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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.
Reinventing Yourself Can Make a Difference in Landing a Better Job Are you stuck in a dead end job that isn?t getting you any closer to your goals? Did you wake up one morning to find yourself knee deep in a career you never wanted and one that is not making you happy? Many people feel this way ? it can be easy to ?fall into? a career that you think is temporary and then get so caught up in the day to day aspects of the job that never quite get out of it. If you find yourself in this kind of rut, the good news is that it is never too late to make a fresh start. No matter what your age is or what stage in your career you are at, you can always reinvent yourself to get closer to that perfect job. All you have to do is work up the courage to make the jump. The first step in giving yourself a career makeover is identifying exactly what you want to do. While it may be true that there is always time to reinvent yourself and start over, if you have to go through the process too many times, you are only wasting valuable time that could have been spent doing what you love. Don?t fall into yet another career that isn?t all that is it cracked up to be. Think about the things that you wanted to do when you first entered the working world. What was your dream job then? What career field was your passion? Is it still what you want to be doing today? Discover your dream, and then start building your goals around it. Once you know what you want to do, the time comes to start researching it. How do most people get started in the field? Will you need to start your own business, or are there companies out there already doing what you want to do? What kinds of entry level positions are available? Will you be able to do this in your town, or would moving to another city mean more opportunities for you? Before you make the leap, research your job options carefully. You may need to plan financially for the step you are about to take, so do your homework up front. Talking to other people in the field you want to enter is a great way to get actionable advice from people who have been there. When you know what kind of experience you will need to get started in the field of your dreams, think about the experience you have had in the past, and what you have done that matches up. This can mean either work related experience or things you have done as a hobby or class you have taken in school. Be creative here ? you may have experience you don?t even realize you have. For instance, if you want to open a bakery, and you are always in charge of the bake sale at your child?s school, this counts as experience. Comb through your history and pick out all of the things you have done that will give you a leg up in your new career. Last but not least, you have start creating a new image to present to the working world. Start over with a brand new resume, this time highlighting the experience you have this is relevant to your new career goals. Work on a great cover letter that explains your passion and why you want to switch fields. If you are starting your own business, work on building a website and creating a brand you can be proud of. The sooner you start living your new career, the sooner your dream job will fall into place.
Self-Publishing and Other Options Online (how to get a book published online) There?s no question about it. There is more room for more types of writing on the internet. Many people know that getting a book published for the book store shelves is next to impossible. The competition is overwhelming. Most successful writers have already achieved fame and so are able to write book after book. The unknown, though still talented writers are shut out. Publishing books is expensive and time consuming. There are only so many readers in the world. To keep the ratios between writers and readers comfortable, less than one percent of would be writers actually get published. That is all changing now. The internet is big enough for everyone it seems. It offers many more, less expensive publishing opportunities. It also gives exposure to aspiring writers allowing them more chances to impress the hard copy publishers. So, the opportunities are there. Do you want to know how to get a book published online? Is Self-Publishing Cheating? Self-publishing is certainly not cheating. Depending on what your goals are of course, it may or may not be a direction you would like to take. In the hard copy world, self-publishing is cost prohibitive. Actually getting a book into print costs more money than a typically poor beginning writer can muster. That is the great thing about the internet. It?s free. You can either start up a free website of your own and post your novel, or pay a small monthly sum and attempt to sell your writing online. By paying for a website you will be allowed to sell a product from that site. If you can write well enough to catch someone?s attention, they may be willing to pay for a download of your book. That is how to get a book published online. Just do it yourself. You circumvent the normal book publishing costs and still get some exposure. You just may luck out and get the attention of someone who thinks you could make money off of your writing. If you?d really like to hurry up the process to getting your books in print, there is another route to go. Pay to Be Published Everything is cheaper when done ?en masse?. There are book publishers that reduce the cost of publishing by running the presses all of the time. If you?d like to know about another way of how to get a book published online, this is it. With publishing companies though, you don?t have to dream about getting your book on the shelves. The online self-publishing companies require a fee ? which will be much less than if you were to try to print yourself. They use your money to get your writing into print. You have the option of publishing your own book, or for a much smaller investment, to be included in an anthology. You won?t get as much exposure as from a big name publishing company, but it will be significant nonetheless. E-Book Publishers A third road to travel if you?re wondering how to get a book published online is that of e-books. They are another form of writing that can get you the practice and exposure that you need. Instead of writing on a topic of your choice though, e-book assignments are centered on topics that a typical person will search for online. They are normally informative and how-to books. They are usually short and to the point. E-book publishers are willing to pay experienced and capable writers to create book length, researched writing. How about adding that to your resume? Publishing a book online is easier than publishing in the world of hard copy. The end result is not as glorified, but it is a step towards success in the published realm. The more experience you can get writing, the better writer you will be. As the internet becomes more depended upon, you may find yourself on the frontline of the publishing movement.