RAID Cache

As part of my articles regarding RAID I want to focus on a very important RAID controller feature. That would be the memory cache.

The process of transferring data to and from disk storage includes storing the data temporarily in a memory cache located on the RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) controller that is managing the data transfer. In other words, RAID controller cards temporarily cache data from the host system until it is successfully written to the storage media.

Memory cache is comprised of high-speed silicon memory DRAM chips. The access time for writing data to or reading data from DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) is roughly 106, or a million times faster than the typical access time for writing directly to or reading directly from a set of disk drives. In a posted-write operation, as soon as the host computer writes data to the cache, the write operation is completed; and the host is freed up immediately to perform another operation. The host does not have to wait for the write data to be transferred to disk. Therefore, use of cache memory on RAID controllers significantly speeds up write operations and increases overall system performance. Current cache amount varies from 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, 2GB and even 4GB.

Another advantage the cache provides is, in case of a system failure and depending on the size of the buffer, the cache will hold information until the system can get back online which helps prevent or minimize data loss. Of course, the cache might lose charge eventually (within about 30 minutes) so RAID controllers usually come with a battery backup unit (BBU) to hold the charge longer until the system is brought back online and the cached data is extracted.

Without a memory cache the controller has to stop the flow of data until the drive has acknowledged that it is ready to receive. The controller will then receive the data from the operating system and forward it on to the drive that’s being written to. This process is very fast and can hardly be noticed but when dealing with millions and billions of these transactions everyday even nanoseconds can add up to noticeable levels. Memory cache allows the controller to go ahead and receive data from the operating system and place it into the buffer memory if the drive is not ready for it at that time; and as all business majors (and even non-business majors) understand, time is money.

I hope this was informative and will aid you in understanding when the benefits of high level RAID controllers can be utilized to your advantage.

Turn Your Hobby Into a Business With These 5 Steps

You are probably thinking that an economic downturn is not the best time to be thinking about turning your hobby into a profitable business. Think again. This can be one of the smartest moves you can make – if you take the time to plan ahead and give yourself the best chance possible of success.

Here are 5 tips that you can follow to turn your dream into a plan of action.

1. Write a business plan

This is a requirement for any business that will be seeking funding from other people but there is an even better reason for writing a detailed and comprehensive business plan. When you are forced to write your ideas for others to read it tends to focus your thinking, make you seek better proofs for your assumptions, and sharpen your description of the actions that you will be taking. You can find some good business plan models online but the basic requirements are that your business plan should define your business, the products and services that you’ll be offering, how you will distinguish yourself from your competition, and your proposed operating procedures.

2. Consider a corporation or an LLC

If you do not have the time or the inclination to research the best form of business organization for your company then get the advice that you need from an accountant that specializes in business tax returns. Corporations and LLC’s help to protect your personal assets from your business debts and liabilities but there are certain tax advantages to formal business organizations that are simply not available to sole proprietorships. The Inc. or LLC after your business name also adds credibility and cache with customers and business partners.

3. Get the business licenses, permits, and tax identification numbers that you’ll need

Every business other than a sole proprietorship requires a federal tax identification number and every business that hires employees will require one also. Depending on the nature of your business activities and state and local requirements your business may need a particular license or any variety of permits. Do your own research on this or consult with a local attorney who is familiar with other businesses like yours.

4. Open a business checking account

Even if you decide to operate as a sole proprietorship you will still want to open a separate checking account for the business. It’s always a bad idea to mix personal and business income and expenses. For one thing, commingling accounts makes it a nightmare to separate them back out at tax time, and two, you will lose the ability to manage your business finances because you’ll quickly lose track of its actual income and expenses.

5. Create your brand and start promoting

If you do all your business locally then get business cards and a letterhead that will distinguish your business. Develop your business persona and promote it throughout the community. People do business with people that they trust and they like. If your business will be online or with remote customers the same rules apply. Deliver what you promised, and make everybody feel that they are getting their money’s worth from you and more.

Business Cards and What They Can Do for Your Business

It has been said that advertising is vital in order for any business to survive. With that said, most people will tell you that this is because advertising brings in the customers and customers are the lifeblood of any business since they are the ones that keep the business going by bringing in business. One way that you keep bringing in customers is when you advertise and that is why you have to use every means at your disposal so that you get to grab more customers. That certainly makes sense doesn’t it?

Also, if you have customers, they can also be a form of advertisement since people like to talk. But one way that you can really get cheap advertisements is through the use of business cards and some roller banners. You might scoff and say that those are such old fashioned ways to do advertisements for your business. See, advertising does not have to cost you too much money for it to be effective and bring you the kind of business that will bring you big money. The thing there is these business cards may be old fashioned but that does not always have to mean that they no longer do the job because believe it or not, a lot of businesses still make use of business cards for advertisements.

It is all a matter of innovating; taking something old fashioned and making it into something that can still catch the eye of most people. That is what you need to make people come to you. Just get something that may be old fashioned, and modernize it. Once people see what you have done with a business card, they will love your idea and will surely get interested.

You see, advertisements need not be too fancy; sure those huge wide screens can be eye catching but sometimes, some things as little as business cards and roller banners can also be eye caching if displayed and designed the right way. People will always go for clever advertising and that is why you need business cards that are cleverly made.

If you already have some designs in mind, you can most certainly make your own business cards. But if you do not trust yourself how to do it, then you can contact a company that will make and your business cards for you. All you have to do is give them some input and you are good to go. They will do the designing and the printing and they will even send it to you for free. You do not have to pay for the shipping just the business cards that you can use for advertisements.

The same deal goes for the roller banner and you will even get a stand to go with it. You cannot use a roller banner without a stand right? And a stand is perfect if you want to use your roller banner outside your store. So there is no such thing as old fashioned media for advertising, juts old fashioned thoughts.