Why Your Small Business Needs To Use Cloud-Based Software

Have you been wondering whether or not your business should start transitioning from a traditional network and software to a cloud-based application? If so, you certainly are not alone. What was originally considered nothing more than the latest technology trend by many has become a tool that a lot of businesses rely on daily. If your small business doesn’t operate using a cloud-based application, you should take the time to learn how cloud computing benefits you.

Saves Money

In the days before cloud-based software was invented, small business owners had no choice but to purchase the equipment needed to run and maintain their own inter-office network. They had to have servers, specific software, and staff that could keep everything running smoothly. A company’s entire data center was housed on site, which can be costly. Using cloud-based software reduces and even eliminates some of the costs associated with installing, monitoring, and maintaining a traditional inter-office network. Cloud-based software runs via the Internet. The software company houses the servers needed to store all of your company’s data and maintains the software for you. So, without an in-house data center, you no longer need to purchase specific software and costly equipment. You can also reduce your IT staff, because you don’t need to install, configure, and update cloud-based software.

More Flexibility

When you operate your company using cloud-based software, your employees can access the software from remote locations. This means, you can allow your employees to telecommute when needed, and you can work from home whenever you want. You don’t even need to supply laptops with your company’s software to employees working remotely. They can access your system from any computer with a web browser and Internet connection. Additionally, cloud-based software makes it easier for your employees to collaborate with one another on different projects. It stores all of your company’s information in the software company’s data center so that it can be accessed in real time by any employee with access.

Makes Outsourcing Simple

It’s common for small business owners to try to do everything themselves. Often, this is because they cannot afford to hire employees to do the work for them. However, you can outsource the work to freelancers, so you don’t have the additional cost of employee benefits, if your company uses cloud-based software.

If your small business isn’t using cloud-based software, you could be losing money. Cloud-based solutions are more than software. When you choose cloud-based software, you’re also getting an IT staff, a data center, and the ability to work from random locations. Visit a site like http://www.cologix.com/ for more information.

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Tired Of Slow Internet Performance While Sharing?

As the internet becomes a more integrated part of daily life and more activities become internet-enhanced, the need to ration out internet access gets stronger. The definition of high speed changes depending on the household, and there are some people who can figure out how to push their internet limits to the maximum no matter the speed. If you live in such a household or–even worse–are in a household where everyone can push your internet’s potential to the limit, consider a few things that could be done to make internet usage less painful while sharing. 

Load Balancing For Shared Networks

Does everyone in your household actually need the maximum speed? Anyone who uses the internet for file downloads will know and appreciate faster speeds for downloads, but is it really necessary to lock down the entire network to download a 10 gigabyte (GB) file in 10 minutes instead of 20 minutes? Strike a compromise amongst your users with a load balancing plan.

The most basic form of load balancing means setting a specific internet speed capacity or bandwidth limit on specific computers. Each computer will only be able to download up to a certain speed, meaning that their use won’t significantly impact other computers. There may still be a few traffic issues if the router isn’t professionally configured, but an Internet Service Provider technician at higher support tiers can handle that for you.

A more advanced form of load balancing involves giving a balanced amount of bandwidth usage to keep computers as equal as possible. If someone is the only user on the network, they can utilize as much of the download and upload capacity as possible. When someone else starts using the network, the first person’s speed will decrease enough to give the other person what they need to browse efficiently.

Overhead Management

With each technique, overhead is necessary to stop the entire system from falling apart. Overhead is a specific amount of bandwidth that isn’t used by network users, but instead used by the network itself to make sure that there’s a little bit of Internet left to deliver on demand.

Information about how to properly deliver information must be passed via the Internet as well, which is related to why some Internet connections shut off when the downloads and uploads are too much. If the router is strangled of its bandwidth by a user, the connection may be lost.

A static amount of bandwidth can be set aside for overhead, but this isn’t efficient. There will always be a bit of internet capacity that isn’t usable by anyone, which is somewhat of a waste of your money. Dynamic overhead can change in size with demand, ensuring that the network can be managed properly while still delivering what the users need.

Contact an Internet Service Provider (ISP), such as Reserve Telecommunications,to discuss shared network planning. 

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The Pros And Cons Of A Colocation Provider

If you run a small business, colocation might be just the thing to help you out. It’s essentially a hosting option that provides all the nice features that large IT departments usually handle—minus the large IT department costs. Best of all, whether all you need is a simple hosting option or a dedicated connection for Web servers, you can find it through colocation.

How Does Colocation Work?

If you have your own personal server, it can cost a bit to host it at your home/business, pay for the Internet costs, and keep it updated. Colocation allows you to have your server, but host it in a centralized location.

Basically, you’ll have to set the machine up and manage it yourself, but you will get to split the price of hosting by storing it at a dedicated colocation provider (such as Cologix). They provide you with your IP, power, and bandwidth.

Pros and Cons of Colocation

Hosting Costs

If you have a handful of servers that need hosting, an Internet connection, high bandwidth speeds, and a good redundancy, you really can’t go wrong with a colocation center. However, if you’re just looking to host one website, it’s probably a better option to use an online provider.

Maintenance Costs

As mentioned above, colocation providers provide their own IT teams, which means you get the added benefit of having IT savvy professionals maintaining connections and security around the clock without having to pay annual salaries. On the downside, you’re footing the bill if your server malfunctions.

Reliability

Colocation facilities can handle up to thousands of different servers and websites, which means any power outage they suffer could affect millions of people. Because of that, they have all the protection necessary to keep everything up and running.

There’s really no con here. Personal backup generators are expensive and unnecessary for a few hours without power (although they may help for those three-to-four day outages.) Not only that, but most couldn’t handle the amount of power needed to maintain servers for that time.

Customization

When you depend on someone else to provide you with your servers, you may find that they don’t always have the financial means to keep them updated/upgraded to handle increasing demands. Since you own the equipment, you can upgrade it whenever you want. Of course, that also means you’re paying for it, too, and that can be expensive.

Relocation

If you’re moving your office to another part of town, whether it be your home or an actual business location, your website(s) will keep chugging away on the web. The only drawback is if you move hundreds of miles away. You might be outside the radius of your colocation provider, and, sometimes, finding one can be difficult.

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Seeing Through The Myths Surrounding Colocation For Your Business

For many fast-growing startups and other small businesses, choosing a network management system can be a challenge. Although there’s a lot of information out there about the differences between onsite management or colocation, trying to sort out the myths and discover the truth can be a challenge. If you’re trying to determine if colocation will work for your small business, don’t let the myths leave you confused. Here’s a look at a few common colocation myths and the truth behind them.

Colocation Costs More than Onsite Network Management

You’ve probably heard that colocation will cost you significantly more than managing your own local data center. In some situations, this could be true. For example, if you run a very small business and you don’t need routine backups or system redundancy, colocation will probably cost you more than you need to spend.

Many businesses actually find that colocation is more affordable than the overhead costs of a localized data center. When you consider the costs for security, climate control and even preparations for potential disasters, you’re probably going to spend a lot more to preserve your network onsite. For the monthly fees you’ll pay for colocation, you get redundancies that keep your network accessible, onsite security and even disaster preparedness.

It’s More Convenient to Keep Things Onsite

Most of the script updates and routine changes you’ll need to make to your network can be done remotely when you work with a colocation provider. In fact, most services even have onsite technical support to help you with any local work that you need done. If you’re going to make any hardware changes or other upgrades, they may be able to take care of that for you, or they can give your staff access to do the job on your own.

You Have No Security Control with Colocation

One of the key factors of colocation services is ensuring that your network is secure. There are few colocation providers who won’t strive for reliable network security and equipment protection. You can even ask about guarantees for server uptime and other concerns. Make sure that you have regular access to your servers, though, even if it’s by means of an access card or security code.

As you can see, there are several myths about colocation that may leave you wondering about what is really right for your business. With the information presented here, you can see through some of the false information to understand the real truth behind it. For more information, contact Isomedia, Inc. or a similar company.

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Keeping Lag Away From Online Games

There’s a massive world of adventure, challenge and social intrigue in the world of gaming now that Internet access is faster and more consistent than ever before. Gamers are in a golden age of their lifestyle and craft, but it’s still possible to miss peak performance and the true experience of gaming if your Internet connection isn’t up to par. If you can’t stand lag and want to know more about the prime causes, examine a few traits of online games and the network perils that ruin the experience.

What Does Lag Mean?

For many gamers, lag means anything that slows down gameplay. Although it may seem like splitting hairs, there are actually different performance issues that have very important distinctions if you want to fix the problem–troubleshooting one won’t help the other.

Slow performance from computer overload is not lag. Some people explain it as a ‘chunky’ level of performance where the screen seems to be changing into a series of still images or the computer itself seems to be slow. This can be caused by many issues ranging from too many programs running at once to overheating or computer viruses, but not related to the true meaning of lag.

True lag is a delay caused by network problems. You can usually tell the difference between computer performance problems and lag by looking at how the game performs. Are the graphics moving smoothly aside from your character not performing? If your character is moving in place or performing idle actions such as heavy breathing, spell casting or lifting a gun, it’s a network problem.

What Causes Network Lag?

When you install an online game, you’re installing all of the graphics assets such as character models, the game environment and files needed to run the game. The only information that needs to be sent to and from the game server is updates about what your character is doing. These messages are called packets, and are very small in size. All players send a regular set of updates to the game server and the game server returns the game status at a nearly real-time speed.

In any scenario, lag is a result of messages not making it between your computer and the game server on time. There are many problems that can contribute to network issues, but there are only a few issues to consider when troubleshooting lag.

  • Internet speed. Online games are designed to use as few resources as possible in order to make sure the most players are able to get the best experience. Unfortunately, if you’re still using dial-up Internet speeds or any speed below 1mbps (megabits per second) download and 512kbps (kilobits per second) upload, you may not be able to send (download) and receive (upload) information between your computer and the server fast enough.  
  • Network type. Wireless is absolutely wrong for online gaming, although some people have to make do. When you send information over wireless Internet, you lose some of the information as wireless signals broadcast to the wireless device. It’s a bit like a water hose spraying in the general direction of a flower pot; you’re getting enough water in the pot, but a lot of water is lost. Anything that doesn’t make it to the router (or other network device in your building) must be reset, which results in a delay. Stick to a wired connection if possible.  
  • Network usage. If you or others on the network are doing a lot of downloading, your game performance may be affected. The biggest impact on gaming comes from uploading, as many residential Internet packages have slower upload than download.

If you’d like to get an Internet connect that supports your gaming and the downloading habits of others, contact a high speed Internet Service Provider (ISP) to pair your gaming usage with an Internet package that fits. To learn more, contact a business like Virginia Broadband, LLC.

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Hello! My name's Cindy. I graduated from college last spring and moved from the dorms to my own apartment. This has been my first experience living alone. While I love living alone, there is so much to learn. I never realized that even simple things like having internet service in your home could be confusing. I made the mistake of not knowing what internet options were available and went with the least expensive provider and service. As it happened, I purchased a plan that gave me 5 gigabytes of bandwidth a month. I didn't know what that meant, and I went over my allowed bandwidth in a week! Believe me, I started doing some serious research on internet terms and what other options I had. I don’t want you to fall into the same trap I did, so I’m writing this blog. I hope you find it to be helpful.

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