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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.
Writing Tips for all Styles of Writing (writing tips) Most writing tips you will come across are usually geared towards certain writing topics. You can find fiction writing tips, short story tips, and poetry tips among the different ones. These tips are suitable for any style writer. Setting aside a time to write: You have to choose which is best for you. Some writers prefer having a set schedule. They schedule their days as if they are working a 9-5 job. Or some write in the fly and impulsively. Neither way is right or wrong. It is just a matter of choosing the one that fits your lifestyle and writing techniques. Know how to prevent writers block. It often helps keep your mind fresh and writers block at bay when you write about more that one topic at a time. This can keep the creative juices moving and the brain actively thinking about what the next lines are going to be. Writing about topics you know about or have a desire to know about also help the words continue to flow onto your canvas. Writing daily keeps your imagination open and always running. If the words start to become difficult to create, take a break and change the scenery before they are lost. It is easier to add to ideas already in your head than it is to try and start from scratch again. Another great writing tip is to keep a notebook and pen with you at all times. How frustrating it is when you have this fantastic idea but you forget what it is before you can find a pen and paper to write it down. Or you have a dream and wake up thinking that a great story could come of it and then in a flash it is gone. Set daily goals for yourself. Whether you are on a schedule or an impulsive writer setting daily goals will make sure you reach your intended outcome. Daily goals are usually much easier to obtain than weekly goals. If you do not have an education in writing but love to write it will help your career to learn writing basics. Understanding the different writing techniques and styles or basic grammar are imperative parts in a writers career. There are low cost and even free online course that will lead you in the right direction. Another helpful writing tip is to have a proofreader. This can be a family member, a colleague, or a friend. Every writer proofreads there on work over and over but a proofreader will often pick up things that we miss. The writer of a story knows what they want to say; therefore it is to miss an out of place word because you often read what you know it should say instead of what it really says. A proofreader will read the actual words and let you know whether they make sense or need changed. The research you do for an article needs to be accurate and update. A topic with information can be detrimental to your career. It shows lack of responsibility to find correct information. It shows apathetic writing abilities and reflects poorly on your character. The most important tip that you should know is to know what you are trying to achieve with your writing and knowing what its purpose it. By knowing this you will be able to keep focus on the point of your writing. Whether you are writing a story and try to keep reader enthralled with your characters or a late breaking news article by remember the purpose of your story will help you stay focused and on the right track.
Turning your Eye to Government, Nonprofit or Small Business for you Next Job The type of business you work for can effect your job satisfaction. Your personality type may also work out better at certain types of businesses. Research different business types before going on your job search. Working for a small business or a non-profit definitely has its pros and cons. First of all, getting hired at a small business can be much easier than landing a position than at a corporation. Typically you will only have to go through one person to get the job. Usually the small business owner conducts the interview. This can be a good thing because the business owner may be willing to overlook a lack of experience or extenuating circumstances concerning your work history. Nonprofit jobs are often easier to get if you are passionate about the cause. The person that is doing the hiring is generally passionate about the cause that the nonprofit is working to assist. If they pick up on passion about the cause from you, typically you will get the job. However, that passion is necessary because they pay may not be very much. Working for a smaller company also opens up more opportunities for promotions. With fewer employees and contact with the owner, you may be able to move up in the company faster. You will be able to pick up on skills in less time than at large corporations, which often have many hoops for one to jump through before training for a new position. There may be a smaller window of time to pick up on new skills because of the limited amount of time that can be put towards training. Nonprofits may not have as many opportunities for promotions and job stability may be questionable. If the donations stop coming in or whoever funds the nonprofit decides not to fund it anymore, you could be out of a job. This is a very real concern with a nonprofit job. There are some drawbacks to working at smaller businesses. Sometimes, the staff at smaller businesses have been in place for years. New, younger employees may not be viewed favorably. This could affect working relationships with co-workers. Smaller companies also mean smaller paychecks. Independent businesses are not able to generate large paychecks. This could make staying at a small business undesirable. However, the personal interaction between you and your boss could be encouragement to stick it out with a small business. Or the opposite could be true. Government jobs can be beneficial to have for a number of reasons. First of all, government jobs offer good salaries and great benefits. You will have all government holidays off and you will be working in a position that is necessary to the maintenance of the government. That means that you probably won?t have to worry about being displaced. Although, remember that if the government runs into tough times, layoffs are possible. Government jobs are usually normal business hours but not always. There are some positions that will have hours that extend a little bit beyond regular business hours but for the most part, you will be able to enjoy your life by taking advantage of vacation time. Sick days will also be available at government jobs. Some of the drawbacks of government jobs are that you may have to deal with a large amount of on the job stress. You may be responsible for processing hundreds, maybe even thousands of cases and one mistake could be very tragic for an individual. Depending on what your position is, you may be instrumental in handling paper work from a huge amount of people.
Important Networking Follow-Ups: How to Get Those Job Leads Calling When you leave a networking event, you may be buzzing at the prospects offered by all of those new contacts you made, but soon, the cold reality sets in. How will you be able to convert those contacts you made over a glass of wine into valuable business opportunities for you? Successful networking is all in the follow-up. If you?re looking for a job, following up is all the more crucial. Without touching base after a networking event, you become just another face in the crowd of job hunting hopefuls. The first important rule for following-up with networking contacts is to lay the foundations for the follow-up during the initial meeting. At networking events, there can be a lot of empty promises thrown around. Use that first meeting to convey the message that you haven?t gotten caught up in ?networking fever? but instead that you are very serious about exploring the job opportunity that you?re discussing with your new contact. Ask the contact when would be a good time to follow-up with them, and then reiterate the information back to them at the end of your conversation: ?I look forward to speaking with you Friday at 2 p.m.? If they don?t give you a specific time, then suggest one to them. This rule holds true even if your contact is giving you a lead on a job not with them but with another contact of their own. Let them know you appreciate the information by saying, ?Thanks. I will plan on calling Mary on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.? Not only will this convey your seriousness about the opportunity presented to you, but it may also get you some handy inside information, as the contact may reply, ?Oh, no, Mary will be out of town until Thursday ? call her then.? The next important rule to networking follow-ups is to follow up with EVERY lead a contact gives you. If a contact suggests that you call someone whom you know won?t really be able to help you in your job search, call him or her anyway. Otherwise, when your contact finds out you aren?t taking their advice, they may just decide not to give you any more the future and any business person can tell you that you never know from whom the most valuable lead will come some day. Keep the lines of communication open by giving any and all suggestions a whirl. Last but not least, do the actual following-up. Follow up with your contact exactly when you said you would, and in the exact manner you said you would (phone, email, letter, etc). If for some reason you can?t make contact at the arranged time, keep trying. If you haven?t made arrangements for a follow-up with a contact, then the rule of thumb is to follow-up with them as soon as possible after meeting them. Try to at least send an email or letter the next day saying what a pleasure it was to meet and that you look forward to talking more in the future, and then say in that note when you plan to follow-up with your contact by phone. Then, of course, stick to that new follow-up obligation. Even if the promises made by a contact while networking don?t pan out for you on the job front, don?t cross them off of your contact list. Keep them in the loop about your job search and your career goals. While they may not have been able to make if happen for you this time, you never know what they might be able to do for you in the future. Your most promising business contact may be someone you already know.