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.

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
shutterstock_306575414_woman_programmer

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
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

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
head of 50s-style robot

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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