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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.
Business writing: What it is and Tips to Help You (business writing) Business writing is much more precise and less detail oriented than other styles of writing. In writing for a business there are a few elements you must know. Your knowledge or lack there of these elements can make or break your business writing career. Your goal for business writing is to strive for clarity and precision, yet not be too vague or elaborate. Examples of business writing would be emails, business plans, brochures, and many more. Virtually anything writings that pertain to a business are classified as business writing. When people read business writings they are not only looking for what happened and why, but how you are handling the situation at hand. A person reading a business writing that has an organized and concise style with an active tone is going to heed a much better result and give confidence that any matters will be taken care of. Organize your thoughts. The more organized you are the quicker and easier it will be for you to put your words in a decisive and orderly style. Your writing should be grammatically correct along with the proper usage of capitalization and punctuation. These errors can cause misinterpretations amongst the readers of your business writings. An example of correct and incorrect punctuations would be ?We are missing the actress Jane.? Or ?We are missing the actress, Jane.? While both are correct, they mean two entirely different things. Business writing is backwards or upside down from other writings. You start with the ending and then give a brief synopsis on how you got to that point. You may include other avenues that were considered and why they were not chosen. Have a positive attitude. Even if you are conveying a message that has on outcome other than optimal a positive tone will bring a much better response. Tell your readers what good came about from the outcome. Tell them what you can do with these results. For example a non-profit agency held a fundraiser. They were hoping to bring in $25,000 for building repairs and play ground equipment. Unfortunately, they only got $15,000. Positive tone writing would be ?Our fundraiser was successful. We can now begin building repairs.? Or ?The new playground equipment will be delivered tomorrow due to our successful fundraiser.? Even though it was not as much of a success as you would have liked, by keeping a positive attitude and showing people what can be done will promote a positive attitude in the future. A negative tone might be something like ?Since our fundraiser was not as successful as we had hoped, we will have to choose between playground equipment and builder repairs.? This approach could be unfavorable to future fundraisers because it seems as though you are unthankful for what you did get. Being positive shows your appreciation for the hard work or donations that you have received. Don?t play the blame game. Even if you know whose fault it is a deal fell through there is no need to start a mud-flinging contest. Surely, the person responsible is already aware of the situation and chances are so is everyone else. Down the line they are not going to remember whose fault it was, but they will remember who was naming names. This is not only very unprofessional, it is malicious and that is not how you would like to be talked about. Finally using an active voice will promote a better reception to your business writing than a passive one. An active voice shows that you are in control and are aware of how or why things are going to happen.
Get Noticed at your Job by Doing it with Flair Doing your job with ?37 pieces of flair? may have entered the pop culture vernacular through the famous movie about life working an office, Office Space, but there may just be something to it. You might not need 37 pieces of flair, but doing your job with a little bit of flair and a lot of hard work is a great way to get noticed in the office and to move on to bigger and better things. How do you go about doing your job with flair? The first way to make sure you are doing your job with distinction doesn?t involve much flair at all ? it simply involves doing your job and doing it well. Know exactly what your responsibilities are and attend to them every day. Don?t let any of the things that come under your job description fall by the wayside because you think they are unimportant. If you are unsure exactly what all of your responsibilities are, ask your boss for a meeting and discuss your job description with them. You will get noticed simply for your desire to make sure you are covering all of your bases and not letting any of your responsibilities fall by the wayside. Another way to do your job with flair is to add to the good morale in the office. Everyone has at least one person in the office that is like a black cloud hanging in the air. Gloom, doom and pessimism don?t really have a place in the office. Even if you feel like you are heading for a fall with the way a certain project is coming together or because someone on the team is not pulling their weight, look for solutions instead of standing around and complaining about it. When your attitude can help people stay on track with their work and not dread coming into the office every day, you are bound to get noticed. If you really want to add some flair to your work performance, learn how to manage your time and avoid procrastination. Time management is one of the biggest problems all employees face, and when you don?t manage your time efficiently, you are not being as productive as possible for your boss, which never wins you any fans among the management team. If you find yourself always rushing through your work at the last minute trying to meet your deadline, try keeping a journal of all of your activities at work for a few days. When you see how much time you spending doing things like talking with co-workers by the water cooler and surfing the net, you might see ways you can improve your work habits, so you can get things done well before the deadline is pressing down on you. Increasing your productivity by managing your time is a surefire way to earn some praise from the people over your head. Another way to add flair to your work performance is by being a team player. It can be tempting to thing that to have flair you have to go out on a limb and try to do everything yourself, but that is not the case. Employers don?t like to see an employee trying to hog credit for things that everyone has worked on together or trying to one up everyone else on the staff. When you work together with the team, you show your employer that your interests are with making the company a success and not trying to advance you own personal agenda. If your employer understands that you see the bigger picture of making the company succeed, you are sure to get noticed and rewarded.
Writing on the Fly (freelance writing jobs) Writing is a fascinating way to explore the world. You can write in your free time about anything you wish to know more about. You may write fiction in order to delve into abstract topics of your world. You may also choose to write poetry to take that concept further. Non-fiction writing will help you understand more objective topics in order to have a clearer picture of the natural and created world. Writing is enjoyable and aids in learning, so what if you could enjoy yourself and get paid for it? This is not to suggest that you quit your job and become a writer, though you could do that as well. The possibilities in freelance writing jobs can give you the flexibility you need to write for money in your spare time. Defining Freelance Writing Freelance writing is writing that happens for an employer without any long term contract. Freelance writing jobs are very different from your typical day job because the trade off for labor and pay does not function in the same way. Freelance jobs are accepted one at a time. There are many different employers that seek out freelance workers. The writer will have the ability to produce a quality product in a desirable amount of time. The employer usually pays based on production rather than hours or weeks. Freelance paychecks come in irregularly, based on the work available. The great benefit to being able to freelance is that you basically get to work for yourself. You can work as much or as little as you wish, only being limited by the freelance writing jobs being offered. As you continue to write, your qualifications will continue to be more impressive. Where are the Jobs? So, maybe you?re interested in finding some freelance writing jobs. The potential to work on your own time, doing something you enjoy and getting paid for it is an appealing one. Where do the jobs exist? There are a few places that you can start looking. A great place to start, to find out what the job market looks like, is the internet. Many employers advertise freelance positions online. They are looking for people all over the country, and potentially all over the world that can work from a distance. Another great benefit to freelance work is that it can happen anywhere. No matter where the hiring company is, the freelance writer can participate in the production of the needed product. Magazines and newspapers both hire freelance writers. In order to find those jobs, it is often appropriate to query the publication in question. First you need to find out about submission guidelines and then send in an article idea. If it is accepted, you are on your way to even more freelance writing jobs. What Does It Take to Be Good? What it takes to be a good writer is not in question. You all know about grammar, style, voice and coherency. What does it take to be successful in the freelance writing category though? There are a few things to consider. First, you will need to be able to be flexible. You may not always be able to write on subjects that you are necessarily interested in. In order to build your resume though, and be able to pick and choose your work, you will have to start out doing whatever needs to be done. Second, to be a great freelance writer, you need to be able to work quickly without sacrificing quality. Oftentimes freelance assignments will go out last minute. You will have a better chance of success if you can honestly take assignments and get them turned in again by deadlines. Finally, a good freelance writer is able to market his talents. The most effective way to prove your writing talents is to introduce yourself in your resume and cover letter in a way that impresses prospective employers. No one will believe you are a writer if you cannot write an engaging cover letter. Freelance writing is a fun way to add a little income to your current pay. It is possible to make a career out of freelancing, but it is not for everyone. If you are interested in writing and want to try your hand at a few different kinds of projects, consider freelancing for awhile.