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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Understanding the Basics of Server Maintenance

Server units--you’ll find them in most offices out there, but they are all used for different purposes. Since well-maintained data is so essential to the success of many organizations, it’s important to keep your server units in proper working order. Today we’ll discuss the best ways to make sure your servers are in peak performance.

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Tech Term: What are Proxy Servers?

While proxy server is a tech term that is frequently cited, it is not understood by a vast majority of people. Today we will describe what a proxy server is, and why organizations like yours use them.

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Tech Term: An Introduction to Proxy Servers

There are plenty of technical terms and solutions that, while heard of frequently enough, it may not be completely clear what they mean or refer to. A proxy server is an excellent example of such a solution. This week, we’ll examine this tech term and review how utilizing proxy servers can help your business.

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Tip of the Week: Choosing the Right Storage for Your Business

Regardless of where it is kept, your data’s security is of paramount importance. However, this doesn’t mean that the decision between leveraging the cloud or an on-premise server for your data storage needs isn’t an important one. For this week’s tip, we’ll weigh these options against each other to help you establish which is the better option for your business’ needs.

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Make the Most of Your Data Migration

Data migration is a sizable task. There’s plenty that could go wrong as you move your data from one server to another solution. As you transfer your data, it helps to keep a few considerations in mind to ensure the process goes smoothly while getting the biggest benefit from the time it takes you.

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You Can’t Ignore the Elephant in the Server Room

If there’s an issue that everyone is hesitant to acknowledge, it is said that there is an elephant in the room. Many companies may find that today, these elephants live in their server rooms. We’ll acknowledge these elephants and talk about a few ways that you can evict them from your company’s IT.

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Critiquing In-House and Cloud Based On Cost and Control

We won't deny that we push the benefits of cloud pretty hard, but we aren't afraid to consider the possibility that the cloud may not be the best fit for your needs. If this is truly the case, it may just be that an onsite approach will work best for your needs.

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Need A Simpler Way To Manage Data? Try A Cloud Server

If you’re like most small businesses, chances are that you have one or two servers in your office that are dedicated to storing and distributing data on your in-house network. Without these machines, you would be in a rough spot. Users wouldn’t be able to access data and your operations would suffer. But what if we told you that there is an easier way to manage data and increase user accessibility that doesn’t include managing server hardware?

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What is Server Management, and How Will It Help Your Business?

Your server is an integral part of your IT setup, which means that it is all the more crucial that it is managed properly. As the central hub of your network, it connects all of the devices that you rely on to each other, allowing them to interact and communicate. Under proper server management practices, your server will be more able to accomplish this task.

In order to better understand how to properly approach server management, it helps to look at it not as an entire process, but to break it into its two parts.

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Tip of the Week: Optimize Your Computer By Taking Care of the Clutter

Do you remember the day that you purchased your current workstation? Maybe it was last week, last month, last year, or several years ago. At one point, it was pristine, untouched by the demands of the workday, but those days have long since passed. Over time, your computer collects all sorts of stuff on it, from unnecessary files to outdated, unused software.

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You Can’t Afford to Overlook These 3 Benefits of Server Hosting

Every business from any industry probably has servers that hold important and sensitive data. However, not all organizations have the assets and skills necessary to manage and maintain these complex pieces of hardware. In particular, small businesses struggle with this aspect of running an in-house server, but there’s another option--an outsourced server hosting service from a third-party provider.

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How Unused Applications May Be Hurting Your Budget

When a business finds new software solutions that can effectively replace their older, less efficient systems, applications can often go unused for extended periods of time. However, these unnecessary apps can waste time and money for your business, which can add up quickly. In fact, as much as 38 percent of enterprise applications are wasting away on organizations’ networks.

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Why Businesses Need to Quickly Distance Themselves From SQL Server 2005

b2ap3_thumbnail_sql_end_of_support_400.jpgWhich database management system is running on your company’s server units? For end users, it’s not something that they put a whole lot of thought into. However, if you completely overlook your Microsoft SQL Server, you may end up running an expired version that puts your data at risk. Case in point, SQL Server 2005, which Microsoft recently ended support for.

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77% of Businesses Virtualize Their IT In Some Capacity, What About You?

b2ap3_thumbnail_virtualization_400.jpgTechnology solutions for small and medium-sized businesses can be complex, which is why simplification is at the top of a lot of executives’ priorities. To this end, virtualization is a key component, helping organizations make their IT easier to manage. What effect does this have on data security?

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Things That Go Bump in the Server Closet

b2ap3_thumbnail_spooky_technology_400.jpgHalloween is a time to conjure up things that give people the creeps. Scary sounds are just one way to send shivers up the spine. Sounds like, howling werewolves, zombie groans, chainsaws, and bloodcurdling screams are enough to make you want to run and hide. Yet, there’s one sound that’s the most terrifying of them all, and it’s coming from your server room!

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Don’t Let Underutilized Servers Hold Your Business Back

b2ap3_thumbnail_server_utilization_400.jpgHow messy is your server room? When was the last time you took note of how many machines you have, and what each of them are contributing to your business’s goals? If either of these situations sound familiar, it might be time to take a closer look at your technology and examine how you can improve operations. One of the best ways you can do so is by eliminating unnecessary costs from unused and underutilized servers.

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How to Properly Store a Hard Drive

b2ap3_thumbnail_frozen_hard_drive_400.jpgWhat’s the best way to preserve your important files for years to come? Questions like this are being asked more frequently in our data-driven society. Here are some best practices when it comes to long-term data storage.

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When it’s Hot Outside, Your Servers Are Burning Up Inside

b2ap3_thumbnail_ac_units_cool_servers_400.jpgIf you host your own servers in-house, or in an off-site data center, you know all about the frustrations of keeping your hardware up to date and healthy. This also includes keeping your servers from overheating. These mission-critical pieces of hardware are known to produce incredulous amounts of heat, and keeping them cool only gets more challenging during hot, sticky summer months.

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Windows Server 2003 Support Ends this July

b2ap3_thumbnail_server_operating_system_losing_support_400.jpgJuly 14th is an important date in the business technology world. Why? Because it’s a major landmark for users of Windows Server 2003. In just a few short months, Microsoft will no longer support this decade-old server operating system. Therefore, you must take steps to upgrade away from this server OS before it’s too late.

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3 Top-Tier Reasons to Consider Server Virtualization

b2ap3_thumbnail_server_from_the_cloud_400.jpgMost IT administrators see virtualization as a means of increasing efficiency, and they’re not wrong. Virtualization of your hardware is a great way of decreasing operating costs and improving accessibility to mission-critical applications and information. However, network virtualization has the potential to increase the security of your business’s data, too.

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What Coca-Cola Got Wrong with its Slick New Commercial [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_coke_spill_400.jpgDuring the broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX, Coca-Cola premiered a bold new commercial meant to inspire viewers, make the world (wide web) a happier place, and of course, sell Coca-Cola. To be sure, it was a monumental marketing effort, but for those of us in IT, we find it cringeworthy and must object to the commercial’s content.

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Alaskan Healthcare Organization Hit with Huge Fine for HIPAA Violation

b2ap3_thumbnail_fines_imposed_for_hipaa_400.jpgAmerican healthcare organizations must store and exchange patient data in ways that comply with the HIPAA law, or else face hefty fines. One mental health service in Alaska recently learned this lesson the hard way after being hit with a $150,000 fine. Is your healthcare organization’s IT infrastructure 100 percent HIPAA compliant?

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How Secure Are Your Virtual Servers?

b2ap3_thumbnail_hosted_server_400.jpgIn today's technology world, a lot of businesses are opting to take advantage of virtualized servers. These offer various benefits, including the ability to consolidate your servers into a neat, controlled package. But according to a recent study by Symantec, virtual servers might not be as secure as once thought. In fact, they might not be any more secure than a physical server.

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Ghost Servers - Who Ya Gonna Call?

b2ap3_thumbnail_ghost_server_400.jpgEveryone has heard horror stories about the spirits of the dead lingering in this world. Every culture on this planet has different beliefs about the nature of these spectral beings. Not much is known about these beings, but people still believe without a doubt that they exist. In regards to technology, ghosts do exist, in the form of ghost servers.

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4 Important Considerations to Make When Shopping for a Server

b2ap3_thumbnail_choose_the_server_that_works_best_400.jpgDue to the irreplaceable nature of data, server units may be your company's most important assets. Therefore, when it comes time to purchase a new server, you will want to make sure that your new unit will be exactly what your business needs. Getting a model that's too small or too powerful can be costly. Here's what to look for when purchasing a new server.

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How to Reduce the Noise from Your Servers

b2ap3_thumbnail_serverbay400.jpgOne IT problem that you may have heard about is server noise. A server unit is a noisy piece of equipment because it comes with multiple fans used to keep the machine cool. One big reason why servers are banished to their own room is because of all the noise they make. Here's what you can do to quiet your servers.

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3 Ways Homeownership and Your IT Infrastructure are Similar

b2ap3_thumbnail_nethouse400.jpgYour company's technology infrastructure is made up of several complex systems that all work together in order to keep your business running smoothly. Your IT infrastructure functions much in the same way as another type of infrastructure, your house. It's surprising how much you can learn about computer networking by looking at "This Old House."

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The Circle of Corporate Espionage, part 2

b2ap3_thumbnail_pride400.pngWhen we last left our young office administrator, Chosimba, he was framed by his rival Scarn for leaking sensitive company information that led to the arrest and outing of Pride Inc.'s CEO. Scarn set up Chosimba because he was in line to run Pride Inc. We now find our hero hiding in Africa, attempting to avoid litigation--based on the advice of Scarn.

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RAID Formatting Can Improve Server Performance

b2ap3_thumbnail_RAID400.jpgWhen it comes to computer memory, redundancy is a good thing. The more places that you have your data backed up to, the better off you will be if something happens to your hard drive. RAID is a common hard drive formatting procedure that improves server performance and protects your data in the event of a crash.

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4 Things to Look for When Buying a New Server

b2ap3_thumbnail_server400.pngAs your business grows, so does the need to expand your network. If your IT infrastructure is not meeting your company's growing needs, then shopping for a new server is in your future. Servers are highly configurable and customizable to meet the specific needs of your business. Here are 4 things to consider when shopping for a new server.

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Servers and Energy Costs are Shrinking with Microservers

b2ap3_thumbnail_ShrinkServer400.jpgServers have always been one of the more expensive yet crucial pieces of your IT infrastructure. A new development in servers is the microserver, which is a stripped down version of a server. The appeal is that they can be designed to handle one task efficiently, and therefore, use fewer resources while costing less to purchase and maintain.

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Organize Your Network with Active Directory

b2ap3_thumbnail_Network400.jpgThe whole purpose of having a network infrastructure is to allow different users to access and share needed files and applications. With your data centralized to a server, you will need to have a system in place that allows certain people up-to-date permissions to access needed files from every computer. This is where Active Directory comes in.

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How Can Terminal Services Help Your Network?

b2ap3_thumbnail_ServerTerminal400.jpgThanks to the cloud computing, there's a lot of chatter these days about doing your work remotely. The idea of accessing your data from anywhere on any device is an exciting prospect, but it is not a new one. Windows Terminal Services (renamed Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2) has had this ability for many years, and it is still a great remote service option for your network.

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