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Danny Bradbury

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SSDs in the enterprise: It's about more than just speed

Enterprise solid state drives are gaining traction, but their predominant focus is still performance. The need for speed has driven SSDs into applications where HDDs previously reigned, but for those of us who aren’t high-frequency traders, solid state will need to demonstrate some other benefits. What are they, and how …
Danny Bradbury, 11 Oct 2016

Hyperconvergence: Where is the technology, and the CIO, going?

Hyperconvergenced computing offers some advantages for CIOs, but the advantages don’t exist in a vacuum. Companies have to predict what kind of environment their appliances will be running in, four or five years from now, and how they can prepare for it. Hyperconvergence is the convergence of storage and compute infrastructure …
Danny Bradbury, 27 Sep 2016

Going hyperconverged? Don't forget to burst into the cloud

Here’s a key benefit of that shiny new hyperconverged box you just bought: it’s supposed to speak the cloud’s language. After all, hyperconverged storage is sometimes viewed as a private cloud in a box, melding storage, networking and compute into a single package with the storage management happening under the hood. It …
Danny Bradbury, 22 Sep 2016

DDoS attacks: For the hell of it or targeted – how do you see them off?

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks can be painful and debilitating. How can you defend against them? Originally, out-of-band or scrubbing-centre DDoS protection was the only show in town, but another approach, inline mitigation, provides a viable and automatic alternative. DDoS attacks can be massive, in some cases …
Danny Bradbury, 22 Sep 2016
EU flag photo via Shutterstock

Brexit will happen. The EU GDPR will happen. You can't avoid either

Article 50, the process for Britain’s formal withdrawal from the European Union, is looming. Upon the conclusion of Article 50, data centres resident in Britain will no longer be subject to EU data protection rules. Today, UK data centres are bound by the EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/C), which was in turn based on the …
Danny Bradbury, 16 Sep 2016
Baby tries to drink from a water hose. Photo by Shutterstock

Ready for the Internet of Things big data firehose?

Today’s cities, transportation networks and even theme parks are filling up with wireless sensors designed to sniff, hear and feel what’s going on in their environment. They’re generating an unprecedented amount of data on everything from temperature to rainfall, vibration and location, and they’re sending it all back to central …
Danny Bradbury, 04 Aug 2016
Cloudy shopping trolley in the sky (representing cloud sales/procurement). Photo by Shutterstock

You’ve left too many VMs lying about. You’re a very naughty boy

There’s no doubt about it: cloud computing is a leveller, both outside organisations and in. But do we really want a free-for-all democracy in which anyone can procure anything at will? And if not, how do we stop it? Back in the day, the operations staff held the keys to the kingdom. They got to decide who got what hardware, …
Danny Bradbury, 01 Aug 2016
Parachutist image via Shutterstock

The bigger they get, the harder we fall: Thinking our way out of cloud crash

Cloud computing is wonderful, until it isn’t. A digital screw comes loose somewhere, and before you know it the whole engine has ground to a halt in a cascading cloud outage – or, as we like to call it, a cloutage. It has happened before, and Bryan Ford was very worried about it in 2012. Then a Yale Researcher, he published a …
Danny Bradbury, 29 Jul 2016
Man relaxes, stretches out, outs his feet up on a cloud.... Fun but hammy stock pic. Photo by Shutterstock

Getting comfortable with cloud-based security: Whom to trust to do what

There are some bits of computing that you just don’t want to trust other people with. They’re just too sensitive. But at the same time, there are some things that people can do as well or better than you, for a lower cost. Finding a balance between the two can be tricky, but useful. Take cybersecurity as an example. It’s …
Danny Bradbury, 27 Jul 2016

DDoS, the cloud and you

Private cloud computing can be a useful way to offload some computing overhead and manage your costs effectively. The switch to operating expenses from capital expenses, the elasticity, the business continuity benefits – they're all real. But so are the dangers of DDoS disaster. There's a problem with moving your servers and …
Danny Bradbury, 21 Jul 2016
Communist fist, photo via Shutterstock

ODM for the masses? Facebook's OCP still ain't for you, brother

Go to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, and you’ll see a strange contraption cobbled together from commodity motherboards purchased from electronics stores. It’s one of Google’s first production servers, built in 1999 when it didn’t have money to waste on dead-end projects like Wave, NexusQ and Buzz. …
Danny Bradbury, 30 Jun 2016

Inside the World of the Dark DDoS

Today’s distributed denial of service attacks are different than the kinds that we saw at the dawn of the millennium when the threat emerged. They’re becoming more nuanced, and subtle – and they could result in a lot more than a downed web server. In the early days of DDoS, volumetric attacks were all the rage. Politically or …
Danny Bradbury, 27 Jun 2016

Cloud security 101: Get a little more intimate with your provider

You can get many different services in the cloud these days, and cyber security is among them. These days, cloud service providers will take care of everything from email scanning through to watching where your employees surf (and stopping them from going there, if necessary). Most of them claim to do a better job than the …
Danny Bradbury, 16 May 2016
Frozen disc, image via Shutterstock

Super cool: Arctic data centres aren't just for Facebook

Dotted around the near-Arctic are several data centres, each taking advantage of the cold air in that region. We know that low temperatures are great for cooling, but it isn’t the only reason that operators chose those locations. Facebook opened its data centre in Luleå, northern Sweden in 2011. Google rolled out its Hamina …
Danny Bradbury, 12 May 2016

Cutting edge security: Expensive kit won't save you

We all want to protect our customer and employee data, but as the threat landscape changes and the publicly disclosed data breaches get increasingly larger, our approach may need to change. What constitutes "state of the art" information security in 2016? It’s tempting to create a listicle of 10 shiny new security tools that …
Danny Bradbury, 13 Apr 2016

What exactly is it that infosec miscreants get up to? A quick overview

If corporate IT infrastructures are a battlefield, then the cybercriminals are putting up a good fight. Last year saw some nasty breaches. Anthem Insurance, which lost nearly 80 million records, and the US Office of Personnel Management, which lost 21 million records after failing to encrypt its records. Cybercriminals are …
Danny Bradbury, 13 Apr 2016
single pain of glass

One pane of glass to rule them all? Vanity – thy name is cloud management

Is it possible to achieve a single view of the cloud? The more cloud services that a company uses, the more complex it would seem to get. Maybe you use a bit of AWS here, some Azure there, and some Rackspace somewhere else. That might be complex enough, but add in your own on-premise cloud solutions and it gets even muddier. …
Danny Bradbury, 28 Mar 2016
wham_bang by Roy Lichtenstein

Cyberthreat: How to respond...and when

Spotting threats in cyberspace is like star gazing. There are lots of them out there, but telling them apart and working out which ones are about to go supernova takes experience and skill. You don’t want to pour the same resource into protecting yourself against every single perceived threat, because no budget can support …
Danny Bradbury, 23 Mar 2016
management project3

If Jack Sprat ran an IT department

Moving to thin clients can save you capital and maintenance costs. It’s a brave IT manager that will do it all at once, though. Giving up PCs for smaller devices with simpler specifications represents a big change for administrators, and there may be kinks to work out. In any case, users don’t like disruption, so it’s best to …
Danny Bradbury, 22 Mar 2016
Moments of perspiration

Cyberthreat: Learning to live with the risk

Cyberthreats are like the common cold or some other infectious virus; eventually you’re going to get sick. It’s a part of life. They’re always there, lurking just around the corner, waiting to make your life that little bit harder. At the same time, you can’t focus entirely on potential risks to your business at the expense of …
Danny Bradbury, 18 Mar 2016
Mammatus clouds by Craig Linsday, CC 3.0 licence

Ever heard of 'multi-cloud'? Get with cool kids – it's the New Big Thing™

Comment Hybrid cloud is so yesterday – multi-cloud is where it’s at. Spreading your cloud apps between different providers is now becoming a trend. Four in five firms were using multi-cloud services last year, according to cloud firm RightScale. Six in 10 UK companies used more than one provider, said Adapt a year earlier. There are …
Danny Bradbury, 15 Mar 2016
Business types meditate in green field. Photo via Shutterstock

Whatever happened to Green IT?

Call it green computing or sustainable IT, ten years ago it was all the rage. The IT press was filled with articles about it. Today, it’s hard to find a headline that mentions it. What happened? Green IT gained real traction in 2007-2008, as companies vied for position as the most sustainable on the block, often with massive …
Danny Bradbury, 15 Mar 2016

Dragons and butterflies: The chaos of other people's clouds

Cloud computing was meant to solve the reliability problem, but in practice, it still has a long way to go. Is that an endemic problem with the complexity of cloud computing, or a problem with the way people use it? Cloud infrastructures are meant to be resilient, because they tend to use lots of cheap servers and scale out. …
Danny Bradbury, 05 Feb 2016
Breakwater at Portland Harbour

How to be certain about your data in an uncertain future

If it wasn’t for users, managers, or compliance execs, IT would be an easy place with goalposts that stayed put. The real world is far less predictable. The rules of play may change. So how do you design data strategies to cope? Data regulations are a good example. The EU’s Safe Harbour legislation made the rules clear when it …
Danny Bradbury, 28 Jan 2016
Are you being served?

Serving up IT on a silver platter, also known as ITSM

In the 1950s, we imagined a world where everything was automated. Robots would clean for us, and small boxes would instantly produce hot food. Now, we have the Roomba and the microwave, and shortly, cars that drive themselves. Even Zuck is preparing his electronic butler. To top it all, there’s not a dodgy-looking Jetsons …
Danny Bradbury, 15 Jan 2016