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.
Windows Server

Migrating from WS2003 to *nix in a month? It ain't happening, folks

Sysadmin blog Some people take exception to my recommendation that those running Win32 applications try to move to a newer version of Windows. They believe that if I were a "credible" IT professional I would counsel a move to *nix technologies such as Linux, Unix or BSD. The context for this debate is that Windows Server 2003's end is upon …
Trevor Pott, 06 Jul 2015
management governance3

The blessing and the curse of Big Data

Sysadmin blog Companies more familiar with technology are more likely to use the reporting and analytics features of their software. This isn't something new, and it didn't start with computers. Computers make reporting and analytics easier, but every business needs hard data if they are to grow. Back in the day, "reporting and analytics" …
Trevor Pott, 01 Jul 2015
Microsoft_EOS

The Great Windows Server 2003 migration: Where do we go from here?

We all have to move away from Server 2003 before it turns into a pumpkin in July, but there are so many options out there that choosing the destination for our data and workloads can be a little overwhelming. What your workloads are will play a big part in determining which operating system you can upgrade to. The details of …
Trevor Pott, 30 Jun 2015
Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop

Ditching political Elop makes for a more Nadella Microsoft

Comment With bad things possibly in the post for Microsoft’s Windows phone business, its commander Stephen Elop has been shown the door by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella. As a hardened Elop detractor I literally cheered at the news. The reason I cheer Elop's departure is actually a little complicated, and not entirely for the reasons …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jun 2015
NBC suit worker image via Shutterstock

Copy Data Management: What it is and why you might need it

Most infrastructure verticals within the datacenter are undergoing rapid evolution today, but you could be entirely forgiven if you thought data protection stopped evolving some time ago. That's a shame because Copy Data Management (CDM) is the next evolution of this space, and it's worth taking some time to learn about this …
Trevor Pott, 24 Jun 2015
Falcon explodes

SPICEWORKS FAIL: Are we ready for ‘social’ network administration?

Analysis Yesterday, a security screw up with the Spiceworks application was noticed, and reported a little earlier by our good selves. Anyone with a Facebook or LinkedIn account could log in to Spiceworks installs running the latest version and it would create an administrative account for them. This is not OK, not at all. Many …
Trevor Pott, 23 Jun 2015
Spiceworks welcome to 7.4 banner

Spiceworks in WTF-class social log-in SECURITY BLUNDER

A serious security flaw has been discovered in the Spiceworks network administration application. The issue, uncovered by Spicehead Darren K Smith, allows anyone with a Facebook or LinkedIn account to log in as an administrator. Spiceworks has responded by temporarily disabling social sign-in until the flaw can be addressed. …
Trevor Pott, 23 Jun 2015
Sir Maurice Wilkes photo Computer Laboratory University of Cambridge

So what are you doing about your legacy MS 16-bit applications?

This is the last gasp migration for Microsoft ecosystem 16-bit applications. Windows Server 2008 x86 is the last Microsoft server operating system to support them. You can upgrade from Server 2003 to Server 2008 and buy yourself a few more years, but extended support for Server 2008 runs out in 2020. The migration won't be …
Trevor Pott, 22 Jun 2015

Pwned so many times - but saved by the incident response plan

Sysadmin blog Companies that are more proficient with technology are more likely to believe that their security is "very effective". Is this a form of contempt born of familiarity, or a true understanding of the risks? The bigger the company, the harder they fall, and no organisation – not even the US state department – has proven …
Trevor Pott, 17 Jun 2015
US Navy man crawling under barbed wire in tough mudder competition

Why are there so many Windows Server 2003 stragglers?

Windows Server 2003 is almost out of support, and many of us simply don't have the option to upgrade to a newer operating system. In some cases this problem is self-imposed. In others it is the result of events beyond our control. Either way, there are millions of businesses – mostly small businesses – who simply don't have the …
Trevor Pott, 16 Jun 2015
Students using MacBooks in a lecture hall

Scientists love MacBooks (true) – but what about you?

Sysadmin Blog I've done a few Apple in the enterprise articles recently, and it has set me thinking. Despite Apple's obvious success in a number of areas, a fair amount of nerdly vitriol is spewed at Macs. I have had a few unkind words to say about them*, but the arguments can get quite heated. Some of the particular debate points used by …
Trevor Pott, 10 Jun 2015
Protestor barricade image via Shutterstock

Software-defined freedom: A liberating experience for YOU

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) are the future – and if you aren't already learning about them you're probably already doomed. If that strikes you as a little pessimistic then there is a bright side: most of us are already doing some of it and we all understand more about it than we …
Trevor Pott, 08 Jun 2015
Racecar

SDN's dream: Use what you've got, not what you're promised

Is hardware turning soft? Yes, if you listen to IT vendors. Companies such as Oracle are investing in Software Defined Networking (SDN) — turning features that were once hardware into apps or part of the networking layer or running as apps on servers. I've recently written about the problems and promises of SDN and find the …
Trevor Pott, 08 Jun 2015

Why voice and apps sometimes don't beat an old-fashioned knob

Internet of Lawnmowers I recently gave the Internet of Things (IoT) a good look. I talked about geofencing and the communications technologies of the IoT, but now I think it's time to talk about nightmares. Specifically, I want to talk about my wife's "you need Lastpass for your smart house" IoT nightmare. It's the reason I'm not allowed to buy a …
Trevor Pott, 28 May 2015
Battlestar Galactica's Commander Adama

Make Adama proud: Connect your Things wisely, cadet

Internet of Lawnmowers Last time I explored the concept of geofencing, and how low-power technologies are used both to create "virtual walls" and to create beacons. This time, I’m going to take a look at the individual technologies that Internet of Things (IoT) devices will use to communicate for the next several years. Infrared Infrared beacons are …
Trevor Pott, 27 May 2015
Chinese fence

Geofencing: The ultra-low power frontier for the Internet of Things

Internet of Lawnmowers How are the next 10 billion devices going to connect to the internet of today, tomorrow? Having all of these gizmos talk to one another over your standard 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi is not going to happen, so how will all those gizmos connect to the wider internet, and how will we keep them all safe, happy and updated? The internet of things …
Trevor Pott, 26 May 2015
spok

It's the end of life as we know it for Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 will pass out of Microsoft support on July 14, 2015. Different organisations report different numbers, but all agree that there are millions of Server 2003 servers still running in the wild. Microsoft says there are 11 million Server 2003 servers still running. Gartner says eight million. Several internet …
Trevor Pott, 18 May 2015

Adjustments will be needed to manage the Macs piling up in your business

As discussed in the first part of this series, Macs are everywhere. Despite their presence in businesses large and small, managing Macs in the enterprise still is not easy. A few years ago I gave Apple in the enterprise a look, and sadly, things haven't changed too much since then. Managing Macs in an organisation is really not …
Trevor Pott, 15 May 2015
management project3

Scale Computing: Not for enterprise, but that's all part of the plan

Review: Scale Computing makes hyper-converged appliances targeted at small and medium-sized businesses (SMB). When you think of headline names for hyper-convergence – EVO:Rail, Nutanix, SimpliVity – you don't tend to think of "SMB". VMware-based name-brand hyper-convergence tends to be in the $150,000+ range, while Scale starts …
Trevor Pott, 12 May 2015
Windows Server

Don't panic as Server 2003 rushes towards end of life

It is time to upgrade. In about a month Server 2003 will receive its farewell set of patches and reach the end of its officially supported life. You have been putting off the upgrades. I have been putting off the upgrades. With the weekends left to do this quickly evaporating, what's the checklist? Making a single checklist for …
Trevor Pott, 08 May 2015

Flash banishes the spectre of the unrecoverable data error

Those who follow storage developments know that there are concerns about the viability of RAID systems. Rebuild times are so long that the chances of an unrecoverable read error (URE) occurring are dangerously high. What is true for traditional disk, however, is not necessarily true for flash. Now that traditional magnetic …
Trevor Pott, 07 May 2015
High-altitude snap from Dave Akerman's Cloud 7 payload

Microsoft Azure – or how to make the public cloud work for you

Review Public cloud computing offers the tantalising promise of elastic computing, but few IT practitioners know what it means, let alone how to make it work for them. My job is to know this stuff, the new and cutting edge of IT. I need to know it to educate my clients, but also because I get paid to write about it. I have worked …
Trevor Pott, 07 May 2015

Facebook's Open Compute could make DIY data centres feasible

DIY vs COTS: Part 2 Last time I looked at the PC versus console battle as a metaphor for DIY versus Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) data centres, and touched on the horrors of trying to run a DIY data centre. Since 2011, however, we've had the Open Compute Project, initiated by Facebook. The ideal is some kind of industry-standard data centre, with …
Trevor Pott, 07 May 2015

Hyper-convergence? I believe – just not like this

There's a horrible, horrible thing I get asked at least three times a week: "What is hyper-convergence?" This is like an icepick into my soul, because I consult with almost all of the current hyper-convergence vendors in one form or another and the truth is, “hyper-convergence” is a meaningless marketing term as wishy-washy and …
Trevor Pott, 04 May 2015
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One bit to rule them all? Forget it – old storage types never die

Block storage, file storage and object storage are all frequently bandied about terms in the storage world. They are fundamentally different, and yet inextricably intertwined. Choosing the right storage today means understanding the differences between these different storage classes, and how they can be made redundant and/or …
Trevor Pott, 01 May 2015