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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.
Five Positive Actions You Should Do After a Lay-off Lay-offs are hard for most people and are essentially difficult to cope with if you were and excellent worker and outstanding employee. Sometimes lay-offs are general cuts such as the closing of a whole department. It often times hits good employees that the company otherwise would have never gotten fired. So what do you need to do after you get laid off? Here are five positive steps you should take after you have been laid-off. The first and probably most important step is coping with the situation. Get your feelings straightened out. Of course you are upset and plain dumbstruck by what happened, but if you are not able to get this sorted out with yourself, the company is not going to take you back. Then you won?t even have a chance of finding another job. In some cases, if it was not very clear why you have been fired, it helps to talk to coworkers, and maybe the human resource person to just find out that it was not you or any of your doings that got you laid-off. Within this step falls also the realization that the job market currently is a tough one and that you might have to make some budget adjustments first off all. Do not be picky about what kind of jobs you want to choose. Sometimes, this means a new beginning, some job you might like much better than your old one, and you just do not know it yet. After you have been able to work through the situation and are ready for the job hunt, get your résumé out. If you have not been looking for a job in a while it might be dusty and not be up to date. Add your last job to the list; add your role and responsibilities to your list and maybe you even have to adapt your résumé to a more current style. Résumés and cover letters are your way into a job and the first impression that a new employer gets from you. When you are finished getting your résumé up to date, apply to as many jobs as there are. As a third step, make yourself clear that the job market is difficult and finding a new job might mean to apply for something that you might have not really wanted to do, maybe because you did study it, but you never really liked in the university classes? Well, it is worth applying for. The sooner you get another job, the better of you are. Face it, if you really do not like the work you can find another job after a year or two. After a lay-off it is very important to get back into the working world as fast as you can. To make your job search even more successful, as a fourth positive step after a lay-off, you also need to network. Talk to friends, other companies? bosses you know, and anybody you have ever met that might have a job available for you. Besides networking, you can also always try to do some cold calling, writing letters to businesses that are not having a newspaper add out. There is always the possibility that they are looking for somebody. As a fifth positive action after you are laid-off there is always college. Taking classes that will refresh your topic and specialty you are working in can make a good bullet on your résumé. If the job market is quite tough, why not go back and finish that degree or add another maybe a graduate degree. This always is better on your résumé than plain being out of work.
International Software Copyright International Software Agreement is a Matter of National Security Is there one governing law concerning international software copyright? According to agreements by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIP) any software written has an automatic copyright. This is a pretty conclusive consensus as far as an international copyright goes. The short answer would have been yes, but this was so much more informative. An international software copyright should not however be confused with a patent. Copyrights provide creators with the ability to prevent others from directly copying the code involved. A patent can actually limit the use of the software. Because of this, I'm sure you'll understand that patents are a hotly debated topic when it comes to software. The biggest thing to know about international software copyright is that your code is essentially protected the moment you create it. This is, unless you have some kind of contract through your employer that all code created by your belongs to them (these cases have been known to happen and provide excellent incentives for employees to always read the fine print). The problem that many companies are running into when it comes to enforcing international software copyright is that computers are not permanent fixtures in a company. Computers are rather disposable hardware when it comes to keeping up with evolving technologies and software needs to be updated when new computers are purchased. Rather than purchasing new copies of software when the computers are replaced companies are notorious for reusing old copies of the software. They are also famous for replacing 10 computers with the software installed with 40 new computers and installing the 10 copies of the software on all 40 computers. This is not in keeping with international software copyright. This is stealing and you'd be surprised at some of the good upstanding companies that do this on a regular basis. There really are no major differences between traditional policies for American copyright and international software copyright which makes legal issues, troubles, and woes that much easier to deal with. By having a unified international front thee are ramifications and legal actions that can be taken around the world without going through a great deal of international red tape. If you think dealing with the American government is bad, you should see how much fun it is to deal with the American government and another government for a legal action. The agreement between nations for international software copyright is probably one of the soundest possible decisions that can be made as military secrets of all governments have some degree of software in order to keep them operating. While it isn't quite as simplistic as stealing a computer program to unlock the defense secrets of a nation, having access to certain source codes could be problematic in the absolute best-case scenario. Keeping secrets isn't the only thing that makes this agreement so valuable, it is however, one of the most vital. Perhaps one of the greatest things to come about as the result of the international agreement to protect and honor software copyright is the peace of mind that is available to software developers in America and other technologically advanced countries that their source code won't be allowed to be stolen and used against them at a later date by someone in a developing nation with cheap labor and other overhead costs that American corporations simply cannot compete with. This could be devastating to the economies of technological societies if it were allowed to happen and the agreement for an international software copyright prevents that from being allowed to occur.