Outside Project Managers Can Turbocharge Collaboration

tbccbYou know the old saying, “love is blind.” But the truth is that couples who don’t establish clear roles are headed for a wake-up call reminiscent of the infamous Al and Peg Bundy of the “Married with Children” sitcom. Al’s lack of physical and fiscal prowess is a constant frustration to his wife, while Peg’s irresponsible spending and refusal to play homemaker leave him cold.

The Bundys could have used a matchmaker.

What’s this have to do with client/server development? Everything. When building enterprise systems, either partner — the users or the developers — can easily be seduced by vague promises of increased productivity only to be crushed when reality settles in.

That’s where a matchmaker, or outside project manager, can play a role. It’s that person’s job to take a cold, hard look at the lovebirds and make sure they understand what they’re getting into.

To get a feel for this kind of relationship, PC Week recently spent a few days with project-manager trainees from BSG Corp. The Houston-based Continue reading

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Unix On Windows Action: It’s Real, Man

unixMany help-desk technicians and system administrators live in a dizzy limbo between two operating systems — Unix and DOS/Windows. Not only do they have two software environments to master, but they also have a Unix workstation and a PC to juggle over limited desk space.

From the software standpoint, Unix users often crave the less-expensive productivity software available for PCs. Running such DOS and Windows applications remotely might seem to be a good solution, but the ability to control PCs is not built into Unix.

Triton Technologies Inc. and UniPress Software Inc. have joined forces to bring a new solution to the fore — CoSession/PC2X. A recent addition to the CoSession family of remote-control products, CoSession/PC2X allows Unix users to control a PC from their workstation. The result is a streamlined work space and fewer dollars spent on PC software …

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Disaster Recovery Can Be A Breeze

datdtrTo most corporate systems administrators, disaster can be spelled many ways: fire, flood, hurricane, espionage, and human error, for instance.

To prepare for such events, managers are turning to a variety of disaster-recovery solutions, ranging from contracting a hot site to the real-time transmission of data to a remote site.

In a typical disaster-recovery scenario, systems operations move to a contracted hot site using data restored from backup tapes. But what if the data on those tapes is a week or even a day old? Newer, crucial information may be lost.

Information managers with time-sensitive data are finding that new solutions, such as electronic vaulting and server mirroring, can provide the missing link in a disaster-recovery situation.

At Transamerica Life Companies, in Los Angeles, for example, Rimage Corp.’s Televaulting service is used to back up changed and new files from …

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Columbia’s SnapBack Set The Stage For Solid LAN Backups

lanbdThere are three main reasons that network administrators back up LAN-based data: to conserve disk space through migration, to aid users who mistakenly delete crucial files (invariably the CEO, according to backup vendors), and to prepare for disaster recovery.

The first two reasons dictate choosing a backup package that ensures highly reliable data tracking, with query tools that support multiple search methods for rapid file location and retrieval.

However, when attempting to prepare for recovery from such catastrophes as total server failure or a natural disaster, the real push for swift restoration comes from the dollars ticked off on the lost-productivity clock.

This is where the simplicity and strength of Columbia Data Products Inc.’s SnapBack can pay off in spades. Instead of conventional file-by-file backups, SnapBack creates an image backup of an entire disk drive.

The recovery process …

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