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.
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
Dell Poweredge R730 motherboard

Dell PowerEdge R730: Reg rack monkeys crack smiles over kindness of engineers

Review Dell is a company with many arms: it does servers, laptops, desktops and like its competitors, tries to have those arms positioned in as many different areas of IT as possible. The server arm has extended us a Poweredge R730 2U server to review and it has served as a good reminder of why Dell servers are so popular. The …
Ethernet cable rises up like a snake (artist's impression). Image via shutterstock

While we weren't looking, the WAN changed

Sysadmin Blog: Wide Area Networking (WAN) solutions are not discussed enough in the tech press. We babble incessantly about consumer broadband, or some new top end fibre speed achieved in a lab, but this is merely a fraction of the story. There is a very real revolution in WAN connectivity that is occurring right now, today. It goes largely …
Trevor Pott, 05 Feb 2016
ioSafe BDR 515 Stock Image

ioSafe releases x86 server for the 'we don't have a geek with a screwdriver' crowd

Review ioSafe, which you may remember from a delightful prior experiment in which I set one of its storage units on fire has launched a new product. This delightful new device, the BDR 515, is based on a dual core Intel i5 platform with 16GB of RAM and runs a full version of Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard. BDR in this case can be …
Trevor Pott, 03 Feb 2016
Intersecting above-ground highways (skyways) constructed in intricate pattern, shot from below at night. Photo by Shutterstock

DevOps is no excuse for cowboy devs. Right. Let's talk Composable Infrastructure

HPE, or Hewlett Packard Enterprise to you and me, has announced Synergy, rich with new buzzwords for existing concepts and the promise of brand new hardware to woo and wow. With general availability in Q2 2016, Synergy is taking the lead in HPE's "composable infrastructure" push ... but what lies underneath all the marketing …
Trevor Pott, 07 Jan 2016
Parachutists and cloud image via Shutterstock

Hyper-converged infrastructure? Pop open some 'Azure in a can'

HPE and Microsoft have teamed up to give everyone else a right good kicking. The product of the now is the "HPE Hyper Converged 250 for Microsoft CPS Standard”. This is a very long name and so I propose instead that we shall think of it as "Azure in a can 250". Sticking to the Azure-in-a-can theme, HPE's new gizmo does exactly …
Trevor Pott, 06 Jan 2016
Data Centre

The Register guide to software-defined infrastructure

Explainer Software-Defined Infrastructure (SDI) has, in a very short time, become a completely overused term. Roughly a year ago I discussed what SDI is. As the individual components of SDI have started to become automated the marketing usage of the term has approached "cloud" or "X as a Service" levels of abstracted pointlessness. …
Trevor Pott, 04 Jan 2016
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

Supermicro's ability to enable should worry IBM and Lenovo

Sysadmin's 2015 review part 3 With 2015 drawing to a close and 2016 about to begin, it's time to reflect on the fact that the world never stops changing. The tech industry certainly constantly changes, and so here's one sysadmin's final view of the industry's movers and shakers. In part one (link here) I took a look at Amazon, Oracle and Microsoft. In part …
Trevor Pott, 31 Dec 2015
Example of tidy cabling

Cisco, HPE and Dell: Let's just say 'it's complicated' for now

Sysadmin's 2015 review part 2 With 2015 drawing to a close and 2016 about to begin it's time to reflect on the fact that the world never stops changing. The tech industry certainly changes constantly, and so here's one sysadmin's view of the industry's movers and shakers. In part one, I took a look at Amazon, Oracle and Microsoft. Here in part two I am …
Trevor Pott, 26 Dec 2015
management management

Bookstore sells some data centre capacity, becomes Microsoft, Oracle's nemesis

Sysadmin's 2015 review part 1 With 2015 drawing to a close and 2016 about to begin, it is time to reflect on the fact that the world never stops changing. The tech industry certainly changes, and so here's one sysadmin's view of the industry's movers and shakers. In part one we're going to look at Amazon, Oracle and Microsoft. As I see it, the strategy of …
Trevor Pott, 24 Dec 2015
Ethernet by https://www.flickr.com/photos/razor512/ CC2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The gear I use in my test lab: A look at three Trident+ switches

Sysadmin blog Buying new infrastructure does matter. Even small business need a basic set of features and equipment that meets industry standards, not just some proprietary vendor ones. But most businesses simply don't need the bleeding edge. Let's look at an upcoming switch replacement as an example. This customer is going to need to move …
Trevor Pott, 07 Dec 2015
A rather dusty old Dell, pictured by Tim Massey

And the reasons for buying new IT gear are as follows ...

Sysadmin blog Working with small businesses is a master's degree in the real lifespan of IT infrastructure. Companies with real budgets replace everything regularly; refresh cycles are two or three years apart, rarely five. The same doesn't necessarily apply to SMBs, and there are very real lessons to be learned. Perhaps the most important …
Trevor Pott, 04 Dec 2015
Kim Jong-un

North Korea is capable of pwning Sony. Whether it did is another matter

Sysadmin blog Researchers think they have figured out how Sony was hacked. Long story short: the hackers knew what they were doing and covered their tracks with some clever, but really basic, tricks. I'm not particularly surprised by this, but I am surprised that others are surprised by it. The Register commenter Yet Another Anonymous …
Trevor Pott, 24 Nov 2015