The Olympics – a marriage made in cyberspace

It’s March 2012. We are a little over four months away from what is being described as ‘the greatest show on Earth’. It should be, it’s costing the business end of £12 billion and whatever your views on the Games, the disruption to London or the quite staggering £80 million cost of Danny Boyle’s opening and closing ceremonies, one thing is for certain, the IT infrastructure that is being put into place before and during the Games is going to have positive knock-on effects for years to come. Perhaps the most wide-reaching benefit of having the Olympic Games in London is the introduction of a city-wide wi-fi hotspot being developed by mobile giant O2. The deal, which O2 claim won’t cost councils or – crucially – the taxpayer anything, will see free access given to residents and visitors to Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea through a new wireless network infrastructure dubbed 'Metro' and based on hardware wired into street lights. These are t ...

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Are we saying CU L8er to email?

It’s February. It’s cold, Fabio Capello has just hindered our chances at the Euros and The Queen has just celebrated 60 years in the hot seat. We’re only a few weeks days in. What else can we look forward to? If recent views are to be listened to, we can look forward to the end of email as we know it. More and more email we receive comes complete with a line at the end saying something to the effect of ‘reduce your carbon footprint by only printing this email if it’s absolutely necessary’. A perfectly valid point and one which very few can argue against, but what about a line at the beginning saying ‘only send this email if it’s absolutely necessary’? We did some very basic research in the office this week. We all measured how many emails we received on one given day (Tuesday). The winner got 59. Of that total, 28 were genuine emails from clients, suppliers or stakeholders that required a response. The rest were a heady mix of e-marketing, newsletters ...

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A great business is nothing without great staff..

To ease you gently into 2012, instead of giving you relevant, thought-provoking yet hard-hitting information from the complex world of IT, we thought we’d introduce you to our three new staff members, all of whom have hit the ground running and are helping to make ITbuilder the best IT support company in Hertfordshire! Without further ado, here they are – My name is Ben Richmond My title at ITbuilder is Support Trainee In an average day, I get in, find myself a desk to sit at and then set about the tasks assigned to me. They vary so dramatically that a list would take up too much space. I’ll have a quick snack around 1ish, then I’ll crack on. My career in IT has just started. I’d always had a keen interest in IT and I did my A-Levels while holding down a part-time job. Then I found an apprenticeship course which is when ITbuilder employed me as an apprentice on a 7-8 month course. I like working at ITbuilder because it’s a friendly and motivated environment. As a new member of staff I was a little a ...

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Planning for a disaster

Corniche Events has a long standing association with a major international sporting event event held annually in June, and are contracted to provide the personnel for the transport service to get all players and officials to and from the event. The tournament, held in Sout-West London, is the culmination of twelve months of hard work for the directors and their team. Everything that they do is in preparation for the fortnight over which the event falls and ensuring that everything runs like clockwork is their ultimate goal. One slip up and one of the major stars could be left waiting at his lodgings or an adjudicator is sat on the South Circular when they should be officiating over a game. Corniche have used ITbuilder for their IT services for a number of years and during the summer of 2009 were very glad that they did. ITbuilder had advised them on their Business Continuity Services to back up its database of personnel, which is the life-blood of the business. Daily copies of this database along with shared ...

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Business Continuity Services – Online Hot Spare

The Online Hot Spare service completes the trio of elements to the total Business Continuity Service and is dependent on both Remote Backup and System Snapshot. Online Hot Spare is ideal for the business that simply cannot tolerate more than a few hours of system downtime and need their business servers to function properly at all times. Online Hot Spare provides a business with the reassurance of a disaster recovery plan that is usually only affordable to very large enterprises. The principal behind Online Hot Spare is through a combination of Remote Backup and System Snapshot together with a managed, hosted server 'tenancy', a business has the facility to restore their business systems very quickly onto servers at a remote datacentre without needing to concern themselves with finding replacement hardware or premises on which to restore their systems. If disaster were to strike, either through failure of a companies system hardware or even to the extent that their entire office premises were destroyed, the ...

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Business Continuity Services – System Snapshot

The System Snapshot service is a add-on to the Remote Backup Service and employs additional software agents that are loaded onto the server operating system and periodically take entire 'images' of the computer system to an external hard drive. In conjunction with the Remote Backup, the snapshot backups need only be taken weekly or even monthly to capture fundamental changes to your system configuration e.g. updates, new program or application installation, configuration changes. Daily incremental changes to data are captured daily by the Remote Backup and both backups merged in the event of a full system restore. The snapshots are completely portable and enable IT staff to restore a server within hours if not minutes, even to completely different server hardware. The flexibility that these images provide can enable a business to recover from most types of system hardware failure and bring a server back online with minimum fuss or effort. Images can be copied or restored to a replacement server or even lau ...

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Business Continuity Services – RBS FAQ

Why backup? Most small businesses put their very existence on the line every night and don't even realize it. With businesses depending more and more on the data stored in their computer, proper backups are becoming ever more critical. The statistics speak for themselves: - 7.5 times more data existed in 2004 than 1990 - 60% of that data is on PCs - 96% of business PCs are not backed up regularly enough - 10% of laptops are stolen every year - 70% of tape restores fail first time - 70% of companies fail after a major data loss Source: IDC, DTI & Gartner Remote backups accomplish several essential steps that are often overlooked or done improperly by other backup software - especially non-automated tape backup systems What is remote backup? Remote backup works much in the same was as regular backups with one important difference. Instead of sending backups to a tape or drive attached to the computer, remote backup works by sending data over the internet connection to another computer i ...

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Business Continuity Services – RBS

The basis of our Business Continuity Service is the Remote Backup Service or RBS, a combination of software and hosted storage that ensures that daily copies of files, databases, email messages, server configurations and more are made to external media attached to the server as well as offsite storage. This takes the basic concept of making copies and storing them away from company premises and completely automates it, copying data to external hard drives as well as uploading it through the Internet to a geographically diverse data-centre where the entire process is monitored and managed by technicians. All copied data is scrambled with with a security key passcode using military-grade encryption known only to the business owner and nominated colleagues or personnel within our team of support technicians if so required. The Remote Backup Service can replace or even complement an existing, local backup to hard drive or tape and provides the following benefits: keeps an up-to-date copy of your business ...

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