Archive for December, 2010


What Is Redundancy?

Redundancy in cloud computing lingo really means one thing, but before I tell you what that is let’s talk a little bit about what cloud computing is and how it benefits you, the customer.

You have your computer and it’s connected to your company’s network. Your computer and the company’s network are both connected to the Internet. But the Internet is this huge cloud of computers connected to each other “out there.” Really, that’s vague, but there’s no better way to describe it. It’s a murky concept.

Every computer that is a part of this cloud has software that it runs on. Some computers, like yours, are just desktop systems while others are large computers called servers. Everyone of them operates on a system of software applications that must interact with each other through a system of protocols.

When you do business with a company in the cloud that provides you with services, either software delivered over the Internet, computer architecture delivered through the cloud, web hosting, data storage, or to meet any other business need you have, those resources that you use for your business are stored on a physical server located in a remote location and delivered to you through cable across vast distances.

Cloud hosting companies use a system called Redundancy that allows them to create backups of all the resources you use – those resources you purchase or lease from them as well as those resources you bring to the table. When a server goes down for maintenance or “gets sick”, those backups are automatically consulted so that you do not have a break in service. This is just one of the many benefits of cloud hosting and the delivery of services through the cloud.

Programming Help Forums

Web programmers have always had great success interacting in forums. You can learn as much from fellow forum participants about the rudiments of good web design and database programming as you can from a course in the subject. Often, you might learn more.

Or, you’ll at least build upon the knowledge you gain from a programming course.

At Programming Help Forums you can connect with other programmers and discuss a variety of programming and design issues such as software to use, effective web code, and the details of web languages. Some of the forums that you can participate in for higher learning include:

  • Microsoft.NET
  • ASP.NET
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Silverlight
  • Windows Powershell
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • Java
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Classic ASP
  • ColdFusion
  • Python
  • C++
  • Perl
  • C
  • Running a Web development business
  • For sale notices

If there is anything you want to know about programming, you can find it at Programming Help Forums, and you can even share your knowledge with other developers. There are also fun lounges you can stop by just to have fun and talk about the events of the day, sports, or just hang out.

Programming Help is one of the best forums for developers, and with fewer than 1,500 members, you don’t have to feel like you are in a sea of big fishes swimming in small ponds. Join Programming Help Forums today.

As we move through time, closer and closer to infinity, there is a growing trend in business to move toward cloud-based computing systems and hosting in the cloud. There are some definite benefits to cloud hosting services, one of which is that businesses can pay only for the hosting they use rather than pay for hosting on a server that is partially not used. It’s a powerful way to host your Web applications, store data, and make use of your information.

While cloud-based computing has grown in popularity, it’s still relatively obscure. That is, it hasn’t caught on in a big way. It has caught on in a moderate way. So that causes me to ask the question: Could 2011 be the year of the cloud? Could it be the year we see a mass migration to cloud computing?

That’s a fairly good question. No one, of course, can predict the future. Maybe 2011 will be the year of mass migration to cloud hosting, or maybe that won’t happen until 2012. Or maybe later. But I suspect that 2011 will see considerable growth in cloud computing.

Why do I say that? Because it’s the trend. Each year since cloud hosting was introduced, there has been growth in the number of companies adopting it as a model for their business. I fully expect 2011 to continue that trend. How about you?

Tomorrow is Christmas Day and I wanted to take this time to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. But before I sign off for the holidays, let me just leave you one last word about the Cloud.

If you get a little extra time this weekend, consider how you will run your business next year. If you don’t make any changes to your hosting plan you will likely be where you are right now at this same time next year. But will your competitors progress? They likely will.

Cloud-based computing and cloud hosting environments are becoming more and more popular every day. It’s something you should consider for your business too.

Take the next week to explore your server usage. How many servers do you have in operation and how much of the available server space are you using? Furthermore, what is it being used for? After determining your current usage, try to segment you servers into specific functions or activities. For instance, if you have five servers and a portion of each one is used for application hosting, figure out how much space you’d need for those applications. Less than a full server?

If you segment your server needs this way, you might find that you can rent only the server space you need to host the data that you need hosted and save yourself a ton of money in the long run. It’s worth a look, don’t you think?

Small businesses used to have to wait to get the same benefits as larger businesses. By the time the small business owner got around to adopting new technology, it wasn’t new any more. The enterprise business and large corporation had done moved on to something new.

It’s no longer the case that small business owners have to wait to adopt the newest, latest, and best technologies. Cloud hosting is a great example.

Cloud hosting is a less expensive alternative to traditional hosting in the long run. Yes, there are some initial upfront expenses and that can take a bite out of your bottom line today. But long term, the benefits are less costly and more profitable even for small businesses.

With cloud hosting, you pay only for the hosting that you use. Nothing more. Traditional hosting charges you for a set amount of server space, which you can use or not. If you don’t use it you still have to pay for it.

This is the reason cloud hosting is less expensive for your small business. You may not need 1 Gigabyte of server space. So why pay for it? Instead, pay for the hosting that you actually use and save yourself the money in the long run. That is the primary benefit of cloud hosting for your small business.

Graphic Design Tutorials

Graphic design is one of the most important skills that a programmer can have. Your livelihood is determined by how well you can design web pages, headers, logos, and other graphic marketing materials. So where do you go for great tutorials on graphic design?

The Web Made Easy provides awesome graphic design and web design tutorials.

At The Web Made Easy you’ll learn all about CSS, Photoshop, Visual Web Developer, designing with C#, and HTML 5.

As you grow as a programmer you’ll learn that there is as much you don’t know as there is that you do. And as the Web grows, the languages of the Web grow. HTML 5 is the latest iteration of HTML and within a couple of years the entire web will be designed using HTML 5. If you are not on the bandwagon by then, you will be left behind.

CSS is another language that works well with HTML to build dynamic and incredible web pages. As a graphic Web designer you should be familiar with both languages. HTML is great for designing the elements of a web page while CSS is a good tool for designing the features of web pages across your entire web domain.

If you’re serious about growing as a Web programmer, take a few graphic design tutorials and improve your design skills.

Recovery As A Service

We’ve discuss Platform as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, and Software as a Service. Now, we’ll discuss something called Recovery as a Service (RaaS).

RaaS is a service that allows mid-size companies the ability to test data backup and recovery solutions in a sandbox without having to spend thousands of dollars on datacenters and back up servers. In today’s IT climate, nothing is more important than safeguarding your data, keeping it backed up, and restoring it when necessary.

With a proper Recovery As A Service hosting plan, you can test new solutions in a sandbox, but you can also keep regular backups and recover your data easily with the right hosting account.

Anything can destroy your data. You can lose data to a disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster. You can lose data due to a theft or hacking. You can lose data in a fire if your servers are all located in the same datacenter and your building burns down. What is your backup plan? Recovery As A Service can be your backup plan.

If you do not have a data backup plan right now, then you need to start thinking about it today. Consider a Recovery As A Service model to assist you with regular backups and data restoration testing.

How Well Do You Know HTML?

If you do any work at all online, in terms of Web development or website design, then the most essential programming language to know is HTML. Hypertext Markup Language is the basic language of the World Wide Web. You may know more, but you can’t know less. It should be your starting point for Web programming. Where you go from there is your business.

So where do you go to learn HTML? There are a number of good resources online for learning HTML, but I recommend HTML Atoms.

There, you’ll find great HTML tutorials for beginners, intermediate web designers, and advanced programmers alike. You’ll even find some good tutorials, and a primer, on HTML5.

Beginning HTML programmers
can find a good selection of tutorials to help them get started, and the best part about these tutorials is that they are easy to follow. Anyone can learn HTML.

Intermediate programmers will find tutorials that take them beyond the basics and help them extend their knowledge into new but essential HTML territory.

Programmers who require more advanced training in HTML can get that at HTML Atoms too. For instance, you’ll learn how to create a paint app in HTML5, or working with HTML5 slider bars.

When you’re ready to train yourself in HTML and get easy-to-follow tutorials that help you be a better Web developer, try HTML Atoms.

What Is A Virtual Server?

The word “virtual” is a bit misleading when talking about a virtual server. In this day when the Internet is a prevalent part of most people’s lives, virtual typically means not real, or not physical. In this case, that’s not the case.

A virtual server is an actual physical server, but it isn’t a dedicated server. In other words, your hosting company will take a server and partition it so that you can have your own server that acts like a dedicated server without actually being one. You are really only leasing a part of a server.

The catch is this: Your part of the server is designed to meet your needs. If someone else is sharing that server – that is, they have their own virtual server on the same box as you – then their virtual server is configured for their needs. You can share an actual physical server in a way that makes it appear that both you and your neighbor have a dedicated server.

In this manner, a virtual server is a sort of dedicated server. It’s not a full server, but a partial server. The benefit is you pay only for the server space you are using. And, you can upgrade to more server space at any time if you need to. Your hosting company will simply move you to another physical server with more dedicated space for your needs and configure it exactly as your current server. You will get this move with no break in hosting service.

If you have any doubt that you are already operating in the cloud, allow me to dispel your doubt. You ARE, in fact, operating in the cloud. Here are 5 evidences that prove you are working in the cloud right now.

  1. Twitter – If you have a Twitter account and you tweet to it on even a semi-regular basis, then you are operating in the cloud. Twitter is a cloud-based communications tool that allows you to send messages to a mass audience with just one click. It’s a powerful tool and, chances are, you’ve already discovered that.
  2. Flickr – Flickr is one of the most popular photo-sharing websites online. If you upload photos to Flickr and share them with your friends, then you are operating in the cloud.
  3. YouTube – YouTube is to videos as Flickr is to photos. If you use YouTube at all to upload videos or even view the videos uploaded by others, then you are using a cloud-based platform.
  4. Google Docs – It’s free and you can do all sorts of things with it. Create spreadsheets, use a word processing application, upload presentations … hey, it’s a virtual office. If you’re using Google Docs, then you are working in the cloud.
  5. Facebook – Some people use Facebook like a virtual office. You can have long conversations through Facebook, network, meet people, and share information. If you’re using Facebook for business, you are operating in the cloud.

No more excuses. You’re in the cloud. You might as well take it to the next level.