, and time saving areas like:

  1. Finding documents
  2. Discovery areas
  3. Conversation initiation
  4. Consumption

Doing this will user in other players, much like how myMail has tackled letting its customer base use any mail box they want, and still processing their interface with the myMail brand.

For now, updates like shorter task solutions, like this one from myMail, start rolling the future out. For now, we’ve got a much easier way to send business and social photos.

New Statistics Released by Nexus Show the State of the Cloud

Exeter-based company Nexus, which also provides Cloud services, has looked into developments in terms of Cloud usage. They have surveyed over 300 businesses with at least 1,000 employees each in order to create a glimpse into how the Cloud is used. The key finding from the report is the sheer increase in how much Cloud is actually been used.

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Nexus, an IT company in Exeter that provides Cloud services, has recently surveyed over 300 large organizations with at least 1,000 employees. They were looking specifically at how the Cloud is currently being used and how much it has grown over the years. The findings were very interesting.

The first element of the study looked at how important the Cloud is to customers today. It was found that:

  • 93% of businesses use infrastructure-as-a-service or are piloting it.
  • 82% of businesses now have a strategy to use the Cloud. In 2014, this was just 74%.

It also came as no surprise that public cloud services are the most popular, even for enterprises. This is also true in terms of workloads. The study showed that:

  • 88% of businesses now use public cloud and 63% use private cloud.
  • 13% run at least 1,000 VMs in the public cloud. 22% run over 1,000 VMs in the private cloud.
  • Businesses expect that the workloads for public clouds will increase soon.

It seems that there is still a lot of opportunity for organizations to adopt the Cloud as well. The study showed that:

  • 68% of respondents have less than 20% of their portfolio on the Cloud.
  • 55% say that their applications are not in the cloud, but could be.

It also seems that businesses’ central IT services, whether in-house or outsourced, are taking the lead in moving to the Cloud:

  • 62% said decisions on how to use the Cloud were made by the IT department.
  • 43% of teams have developed a portal to enable employees to access it, with another 41% planning to develop one.

Two specific features, being DevOps and Docker, were highlighted in particular in the Nexus report:

  • DevOps adoption has reached an average of 66% and some are up to 71%/
  • Puppet and Chef are very popular services, with 24% and 28% of organizations respectively using them.
  • Docker, which is a relative new service, is already being used by 13% of businesses and 35% are planning on signing up.

By far the biggest public Cloud is Amazon Web Services (AWS), although Azure is the big up and comer. AWS is adopted by 57% and Azure by 12%. Azure held just 6% on year ago. Furthermore, Azure is narrowing the gap with a 19% adoption, compared to 50% for AWS. In fifth place, after AWS, Azure, Rackspace and Google, is vCloud Air, with just 7%.

Peter Walker, who lead on the survey for Nexus, stated that:

It will come as no surprise that there is a far greater adoption of internet as a service than what there is for platform as a service, which everybody believed was going to be the next big thing. However, platform as a service (PaaS) is still popular as well, although not among Azure users. Most PaaS users are found with Google users. Internet as a service (IaaS), meanwhile, is being adopted by both Azure and Google and their growth over the past year has been much stronger. We foresee that PaaS will eventually be completely phased out.”

He added:

We are now living in a time period where those make decisions for IT management have a lot more choices available to them. We believe that, soon, the majority of workloads will be running fully in the Cloud.”