The Importance of Keyword Rich Content

Posted On: 10/21/2009 11:44:16 PM
Everyone likes to have people visit their website.  A frequent question that we hear from our clients is "how do I drive more traffic to my website?"  -- it's pretty simple.  Content!  Easily stated, less easily executed.  Your website needs keyword rich, relevant content.  That is, content that has a clear purpose, that is on-topic with what you are trying to relay, and isn't random fillter material.  Good content will help with your site's search engine optimization strategy.

Once people land on your site, you want to keep them there.  A lot of people try "keyword stuffing" to drive traffic, that is a HUGE no-no.  That practice will effectively drive traffic away from your site in the long run.  Your content has to be relevant, it has to be easy to read, and it has to be clean.

If you need assistance with developing content for your website or writing content about your products, let us know.  We have a large team of effective content writers that would be happy to develop content for you!  We specialize in SEO / Search Engine Optimization for companies in the Indianapolis area.

If you want to discuss any opportunies to drive traffic to your website, please give us a call.  Our number is 1-888-423-1337 

The Importance of Good Database and Application Design

Posted On: 10/9/2009 6:58:49 PM
Working in an industry such as IT, there are no shortage of horror stories and anecdotes of worst-case practices.

Database and application design is something that seems to surprise us time and time again as we see businesses set themselves up for failure further down their development cycle.

When developing a new website, web application, or business application, a good design is of utmost importance.  Companies often find themselves locked into less than ideal solutions after significant investment has been outlayed to build up an application around an inferior design.

Database design really means planning out your applications structure on paper, or with a database designer tool.  Entity relationships are very important, as are the usage of primary and foreign key references.  It is entirely shocking how many cases we've seen where an application has no referential integrity, no primary keys, no normalization, etc, etc.

If you are hard coding something that could ever change in the future, you need to revisit your approach!  Database tables have very low overhead and really should be used accordingly.

Peer code reviews are very important.  It's easy to fall into the trap where common code is reused, even if it's not the ideal solution for the application. 

Infinistorm's projects all go through mutliple code reviews -- what one developer might think is the "right" solution may actually not be.  It's easy to overlook a use case when dealing with large projects. The importance of having other sets of eyes inspecting, testing, and reviewing the code is instrumental in having a scalable application that can withstand the test of time.

Developing a new application requires significant planning well before a single line of code is written.  We've seen a lot of businesses dive in and come up with their designs on the fly, as they go.  This is a surefire way to fail.

Knowledge is power.


Cloud Backups

Posted On: 10/2/2009 6:35:05 PM
One recent technology that is making the rounds is cloud-based storage.  That is, backup services that exist online.  Your data is transferred to an online remote location via either a schedule, or automatically as the files change.

Cloud backups are a great option for a well-rounded disaster recovery plan.  Here's why.

  • Cloud backups are offsite, eliminating the need for a bank deposit box
  • Cloud backups can store multiple differential copies of your files
  • Cloud backups can be accessed from anywhere with connectivity
  • Cloud backups generally won't require user interaction
  • Cloud backups are encrypted and secure
  • Cloud backups can easily expand with your storage needs

Those are just a few reasons.  With so many 3rd party vendors out there offering cloud storage, the potential options can feel overwhelming.  One company that has stood out for us is Zmanda Cloud Backup (ZCB) -- they offer a Cloud Backup software solution that can backup SQL Server and Exchange on the fly among many other software packages.

This is a big deal, because the goal is to have redundant backups without interrupting the regular infrastructure processes.

We are familiar with establishing best practices 'Cloud' backup strategies, so please let us know if you have any questions or are interested in finding out more.

Enabling a Secure Shell on VMWare ESXi 3.5 or ESXi 4.0

Posted On: 9/23/2009 7:15:09 PM

This is a bit more of a technical posting for those of you out there that have harnessed the power of VMWare and want to get more out of their latest ESXi 3.5 server. 

ESXi server is a baremetal hypervisor used for running virtualized instances of physical machines.  In short, it's a virtual machine server.  It's also free to use, since it strips out some of the pay features you'd find in VMWare Infrastructure's full blown ESX/vSphere offerings.

By default, ESXi doesn't allow SSH (Secure Shell) connections. This is a problem for those that want to manage the host from the command line, or utilize SCP to transfer data through an encrypted tunnel.

No worries, there's a way to enable SSH so that you can further leverage VMWare's free server solution!

Follow these steps, and you'll have a secure shell available.

1. Go to the ESXi console and press alt+F1
2. Type: unsupported
3. Enter the root password(No prompt, typing this blindly)
4. At the prompt type “vi /etc/inetd.conf”
5. Look for the line that starts with “#ssh” (you can search with pressing “/”)
6. Remove the “#” (press the “x” if the cursor is on the character)
7. Save “/etc/inetd.conf” by typing “:wq!”
8. Restart the management service “/sbin/services.sh restart”
9. Kill inetd by typing: kill `ps | grep inetd | cut -f2 -d” “‘
10. Start the inetd service by typing in: inetd

Embracing the Cloud

Posted On: 9/18/2009 7:59:20 PM
Cloud computing is a pretty new buzzword that has been making the arounds in the industry.  Many people don't quite know how to describe what "Cloud" computing really is.  I'm here to help you understand it a bit more.

Cloud computing is a term used to describe dynamically scalable, and often virtualized resources that are provided as a service over the Internet.  In other words, it's a remote Infrastructure that a cloud provider manages for you.

The end user doesn't need to have knowledge, control, or expertise over the infrastructure in the cloud that supports them.  In other words it's entirely hassle free for the end user.

As a customer, you might want to rent a few virtualized servers to run your custom business applications on.  This is a win for businesses because they don't have to invest in an entire network infrastructure at their headquarters to run the applications that they need. 

For example, it is possible to run Microsoft Exchange 2007 in the cloud, and leave it entirely up to the cloud provider to take care of it's availability and performance for a fraction of the cost that would be required to have it running in-house. 

Infinistorm offers various Cloud strategies for needs of all sizes.  It's a great way to quickly and effectively take your company above the competition without requiring a huge investment in infrastructure.

If your company isn't yet embracing any cloud technologies, or want to know more, send us an email.  We would be very happy to discuss what we've done for other companies in the past.

Embrace the cloud.
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About this blog.

Hi!  My name is Joshua Starr.  I'm the CTO and co-founder of Infinistorm and responsible for all networking, virtualization, and security related aspects of Infinistorm.  I am also an avid programmer that enjoys spending time figuring out new and interesting problems.  My expert knowledge in a variety of tech related topics should hopefully benefit most of you.

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