Tag : Storage

Clean up that PC! 3 tools to help you out

At some point in your PCs life it is going to get so jam packed with STUFF that you have no choice but to clean house. This is a good thing, because it means your PC is used enough to get a healthy dose of clutter and that some user loves it enough to clean it up. There are a number of tricks you can use to free up storage on your PC and reap the benefits of a faster system. A particularly good place to start is by eradicating duplicate files and folders on your hard drive. Most are surprised to find out how much superfluous data is sitting on their machines. For the average user, these are the top three tools we recommend to help you tackle the junk.

download-Double-killerDoubleKiller – This all-purpose duplicate finder can not only scan folders but your entire hard drive, and even other PCs on your local network. By comparing file names, size, modification date, and even content, the program lets you know what things to get rid of, with your permission of course. You can also exclude files, if you are worried about accidentally being too clean. reports have been made that the infrastructure of the software can be a little tricky. If you get lost, start by adding some folders to scan under the Options tab, then go back to the DoubleKiller tab and click Run. When it has scanned your PC you can decided if you want to delete the files or move them to a new location.

dupeGuru Picture Edition – This tool is all about finding those pesky duplicates in your image folders. Pictures (especially if you are like me and have near 11,000 photos), are one of the top sources for duplicates. As people migrate to new PCs, restore data from back-ups, and extend pictures to the cloud, opportunity for random doubles arise. And I myself do not want to try to find each and every one of them. DupeGuru PE is very easy to use. A simple window appears with options to add folders for scanning. When you’ve decided the folders you would like scanned, just hit Scan and let the master take it away! Literally!

Winmerge – If you have lots of documents or text files this is the tool for you. Winmerge lets you compare two versions of a document, or an entire directory, and then view the actual differences between them on screen. You can choose to merge the text into one preferred document. Winmerge works differently then the other two tools on this list, as it does not search your entire hard drive for you. You have to know that you have two files or directories you’re comparing are similar or earlier versions of each other. This is effective in that you can see the differences and bring the files together into one version. The icons are designed to give the user visual cues to prompt you into understanding how everything works together.

Cheers to more storage!


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit :www.pcworld.com

Dropbox sets no limit for desktop file storage

 

Project-Infinite-Dropbox-Large-796x399


 

Dropbox announced a new initiative at their Open conference on Tuesday called Project Infinite. Project Infinite utilizes a new interface that allows users to see all of the files they have stored in the cloud within their machine’s file explorer. Users will not be required to keep local copies of each document, image, spreadsheet, or other data file, everything stored in Dropbox will be readily available regardless. Just like with any locally stored files, users will be able to move and manage their files in the cloud by moving them around inside the Mac OS X Finder or Windows File Explorer.

The current Dropbox format hasn’t changed much since its initial launch around 7 years ago. This new initiative is a big move for the company as well as the cloud reliant community. Project Infinite would build upon the original functionality of Dropbox and allow users to work with a greater volume of files, without the added hassle. As with anything else, a lot has been left unanswered when it comes to Project Infinite. Dropbox won’t say when it plans to incorporate the new version into the publicly available version of its desktop applications. In addition to the lack of a launch date, the company has not released which customers will be able to use Project Infinite once it does launch.

Dropbox has also released a new File Properties API that allows third party involvement. Users will now be able to apply custom metadata to files stored in Dropbox, enabling security applications such as data migration services and digital loss prevention services.

Dropbox has entertained the idea of paid cloud storage, trying to persuade businesses to choose Dropbox over other cloud storage options. Pushing hard for commercial adoption leaves the possibility that this new interface may be completely unavailable without subscription.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

 


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Dropbox wants to stretch desktop file storage to infinity

 

Storage and Backup Products that Save the Day

Nasuni Cloud Storage – Leveraging the cloud as a primary storage component, Nasumi Cloud NAS combines local storage controllers and cloud storage to provide global access to data with local performance. The only file system of its kind that can scale from hundreds to hundreds of billions of objects without any degradation of performance. If your company is having trouble taking on highly data-intensive projects because of limited storage capacity that is costly to upgrade, NAS is the right solution.pic

DataCore’s SANsymphony-V – This software-defined storage option maximizes IT infrastructure performance by virtualizing storage hardware in a universally compatible format. The SANsymphony-V software runs on standard x86 servers, providing one set of common storage services across all storage devices even allowing communication between unlike storage devices. Customers and IT techs rave about the increase in performance and especially the 75% reduction in storage costs. “[It] meets our replication needs — replicates all critical data between two data centers. Also provides rich SAN capability.”says David Blaisdell, assistant IT director at the New London, NH, college.

Intermedia SecuriSync – Backup and File sharing with Intermedia SecuriSync is made easier by providing real-time backup and point-in-time restore for PCs and Macs. When data is the core of your business, you need to be able to retrieve and analyze data without delay. SecuriSync provides both consolidated file management and continuous backup of documents, while securing access to sensitive data. Going beyond read-only access, employees can edit documents from mobile devices without having to worry about version control. Real time backups give users the comfort of being able to easily restore corrupted files.

CloudBerry Managed Backup – This flexible and cost effective solution allows the user to choose the storage providers as well as provides remote management capabilities. For small to mid-sized businesses this is the perfect option. Cloudberry provides all of the benefits of cloud based storage, scalability, reliability and security but at a size attainable for small businesses. Backups are made both easier and less costly.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Go-to storage and disaster recovery products

 

Ransomware

 

Ransomware Malware Ransomware is the devilish and extremely debilitating program designed to lock and encrypt files in order to extort money from consumers, business owners, and even government officials. It seems that no one is safe in the fight against ransomware. Most ransomware programs are targeted at the most popular operating system, Windows. Ransomware programs can and will target other systems such as Android applications, Mac OS X and possibly even smart TVs in the near future. Not only is this an unsettling forecast for consumers, but also a call to action for preventative measures to protect your most important data files.

What can be done? Most users have learned the hard way that it is better to back up sensitive data to an external hard drive. However, this type of malware is tuned in to this. When a ransomware program infiltrates a computer, it infects all accessible drives and shared networks, encrypting all files found. This makes for a very irritating discovery of locked data across the board.

Rather than rely on the external hard drive method for backups, it is suggested that consumers adopt a new best practice. Ensure at least three copies of sensitive data are made, and stored in two different formats. At least one of these copies should be stored off-site or offline. This way if ransomware locks files away consumers are not forced into a sticky situation of deciding whether to risk paying for the data retrieval or losing the data forever.

What to do when faced with ransomware? Not much can be done once ransomware has attacked. Most security researchers advise not paying for files to be unlocked, as there is no guarantee that the hackers will provide the deception key once paid. Security vendors also worry about the implications for fueling the fire. The more consumers give in and pay for the safe return of their data, the further encouraged ransomware criminals become to continue this practice of extortion.

If I haven’t said it enough already, I will say it again. Prevention is key. Know how ransomware reaches your computer. Be especially careful of email attachments, word documents with macro code, and malicious advertisements. Always keep the software on your computer up to date. It is especially important to ensure that OS, browsers such as Flash Player, Adobe Reader, and Java are always updated when available. Unless you have verified the senders, never enable the execution of macros in documents. Finally and most importantly, perform daily activities from a limited user account rather than an administrative one. And always, always, utilize a well running and up to date antivirus program.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3041001/security/five-things-you-need-to-know-about-ransomware.html

Western Digital launching Worlds first 5mm 2.5-inch Hard Drive

If you didn’t think your hard drives could get any smaller, you would be wrong. Western Digital is now shipping a new 5mm 2.5 hard drives. The target for these new devices is for the ever more present ultra-books and super thin laptops. Western digital even claims that these devices are 35% thinner than most of the trendy smart phones out there. The good news is you can get an ultra slim hard drive for about $90.

 

 

Smallest External Hard Drive

Looking for a desktop drive that won’t take up a lot of space? Look no further, we here at bva found the smallest external hard drive. And what is even better? It’s on sale.

The LaCie Minimus 3 TB External hard Drive is a mere 1.87 lb and 1.2″ x 4.4″. It came with a 1 year limited warranty along with software that covers setup and backup assistance. It also comes with 10GB Wuala Secure Online Storage for a year.

If you are interested in learning a little more about this product click here for the all of the details and reviews.

Hyper-V: Shrinking a VHD

If you are using Hyper-V virtual machine, with thin provisioned (or dynamic) virtual disks, you may find yourself needing to compact those virtual disk files (.VHD) to reclaim free space.

Typically you would compact a virtual hard disk in situations such as the following:

  • After you install the guest operating system (which uses many temporary files)
  • After you delete large amounts of data
  • When you are preparing the virtual hard disk for archiving, for deployment to another computer or CD-ROM, or for distribution

To ensure that you get the smallest possible file size when you compact the virtual hard disk, you need to do some file system maintenance before you compact the disk. In the guest operating system of the virtual machine that is using the disk you want to compact, do the following:

  • Remove any temporary folders or unwanted folders or files.
  • Empty the Recycle Bin.
  • Defragment the disk.

Note that when running a defrag, you will actually grow the .VHD file prior to compacting, so make sure the host server has enough free space to accommodate it.

Shut down the VM, then go to the settings and go to the disk settings and click edit. This will bring up the disk edit wizard and the keep the first selected option, Compact.

Depending on the size of the .VHD file, and the available “white space” within the file, compacting may take a significant amount of time. So be sure to plan your downtime accordingly.

You may receive the error message “The system failed to compact disk.vhd. Error Code: The requested operation could not be completed due to a file system limitation” when attempting to compact the .VHD file.
First, check to see that there are no VSS backups on the VHD by running a “vssadmin list shadows” command in an elevated command prompt.

Second, delete any VSS backups that are present by running “vssadmin delete shadows /all“. If this fails to delete the VSS backups, you may need to resort to the “DiskShadow” utility in WS2K8 and WS2K8R2. (There’s some more information on DiskShadow here (free registration required) and also here.)

Disposable Thumb Drives??!?!?

The teams over at Art Lebedev studios have come up with an ever so original concept to the USB thumb drive. As you see in the pictures provided, these USB thumb drives are simply printed on cardboard and extremely easy to dispose.

Using one is as simple as taking one off of the sheet and putting your data on it. This can be used for a multitude of things such as resumes to employers, files or videos to friends, or time sensitive data that you want to be able to be easily destroyed. Because of how inexpensive these thumb drives are produced, you most likely will not hesitate to give one away to family, friends, or coworkers.

I personally think this is a very creative and new twist to the thumb drive and will not be surprised if this concept sees the light of day. I know I’m buying some the first time I see them.

Welcome to the Zettabyte Age

Humans created more than a zettabyte of digital information by the end of 2010.

A what?

A zettabyte.  That’s 2 to the 70th power bytes, which is approximately 10 to the 21st power.  1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.  That’s a one followed by 21 zeroes.

I had trouble with that, too.  Try this:
1,000 gigabytes = 1 terabyte
1,000 terabytes = 1 petabyte
1 million terabytes = 1 exabyte
1 billion terabytes = 1 zettabyte

Still having trouble?  Maybe you’re a visual person.  Ok, try this: if you put a zettabyte of data on DVDs, the DVD stack would reach from the Earth to the moon and back.

I suppose it’s time to toss out my the 20MB hard drive from my first PC.

Nah… I’ll just put it in the box with my Atari Pong console.

iPad and iPhone Can Be a Security Risk

BVA has found that these types of mobile devises if not provisioned correctly can seriously be a security risk to your network environment.  Security policies need to be set forth to ensure security at all levels of access.  Apple iPad tablet device as well as the iPhone is slowly becoming a legitimate business tool, your employees will soon have them in hand and invade your business. The reality is that the iPhone changes the playing field for security and really surprised IT consulting companies and their administrators when it got released.   The users needs versus wants changed completely where being able to have a Smartphone that just sync’s calendars, contacts, and emails changes drastically. The iPhone hit the scene and next thing we were getting requests for it to be integrated into a businesses mail environment immediately. These requests were coming from owners and directors, decision makers were being demanding about making it work, totally side-stepping the security protocols set forth by years of experience and best practice.  The bottom line is that the line between corporate tool and consumer gadget has not just been blurred; it has been completely erased.  There have been several studies that have shown that when asked, the iPad and iPhones present the greatest smartphone security risk for IT.  It’s a scary thought that you have locked down your environment but since a new gadget gets releases to the market and owners want it, it diminishes the integrity of the system.

There was recently a few contents by security outfits where they had people hack the iPhone in less than 2 minutes and won a cash price.  This is a scary thought and quite frankly shows how easy it can be for the non-hacker.  Obviously it might take a little longer from a less talented hacker but it can clearly be done.  Apple has little intention to make their OS more secure because it’s not the market that they are targeting.  Again they are targeting the consumer, not the business enterprise.  I am sure there will be a point in time when that day comes but it is not in the near future.  If Apple at the very minimum addressed just the enterprise security, supportability requirements, and new hardware level encryption.  I want to be very clear that the OS on the iPhone is the same as the iPad as well as its security. Apple targeted the iPad primarily as a media consumption gadget for the residential consumer, not the business community but again we have seen this shift.  I am not saying that you should ban the iPhone or iPad but develop policies and procedures that address the rules of engagement for integrating the iPad with your network environment.

As you develop the policies, keep in mind that the iPad is unique and could fall into a few different areas for policies.  Here are some key points to keep in mind:

•    delivers notebook-like functionality
•    smartphone OS platform
•    normally placed in the policy bucket for computer usage and security policies, not recommended
•    a good policy bucket to consider – smartphone usage and security policies (recommended)
•    same smartphone OS was hacked in less than 2 minutes

Make sure that whatever policy selected addresses the most important factor here which is allowing or denying the storage of confidential or sensitive information on the iPad, or how e-mail, instant messaging and other communications conducted through the iPad fit within archiving and compliance requirements.