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Posts Tagged ‘Computers’

A Guide to Computer Hardware

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Computer hardware means the physical part of a computer and it is totally different from computer software or computer programs and data that are used within hardware.It is not an overstatement to say that many computer users do not know what computer hardware is let alone being able to differentiate it from software. The best they know and they can do is to operate their system anytime they need it. However, this is not the best. You need to know a little about the computer and its hardware as well as its components. Computers are like the human body with various components that come together to make the entire system.

As the name suggests, computer hardware is the peripheral or the palpable component of the computer different from the software or program that is used in it. It is the unit of the component that you can touch and feel. Hardware is not the same in every computer. What determines the hardware your computer will use are the brand and the model of the computer that you are using. Sometimes computers of the same brand but different in the model may not even use the same hardware. Another thing that you should know about hardware is that it is essential for the running of computer software. If you do not have good hardware, your software will not perform well no matter the quality and the version you are using.

When you hear about hardware with reference to computers, do not think that a computer has just a unit called hardware. No! They are not one but many. Let us look at some of them. The most important computer hardware is the system unit. Owing to its importance, it is regarded as the main computer. The rest of the components has a connection with the system unit for their maximum performance. The hardware that stores the files being worked with at a particular time is known as the RAM meaning Random Access memory. There are others that are not mentioned here.

SCSI Hot Swap Hard Disks

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

When using and operating a high availability server or system within an organisation, you need to consider that there may be times when hardware fails and the system may be offline. This is par for the course when it comes to computers. No system in 100% fail safe as there are so many things that can go wrong. One of the main issues that IT departments face is loss of data if a disk fails. A way to overcome this issue is to employ a level of RAID and use SCSI hot swap disks.

Using RAID allows you to spread your data across many disk drives in the server. This process has several levels of complexity and redundancy and allows you to recover information from a failed disk using parity information, written to different disks. A little like an algebra sum, where 1 + a = 3 (a = 2), RAID allows the data to be recreated when the faulty hard disk is replaced. The server still operates, but it has to work out the sums on its own, making it slightly slower.

In the past, it was a requirement that the server hardware was powered off to replace the hard disk, but hot swap drives and caddies have allowed the server to continue to operate whilst the data is recovered. SCSI hot swap drives allow you to remove the faulty hard disk and insert a new one without having to power off any part of the server. This allows the server to continue running whilst the new disks is restored or repaired and made part of the RAID array. Each major manufacturer of server hardware has a slightly different implementation of the hot swap technology. The SCSI hard disk sits in a caddy or tray which is specific to each server brand. The SCSI disk itself is sometimes independent to the server brand, and therefore any similar size SCSI disk can be used..