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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.

Continuing Education Key to Being a Better Employee Employers now recognize the importance of continuing education for employees. Over the past few years, more and more employers have begun to offer tuition reimbursement and continuing education classes to their employees. While this was once thought of as an excessive expensive, it is now understood that continuing education benefits the company as much or more as it does the employee. The job market is becoming more and more competitive everyday. Only the best employees are getting jobs in certain sectors. That means that your skills need to be sharp in order for you to remain valuable to your company. This is where continuing education comes into play. No matter what type of job you have, just about all companies are investing in continuing education. The reasons why are simple. Even though the company may spend a good deal of money on continuing education for their employees, they see an even larger return. By having employees that are on the top of their game, the company will be more productive as a whole. Thus the company will make more money. With that in mind, it is very important that employees always take advantage of continuing education classes when they can. You will be able to stay on top of whatever new trends are coming up and possibly acquire skills that will allow you to move up in the company. By taking continuing education classes, you will become more productive. Studies have found that employees that continue to have their skills refreshed and renewed are more productive on the job. This is a perk for both employees and their employers. You will be able to finish more work in less time and with more understanding. Thus making your time at work easier. If you are not sold on the idea of continuing education, think of it this way. Your employer is paying for it. It is a perk of your job that you should take full advantage of. If you are working towards acquiring skills that will lead you to a promotion or an entirely new job, you are doing something to better yourself. And, it is costing you less, or nothing at all. The best companies to work for in the country have great training programs. This is no coincidence. These companies, which also make a ton of money spend thousands of dollars training their employees so that they can go out and make the company the most money possible. Less successful companies have begun to follow suit. No matter what type of job you have, there are continuing education programs that can help enhance your job experience. Continuing education is a great way to break out of a rut. If you are eager to change jobs or get a promotion, you will fair much better in the job market if you do some continuing education. Use whatever means your company offers to better yourself and become more marketable. The type of continuing education you choose depends on your career goals. It is always helpful to have an advanced degree in a certain field. If tuition reimbursement for graduate school is an option, take it. Having a Master?s or PHD will help you become an expert in your field of study. If your job has company continuing education, take them up on it., Even if a promotion is not exactly what you are looking for, being cross trained is always a good idea. Gain as much in the way of knowledge and skills as you can. When you move on to your next job those skills will look great on your resume.

You Can Find Free Deals and Discounts at Slick Deals Where can you go when you want to find the best deals on the net? Where can you turn to when you need quality advice before making a major purchase? How can you make sure that you never pay too much for something again? This is where slickdeals.net comes in. Slick Deals is a great website for finding what you are looking for, and making sure that you never pay too much again. Tips and Hints for Searching on Slick Deals Slick Deals is home to an advanced search engine that allows you to compare the prices of different items, both small and big ticket, and compare prices. This website allows you to make sure that you can always find the lowest price and never overpay again. Here are some hints and tips for searching for the best deals on Slick Deals. First, if at all possible, make sure that you have the SKU number on the item you are searching for on hand. Using the SKU number allows you to search for the right item at all times. The SKU number will vary in length and number-letter combination, depending on the kind of object or item you are shopping for. Avoid using parentheses when you are searching for something. Avoid using negation modifiers that will potentially exclude items from your search. You should also avoid hyphens in your search. This will tend to filter out more potential search hits, rather than pull up more potential choices. For the Latest Deals on Slick Deals, Check the Front Page When you are looking for the latest deals on Slick Deals, you will want to make sure that you check the front page. The default front page is also home to the newest deals. By defaults, you will only see deal titles when you first log onto the Slick Deals website. All of the deals on this front page are color-coded. You will find that ongoing deals are displayed in a bold blue tone. Expired deals are displayed in a gray color. To find out more about these front-page deals, simply click on the title. Then the deal will expand and you will be able to read more about the deal. Once you have read all the information you want, simply click on the title once again to close the window. To find out more about deals of the whole day, click on the day bar. When you click on the day bar, all the deals of the day will expand so you can read the details. Simply click the day bar once more to close the deals. How to Share Deals with Friends The Slick Deals website makes it easy for you to share deals with other interested parties. If you would like to share a deal that you find on Slick Deals, simply choose one of the following three methods. You can share a great deal with a friend by selecting the 'Tell a Friend' button that is available for each deal. Clicking on this link allows you to send a friend an email, informing them about the deal on Slick Deals. Another easy way to contact a friend or potentially interested friend is to send them an instant message using AOL Instant Messenger. Simply select the 'AIM' button for this option. Another easy way to send a copy of the deal to a friend is to send them a permalink using another form of communications. You can also leave your own opinion or review of the deal by selecting the Comments link. Slick Deals relies on user-driven content to establish a vibrant and informative website geared directly for consumers.