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Hosted With The Mostess

August 14th, 2015 - Posted by Ben Thomson, Director of Operations

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I find myself reminiscing of late, maybe due to my age or maybe just in part due to the release of Windows 10 this month. Where do I go back to during these moments? Well as a child I was lucky enough to have access to a Personal Computer, or a PC as it’s more commonly referred. The operating system? Windows 3.1… yes kids, there was life before Windows XP! Many a weekend and school night (after homework of course) I would spend tinkering with the then ground breaking operating system. BIOS, drivers, serial ports, you name it… I was into it. It wasn’t all rosy though. Even now I remember how frustrated I was trying to do the most basic things. Need a printer installing? Cue hours (well it seemed it at the time to a child) of floppy disc mayhem, only to find something went wrong or the disc had become corrupted, or a spec of dust had gotten into the drive or worse still I was sitting in the wrong position in my chair and breathed the same air as the computer fan causing the installation to fail!

Fast forward a few years (or decades as long as we don’t dwell on how old I am) and nothing much has really changed. Computers are still extremely temperamental at the best of times. They just let you know in a better way – however anyone who has seen a BSOD (blue screen of death) will probably contest this last sentence, as the coded junk message takes some research to find out what the issue is. They need constant attention. Constant loving in fact to keep them running as smoothly as the day we bought them. As I am from a generation where we are used to this I will even stick my neck out and say I get more years use out of my work laptop than most (whilst also hoping none of our sales staff read this!).

So where does that leave you when it comes to your business applications? Invariably you will go to tender to find a suitable piece of software that covers most or all of your requirements. Somewhere near the top will be a decision on whether to seek a hosted or self-managed option. Trying to think back to my experience of self-managing something as simple as a PC 20 years ago never mind what I know it takes to look after a Sofware-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, offered in High Availability and a fully mirrored 24/7 system, would be an easy decision for me to make. No software install. No hardware to maintain. No updates to perform. Simple!

With RedTie’s RTT and RTQ offerings, all of the hardware worries are taken away. Sure the question inevitably sometimes comes down to that of security, which is why your choice of Web to print software should involve due diligence on the provider. Being ISO27001:2013 certified (the latter 2013 is important as it’s the latest version of the standard) is probably a no brainer requirement, as is a track record of maintenance and software updates. With over 12 years in this arena, these questions rarely get asked of RedTie. I know that inner child in me harps back to the “good old days” with floppy discs, in reality though how many of us have the time to worry about the underlying hardware and operating system. Surely we would all rather spend time using the software we have bought?!

So that’s my daydreaming coming to an end. Anyway, I have to go and manage an O/S update to Windows 10 involving 1737 floppy discs*. Can you imagine?!

* The latest estimation for the size of the Windows 10 upgrade is around 2500Mb. Based on 1.44 Mb per floppy I arrived at this figure. For the older reader this is about 1925 cassettes, for the younger about 3 CD-ROMs, For the caveman that’s 25 million punchcards.