Wednesday, July 28, 2010

have 2 employees - you need a server - according to #Dell

I came across this rather interesting article published by dell, targeted at the SMB market.

Ten Signs That You Need a Server

If you’re a small or medium business owner with more than one computer, it’s time to consider investing in a server. A server will keep your data secure and organized and will help you run your business more efficiently and professionally. If you’ve reached one of the 10 thresholds below, a server could do your business a world of good:

1. You Have More Than Two Business Computers

The bottom line is, if you need two or more computers in your business, then it’s time for a server. By storing and organizing data in a core location, you’ll be able to access and share files easily and manage business information more efficiently.

2. You Have More Than One Employee

A server enables your employees to share software tools and access company databases on-site and off-site. As your business grows, you’ll be able to better manage additional computers and software applications and better control which employees and devices have access to certain information.

3. Your Customers Think Your Business Is Owned by Go Daddy

If you’re still using a Web site hosting company like Go Daddy®, then it’s time to upgrade to your own server. Hosting your own Web site and email system presents a more professional image and enables you to conduct business more easily by consolidating email accounts.

4. You or Your Employees Conduct Business Outside the Office

If you work from home, travel frequently or have a mobile workforce, a server will allow you and your employees to remotely connect to your company network and access information and resources no matter where you are.

5. You’re Tripping Over Cords

If you have two or more computers that share access to peripherals, such as printers and fax machines, it’s time for a server. Not only will a server help you eliminate the mess of excess cords, it'll also help you save the cost of buying them.

6. You Can Never Find That Master Document When You Need It

If you share documents between multiple computers, you run the risk of losing important files and of having multiple versions of vital documents. A server will help you manage your files and provide a centralized location for you to store and organize important documents, so that you always have access to what you need, when you need it.

7. Your PCs Are Old and Grumpy

Whether you want to replace your old PCs or help them function better, a server can help you. A server makes the migration of files from an old PC to a new one a cinch, and freeing up memory and storage offers a welcome break to older PCs that are loaded down with data.

8. Your Computer Crashed and You Lost Critical Data

If you have valuable files and data that can’t be replaced, a server will help protect them from loss and corruption. You’ll be able to back up information easily and restore files that were accidentally deleted or misplaced. You’ll almost never have to worry about a crashed hard drive wiping out your system again.

9. You Want to Protect Information from Unauthorized Users

A server will allow you to restrict access to sensitive information, such as financial records and personnel information, by storing it away from prying eyes. It will also allow you to better manage firewalls and virus protection, especially when you have a mobile workforce.

10. You Want to Improve Communication with Employees and Customers

A server enables you to easily add platforms — such as customer relationship management (CRM) software and accounting programs — which allow you to schedule group meetings, share information, and manage clients and vendors. It also allows your employees to send group emails and faxes, and organize customer contacts and customer data in one location.


personally - i think its a cunning ploy to scare people into buying unecessary infrastructure. While the world and its neighbor is moving towards hosted services and clouds, pushing a first time business owner to install a server simply because there are two employees is sad and moreover pathetic.

Windows it pushing that the file share services is good, where you can share folders etc, so why invest in a server?

The points outlined in the article show that a company / startup / small business should first look at hosted services and then when they are too big for hosted services - they should invest in their own infrastructure. instead the article has flipped the schema the other way and proposes own infrastructure from the beginning! WTF?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Finally - reasons to dump #windows and move to #linux

Taken from the CIO website - linky above.

What's your excuse for sticking with Windows? Here's why there's never been a better time to get rid of it.

Now is a particularly good time to ditch Windows for good, for workstations as well as servers. For instance, now that Microsoft stopped supporting Windows Server 2003 on July 13, you'll need to find something different to use for your servers. Whether it's switching from Windows Server 2003 to 2008 or to Linux-based servers--or changing out tired and faulty Windows Vista desktops for the alien Windows 7 or something more user-friendly--Linux provides you with freedom and freedom of choice.
You might believe that dumping Windows and switching to Linux is a difficult task, but the change in thought and the perception of that switch are the most difficult. If you've attempted an upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, you know what pain is.

Business owners find that Linux, for what was once a "niche" operating system, provides the necessary components and services on which many rely. Linux continues its entry into the world's largest data centers, onto hundreds of thousands of individual desktops, and it represents a near 100 percent domination of the cloud services industry. Take the time to discover Linux and use it in your business. Here are ten reasons to give Linux at least a second look:
1. Commercial Support

In the past, businesses used the lack of commercial support as the main reason for staying with Windows. Red Hat, Novell and Canonical, the "big three" commercial Linux providers, have put this fear to rest. Each of these companies offers 24x7x365 support for your mission-critical applications and business services.
2. .NET Support

Businesses that have standardized on Microsoft technology, specifically their .NET web technology, can rely on Linux for support of those same .NET applications. Novell owns and supports the Mono project that maintains .NET compatibility. One of the Mono project's goals is to provide businesses the ability to make a choice and to resist vendor lock-in. Additionally, the Mono project offers Visual Studio plugins so that .NET developers can easily transfer Windows-based .NET applications without changing their familiar development tools. Why would Novell and others put forth the effort to create a .NET environment for Linux? For real .NET application stability, Linux is a better choice than Windows.
3. Unix Uptimes

Linux stability offers business owners the peace of mind that their applications won't suffer lengthy outages due to operating system instability. Linux enjoys the same high uptimes (often measured in years) that its Unix cousins do. This stability means that Linux can support your "99.999 percent available" service requirements. Rebooting after every patch, service pack, or driver change makes Windows an unstable and unreliable choice for those who need nonstop support for their critical applications and services.

4. Security

No operating system is 100 percent secure and Linux is no exception. But, Linux offers excellent security for its users. From regular kernel updates to an almost daily list of security patches, Linux code maintainers keep Linux systems very secure. Business owners who rely on commercially supported Linux systems will have access to every available security fix. With Linux, you have a worldwide community providing security fixes, not a single company with closed source code. You are completely dependent on the response of one company to provide you with timely security fixes when you use Windows.

5. Transferable skills

One barrier to Linux adoption was the idea that Linux isn't enough like Unix, and therefore Unix administrators couldn't successfully use their knowledge when making the switch to Linux. The Linux filesystem layout looks like any commercial version of Unix. Linux also uses a standard set of Unix commands. There are some Linux commands that do not transfer, but this is also true of any version of Unix.

Windows administrators might find that using a keyboard instead of a mouse is a difficult part of the transition, but once they discover the power of the command line, they might never click again. Don't worry, though, for you GUI-bound Windows types, Linux has several desktop managers from which to choose--not just one.

6. Commodity hardware

Business owners will like the fact that their "out-of-date" systems will still run Linux and run it well. Fortunately for Linux adopters, there's no hardware upgrade madness that follows every new version of the software that's released. Linux runs on x86 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. If your system runs Windows, it will run Linux.

7. Linux is free

You may have heard that Linux is free. It is. Linux is free of charge and it is free in the sense that it is also free of patents and other restrictions that make it unwieldy for creative business owners who wish to edit and enhance the source code. This ability to innovate with Linux has helped create companies like Google, who have taken that ability and converted it into big business. Linux is free, as in freedom.

8. Worldwide community

Linux has the support of a worldwide community of developers who contribute to the source code, security fixes and system enhancements. This active community also provides businesses with free support through forums and community sites. This distributed community gives peace of mind to Linux users, because there's no single point of failure and no single source for Linux support or development.
9. Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is a corporate collective of platinum supporters (Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel, NEC, Novell and Oracle) and members who, through donations and membership dues, sponsor Linus Torvalds and others who work on Linux full time. Their purpose is to "promote, protect and standardize Linux to fuel its growth around the world." It is the primary source for all things Linux. The Linux Foundation is a big positive for Linux users and adopters because its existence assures continued development of Linux.
10. Regular Updates

Are you tired of waiting for a Windows service pack every 18 months? Are you also tired of the difficulty in upgrading your Windows systems every few years because there's no clear upgrade path? (Ubuntu Linux offers new, improved versions every six months) and long-term support (LTS) versions every two years. Every Linux distribution offers regular updates of its packages and sources several times per year and security fixes as needed. You can leave any upgrade angst in your officially licensed copy of Windows because it's easy to upgrade and update Linux. And, the best part? No reboot required.
If you'd like to give Linux a try, there are several distributions that are free to download and use without the need for any commercial support contract:

• CentOS -- Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based free distribution
• Ubuntu -- Free, enterprise Linux distribution (Commercial support available).
• Fedora -- The Fedora Project is the free, community-supported version of Red Hat Linux.
• OpenSUSE -- The free, community-supported version of Novell's SUSE Linux.
• Debian -- The parent distribution for many Linux distributions including Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
You can find information regarding switching from Windows to Linux through the Linux Foundation or any of its platinum members. When it comes to increasing your efficiency, saving money, and providing non-stop services to your business and its customers, how many reasons do you need?

This post has been copied from the CIO website, if it is in violation please contact me and I will take it down immediately.

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