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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.
Free Webhosting Resources for the Intrepid Net Newbie Web hosting is the new, big invention for anybody and anyone. Web hosting, having a web page on the Internet is not only a thing of big company and computer hobbyists anymore; it belongs to many parts of life nowadays. Whether it is a private page for family members and friends or open to everybody, many people aspire to have their own web page. Having an own web page can cost money and since money is something that everybody is short of nowadays, saving money and still having a own web page is the way to go. There are many resources on the Internet that can help one to a free web page. Some of the bigger web-hosting providers offer free limited size web pages to any private party. These pages are financed in several ways. One is through he bigger companies that pay for their pages and this service is such a small off spin that it can be fit in the budget. Another big way, the one that many free Internet and homepage providers offer is built in advertisement. The web page essentially has a header. In this header, different advertisements roll across. This way, the web hosting is paid by whoever is advertising on the web page. These wonderful free online web page providers also offer quick and easy software to create a web page. The days when one had to know how to program a web page in HTML is over. Hyper Text only needs to be known by serious web page designers who work to create the homepages of companies and sports giants. For the everyday homepage with a few links, using one of the built in software can create a few pictures, some text and some other fun gadgets. These programs are usually available on the main page of the web hosting provider and do not have to be downloaded. They run on the server. This software also come with easy getting started guides so that even the person who knows not much about web pages, but a little bit about the PC can create a web page. Web pages for the general public are getting more and more popular. Some companies that are looking for young and innovative employees will actually expect you to have an e-portfolio, a résumé or a good online web page. They judge by these e-portfolios. So when someone decides to tackle his or her first own web page it is important to think about the content first. One never knows who might actually be checking out the web page. Displaying Photos from old drinking parties might not be the best choice, while a résumé and work or private accomplishments might be the better choice. To find one of the free web hosting resource sites, anybody can just type free web pages or home pages or web hosting into anyone of the popular Internet search engine and a dozen different offers will pop up on the screen. By the way, if one does not want to use a provider that displays advertisement on the web page, a tech savvy person is able to use his or her own PC as a server if it is connected to the internet. There are programs out there, that will turn a PC into a Server and this web hosting resource is just as free as the online offers from big companies, but it has the advantage that it is free of any annoying advertisements. Whichever version is chosen, it is always important to be careful on the Internet. There are fraudulent pages, viruses and more that can take the fun out of web hosting and the first own web page. Always checking for the credentials of a web page is one safe way to stay clear of danger on the Internet.
Music copyright infringement How Does Music Copyright Infringement Affect Me? Music copyright infringement happens all around us every day, by both well meaning people downloading music from their favorite social networking site to the guy who?s reselling MP3s. To be certain, most people who commit music copyright infringement don?t realize what?s going on, and are in turn doing something very illegal and prosecutable in the United States. Copyright Infringement, as defined by Wikipedia.org states: ?Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized use of material that is protected by intellectual property rights law particularly the copyright in a manner that violates one of the original copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works that build upon it. The slang term bootleg (derived from the use of the shank of a boot for the purposes of smuggling) is often used to describe illicitly copied material.? We?ve all heard of ?bootleg? recordings ? usually audio recordings taken from concerts and sold on home made cassettes or CDs and distributed (sometimes out of the trunk of a car) to anyone that will buy. Bootleg recordings have changed, however, as music copyright infringement has branched into video recordings. Music copyright infringement has exploded with the advent of the internet, and now people from all over the world are sharing every type of imaginable file ? from eBooks to audio to music ? and small label artists began feeling the pinch years ago. However, many new and older artists are beginning to see the beauty of the internet, and are offering their music for sale track-by-track on iTunes and other MP3 sales websites, as well as through their own band websites and MySpace pages. The internet has exploded in the possibilities it?s given up and coming musicians to become visible, while at the same time drastically increasing the number of music copyright infringement cases ? some of which were against innocent people who just weren?t informed. Music copyright infringement cases have helped to create organizations that protect the fair use of an item, such as a song. Organizations such as CreativeCommons.com and the Electronic Frontier Foundation help individuals to know their rights under copyright acts. While there are organizations that help you understand your rights as a purchaser of copyright use, there are organizations that want to limit the ways in which you use the products you buy. It is rumored, for example, that record distribution and production companies want to limit the ways in which you use the music you buy ? they don?t want you to put it on your computer or make a Mix Tape or CD from it ? for fear of ?sharing.? It seems to me, however, when music publishers and distribution companies limit uses like this, they?re opening up a tidal wave of music copyright infringement cases. By limiting the use of purchased material, the companies are alienating their client base and pushing all their sales away from physical products and toward electronic ones ? which are much harder to control. A way in which these companies tried to limit the uses was by creating a DRM program, which severely limited the where a CD could be played (on one computer, for instance). And, in one drastic measure, Sony placed a DRM program on all their CDs in the Winter of 2005, and severely crippled several networks when their ?program? was actually malware that seriously crippled network security. As you can see, music copyright infringement is something that is currently being fought between end users and music production and distribution companies. In this new century, we must find a way to retain copyright, and allow the customers to use the products they buy in a meaningful way, or otherwise the market will shift and the industry as we know it will be abandoned.