How Command Centers Promote Transparency

Summary: Command center workstations give users easier access to critical information, promoting transparency both in and out of the office.


Control centers are complex environments with many moving parts working at any given time. These systems are designed to streamline business operations and help companies work more efficiently with the information they create and receive.


Command center workstations can help businesses in different industries work quicker and make better decisions to help their companies grow. One of the side effects of implementing command centers into a work environment is that it can ultimately promote more transparency.


Informed Employees


Since these workstations are designed with the intent of giving its users easier access to information and displaying data in ways that make sense, it should come as no surprise that they have the power to inform employees and keep them in-the-loop. Operations center desks can display critical internal information regarding the actual company, from sales to units produced for the quarter. Additionally, workers at these desks can pull up external information that might be relevant to people in different divisions, such as current events and data on competitors.


Information that would have otherwise been time-consuming to access can be readily available to your employees at all times if you set up an integrated system into your workflow.


Keeping Viewers In-The-Loop


While primarily designed to enhance the flow of information to employees, command center environments can also help viewers out. If you are running a sports broadcast, for example, companies like can help workstation operators gain access to the different camera feeds running. Being able to show the different angles of a play when a foul gets called could help both referees and players understand what is going on.

How to Improve Productivity Without Sacrificing Morale

Summary: A happy employee can provide more to your company than you might think.

A productive mission-control environment requires a team of operators that work efficiently with one another. One of the most important considerations that an owner must place at the forefront of his or her responsibilities is ensuring every operator knows his or her role and focuses on the job at hand. Here are some tips on how to improve the efficiency of your command center without having to crack the whip.


Every employee wouldn’t mind a bonus for outperforming his or her role. If this is the case, compensation may be what’s needed to boost morale. Now, you’re not running a charity so what you’re offering doesn’t have to be given out on a monthly basis.

Additionally, if you’re considering this, ensure that the operator knows what he or she has done to deserve this. Recognition is one of the best ways to improve morale and lower turnover rates.

Set Them Up For Success

Nothing’s worse for an operator than to work at a station without the proper tools to succeed – things like outdated computers, miscommunication between coworkers, and lack of equipment. If you’re running the show, you’ll want to make sure each operator has the necessary tools needed to perform the job efficiently.

Always be open to suggestions as well, each individual that you have on your team has something that he or she can offer. Some ideas may enhance your company’s overall level of productivity. While you ultimately are the one that’s going to be making the suggestions, you have to remember that your employees aren’t just numbers, but rationale individuals that are more than capable of outperforming themselves. You just need to bring it out of them.


Driving Video Wall Solutions that Pinpoint Your Customer’s Needs


Summary: Understanding what your customer’s objectives are can help you choose what’s appropriate for their command center.

If you’re looking to recommend the appropriate video conferencing requirements, it’s all about paying attention the customer’s overall objectives. Now, there several ways that you can approach video conferencing and the only wrong way that you can go about doing this is to neglect the customer’s needs. Here is some basic knowledge that you should know so you can make the right video conferencing recommendations.

Understand Your Customer’s Objectives

How does your customer plan to use their video conferencing? How are they establishing the baseline for system requirements? Ask the customer this prior to breaking down the project as it’ll help you understand the scope of the project that you’re being tasked with.

Once you understand their objective, what their budget is, and what type of command center they are working with, you can begin recommending solutions that you believe will work for them. Don’t recommend a system that is small or too big to justify the costs – be sure that you provide a solution that’s functional and affordable for the customer or you’re likely to just push them towards another company.

Figure Out the Right Hardware and Software

Now that the fundamentals are out of the way, you can now begin to define the specific requirements and design a system that’s scaled to suit your customer’s requirements. Select the appropriate display or digital signage system and collaboration software that aligns with the company’s goals. It’s essentially like putting the pieces together after finalizing the blueprints.


The Advantages of Web Hosting with a VM

As cloud hosting becomes viable for more and more companies, the decision comes down to benefits the organization will see from the platform. The decision should come at the application and service level. Cloud hosting provides customers virtual machines that provide a finite amount of resources for the cost. In this example, we will look at the advantages of virtualizing LA web hosting by moving it to the cloud.

Security – To get the benefits of virtualization, all sub services need to operate in their virtual machines. In the case of web hosting, the web server should run on its server while other services like DNS, SQL will run on other virtual machines. If and when there is a security breach of one VM, the others remain unaffected.

Migration – You can also migrate, update or upgrade one component without affecting any of the others. Let’s say you want to change from MySQL to Postgres, then all you need to do is bring up a new VM, set up the new database server. When the installation is complete, point the web server to the new database server and shutdown the old VM.

Backup – Keeping backups of applications and data is critical. With virtualization, you can take snapshots or backups of entire VM’s. Cloud hosting providers like Rack Alley have hundreds of servers around the world. You can create geographical redundancy by keeping backup VM’s in other countries.

Load – A sudden surge in traffic could cripple your entire website when all the systems are running on the same server. When you have individual VM’s, only the web server will take the hit. At that point, you can either increase resources or bring up additional VM’s to handle the load.

Amazon to Open 300-400 Physical Book Stores

Article written by Techicated, technology news and resources

The online shopping giant recently revealed that they will be opening between 300 to 400 physical book stores across the country. While there was no official announcement, this move was widely expected given the recent trial bookstore opened.

Amazon will use the data gathered from all book sales online to determine the catalog of books available at each store. Each section will be stocked with titles based on specific category sales data. They will also take is a step further and use data gathered for sales within those geographic areas to narrow down the most popular titles. In addition they will also stock books favored by influencers. It is not yet clear who these are but Jeff Bezos himself will be recommending certain titles.

There are two advantages for Amazon with this approach. The first, now that they have dominated online book sales, is to get a larger share of the sales from physical stores. There are still several large bookstore chains that Amazon will target with these launches. The other is that thanks to the large data set they can also limit the number of books they will need to stock at each store.

The rumor is that these bookstores will also be used as last mile delivery hubs to get books to local customers quickly. Amazon recently ran trials of one hour delivery in certain cities and this is expected to tie in to their attempts to get products into their customers hands faster. For the moment Amazon will only be selling books at their stores. Which is also how they started online.

The advantages and disadvantages of different types of air conditioning systems

There are several different types of air conditioning systems available in the market today. Each has its appropriate uses. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the main types:

Central Plant

Advantages – When the plant is away from the occupied spaces, there is very little noise. The entire system is controlled from one central location. This allows the system to start and stop on a timer, usually set to work hours. Maintenance is also easier as there are central locations for each area that requires servicing.

Disadvantages – The biggest drawback is the cost, as plant systems are expensive. Also, space is required for the ducting, plant room, and control room. There is no real control at room level, except to use louvers and control the air flow into the room.

Fan coil units

Advantages – The primary advantage is that fan coil units are cheaper to install than central plant systems. Another advantage, unlike the central plant, is individual room-level control over the temperature. Fan coils do not require extensive ducting and can heat and cool.

Disadvantages – There can be noise from the indoor fan component especially during speed changes. Also, each unit needs maintenance and it has to be on-site. Since it is a pipe based system, long runs of pipes are needed. Heating requires a boiler and cooling requires a chiller.

Three tips for preparing for colocation

Written by Rack Alley

One of the reasons many organizations opt for LA colocation is growth. In house data centers and server rooms only have so much capacity. This capacity often falls behind requirements and this can affect the growth prospects of the company. In some cases, it can adversely affect outlook if service levels dip below customer expectations. Using a LA data center service provider allows an organization to let someone else handle power, cooling, networking, security has advantages to the bottom line. Here are some tips for preparing to make the move to a third party data center:


Colocation, at its most basic level, is the rental of your provider’s infrastructure. While there are many other considerations, you want provision only as much space and resources as you need. It is wise to assume some growth, but any expansion can be undertaken later. Avoid under-provisioning in a bid to keep costs low.


Bandwidth is a resource that you should provision with care. There is no point in paying for too much bandwidth in anticipation of traffic spikes. The better move is to negotiate an allowance for bursts during peak load times. Even the burst can be limited to prevent cost overruns.


Supporting a business requires careful coordination of IT decisions with the business side of the company. The primary reason we make infrastructure changes is to support the growth of the enterprise. The business side will provide valuable information such as regulatory requirements that should be part of the decision.


Rack Alley is a provider of server hosting Los Angeles at their LA data center.

Four essential shopping cart features

Written by Secure Net Shop

There are hundreds of options when it comes choosing a shopping cart solution. There are free options, paid, subscription based, and even hosted offerings. There is also a lot of fine print to look at regarding features. Choosing an internet shopping cart is not something that you should treat lightly. Here are four essential features that should be a part of any shopping cart:


A good product image is one of the primary drivers for customers to make a purchase. Product images are a standard feature for any shopping cart. However, there are other extensions to product images that make a sale much more likely. These are options like adding VR images, image zoom, and videos.


Nothing sells products better than a recommendation from another customer. Often, people see these reviews as a recommendation, even if the review itself does not encourage others to buy. The feature does not need to be built-in but should provide support for at least third-party review platforms.


A shopping cart should have the facility for a layered navigation system that is independent of the product category. The navigation itself should be dynamic and generated according to the attributes of the products within that category.

Fast checkout

“Just like the supermarket, online shoppers are looking for the shortest line” is an important statement to remember when establishing checkout workflow for a shopping cart. The script should support both a login based checkout as well as a single click checkout for convenience.


Sell goods or services from your website with a website shopping cart from Secure Net Shop.

The Advantages of Using Magnetron Technology for Deposition

Written by: Denton Vacuum, LLC

Summary: Magnetron technology consists of high voltage and ion bombardment to produce a quality film layer.

This guide brings you the basics of understanding magnetron sputtering technology. Although it may seem like another ordinary form of PVD coating technology it possesses qualities and characteristics that other deposition methods lack.

The Basics

What exactly is magnetron sputtering technology? For one, it’s a physical vapor deposition coating method that’s used to deposit specific metals onto a substrate. Magnetron sputtering utilizes plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition as its primary form of coating due to its high adhesion rates. The process consists of a sputtering material bombarded by a set of ions to a target surface, therefore creating the thin film itself.

The vacuum chamber of the PECVD coating machine is filled to the brim with a select inert gas and charged with a high amount of voltage. A glow discharge is then created which results in the acceleration of ions to the target surface. This creates the plasma coating. The inert gas ions will then eject the sputtering materials which will result in a sputtered coating layer on the products. This is a common deposition method that is used in a variety of industries today.


Some of the main characteristics of magnetron sputtering technology include a water-cooled target to reduce overall radiation heat, oxide coatings, layer uniformity, and smooth sputter coatings (depending on the specific type of magnetron sputtering system utilized during the process). These make up the bulk of magnetron technology’s strengths and are the reasons why so many people use this technology over others.

The basics of web hosting

40Written by Rack Alley

In the most basic sense, web hosting is an intangible service. There are cheap web hosting companies that rely on its intangible nature to promote these plans over the more expensive alternatives. In order to better understand the various pricing schemes available and arrive at the best decision, it is important to know what goes into web hosting.


This is one of the biggest sources of expenditure. With the exception of cases like LA colocation, all servers, and related equipment are purchased and owned by the hosting company. In some cases, higher fees are due to the constant upgrade cycle. This is a good thing as faster servers mean better performance.

Data Centers

The servers will be located at one of the many data centers used by hosting companies. The cost of this is a part of the charges included. These large buildings are designed specifically to host thousands or tens of thousands of servers. Some host will allow region selection like an LA data center.


With the exception of a few open source applications, most software that both runs and runs on servers are proprietary. This is another one of the major costs in hosting. The difference can be seen when comparing the cost of a Linux server and a windows one.


Web hosting companies purchase web hosting just any other normal organization would. The advantage is that since the connections are large, these costs savings filter down to the individual hosts. However, since the connections need to be distributed amongst thousands of customers, there are strict limits and charges for exceeding those limits.


Rack Alley is a provider of colocation and server hosting Los Angeles at their LA data center.