What is a CPU?

CPU stands for Central Processing Unit. It is the brains of a computer. Its performance is determined by the number of transactions it performs per second measure in gigahertz (GHZ) which is 1,000,000,000 cycles. Mainstream modern computers usually have CPUs capable of at least 3.0GHZ speed. Speed is also determined by the number of cores. Each core is like a separate processing unit within the CPU. Personal computers usually have two or four core CPUs. Servers can have as many as 26 cores per CPU. Servers also come with multiple CPUs. The other major speed determiner is the number of threads. A thread is a path that data for data to be processed. Each core can have more than one thread. It’s the combination of all the above factors that determines the speed the CPU processes data.

What is RAM?

RAM stands for Random Access Memory which stores data and machine code electronically for use by the CPU. It is very fast and does not permanently store information. Size is measure in gigabytes (GB). A GB is 1,000,000,000 bytes or units of data such as a number or character. Most personal computers have at least 4 but preferably 8GB of RAM or more. Servers can utilize much more RAM – 2TB (1,000GB) or more. More RAM means better performance.

What is a hard drive?

Hard drives are devices for permanent storage of data. Data can be written and erased from them There are two major types – mechanical and solid state. Internally mechanical drives look like phonograph players with a spinning disc and a read/write arm. Solid state drives (SSD) are electronic devices with no moving parts. They come in various forms including USB drives commonly called thumb drives. Those used in computers resemble their mechanical counterparts but are usually smaller. SSDs are much faster and will eventually replace mechanical drives in most applications.

What is Managed IT (Information Technology) Service?

For a monthly fee a managed service provider takes responsibility for managing some or all of the IT equipment and software of the contracting firm.

What is the “Cloud”?

The cloud refers to a system whereby data and/or programs are stored on computers that are accessed through the Internet rather than or in conjunction with equipment in-house. Some cloud services such as accounting programs or office suites are not free and are billed, usually as a monthly fee and may be tied to the number of users requiring the service.

What is cyber-security?

Cyber-security is a collection of hardware and programs put in place to protect a computer system from intrusion, data theft and damage from outside sources primarily through the internet.

What are some of the tools used to protect computer systems?

God security requires security routers, anti-virus programs, email monitoring and screening, web filtering, insistence on strong passwords, user account maintenance, two factor authentication for remote users, remote monitoring, in-house and on-line/cloud backup and employee training.

What is a server?

A server is a high power computer that serves as a repository of data and programs that are accessible to other computers through a network. The network could be local or the internet, wired or wireless.

What is virtualization?

Virtualization is the act of building a virtual machine on an actual physical computer that acts just like it was a separate physical computer. This means several machines of different types can reside on one physical computer. Not only does this reduce the amount of hardware required but a backed up virtual machine can be completely and quickly restored if the primary image is corrupted or hacked.

What do you do if you get a popup window telling you your computer is infected?

Do not respond or click on any links on the window. Do not call any numbers shown. Take down the message as it appears then close out the window. If it will not close then turn off your computer. Call you IT support person and relate the message to them. They will let you know what to do.