These days, you can find the labor of computer graphics (CG) professionals almost everywhere you look. From Hollywood blockbusters to high-tech video games and television programming, CG professionals, running state-of-the-art equipment and software, are capable of producing stunning, life-like visuals and grandiose special effects. According to estimates from Jon Peddie Research, today's CG industry is showing new invigorated vitality and potential. Specifically, the industry will exceed $100 billion by 2014. Additionally, in the last five years alone, the field has enjoyed a stable seven percent growth rate.

One CG professional, a San Francisco-based freelancer named Clayton Douglas, has worked in a wide range of environments — spanning big FX houses to small boutiques. Douglas' specialties include compositing, 3D animation, video editing as well as stereoscopic work. Working out of his home office, Douglas found the need to be able to access both of his computers easily and without issue. "This was my main goal in finding a KVM switch. Specifically, I needed one that would allow for dual monitor support for both of my machines," he noted. Clayton decided on the CM0264 from ATEN (www.aten-usa.com).

Leveraging the performance of the CM0264, Clayton noted that he's been able to streamline business operations and focus more time on CG and motion graphics projects for films, commercials and Web. For Douglas, the ATEN CM0264 is a no-brainer when it comes to KVM switches. "It provides stable cross-platform switching and works with just about every device under the sun!" he concluded.

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In its continuing effort to consolidate its http://www.aten-usa.com]data centers[/url], the United States government has once again increased its target for the number of data center facilities it expects to close, according to a recent announcement.

The federal government now expects to close at least 1,200 data centers, which represents approximately 40 percent of the government's 3,133 IT facilities identified in the latest consolidation update. The number of targeted data centers has grown steadily, as the current administration has identified more facilities than expected.

Last year, the government set an ambitious target, planning the closure of 800 data centers by the end of 2015. After a year of developing plans and targets, government officials say that they are not only on track, but exceeding their original goal.

The government is expected to close approximately 525 data centers by the end of 2012 and that includes 215 data centers already closed in 2011. This data clearly shows acceleration in the consolidation process, as the administration expected to close just 137 data centers in 2011.

The federal government's data center consolidation project was launched in early 2010, with an original tally of 1,100 data centers. Later that year, the government announced that it had identified 1,000 additional data centers, bringing the total to 2,094. While the government was originally targeting data centers of at least 500 square feet, it announced in October that the limitation no longer existed, which could partially explain the most recent jump in numbers.

These most recent numbers underscore the scope of the administration's effort to streamline the government's IT infrastructure. When first announced in 2009, the ambitious consolidation plan was greeted with skepticism but the pace of closures has exceeded expectations.

One government agency, the US Census Bureau, will save $1.7 million this year after closing a contractor-operated 6,570 square foot facility as part of the plan. The agency is also enhancing its existing facilities and now hosts data center services for the International Trade Administration (ITA), an arm of the Department of Commerce. The Census Bureau now offers co-location and hosting services to other government agencies as well.

'These data centers ' some as big as a football field, others as small as a closet ' represent billions in wasted capital that could be better used to improve upon critical services for American taxpayers,' a government official was recently quoted as saying. 'By closing data centers, agencies are on track to save taxpayers billions of dollars by cutting spending on wasteful, underutilized hardware, software and operations.'

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Companies looking for data center services vary, depending on their familiarity with IT and data storage procedures. While some have experience and interest in the technical aspects of data storage, most don't have a clue when it comes to system options. But when you position yourself as a knowledgeable guide to your potential clients, you will be able to gain a competitive edge.

Consider the following steps to help effectively communicate the advantages of your service to potential customers and earn the respect of your industry peers.

Be Secure

Security is a major concern for most customers. Data service providers need to recognize that customers usually choose a dedicated data center because their information's security is vital and they wish to protect it. That is why it is important to have a communicable security protocol in place. In addition, physical security is just as important as software security.

Offer Your Knowledge

For success, it is important for data center owners and operators to be familiar with center operations and make it a priority to communicate that to customers.

Pay Attention to Location, Efficiency and Availability

Logistical concerns are often overlooked by data center owners and operators, but very important to clients. Customers want accessible locations, secure placement of hardware and, most of all, someone to talk to when they need help.

The common thread to data center success is communication, because having the best data storage system in the world means nothing if your clients don't trust you.

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