Feeds

Trevor Pott

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
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.
ULLtraDIMMs

Diablo boss on chipsets, ULLtraDIMM and the Netlist fracas

The Register does not endorse any particular viewpoint contained in this interview. We will update readers on the court's decisions as the case unfolds. The Netlist/Diablo lawsuit is intriguing if for no other reason than the technical depth of the topic. Diablo's Memory Channel Storage is certainly an interesting product. The …
Trevor Pott, 27 Oct 2014
Blood image

SDI Wars: EMC must FORGET ARRAYS, adapt or disappear

Register storage supremo Chris Mellor has recently been reporting on EMC's slow descent into corporate depression due to a combination of activist investors and recalcitrant internecine political strife. There's nothing surprising here, I've been hearing the same things all across the EMC federation, though I've no inclination …
Trevor Pott, 20 Oct 2014
Lego Gears of War gun

SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?

The Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) war is coming, and it will reshape the information technology landscape like nothing has since the invention of the PC itself. It consists of sub-wars, each important in their own right, but the game is bigger than any of them. We have just been through the worst of the storage wars. …
Trevor Pott, 17 Oct 2014
One Windows: Windows 10 will be delivered on multiple device types

Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First

Controversy has erupted around Microsoft's Windows 10 preview. More specifically, questions are being raised about the amount of tracking – and the depth of tracking – that was built into the preview. The Windows 10 technical preview goes so far as to monitor your typing, potentially crossing the line from instrumentation of …
Trevor Pott, 14 Oct 2014
SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD

The magic storage formula for successful VDI? Just add SSDs

Every pure solid-state disk (SSD) and hybrid storage vendor on earth would like you to know how brilliant it is at handling virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) workloads. VDI may be a niche, but it is a miserably difficult niche, in which storage plays a huge role. There is a lot more to making VDI work well than just throwing …
Trevor Pott, 02 Oct 2014
Inatek BP2001 Bluetooth Speaker

Inateck BP2001 Bluetooth speaker: The metalhead sysadmin's choice? Not exactly

The Inateck BP2001 is a 2 x 5W Bluetooth enabled portable stereo speaker. It's reasonably stylish in design, easy to use, has a slot on top where your mobile device sits and charges via standard micro-USB. It's a reasonably good catch at £50, although the Inateck website will direct you to Amazon where you can buy it for under £ …

Supercapacitors have the power to save you from data loss

As solid state drives (SSDs) become a critical part of today's storage, it is becomes increasingly important to learn about the supercapacitors that help prevent data loss. The presence – and type – of supercapacitors in SSDs should be as important a consideration as choosing between MLC, eMLC and SLC-based drives. …
Trevor Pott, 24 Sep 2014
Sad cloud

What's this 'pay as you go' cloud crap? Dunno about you, but my apps don't work that way

Anyone who says public cloud computing is "pay for what you use" is trying to rip you off. The public cloud is pay for what you provision, and that is a completely different thing. In order to move away from the model that pretty much every existing application uses – one where you provision the peak amount of resources required …
Trevor Pott, 17 Sep 2014
graphic entitled public cloud platform owned and operated by VMware

Concerning VMware’s vCloud Air: It's all about choice

Cloud computing comes in many flavours, but the victor of the next few years will be the company that successfully sells its vision of the "hybrid cloud". If public cloud computing is putting your workloads in someone else's datacenter and private cloud computing is running them in your own, hybrid cloud computing is supposed to …
Trevor Pott, 11 Sep 2014

It's a pain in the ASCII, so what can be done to make patching easier?

Like most of you reading this article, I neglect good patching hygiene. There are very good reasons why we should all of us obsessively test every patch and patch our systems immediately, but patching is a pain in the ASCII. The tools suck, rebooting sucks, and most damning of all, something usually breaks. Each PC, and most …
Trevor Pott, 10 Sep 2014
Picture by Afonso Lima

The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

On Tuesday, 12 August, 2014, the internet hit an arbitrary limit of more than 512,000 routes. This 512K route limit is something we have known about for some time. The fix for Cisco devices – and possibly others – is fairly straightforward. Internet service providers and businesses around the world chose not to address this …
Trevor Pott, 13 Aug 2014

Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness

Canadian ISP Shaw is experiencing a "nationwide outage affecting internet browsing", according to the polite phone robot put in place to discourage affected punters from overwhelming support systems. The issue appears to be multi-faceted. Your Canadian vultures have personally encountered numerous "rolling" outages over the …
Trevor Pott, 12 Aug 2014
cloud

Dumping gear in the public cloud: It's about ease of use, stupid

Public cloud computing has finally started to make sense to me now. A recent conversation with a fellow sysadmin had me rocking back and forth in a corner muttering "that's illogical". When I emerged from my nervous breakdown I realised that capitalising on the irrationality of the decision-making process within most companies …
Trevor Pott, 06 Aug 2014

What's the point of the Internet of Things?

Smart-homes are not designed for the young, fit 20-something. Instead, smart-homes have been absorbed into the Internet of Things (IoT), a broader form of connectivity worship that seemingly aims to unify fridge and washing machine, automobile and heart monitor. The purpose of all of this technology isn't readily apparent those …
Trevor Pott, 05 Aug 2014
flames_fire_destruction

Synology and the NAS-ty malware-flingers: What can be learned

The recent Synology Synolocker issue should serve as a splash of cold water to any vendors in the tech industry that design and sell systems that are largely unattended or unmanaged. As described in The Reg yesterday, Synology NAS boxes are being hit by a Cryptolocker-like piece of malware dubbed Synolocker. Like Cryptolocker, …
Trevor Pott, 05 Aug 2014
Synology DS410

Ransomware attack hits Synology's NAS boxen

Synology Diskstations and Rackstations are being hit by malware dubbed Synolocker. The malware is a similar to the infamous Cryptolocker ransomware in that it encrypts all your files and then demands a ransom to unlock them. The vulnerabilities that enable the malware appear to rely on hard-coded passwords to recommended …
Trevor Pott, 05 Aug 2014
Sennheiser SKM 900 wireless microphone

Vulturization: Who'd be a sysadmin today?

The Register presents the second installment of the Vulturization podcast series – listen here or from the player below. This time, your inordinately caffeinated host sits down with Dwayne Lessner of Nutanix and veteran sysadmin Phoummala Schmitt to talk about converged infrastructure, marketing hype, and the ever-increasing …
Trevor Pott, 01 Aug 2014
No Sale

Hey, big spender. Are you as secure as a whitebox vendor?

Security flaws are a great source of inter-company marketing FUD, but it is how a company responds to them that determines how trustworthy they are. Can you bet your business – or your personal data – on a company that simply brushes flaws under a rug? Where does the vendor's responsibility end and that of the customer begin? As …
Trevor Pott, 01 Aug 2014

How long is too long to wait for a security fix?

Synology quietly released version 4.2-3250 of its DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system this month. This squashes critical security bugs in version 4.2 of DSM – bugs that were fixed in version 5.0 in June, so consider this a back port. Version 4.2 is old but still in use in various models, such as the DS109. The update got …
Trevor Pott, 25 Jul 2014
bofh_sidey

Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in

It is 25 July, and that means it's Systems Administrators Appreciation Day once more. Sysadmin Day is that one special day a year where syadmins the world over say to each other "Wow, I can't believe we all made it another year", and everyone else forgets that this has been a thing for 14 years. Despite the inevitable apathy of …
VDI Bandwidth Visio Image

Ding, ding! Round two with our VDI experts – put your Qs to the panel

Join us for the second live webinar in our VDI in the real world series as we explore the complexities of user virtualization with our expert panel. Building a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is much more than lashing together systems to handle the workload: user virtualization is of increasing importance, especially as VDI …
Trevor Pott, 07 Jul 2014

VMware's super-secret MARVIN: It's software-defined war on future IT

The virtualisation community is all atwitter with speculation about VMware's MARVIN. MARVIN, for those who don't know, is supposedly VMware's hardware'n'software answer to hyper-converged competitors like Nutanix. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone has a theory – but VMware itself is carefully keeping schtum. I have some …
Trevor Pott, 03 Jul 2014

Microsoft Intune hears the call for device management

As Microsoft continues its corporate redefinition as a subscription-driven cloud slinger we should bear in mind that this path includes more than simply Office 365 or Azure. Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) is slated to become an important new buzzword as it wraps up Windows Intune, Azure Active Directory Premium ( …
Trevor Pott, 26 Jun 2014
A man who has fallen asleep at an IDF booth

What is it with cloud computing? Engage VM, disengage brain?

The implosion of source-code hosting biz Code Spaces should have rung plenty of alarm bells. A company with a loyal following and a bright-looking future suddenly disappeared, never to be seen again. What's worse, for the past several years a significant chunk of the IT community has been warning about exactly the sorts of …
Trevor Pott, 25 Jun 2014
Windsurfer mid-flight (3CX logo in sail)

3CX WebMeeting reviewed: Youthful, but full of promise

3CX has released its newest WebMeeting videoconferencing solution. As I still had the virtual machines from my testing of its software PBX rattling around my lab, trying this latest offering seemed like a good plan. After some fits and starts it tested out well, better than I had expect from a 1.0 product. Unified …
Trevor Pott, 25 Jun 2014
Puppet Labs Logo

If you like slipping your hand into Puppets, look for these certified types

Puppet Labs is rolling out what it calls the Puppet Supported Program, which pushes gear that's been tested and certified to work with its automation software Puppet. Swift uptake by many big-name vendors in the program comes on the heels of a $40m funding announcement. If you had any remaining doubts that DevOps is a thing, and …
Trevor Pott, 24 Jun 2014
nuclear war launcher usb hub

VMware versus Nutanix: With Dell charging in, it's time to end the war

With the Dell-Nutanix tie-up now public knowledge, expect a stream of digital vitriol to follow. There's a lot of bad blood between the VMware faithful and Nutanix, not the least of which is due to Nutanix's completely rational decision to support multiple hypervisors – from Microsoft's Hyper-V to VMware's ESX tech. The …
Trevor Pott, 24 Jun 2014
Design Mobel Pause bed

Enterprise giant Dell climbs in bed with upstart Nutanix: But what does it MEAN?

So mega-corp Dell and converged storage software startup Nutanix are now buddies. If you spend any time reading the internet's virtualisation bloggers, you can expect everything from a hearty "attaboy, Nutanix" to the casting of vehement aspersions and prognostications of various flavours of doom. It's an important moment for …
Trevor Pott, 24 Jun 2014
cloud

Should you entrust your systems management to the cloud?

Cloud-based security and systems management (CSSM) applications have been going through my lab for testing lately and I find myself seriously weighing their use in production. Anyone who regularly reads my column knows that I am not exactly the biggest fan of the cloud, but the quality of the CSSM applications I have …
Trevor Pott, 24 Jun 2014
USA, Canada - which one is which?

Vulturization: 'Privacy' is fightin' words to cloud touters – they get angry

The Register today starts a new podcast series Vulturization, hosted by yours truly. We're honoured to have as our first guests on the show Cloud A, a Canadian OpenStack cloud provider. We explore what it's like to be a cloud provider in Canada, whether the NSA's rather liberal attitude to individual privacy has been a boost to …
Trevor Pott, 23 Jun 2014
Cloud Storage arrays

Expert view: What is the forecast for cloud backup?

Even as the number of backup software and appliance vendors grows, cloud backups continue to be a source of confusion and contention. Like so many things in IT, the answer to "should you use a public cloud backup?” is the ever-annoying "it depends”. For some cloudy backup is an absolute no go. For others, there is clearly a …
Trevor Pott, 20 Jun 2014
School of Rock

Good god, where will the new storage experts come from?

As we enter the middle of the 2010 decade, new IT projects are increasingly being designed for the public cloud instead of local IT systems. Gartner figures that by the end of 2016 we'll be through the looking glass, with more money spent on "cloud" applications and services than traditional delivery mechanisms. Soon thereafter …
Trevor Pott, 19 Jun 2014
Windsurfer mid-flight (3CX logo in sail)

3CX WebMeeting: Not bad for a 1.0 product – just keep my phones out of the cloud

3CX has released its newest thing: WebMeeting. As I still had the virtual machines from my testing of its software PBX rattling around my lab, trying this latest offering seemed like a good plan. After some fits and starts it tested out well, better than I'd expect from a 1.0 product. Unified communications is a space where I …
Trevor Pott, 16 Jun 2014
Cloud security

Let cloud apps manage your systems – if you have nothing to hide

There are a growing number of cloud-based security and systems management (CSSM) applications available to consumers and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and I am ambivalent about their use. On the one hand, I am not fan of things cloudy, especially where they involves trusting US-based companies*. On the other hand, …
Trevor Pott, 12 Jun 2014

DOCX disaster recovery: How I rescued my wife from XM-HELL

What do you do when a critical Word document won’t open? Even in today’s world of versioned documents, it is entirely possible for corruption to squeak in and go unnoticed, wrecking your entire version history. But all is not lost. My wife had this happen to her; here’s how we solved it. Real world example In my case, Word …
Trevor Pott, 09 Jun 2014
The Black Knight

Got VDI questions? Fire them at our expert panel

The Register is hosting a webinar about VDI in the real world at 11am Pacific (7pm BST, 2pm Eastern) on 11 June. Unsure what it takes to make VDI go? Have questions, or just want to get more up to date? This is your chance! VDI deployments are undertaken with great fanfare and hype, but never seem to deliver on the promise. …
Trevor Pott, 05 Jun 2014
Homer Simpson reading on PC

How I poured a client's emails straight into the spam bin – with one Friday evening change

By misunderstanding how a single word was being used, I caused a boo-boo that counts as "really stepped in it this time". After a lot of research and testing, I thought that months of "the spam filter is crap, make all the spam go away" warring with "the spam filter is too restrictive because $client can't send me his JavaScript …
Trevor Pott, 04 Jun 2014
Telemba Logo

Reg reader champions robotic reuse

Register reader Hajime Saito and a group of robotics experts known as "frtp" are looking to put a little fun back into robotics with a project called Telemba. I stumbled across their Kickstarter while researching telepresence robots and was intrigued by the idea of using a Roomba and an Android tablet to solve the problem. You …
Trevor Pott, 02 Jun 2014
Pair of pliers with other tools

Readers' choice: What every small-business sysadmin needs

In response to a previous article, a number of readers have submitted their views on essential systems administration tools. A few responses stand out from the rest. Michael Wilkinson rightly rebukes me for not including hardware tools in the discussion, with the BOFH's signature cattleprod being first to mind. Malle-herbert …
Trevor Pott, 28 May 2014
Vodafone advert

Video review: Our sysadmins drink in the latest SIP phones

As I've mentioned before, it's hard to make phones sexy, especially SIP phones. The local vultures and I all had a good chuckle at that when I turned in that article, but eventually we stopped and thought: wait, how much fun can we have reviewing SIP phones? It's tough to match setting an IOsafe NAS on fire, but we have this …

Review: GFI Cloud eliminates need to nursemaid Windows

How do you take care of a network's worth of PCs if you are short of time and resources? Recently, I have been looking at the kinds of tools that systems administrators need and have come to the conclusion that for those who are time-poor and overworked, GFI Cloud ticks several of the important boxes. The purpose of GFI Cloud …
Trevor Pott, 06 May 2014
Aberdeen Stirling X888

Speedy storage server sales stumps sysadmin scribe: Who buys this?

Every once in a while I need to ask a question I know is going to get me in a world of trouble. It's the sort of question that triggers panicked emails from corporate PRs, and sometimes even the odd thinly veiled threat for daring to ask such things in a public forum. I'm pretty lucky in that Chris Mellor, Storagebod, and others …
Trevor Pott, 05 May 2014
A crowd, photo by Ben Schumin

VMware loses top community man Troyer

VMware's community manager, John Troyer is leaving VMware. Troyer is striking out to create a new, vendor-neutral community called TechReckoning, and will fund this venture by freelance consulting with vendors on how they can build up communities of their own. It might seem odd to those who aren't part of the VMware community to …
Trevor Pott, 02 May 2014

Everything you always wanted to know about VDI but were afraid to ask (no, it's not an STD)

So you know your way around a data center just fine, but you've been told to roll out VDI – aka that highly riveting technology, virtual desktop infrastructure. This is your first time juggling virtualization on this scale. What do you need to worry about? How will you test and benchmark it? Our sysadmin blogger Trevor Pott …
Trevor Pott, 28 Apr 2014
The Four Horsemen Apocalypse ride up the grassy mound that adorns the WinXP desktop

The... Windows... XPocalypse... is... NIGH

The XPocalypse is upon us, gentlebeings, and those of us who must keep XP around are doomed! Or so some very expensive marketing pushes would have us believe. As you know by now, I have to keep some XP systems around. In some cases they'll probably be around for a decade or more. If you believe the breathtaking hyperbole of …
Trevor Pott, 08 Apr 2014
Sleep Cycle iOS app screenshot

Where the HELL is my ROBOT BUTLER?

For decades the development of the computer has been driven by businesses. Businesses bought mainframes, PCs and servers. They bought in such quantity that the consumer was, for most technology companies, a mere afterthought. Today, consumer purchases of endpoints outstrip business purchases by a wide margin. None of this is …
Trevor Pott, 04 Apr 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

What if Microsoft announced it's not ending support for Windows XP next Tuesday after all, and instead will offer perpetual updates (for a small fee, of course). Something inside me, somewhere between my sense of humor and soul-crushing cynicism, drove me to turn that dream into an April Fool for this year. But all cruel joking …
Trevor Pott, 02 Apr 2014
Titanfall

Titanfall, shoot-'em-up gamers, cloudy contracts and cattle

A "servers are cattle, not pets", DevOps-style approach is the only feasible way for a small number of people to run modern cloud-scale data centres. Small teams running large server farms are necessary to grind down costs so as to keep up with the Amazon-fearing race to the bottom. But even when cloud computing works exactly as …
Trevor Pott, 01 Apr 2014
Smartphones

3CX Phone System takes on the corporate mobiles

It is hard to make phones sexy, never mind SIP phones and software. Yet increasingly my job requires me to be on the phone for hours every day to people all over the world. The local telco wants roughly the GDP of Brunei to let me do this, making SIP providers look attractive. As a result, I have investigated a company called …
Trevor Pott, 31 Mar 2014
Akaash Tablet

Schoolkids given WORLD'S CHEAPEST TABLETS: Is it really that hard to swallow?

For some time now The Register has been tracking an effort by the Indian government to provide their schoolchildren with low cost tablets. The subsidised cost of the devices for Indian families is slated to be 1,500 rupees (£14, $24), with the unsubsidised version available to the rest of the world for £30. The decision to …
Trevor Pott, 25 Mar 2014