Tag Archives: CPU

Things to Consider While Re-purposing Workstations

You might be interested to re-purpose your workstations from time to time to get more RAM, up to date CPU, and more storage capacity. Is it logical to replace a few years old workstation even if it is working without hardware problems? Most of customers do not know exactly when they should re-purpose workstation. Here are some guidelines to check what type of computers can be used in a company and how to boost up performance.

In order to perform particular jobs, servers are usually configured with various components. NAS requires enough space for storage, whereas database server requires more RAM. These are tailored to perform particular tasks, therefore, it is complicated to re-purpose workstations.

If you have changed old SQL database server and selected new model for high performance, old database server can be used for finance or marketing department by making some minor changes. Storage and RAM are the two upgrades that are based on simple procedure, but can improve performance level.

Less valuable upgrades are related to RAID card and CPU. A few servers may have system for CPU upgrade; however, most of them need new motherboards, which means to upgrade PSU and RAM as well. If you need to boost up performance, instead of upgrading the motherboard, buy new system to meet your needs.

It is simple to install new RAID card; however, old servers do not offer sufficient cooling to keep this hot-running RAID cool. It is important to match RAID card with hard drives to get required performance. Many customers prefer to re-purpose server without changing hardware. They get required results by using software (like FreeNAS).

Just like servers, workstations need to configure to carry on various tasks. Case capacity of workstations gives great benefit when these are selected for re-purposing. Unlike rack server, it is much easier to improve performance of components in tower case. Increasing storage capacity through controller cards is much faster.

If you are interested to have more storage (for mechanical drives), make certain that there is enough cool air through the case. Usually heat is unnoticed as it is difficult to measure, but it damages computer hardware more frequently. Sensors are used in a lot of workstation boards to check level of heat.

Nowadays, laptops are used as preferable system to work in most departments. Laptops do not offer re-purposing like desktops due to various reasons. First of all, laptops cannot work just like desktop computers. These are good to be used for designing PowerPoint slides, web browsing and email. You might be able to upgrade the laptop’s RAM and hard drive, otherwise, laptops are not easy to upgrade.

It is good to evaluate risks as well as benefits associated with re-purposing of computers. If your company has replaced old systems and you need to use them in other departments to save some money, keep in mind that IT experts will need time to arrange old these systems to work. Conversely, a new system can start working as soon as it is deployed. In addition, warranty is a compelling factor which leads to buying new systems, as laptops need frequent repair services.

Security experts warn against inadequate password lengths

A new study has concluded that most people choose passwords that are far too short to be totally secure against brute force attacks from criminals. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are recommending that 12 characters becomes the standard length to ensure protection.

This conclusion has been reached as a result of a hacking test involving groups of computers which were able to guess an eight character password within two hours. This was possible because the cracking technique harnessed not only the CPU but the GPUs of each machine, giving the networked PCs far greater combined processing power.

12 character passwords are being named as the new golden standard in data protection because using the same process used in the Gerogia experiment would require up to 17,000 years for a password to be cracked; a margin with which most businesses and individuals will be comfortable.

A spokesperson for the institute said that it was not making use of any hardware which could not be acquired by the average consumer, before pointing out that the passwords chosen in the tests would be in common use across the public and private sector.

Researchers believe that seven and eight character passwords cannot be seen as properly secure by modern standards because of the increasing sophistication of the graphics processors available to malicious groups.

12 characters is better than both 11 and 13, because the former offers a much reduced 180 years of cracking time which could easily be whittled down with next generation hardware and the latter is that much harder for people to remember.

In order to protect data and personal information still further, it is recommended that where password systems allow the use of various non-standard characters such as punctuation marks and the @ symbol, they should be used. With a total of 95 usable letters, numbers and symbols on a standard UK keyboard the potential to create an uncrackable password is significant.

Several recent surveys have found that UK computer users are not keeping their details safe because they choose generic, easily guessable passwords which an intelligent human could predict relatively quickly. This report, which was also covered by CNN, shows that the problem for business users could be even more significant.

Server Virtualisation is more than just Server Consolidation

Server virtualisation is very much the hot topic in computing at the moment, with many companies investing their I.T. budget into this new technology because of the long term savings that have been predicted.

These savings can be found in a number of different areas, the main one being server consolidation, taking the 5 servers your company is currently running, and turning them into one box, running the 5 servers. This can cut the costs of operating the environments through savings on:

– Power usage, because there are fewer boxes
– Cooling, because there is less heat produced
– Racking space, because we now only have 1 box not 5
– Hardware maintenance costs
– Hardware replacement costs

However there are many more advantages to a virtual environment, some more obvious than others

– Fast server deployment – using a standard server image, the deployment of extra servers can be accelerated
– Multiple Operating Systems – You can run a variety of operating systems from a single platform
– Real-time fail over – You can run replicated systems so that if your main system went down, a switch could be made in real time reducing the amount of downtime.
– Easy failback – You can maintain images from your previous environments, making it easier to return to earlier system states
– Intelligent resource allocation – the central servers resources, such as the CPU, hard disks and RAM can be allocated to different OS’s at different times, depending on which server needs them, at that particular time.

Although there are some downsides to this new and exciting technology:

– Central point of failure – With all your severs now consolidated into one box, should the hardware on that box then fail, all of your servers will go down, causing more disruption to your systems than if one server were to fail.
– Extra software – To set up a virtual environment you will need to buy, install and configure a piece of 3rd party software such a VMWare or Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology, which is expensive in terms of both procurement of the software and training of your I.T. staff to be able to deal with the new environment

Properly deployed, a virtual I.T. infrastructure can save your company a lot of money in both maintenance and running cost, as discussed previously.

They can also incorporate our backup solution, which fully supports VMWare and Hyper-V enabling companies to securely and efficiently protect their virtual environment, and their data in the same manor our traditional customers. This ensures that all their stored data and virtual servers can be protected and restored in the event of a disaster.

Why is there a need for Online Backup of computer data

Invariably everyone uses a computer or some form of computer technology. Computers have become an integral part of everyone’s life. Starting from a school child to a successful business magnate, computers are used extensively for recreation, business, shopping, working, for just being in touch and more importantly of all, running the whole system of transport, administration, communication, etc.

Trans-national companies and government authorities worldwide rely on data stored in a central place. Without proper data backup, there will be chaos in case of a disaster. It can happen anywhere and anytime. No surprise, data backup or data recovery takes centre stage.

After all even computers are not foolproof and are prone to failure. Anything can go wrong with them; the files can get corrupted; the motherboard can crash, and the CPU can break down at the wrong time. When this happens, what goes off along with the hardware is the precious data. So the importance of data backup cannot be understated. It is surprising that despite the grave eventualities seen in data loss, not all businesses have still realised the importance of backup of computer data.

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