Being Hospitable and Using Managed File Transfers to Manage Hotels

One of the biggest areas of concern for hotel chains is how to manage files over a diverse set of locations. Whether these locations are geographically spread across one city or the world is irrelevant, as managed file transfer can take some of the time and work out of both automation and secure sharing with ease and security.

Understanding the diverse needs of a hotelier

Imagine running just one hotel – gaining the best deals for everything from your laundry to your fresh flower service? Imagine managing five, and still trying to keep the deals that you’re negotiating fresh and value filled deals, without needing a centralised team to manage it. MFT can help support it at that scale or larger with ease.

Whether you need to exchange new menus or information between two hotels, or across the whole group, MFT is designed to support the growing needs of a hotelier’s group, without stifling the underlying needs of the individual hotel itself, allowing for dynamic growth within each individual unit.

Five ways hotels can use MFT

There are five key areas that hotels can use MFT to increase productivity and support security and financing with ease.

  • Decentralisation of orders, paperwork and bookings – allowing teams to work via MFT can allow hotels to work with decentralised resources, with all of the benefits of having a dedicated head office.
  • Easier ordering and booking – with a centralisation protocol that distributes to each of the hotels in a chain, it’s easier to share information and work within the needs of running a hotel, whether that’s booking a room or restocking the kitchen.
  • Compliance with financial needs – as financial data is an integral part of the hotelier’s business, being able to protect any data that would be shared is a huge area of need – MFT provides encryption and decryption as standard, based on settings.
  • Integration with systems – MFT automatically integrates with email systems such as Outlook and provides a one click file sharing solution in most cases – this solution uploads the document to the secure area, encrypting or decrypting it, then produces the link in the email without intervention from the sender. This cuts down on file sending mistakes and allows for confidence and ease of transfer.
  • Finally, managed file transfer can help streamline functions and tasks that could be automated, such as file sharing or auditing, ordering or booking. Each of these can cut down on costs and free up staff to focus on the running of the hotel itself, instead of administration.

Understanding how managed file transfer can support your hotel can be as simple as looking at where your file system needs to be upgraded, and how that upgrade can be managed efficiently.

Understanding Linux Hard Disk Partitioning and Linux File Systems – System Administration Training

The Linux Hard Disk Partitioning Process

A hard disk is partitioned and then it is assigned a filesystem type and then it is formatted.

Assigning a filesystem type to a partition specifies the “type” of it and prepares (formats) it so that it can accept files.

Do not confuse assigning a filesystem “type” with assigning a filesystem (formatting).

Linux Hard Disk Partitioning – File Systems and Filesystem Types

Most Linux documentation and utilities refer to a file system as filesystem (one word).

A filesystem type is assigned to and specified for a partition to provide it with support for the file structure of itself (for its directories and subdirectories) and for all of the files that will be used on it, such as the Linux program files and data files.

For example, the current default filesystem type for many distributions, such as Red Hat, Fedora and others, is ext3 (extended filesystem 3).

Prior to ext3, the default filesystem was ext2 (extended filesystem 2). Some other distributions have a different default filesystem, but ext3 is on the way to becoming the de facto standard for Linux.

Linux Hard Disk Partition “Rules”

A Linux partition can be all or part of a hard disk.

If you have two hard disks in a system, then one disk can have one partition, filesystem type and operating system on it that uses the entire disk and the other disk can have a different set of these items, that uses the entire disk.

Both disks can also have more than one partition, filesystem type and operating system.

If you only have one Linux hard disk in a system, then you can create two or more partitions on the disk, assign each one a different filesystem type and install a different operating system on each.

A partition cannot contain more than one filesystem type and does not typically contain more than one operating system. However, you can have a single OS on a system that uses multiple filesystem types on multiple partitions (one filesystem type per partition).

The “standard” Windows and Linux operating systems require at least one partition each. If a system requires both of these operating systems, then you need at least one partition for each of them.

The Linux hard disk partitioning concepts and commands covered here apply to: Red Hat, Fedora, Slackware, Ubuntu, and Debian Linux – and ALL other versions.

Network Monitoring For Satellite Teleconference, Distance Learning, and Media Distribution

Today’s Satellite Systems

Many satellite system projects these days involve satellite uplinks with hundreds or perhaps thousands of receivers in the network receiving content from them. Traditionally, if these networks are monitored, the planners rely on SNMP traps for big troubles and plan for round-robin polling and pinging to determine the health of the receivers and other devices.

Traditional monitoring systems, because of polling speed, within an hour or two NOC (network operations center) personnel can know system status for all devices.  For example:

  • is device alive
  • can I ping it
  • is the receiver on the right channel
  • signal level
  • locked for the transmission
  • error rates

As to the traps, a little secret: many of the devices do not support traps and if they do traps can be lost because they are sent as UDP traffic with no assured delivery. Requirements for today’s professional satellite systems have evolved to the point where NOC personnel need more information and they need it more quickly. Representative are teleconference, distance learning, and media distribution systems.

For these new systems the requirements for monitoring have moved out of a strictly maintenance need to both a maintenance and operational requirement.

Teleconference and distance learning have an almost interactive need for status and data:

1. Is the receiver is on the right channel?

2. Is the feed good? Are error rates low and the signal level high?

3. If the signal is low in Milwaukee, what’s the weather like?

4. Are all of the correct materials downloaded to the receiver?

5. Are keypads and other data entry devices ready?

Media distribution systems for broadcast and digital cinema have many of the same needs and some others:

1. Is there sufficient space on the device to receive the huge files used in these operations?

2. What is the progress of the transfer (it takes a long time to transfer multi-gigabyte files)?

3. Did the digital rights management (DRM) keys arrive?

4. If it is a playout device, did the correct play list arrive?

5. Can we get the playback logs as events play?

6. What about maintenance logs, do we have to SSH into each device and retrieve them manually, or will the system automatically gather and check them for us?

These lists are representative of information the NOC needs to ensure proper operation of the network. First and second generation monitoring systems don’t even begin to broach gathering and reporting the new types of information needed to reliably operate these systems.

Third Generation Network Monitoring

Satellite network monitoring systems must have parallel collection processes in order to have sufficiently fresh data to be of value to the NOC. For many types of operations media content must be tracked. You could argue that media is not part of network monitoring and yet today’s NOC needs this information to ensure proper operation. A new generation of devices are out there delivering media content. Real time, or near real time reporting is needed to insure proper operation of these systems. New ways to visualize the network to go along with these new data sets is also required.

It’s a new game in the network monitoring world: network monitoring software has to move to the next level, including being media-aware, to meet the needs of today’s NOC for information.