Cloud Computing, what is it?

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Buying servers for your business is an absolute no brainer,right? Well not really.

As soon as you want to host something such as website or online service, you need a server. If you are looking for a recommendation as to what server to get, you can check out something like Certa Hosting, who offer virtual private server hostings. The server hosts the website which hosts the databases or whatever else you are storing or distributing. The amount of access, the amount of data the speed required and the resilience needed all add into the mix to determine how many servers you will need to buy or rent. The server’s then need to be “housed” somewhere, in a specially designed secure and air-conditioned area. The point being, it’s not a back of the envelope job to estimate the amounts of all these aspects of the server resource that’s required and an overestimate means that you are spending money unnecessarily, an underestimate could make the services unstable, subject to crashes and eventual re build costs. If you are based in Seattle and are looking for a seattle managed hosting provider to run the core of your business, then be sure to do your research into this. You want to be sure you are spending your money in the right place for you and your business.

So far so bad.  So how does Cloud computing help?

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When the Cloud computing approach arrived on the scene, the job of estimating, managing your business computing and server resources changed for the better. In the world of cloud you can add resources and remove resources quickly so that you only pay for what you need and you may never need to worry about not having enough capacity. A surge in business can be met in a matter of minutes by an expansion of server space. This is made possible because all those individual servers, ring-fenced for specific traffic and businesses are pooled as single resource, in other words connected to each other to get them working together so that the free space in each becomes a large free space across the whole pool of servers. Most of the time, servers don’t run at full capacity. Servers rarely run at maximum capacity which means that unused processing power is being wasted. In cloud computing, the servers are monitored and controlled by a central server. It’s possible to fool a physical server into thinking it’s actually multiple servers, each running with its own independent operating system. This technique is called server virtualization and it allows the maximisation of the output of individual servers thereby reducing the need for more actual physical servers.

The big advantage for those using cloud hosting services is that it’s very scalable, reliable and you can be sure that you are only going to pay for what you actually need.  But beyond this your business will benefit from freeing up your IT team from the chores of server management, troubleshooting so that they can start putting their skills to use on strategic and other value adding types of activity. It may even put a smile on their faces!

Receipt Catcher Pro: Independent Review

App Developers UK are always glad to hear about reviews of apps we have created. Receipt Catcher Pro, created by App Developers UK on behalf of DNA Apps has been getting some great reviews and we though we would re publish just one of these for our readers. Guest writer,  has written from an American perspective as you can read below.

Keeping track of receipts is not my forte. They inevitably end up at the bottom of my purse, crumpled in the washing machine or in the trash can. I often run through the house like a mad woman to find these receipts when it comes time for taxes, returning an item or keeping track of my expenses.

Receipt Catcher Pro is one of hundreds if not thousands of receipt apps that are available to help users like me keep track of those little pesky pieces of paper. What I like the most is that an account isn’t required. When the app is launched, users can immediately begin capturing, viewing and exporting receipts. Capturing a receipt is as simple as entering a few details and taking a quick snapshot. Pictures of receipts can then be cropped directly within the app.

When it’s time to find a receipt, just tap on the View Receipts button on the main page to sort them by year, month, type, category and vendor. Receipts can be deleted, edited and searched for with minimal effort.

Not only can users view their receipts on the iPhone, but they can also export them as PDF or .CSV files to print or email. This makes it easy to keep track of not only the actual receipts but all the expense details as well.

Additional features that make Receipt Catcher Pro stand out from its competitors are the ability to fit images to a standard letter page, no extra charges or fees when exporting expenses in PDF or .CSV, a database that is backedup in iCloud to share with other devices, an option to hide fields that aren’t used and a currency converter.

I was surprised by the available options, but I do wish it was a little easier to navigate. The user manual is a lengthy PDF files that requires quite a bit of reading and the settings options are actually located on the iPhone instead of within the app itself. One other improvement that would make the app better is an interface makeover. Although there are a ton of great features and its functional, the app just doesn’t look exciting. Adding a customization option like changing the background color may help give it an extra boost.

Receipt Catcher Pro is staying on my home screen. It has all the features that I need and it doesn’t have any hidden expenses. If the price seems a little steep, there’s a cheaper version available for $0.99 for those who can do without the option to add a company logo to the PDF output or add a custom exchange rate to the currency converter. There’s always the option to upgrade later, which makes the basic version a dollar well worth spending.