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Web Hosting - Redundancy and Failover
Among the more useful innovations in computing, actually invented decades ago, are the twin ideas of redundancy and failover. These fancy words name very common sense concepts. When one computer (or part) fails, switch to another. Doing that seamlessly and quickly versus slowly with disruption defines one difference between good hosting and bad.
Network redundancy is the most widely used example. The Internet is just that, an inter-connected set of networks. Between and within networks are paths that make possible page requests, file transfers and data movement from one spot (called a 'node') to the next. If you have two or more paths between a user's computer and the server, one becoming unavailable is not much of a problem. Closing one street is not so bad, if you can drive down another just as easily.
Of course, there's the catch: 'just as easily'. When one path fails, the total load (the amount of data requested and by how many within what time frame) doesn't change. Now the same number of 'cars' are using fewer 'roads'. That can lead to traffic jams.
A very different, but related, phenomenon occurs when there suddenly become more 'cars', as happens in a massively widespread virus attack, for example. Then, a large number of useless and destructive programs are running around flooding the network. Making the situation worse, at a certain point, parts of the networks may shut down to prevent further spread, producing more 'cars' on now-fewer 'roads'.
A related form of redundancy and failover can be carried out with servers, which are in essence the 'end-nodes' of a network path.
Servers can fail because of a hard drive failure, motherboard overheating, memory malfunction, operating system bug, web server software overload or any of a hundred other causes. Whatever the cause, when two or more servers are configured so that another can take up the slack from one that's failed, that is redundancy.
That is more difficult to achieve than network redundancy, but it is still very common. Not as common as it should be, since many times a failed server is just re-booted or replaced or repaired with another piece of hardware. But, more sophisticated web hosting companies will have such redundancy in place.
And that's one lesson for anyone considering which web hosting company may offer superior service over another (similarly priced) company. Look at which company can offer competent assistance when things fail, as they always do sooner or later.
One company may have a habit of simply re-booting. Others may have redundant disk arrays. Hardware containing multiple disk drives to which the server has access allows for one or more drives to fail without bringing the system down. The failed drive is replaced and no one but the administrator is even aware there was a problem.
Still other companies may have still more sophisticated systems in place. Failover servers that take up the load of a crashed computer, without the end-user seeing anything are possible. In fact, in better installations, they're the norm. When they're in place, the user has at most only to refresh his or her browser and, bingo, everything is fine.
The more a web site owner knows about redundancy and failover, the better he or she can understand why things go wrong, and what options are available when they do. That knowledge can lead to better choices for a better web site experience.
Positive Reasons Why Employee Turnover Can Be a Good Thing Employee turnover is the bane of many an organization. If you pick up any business paper, you will find headline after headline screaming about how much turnover is costing companies and how to keep your employees happy and on board to avoid the headaches and hassles of high turnover. The tide, however, is starting to turn. More and more business experts are stepping up and saying turnover doesn?t have to be the end of the world. In fact, in some cases, turnover can be the best thing that ever happened to your company. While some turnover is as bad as traditional wisdom assumes it is, other instances of turnover can be a real positive for your business. How can turnover possibly be a good thing? It all comes down to who is leaving the company, and why. Every office has its workers that are a drag on the business for one reason or another. Maybe the employee is dissatisfied with their job because they have been working it for too long and are overqualified, but they don?t have any room for advancement. Maybe an employee thinks that all of the decisions you are making about the business are the wrong ones and are constantly critical. Maybe the employee just has a personality conflict with the other people in the company and you and other works simply don?t like them very much. When these kinds of employees leave your company, it can be a shot of life into the business. Suddenly, everyone feels hopeful and re-energized because the negative energy in the air is gone. Negative vibes in the office can have a very damaging effect on the staff, and by extension, your business. When the person causing the bad feeling heads for the highway, they take with them all of the problems they created. Not only does the departure of an employee who was causing trouble in the office boost morale for the employees who are left behind because the bad feelings are gone, but it also boosts morale because it creates a job opening within company. If the person who left was a superior to many people in the office, there is now an instant opportunity for advancement. Your workers will step up with their games as they vie for the position, creating new business opportunities for you and generally keeping the spirit high in the office. If you decide to promote from within whenever possible after a turnover, your employees will work harder with the knowledge that they have a chance of moving up. These turnover positives hold true whether the employee in question quit the job or was fired. Who they were in the company and why they left are often much more important in determining whether the turnover was positive or negative. While losing an employee who is bringing everyone else down is a positive thing for your business, losing an employee who was an integral part of the corporation is another. Of course, there are costs involved in a turnover ? you have to re-train an employee, and if you hire from outside of the company, you have the costs of advertising the job and the cost of the time spent interviewing candidates. If you are losing employee after employee, and the employees you are losing are the ones who were holding things together at the office, then you need to consider things you can do to reverse the turnover trend. Despite the potential negative side, turnover doesn?t have to be a bad thing for your company. If you manage it properly and if you are dropping employees who have been bringing your business down, turnover could be just the thing to turn your fortunes around.
Get Roboform to Help with those Countless Online Forms for Free Stuff RoboForm, is a web site that offers users programs to make life on the Pc and on the Internet easier. These programs help the user to remember and securely store online and offline passwords. How often does it happen that someone forgets the PC password and then there is no other way than reinstalling the whole PC operating system? The programs offered by the website also help with many other Internet and PC issues and tasks. RoboForm can log the user automatically into online accounts, complete online registrations and complete checkout forms with just one click of the mouse. This makes the program a great help with the countless online forms that exist for free stuff. Over and over fill freebie seekers online forms. Name, address, e-mail, birth date and more and this program is able to fill the information into the online forms with essentially one mouse click. For example, for online sweepstakes entries, the most important factor to receiving free stuff is how often one is able to sign up for different sweepstakes. Hunting down online free stuff is already time consuming, but filling out all the long and tedious entry forms every single time takes even longer. The company states, that this program can help the consumer increase the number of filled forms for sweepstakes at least ten times, since the users identity is stored in the software and then used to fill the online forms. When sweepstakes allow for multiple entries, the program can speed up this process even more. The software offers the option to save the data into a file and then the user needs to just choose the data and hit the fill and submit button and the sweepstake entry is on its way. For consumers of the software it is important to know, that RoboForm will not disqualify consumers from the sweepstakes and as the company states is completely legal. The reason a user cannot be disqualified for using this program is that the company that offers the sweepstake will not even remotely know that a program was used. Data is saved on the user?s computer and just used to fill the forms. The filling happens just like when the consumer enters the information himself into the form. Even if programs state that automated entries are prohibited, this excludes this program. The automated entries are referring to programs that submit the data to the page without the user ever viewing the page. With this program the user is still required to open the page, view it, and then fill the forms. The only part done by the program is filling the form. The user then still has to check the filled form and hit the submit button on the page by himself. This is what makes the whole process legal and a good deal for freebie seekers. By many this software is called the best way to automat sweepstakes and increases the free stuff coming into the house. Due to the programs ability to save online addresses users can browse thru their sweepstake web pages without having to remember all the long URL addresses. Additionally due to the ability to save already filled forms, users can easily participate in daily sweepstakes for certain products. When combining this software with one of the online pages that offer links to free contests, free products and more, consumers can be showered in anything from free movie tickets, to food products and health products. Many consumers have positive feedbacks to offer about the amount of freebies they are able to get every month. Sometimes people apply for freebies, even if they do not really need them. There are always pages up there, where the product can be donated or sold to other people.
US copyright law U.S. Copyright Law Covers Artistic Expression and Creative and Intellectual Works The US Copyright Law grants rights to individuals for the works they create. The US Copyright Act of 1790 has changed over the years. The current basis of US copyright law is based on the Copyright Act of 1976. US copyright law is relatively automatic. Once someone has an idea and produces it in tangible form, the creator is the copyright holder and has the authority to enforce his exclusivity to it. In other words, the person is the owner of the creation. It is not necessary that a person register their work. However, it is recommended and it can serve as evidence if someone ever violates a copyright. It is interesting to note that when an employer hires an employee to produce a work that the copyright is given to the employer. Violations of US Copyright Law are generally enforced in a civil court setting. However, there could also be criminal sanctions brought against someone who violates US copyright law. Someone that is in serious violation of US Copyright Law such as counterfeiting can find themselves on the inside of prison looking out. People need to understand that the copyright symbol is not a requirement. Someone may have a copyright, yet their work may not have a copyright notice or symbol. US Copyright Law covers a wide range of things that are derived from artistic expression, intellectual or creative work. This includes things such as literary works, music, drawings, photographs, software, movies, choreographic works such as ballets and plays, poems, paintings and more. The law covers the form of expression, not the concept, facts or the actual idea of the work. This means that someone can use another person?s idea or concept and produce their own take on it. However, copying another person?s work is a violation. It should be noted that some things may not be copyrighted but they may be protected by a patent or trademark. Individuals who have a copyright on a particular piece of work can do with it what they will. They may choose to copy it and sell it. They may display their work or perform it in public and charge admission, or they can assign or sell the work to someone else. Individuals who have a copyright can also choose to do nothing with their work, if that is their desire. However, if someone comes along and takes the work and tries to use it in some way, that person is still in violation of the owner?s copyright. Copyrights cover published and unpublished work. Anyone who is in the creative arts arena should be very careful that they do not violate US Copyright Law. For that matter, anyone who is a fan of the creative arts should make sure they are not in violation of a copyright. Simple things like uploading, downloading and sharing music or movie files can result in serious charges and fines being brought against them. With the popularity of the Internet and file sharing software there many copyrights are currently being violated. Copyright owners are starting to take a stand against them and are hunting down the perpetrators. Be careful that you are not overstepping your boundaries and violating someone?s copyright law.