Tag Archives: move

Five Steps for a Secure Cloud Transition

In this post, guest author David Maman, CTO and founder of GreenSQL – the database security company – lays out a series of simple steps for cloud migration – ensuring security is systematically addressed.

Five Steps for a Secure Cloud Transition

imageAlmost every type of SMB is examining it’s current IT infrastructure, determining what data and processes can move to the cloud. Of course, security remains one of the biggest concerns.

Here are five steps to make the transition much safer for your data, and your company:

1. Understanding my “Attackability Surface”: Before considering migrating to the cloud, map every project component, and map all the hazards. Including which operating systems will be used, which applications will be installed, which types of security mechanisms are required for each component and, which types of access are required for each service running on this cloud.

Generally, after truly understanding the project scope, the risk becomes controllable.

2. Sharing is Not Caring: Many times, using cloud services involves sharing infrastructure and applications with others, which means that the risk factor is multiplied.

The lack of security configuration at one customer, of application vulnerabilities by other customers, can lead to data loss in your databases. Make sure which components you share, and which are dedicated to you.

Often, when it comes to your customers’ or employees’ sensitive information, you cannot avoid purchasing a private cloud for most components.

3. Command and Control: Demand your cloud providers give you true control and monitoring of any, and all, security components. If necessary, even insist that only you will be able to change the configuration of these components.

If it’s just a network firewall, if it’s a web application firewall, if it’s a database firewall or any other element, those elements ensure your level of risk and your business survival on the cloud. Make sure you are aware of any changes in any security element.

4. The Cat in the Hat: The “Cloud” is a beautiful buzzword; every vendor in the entire IT segment is using the word “Cloud” in presentations and sales speeches. But eventually we have to understand, “Cloud” is really only a hosting service; it might be more advanced; it might support “elastic” growth; it might even provide an extremely easy user interface.

Please make sure you understand that the “Cloud” is “smart” shared hosting, which means that many people may have physical access to the servers that host your data and operating systems.

You can almost never be sure that if – your servers have restarted, it’s not because someone copied the hard drive you are using. Encrypt what you can, and make sure that the most sensitive information is not on the “Cloud.”

5. Software As A Service (SaaS) can work: Salesforce taught us that SaaS can actually work, with extremely high business continuity and extremely high levels of security.

Many Fortune 1000 companies use Salesforce with some of their most sensitive information. The thing is is that Salesforce has invested $100s of millions on infrastructure and security, which more than 90% of other SaaS providers will ever be able to afford.

So, if you decide to go forward and adopt a SaaS provider, keep in mind that size does matter; the bigger the provider (and we’re not talking about boutique providers who cost a fortune), the more secured they are.

6 Comments

Filed under Cloud Computing, Guest Writers

Point Your Mouse In the Right Direction – Automatically

image

While watching a friend fill-in a Web Form recently, I was a little curious as to why she didn’t “Tab” down, from field to field – rather than using her mouse to move. So, quite naturally, I pointed out that using the “Tab” key was much more efficient for the task – only to be rewarded with a blank look, followed by a “huh?”

After a 30 second explanation, it came out that in the 10+ years she’s been a computer user, she was unaware of this shortcut. Yes, I know, you’re shaking your head and thinking – but, everyone knows that. Maybe everyone you know does – but, I can assure you there is a surprising lack of shortcut knowledge in the “tech savvy” generation. Particularly, when it comes to shortcuts that can help make a repetitive task flow a little smoother.

Here’s an example of a repetitive task which I perform every day, while setting up the Tech Thoughts Daily Net News column – made much easier than it might otherwise be, simply by setting the Mouse pointer to automatically select the “Insert”button in the “Insert Hyperlink” dialogue box.

First – I select the address I want to link with.

image

Second – I copy the link.

image

Third – I select the text I want to link with.

image

Fourth – I open the Hyperlink dialogue box.

image

Fifth – as you can see, the web address has been inserted automatically and the “Insert” button, has been automatically selected.

image

Performing this same task, 30 or more times, while building a column, can be mind-numbing in its repetitiveness. So, I rely heavily on this auto feature. And, I’ll tell you frankly – I don’t bother looking to ensure  all is well – I don’t even look at the dialogue box – I simply click the Mouse button.

This feature works in most (but not all) dialogue boxes and, if you should decide that you could benefit by selecting this option – here’s how to do it.

Open “Mouse Properties” and select – “Automatically move pointer to the default button in a dialogue box”.

Pretty simple.   Smile

image

2 Comments

Filed under Computer Help, System Tweaks, Windows Tips and Tools

Save $29: Partition Assistant Professional Edition 4 Day License Giveaway

Windows Partition Manager: Partition Assistant Pro Edition

There are a number of sound reasons to partition today’s large Hard Drives. The best reason I can think of (from a personal perspective), is simply this – data organization.

Additional good reasons to partition could include, keeping your valuable data separate from the operating system so that if you are faced with an OS reinstall following an infection, you can do so without losing irreplaceable data. As well, a multiple boot configuration (resident on one of my machines), which allow users to have more than one operating systems on a computer, requires multiple partitions.

While we’re talking about an OS reinstall following a malware infection, let me just remind you that partitioning is NOT a substitute for backing up your important data. Hard Drives can, and do, fail – a good backup strategy is an absolute must.

Software developer Aomei Technology, recently invited me to be part of their four day giveaway (January 25 to 29, 2011), for a free licensed version of their premier partition manager – Partition Assistant Professional Edition.

Partition Assistant Professional Edition, with its simple user interface allows you to easily create, delete, format, move, resize partitions, and much more. The “much more” characterization (see fast facts), takes this application out of the range of typical free partition management applications.

image

Click graphic to expand.

Publisher’s description:

This professional edition is an advanced partition manager software to assist you to optimize your disk performance; most widely used by personal users which allows you to be an partition solution expert with professional unique technology.

Fast facts:

Extend NTFS partition without restarting computer.

Resize and Move partition to optimize disk space management.

Extend Partition Wizard help you step by step expand the size of your selected partition.

Clone/Copy Disk, Clone/Copy Partition.

Merge two or more partitions into a larger one.

Split one partition into two or more.

Create, Delete and Format partition.

Convert file system from FAT to NTFS.

Wipe permanently sensitive data to anti-recovery.

Wipe hard drive, Wipe Partition.

Repartition by drag & drop mouse on a disk panel.

Support resizing NTFS and FAT32 file system.

System requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7 (Both 32 bit and 64 bit).

Publisher’s siteAomei Technology

Giveaway download link. This is the only link from which the license giveaway is available.

If you’re in the market for a partition manager that includes professional capabilities, then Partition Assistant Professional Edition is worth a close look. As well, FREE has a nice ring to it.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

3 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Tools, downloads, Free Full Versions, Giveaways, Hard Drive Cloning, Hard Drive Tools, Software, Software Giveaways, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Replace Windows “Copy To” Function With Free TeraCopy – Enhance Speed And Functionality

imageIn terms of popularity, articles on backing up data, and articles on backup utilities on this site, definitely fall off the popularity scale.

I’ve often wondered why this is, and the best that I can come up with is – it seems that many users consider backing up data complex, and time consuming. Anecdotally, I see evidence of this fear of the perceived complexity involved in backing up data, when speaking with non-techie friends and associates.

Nevertheless, the best backup strategy includes Hard Drives imaging which allows users to restore critical data, the complete operating system, installed applications, user settings, etc.

That’s the ideal – but, I have a confession to make. While I do use all of the classic backup techniques, between scheduled backups I use a simple copy command to mirror critical data to a non-system partition, or a USB drive.

I’m a man of habit, and I realize this method is simply a carryover from the days of DOS, and the Xcopy command. But, it’s effective and it has saved me hours of reconstruction work, more than once.

If you have the “Copy to folder” command in your Explorer right click context menu, then copying data to a specific folder on a non-system partition, or a USB drive, is a snap.

image

image

But, as with all things “Windows”, there’s a slightly better way. In this case, using TeraCopy – a small, free file copy utility which can pause and resume file transfers, and automatically overwrite or skip existing files. Better yet, TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer’s copy and move functions.

Installation is easy, and preference setup is checkbox simple – as the following screen captures indicate.

image

For this article, I ran a quick speed test which involved copying 19 files totaling just under 2 GB.  TeraCopy completed the task in 44 seconds, which included testing for accuracy in file copying.

image

image

On the other hand, it took Windows “Copy to folder” applet, 91 seconds to complete the same task – with no test to ensure accuracy.

image

Fast facts:

Copy files faster. TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. Asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives.

Pause and resume file transfers. Pause copy process at any time to free up system resources and continue with a single click.

Error recovery. In case of copy error, TeraCopy will try several times and in the worse case just skip the file, not terminating the entire transfer.

Interactive file list. TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only problem files.

Shell integration. TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you work with files as usual.

Full Unicode support.

Windows 7 x64 support.

System requirements: Win 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7. Windows 7 x64 support.

Download at: Download.com

Note: Free for Home Users.

Copying critical data is a very simple way to guard against data loss, and TeraCopy can help you do that quickly, accurately, and with more options and control, than the normal “Copy to folder” applet. It’s worth investigating.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

16 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Backup Tools, downloads, flash drive, Freeware, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Free Partition Wizard – A Brilliant Application Especially For New Users

This past week, I finally got around to doing some long delayed work on an old XP system, including an OS re-install. This particular machine is equipped with two Hard drives, with the first drive split into two partitions.

Rather than getting all caught up in work, for the sake of work, with this old machine, I simply booted into Partition Wizard’s free Bootable CD, which allowed me to resize the primary partition, convert the partition from FAT32 to NTFS (told you it was old!), and format.

Using this really outstanding free application, reminded me that I had previously reviewed Partition Wizard in January of this year. So, here’s an update to that earlier review – the emphasis is on the installable version, but the Bootable CD version has virtually the same functionality.

Partition Your Hard Drive/s Freely with Partition Wizard

imageThere are a number of sound reasons to partition today’s large Hard Drives. The best reason I can think of (from a personal perspective), for partitioning is simply this – data organization.

Additional good reasons to partition could include, keeping your valuable data separate from the operating system so that if you are faced with an OS reinstall following an infection, you can do so without losing irreplaceable data. As well, a multiple boot configuration (resident on one of my machines), which allow users to have more than one operating systems on a computer, requires multiple partitions.

While we’re talking about an OS reinstall following a malware infection, let me just remind you that partitioning is NOT a substitute for backing up your important data. Hard Drives can, and do, fail – much more often than most people realize. A good backup strategy is an absolute must.

On my Windows 7 machine I have only one Hard Drive (although my other machines have multiple internal Hard Drives), so I have partitioned this drive as follows:

  • Partition 1 – Operating system and programs
  • Partition 2 – Data files
  • Partition 3 – Research projects
  • Partition 4 – Videos
  • Partition 5 – Music
  • Partition 6 – Photos

The are a number of free Windows partitioning applications available for download over the Internet, but the one I have found to be the most useful, and easiest to use, particularly for those users who are less technically inclined is, Partition Wizard (last updated August 16, 2010). The latest edition supports removable storage devices such as flash drives and memory cards.

Partition Wizard 2

Partition Wizard with its simple user interface allows you to easily create, delete, format, move, resize partitions, and more. Users of 64 bit systems are in luck -Partition Wizard supports Windows Vista and Windows 7 – 64 bit.

The Main interface of Partition Wizard has five parts: Tool Bar, Action panel, Legend bar, Disk map, and Disk / Partition List.

  • In the Tool Bar, some of the common functions of managing partitions are listed.
  • The Action Panel divides the functions into two sections: Partition Operations and Disk Operations. It also shows the partitioning operation commands not yet carried out by user.
  • The Legend bar at the bottom of the screen displays the different kinds of legends with various colors used in Partition Wizard.
  • The Disk Map gives an intuitive preview of the partitions, or the free spaces.
  • The Disk / Partition List shows all the disks and partitions in the system as well as detailed information about them.

After selecting a partition, you can carry out any of the numerous partitioning functions through the top menu, Tool Bar, Action Panel, or through the left click and right click of the mouse.

Some operations will require the computer to restart. When prompted, Partition Wizard will restart the computer and log in Windows in Native Mode to continue the unfinished operations. After your confirmation of restart, Partition Wizard will carry out this task automatically.

Partition Wizard 3

Fast facts:

Resize/ Move partitions

Create partitions

Delete partitions

Change Partition Label

Delete all partitions

Format partitions

Convert file system

Explore Partition

Check Partitions

Recovery Partition

Wipe disk

Wipe partition

Copy partition

Copy disks

Initialize to MBR disk

Initialize to GPT disk

Supported File System: Supports the most commonly used Windows file systems, including FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS.

Supported Hard Disks: Partition Wizard supports all hard disks recognized by Windows such as IDE, SATA, SCSI, USB external disks, Fire wire disks and so on. Partition Wizard also supports RAID devices. All OS-recognized RAID devices can be handled by Partition Wizard. Moreover, Partition Wizard supports disks with capacity up to 2TB. It will support up to 32 disks.

Download at: Download.com

Note: This edition is free for home uses only. However, there is a business edition, also free, which can be downloaded at Download.com.

A little extra something: A Partition Wizard Bootable CD is available, which allows users to boot a computer directly into Partition Wizard to manage partitions. Features include Rebuild MBR, Partition Recovery, Move/Resize Partition, Copy Partition, Create Partition, Delete Partition, Format Partition, Convert File System, Hide/Unhide Partition, Explore Partition and more.

image

Download Partition Wizard Bootable CD at: Partition Wizard

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

9 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Maintenance, downloads, flash drive, Freeware, Hard Drive Maintenance, Hard Drive Tools, New Computer User Software Tools, Portable Applications, Software, USB, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Partition Your Hard Drive Freely with Partition Wizard

imageThere are a number of sound reasons to partition today’s large Hard Drives. The best reason I can think of (from a personal perspective), for partitioning is simply this – data organization.

Additional good reasons to partition could include, keeping your valuable data separate from the operating system so that if you are faced with an OS reinstall following an infection, you can do so without losing irreplaceable data. As well, a multiple boot configuration, which allow users to have more than one operating systems on a computer, requires multiple partitions.

While we’re talking about an OS reinstall following a malware infection, let me just remind you that partitioning is NOT a substitute for backing up your important data. Hard Drives can, and do, fail – much more often than most people realize. A good backup strategy is an absolute must.

On my new Windows 7 machine I have only one Hard Drive (although my other machines have multiple internal Hard Drives), so I have partitioned this drive as follows:

  • Partition 1 – Operating system and programs
  • Partition 2 – Data files
  • Partition 3 – Research projects
  • Partition 4 – Videos
  • Partition 5 – Music
  • Partition 6 – Photos

The are a number of free partitioning applications available for download over the Internet, but the one I have found to be the most useful, and easiest to use, particularly for those users who are less technically inclined is, Partition Wizard (last updated December 23, 2009).

Partition Wizard 2

Partition Wizard with its simple user interface allows you to easily create, delete, format, move, and resize partitions. Users of 64 bit systems are in luck -Partition Wizard supports Windows Vista and Windows 7, 64 bit.

The Main interface of Partition Wizard has five parts: Tool Bar, Action panel, Legend bar, Disk map, and Disk / Partition List.

  • In the Tool Bar, some of the common functions of managing partitions are listed.
  • The Action Panel divides the functions into two sections: Partition Operations and Disk Operations. It also shows the partitioning operation commands not yet carried out by user.
  • The Legend bar at the bottom of the screen displays the different kinds of legends with various colors used in Partition Wizard.
  • The Disk Map gives an intuitive preview of the partitions, or the free spaces.
  • The Disk / Partition List shows all the disks and partitions in the system as well as detailed information about them.

After selecting a partition, you can carry out any of the numerous partitioning functions through the top menu, Tool Bar, Action Panel, or through the left click and right click of the mouse.

Some operations will require the computer to restart. When prompted, Partition Wizard will restart the computer and log in Windows in Native Mode to continue the unfinished operations. After your confirmation of restart, Partition Wizard will carry out this task automatically.

Partition Wizard 3

Fast facts:

Resize/ Move partitions

Create partitions

Delete partitions

Change Partition Label

Delete all partitions

Format partitions

Convert file system

Explore Partition

Check Partitions

Recovery Partition

Wipe disk

Wipe partition

Copy partition

Copy disks

Initialize to MBR disk

Initialize to GPT disk

Supported File System: Supports the most commonly used Windows file systems, including FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS.

Supported Hard Disks: Partition Wizard supports all hard disks recognized by Windows such as IDE, SATA, SCSI, USB external disks, Fire wire disks and so on. Partition Wizard also supports RAID devices. All OS-recognized RAID devices can be handled by Partition Wizard. Moreover, Partition Wizard supports disks with capacity up to 2TB. It will support up to 32 disks.

Download at: Download.com

Note: This edition is free for home uses only. However, there is a business edition, also free, which can be downloaded at Download.com.

A little extra something: A Partition Wizard Bootable CD is available, which allows users to boot a computer directly into Partition Wizard to manage partitions. Features include Rebuild MBR, Partition Recovery, Move/Resize Partition, Copy Partition, Create Partition, Delete Partition, Format Partition, Convert File System, Hide/Unhide Partition, Explore Partition and more.

Download Partition Wizard Bootable CD at: Partition Wizard

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

4 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Tools, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Partition Wizard Free Home Edition – New User Friendly

image I can still remember the first time I partitioned a live Hard Drive. What I remember most clearly is, how nervous I was. All sorts of “what ifs” were bouncing around my mind.

What if – my primary partition got erased or deleted, and I lost critical data, or my machine failed to re-boot, etc. As it turned out, these were not just ideal fears, because in the early days of computing, I managed to do all this and more.

Interestingly, most users I meet, even today, have some of these same fears. But these type of concerns are less valid than they once were, since we now have access to partitioning tools that are virtually foolproof. Used with reasonable care, today’s tools really do help users avoid the pain and frustration of  accidentally losing data while partitioning.

There are a number of sound reasons to partition today’s large Hard Drives. The best reason I can think of (from a personal perspective), for partitioning is simply this – data organization.

Additional good reasons to partition could include, keeping your valuable data separate from the operating system so that if you are faced with an OS reinstall following an infection, you can do so without losing irreplaceable data. As well, a multiple boot configuration, which allow users to have more than one operating systems on a computer, requires multiple partitions.

While we’re talking about an OS reinstall following a malware infection, let me just remind you that partitioning is NOT a substitute for backing up your important data. Hard Drives can, and do, fail – much more often than most people realize. A good backup strategy is an absolute must.

On my new Windows 7 machine I have only one Hard Drive (although my other machines have multiple internal Hard Drives), so I have partitioned this drive as follows:

  • Partition 1 – Operating system and programs
  • Partition 2 – Data files
  • Partition 3 – Research projects
  • Partition 4 – Videos
  • Partition 5 – Music
  • Partition 6 – Photos

The are a number of free partitioning applications available for download over the Internet, but the one I have found to be the most useful, and easiest to use, particularly for those users who are less technically inclined is, Partition Wizard.

Partition Wizard 2

Partition Wizard with its simple user interface allows you to easily create, delete, format, move, and resize partitions. Users of 64 bit systems are in luck -Partition Wizard supports Windows Vista and Windows 7, 64 bit.

The Main interface of Partition Wizard has five parts: Tool Bar, Action panel, Legend bar, Disk map, and Disk / Partition List.

  • In the Tool Bar, some of the common functions of managing partitions are listed.
  • The Action Panel divides the functions into two sections: Partition Operations and Disk Operations. It also shows the partitioning operation commands not yet carried out by user.
  • The Legend bar at the bottom of the screen displays the different kinds of legends with various colors used in Partition Wizard.
  • The Disk Map gives an intuitive preview of the partitions, or the free spaces.
  • The Disk / Partition List shows all the disks and partitions in the system as well as detailed information about them.

After selecting a partition, you can carry out any of the numerous partitioning functions through the top menu, Tool Bar, Action Panel, or through the left click and right click of the mouse.

Some operations will require the computer to restart. When prompted, Partition Wizard will restart the computer and log in Windows in Native Mode to continue the unfinished operations. After your confirmation of restart, Partition Wizard will carry out this task automatically.

Partition Wizard 3

Fast facts:

Resize/ Move partitions

Create partitions

Delete partitions

Change Partition Label

Delete all partitions

Format partitions

Convert file system

Explore Partition

Check Partitions

Recovery Partition

Wipe disk

Wipe partition

Copy partition

Copy disks

Initialize to MBR disk

Initialize to GPT disk

Supported File System: Supports the most commonly used Windows file systems, including FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS.

Supported Hard Disks: Partition Wizard supports all hard disks recognized by Windows such as IDE, SATA, SCSI, USB external disks, Fire wire disks and so on. Partition Wizard also supports RAID devices. All OS-recognized RAID devices can be handled by Partition Wizard. Moreover, Partition Wizard supports disks with capacity up to 2TB. It will support up to 32 disks.

Download at: Download.com

Note: This edition is free for home uses only. However, there is a business edition, also free, which can be downloaded at Download.com.

A little extra something: A Partition Wizard Bootable CD is available, which allows users to boot a computer directly into Partition Wizard to manage partitions. Features include Rebuild MBR, Partition Recovery, Move/Resize Partition, Copy Partition, Create Partition, Delete Partition, Format Partition, Convert File System, Hide/Unhide Partition, Explore Partition and more.

Download Partition Wizard Bootable CD at: Partition Wizard

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

7 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Tools, New Computer User Software Tools, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP