Author: John Papiewski

What Is File Compression?

Target audience

This article is good for general audiences and provides an introduction to data compression techniques and uses.
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Introduction

File compression is a technique for “squeezing” data files so that they take up less storage space, whether on a hard drive or other media. Many different kinds of software, including backup programs, operating systems, media apps, and file management utilities, use this technique. While the type of source file and the type of compression algorithm determines how well compression works, a compressed set of an average mix of files typically takes about 50 percent less space than the originals. This technology has applications ranging from archives and backups to media and software distribution.

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What Is RAID?

John Papiewski February 3, 2016 by under VPS Hosting 0 Comments
Target Audience

This article is an introduction to (or basic review of) storage options utilizing multiple computer disk drives.
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Introduction

RAID, (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, or often now, Redundant Array of Independent Disks) encompasses an industry-standard set of enhanced data storage technologies. RAID combines the storage resources of several physical disk drives into a single logical device recognized by the computer’s operating system. It comes in several standard implementations called levels, each of which has different cost/benefit trade-offs, including disk read/write performance and resiliency.

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What is: Solid State Drives (SSDs) – A Non-Expert’s Guide

John Papiewski February 2, 2016 by under HIPAA Data Centers 0 Comments
Target Audience

This article is intended for non-specialists wanting to know a little bit more about SSDs.
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Introduction

The solid-state drive (SSD) is a relatively recent addition to the technologies available for mass data storage. In place of the spinning magnetic disk used in hard disk drives (HDDs) since the 1950s, an SSD relies on solid-state digital chips to store information. In recent years, SSDs have seen increasing use in many computer systems, from laptops to commercial web servers. Although SSDs offer clear benefits such as faster performance, the technology has a few limitations worth considering.

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What is: Networking Basics – Switches, Routers, and Firewalls

Target Audience

This article is intended for those looking for a primer on basic networking terms and concepts.

Introduction

Switches, routers, and firewalls are electronic devices used to build data networks. They serve as essential components of the Internet, ferrying information rapidly from one computer to the next. In many commercial networks, a separate piece of hardware handles each of these functions. For small office/home office use, the switch, router, and firewall are typically combined into one convenient, low-cost unit.

Switch

A switch connects multiple computers and mobile devices together into a local network.

It serves as a central point through which computers on that local network communicate with each other. A switch can handle simultaneous connections between dozens of computers, with no connection interfering with any other. However, a switch cannot connect to other networks by itself–it requires a router to communicate with other networks.

A network is a group of computers that exchange data. Networks may be simple, such as a home office with PCs and mobile devices, or they may be large and complex, like the Internet.

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What is Stateless and Stateful Models of Web Development

John Papiewski December 18, 2015 by under VPS Hosting 0 Comments
Target Audience

Developers who are new to website programming or who might like a review of stateless and stateful models of site design.

Introduction

The stateful and stateless models of software application behavior define how a user’s web browser communicates with a web server. In the earliest years of the Web, sites tended to be stateless. Pages were static, not varying from user to user. Later, websites included the stateful model, which delivered pages with information unique to each user. Stateful web applications are essential for modern e-commerce such as online retailers and banks, but require sophisticated programming to work effectively.
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Stateless Model

In the pure form of the stateless model, a client program makes a request to an application server, which sends data back to the client. The server treats all client connections equally and saves no information from prior requests or sessions. A website that serves up a simple static web page is a good example of the stateless model. The server receives requests for pages it hosts and sends the page data to requesting browsers, much like a short-order cook making meals for diners.
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What is: Backups – a Review of Basic Concepts

John Papiewski December 17, 2015 by under VPS Hosting 0 Comments
Target Audience

This article is aimed at a non-technical audience looking for an introduction to or review of data backup options.
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Introduction

It’s a fact of life that computer files can be lost through human error or hardware crashes. A data backup is a process that duplicates a computer’s data files, creating copies that can be used if the originals are lost or damaged. Regular backups have been a necessary and standard part of professional computer operations for many years.

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What is: Web Analytics – A Beginner’s Guide

Target Audience

This article is a good starting point for website administrators wanting to learn about Web Analytics and some tools and methods for seeing how their sites perform.
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Introduction

Traffic — it’s one thing nearly all website owners want. How can you tell if your site is thriving or anemic? Web analytics has the answers. When checked regularly, web analytics provides crucial feedback, giving you clear numbers that gauge the effectiveness of your site.

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What is a Relational Database?

John Papiewski November 13, 2015 by under VPS Hosting 0 Comments
Target audience

This article provides a quick overview of relational databases, so some experience with programming and knowledge of data structures is necessary. The article is also helpful for non-technical users of databases, including website owners.
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Introduction

A relational database is a system that organizes information into neat, orderly structures. A relational database management system (often abbreviated RDBMS) accommodates large numbers of records, provides data to many users simultaneously, and serves as a central data repository for application programs. A database eases the task of data management, making information more accessible, secure, and useful.

While it would be more accurate to refer to relational databases as RDBMSes, we will stick with the more colloquial shorthand “relational database”, or sometimes just “database”.

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