Blog Archives

IT Disaster Recovery and Tech Trends

 

As we’ve seen in recent years, natural disasters can lead to long-term downtime for organizations. Because earthquakes, hurricanes, snow storms, or other events can put data centers and other corporate facilities out of commission for a while, it’s vital that companies have in place a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

Disaster recovery (DR) is a subset of business continuity (BC), and like BC, it’s being influenced by some of the key trends in the IT industry, foremost among them:

  • Cloud services
  • Server and desktop virtualization
  • The proliferation of mobile devices in the workforce
  • The growing popularity of social networking as a business tool

These trends are forcing many organizations to rethink how they plan, test, and execute their DR strategies. CSO previously looked at how these trends are specifically affecting IT business continuity; as with BC, much of the impact they are having on DR is for the better. Still, IT and security executives need to consider how these developments can best be leveraged so that they improve, rather than complicate, DR efforts.

Source: 4 tech trends in IT disaster recovery | Data Center – InfoWorld.

Head over to the source and see how IT disaster recovery is being impacted by each of the four.

 

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“4 Simple Growth Strategies Any Breakthrough Blog Can Learn From Pinterest”

Bet you didn’t think that you could get growth strategies from Pinterest.

English: Red Pinterest logo

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You don’t need me to tell you about Pinterest do you? I’m pretty sure you’ve heard all the media outlets singing its praise:

  • the fastest growing site
  • its user base is mostly female
  • its breakthrough rise from obscurity
  • how marketers are using it
  • how marketers CAN use it
  • how its a step forward in the evolution of social media
  • …and etc.

I mean we’ve talked about it over here too, haven’t we?

But what else can we as bloggers and businesspeople learn from this recent phenom?

Read the strategies:  4 Simple Growth Strategies Any Breakthrough Blog Can Learn From Pinterest : @ProBlogger.

New Network+ Exam Strengthens Objectives

It’s that time again where CompTIA updates its’ Network+ exam.

CompTIA released its updated CompTIA Network+ exam (English only, initially) on Dec. 1. The revised Network+ objectives address virtual networking and give increased attention to network security and coverage of the seven-layer OSI (Open System Interconnection) model. Click here to download a breakdown of exactly what is covered on the new exam.

Here’s what ComTIA’s research showed:

CompTIA research on US Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) found that network efficiency and robustness were among the top items SMBs plan to address immediately, paving the way for other strategies such as cloud computing or unified communications.

Forty-eight percent of server technicians surveyed by CompTIA say that deeper networking knowledge is required when supporting servers in a cloud environment.

Among server technicians and managers of server technicians, 28% say that virtualization is a current focus, but 60% say that it is becoming a larger focus.

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Tips to a successful IT job interview

So you’ve applied for that IT job and you’ve made it to the interview stage.  Here are some tips from Venture Loop CEO Jeremy McCarthy on how to make it a successful interview.

Regardless of how you view this prospective opportunity, always do your best in the interview for you never know where it may lead you. Some of his other suggested tips:

1) Research: With everything literally at our fingertips today, it’s close to blasphemy to enter an interview without having searched and studied as much about the history, fact and figures of the company with whom you are interviewing as possible. Savy online searching can turn up valuable information to prove to an employer they’d be hiring an expert in their industry.

2) Review your triumphs and faults: You can almost guarantee that typical questions such as your vision for five years down the road, strengths, weaknesses, tough work situations and best type of person to work for will be asked, so why not write down your answers ahead of time to review rather than spin your wheels while sitting in ‘hot seat.’

3) Behavioral question awareness: More firms rely on behavioral interviewing techniques to see how candidates answer when asked for specific examples of past professional situations. McCarthy presents some typical queries to prepare for ahead of time:

  • How you handled not meeting a deadline
  • How you dealt with conflict with a co-worker or boss
  • What you did when someone else’s actions caused failure
  • When did you show initiative
  • What did you do when a customer was upset with you
  • What did you do when a co-worker blamed you unfairly for something

For the rest of Mr. McCarthy’s tips check out the source.

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The “Why” For Having a Google+ Business Page

Not long ago, Google+ allowed for the creation of “pages”.  So now you’re on the fence as to whether you want another business page to update.  Here’s some reasoning why you want your business/organization on Google+.

The idea behind the Google business page is that it acts a lot like business pages already found on Facebook. It’s a place for you to explain what your business is all about. You can talk about what you do and how you do it. If you have a brick and mortar business, you can talk about your local area, and how your local business enriches that area. If your business is online, you can share and connect with your clients on your Google+ business page just as you would with a fan page on Facebook. I like to think of your Google business page (and Facebook page, et cetera) as a little mini-website. Condense the most important stuff from your regular website, and that’s exactly what you should be sharing on your Google business page.

When you connect to Google for businesses and create your first page, you gain access to the entire network of people currently using Google+. When you consider how many users Google+ has after only a few months, and how it’s continued to grow since then, that’s a huge number of potential new customers! In all likelihood, many of them haven’t heard of your business before, and at least a few of them will be using Google for businesses to find a company that does exactly what you do! When you create your Google business page, you’ll be able to connect with these people, start a conversation with and the a potential relationship is fostered.

But having access to the entire network of Google+ users isn’t the biggest benefit, at least for small businesses.

The largest benefit to having a Google+ branded business presence is the direct connection to Google’s search results. Try this…type a + sign before a big brand name in the Google search box and guess what? If the business has a branded Google+ page, the branded page will show up immediately.  The more that Google shows your page through other Google searches, the higher your visibility. For many small businesses and their search engine optimization marketing strategies, this could be a HUGE game changer.

Go to the source to see why you should maintain that Facebook page as well.

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The importance of the online image …

when it comes to the all-important job search.  Know what is out there and how it can help or hurt.

Find Yourself (on the Internet)

If you have any Web presence at all–even an anonymous blog or a habit of forwarding annoying e-mail messages to relatives–you should google yourself regularly. Occasionally, you’ll also want to run an in-depth online background check. And depending on the industry you want to work in, you may want to pay for a professional online background check. Here are some tips for finding yourself:

1. Search for your name in quotation marks (such as “Steven Smith”) and without them (Steven Smith) to see what comes up. Also search any variations of your name (like “Steve,” “Steve-o,” and “Stephen”) as well as all the usernames you use for any online service, in case hiring managers try to be clever.

2. Use site-specific searches for the Websites of companies you have worked for and schools you have attended. This is especially important if you’re looking for jobs that require a certain presence. For example, searching Google for site:pcworld.com Sarah Jacobsson Purewal proves that I’m not lying when I say I write for PCWorld.

3. Use keywords. Hiring managers will most likely look for information relevant to the job you’re applying for–such as “Sarah Jacobsson Purewal” freelance writer, but go ahead and search for your name along with worst-case-scenario terms–such as “drunk,” “arrested,” or “wanted”–just in case. This is also a good way to find out if you share a name with a criminal or otherwise unsavory character. In one sense, this may be better for you, since you can attribute any bad search results to the other person; on the other hand, it’s probably no treat to look for a job if your name happens to be Ted Kaczynski.

Head over to the source for more on this important subject.  And if you still think that it isn’t important, remember this tidbit from the article:

Then my mother sent me an e-mail with a photo she’d found of me–not an embarrassing one, but still not terribly professional. If my mother–whose most advanced technological skill is hitting Ctrl-C to copy text–could find that photo, what could a hiring manager with a middle-schooler’s level of technological savvy unearth?

A whopping 70 percent of human resources professionals have rejected potential candidates because of their online information, according to a Microsoft study. The good news: 86 percent of HR professionals said that a positive online reputation favorably influenced a candidate’s application to “some extent.”

 

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Maximizing server uptime

In IT the most important goal that also happens to be the most elusive to attain is keeping the servers up.

Yet few managers can honestly say that they are doing absolutely everything to squeeze the most uptime out of their systems. Indeed, many managers needlessly lavish time and funds on technologies and practices that have little or no positive impact on uptime, experts say.

Achieving server uptime excellence is both a science and a management art, says Walter Beddoe, vice president of IT and logistics at Six Telekurs USA, a financial data provider in Stamford, Conn. “It’s a combination of many different things, including having a competent staff, using fault-tolerant hardware, adopting dynamic security practices, and embracing good maintenance and change management practices,” he says. “Most of all, you must have a commitment to doing your very best.”

Alan Howard, IT director at Princeton Radiology, a diagnostic medical imaging firm in Princeton, N.J., urges managers not to waste time and resources on activities and tools that don’t directly contribute to uptime enhancement. The effort put into clustering, for example, can be “pretty wasteful,” he says, noting that redundancy is better achieved with a tool that provides full automation. (Source: CIO)

A very insightful article on maximizing the uptime of servers.  Be sure to check the source for six steps to maximize that uptime.

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Secrets of Successful Tech Contractors

Very interesting.  If you are an IT contractor what are your thoughts?  Would you agree?

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Successful Tips for Blogging

Want to have a successful blog?  Check out these tips and start following them.

There are at least ten characteristics off the top of my head that make blogs and bloggers successful. These characteristics give the blogs mentioned below fame, fortune, and loyal followings.

Want to build your blog and following? Here are some key ideas and takeways — as well as inspirational bloggers you might want to follow — who can help you realize that dream.

Read more: http://www.techipedia.com/2010/influential-bloggers-traits/?#ixzz0joGOOFQe

These are solid tips that I will be trying to follow in the coming weeks with this blog.

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Dump IT assets and move to cloud?

An interesting prediction by Gartner.

Cloud computing will become so pervasive that by 2012, one out of five businesses will own no IT assets at all, the analyst firm Gartner is predicting.

The shift toward cloud services hosted outside the enterprise’s firewall will necessitate a major shift in the IT hardware markets, and shrink IT staff, Gartner said.

“The need for computing hardware, either in a data center or on an employee‘s desk, will not go away,” Gartner said. “However, if the ownership of hardware shifts to third parties, then there will be major shifts throughout every facet of the IT hardware industry. For example, enterprise IT budgets will either be shrunk or reallocated to more-strategic projects; enterprise IT staff will either be reduced or reskilled to meet new requirements, and/or hardware distribution will have to change radically to meet the requirements of the new IT hardware buying points.”

If Gartner is correct, the shift will have serious implications for IT professionals, but presumably many new jobs would be created in order to build the next wave of cloud services.

But it’s not just cloud computing that is driving a movement toward “decreased IT hardware assets,” in Gartner’s words. Virtualization and employees running personal desktops and laptops on corporate networks are also reducing the need for company-owned hardware. (Source: InfoWorld)

Check the source link above to see other Gartner predictions.

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