Browsing articles from "January, 2013"

Teachers Love Moodle

Jan 29, 2013   //   by NPV Webmaster   //  Blog  // 

The open-source course management package known as Moodle has gained a large following among educators since it launched. In an annual survey, it was voted 11th in the list of Top Tools for Learning 2012 by the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. Now available on Windows, Mac and Linux, the Moodle project claims 64 million users.

With Moodle, teachers can set up courses, create discussions, assign homework, and assign grades. They can also integrate with external content such as photos or videos, or with applications such as Google Docs. Moodle's features also include assignment submission, discussion forums, file downloading, instant messaging, an online calendar, news and announcements (college and course level), online quizzes, and a Wiki.

Moodle can scale to handle hundreds of thousands of students given enough server capacity and bandwidth, and a variation called Poodle installs software to a local machine so the app can be used offline. Poodle can even boot off a thumb drive.

Educators have gravitated to the platform, which can be used to manage fully online courses or as an adjunct to traditional face-to-face classroom instruction ("blended learning").

Moodle has been valuable for even everyday tasks like publishing phone directories and handbooks online. It saves tens of thousands of dollars a year in postage and paper.

In December, Moodle version 2.4 became available for download. According to Moodle, 2.4 includes, among other updates, new icons, improved performance, group assignments for students submitting work as part of a group (and being graded as a group), and directions for handling plug-in updates from the Web interface.

For more information on integrating Moodle, contact NPV.

Information Week

The Role of IT Managed Services

Jan 24, 2013   //   by NPV Webmaster   //  Blog  // 

Every business needs to invest some amount of money in their IT systems. IT systems store, recover, translate and manipulate data that the company holds which allows them to make informed decisions. Without proper and effective management, deadlocks can occur in companies, especially at the time of disasters. Therefore, companies hire IT consultants to help create and implement a disaster recovery plan.

Need for IT services

A disaster recovery plan reduces any chances of downtime during disasters and can improve data recovery. IT companies offer you ideas and ways to improve your IT operations and advise you on how to boost the efficiency of your network and save on costs by outsourcing certain services to a managed IT services provider.

What do managed IT service companies do?

Nowadays, many companies outsource the jobs pertaining to managing and running an IT configuration to a managed IT service provider. This enables their IT employees to focus on more crucial business operations. Often this results in much lower costs.

For more information on managed IT support, contact NPV.

excerpts - Ezine

Do Not Take Data Recovery for Granted

Jan 15, 2013   //   by NPV Webmaster   //  Blog, Uncategorized  // 

We have discussed many reasons for data loss in the last several blogs. However, you can also lose  data by taking recovery for granted. This applies to all of those reasons for data loss. This one is pretty simple - simply assuming recovery will work.

Your Other Choice

You remember the age-old saying concerning what happens when we assume. It is particularly apt when discussing data recovery. Don’t assume anything!

Regardless of the technology that you use, it’s important that you periodically test your recovery. Don’t assume because you can write to tape that you can read from that tape. Don’t assume because a dashboard shows you a successful backup status that you can recover that backup. Be paranoid and test.

And then test again.

For more information on data loss and recovery, contact NPV.

UniTrends

Losing Your Data from Computer Disasters

Jan 11, 2013   //   by NPV Webmaster   //  Blog, Uncategorized  // 

Shortcut to Losing Your Data

Disasters are not a leading cause of data loss by any means. Data loss due to disasters occurs no more than 1% to 3% of the time. In order to avoid losing data, do not focus on the relative rarity of disasters and ignore the severe consequences when a disaster strikes.

What to do to avoid data loss from disasters

Why don’t people walk around outside in thunderstorms? The odds of getting struck by lightning are pretty low. The estimated odds in any given year are 1 in 500,000. Why? Because the consequences of being struck by lightning are very high. The odds of death are 1 in 10; the odds of disability approach 9 in 10.

The odds of data loss due to a natural disaster are relatively low; however, the consequences are severe. In order to safeguard your data, you need to have a disaster recovery plan for your environment. A major part of that disaster recovery plan is protecting data.

There are two basic schemes for this: tape-based rotational archiving and electronic-based replication of data to an off-premise site. We advise looking an integrated D2D2x approach whereby you can use disk, tape, or electronic replication concurrently to optimize your overall spending in support of true disaster recovery.

Unitrends

Protect Against Computer Viruses

Jan 2, 2013   //   by NPV Webmaster   //  Blog, Uncategorized  // 

An easy way to losing your data is to neglect to install a firewall and anti-virus software.  Computer viruses rangefrom the annoying to those that threaten not only the systems of your organization but your organization’s reputation as well. The easiest way to lose your data with respect to computer viruses is to not install a firewall and anti-virus software. Anther way to insure 100% infection when a virus occurs is to make sure that all of your systems operate using Windows - not just your PCs but your servers and your backup servers as well.

Other Options

In order to protect your data you will of course have a firewall and install anti-virus software. From a backup perspective, the important thing here is to operate your backup and disaster recovery software on a non-Windows platform.

Vendors ship their backup software on Windows platforms for one reason - they can make the most money with the least expense because Windows is so ubiquitous. If you take a step back and think about it, however, it just doesn’t make sense to run your “protection” software on the same operating system that is relentlessly under attack by malicious people.

For help to protect against data loss, contact NPV.

Unitrends