Trevor Pott

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Trevor Pott is a full-time nerd from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He splits his time between systems administration, technology writing, and consulting. As a consultant he helps Silicon Valley start-ups better understand systems administrators and how to sell to them.
Still from Music video by The Beastie Boys performing (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party). (C) 1986 The Island Def Jam Music Group

You've gotta fight... for your right... to IT

Sysadmin Blog Perhaps the greatest lie ever told is that the many are powerless against the few. This is rarely, if ever, true, yet is something that we are told every day of our lives until we believe it. This is especially the case when it comes to IT. If the many are powerless against the few, then surely the individual has no chance to …
Trevor Pott, 31 May 2016
Webcam

Crappy sandwiches, cantankerous nerds: Put user back in user group

Sysadmin Blog I am going to moderate a webinar today*. The webinar is about the real world implications of copying data and cloning VMs. The interesting bit? We're going to try this with video conferencing, live from the Wisconsin VMware User Group meeting (VMUG). To my knowledge, this has never been done before. That probably means it's a …
Trevor Pott, 24 May 2016

What's holding up Canada's internet?

Sysadmin Blog Canadian internet providers are frequently bemoaned as terrible. Americans get lots of media play about getting the sharp end of the stick from their providers, but many Canadians look longingly at the internet packages south of the border and wonder: what's the holdup in Canada? While Canadians usually like to fool ourselves …
Trevor Pott, 19 May 2016
Still from Minions cartoon trailer.  	Copyright: Universal Pictures

Hey you – minion. Yes, IT dudes and dudettes, they're talking to you

Sysadmin Blog Who are you, dear reader, and why are you reading this? If you've a yen to answer that literally, by all means please do, but the question is somewhat more metaphorical in intent. I'm not seeking an existentialist answer about your sense of purpose in life, but I am hoping that you can answer – to yourself if to no one else – …
Trevor Pott, 18 May 2016
Puzzled man displays his palms in the classic physical pose that tells other people you do not know something or are asking a question. Photo by Shutterstock

What is Hybrid Infrastructure? Glad you asked...

As part of its recent split, Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced "four areas of transformation", among them the buzzword-heavy "hybrid infrastructure". But what exactly is hybrid infrastructure? Each company seems to have a different idea of what it could mean. What does HPE mean when they say “hybrid infrastructure”? How …
Trevor Pott, 09 May 2016

The 'new' Microsoft? I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole

Sysadmin blog Microsoft makes a number of truly fantastic technologies and it is legitimately at the cutting edge of a number of hybrid cloud technologies. By the same token, Microsoft is also an asshat, so any attempt to make decisions about it gets complicated and messy in a right hurry. Unfortunately, as refreshes near, making sense of …
Trevor Pott, 06 May 2016

Do you know where your trade secrets are?

Information security (infosec) is no longer a nice-to-have. It is a matter of corporate survival. Even the smallest company can be weakened by the simple loss of a customer list, ruined by the fallout from the loss of protected customer information. There's a lot more to infosec than merely hunkering down behind a firewall. As …
Trevor Pott, 03 May 2016
Monster virtual machine

Is VMware the power it once was?

Sysadmin Blog It is commonly held that if an article asks a question in the title or lede, you can safely answer no and avoid reading the body of the article itself. While not always true, the aphorism is accurate enough to be considered reliable. With that in mind, I have been asking myself, "is VMware the focal point of power in IT that …
Trevor Pott, 27 Apr 2016
Virtual machine servers. Pic: Bob Mical

Good enough IT really is good enough. You don't need new hardware

Sysadmin blog Enterprises are slow to adopt new IT. Or is it small businesses that are slow to adopt new IT? Wait, the mid-market is traditionally underserved and overly reliant on appliances so clearly they have to be the laggards! All of this is true, and none of this is true. It just depends on your point of view. Adoption of new IT …
Trevor Pott, 26 Apr 2016
Grinning man in suit points at a calculator meaningfully. Pic via Shutterstock

Planning to throw capacity at an IT problem? Read this first

Not so long ago the axiom “you get what you pay for” held true in IT. More expensive hardware and software generally produced better results. With the rise of open source and open standards, this is no longer the case. In today's world, if you'll pardon the mangled aphorism, IT isn't about how much you spend, but how you set …
Trevor Pott, 25 Apr 2016

How does a business make decisions? How should a business make decisions?

As a business owner, I want to believe that I have what it takes to lead. I'm charismatic enough that I can usually convince people to do what I want them to do. I am good enough with Google that I can find out many things and I have the ability to learn a great deal about complex topics quickly. Surely I will thusly make good …
Trevor Pott, 22 Apr 2016

Defence in depth: Don't let your firm's security become a boondoggle

Information security (infosec) isn’t a game for amateurs. No one solution will do. Proper information security requires defence in depth: layers of technologies, techniques, best practices and incident response woven together into the tapestry of everyday operations. Unfortunately, hiring professionals is no guarantee that …
Trevor Pott, 15 Apr 2016
Oblivion, the movie Haleakalā Sky Tower comms desk

Breaking down more IT technobabble: 'Unified' comms... say what now?

Business occurs everywhere, all day long. In the Western world, organisations where every member of a business shows up at a single premises, does work to a fixed set of hours and only deals with customers that enter the premises is quaint to the point of nearly extinct. Even in "Ma and Pa" shops, where you could reasonably …
Trevor Pott, 13 Apr 2016
rage meme

Hey, tech industry, have you noticed Amazon in the rearview?

Sysadmin Blog Dear readers, I apologize in advance for the cursing, horrible metaphors, similes and so forth that will populate this blog. I am writing this after a day of dealing with a network cryptolocker outbreak and finally hitting that wall where I no longer care about anything except venting unto the world that silent rage that has …
Trevor Pott, 12 Apr 2016
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs restored on Blu-ray

When to trust a startup: Does size count?

Sysadmin blog How big does a company have to be before we can trust them? Does company size or balance sheet even equate in any meaningful fashion to trustworthiness? What does trustworthiness mean in today's data center? I recently attended the SimpliVity Connect analyst shindig in Boston. Some grumpy analyst on the other end of the room …
Trevor Pott, 11 Apr 2016

Your pointy-haired boss 'bought a cloud' with his credit card. Now what?

Sysadmin blog Shadow IT strikes fear into the hearts of many businesses. Unfortunately, most businesses fear shadow IT for all the wrong reasons. It is easy to have a discussion about Shadow IT with different areas of the business by talking about risks that affect them directly. Legal can be made afraid by bringing forth the bogeymen of …
Trevor Pott, 04 Apr 2016

Blah Blah blah ... I don't care! To hell with your tech marketing bull

Sysadmin blog Last week was the hardest time in recent memory for me. My best friend of over a decade, a feline companion by the name of Prometheus, has just passed away. While such a personal event might not seem relevant to things technological, it has served as something of a focusing effect for me. Trying to think through the haze of …
Trevor Pott, 07 Mar 2016

Machismo is ruining the tech industry for all of us. Equally

Opinion How people in IT treat one another is a subject whose taboo nature is having a deleterious effect on talent acquisition and retention. Some see it as chauvinism and machoism run amok, especially if their axe to grind is the lack of women in tech. Others have different views, but the topic is so charged that any attempt at …
Trevor Pott, 04 Mar 2016

Beep, beep – it's our 2016 buzzword detector. We see you, 'complexity'

Sysadmin blog A new marketing push by legacy tech vendors that I expect will be particularly beloved by old school storage vendors is afoot: prepare for the "complexity" onslaught. The answer to lower total cost of ownership (TCO) claims made by the likes of public cloud or hyperconvergence vendors is going to be money funneled into endless …
Trevor Pott, 03 Mar 2016

We suck at backups. So let's not have a single point of failure any more

Sysdamin blog The more that I move away from front line systems administration and towards data centre architect the more I absolutely convinced that systems administration can cause PTSD. With the exception of a handful of clients, I am no longer the individual responsible for making the computers go. Despite this, I still wake up at least …
Trevor Pott, 02 Mar 2016
firing range - target in cross hairs

Bleeping Computer sued by Enigma Software over moderator's forum post

Comment Enigma Software is suing Bleeping Computer for false advertising, defamation, and related claims because of what the latter characterises as a bad review posted about its software, SpyHunter. Bleeping Computer bills itself as "a technical support site and a self-education tool for the novice user to learn basic concepts about …
Trevor Pott, 25 Feb 2016

Why Tim Cook is wrong: A privacy advocate's view

Opinion Apple has recently released an open letter explaining why it will challenge a judicial order requiring it to hack the iPhone of one of the accused San Bernardino terrorists. As someone who believes in individual civil liberties and personal privacy above nearly all other considerations, my first instinct is to applaud Apple. …
Trevor Pott, 17 Feb 2016

Bank fail: Ready or not, here's our new software

Today, I was a user Every now and again The Register runs articles from sysadmins around the world about the horrors of working in IT. From time to time, however, it is probably worth reading something from the user's point of view. This is one such story. Today at the grocery store, I saw an advertisement for a smallish regional bank. I used to …
Trevor Pott, 10 Feb 2016
Plate spinning routine by Henrik Bothe

Is tech monitoring software still worth talking about?

Sysadmin Blog It's 2016, and the number one complaint I hear from sysadmins is still about monitoring software. The complaints have evolved with time, and every organization seems to have its own challenges. Despite this, monitoring software seems to be one of the most universal frustrations in modern IT. In the small business world, simply …
Trevor Pott, 10 Feb 2016
Merlin Data Center Interior

Private clouds kinda suck, you know?

Sysadmin Blog Are enterprises really starting to act like service providers? If you ask vendors, social media and "thought influencers" hired to speak at conferences, the answer is yes. I'm not so sure. On the one hand, we're asked to believe that enterprises are almost universally adopting private and hybrid cloud solutions in order to …
Trevor Pott, 09 Feb 2016