Windows 10 is going to be free for some lucky Windows PC and Windows Phone users running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and/or Windows Phone 8.1 on their devices in the first year after its launch.
The word “busy” doesn’t even cut it when you consider all the work required to be completed by IT professionals before after business hours – to keep operations running smoothly from 9 to 5 (or whenever your business hours occur) – not to mention all the daily emergencies you encounter with less than tech-savvy employees, hardware malfunctions, system and software failures.
InformationWeek’s Kevin Casey offers some useful time management tips, including focusing on only a few specific tasks – or just one task – for a specified time period, shutting off phones and devices to be able to focus on the current task, making good use out of status indicators (so others know not to disturb you), and taking real breaks from the office to refresh and refocus later in the day.
4 IT Tools Help Recover Time in Your Work Day
Kevin’s advice is extremely useful – and not just for IT pros – most people would benefit from his task management tips but there are also tangible cost-effective IT tools you can implement to help save time in your too-busy work day. These tools also help save time for the critical after-hours processes you count on to complete on-time for your return to the office the next business day, starting the whole routine all over again. [Read more...]
Data growth is outpacing storage solutions.
According to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, storage sales were up Y2Y in Q3 2014. As reported in StorageNewsletter:
Total worldwide disk storage systems factory revenue grew 5.1% year over year to nearly $8.8 billion during 3Q14…
Total disk storage systems capacity shipped was 25EB. New capacity shipments grew 42% year over year during the quarter.
But the biggest market impact came from sales of storage systems by Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) directly to hyperscale datacenters. Revenue generated by this newly tracked set of complete and partially built storage systems grew 22% during the quarter and accounted for 43% of all capacity consumed.”
The open networked disk storage market (NAS combined with non-mainframe SAN) was up 2.1% year over year to $5.1 billion in revenue. External storage systems increased 0.9% to $5.8 billion in revenue.
Data Growth Outpacing Storage Solutions
Storage sales follow forecasts for ever-growing data. A recent study conducted by long-term data storage company Storiant found that:
- 60% of CIOs say data will outpace their company’s storage solution in 12 months or less
- 46% of CIOs retain data for 6-10 years due to regulatory and compliance needs
- Assuming that budgets remain flat, 46% of CIOs say they will have to be selective about which data to keep if they maintain their current storage solution
Older, cold data, that is accessed infrequently is still being stored for compliance purposes, leaving less room for new data that is accessed more frequently.
Keeping Operations Running at Peak Performance Levels
No matter your storage solution (even at home, the more data you create, the more videos, photos, documents, spreadsheets and applications on your PC) one thing remains clear: when you need access to your data you need it fast. The more data you have, the more important it is to keep files – and the free space around them – defragmented and contiguous for faster access.
Anyone who uses PerfectDisk across their network of PCs, servers and virtualized systems knows the maintenance of that data is critical to performance across the entire network – during the active workday to aid in productivity (of employees and of the systems their data is stored and accessed from) and during downtime, when employees are gone for the night or weekend but when systems are still working, especially during physical server and virtualization backups:
- PerfectDisk’s SMARTPlacement™ disk optimization algorithm provides the best balance between file performance, improved boot times and preventing refragmentation. Boot files are placed at the front of the disk followed by Directories, Rarely Modified, Occasionally Modified and Recently Modified files. The remaining free space is consolidated at the end of the disk to allow for contiguous writing of data.
- PerfectDisk’s OptiWrite® technology prevents fragmentation from occurring in the first place (and without sacrificing system speed in doing so). OptiWrite reduces the amount of defragmentation energy and resources needed to keep your system running optimally.
Last year I wrote a piece entitled Sorry Tablet: The PC is Not Going Anywhere Anytime Soon. A year later, evidence supports the idea that every device has its role – tablet, and smartphone and PC. As it turns out, tablets aren’t taking over as many claimed they would, in fact, tablet sales are down in 2014, and PCs seem to be the “comeback kid” of 2014. But why?
As Paul Thurrott explains in his WindowsITPro blog post (Re-)Embracing the PC:
Tablets are consumption devices first and foremost, especially iPad and Android tablets, and are generally ill-suited to content creation. I carry one for reading, and to watch movies and TV shows on flights. They’re great for casual games as well.
While tablets are for consuming media, PCs are for working and creating:
This leaves the PC … to be a PC. A productivity workhorse that can focus on the tools and tasks needed by content creators. A device that is now freed of the consumption activities we enjoy instead on smart phones and tablets. The PC has a role, a purpose. And if you need to actually get work done, hell yeah, it’s a truck.
In real life, this reasoning is undeniably true. The main things I do on my phone are scroll through Facebook and Pinterest, post and re-pin, watch the occasional short Youtube video, and quickly check email — all using installed apps.
But I feel the need to get on my laptop when I want to shop (it’s easier to see what I’m buying on a larger screen), create content (because typing on a phone and correcting text created by voice are true pains in the neck!), binge-watch Breaking Bad on Netflix, reply in-depth to emails with attachments and log into or view desktop versions of websites (some of which are still much better than their mobile versions).
With this reality comes the responsibility to maintain and care for PC hardware and software in order to work and play at high speeds, with reliability and smooth performance. We need our PCs to keep humming along, they way they performed when they first came out of the box, because they are here for productivity.
What’s the role of your PC in this mobile world? What do you use your PC for that you can’t or won’t attempt on a mobile device?
PerfectDisk 13 Service Pack 3 (Build 842) has been released, with updates fixing the SMART drive temperature, Hyper-V Host and Guest and XP issues in the PerfectDisk client and license pane and defrag monitoring pane issues in the console. [Read more...]
PerfectDisk 13 Service Pack 2 (Build 821) includes feature enhancements, including ReFS and Cluster Shared Volume (CSVFS) support, as well as bug fixes. All changes have been listed below.
ReFS Defrag and Fragmentation Prevention
New to PerfectDisk 13 SP2 is support for ReFS. ReFS is found in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012/2012 R2. ReFS is NOT found in earlier versions of Windows.
The vSphere 5.1 documentation has a section entitled Disk I/O Performance Enhancement Advice that offers 12 actions that can be taken to improve I/O on virtual machine. The second recommendation is:
“Defragment the file systems on the all the guests.”
The most common performance complaints in a virtualized environment are:
- clogged queues,
- poor disk latency,
- I/O congestion, and
- sluggish virtual machines.
VMware saw these conditions occurred when guest file systems are badly fragmented. The recommendation to defragment guest file systems is an effort to solve the problem at its source. [Read more...]
SharePoint search not working and backups taking too long? SharePoint, Microsoft’s multi-functional collaboration software, is used to increase efficiency and productivity by centralizing information and applications, including:
- Documents, such as client deliverables and reports
- Project schedules and task lists
- Media, such as training videos
- Enterprise search
However, due to the growth of usage rates within organizations, SharePoint’s popularity is inevitably slowing down performance due to the significant I/O of all the resource-intensive activities that take place on it, especially that of search and backup times, to the point it is becoming less efficient and more of a drain on system resources. But there is a way to reverse this trend.
While the verdict is in on SSD optimization (consolidate free space instead of defragging your SSD), we still get a lot of questions about optimizing SSD write performance with PerfectDisk. Here are some of the most useful SSD performance threads discussed in the Raxco User Community: [Read more...]
It’s hard to look at a technology, IT or even marketing publication these days without seeing the latest research study or article on the decline or even the end of the PC era.
“PC sales see a sharp decline worldwide” (Washington Post)
“PC market suffers worst decline ever” (MacRumors)
“PC sales go into a tailspin” (Wall Street Journal)
“PC market saw its biggest drop yet in 2013 with 10 percent decline” (The Inquirer)
“Worldwide PC shipments declined 6.9 percent in Q4 2013″ (Gartner)
“Intel to reduce global workforce by 5% amid PC sales decline” (Financial Post)
“PC shipments post the steepest decline ever in a single quarter” (IDC>
Wow! Even in today’s 24×7 sensational news environment, these headlines scream “the PC is dead!” At least to the casual or uninformed observer. [Read more...]