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Why you would choose colocation

Summary: When choosing between in-house, managed hosting, cloud and colocation there are several scenarios where only colocation makes sense. We look at four such scenarios.

There are several considerations when it comes to deciding which route to take regarding IT infrastructure. You could retain an in-house server room, move to the cloud, or take the colocation path. There are several cases in which colocation makes the most sense. Here are some of the scenarios where you should go with colocation:

Custom hardware

One of the limitations of cloud and managed hosting is that there are limited options to the configurations set by the provider, for both hardware and software. While there are some customization options, those are limited in scope. With colocation, you are in control of the entire stack.

Complex set up

Another reason to colocate is the ability to use any hardware and software that you require. For example, in a managed environment, you will not be able to use your firewalls, load balancers, and other hardware equipment.

Content and services

Another issue with cloud and managed service providers is that there will be limitations to the content and the services you can provide. Colocation providers, on the other hand, allow anything to run as long as it is legal. It is important to look at the fine print in the contract.

Dedicated line

Running a VPN server, VOIP service, or even needing a custom dedicated link from an ISP can go against the terms of service of managed providers, not to mention that it would be impossible on the cloud.

These are just a few of the instances where colocation is the only viable way forward.

Written by Rack Alley, a premium provider of affordable LA colocation services ranging from 1U to multiple cabinets.

How Social Media Marketing Can Help Manufacturers Promote Their Business

Summary: Social media is a powerful tool that is underutilized by most B2B companies.

Social media marketing has been known to best suit Business to Consumer (B2C). However, Business to Business (B2B) companies can also utilize this marketing strategy to help place their company on the map.

However, B2B brands are hesitant when it comes to integrating social media marketing.

Why?

Plain and simple, manufacturers do not know how to effectively utilize social media marketing.

Here are some tips on how you can use social media to bring more publicity to your company.

Everyone Loves YouTube

If you’re searching for a video online, chances are the search engines will direct you to YouTube. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that YouTube gets over 1 billion visits every month.

With the appropriate content, you can offer product training to those that are searching for educational industry content. For instance, a portable power supply how-to video can showcase how to effectively clean and set up a portable power unit for those that lack the knowledge. And, by incorporating your business name within the video content, you’ll be able to show off your experience as well as provide a link back to your home page for products and services.

Facebook Can Promote Your Brand

Facebook has a casual feel to it, but don’t be fooled, it can be a powerful social network for creating business connections. Manufacturers can gain meaningful connections via Facebook and perhaps obtain a few leads if utilized properly.

Now, one of the things you’ll have to do is to create a company profile on Facebook with the aim of gaining a fan base as well as “likes”. Focus on a positive brand-solidifying message that showcases what you do. Be transparent, but also don’t share every aspect of your company. You want to garner interest from the public, but if they find something that they don’t like on your page, it could potentially be a deal breaker for them.

Prepare numerous photos, posts, graphs, and even videos to post. And, always be consistent with your updates as well. Consumers that see posts coming in once every 2 months aren’t likely to be a fan of your page. Also, it’s important to acknowledge your fan base as constant communication with your consumers can lead to future business endeavors.

Start Pac, the leader in portable power supply, can provide you with an assortment of portable power supplies for your aviation needs.

What’s also great about this is that people love solid communication with a business. The better service you offer, the more positive reviews you’ll get in the long run. And, if people are searching for a service and they see a wide array of positive reviews, you’d best believe they’d trust doing business with you.

The Apple Design Awards

Every year as part of its WWDC developer conference, Apple announces the winners of its Apple Design Awards. The awards are similar to Google’s Material Design Awards, though the apps are not limited to a specific design language. Instead, the Apple Design Awards reward innovative design in any form. This year, Apple held a reception to hand out the awards. Here are three of the ten winners:

Black box

Black box is an iOS exclusive puzzle game with more than 77,000 5-star ratings on the App Store. Black box uses input other than touch to progress in the game, including turning the phone, shouting, clicking and other clever uses of the phone’s sensors. There is no other game, on any platform that uses sound and movement in that way to directly affect objects in a game.

Splitter Critters

Developed by a two-man team out of Vancouver, Splitter Critters uses a unique tearing effect and other gameplay mechanics. The game is a level-based arcade game that players of all ages can enjoy.

Bear

Another app exclusive to iOS, Bear is an app for writing notes and prose. With elegant design, minimalist approach to its interface, and amazing typography, Bear allows the writer to focus on the content rather than the interface. The app itself can handle short notes, articles, essays, code etc.

The seven other winners of the awards are: Mushroom 11, Old Man’s Journey, Severed, Lake, Kitchen Stories, Things 3, Elk, Enlight and Airmail 3. The winners receive additional promotion in the App Store in addition to appearing on the Apple website.

Choosing between a hosted or non-hosted shopping cart solution

For the longest time, the recommended approach to a shopping cart was to buy a script and host it yourself. The logic was simple: when you own and run the shopping cart solution you control all the aspects of both the experience and the outcome. Also, you would never be the victim of sudden price changes to a service. However, cloud and technology improvements mean the decision is no longer in favor of hosting the shopping cart yourself.

Here are three reasons why opinions have changed:

Cost – The most stable and secure online shopping systems charged a percentage of all sales. The percentage is small, but when taken from revenue, and not profit, it becomes difficult to sell any low margin products. Things have changed now with most providers offering excellent features on monthly subscriptions.

Tools – The look and feel of the site and store did not matter as much as they do now. Good design and flow can make a big difference to sales. These online providers now have amazing built-in tools to create websites and stores. Secure Net Shop, for example, has a website builder to create a simple website or a complete online store.

Setup – It was a given that you would need to hire someone with technical expertise to set up and configure the shopping cart. Modern systems are so simple that you can do everything yourself with easy user interfaces and tools. The only tedious part is when you enter all the product details, but even those have bulk import tools.

How to get more Facebook Engagement

Facebook’s algo is so heavily influenced by engagement rate, you MUST use public figure pages + one minute videos + dollar a day boosts.

But I don’t want to create a public figure page on Facebook, you say. I’m not “big” enough, not a professional speaker, or of that braggadocio personality.

Look at it not like self-promotion or motivational speaker stuff, but about sharing good stuff with your audience.

You’re teaching, not talking about yourself, your lifestyle, etc.

You’re giving and sharing openly— not chest-beating, promoting get rich quick schemes.

Yes, there are a TON of self- proclaimed authors, speakers, coaches, and hucksters of all variety peddling their wares. And I also feel icky when I see these folks make hollow promises.

But just because many are abusing the medium doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be there, any more than 20 years ago, the dominant players on the web were PPC– porn, pills, and casinos.

The current crop of weeds will go away in due time, as Facebook matures.

Your public figure page, one minute videos, and dollar a day are how we show Facebook we deserve to rank in the newsfeed with 50%+ engagement rates (view-through), relevancy scores of 10, average watch times over 20 seconds.

Do you have these three components?
Because if you don’t, you’re handicapped from ranking on Facebook– your stuff looks too much like an ad.

The possible uses of machine learning

Machine learning is an aspect of artificial intelligence that involves training a neural network (a digital version of the brain) with a specific set of inputs. During that training, the net will determine what factors determine one outcome over another. Here are some of the possible uses of machine learning, should the computation power grow enough to accommodate these use cases:

Medical – The medical field has the most to gain from machine learning. There is already a trial in progress that uses images taken of patient’s retina to determine the potential for cataracts and other issues.

Self-driving cars – Google is already using some form of machine learning for its self-driving car program. We do not know what Waymo uses at this point, but it is not a machine learning algorithm that drives the actions of the car. However, in the future, the car itself could be figuring out what is or isn’t dangerous based on a trained model.

Home automation – At the moment, home automation is a series of connected devices triggered under certain conditions. In a truly smart home environment, the house would know when someone came home if that person is you and what you usually do when you get home. This, in turn, would set the temperature, switch on the lights, open the garage and prepare for your entry into the house.

AR – Augmented Reality could be the next big thing. Google Lens shows us what is already possible and with some development could be the basis for an augmented reality display on glasses or contact lenses.

The ideal home networking environment

The typical home will have a router provided by the ISP with its own wireless network. That was fine a few years ago, however, going forward it is unlikely that will suffice for the typical family. Now a family of four could have as many as 20 devices on the network, requiring coverage all over the house. This is why it is important to get a network set up correctly with future growth in mind. Here are the components of an ideal home network:

Router

The first point to upgrade would be the router. Internet connection speeds get faster every year, some exceed 100Mbps, which means you will need a router that is capable of gigabit speeds. Also, new routers provide additional features like segmentation, parental controls, etc.

Wireless access

There is no point in buying range extenders and wireless bridge devices. The best devices to get now are mesh-capable wireless devices like Google Wi-Fi or EERO. These units talk to each other and provide best in class performance for homes.

Ethernet

Network attached storage devices, and streaming players work best when connected to a wired network. The best way to do this is to get a router with multiple ports and connect these devices directly. If it is possible, run a cable from the router to a gigabit network switch and connect all devices with physical network ports directly.

Cameras

There are affordable home security cameras that connect and use the wireless network. The problem is that several of these cameras can use up most of the available wireless network bandwidth. Get around this by setting up a separate network only for cameras. This will also provide additional security.

High and Low Tech Travel Gadgets

High and Low Tech Travel Gadgets to Add to Your Pack

When traveling, making sure that you’re prepared for any situation is one of the most important things you can do. Especially if you’re in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, as a traveler, you need to be prepared for any situation. Even if you’re traveling domestically, having the ability to take care of surprise situations as they occur will make traveling less stressful and more efficient says Dev Randhawa.

One thing that every traveler should have stashed away is a multitool. Multitools come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but they all pack a surprising number of tools into a very compact case. Typically, they might have a small knife, a screwdriver, a tiny pair of scissors, a bottle or can opener, and many other useful implements. If you plan to fly and carry-on a bag, be sure to check that the multitool is TSA-approved so that it doesn’t get taken away from you! Multitools contain all sorts of tools you never think of until you actually need, so they’re incredibly useful to have on hand.

Losing your gadgets is a terrible experience no matter where you are, but if you’re traveling, it’s even worse. When traveling, it makes sense for travelers to invest in a small “Finder” gadget. Sold by multiple different brands, these typically include small keychains or tiles that stick to easy-to-lose items – phones, wallets, keys – and sync wirelessly to alert you to their location if they happen to be lost or stolen. Some even have alarm functions that you can activate remotely, enabling you to find it in your home.

Wherever you’re headed, make sure you’re prepared.

Your Identity

If you are an SEO, can I say that I’m a PPC?

If you are an MBA, then can I call any degree or skill I have as my identity?

What you have and who you are aren’t necessarily the same thing.

I am not analysis, optimization, or advertising.
I am a human being who has intrinsic value independent of my skill, job title, and accomplishments.

You, my friend, have immense value even if you don’t have a Ph. D in your email signature line.

And sometimes it’s okay to just sit there and be content– to not have to “hustle” all the time or be guilted into maintaining false appearances.

You have permission to just be.

I’ve done little work the last 3 weeks, and it’s been great. 9 flights over 8 hours each, plus a dozen short ones. No wifi.

I used to joke that I work part-time- just choose which 12 hours of each day.

But now I “work” only 4 hours each day, with learning being the bulk of my time. 2 hours for clients and 2 hours for our team.

I’ve said NO to thousands of requests for meetings with no guilt. And that has pissed off potential clients who weren’t a fit anyway.

Those people expect instant response and for free, who don’t respect your precious time.

Be around those who love you and who you love, independent of your degree, skill, or title.

Buying network attached storage

So the time has come, and you want to buy some network attached storage (NAS). The question is how do you decide what you need in a NAS? Here are some basic criteria you can use to decide:

Storage

The most important factor is the amount of storage you need. This alone will determine the kind of device. The more storage you need, the larger the device. With modern 6TB drives, an 8-bay NAS will hold 40TB of data and can handle a single drive failure. The budget will also play a part since the larger drives are quite expensive.

Redundancy

The safety of that data also plays a part in the decision. A RAID 5 array can handle the failure of a single drive. You can increase this by committing more drives to the pool, but that reduces the amount of storage. Also, you can add spare drives that only activate when another drive fails. Once a drive fails, it will need a replacement quickly.

Backup

A higher-end NAS is a mini computer and can run applications. These applications are specific to the device and come from the vendor. These devices can run the backup software and use cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox as targets.

Network Speed

There are usually three options when it comes to network speed. There are 100mbit ports, Gigabit ports and an aggregation of several of the same ports. If there are a lot of people accessing large amounts of data from the same device, then invest in a device with multiple gigabit ports.