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Top Reasons Why Internet Explorer 9 Will Remain The Most Used Browser – Is Microsoft Internet Explorer The Most Used Browser – Why IE 9 Is Better For The Enterprise | BVA IT Consulting Blog

It is still left to be determined but so far so good. BVA has seen a few problems with integration with third party custom applications as well as add-ins but for the most part this new browser is pretty good.  We have it in production with over 15 clients across different market segments and feel confident in the product.  What’s funny is that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer doesn’t get much love in the advanced IT Solutions industry. A lot of people complain and fault it for its security problems. They say it doesn’t work as well as competing browsers.  With the release of Internet Explorer 9, it’s becoming clearer that the chances of competing browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox beating Microsoft’s latest browser anytime soon seem unrealistic and most likely not going to happen.  Internet Explorer 9 might be in its infancy, but this new browser edition ensures companies will stick with Microsoft. Here’s some documented reasons:

1. It’s much faster

Internet Explorer 8 and other previous versions of the software loaded Web pages very slowly. In fact, Google’s Chrome browser easily bested Internet Explorer in speed tests. But Internet Explorer 9 is quite fast, thanks to Microsoft’s decision to utilize the computer’s graphics processor. The result is a browser that for most companies will deliver the speed needed.

2. It’s taking aim at Chrome

Speaking of speed, it’s clear that Internet Explorer 9 is taking aim at Google Chrome. The browser has taken on a cleaner, Chrome-like look, making it easier to navigate. Plus, it has ditched the search box, in favor of a single box that allows users to input a Website’s address or search for content. And by improving Internet Explorer 9’s speed, it seems clearer than ever that Microsoft views Google as its top competitor in the browser market.

3. Security hasn’t mattered in the past

Internet Explorer 6, for example, is widely considered one of the most insecure browsers ever released. But as those security problems persisted, companies continued to stick with Internet Explorer. So, while security is commonly a reason Internet Explorer critics give to try to persuade companies to switch from Microsoft’s browser, it would seem that most companies haven’t cared in the past. And if Internet Explorer 9 still suffers from security problems, it’s unlikely that many companies will switch.

4. It’s a vastly improved design

Internet Explorer 9 will likely deliver a far better experience to the average employee. Whereas previous versions of the browser were difficult for novice users to perform basic tasks, the new and improved design in Internet Explorer 9 provides power for advanced users and simplicity for novices. That alone should make Internet Explorer 9 a fine choice for companies looking to improve their browser productivity.

5. Solutions still rely on it

As more Web-based solutions make their way to the enterprise, Internet Explorer becomes even more important. In fact, several products currently in use by companies rely upon Internet Explorer to work. That alone makes Internet Explorer relevant. And it will likely ensure that Internet Explorer 9 will be the browser of choice for companies going forward.

6. The competition can’t cut it

Google’s Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are outstanding browsers. For consumers, they are arguably a better option than anything Microsoft puts out. But the corporate world is a different space. And for most enterprise customers, Chrome and Firefox can’t match Internet Explorer 9 in compatibility with enterprise applications, especially custom corporate applications. They don’t deliver the same experience.

7. The download manager is vastly improved

Microsoft made a major update to its download manager in Internet Explorer 9. When a user attempts to download something from the Web, a new “reputation” feature kicks in. It evaluates the source of the download, and if it doesn’t have a solid reputation, the warnings related to the download are made abundantly clear.  It’s not a guaranteed security safeguard, but it should go a long way in making IT Managers feel more comfortable giving employees access to the browser.

8. It’s an extension of Windows 7

Although Internet Explorer 9 won’t work with Windows XP, it’s a vastly improved extension of Windows 7. In fact, users can “pin” sites to their taskbar, giving them easy access to pages in the future. Those pinned items also boast added functionality in some cases. It seems that Microsoft is attempting to make its browser a viable component in Windows’ functionality. That’s a good thing from an employee-productivity perspective.

9. Microsoft’s cloud vision works for now

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been saying for months that his company views the cloud differently than some other firms. He seems to think that users are going to need a rich client, like Internet Explorer 9, to interact with the cloud, rather than a thin client. Some would disagree, but for now, Microsoft seems correct in that assumption. Internet Explorer 9 will work exceptionally well for a user’s cloud services. It will provide the kind of functionality most companies are looking for related to their cloud endeavors.

10. It’s a familiar experience

In the end, Internet Explorer 9 isn’t so drastically different that users won’t feel at home. In fact, the browser provides a familiar experience that most enterprise employees would feel comfortable with and that’s a good thing. It should help Internet Explorer 9 enjoy the kind of success that Microsoft hopes it will achieve.

Data Storage For Small To Medium Sized Businesses – Data Solutions That Meet Compliance Standards – ProStor InfiniVault Storage System Breakdown and Review | BVA IT Consulting Blog

In working with a few different architectural firms and medical agencies, BVA has learned of several types of backup solutions that lean toward hitting compliance standards.  Being able to store large amounts of data for a specific period of time is crucial.  We have found that tape is a great solution but the problem that we see is the restore time in case something took place.  Even with an LTO4, the restore time would be quite substantial which could be very painful when we are talking about a terabyte of data.  In looking around for different solution we found a DISK based solution, GB, that really shortens the gap of restoring.  The product is called ProStor InfiniVault and is an array full of disks that are removable which is great.

ProStor InfiniVault is a storage system designed to balance the need to cost-effectively manage increasing amounts of information over extended periods of time. This is the storage solution for terabyte-years.  You can restore data fast with reliable retrieval of information from a choice of local online, removable offline or replicated locations.  The backup system comes fully equipped with what technology consulting companies and administrators need to manage their data for the long-term. There is no extra cost for software features and RDX disk drives can be added when storage needs grow, without having to purchase expensive disk management tools or new system infrastructure.  Data is organized into vaults allowing fast access through a standard NAS interface. The system automatically manages data retention, compression, encryption, and single-instancing de-duplication. It also maintains data integrity for the user so that data is available for years to come.

The intelligent software engine automatically protects itself – there is no need to back it up. The software stores multiple copies of each file to RDX removable disk cartridges, allowing near-line and offline data protection with removability for seamless integration into current workflows. The software provides several features that allow organizations to comply with the rules and regulations that govern their business, such as:

  • Hardware-enforced WORM for immutability
  • Audit trail with chain-of-custody reporting
  • File indexing for search and rapid file retrieval (eDiscovery)
  • Data retention and automatic deletion
  • Automatic copies
  • Legal hold enforcement
  • Data encryption and key management

The backup software has a web-based management console and provides a simple interface for configuration and management.  The disks used to store the data is called RDX.   Over 130 Petabytes of data can be stored on RDX disks today, RDX is the market leader in removable storage. Organizations can trust that the technology is here to stay.  RDX has such world-wide acceptance because of its cost-savings benefits such as:

  • RDX uses less energy: RDX disks are powered down when not in use, thus reducing power and cooling costs.
  • RDX disks are cost-effective: Capacities can be intermixed, and the interface will remain compatible well into the future. Organizations can purchase the latest capacity cartridge at the current best market price.
  • RDX is built to last: Each RDX cartridge has a 30-year shelf life, along with protection against drops and static electricity.

Models and Hardware Specs:

Online Backup Case Study – Tomahawk Automated Offsite Backup Test Results – Step by Step Guide for Testing Tomahawk Automated Offsite Backup | BVA IT Consulting Blog

Here at BVA we were recently going through the process of trying to find a suitable online backup solution that would fulfill all of our business needs. Specifically the ability to do bare metal restores, system state backups, and brick level mailbox restores using an online utility. The solution I have decided to test is Tomahawk Automated Offsite Backup which does offer all of these features. Tomahawk also offers “Seed Copy Assistance,” which for backup sets over 40GB they will send you a USB drive, you do a local backup using their software, and then send it back to them.  NOTE: The online utility does not actually do the bare metal restores or system state restores itself, it utilizes functions already built into the Windows OS to complete the tasks.

Some of the other features that I am going to be testing are the exchange brick level restores, 2003 system state backups, 2008 bare metal restore, and the Shadow Protect restore option that they have available with their service.

I will be updating this blog continuously as I step through the testing process.

Backup Solution To Replace Tapes – What Is The Best Option for Data Backup – Backup and Business Continuance Solution for Small to Medium Sized Businesses | BVA IT Consulting Blog

Business Continuance and Disaster Recovery

BVA’s ability to offer a complete custom service solution for its clients is what sets us apart.  We recognize  that every business is unique and can benefit from a tailored advanced IT solution.
This offering provides a tailored, State-of-the-Art, “Backup and Business Continuance Solution” for Small to Medium sized businesses, and provides services that were previously only available to large corporations.
The functionality of BVA’s Total Business Continuance Solution provides faster data restoration than tape, offers “Virtualized” fileservers to provide full functionality in the event of a production fileserver failure, enables individual mailbox and message restoration, provides “bare-metal” restoration for new or replacement fileservers, and protects business continuance with full off-site data storage.   This solution completely eliminates the need for tape(s) as a backup media.
Fully automated and securely monitored for quality assurance, this offering meets all the Backup and Business Continuance needs of businesses today.

How Multiple Monitors Can Enhance Productivity – Is Having Multiple Monitors Worth It – Benefits of a Multiple Monitor Setup | BVA IT Consulting Blog

Going Green?  Want to save trees and enhance productivity at the same time?  Then adding multiple monitors to your workstation is the way to go.

Computers, and in particular the ability to print multiple documents at the click of a mouse button, is one of the worst things to happen to trees.  Printing documents is easy, too easy maybe, and in many cases now unnecessary for workers to accomplish their jobs.  With the introduction of cost effective flat screen monitors the need for printed documents has been reduced dramatically.

Printed material has historically been needed for office productivity because users require access to multiple sources of information simultaneously.   For instance, a worker might use email, a spreadsheet, a specialized application, and a website to do their job.  With only a single monitor, displaying all of this information at once is awkward and can be counter productive.  That being the case, workers have historically printed some of the information needed.  In this scenario they might print the spreadsheet and information aquired from the specialized application, and then use their computer monitor to view/access email and the website.  With multiple monitors the need for paper is reduced or completely eliminated.  And productivity is actually increased because all information sources are readily visible and current.

Not all work involving computers will see a productivity increase with added displays; however, for those tasks that require access to multiple information sources as in the case illustrated below, multiple monitors are extremely beneficial and productive.

 

[caption id="attachment_108" align="alignnone" width="300"] Serious Production Enhancement for Developers![/caption]

Workspaces equipped with three displays increase productivity by 35.5%, according to research commissioned by Fujitsu Siemens Computers. For a full report on this study refer to the following link:  http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2009/02/18/234899/Multiple-monitors-boost-productivity-by-35.5.htm

Add a monitor, increase productivity and save a tree….

Sam…

External Data Storage Archiving Case Study – eSATA Attached Drive Usage Example | BVA IT Consulting Blog

Some months ago BVA was struggling to get more speed out of a client’s tape backup. We attempted updating firmware, drivers, and changing jobs but it did not yield the result we were expecting.  During this time we were also running out of room on the main file share which slowed down the backups even more.  One of our team members suggested to the client an archive process where we would move stale data to an external storage device. The client approved the process and we  suggested that we could use this storage device to do backups to disk instead of tapes.  Long story short, the BVA engineer went looking for a fast interface device with lots of storage that wouldn’t break the bank. An external eSATA device with 4 1TB drives for $600 was found. (http://www.cavalrystorage.com/CADA_SA4.htm)

The box comes with 4 drives, RAID controller, and an eSATA PCI-x card. We had to install the card on the server and just plug it in. The enclosure has its own RAID controller and the manufacturer sends it as RAID 5 so we got 3TB from it. Backups got faster.  When other clients ran into a similar problem – low disk space/low budget/LOTS of Mac projects needing backups, I suggested this drive to them. This time however, the same drive was $450 (even cheaper).

I think the drive is a good external solution for non-critical data or data that doesn’t require the speed of Serial Attached SCSI. If everything runs as it should, the interface transfers data at 3Gbps which the same as an internal SATA drive.

New Cloud VoIP Phone Systems – Cloud Phone System Review – Which Cloud Solution Is Best For Phone Systems | BVA IT Consulting Blog

BVA is reviewing many different options when it comes to Cloud Offerings for phone systems.  There are many out there that promise a lot of things and in our experiences we feel that they over-promise feature sets.  There are some local vendors here in the valley that have some offerings such as Saddleback and Telesphere.  We have heard good and bad things about these services here locally, therefore collectively we thought we would look elsewhere for a viable vendor to provide said services.  We have one service we are reviewing (http://www.ringcentral.com) called Ring Central and it sounds like a good solution to review and try out.

An organization can get a complete cloud-based VoIP business phone system that eliminates expensive on-premise equipment, includes ready-to-use phones, and provides enterprise-class functionality with RingCentral Office. No setup fees, no contracts required, and instant activation is what I like about it looking at it from 10,000 feet.  You can use RingCentral Office as your business phone system and:

  • Set up your phone system to work the way you do.
  • Get the business phone system, voice and fax features you need.
  • Integrate office, mobile, and distributed employees under one phone system.
  • Manage calls, voicemail, and faxes from your mobile phone.
  • Eliminate setup costs and complex installation.
  • Significantly reduce ongoing operating costs.
  • Add users and phones any time on the fly.