Leverage Virtual Desktops for Decreased Costs When It’s STAR Test Time

Each spring, schools across California administer the Standardized Testing And Reporting assessment to all students. Also known as STAR, approximately five million public school students are tested on a standardized set of information. As nerve-wracking as it is for students to complete the test, it’s every bit as nerve-wracking for the administrators charged with making sure the testing process goes smoothly.

It’s a scene that unfolds all across the state, including the Central Valley. When it’s time for annual STAR testing, or any testing activity that requires all students to complete an exam in a certain time frame, computer labs at schools of all sizes fill with students, hour after hour, until testing is complete. But unbeknownst to most students and their parents is a hard truth: providing up-to-date technology experiences in the classroom and computer lab is far from easy. And when it comes time for testing, every student needs a reliable machine to complete the test—and that can get expensive. Very, very expensive.

Organize Your Network Like a Supermarket With a Shared Cloud

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From time to time a client offers us a perspective on technology that we hadn’t yet considered. For all of the time our team spends helping deliver powerful IT solutions, I admit that sometimes our view of the technological world differs from those we work with. This client, the owner of a heavy machinery mechanic shop, came to us asking for a cloud solution that functioned like a supermarket. We asked what he meant, since we had never heard anyone refer to the cloud like that. He replied, “I want everything nicely organized, like how the aisles are easy to navigate. All our documents and files and applications. I want them to be laid out in an easy to understand way, so we always know where to look for things—just like how the supermarket puts produce together and salty snacks together.” That made perfect sense to us, but his analogy went even further. “In this supermarket, though, I only want certain people to shop on certain aisles. Not everyone should have access to every bit of information. Can you do that?”

Virtualization 101: Understanding How Virtual Desktop Instances Work

i-Cloud-ServicesIt wasn’t long ago that the computer you sat in front of at work or home provided every part of the computing experience. Files were stored on the machine itself. Applications or programs you needed to run were powered by the processor in the computer as well. Needed to render high-quality videos and images? You’d better have a good video card loaded in the machine. Large companies like Dell and HP grew so quickly in the ‘80s and ‘90s precisely because of the need for different computers that could do different things. Different specifications—“speeds and feeds”—meant customers needed different capabilities and configurations in their desktops or laptop computer because that computer itself would be powering the workday. All those different wants and needs from a technical standpoint brought on an absolute market explosion in the personal computer sector.

My, how things have changed.

Rent, Don’t Buy: Storing Digital Real Estate Documents on a Shared Cloud

i-Migration“I’m so excited we finally have the keys to our new home. When will we get a copy of the closing documents?”

“About five minutes after you leave this office. I’ll scan them and email you a complete copy.”

“It’s that easy?”

“Yes, it’s that easy.”

How DiamondIT Helped Make Police Work More Efficient in Tehachapi, CA

i-Cloud-ServicesWhen towns grow, even the most dedicated and community-oriented police departments have to adapt or risk not being able to provide their vital services. Tehachapi was one of those towns. Nestled high in the Tehachapi Mountains and forged by the surrounding deserts, this Kern County town has seen its population nearly triple since 1990. While it is still a peaceful and well-policed town, this growth meant an increase in the normal day-to-day crime rate, such as vandalism, petty theft, burglary, hit-and-run, and other minor incidents.

This increase overwhelmed the police dispatch system. Citizens would call in, and the small force and dispatch crew tried to parcel them out as efficiently as possible. Despite a heroic effort, the system was difficult on citizens and police alike. Clearly, something needed to be done. With the help of DiamondIT, Tehachapi modernized their dispatch system, became more connected, more efficient, and more responsive to their community’s needs. How they did so is a model for any organization to follow.

Welcome to the Boomtown: One Way Cloud Application Hosting Is Transforming the Oil Industry

i-Cloud-ServicesMore than 250,000,000 barrels of oil are produced domestically every month. Stop and consider that. Two hundred and fifty million barrels each and every month, right here in the United States. That’s an extraordinary amount of anything, much less a 42-gallon barrel full of a valuable and much-in-demand resource. Of course, all of that oil doesn’t immediately turn into finished goods. Different refinements and processes must take place to produce things like gasoline and plastic. That means that along the way much of this oil must be stored, sometimes in barrels but just as often in tanks and tankers all across the country and around the world. When every drop is real money, accounting for all of it is of vital importance not just to the companies that sell this commodity, but also to our society that relies on oil for so many of the things we utilize in our daily lives.

There’s a chance that at the start of your career you were working with handheld gauges and measuring sticks. Recordings would be entered by hand into a database on site and then called in to headquarters. Few industries move as fast as oil, though, and those days seem long past. Inefficiencies have been largely wiped out, thanks in large part to the cloud.

On the Market, In the Cloud: Storing Your Real Estate Data in a Hybrid Cloud

i-MigrationIf a picture is worth a thousand words, then the right picture can be worth thousands of dollars—or more—in the real estate market. With the internet giving buyers, sellers, and appraisers a wealth of information that used to be difficult to come by, property listings in both the commercial and consumer sector now rely heavily on visual imagery to convey both the utility and aesthetic appeal of a home or building.

Pictures of rooms and hallways, backsplashes, and bathrooms all have a significant part to play in generating buyer interest. Between two similar homes, the one that draws the most visitors (and bidders) may well be the one that showcases itself best online. And that starts with pictures. Some agents have even started producing high-resolution video tours to post online to further whet the appetites of potential buyers.

But all of those pictures and videos take up space, and preserving their integrity for as long as needed is critical—the next site visitor could be the one to buy the property. If access to these highly effective forms of property marketing is interrupted, thousands upon thousands of dollars could be lost.

Today’s Lesson: How Our Assessments and Cloud Services Help School Districts

i-Cloud-ServicesThe Strathmore Union Elementary School District faces many of the same challenges as other school districts when it comes to technology. Figuring out where to invest in their network while staying within budget is just the start.  Strathmore administrators also have to make sure their infrastructure is always working when students need it and they must communicate with parents and teachers about what’s going on and how it will positively impact the classroom. Every tax dollar needs to be effectively used to further your students’ education, which is why it’s so important to have your school or district network lined out perfectly, and consider a transition to cloud services. Superintendent Dr. Shelly Long recognized that her district needed an IT services partner that could bring best-in-class technology on a budget and provide clear communication every step of the way. That’s when she turned to DiamondIT.

Sky Full of Clouds: The Complexity of Cloud Services and Your Business

i-Cloud-ServicesOne of our local clients, a bookkeeping firm, has a rather complicated IT setup. Like many bookkeeping and accounting service providers, they utilize Quickbooks, and since they’ve been in business for nearly thirty years, they have terabyte after terabyte of archived data like tax returns and other filings. They also have some custom applications and scripts that manage workflows throughout the office, backup data to an offsite location, and send notifications and messages to clients. Finally, they like to update their software manually so that updates happen when all of their staff members have saved their files and logged out for the day.

Sounds complex, doesn’t it? The reality is that every business’ needs are just as complex, requiring personalized solutions.

Remote Control: Benefits of Virtual Desktops for SMBs

i-Migration“I think we are going to lose Annette.” Our client, a Kern County CPA firm, was having its weekly leadership meeting. One of their key employees who had been with the firm for many years was moving to a different state to help take care of an ill family member. This employee didn’t think there was any way she could keep working with the company she loved, since she would now be living three states away. At the same time, the company couldn’t conceive of a way to keep her on staff, despite the fact that she was a valued member of the team. It simply didn’t seem reasonable that they could support her in a way that allowed her to do a good job with her work if she wasn’t able to come into the office on a regular basis. They’d be losing a great team member who wouldn’t be easy to replace.