3 Concepts to Think About Before Adding Thin Clients in Your Workplace

While bulky desktops can eat up a ton of electricity and space, the thin client is essentially a desktop terminal without a hard drive. That might sound pretty useless at first, but their truly redeemable factor is that they are incredibly versatile. The thin client doesn?t have anything stored on it locally. It calls all of the applications and other mission-critical information from the server it?s connected to. It?s not uncommon to find these devices on college campuses, public places like libraries, and in more recent years, the workplace. These machines generally only consist of the graphics interface, and for businesses who store their information and services on the cloud, they only need a web browser in order to function properly. Are you considering setting up thin clients for your business? Here are three topics to think about when making your decision. Fewer Costs Associated with Thin ClientsAs you can expect, thin clients tend to not use up as much energy as a full-fledged workstation. This is because all of the computing power is coming from the server itself, rather than the hardware. Wouldn?t that put a lot of strain on the server itself, though? Servers consume a ton of energy, producing excessive amounts of heat, and they generally require some sort of dedicated air-conditioned environment. However, there?s a solution for this. If your business takes advantage of virtualization services, you can move your server to the cloud and save on those energy costs, too. If you?re not sure how to proceed with your server virtualization, White Mountain IT Services can handle this daunting task for you. Minimal Points of FailureThis particular fact is a double-edged sword. If the server does indeed process the applications and information for several clients on your network, what would happen if something were to go wrong with the server? A thin client infrastructure is vulnerable to all of the same issues that plague server maintenance. If a hardware failure were to strike and cause server downtime, the thin clients would cease to function properly. On the other hand, this also means that thin clients rarely need the heavy-duty protection that the full-fledged workstation would. The only machines which need software-level protection from common threats would be the server, since the thin clients pull all of their applications and information from it. It?s imperative that you keep data loss and security in mind when using thin clients. White Mountain IT Services can arm your hardware with the best security solutions on the market, so you can concentrate on maintaining normal operations. We also have our powerful Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution available to prevent downtime and data loss in the event of a server crash. This is especially important when using thin clients, since all functionality relies on the server itself. Our BDR can take the place of your server in the event of a disaster, so operations can resume while you integrate a more permanent fix to the issue. Flexibility and ScalabilityIf you find your business is really taking off, it?s simple to add another thin client to your IT infrastructure. Think of it in these terms: When you hire a new person, they?ll require a machine to work on. Equipping a workstation with all of the software they?ll need to perform their duties can take plenty of time […]

How to Find the VoIP Solution that?s Perfect for Your Business

VoIP provides businesses with a wide array of phone features, so much so that it can feel overwhelming if you?re new to VoIP. Knowing which features will best enhance your company?s operations is a conversation worth having with a knowledgeable VoIP provider like White Mountain IT Services. And unlike working with a multi-national phone company that only views your business as an account number, we?ll take the time to really understand the needs of your SMB because we?re a small business serving New Hampshire, just like you. VoIP is a communication solution designed for business, which means that its features are scalable and delivered to you in one affordable package. The flexibility offered to your company by VoIP is a nice advantage over being locked into a phone package from a traditional landline company where you may end up paying for more features than what you really need. This billing waste is in addition to paying for long distance phone calls–an age-old expense that VoIP removes from your plate. Here are some considerations for you to think about when it comes to implementing new VoIP features for your business. Do you have a remote team that you frequently meet with? You will want to make sure to get a robust video conferencing package. Do you travel a lot? You will want an integration for VoIP with your mobile device. What kind of growth is your company expecting to see in the next one or even five years? It?s important that you implement a VoIP system that?s designed to grow with your business, instead of one that gets in the way. White Mountain IT Services can assess this technology need for you with our IT roadmap. How much bandwidth do you currently have available? Before signing up for a VoIP package, it?s important to assess your company?s Internet connection so that you?ll have enough bandwidth to operate all of your amazing new VoIP features. White Mountain IT Services can check on this for you with your Internet Service Provider. Does your network have an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)? One difference between VoIP, which piggybacks off your company?s IT infrastructure using your Internet connection, and traditional phone systems is that landlines still give the caller the ability to use their phone even when the power goes out. For VoIP, you will want to have a backup power system in place like a UPS so that you won?t miss any calls if the power goes out. Do you have time to manage an in-house VoIP system for your company? When it comes to VoIP, either you can host and manage everything in-house, or we can host it for you offsite where system maintenance is out of sight, out of mind, and off your plate. There are advantages that come with each option. White Mountain IT Services can talk you through each of these and set you up with a VoIP solution that?s most advantageous for your business. Transitioning your business to VoIP is a major deal when it comes to enhancing your company?s communications possibilities, but it doesn?t have to be a difficult move if you have a knowledgeable IT expert like White Mountain IT Services walking you through the process. Call us today at (603) 889-0800 to get the lowdown on all the money-saving benefits of VoIP.

The Evolution of Computers in Cinema

Many writers over the past 50 years have tried to use the growth of technology as an allegory to explain the changes in human society over time. No place has this become more prevalent than in the cinema. Movies are made, in large part, to capture the imagination of the viewer. No change has been as revered or anticipated as the change that has been made with the aid of our amazing technological advancements. In fact, computers have changed moviemaking forever. The computer has allowed filmmakers to capture, light, and edit their movies digitally, and tackle the role of technology in society. Here are five films that embrace the awe people have of technology and the fear that comes with the unknown. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)Partially based on the short story The Sentinel by renowned scientist and science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey has become the film that?s synonymous with the shift toward the importance of high-quality visual effects that many moviegoers now take for granted. Written and directed by the late Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey was about the evolution of man from a being that hardly resembles a current-day human, to a being that is able to develop technology so complex that it allowed for deep space travel and exploration. 2001: A Space Odyssey is widely renowned as one of the most awe-inspiring and influential films ever made. The computer that takes up residence in this film, Hal 9000, is an artificially intelligent supercomputer that administers many of the operations of the Discovery One mission for Jupiter in the film. Hal 9000 is lauded as omnipotent and, in its own words, ?foolproof and incapable of error.? Turns out, this is not the case, and Hal 9000 begins to sabotage the mission by first murdering the scientists in cryogenic hibernation, and then soon after Dr. Frank Poole, leaving Dr. David Bowman as the only surviving member of the mission team. After some harrowing moments where ?Dave? is briefly exposed to the vacuum of space, he disables Hal in one of the most dramatic moments of the film. In essence, HAL 9000 is portrayed as the antagonist of that part of the film, and his destruction acts as the effective commentary that Kubrick and Clarke (who wrote the movie) had designed. This kind of technology, despite the title, is still not currently available, as people are lukewarm (at best) about the development of computer entities that are programmed omnipotent. WarGames (1983)In John Hughes? immensely popular Ferris Bueller?s Day Off, one of the central themes was how Ferris was able to manipulate the school principal, Mr. Rooney with the use of a computer and other technologies of the day. Another film starring Matthew Broderick, WarGames, makes our list. The use of technology in this movie sets the tone for the age of the personal computer and the dangers of relying on technology to manage core functions of national defense. WarGames is about a high school student, David Lightman, who begins the movie by dialing into his school?s network and changing his and a female classmate?s grades using his IMSAI 8080 microcomputer. From there he begins using that technology to dial into computers of a video game developer, searching for a way to play games. He finds […]

Do Mobile Devices Sweeten Sales, or Crush Employee Productivity?

An employee?s personal device is loaded with productivity apps. It has the potential to streamline their workday and improve communications and collaboration with coworkers. However, an employee?s smartphone or tablet also comes loaded with apps like YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, and all the other wonderful distractions of the Internet. Additionally, these devices can have games, which essentially turn them into portable game consoles similar to a Nintendo 3DS or Playstation Vita. As an employer, you would be quick to ban an employee from using their Gameboy at their desk. Likewise, a worker with Candy Crush on their smartphone is just as bad. Take for example a report by the Evolving Workforce Research that found: Nearly 60 percent of employees feel work would be more enjoyable if they had a say in the technologies they used, while 60 percent feel they would be more productive with better IT resources (like BYOD). It?s statistics like this that mobile device manufacturers love to latch onto in order to move their product under the guise of ?These devices will make your staff more productive.? But if you look closely at this statistic, it says that 60 percent of employees feel like they would be more productive if they were allowed to use a device of their choosing. Having a productivity tool and using said tool for productivity are two completely different things. How many of us purchased a sweet piece of exercise equipment because we felt like it would improve our health, but after we got it assembled it ended up being used as a coat rack? BYOD works the same way. Just because an employee has every intention to bring their device into work for the purpose of being more productive, doesn?t mean they won?t get distracted by the device because they’re stuck on level fifteen of Candy Crush Saga. When you peel back the layers of feelings and good intentions associated with BYOD, you?ll discover studies where increased levels of productivity are actually seen. Like this one from Cisco: BYOD-ers save an average of 37 minutes per week with BYOD as it is currently implemented in their companies. The United States leads by far in terms of current productivity gains per BYOD user, with 81 minutes per week, followed by the United Kingdom at 51 minutes. In both of these countries, BYOD-ers posted impressive gains by working more efficiently and being more available to their colleagues and managers. With this study, we seem to be getting somewhere by having hard proof that BYOD actually improves employee productivity by freeing up precious minutes every week. Okay, now here?s the million dollar question: Will an employee use these extra minutes afforded to them by BYOD to get more work done for your company? Or, will they say to themselves, ?Alright! Now I?ve got extra time to put towards Candy Crush!? One aspect of BYOD that every business owner needs to be aware of is the fact that increasing the number of devices in your office will increase the number of network access points needing to be managed. Therefore, increased security measures must accompany the implication of BYOD for your business, which is an effort that may or may not offset the productivity gained by these mobile devices. In the same way that BYOD requires […]

Tip of the Week: How to Avoid Office Burnout

Office burnout is similar to the physical term, ?exhaustion.? You do too much, and it has a mental effect on how you work and behave. Just like any other illness, it?s important to take measures to prevent it. Otherwise, you risk a full-on epidemic, and before you know it, you won?t be the only one suffering. There are several ways you can cut down on working yourself to the bone: Mini-breaks. Careful use of sick and vacation time. Physical activity. Getting enough sleep. Getting along with co-workers. Shorter commutes. Short Breaks are the Best BreaksInc. recommends business professionals take breaks every twenty minutes. It might sound like a lot of breaks, but honestly, you do it to yourself subconsciously anyway, even if it doesn?t feel like it. Instead of staring at Facebook for a minute or two, get up and move around. Physical movement is good for you, and taking a break from your computer monitor will feel like a micro-vacation. Don?t Waste Sick Days on Not-Sick DaysA lot of employees will call in sick due to stress or other personal issues. Don?t be one of them. If you come in and you?re not mentally rested, your work quality will suffer. Save your sick days for when you?re actually feeling sick. The same can be said about your vacation time. Do you really think you?ll be able to take it all at once in some glamorous trip? That sure would be nice; but, in all likelihood, it probably won?t happen. Try and plan out when you think you?ll need a break, and take vacation days accordingly. Light Physical Fitness Never Hurt Anyone? MuchA great way to spend your mini-breaks is to get your blood pumping with some light exercise. There are a variety of exercises perfect for the office, such as leg lifts and stretches. These can help keep your body physically fit (because sitting down all day certainly doesn?t help). You can even get some light weights to carry around, which will help keep your muscles active even while at work. It?s been scientifically proven that when you feel better about yourself, you perform better in the workplace, so take advantage of any little bit you can. Get a Good Night?s SleepObviously, rest is an essential part of staying healthy, both physically and mentally. You should aim to hit the hay at a decent time that will let you wake up naturally without an alarm clock, but sometimes that?s easier said than done, especially when you?re trying out a new sleep schedule. Start by going to bed earlier and earlier every night, then keep progressing until you are waking up naturally at the desired time. You should still set an alarm clock, as even the body can make mistakes. Keep in mind that the goal here is not to oversleep, but to ensure that you get enough rest, as sleepless nights can lead to illness and injury. Play Nice with OthersIt should go without saying that you should treat others how you would like to be treated, but sometimes gossip and a tense environment can lead to unintended circumstances. A negative workplace saps the energy out of your very being, so it?s in everyone?s best interests to create the best working environment possible. If you like who you work […]