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.
Mechanic photo via Shutterstock

Wanted: Bot mechanic. New nerds, apply within

Sysadmin Blog The machines are taking over. At the forefront of this change is the US Air Force, which now has more jobs for drone pilots than any other type. This is not likely to be an isolated event. The USAF is populated by pilots who like to fly planes. This, combined with poor working conditions and fewer paths for career advancement …
Trevor Pott, 21 Mar 2017
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Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

Sysadmin blog Microsoft now runs a bunch of Windows servers on ARM processors. Apparently, these ARM chips are quite good at their jobs and Microsoft might try converting entire categories of workloads over. All around the world the tech press has speculated on whether or not Windows on ARM will be showing up in on-premises datacenters. In …
Trevor Pott, 20 Mar 2017
Ruby slippers from wizard of Oz

Next Generation Security: No, Dorothy, there is no magic wand

Sysadmin blog Hardly a day passes without some kind of major security breach. The type of attack that was once considered staggering in scale has now become the norm. When a Yahoo! breach was found to have lost a billion accounts, it seemed the only thing anyone found unusual about it was that Yahoo! had a billion accounts to lose. Don’t …
Trevor Pott, 08 Mar 2017
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Controversial opinion alert: Privacy and the public cloud – not just possible, but easy

Like it or not, collaboration and file-sharing services like Dropbox have become embedded in corporate IT. What started as personal technology has increasingly become the alternative to everything from moving files using USB to sharing docs via email or an internal wiki. But we live in an age of hackers and hacking, spies and …
Trevor Pott, 01 Mar 2017
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One IP address, multiple SSL sites? Beating the great IPv4 squeeze

We're fresh out of IPv4 addresses. Getting hold of a subnet from your average ISP for hosting purposes is increasingly difficult and expensive, even the public cloud providers are getting stingy. While we wait for IPv6 to become usable, there are ways to stretch out the IPv4 space. There are several big problems with IPv6 that …
Trevor Pott, 01 Mar 2017
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You're Donald Trump's sysadmin. You've got data leaks coming out the *ss. What to do

Sysadmin Blog Imagine yourself as Donald Trump's sysadmin. Trump's first month as President of the United States of America has been notable for the number of information leaks that have occurred. Trump has called these leaks criminal and seems intent on rooting out whistleblowers. Some poor sysadmin is going to be told to prevent these leaks …
Trevor Pott, 27 Feb 2017
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It's over? Pat Gelsinger's post vSphere VMware NSX-T opportunity

Sysadmin Blog VMware has recently announced its financial results for 2016, and for a company that's not just satured but that leads the VM market, it had a very good year. Some of this is attributed to accepting that VMware can't beat AWS, so it might as well join them. But VMware's NSX Network Virtualization arguably led the way, doubling …
Trevor Pott, 14 Feb 2017
Example of tidy cabling

This many standards is dumb: Decoding 25Gb Ethernet and beyond

Sysadmin Blog The 25 and 50Gb switching standards have finally been ratified. Switches from various manufacturers have been available for some time, but now there's a better than average chance they'll interoperate with one another. While more speed is generally good, the 25 and 50Gb standards will complicate things for data centre …
Trevor Pott, 06 Feb 2017
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It's holistic, dude: How to dodge the EU's £17m data regulation sting

Sysadmin blog Holistic IT is hard. There are those among us who want to purchase hardware, software, services or so-called turnkey "solutions" – as vendors call them – bearing logos and stickers and otherwise don't require any architect-level thinking. None of us wants to dive deep into compliance regimes to understand what we need to do. …
Trevor Pott, 02 Feb 2017
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

Dear Microsoft – a sysadmin's wishlist

Sysadmin Blog I yell at Microsoft a lot. It's cathartic. Microsoft make several decent pieces of software and quite a few great cloud services, but for every awesome thing they create it seems they ruin something else. Over the past year I've developed a wishlist of changes. Dear Microsoft... Azure Stack I like Azure Stack. A lot. What I …
Trevor Pott, 01 Feb 2017
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

What might HPE do with SimpliVity?

Sysadmin Blog HPE recently purchased SimpliVity for $650m. Some folks, like me, think this was a heck of a bargain for HPE. Others – most notably SimpliVity's competitors – think SimpliVity wasn't worth all that much anyways. The debate has gone back and forth for over a week now and it's time to focus on what HPE might actually do with …
Trevor Pott, 31 Jan 2017
People fight in cartoon cloud. photo by Shutterstock

So you want to roll your own cloud

Sysadmin Blog I have set myself a mission to create a cloud this year. Not a lab test version of something or other, but a real and usable cloud that I can sell to my clients. It's not built yet, but I intend to document my journey towards that end. The first question I get when discussing this project is always "why do you want to build a …
Trevor Pott, 27 Jan 2017
Snake oil salesman

So. A new tech upstart wants 'feedback'. Um, maybe it actually does

Sysadmin Blog I have met the enemy, and he is me. I stand astride a line. On one side I am an "IT decision-maker", on the other an "evangelist" for some startups I truly believe in. This year, I have learned a lot more about how the data centre sausage is truly made. As the recipient of the unending stream of sales phone calls, surveys and …
Trevor Pott, 08 Dec 2016
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I was a robot and this is what I learned

Sysadmin blog For one brief instant, Microsoft was the good guy. Deep within the often customer-hostile behemoth, left after the arrogance and straight on past the victim blaming is the office of Brian First, with the Microsoft Experience Design Group. Alongside a company called Event Presence, Brian made me feel like a real person, actual …
Trevor Pott, 07 Dec 2016

Stay out of my server room!

Sysadmin blog We always design our data centres and server rooms with the best of intentions. A nice, enclosed space with excellent ventilation and air conditioning, sufficient power points to ensure circuits are never overloaded, and enough space to get at both the front and back sides of the rack – ideally all cordoned off into its own room …
Trevor Pott, 23 Nov 2016

Forget razors and blades, APIs are the new gotcha

Sysadmin Blog I've always hated the "razor and blades" business model. It pops up everywhere in our society, and is becoming ever more popular in IT. There is enough crossover with subscription models that it's hard to tell where one business model stops and the other begins. Regardless of the nuances, "razor and blades" is nothing but a tax …
Trevor Pott, 16 Nov 2016
Angry man yelling on phone while reading vintage printer paper report. Photo by SHutterstock

We're going to have to start making changes or the adults will do it for us

Sysadmin Blog Gentlemen of IT, I think it's time we talked. I hate people who use spaces to indent their code instead of tabs. I don't mildly dislike them. I am not uncomfortable or annoyed by them. I hate them. A goodly number of you have some technical pet peeve that is similar, and that's a huge part of what's wrong with IT. This is not …
Trevor Pott, 07 Nov 2016
Switch

If any idiot can do it, we're heading in the right direction

Sysadmin Blog The enemy of success is complexity. Although I am in general a fan of the concept of intricately intertwined Rube Goldbergian nonsense, my life thus far could be summed up as learning the value of simplicity face first. IT is all about complexity, and unpicking which combination of barely functional crap is least likely to go …
Trevor Pott, 02 Nov 2016
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In its current state, Ubiquiti's EdgeSwitch won't have much of an edge on anyone

REVIEW Members of the IT community rave about networking kit vendor Ubiquiti. You'll find praises sung both on Spiceworks and amongst vExperts for their UniFi devices. Unfortunately, my recent purchase of Ubiquiti's latest offering, their EdgeMax EdgeSwitches, has proven that Ubiquiti are also capable of putting out gear that is …
Trevor Pott, 27 Oct 2016
Cloudy shopping trolley in the sky (representing cloud sales/procurement). Photo by Shutterstock

The cloud is not new. What we are doing with it is

Sysadmin blog In the 10 years since the modern form of public cloud computing went mainstream, it has changed the entire industry's approach to IT. In response, IT's top vendors have had to change as well. Like any technology, however, the public cloud has adapted, evolved, and become something much different than was ever originally …
Trevor Pott, 25 Oct 2016
Binary data/big data conceptual illustration. Illustration via Shutterstock

Open-source storage that doesn't suck? Our man tries to break TrueNAS

Review Data storage is difficult, and ZFS-based storage doubly so. There's a lot of money to be made if you can do storage right, so it's uncommon to see a storage company with an open-source model deliver storage that doesn't suck. I looked at TrueNAS from iXsystems, which, importantly, targets the SMB and midmarket with something …
Trevor Pott, 18 Oct 2016

DIY storage startup: Tech, check. Techies, check... Er, credibility?

Part Four You need customers, but credibility too. One begets the other. But which comes first? We are now in the final, challenging chapter of early start up mode: of getting paying customers and leveraging them to your advantage in the world to gain more. As Tech 3.0 launches the dance for the B round starts. Everything here depends …
Trevor Pott, 17 Oct 2016

Rage-making, anxiety-inducing tech distributors: An ode

Sysadmin Blog As vendors don't seem all that interested in selling equipment directly, value-added resellers (VARs), managed service providers (MSPs) and the like must buy our gear from distributors before selling it on to our clients. Oh, not all disties are totally awful. There's always one we can point to and say "I love those guys". …
Trevor Pott, 12 Oct 2016
Micron 9100 NVMe HHHL SSD

Little top tech tip: Take care choosing your storage drives

Sysadmin Blog RAID is dead. Or maybe it's not. I think it might be off having a conversation with a cat in a box. Regardless of whether or not you use hardware RAID cards or HBAs and some kind of software, the idea of big boxes full of drives that store lots of things isn't going away any time soon. The drives you put in them, however, are …
Trevor Pott, 10 Oct 2016
Man getting a facial. Not that kind of facial, you pervs. Photo by Shutterstock

Make yourself presentable, upstart: We're going out

Part Three You’ve got the talent, you’ve the idea for something that resembles a product. But, as Steve Jobs said "real artists ship", and art isn’t something that comes just like that. In this case we’re talking architecture, we’re talking tools, we’re talking interface and UI – not necessarily things you were thinking about were they? …
Trevor Pott, 10 Oct 2016

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