Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The Mysterious and Strange Origin of the Floppy Disk

Friday, March 24th, 2017

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As you go to save your Word Document, you seek out a strangle little symbol in the corner. For millennials, it means ‘Save’, but the box-like shape holds no other meaning. They’ve seen it time and time again, in many different programs, but it’s just a shape.

For anyone born a little earlier, the symbol is recognizable for another reason. It’s the shape of a floppy disk—the portable media that changed everything about personal computing.

Of course in 2017, Floppy disks are pretty much extinct. The symbol you see in every program is like a dinosaur fossil—the leftover remains, a literal outline, of something that was once big and everywhere.

What both generations don’t know is that the origin of this media is funnier—and surprisingly controversial—than you might think.

It was first conceived by a man who has just invented a bladed guard wig for Donald Trump, and a sexual enhancement product designed “to save Japan” from it’s declining birthrate.

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Third-Party Backup Storage Services: A Buyer’s Guide

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

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Recently, we did an article on how to air gap your backups. One of our readers had an interesting question: how do you get around spending effort and manpower to remove your air-gapped backups and take them offsite?

Obviously, with public and private cloud backup, it’s easy to send your data offsite. But with a physical disk or tape, separated from a network, you’ve got to go into the server room, disconnect them, and then there’s transport to a secure location.

There is actually a type of service that exists to do this for you—a backup courier service, where a person shows up with a metal case, takes your backup into a unmarked van, and transports it to a data vault where it’s kept offsite until you need it.

In this guide, we talk about what these services are, how to tell the good ones from the bad, and the pros and cons of using this sort of service.

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What Is an Air Gap, and Should You Do it? – A Handy Guide

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Use air systems to protect your data computers.

Ever heard of air gapping? It’s an important technique to keep your systems secure, and your files and folders free of malware.

In other words, you should learn to do it, and implement it in your backup strategy immediately. Here’s why.

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IBM Stores Data on a Single Atom – But Is It Too Late?

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

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IBM researchers have discovered a way to store one bit of data on a single atom, the company has announced.

This momentous achievement—storing data on the universe’s essential building blocks—could be the first step towards the end game of data storage.

And for IBM, the question of if they can put this to practice is an existential one. The company has reported 19 consecutive quarters of declining revenue.

This revolutionary discovery may not just be a big break for IBM, but perhaps their last chance to turn things around.

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NY Airport Leaves Backups on Internet For a Year, No Password

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

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In a severe lapse of any IT sense, a New York international airport has left its server backups exposed on the open internet—without any password protection—for almost a year.

The internet-connected device contained several image backups for the Stewart International Airport, located 60 miles north of Manhattan, a joint civilian and military thoroughfare. Not only that, the airport frequently accommodates charter flights of high-profile guests and foreign dignitaries.

All this flight information and more were on the equivalent of a public web server, because the airport was backing up unprotected copies of its systems to a Buffalo branded drive, installed by a contract third-party IT specialist.

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Restore Search: Never Scour Through Backups Again

Monday, February 27th, 2017

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The clock is ticking. Your users have lost their data. There is only one thing on their minds: getting it back ASAP. They’re hovering around your desk, asking if it’s recovered yet. And it’s only been a few minutes.

Don’t they understand you’ve got to sort through terabytes worth of files and dozens of backups? And some of them are off-site now, so you might need to go get them!

If only there was some way to do something like a Google Search: pinpointing exactly where that vital file is, then restoring it with a few clicks. Even if the drive wasn’t connected or on-site?

Well, there is with BackupAssist v9—and it’s called Restore Search.

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Best Practices Guide for Planned and Unplanned IT Outages

Friday, February 24th, 2017

IT Outages

During an IT service outage, time is of the essence. Your customers are breathing down your neck. Your boss and coworkers are wondering when service will resume. All eyes are on you for answers.

When IT outages happen, you want things to go as smoothly as possible. That’s where a Best Practices guide can really save you time. With it, you can work through things in a logical order, and make sure you don’t miss a step.

We’ve written an IT Outage Best Practices guide to help you when you experience a planned or unplanned outage, and how to pre-prepare before it even happens. Even if you already have a plan in place, it’s worth a read.

Read our IT Outage Best Practice Guide.

How Much Admin Privileges Should You Give New Employees?

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

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It’s the age old question—how much rope do you give the new guy (or girl)? If you give them full access to everything, they’ll be able to get the job done, but they may destroy your business. Too little, and their hands will be tied.

From small to large businesses, it’s a question many IT managers have trouble answering. In fact, we asked a bunch of IT pros for this story, and all of them gave different answers. A particularly poignant response likened giving Active Directory access to the new guy the same as “Giving your Ferrari keys to a learner driver.”

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Server Cable Disasters That Look Like Famous Paintings

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Server Cable Management and how to avoid a wiring mess.

Is there something about a stray cable that makes your eyebrow twitch? Driven mad by your colleagues making a mess with fiber optic lengths, each one a greater trip-hazard than the last?

Well, we’ve got the solution for you. Don’t view it as a chaotic mess. Look at it, and imagine it’s art.

Sounds crazy? Not as much as you’d think. In fact, we’ll show you five shots of absolute cable monstrosities, and then an image of a famous painting. It’s hard to tell the difference.

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How to Hot Add & Remove Hyper-V Memory, Network Adapters

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

How to hot add virtual memory to a VM.

One of the neat new features of Windows Server 2016 is the ability to hot add and remove memory from your Hyper-V Guests. Officially known as ‘Runtime Memory Resize‘, this trick saves you a lot of time.

This feature is different from Dynamic Memory, which we’ve had since Windows Server 2012. The key difference is:

  • Dynamic Memory monitors the memory you use in a virtual guest, then adds and removes it depending on your usage. This is not suitable for some scenarios where you don’t want constantly changing memory (E.g. A hoster).
  • Runtime Memory Resize allows you to change a VM’s memory resource to a specific value without restarting the guest OS.

You can also hot add other virtual hardware such as a network adapter in Hyper-V 2016. We’ve written a how-to on doing both, so read on!

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