What You Should Know About Infrastructure Optimization

The name sounds ominous, but the function is actually straight-forward. Infrastructure optimization (IO) is based on measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of your company’s existing technology, and discovering areas for improvement.

Effectiveness deals with how the technology complements your business goals and works into your current structure. Efficiency deals with how well the technology is serving your business.

The goal of IO is to address common concerns of small business owners, such as:

  • the vulnerability of systems and how to keep them safe
  • opportunities to reduce costs associated with technology
  • ensuring compliance of systems
  • managing resources within security protocols

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Three Main Parts

Infrastructure optimization is typically broken down into three parts:

1) Core, which is centered on platforms. Technologies in the core section are typically considered costs associated with doing business. As such, efficiency plays an integral role here, since business owners want to be sure they’re getting the most “bang for their buck.”

2) Business Productivity, which is essentially where the most useful applications are stored. Examples include unified communications, collaboration tools, and more.

3) Application Platform, which is centered around in-house application development. Aspects analyzed in this stage include data management and business systems.

Stages and Characteristics

Four stages are involved in infrastructure optimization: basic, standardized, rationalized, and dynamic.

The basic stage is problem-driven, such as how to reduce downtime. The standardized stage is reactive, commonly referring to keeping operations running smoothly. The rationalized stage takes a proactive approach that focuses on accountability, predictability, and areas for improvement.

Also considered to be a proactive step, the dynamic stage deals first with optimizing costs versus quality as it pertains to new and existing company technology, and also self-assessment and continual improvement, so the company can take a ‘cutting edge’ approach to technical innovation.

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Challenges for Business Leaders

The main challenges for business leaders and information technology (I.T.) professionals as they pertain to infrastructure management are three-fold:

Simplifying infrastructure and management. This entails nearly every business function, including compliance, innovation, customer service, employee skill sets, and even business growth.

Reducing costs and complexity. This includes technology maintenance, server sprawl, software updates, and more. This aspect directly affects the bottom line for small businesses.

Improving security. In an age of increasing cyber-attacks, business leaders are more focused than ever on preventing data breaches and staying on top of evolving threats, while still providing secure access to those who need it.

It’s important to note that infrastructure optimization is an ongoing endeavor. As technology changes, so must the business approach to IO.

by Enid Ahylhienatta
Technology Editor
Residential Life Magazine

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Make Every Meal Count

“I’m skipping lunch today.” It’s a phrase you hear often, particularly from those who are trying to lose weight quickly. The problem is, that method actually works counter to its intended outcome!

When you skip meals, your body goes into ‘starvation mode,’ and will actually store fat. So, while you won’t necessarily gain weight, you will likely not lose any in the long-term. You might see a one pound loss the next day, but this is not something that can be sustained over a period of several weeks.

skip-meals

Instead of skipping meals, shift your focus to the ‘total picture,’ and make food choices based on nutrition. Rather than a morning bagel, consider adding some vegetables and low-sugar fruits to your breakfast.

Your body will reward you for these smart choices, which will translate into a better mood, increased self confidence, and many other benefits.

As you continue this process (and add daily exercise), it will become easier by the day to finally reach your fitness goals. Keep up the good work!

by Raul Lisneski
Health & Wellness Editor
Residential Life Magazine

Running Hot and Cold

Cornelius Young likes the temperature to be just right. So when someone adjusted the thermostat in the the 33-year-old Minot, North Dakota man’s mobile home,  things got a little crazy.

Police say Young punched his fiancée’s brother in the face, then threatened him with a knife. The unidentified man threw a children’s toy at Young in self-defense. At some point, police say Young’s boo jumped on his back and bit his ear in a vain attempt to distract him.

Young is charged with felony terrorizing. He has a December 7th court date.

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News Offbeat
Real Stories from Around the World
by Danny Inc  
News Editor
Residential Life Magazine

Put Your Dukes Up

Dear Suri, I love to fight. It sustains me. I wake up in the morning pissed, and I go to bed full of anger and hatred. Oh, I have full control over my outward emotions. I won’t make an issue unless someone else does. But then I always take it overboard. It’s rarely physically violent, but I would tongue-lash you like no one’s business. I’ll say stuff that’ll make you cry.

Now, everyone keeps their distance from me. I’d love to be closer to people, but I also love to fight. I’m not going to give that up. I’ll start arguments with people I don’t even know!

And don’t bother with your psycho-babble horseshit. This isn’t about fear, frustration, depression, hurt, trauma, upheaval, or any of the crap. No one I know has died, I haven’t had a breakup, or jost a job, or anything like that. I don’t need anger management.

I’m actually a pretty happy guy. I still like to go to the movies, hang out with friends (those who haven’t disowned me yet), and all that stuff. I’m just not going to be disrespected, is all. I’m not going to sit idly by and let someone walk all over me. That’s never going to happen. — Furious in Fairfield

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Dear Furious, “Loving” anger and outward offense presents an opportunity for self-reflection and improvement.

Often, when we look introspectively into scenarios affecting our lives  really focusing on an objective, “full picture” approach  we are able to determine the root causes of concern, and any undesirable behavior that stems from it.

It may be beneficial, then, to investigate and evaluate current conditions, and find solutions that will promote and enhance harmonious relationships with the people you encounter on a daily basis. Good luck! ~ Suri

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Suri Says™
by Suri Syrtauwnya
Advice Editor
Residential Life Magazine

Red Handed

Dear Suri, I’ve had it! I know my neighbors were stealing my newspaper. I had a suspicion for a long time, but my wife said “maybe some animal is taking it.” I wanted to tell her that was horseshit, but I didn’t. But it’s horseshit. It was no animal. Not a wild animal, at least.

So I did a test one day. I put together a newspaper of sections from past newspapers, and included a “you are being watched” note. I don’t have any way to actually record my front yard, and I’m not going to buy a surveillance system just for that. But it worked! The thefts stopped!

But now part of me wants to find out who was doing it so I can get some recourse. Oh, I’m not going to do anything stupid. Just maybe rough ’em up a bit. Teach ’em a lesson, you know? What do you think? — Victory in Vergennes

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Dear Victory, Theft — no matter the degree — brings with it feelings of violation and broken trust, not unlike the seven stages of grief.

It is important, however, to keep close control of your emotions and take care not to allow the incident to escalate into actions you’ll most surely regret later on.

Communication remains the key to any successful relationship — whether romantic, professional, or, as in this case, neighborly. Taking a moment to calmly collect your thoughts will help you make a sound decision that will ensure positive interactions for years to come. ~ Suri

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Suri Says™
by Suri Syrtauwnya
Advice Editor
Residential Life Magazine

True Confessions

Like many folks, I’ve struggled with my weight for years, seemingly gaining and losing the same pounds every year. But when I made a commitment to long-term health — not just the mandatory New Year’s resolution — I immediately began to see results.

I’m glad to report that I’m finally nearing my goal weight. I’m sorry to report, however, that this is the fifth time I’ve done so. But they say the fifth time’s the charm, so… 🙂

Joking aside, as recently as last summer, I was tipping the scales in the upper 200s. Prior to that (in college) my heaviest had been 180. I still have a photo where I was wearing an XXL sweater… and still not hiding my belly! So you can imagine how I felt with several dozen extra pounds. That’s like carrying around a third grader… constantly! But people can only change when they’re ready.

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“Glory” Days

Moving to another location has actually helped me position myself in a better place for committed wellness. I don’t suggest moving is a requirement to weight loss, and my environment was surely not completely to blame for me packing on the pounds. But there is something to be said for the many places I had to pass before reaching my old place:

  • Burger King
  • Wendy’s
  • Taco Bell
  • KFC
  • a pizza joint
  • a BBQ joint
  • an ice cream shop
  • Dunkin’ Donuts and
  • Captain D’s seafood

The latter being where they knew me by name, and the cook was already preparing my double order of fried clams, French fries, coleslaw and two hush puppies before I even got to the counter, while the waitress had filled a bag with my two pieces of cheesecake, two slices of Oreo crème pie, banana caramel treats and two large Cokes by the time I was close enough to say ‘hi.’ I wish this was an exaggeration. I really do.

I will spare you most of the sordid details, only to admit that I got quite sick that first night (bet you saw that coming!). As I looked up — red-eyed — into the mirror, I gave the reflected man the finger and promised myself I’d never do it again. The next week, I did.

These days, I pass only one shop (gas station/convenience store) on my way home, and my thrifty side now overrides my stomach — refusing to pay $4 for a bag of chips.

I’m not saying I’m a health nut. There’s a bluegrass show this weekend, and you’d better believe I’ll be hitting the ribs! But I’ll ‘hit’ one small plate, not six heaping piles.

To Thine Own Self be True

Now I’m on a soapbox (at least it’s not an empty box of Eskimo pies!), but suffice it to say that no matter what your current environment, work schedule or other factors, there is always time to take care of your health.

No matter where you are in your wellness routine — whether you’re 10 or 100 pounds overweight — you can do it. Yes, you can.

You just need to believe in yourself and take the necessary steps to return to the fit you inside. I wish you all the best, and send my full support for your endeavors!

by Raul Lisneski
Health & Fitness Editor
Residential Life Magazine

Tough Luck

The owners of a New York gift shop called “A Beautiful Mess” didn’t think it was so pretty when a garbage truck slammed into their store.

Police say the unattended truck rolled away from a nearby gas station. No one was injured. But now, the owners aren’t sure if the store can be repaired in time for Christmas.

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News Offbeat
Real Stories from Around the World
by Danny Inc  
News Editor
Residential Life Magazine