Colo who? Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of people say that when they first hear the term – including me! Colocation simply means that you are farming out your servers to another location. This means that you are effectively renting space and paying for services from another company. Now, why in the world would someone want to do this? Well, the biggest reason is cost. Data centers can cost enormous amounts of money to set up and maintain. Colocation service companies are using the economies of scale. They offer space to many companies and can then offer top of the line services for a very reasonable space.
I recently came across an interesting site called Clone Genius. The software features a Live CD. A Live CD is just a CD that will boot your computer. But to get the Live CD, you have to burn an .iso file. An .iso file is simply an image file. But many folks have no idea what to do with an .iso file. First things first, go get this free software to burn iso images. Then download the Clone Genius software. Right click on the image file and select “copy image to CD.” This will get the Clone Genius software on the CD and it will be bootable. Now, clone genius can now boot and copy your hard drive to a secondary drive or flash drive. You need a second drive or Clone Genius won’t work.
Well, all I have to say is, “About freakin’ time!” Hard drives are just slow and prone to disastrous crashes. I’ve heard that a laptop with a solid state drive can load Windows Vista in under 30 seconds. Now, that is amazing ;^) We have seen some entries into laptops for SSD’s (solid state drives). And now we’re starting to see them in desktops too. I think the tide is finally turning on flash hard drives.
The Linbox Rescue Server is a really neat linux application that could save your tail. This package is similar to another product that I posted about on my PaulTech called SpiceWorks. SpiceWorks is a Windows based product while Linbox only runs on linux. Linbox can monitor your various assets on the network, perform full system backups (think Norton Ghost), as well as run incremental type backups. It also features remote control functionality.
They should employ kids to test any kind of software or hardware in my humble opinion. They should have them working at NASA, the FBI, Microsoft, Apple, etc. That’s because if ever there was a way to break something, kids will find it. Take optical disks for instance. It seems that kids and DVDs are a match made in hell. You give a child 2 minutes with a DVD and I will show you an unplayable DVD. If that does happen to you, here are some home remedies to fix those disks.
One thing I have yet to talk about is battery backups for computers. These are also called UPS or uninterruptible power supplies. They can provide you with much needed run or shut down time in the case that your power goes out. If you aren’t lucky enough to have diesel or natural gas powered generators online, then this type of device can really save your tail. The reason lies in the difference between a graceful and an ungraceful shutdown. A graceful shutdown allows the operating system to close out processes in the normal way. An ungraceful one will terminate those things in a way that could potentially hose your files and/or operating system. That’s down time and loss of data you don’t need. And that’s where something like the APC Smart UPS DLA1500 can come in.
It wasn’t that long ago that we were talking about the Maxtor One Touch III. So Maxtor has introduced the Maxtor One Touch IV lineup and we’re taking a gander. What can you expect out of the Maxtor One Touch 4? Well, some good and some bad. The software is pretty nice, the drive sometimes requires 2 USB ports (ugh), and it’s not a stackable drive. Let’s look at some specs.
According to the site, Amanda is:
the world’s most popular Open Source Backup and Archiving software. Amanda allows System Administrators to set up a single backup server to back up multiple hosts to a tape- or disk-based storage system. Amanda uses native dump and/or GNU tar facilities and can back up a large number of workstations and servers running various versions of Linux, Unix or Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Let’s jump into a little bit about what is required to install Amanda and what it can do for you.
Most people think that once a file is deleted that it is gone from the hard drive. Oh contrare. What happens is that the drive marks the space as available and ready for use. Now, what that means is that unless that space has been used, you can probably recover the file. Time is a good marker for this. If it’s been a few hours since you accidentally deleted your file, you have a great chance of success in recovering it. If it’s been a year, well, you might be up the creek without a paddle. But you never know. Recuva is a free file recovery program for windows.
If you’re serious about data recovery, then you must implement a disaster recovery plan. These plans are your guides when things go south. And, believe me, you don’t want to figure out your disaster recovery plan while you’re going through it! I have compiled a few sample disaster recovery plans for you to look through. These have been gathered from various sources, and I’ll give credit where credit is due.