Category Archives: Products and Services Reviews

3 Choices You Need to Stop Making with SQL Servers

 Choices You Need to Stop Making with SQL ServersImagine your office without a database management system. It’s the stuff of nightmares, isn’t it? You’ll envision a slow, chaotic organisation that is overrun with projects it cannot handle and, more than likely, security issues it cannot manage. Fortunately, you can wake up from the ‘nightmare’ and walk into a productive office today — or will you?

It Still Needs Optimisation

SQL Servers, much like other database management systems, still require fine tuning. Performance tuning for SQL Server ensures optimisation no matter what occurs in organisations; critical changes, such as an increase in data, usage patterns and upgrades in the system will have an effect on server performance. And server performance has an effect on employee productivity, and the business.

With adequate performance tuning, your business achieves two objectives:

  • Enhance user experience, boosting productivity, and
  • Prevent future issues that delay tasks and projects.

So how do you fine tune SQL Server performance? Avoid these three decisions that will make your database management system ineffective:

1. Combining data and log files into one physical drive.

Combining your data and transactional log files in one physical drive isn’t a hard and fast rule. But separating them will optimise server performance, and enable recovery in the event of a disaster. If your employees cannot access the drive holding your database files, they can still access the transaction log, if the two are on different drives.

2. Neglecting I/O bottlenecks.

Worse yet, you’re not aware your system is experiencing I/O (or input/output) bottlenecks. You don’t know the queries that are leading to the slow performance. You can use DMFs (dynamic management functions) or DMVs (dynamic management views) to access statistics about your system. In doing so, you determine its condition and decide how to proceed from that point: add new hardware or simply locate bottlenecks, and resolve accordingly.

3. Failing to look at your ‘wait statistics’.

In business, waiting can be a good thing or a bad thing. When technology’s involved, it’s generally the latter part.

SQL Servers will track incidents that hold up requests; the system records the length of the wait, and the reason behind the wait (also called the wait type). These are your wait statistics.

So you’ll have data to tell you what is actually driving down your server’s performance. Why are there requests being held up? What are the wait types? By looking at your wait statistics, you’ll have a better idea of how to fine-tune SQL Server performance.

Technology should work for your organisation. But it still requires adequate maintenance. When it comes to your SQL Server, fine-tune the system to ensure consistent performance.

What If Everything Was Free?

money options
Excluding scientific principles, money does make the world go ‘round. People use it to pay bills and buy necessities, as well as pay for services. On the business side, those with the most competitive product pricing without sacrificing quality are kings of the hill. It’s why businesses use software such as PriceManager to monitor competitor prices and gauge their next move. Money also breathes life into governments, educational institutions, and valuable scientific research. It’s hard to imagine life without money.

But then, financial difficulties plague everyone, even the richest people on earth. Prices may go up and income may remain stagnant or even go down, which is not a good sign. In that case, maybe it would be better if everything was free instead. Will such an arrangement work?

An Impossible Dream

The idea of everything being free is an extremely idyllic proposition; something even the most outspoken optimists wouldn’t dare explore. Probably the biggest, yet-unsolvable problem with this is that people wouldn’t have an incentive to produce work. Ordinary folks would have nothing to eat, because farmers won’t plant crops without a good incentive, for instance. Their income is what keeps them working. Everything else will involve this situation a hundred times over.

Money obviously acts as the incentive, because it’s tangible and practical, not unlike ‘personal satisfaction.’ Everything goes back to the concept of monetary exchange, which has been propelling global and national economies since the dawn of human civilization.

Perhaps eliminating money as a mode of exchange would work. In that case, the age-old practice of barter (trading goods for other goods) fills in. Ancient people used this form of trade for thousands of years when monetary exchange was either new or nonexistent. But the drawbacks of using barter in a modern economy are easy to understand. A carpenter who makes tables can trade his products for food, sure. But what if he wants meat and animal herders don’t need tables?

Case in point, a world where everything is free is not perfect—something even the most staunchly optimistic economists would agree. Unless there’s a viable way of making the idea work in real life, today’s current monetary exchange system should stay in place.

Satisfaction Guaranteed: Price Matching with Your Competitors

price watching and analytics
Consumers will always worry about prices — they want to get the best possible price for the product they want to purchase. After all, no one wants to be overcharged or be swindled out of their money.

This is why companies like pricemanager.com allow their clients to easily compare prices with their competitors. This way, you can monitor what your competitors are doing and find out how much customers are actually willing to pay for your product.

Competitive Pricing

It is important that your product offers competitive pricing — though you may initially earn more after selling a particular item, you will eventually be met with competition should other stores sell it for less. On top of that, your company may acquire a reputation for being overpriced, which is something you do not want.

Price matching is a great way to attract customers because it assures them they’re getting a good deal. Consumers today are more frugal, and they have the advantage of comparing prices online with just a few clicks on their phone.

Beat Showrooming

One of the problems that retailers are experiencing is a phenomenon called “showrooming.” This practice is when clients visit a store to inspect a product themselves, before deciding to order it online instead, often from an e-commerce site. This can make it difficult for retailers to keep their customers and make a sale.

Fortunately, having a strong price match policy will help you compete with online retailers directly. Many companies are now matching their prices not only to physical stores but to online stores as well. By lowering the price of that same product, they can convince the customer to buy from them instead.

Have a strong price match policy in place and watch how it boosts your conversions.

Dust Mites: The Silent Yet Dangerous Killer in the Office

dust mite cleaning
Dust mites are tiny creatures that could wreak havoc on your health if not arrested. They normally cause asthma and allergies. This is why getting rid of them is truly important for everyone.

If you thought that dust mites only exist at home and in the bedroom, then you thought wrong. They could be anywhere. The carpets that you have in the office could even be the home to those creepy little insects. According to Medicine Net, dust mites feed on the flakes that fall off the skin. So you can expect your area to have them. The question now is, do you want to get rid of them?

Who wouldn’t? Dust mites can cause a lot of trouble to individuals, especially to those who have weak respiratory systems. According to AAFA, these tiny creatures can cause asthma and also allergies. In fact, you might not know it but they may be the reason for your year-round allergies. When you notice sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and the works, that would mean that you are allergic to something, which could be dust mites.

Dangerous Effects of Untreated Asthma

Do you know that if you don’t get to treat asthma, it could lead to worse cases, which sometimes can lead to death? Yes, there have been many deaths in the US, wherein the primary cause was asthma. So assuming, you have already resorted to preventive measures like turbochargers and nebulizers, getting to the root cause, such as the dust mites living in the carpet, would be a more profound way of getting rid of them.

Cleaning Up

Well, cleaning up your office may be the only solution that you have. After all, when you start cleaning up, you would be making everything spic and span. You can then have the experienced janitorial service providers clean up the carpet so that dust mites that are living on the carpets will be killed. These dust mites can thrive on carpets since dead skin falling on the carpets can serve as food for these creatures.

So if you have ever felt any of the symptoms of allergies or asthma, better check the office carpets and other areas where they might be hiding. Better yet, just ask the janitorial service because they will know what to do and how to get rid of those bothersome creatures.

Are Clear Braces Noticeable?

Clear BracesTeeth straightening has been popular amongst teenagers and young adults for a long time, but more recently, fully grown adults have been opting to have their teeth straightened, either through traditional train track methods, or by using clear braces.

Clear braces in Slough are great for adults as they are virtually unnoticeable to the naked eye, and save the embarrassment of people knowing you are wearing braces. Slough Braces Centre in Slough offer clear braces treatment to their patients, along with a host of other treatments to suit the needs of each mouth.

The benefits of having clear braces in Slough well outweigh any potential negatives. Here is what many patients see as the most important benefits of clear braces:

  • They are really comfortable
  • They are easy to use and clean
  • They are practically invisible!
  • They are affordable and
  • They work!

Clear braces in Slough treatment is completed with a series of virtually invisible, removable aligners which will be changed every two to four weeks, depending on your teeth. If you only need minor shift in your teeth, you could be wearing the aligners for as little as ten weeks! Each of the clear braces aligners is moulded to fit your teeth perfectly, and they help to encourage the teeth to shift position over a period of time.

How to Get Clear Braces in Slough

The first step toward getting your clear braces is to visit your dentist and discuss the problems you would like fixed. They will carry out an examination of your teeth and be able to advise on the best course of treatment for you. They will then take a scan of your mouth so that the aligners can be designed to fit exactly around your teeth.

Once the aligners are created you will have your first fitting and the treatment will officially begin. You will need to have the clear braces aligners changed every couple of weeks so it is important to keep these appointments so that the dentist can monitor your progress. At the end of treatment it may be necessary to take another quick mould of your teeth to make a final retainer to ensure we keep your teeth in their new positions permanently.

HALT: An Accelerated Reliability Testing

Reliability TestingHighly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) is a reliability testing technique used during the engineering development phase of a product for finding predominant design weaknesses and failures before they become expensive field issues. HALT is unique in a sense that it has different procedures, goals, stresses, and results from traditional design verification testing.

How it works

It is important to note that HALT is not a compliance test, rather it is a discovery test. The goal is to find and fix weaknesses, explains an expert from Qualmark.com. It does not replace any existing reliability and environmental testing; it only complements them. Hence, it is not attempting to mimic the product’s environment. HALT should only be viewed as a supplementary tool.

Higher levels of thermal and mechanical stress, exceeding the expected operating levels the products are expected to experience, are incrementally applied to the product cyclically. These procedures reveal product failures in an accelerated timeframe in just a matter of hours or days against more traditional test methods that could take weeks and even months.

Soft and hard failure points are identified by stimulating and monitoring the product. A soft failure is when a product that crashes under test but works properly again when the stressing factors are removed. A hard failure, on the other hand, is when the product does not work properly even under normal operation.

Weaknesses revealed by HALT

  • Thermal design weakness
  • Mechanical design weakness
  • Operational component limitations
  • Gap between the product’s required operating limits and the actual maximum limits

Benefits of HALT

  • Reduced development time and cost due to early identification of weaknesses.
  • A design that is more robust and rugged with greater reliability.
  • Reduced warranty costs due to a more reliable product and in turn improves customer confidence and satisfaction.
  • An opportunity to improve the design presents itself on every weakness found.
  • Operational and destruct limits are determined by stressing the product beyond its limits. Hence, the results of the test prompt an early resolution on how to address and increase these margins.

HALT is a Process, Not a Piece of Equipment

HALT is a Process and Not a Piece of EquipmentSources say that “HALT is not a chamber or type of stress or combinations of stress; it is a basic method of using an applied stress to for empirical design or manufacturing weakness discovery.”

A Method Rather than a Piece of Equipment

Qualmark Corporation shares that most people, especially those who have only encountered HALT once or twice in their lives, would think that it is a piece of equipment that tests the reliability of a product. If you are a company that would want to upgrade the way you test the quality of your products, then implementing this would be a game changer.

The techniques used for this process are essential in revealing the imperfections in a new product. These fast and efficient tests uncover the areas that need improvement before they are dispatched into the market.

It is recommended that manufacturers perform these during the initial phases of product development, as these tests lessen the risks of expensive development costs or even worse, recalls, which can gravely harm the reputation of your company.

Companies also use these techniques to gauge the operating limits of their products to compare it to the designer’s specifications and assess the destruct limits, as well. This pertains to how much an item can take before it loses its functionality and recovery or repair is impossible.

Various Equipment Used for HALT

This process uses environmental stress factors to test the reliability of products. The most commonly used factors are vibration, temperature, and humidity. Others include power cycling, current, and voltage.

These equipment need to be under surveillance as well, which is why it has data loggers, multimeters, thermocouple sensors, and vibration accelerators to monitor the way they process the products.

In conclusion, this is essential in the manufacturing process because it tests the products to its limits before it reaches the market. HALT is a process that detects the flaws in the design that need an immediate response, increasing product reliability, making long-term savings, and reducing the number of returns. Using various chambers can prove to benefit the company’s ROI in the long run.

4 Things You Should Keep in Mind to Help Your Tanks Pass Inspections

Above Ground Storage TankIf you work in a place where above ground tanks are common, then you have to know that inspections need to take place to ensure their quality and the safety of your property and the people who are in the area. How can you be sure that the tanks you own would pass? Here’s what you should know:

Rainwater Inspection

One of the things that can make or break the results of the inspection of your above ground storage tanks is the presence of rainwater. Of course, if it’s the rainy season, then you should make it your responsibility to check if there are holes where rainwater can pass through. This is so that when it’s time for inspection, you’ll be sure that it won’t fail simply because of rainwater.

Proper Handling of Bypass Valve

Another tip that would help your tank pass the inspection is to make sure that you follow proper drainage clearing procedures. This involves a supervised opening and resealing of the valve. This way, inspectors would get the impression that you do care about the quality of your tanks — and that you’re willing to take caution against hazardous materials.

Making Sure That the Valve is Closed

Unless you’re doing necessary checks and inspections, there really is no reason for the valve to be open many times in a day. By making sure that you always keep the valve closed, there would be fewer chances of debris or any other unnecessary materials making their way inside.

Keeping Track of Inspections

Be responsible enough to keep track of inspections and the problems regarding your tank. Doing this would give an impression to the inspectors that you care about your business — not only about the money you would get out of it.

By following the guidelines mentioned in this guide, you can be sure that your tanks would be able to pass regulatory inspections. When that happens, you will not only be safe; you can also expect that your reputation will stay clean.

Electrifying Facts You Need to Know about Household Wiring

Household WiringMost homeowners see their house as a place where they could get rest, eat dinner, unwind or simply enjoy a quiet moment with their family. Upon entering the house, it is an automatic gesture on their part to turn on the light switch or TV and they expect everything to be powered on the moment they flick the switch. It’s all normal until perhaps they see a staggering electric bill which just might elicit a loud and jolting shout.

A Spark That Could End It All

It actually is a cause for worry in so many ways. According to Forbes, a problem in your household electrical wiring system might produce a spark that could ignite and burn. The small flame could become a roaring inferno that could engulf the entire house. In fact, faulty electrical wiring is among the leading causes of residential fires in the United States. One of the common signs that there is a problem in your electrical circuit is when you notice an occasional flickering of your lamps or light bulbs.

Leakages That Bleed Your Pocket

Yes, it’s not only water that leaks, electricity does too! Stop raising your eyebrows while imagining how electricity leaks out. It’s just a metaphor to describe a type of electrical problem that could hike your energy bills. When your household wiring is not properly connected, electricity flowing through the wires can “leak.” Even if your house wiring only has a tiny electricity leak, it can spike your electricity bill from a minimal $5 to more than $50.

Other Causes of Electrical Leakage

Electrical leakages can also occur when the wires used are not thick enough to handle the load being driven through it. A short circuit between the neutral wire and your grounding network can also create electrical leakages or straying of voltage, causing electrical disturbances, which affect your electrical appliances. Aside from wasted energy, this can also cause a fire.

Let Experts Check Your Household Wiring

In case you notice the lights flickering or some unusual sound coming from your home entertainment system, it is best to have your household electrical wiring checked by an expert electrician. He has special tools like the electrical branch circuit identifier that allows him to diagnose what’s causing the problem.

You may not know it but small chips in your electrical wiring system could be enough to drive your energy bill to proportions that might as well give you an electric shock. So the next time you switch on that light or turn on the TV, observe if your action causes some abnormal electrical behavior. If it does, then call an electrician before it’s too late.

Opinion Matters: The Importance of Consumer Opinion to Businesses

Feedback CountsHappy customers are the key to ensuring a business’ success. Without them, a company would not be able to generate revenue and eventually close down. This is why companies pay close attention to the feedback they receive about their product or service.

Consumer input is so important that some companies are willing to pay people for their opinions. It does not matter whether the feedback received is positive or negative, so long as they are able to collect relevant data.

Aside from keeping the business going, here are other reasons customer feedback is important:

Improves Products and Services

Companies utilise the regular feedback they receive or gather from customers to determine which features of the product or service are great and which ones need improvement. By calibrating their output to suit their customers’ needs, companies stay at their best and provide even better products and services.

Helps Improve Customer Retention

Customers stay loyal to a business if they are happy with the products and services they receive. A customer who gets frustrated with a company’s products will explore other options and eventually start to patronize alternatives. Hence, it is important for companies to deal with frustrated customers by listening to what they have to say and taking steps to rectify the issue.

Aids in Making Better Business Decisions

Customer opinion is one of the tangible data businesses use to make important decisions. If people want to add or remove a certain feature, companies will look at the feedback and make a decision based on the collected data.

Gauges Market Trends

The opinions received from customers can help identify trends among consumers. For instance, a business using new and improved technology is more likely to receive positive feedback than a business using outdated technology. If customers indicate that they prefer using newer technology, then it serves as a recommendation to upgrade the business’ current level of technology.

In any business, customers are the most important stakeholders. This is why their feedback is crucial to making sure the company thrives.