Categories
Business Entrepreneur Words of Wisdom

A shark in your tank

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish, but the water close to Japan has not held many fish for decades.

So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever. The further the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring the fish. If the return trip took more time, the fish were not fresh.

To solve this problem, fish companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer.

However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish and they did not like the taste of frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price. So, fishing companies installed fish tanks.

They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, they were tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste. The fishing industry faced an impending crisis!

But today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan. How did they manage…?

To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks but with a small shark. The fish are challenged and hence are constantly on the move. The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!

Have you realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time tired and dull….? Basically in our lives, sharks are new challenges to keep us active.

If you are steadily conquering challenges, you are happy. Your challenges keep you energised. Don’t create Success and revel in it in a state of inertia.

You have the resources, skills and abilities to make a difference. Put a shark in your tank in the year 2016 and see how far you can really go. Best wishes for a challenging, highly energized and active year in 2016.

Sources: Shreya Bhatt; CiteHR; Photo by Zac Wolf (edited by Mohsin Sumar to add the title of the post);

Categories
Business Extreme Web Technologies Web Hosting

Improve your company’s productivity in 2016

Along with the entire customer happiness team at Extreme Web Technologies; I wish you a Happy New Year 2016!

As 2016 sets in, its time to put those new year resolutions in effect. Did your new year resolution include improving your productivity as a business? If not, make sure to list it down because your employees could be wasting 24% of their day on useless email.

Useless email are SPAM emails that clutter our email inbox every day. It may be cheap for spammers to send SPAM, however, it is very costly for a business on the other end. The following costs are usually associated with SPAM emails:

  • Productivity loss, or waste of time of your employees in reviewing and deleting spam emails.
  • The cost of anti-spam technology.
  • Wasted storage and server resources.
  • Internet data.

Here’s a report from one of our customers account using professional spam filter. They have seen an improvement of 35% emails being blocked by the filter. Think about it for a second, how many is 35% on the report below? That’s 25,000 emails blocked over 3 month period.

Spam Filter Report for 3 Months

 

Improve the productivity of your business by using a professional spam filter. For a limited time, DOUBLE your storage when you add professional spam filter to your account! Contact us by sending us an email to support (at) extreme.co.tz for more information.

Improve your company's productivity in 2016 with professional spam filter.

This article was first published on Extreme Web Technologies Blog. This article was written by Mohsin Sumar (@mohsinsumar) and serves as the Technical Director of Extreme Web Technologies. Mohsin with his Customer Happiness team constantly strive to deliver top notch quality web hosting in Tanzania.

Categories
Words of Wisdom

Simpler can be harder than complex

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs

Categories
Business Entrepreneur Extreme Web Technologies Marketing Web Presence

.tz Marketing Workshop

I attended a marketing workshop representing Extreme Web Technologies, top performing .TZ accredited registrar on 10th & 11th December 2015 which was organised by tzNIC in collaboration with ICANN. It was held at BOT Conference Room and facilitated by Bob Ochieng and Ali Hussein Kassim.

The workshop aimed to share and provide necessary business skill-sets as well as exposure to the domain industry players to the participants which comprised mostly of .TZ registrars, as well as representatives from various academia, government bodies and students.

The workshop came at a time when African continent of about 1 billion people is striving to grow the ccTLD domain business from about 1.3 Million domains that are in use today.

Key questions that were discussed at the workshop included what should be done to change the situation? What can the ccTLD manager and registrars do to grow the .tz domain business in Tanzania? And finally, what other stakeholders should do to propel the .tz domain name industry?

I was also a panelist of a discussion where we discussed various ways to market the domain business through raising awareness of .tz domain by educating small & medium sized businesses on the importance of their online presence, the need of personalised email addresses and more.

Categories
Server Management Web Hosting

Guide to setup cPanel + CentOS 6.7 with RAID on HP Proliant Server ML310e

HP Proliant ML310e server comes with Intelligent Provisioning built in as well as SMART array controller. A quick overview of what we’ll cover in this post:

  • Configuration of HP Proliant ML310e
  • Configuration of RAID-1
  • Installation of CentOS
  • Installation of HP Dynamic Smart Array Controller B320i
  • Setup of Networking
  • Installation of cPanel

Configuration of HP Proliant ML310e
The server I was working with was 16GB RAM with 2 hard drives, each of 1TB and HP Dynamic Smart Array Controller B320i. The boot up was pretty straight forward, connecting it to a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Configuration of RAID-1
As the server I was working with had two hard drives, this can allow for RAID-1 configuration which means mirroring. All data is written to both drives at the same time, such that in the event of a hard drive failure, the machine can boot up using the second drive.

During the boot, press F5 when the system recognizes HP Dynamic Smart Array Controller to open up the configuration screen . Use this interface to create a virtual / logical volume such as RAID-1 and include both the hard drives to it. The logical volume would be 1TB of usable space.

Installation of CentOS 6.7
HP Proliant ML310e Server comes with a tool called Intelligent Provisioning. It’s a nifty tool which completes the installation of an operating system in a few easy steps. One caveat is that it does not support CentOS 6.7. The intelligent provisioning tool can be used to install Windows, Red Hat, and a couple of other operating systems.

In order to install CentOS 6.7, we’ll have to go the manual way. Insert Disk 1 into the drive and reboot the server. The server will boot from disk, and take you to the installation screen.

If you’ve done a CentOS installation before, you’d be happy to reach a familiar screen and everything from here should be straight forward, right? When you reach to the screen where you’ve to pick your boot drive, you’d be surprised to see two hard drives instead of the logical volume RAID 1 we created previously.

This means that the operating system is not able to read HP Dynamic Smart Array Controller B320i and a driver for CentOS will be required to proceed forward.

Installation of HP Dynamic Smart Array Controller B320i driver on CentOS 6.7
HP support & drivers website does not provide you with CentOS driver. Luckily, CentOS is built on Red Hat Linux and we can use that driver for our server.

  1. Go to HP Drivers & Software site and search for B320i.
  2. Choose the operating system, I picked Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Server (x86-64).
  3. Expand Software – Driver Update
  4. Look for the version 6u7 from the list: hpvsa-1.2.14-103.rhel6u7.x86_64.dd.gz
  5. Download it to your computer

Note: if you are using browser like Safari or Chrome, make sure it does not auto-extract the downloads.

Once you have your file, follow the instructions below to create a flash drive for the driver. The instructions below are for creating the drive in Mac OS X. Open up the terminal using ⌘ + Space, type Terminal, and hit enter and follow the commands below: (all the lines starting with # are comments)

# Assuming the file is in your Downloads folder
cd ~/Downloads

# Extract the file using gunzip command
gunzip hpvsa-1.2.14-103.rhel6u7.x86_64.dd.gz

# Plug in your empty FAT32 flash disk, make sure it is unmounted.
# Use the command below to create the drive
# Make sure your flash disk drive path is correct
# In my case, the disk was available in /dev/disk2
sudo dd if=hpvsa-1.2.14-103.rhel6u7.x86_64.dd of=/dev/disk2

Give it a couple of minutes at most, and your flash drive will be ready. Let’s get back to the CentOS installation, you’ll need to reboot the server.

centos_67_01After you reach the initialisation of CentOS installation screen (as seen on the right), follow these instructions:

  • Press ESC key to reach the boot prompt.
  • Plug in your USB flash drive which contains the driver
  • Type in “linux dd blacklist=ahci” and press ENTER
  • A few moments later, it will ask you if you have a driver disk. Choose yes.
  • Select your disk and browse the disk image: “dd.img” and choose OK
  • Once the driver is installed, it will prompt you whether or not you have more driver disks to install.
  • Choose No and continue with the installation and you’ll now be able to see HP’s Logical Disk you created earlier.

Setup of Networking
Once the operating system is setup, you’d think you’re all set right? Not quite. By default, networking is disabled on CentOS installations so you’ll need to enable it first before you can connect it to the internet.

There are two files responsible for network configuration.

# Amend the first file by opening it using vi editor
vi /etc/sysconfig/network
# Hit “a” key on your keyboard to make edits
# Go to the line NETWORKING and change the setting from no to yes
# Add a line for GATEWAY=192.168.1.1
# Save your changes by pressing “CTRL + c”, typing “:wq” and pressing ENTER key

# Type in the following command to open the second file.
vi /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0
# You’ll see the contents of this file on your screen. Press “a” key to amend the contents of this file
# Find the line ONBOOT and change it from no to yes
# At the bottom of the file, add the following lines
# IPADDR=192.168.1.240
# NETMASK=255.255.255.0
# To save the changes, press CTRL + c; type “:wq” and press ENTER key

# Setup DNS resolvers
vi /etc/resolv.conf
# This file should be empty
# Populate with the following two lines, press “a” key on your keyboard and type in the below two:
nameserver 8.8.8.8
nameserver 8.8.4.4
# Press CTRL+c; type “:wq” and press ENTER key

# Reboot the server using the command below
shutdown -r now

Your server will reboot with networking configured with the IP: 192.168.1.240 on your network. You can try ping it from another machine on the network.

Installation of cPanel
cPanel requires that your server must be visible on the internet. You’ll need to make sure you’ve a public IP address from your ISP, and configure it accordingly on the server.

For the purpose of this post, I’ll assume you have a public IP address assigned by your ISP on your internet router/modem. You’ll setup a DMZ zone on your router to point to your internal IP address. Check your router manual for more information.

Once you’ve done this, the installation is pretty straight forward and the best guide for it is available in cPanel documentation.

Before you follow the installation, you’ll need to install wget and curl utility. You can quickly do so by typing in the below command:

yum install curl wget

Once installed, type in the command below to download & install cPanel. Depending on your internet connection, this can take anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours.

cd /home && curl -o latest -L https://securedownloads.cpanel.net/latest && sh latest

If all goes well, you should be able to access cPanel/WHM via browser and complete the cPanel setup.

All the best! If you get stuck, shout out at me on twitter @mohsinsumar and I’ll try help you out.

Categories
Entrepreneur Startup Words of Wisdom

You’ve launched too late

If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late. — Reid Hoffman, Founder, LinkedIn.

Categories
Entrepreneur Words of Wisdom

If it fails, admit it frankly and try another

“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Categories
Books Business Entrepreneur

How to double your revenue and profit in 3 years or less

One of my favorite books in my library is Double Double: How to double your revenue and profit in 3 years or less by Cameron Herold.

Double Double: How to double your revenue and profit in 3 years or less is a must read book for every entrepreneur. The book can show you how to double your revenues & profits in 3 years or less through the simple, actionable steps of focused planning, focused building and focused leadership.

Everything starts with the beautiful concept of a Vision / Painted Picture. As a leader, you need to paint how you see the future of your company 3 years from today, 5 years is too long to plan and 1 year is just too short. Once you have the vision, share it with your team and focus everything towards vision by reverse engineering your goals.

Grab your copy of the book on Amazon.

Categories
Words of Wisdom

Pleasure in the job, puts perfection in the work

“Pleasure in the job, puts perfection in the work” – Aristotle

Categories
Search Engine Optimization Web Presence

Mobile friendly websites are more important than ever

Earlier this year, in April 2015, Google released an update to their Search Engine which now includes mobile friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect all mobile searches in all languages all over the world.

It will help users on the move, using their mobile devices to reach relevant websites that are mobile friendly.

Use this tool to check if your website is mobile friendly.

If your business website is not mobile friendly yet, it’s never too late to give your website a makeover. Make sure to mention to your designer that your new website should be mobile friendly.

Source: Make sure your site’s ready for mobile-friendly Google search results.