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.
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Want to defend your network? Profile the person attacking it

Sysadmin blog If you want to hack someone's network then learn your target. This starts with recon. What does your target run? What information can you find out about them? Remote scanning will tell you lots about a target system ... unless their sysadmins are good and have changed all the banners to throw you off. So you learn about the …
Trevor Pott, 23 Nov 2015

This storage startup dedupes what to do what? How?

Sysadmin blog Two months ago hyper-converged infrastructure appliance startup SimpliVity sued its rival Springpath. I know next to nothing about the lawsuit – nor do I want to – but the whole thing has caused commentators and armchair analysts everywhere to ask what exactly SimpliVity does that is unique. I have spent the past two months …
Trevor Pott, 23 Nov 2015
2028GR_TRT HDD Caddies

Quick as a flash: NVMe will have you in tiers

Sysadmin Blog Non-Volatile Memory Express, or NVMe, is a game-changing storage standard for PCIe-connected drives. It is replacing AHCI and along with the U.2 (SFF-8639) connector it is replacing both SAS and SATA for high speed, low latency storage. It's the smart way to connect up flash and post-flash storage tech to your servers. The …
Trevor Pott, 03 Nov 2015
Nunslinger: The Complete Series

Dell buying EMC: Is this the end times, or the road to salvation?

Sysadmin Blog: Dell bought EMC. The internet promptly lost its mind. Make no mistake, the Dell-EMC merger is a pretty big deal. Everyone has news, thoughts and analysis on the subject. While I feel The Register's coverage has been pretty neutral so far, the internet at large has posted rather a lot of doom and gloom. The most common phrase …
Trevor Pott, 16 Oct 2015

Let's check out Dell, doom and the competition

Sysadmin blog In case you missed it: pretty much the entire IT industry's margins are collapsing. It is hitting all sectors from smartphones to desktops to servers, storage and even networking. Tech has reached "good enough" for most, and now price rules. This is Dell's world, and now it's packing EMC ammunition. Software-defined-whatsits …
Trevor Pott, 15 Oct 2015
An angry mob

Pitchforks, torches, and awful quotes – we read what Cisco's CEO said

Sysadmin blog Cisco's new CEO Chuck Robbins has caused a lot of introspection with me. This week he said a number of things that frighten and confuse me. Let's start with the quote. This thing ricocheted around Twitter, caused a minor stir in the article comments, and was generally responsible for nerdly mirth and merriment for the length …
Trevor Pott, 11 Oct 2015
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Aspera high speed file transfer: Let the cloud protocol wars begin

There is a problem with cloud storage that affects almost all of us, yet is something of which most of us remain blissfully unaware. The problem isn't the object stores underpinning cloud storage; used properly, object storage is great. Look instead to the bit shuffling data between end users and the cloud. It's not the …
Trevor Pott, 01 Oct 2015
Dusty fan vent

Penny wise and pound foolish: Server hoarders are energy wasters

Sysadmin blog This summer was particularly bad for western Canada, where I live. Electricity costs are soaring and the datacenter air conditioners were going 24 hours a day. There has to be a way to be more efficient. My power bill at home is $250 most months. This is with over half the equipment in my lab out on customer sites for testing …
Trevor Pott, 24 Sep 2015
Tintri T80

Tintri T850: Storage array demonstrates stiff upper lip under pressure

Review The Tintri T850 is Tintri's mid-line offering. It is a great example of the current line of Tintri products. Reviewing it has been something of a challenge, though that is the fault of your reviewer, not the storage array. Tintri focuses on intelligent storage that analyses your workloads and predicts what your workloads are …
Trevor Pott, 03 Sep 2015
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The future of IT is – to deliver automation. Discuss

Sysadmin blog You don't have to be a large enterprise to benefit from technology, though access to seemingly endless resources tends to help. I've worked in SMB IT my whole life and automation changes everything at this level. So many things that reasonably should be automated simply aren't in the SMB world. We rely on fallible humans. …
Trevor Pott, 01 Sep 2015
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Oh no, startup Massive Analytic unleashes 'artificial precognition'

When Britons do tech startups they don't hold back. London-based Massive Analytic is an artificial intelligence startup that has created Oscar AP, a product they describe as 'artificial precognition'. If name Massive Analytic wasn't just this side of disturbing, the unnecessarily creepy "artificial precognition" marketing …
Trevor Pott, 01 Sep 2015
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Canadians taking to spying on their spies

Comment As Canadians settle in for the longest general election campaign since 1867, some uncomfortable incidents that had been ignored by commercial media outlets are gaining new exposure. Allegations that Canadian spooks are spying on protesters have become a hot topic online. The result is that Canada's online civil liberties …
Trevor Pott, 22 Aug 2015

Want security? Next-gen startups show how old practices don't cut it

Sysadmin Blog In case you hadn't noticed, IT security sucks. There is a chronic lack of people trained in IT security, people who will listen to IT security, and even a lack of agreement on how best to go about IT security. Fortunately, a new generation of startups are helping to tackle the issues. No matter how good a sysadmin you think …
Trevor Pott, 22 Aug 2015
Christopher Lee as Dracula

Citrix really needs to get its act together, and soon

Sysadmin Blog In the frenetic run-up to VMworld, it's easy to forget anything else exists in the tech world at all except VMware and its orbiting ecosystem. Cutting through the acquisition rumours and flurry of meaningless minor-version bumps by startups, big things are happening and need consideration. With that in mind, let's talk about …
Trevor Pott, 21 Aug 2015
Redfish Logo

Redfish aims to reel in data centre tin shifters hook, line and sinker

The Redfish API has hit version 1.0, signalling a new era of co-operation among vendors regarding the increasingly hot topic of data centre management. Redfish is the result of efforts by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) to bring all physical equipment within a data centre together with one API to manage them. Data …
Trevor Pott, 20 Aug 2015
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Ravello tames public cloud from Inception to Infinity

Sysadmin blog Ravello is launching two new products today: InfinityDC and Inception SX. Both technologies allow VMware environments to be run on top of Amazon's AWS or Google's Compute cloud. Though the technologies have been undergoing fairly public testing for some time, this marks the official launch of commercially supported products. …
Trevor Pott, 19 Aug 2015

Rise up against Oracle class stupidity and join the infosec strike

Sysadmin blog Information security and privacy are important. Stop being Oracle-class short-termist assholes. Stop waffling, dodging and procrastinating. Get your heads out of your asses and start doing something to improve things for everyone. You. Yes, you there reading this article. I don't care who you are, you have the power to be part …
Trevor Pott, 12 Aug 2015

Sane people, I BEG you: Stop the software defined moronocalypse

Sysadmin blog A raft of potential vulnerabilities was found in whitebox Software Defined Networking (SDN) equipment. This is the beginning of the saga, not the end. The issues with the Internet of Things promise to be far, far worse. SDN solves a lot of problems and is broadly applicable (once it gets cheap enough). This brings with it a …
Trevor Pott, 07 Aug 2015
OpenStack

HP snuggles up to OpenStack in cloud embrace

It's hard to understand OpenStack's role in the data centres of the future without understanding HP's approach. HP's cloud strategy is named "Helion" and it includes public, private and hybrid elements. HP bought and has incorporated Eucalyptus into Helion, but the core of its cloud bets are on OpenStack. Helion is vital for …
Trevor Pott, 07 Aug 2015
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I, for one, welcome the rise of the Infrastructure Endgame Machines

The end of IT as we know it is upon us. Decades of hype, incremental evolution and bitter disappointment are about to come to an end as the provisioning of IT infrastructure is finally commoditised. By the end of the decade, the majority of new IT purchases will be converged infrastructure solutions that I only semi-jokingly …
Trevor Pott, 05 Aug 2015

Vision? Execution? Sadly, omission and confusion rule Gartner's virty quadrant

Comment Gartner has released its Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualisation Infrastructure. It annoys me. Normally, I can write of it as simply being Gartner, and move on ... normally. But storage and virtualisation specifically – and anyone who thinks these two markets are separate doesn't understand them – are on my list, of late …
Trevor Pott, 05 Aug 2015
Windsurfer mid-flight (3CX logo in sail)

SDN: It's living the dream – and just using what you've got

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) are growing in importance. Genuine interest around them is growing fast, faster even than the hype would indicate. This is having some curious knock-on effects. Networking vendors are cautious about SDN and NFV, as both trends threaten to commoditise …
Trevor Pott, 04 Aug 2015
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Do you speak NFV? Time to go back to school and learn

Administrators have some growing up to do before they're ready to properly implement Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), as it not only has to be automated and integrated into extant management systems, it needs to be a lot more lightweight than most administrator believe is possible. NFV is the ability to stand up, tear …
Trevor Pott, 04 Aug 2015

Hacking Trump: Can we not label web vandalism as 'terrorism', please?

Sysadmin Blog American politics are something of a national sport in Canada. No matter who runs for either side, Canadians throw popcorn at the screen and try to pretend our choices are any better. We debate the relative merits of the boob tube's highest stakes biennial reality TV soap opera. Things can get heated, sometimes, but we enjoy …
Trevor Pott, 03 Aug 2015
Donald Trump

Hacktivists congratulate Daily Show's Jon Stewart via Donald Trump's website

Canadian hacktivists Telecomix Canada have defaced Donald Trump's website. The message, entitled "Your Moment of Zen, Mr Stewart" is a shoutout to Jon Stewart of the Daily Show for his steady criticism of Donald Trump. The announcement was made by Telecomix Canada on pastebin and says that the reveal of the server penetration …
Trevor Pott, 03 Aug 2015