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Andrew Buss

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Andrew is an expert in IT infrastructure evaluation, selection, deployment, security and management.
Empty phone battery

Reg Readers love their gadgets

2013 is only just beginning and already there's a ton of news surrounding the consumer tech markets. Samsung is riding a wave of success with Android based Galaxy smartphones. Apple is starting to struggle to meet expectations while Nokia seems to be on the cusp of turning things around. Even Microsoft has taken a firm step …
Andrew Buss, 28 Jan 2013
Merlin Data Center Interior

Don't let your data centre be overtaken

The last decade has seen massive leaps in performance and capability across all areas of IT, enabling organisations of all shapes and sizes to do business in new ways, or do it better and more effectively. Yet many companies feel that the service delivered by IT often falls short of what is needed and expected. The result is a …
Andrew Buss, 21 Dec 2012
Red telephone boxes near royal opera house

Are your landlines buried in the stone age?

The last few years have seen significant changes in end-user computing. In this workshop we have looked at how there has been a shift from desktop PCs towards notebooks, smartphones have become well established and tablets are on the rise. This has caused some quite fundamental changes in how and where people are able to work. …
Andrew Buss, 21 Dec 2012
The SPEARS board with a few bits attached

How to put the data centre back together again

The world of business is becoming faster, more competitive and ever more dependent on IT. Transactions and interactions that used to be handled manually between suppliers, the channel and customers are now largely electronic. Most of the day-to-day operations and communications of the business rely on IT services and any …
Andrew Buss, 18 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

Is your user base disappearing into the distance?

The past decade has seen a dramatic shift from desktop computers towards notebooks and more recently smartphones and tablets. At the same time, the cost of computing has dropped so much that consumers, not just enterprises, can afford to be early adopters, changing the dynamics of the market. Coupled with the increasing ubiquity …
Andrew Buss, 14 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

From virtualisation to private cloud

There is an assumption, which has been repeated over and over, that private cloud naturally follows on from virtualisation activities. As such it has almost become accepted as inevitable, particularly amongst the IT vendors, that the way to improve IT effectiveness, agility and efficiency is to implement a private cloud. To top …
Andrew Buss, 24 Jul 2012
apple logo

Is it time for enterprise PC outfits to carry Apple Macs?

For years, the Apple Mac has played a small and niche role in enterprise computing, finding favour in areas such as desktop publishing, graphical design and video or content production. But on the whole, a perception of a high price coupled with the lack of a broad spread of general purpose applications has had the tendency to …
Andrew Buss, 15 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Reg readers tell us why implementing change is so hard

Readers have provided some great feedback during our latest workshop on a topic that has turned out to be close to many of your hearts – how best to manage an increasingly virtualised IT infrastructure. As part of the exercise, we ran one of our famous Freeform Dynamics polls so you could tell us how things currently stand in …
Andrew Buss, 18 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Plan ahead to make virtualisation work

The road to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions, and never more so than when it comes to virtualisation. Many companies embark on virtualisation because they think it will make IT better, cheaper and faster. There is no denying that it helps initially, reducing costs through consolidating servers and making other areas …
Andrew Buss, 28 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

The effect of a comms meltdown

What a week it's been for mobile communications and productivity! The meltdown of RIM's Blackberry infrastructure and difficulties getting the service back up and running show just how much we are becoming reliant on (or should that be addicted to?) our mobile gadgets and communications services. Meanwhile, we’ve seen issues …
Andrew Buss, 18 Oct 2011
The Register breaking news

End-to-end service assurance

It may not always seem like it, but wherever IT is responsible for providing applications or communications to end-users, it takes on the mantle of being a service provider. If, or more normally when, a user calls to report a problem with the app that they use, they’re not calling to report a congested network or server with …
Andrew Buss, 25 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

Survey results: Cloud descends on IT

How many times do we hear from pundits and marketing people that cloud computing will change "everything”. The premise is that it will take away the headaches of IT, so we can all have an easier life and save our businesses money into the bargain. The flip side is that you might need fewer IT staff, so it’s unsurprising that …
Andrew Buss, 25 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

Connectivity: the weakest link in cloud computing?

Cloud computing makes you so dependent on the network, and often even the public internet. So how can it be a sensible option? If the comms slow down, the user experience takes a dive. Lose the link completely, and you’re stuffed. We have been hearing such questions and objections from nay-sayers ever since commercial hosted …
Andrew Buss, 29 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Wassup with systems and service management?

"Do more with less" springs to mind when describing the conflicting demands placed on IT: new devices, more services with better performance, not to mention making it all nice and secure too. And, oh, we want all that at a lower price please. Trying to shoehorn this into existing ways of working is likely to end in tears. So …
Andrew Buss, 14 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

The reality of SaaS security and privacy

It seems we can’t move at the moment for being bombarded with messages about Cloud and hosted services and how they’re going to take over the world. This may be a scary enough thought on its own, but for most of you, security and privacy concerns are top of the list when it comes to SaaS. Thanks to the forthright opinions and …
Andrew Buss, 11 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

SaaS security: it comes down to knowing what you are doing

In this workshop on Software as a Service (SaaS), we’ve been having a good look at the issues of risk, trust and security in the cloud. A lot of things have happened recently that may cause us to think twice about SaaS and risk – Flickr showed just how absurd things can get if policies and processes are not properly thought …
Andrew Buss, 15 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Buying into the cloud

A lot of companies are reporting that individual departments and even business users are adopting SaaS or cloud-based applications. This freedom to choose is a useful one, as it gives departments the flexibility to get the job done, and the likelihood is that the use of such services will continue to expand. We’ve seen this …
Andrew Buss, 28 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Secure your departmental apps

Throughout this workshop, we’ve been looking at resiliency and security for hosted applications. The feedback we’ve had back from you is that a track record of security and privacy are at the heart of creating a feeling of trust towards a service provider. What’s also plain is many of you feel that these issues are not at all …
Andrew Buss, 17 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

What you think about SaaS

Throughout this workshop, we have been looking at the factors that affect the acceptance of SaaS. Ultimately what it boils down to is trust, and when we look at what it is that creates trust, you tell us that the most important factors are: A demonstrable track record on privacy and security The quality of service and support …
Andrew Buss, 14 Jan 2011
DVD it in many colours

What is the point of End Point Protection?

Security threats have existed for almost as long as computers have been around. Few interactive systems can claim to be immune – even venerable systems like the IBM mainframe, UNIVAC and VAX have had their share of malware. Then, the PC brought computing to the masses, but also brought a new environment for malware to bloom. …
Andrew Buss, 29 Nov 2010
cable

Public Cloud: Sorting out the peaks from the troughs

We know many of you remain sceptical of the whole ‘Cloud’ thing and are unsure of what it is, because World+dog seems to be using or abusing the term to peddle their version of a new-age IT vision. Much of the emphasis on cloud computing has switched recently to focus on the internal IT infrastructure – the so-called “Private …
Andrew Buss, 04 Nov 2010
Broken CD with wrench

Old PCs: When it's time to die

Often, PCs are like old soldiers: they never seem to die. In many cases the old workhorses keep on going, so long as they are not touched and nothing major explodes or dies. We know this from your comments and we see this in our research too. The upshot is that the lifespan of mainstream PCs, for users who are not too demanding …
Andrew Buss, 04 Nov 2010
Broken CD with wrench

The Hardware mid-life crisis

The good old PC, along with the phone, is today the main, if not only, interface that users have to IT systems and services. The experience that people have of their personal system often colours their perception of how well IT does its job, regardless of how well run the rest of IT is. Most PCs get to have a long life in …
Andrew Buss, 25 Oct 2010

XP? Thanks for the memories

Windows XP has been a spectacular success for Microsoft. Many companies avoided moving to Vista as it was such a big change. Radically different hardware requirements and massive compatibility issues, coupled with a thorough overhaul of the user interface, intersected with the global economic meltdown. The end result was that …
Andrew Buss, 22 Oct 2010
DVD it in many colours

The differences that silicon can make to the desktop

Looking at the sleek laptops, all-in-one and small form factor PCs of today, they have changed beyond all recognition compared to the deskbound, utilitarian behemoths of even a decade ago. Much of this change is thanks to the evolution and integration of the internal components of PCs, enabled by advances in manufacturing …
Andrew Buss, 13 Oct 2010
server room

Hypervisors: grinding through to bare metal

We are generally pretty familiar by now with the concept of virtualisation on the desktop, where a virtualisation application allows a secondary guest operating system (OS) to run within the host OS. Software and hardware have improved dramatically, to the extent that Microsoft even includes a complete virtual installation of …
Andrew Buss, 12 Oct 2010

Moving beyond user rights

It goes without saying that IT systems should, in principle, be secured so that only properly authorised users can access data, applications or services. Most companies are pretty good at giving authorised users access to the systems and data they need to do their jobs. The trouble is that this is only half the job. It is just …
Andrew Buss, 17 Sep 2010

Business bureaucracy vs dynamic IT

According to many pundits, here’s the plan for the next generation data centre: we can go to a dynamic infrastructure, with on-demand applications running in our private cloud, and an elastic cloud out there waiting for our applications if we run out of capacity. Sounds too good to be true? It is easy to get caught up in the …
Andrew Buss, 14 Sep 2010

HPC goes mainstream

Many people tend to associate High Performance Computing (HPC) with exotic supercomputers with esoteric CPUs, high-end networking and storage fabrics, and custom applications simulating nuclear explosions, virtually crash-testing cars or designing the aerodynamics of the latest jetliner. This vision is true for the high end of …
Andrew Buss, 06 Sep 2010

How do you choose a hypervisor?

We know that the majority of organisations that we survey have adopted server virtualisation to support their server consolidation activities, and are reaping benefits. However, there is more to server virtualisation than simply supporting the consolidation of workloads onto a reduced set of servers. Moving beyond mere …
Andrew Buss, 26 Aug 2010

Raw iron or dynamic data centre

We hear a lot about the self-service data centre, where everything is highly automated and virtualised with dynamic provisioning allowing seamless deployment, management and billing. This is a nice vision, and one we should be working to achieve, but just how realistic is it in today’s environment? We know from previous studies …
Andrew Buss, 13 Aug 2010
The Register breaking news

Security - policies, processes and people

The problem with building foolproof systems, so the saying goes, is that the world seems to generate a better class of fool. This seems to be particularly true with systems charged with managing security. In the inseparable troika of policies, process and people, getting to grips with the first two is (almost) easy as long as …
Andrew Buss, 29 Jun 2010
DVD it in many colours

Are you getting Double Vision?

PCs and diversity go hand in hand, whether it’s how we choose for them to look, feel and perform, or what we expect them to do. As well as business machines, they have become gaming machines, communicators and media centres. They have also become smaller and mobile. Part of the evolution enabling all this choice is the ongoing …
Andrew Buss, 09 Jun 2010
The Register breaking news

Should we be encrypting backups?

We all know that data protection regulations are gaining teeth. As we discussed before, it is becoming more difficult to keep data losses private, and the damage to reputation and other penalties incurred following data breaches are now significant. Data protection laws in particular are being tightened up, with the potential …
Andrew Buss, 01 Jun 2010
cable

What’s in the box?

Selecting the right choice of components for an industry standard x64 server is much more than the speed of the CPU and the size of the hard disk. Virtualisation puts fresh demands on CPU performance and crucially, stretches memory, networking and IO performance. Consolidation efficiencies and sustainability efforts are reining …
Andrew Buss, 18 May 2010
The Register breaking news

The impact of virtualisation on securing systems

Virtualisation has become an established trend in the x86 server market and is moving into the desktop and notebook space too. It's a great tool for providing flexibility, recoverability and consolidation. But virtualisation also brings challenges, and security is certainly one of them. Personal or financial data that should be …
Andrew Buss, 12 May 2010
cable

Working remotely: What are the solutions?

It’s funny how far mobile computing has come in the last ten years. It enables a flexibility of working that only a decade ago could have been considered by some to be in the realm of Star Trek. Notebooks and smartphones are well understood, while new waves of ultraportable computers such as netbooks and tablets (where are …
Andrew Buss, 11 May 2010
cable

Servers: Refurbish, repurpose or recycle?

With the worst of the recession looking to have passed (touch wood), things are looking up and growth is returning, even if it is erratic. Companies are hiring again and people are buying more, resulting in an increasing pressure on systems and applications. The past couple of years have seen budgets slashed and renewals put on …
Andrew Buss, 07 May 2010
The Register breaking news

Mobile users and personal devices

Business today is a very different beast to that of just five years ago, and a world away compared to ten years back. While some of us are undoubtedly still office based, there has been an equally clear trend towards more flexible working which is less dependent on a fixed location. The spread of Wi-Fi in the home and workplace …
Andrew Buss, 30 Apr 2010