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Microsoft is planning to buy professional social networking firm LinkedIn in a deal valued at $26.2 billion.

The transaction, which the companies expect to close in 2016, will give Microsoft access to a trove of professional information, and could help it develop more services for enterprises and small businesses, as TechCrunch notes.

Additionally, the deal will greatly enhance Microsoft’s presence in social media. LinkedIn has 433 million members worldwide, and 105 million unique members visit the site on a monthly basis.

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When a business converges its infrastructure, the power and cooling needs typically change dramatically. With a dense, highly utilized environment, an organization will experience a larger power draw and increased heat output.

To minimize the risk of downtime and protect your systems in the event of a disruption, you need to:

1. Keep Power Stable

Power being drawn by equipment needs to be stable and free from surges. Plus, it must be distributed efficiently so no equipment becomes strained. Unstable and unprotected power distribution can create slowed server response and, worse, irreversible damage.

2. Maintain Proper Cooling

You need to provide enough cooling to your servers to maintain performance levels while trying to keep cooling costs low. Failure to properly cool your servers can cause them to overheat and crash, resulting in devastating downtime.

3. Maximize Visibility

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“What’s that echo?” “Can you hear me over that buzz?” “What’s that humming?”

Who hasn’t been part of one of those scenarios during a video conference. The right technology is critical, and so is the room, says Jeff Loether, president of Electro-Media Design.

To ensure a great experience for meeting participants, focus on perfecting the audio first, says Loether, whose company consults with architects and businesses on rooms for meetings and events.

The reason has a lot to do with human evolution.

“When we were living in caves, our survival was far more dependent on our hearing, on our listening and on our aural sense than our visual sense. Why? Because if a saber-toothed tiger stepped on a twig and broke it, we needed to hear that even if we were sleeping,” Loether explains. “So, our ears never sleep, and we don’t have ear lids. Our ears are always listening.”

Snap, Crackle, Pop

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Kaizen, a Japanese term that refers to the practice of continuous improvement, is a core DevOps principle. Often people think continuous improvement simply means to improve at something over time. At its most basic, this might be true, but real DevOps masters know there’s much more to kaizen than simply “getting better.”

Made popular by Toyota, kaizen adheres to a few different philosophies about work and producing high-quality products.

According to the Kaizen Institute, kaizen is composed of seven core principles:

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IT teams know that ultimately they need to move off of Microsoft SQL Server 2005. It’s a complex process to move SQL Server databases. When an organization is ready to detail its migration plan, here are eight questions it should answer first to help inform its plan:

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Every major website pays close attention to the traffic it gets. Now brick-and-mortar retailers are analyzing in-store traffic in much the same way, using their customers' own smartphones.

By installing sensors that read Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals emitted by phones, stores can see which aisles shoppers frequent most, measure how long they spend inside and identify repeat customers. They can use the data to figure out which displays are more effective at pulling in customers or how long people are waiting in checkout lines.

The sensors work by collecting unique identification numbers emitted by each handset. In most cases, stores aggregate the data and obscure it to avoid identifying individual shoppers. Others offer customers the opportunity to receive personalized recommendations and discounts based on their shopping behavior.

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In-store technology is not just the province of major retail chains. Small and medium-sized retailers feel the pressure as well to provide customers with digital experiences in-store.

But if retrofitting the mirrors in fitting rooms or rolling out virtual reality seems pricey, there are other ways to edge into the in-store digital world without blowing up the IT budget.

One approach is to use relatively inexpensive beacon technology and apps to interact with and provide personalized information on the fly to shoppers in the store. Beacon devices use near-field communication via Bluetooth to detect smartphones.

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When teams roll out tablets to replace their physical playbooks, they place a high priority on protecting both the devices themselves and the data inside them.

For physical protection, the Denver Broncos, which rolled out digital playbooks on Apple iPad devices in 2012, housed the tablets in OtterBox Defender Series ruggedized cases.

“Since I pay the bills for those things, breakage was definitely a concern,” says Russ Trainor, vice president of IT for the team. “When you go walking through the locker room, the iPads are on the floor, in the locker, under bags, under shoes. So we needed a good, sturdy cover for them.”

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1. Flexibility: Hyperconvergence lets organizations meet current and future needs without having to replace existing infrastructure components. Adopters can easily take advantage of new features provided in software updates.

2. Commodity resources: Hyperconverged systems use low-cost commodity hardware components that are relatively inexpensive, fast and easy to replace when they fail.

3. Centralized virtualization and management: All components are combined in a single shared resource pool with hypervisor technology. Systems management and virtualization are pre-installed, and many systems are optimized for specific workloads.

4. Improved agility: IT infrastructure is greatly simplified, allowing data centers to meet a variety of needs powerfully and responsively.

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