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Danny Bradbury

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What does people-centric IT mean, anyway?

People-centric visions of IT need to be broad-ranging, says Danny Bradbury. Now, don't bother him while he's trying to play Call of Duty: Ghosts. Satya Nadella has news for IT users: it's all about you. Microsoft's new CEO is touting a concept that he calls "people-centric IT". He wants to create an environment where "the end …
Danny Bradbury, 24 Mar 2014

Building big data? Are you building a security headache too?

The world and its dog has been shocked by the Prism news story. Early in June, we found out that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had developed a secret data-gathering mechanism to steal all our data and store it in a large data warehouse. We are outraged that it is being mined, searched and otherwise prodded. But do we …
Danny Bradbury, 19 Aug 2013

Let the software run the network

Across the IT industry, vendors are increasingly looking at defining datacentre operations in software. Whether it is VMware with its software-defined datacentre concept or Microsoft with its Virtual Machine Manager product, they are bringing home the benefits of abstracting key datacentre functions away from the hardware. …
Danny Bradbury, 18 Jun 2013
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Application Lifecycle Management: The movers and shakers

Old applications never die; they just stick around sucking up valuable computing resources and helpdesk time. If your business faces that problem, then it’s time to take application lifecycle management seriously. Code is alive. Applications are living, breathing things that are supposed to change as the business changes, and …
Danny Bradbury, 25 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Application transformation: Ready Steady Go!

Old software never dies, it just functionally decomposes. When applications reach the end of their lifecycle, they can hang around, ghostlike, creating support and infrastructure costs, or they can be made useful again. Application transformation is a key part of that process, but what is involved? The driver for application …
Danny Bradbury, 20 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Want to improve your software testing? Automate the tools, love-up the developers

We all know the traditional problem with software testing: it happens too late, and often in a rush, as users badger developers for delivery. If a software project runs over deadline, the chances are that the testing will suffer. Agile development helps to solve that problem, but automating the testing is a critical part of that …
Danny Bradbury, 12 Nov 2012
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How to give your applications a long and happy life

Are your applications well managed? Many companies get it right for part of an application’s lifecycle but few excel at all of it. Putting an application into a private cloud can help you to manage it more consistently from cradle to grave. Software applications need different resources at four main stages: development, …
Danny Bradbury, 05 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Are your applications ready to live in the cloud?

So, you are ready for a journey to the cloud. You have evaluated the benefits and you think you are ready to migrate your applications to a castle in the sky. But the road to cloudy happiness is a long and winding one. Getting your applications into the cloud takes preparation. Why move? The first step is to nail down the …
Danny Bradbury, 01 Jun 2012
Intel Cloud pickets

Measure up your applications for their move to the cloud

Are you ready to get your applications into the private cloud? If you understand the difference between virtualising something and making it part of a broader environment, then you are on your way. If you have explored the business value of each application to see if it makes sense, you are further still. But now comes the heavy …
Danny Bradbury, 30 May 2012

Cloud migration: The applications killing season

Moving applications to the cloud can help to tighten the efficiency of the IT department, but does that mean that every application should be moved? Software may have to be rewritten or at least reconfigured to function properly in the new environment, and it may not always be appropriate to invest the necessary time and money …
Danny Bradbury, 28 May 2012

How far can you shift the shape of cloud software?

Deep in the bowels of the EU academics, businesspeople and bureaucrats are putting the finishing touches to a set of specifications that could change the way we handle software as a service (SaaS). Logo for CAST research project The €1.08m CAST project, funded by an EC program called Eurostars, was created to develop a …
Danny Bradbury, 16 Apr 2012
workman in high vis jacket bent over, super-imposed on cloud background

Don't let the cloud obscure your software's performance

Software as a service (SaaS) can be a great cost saver for companies willing to abandon their own hardware and software, but what happens if productivity leaves the building too? Giving control of your business applications to someone else can also mean losing control of performance. When staff complain to the help desk that …
Danny Bradbury, 26 Mar 2012
workman in high vis jacket bent over, super-imposed on cloud background

Alterations may be needed to make SaaS fit

Software as a service (SaaS) may be a great way to shirk some capital expenditure by not having to buy servers and software, but how will it fit in with what you already have? Whether you are farming out CRM, document management, contact management or procurement, you probably have some locally hosted applications that you want …
Danny Bradbury, 19 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

What you can do to enforce endpoint security

Thirty years after the PC was launched, security and management problems for the endpoint seem to be getting worse rather than better. PCs have become more functional, creating a greater surface area for attack. And the number of endpoint devices has proliferated, as tablets, netbooks and smartphones have entered the fray. The …
Danny Bradbury, 27 Dec 2011
The Register breaking news

Clever patching keeps the system serviceable

It was the kind of day most systems administrators would like to forget. A customer of Canadian security consultant David Lewis, founder of the Liquidmatrix Security Digest, had decided to roll out a software patch to a Symantec product. Unfortunately, the firm didn’t check the patch as well as it could have and the tweak …
Danny Bradbury, 22 Dec 2011

Desktop Virtualisation for highly legislated environments

Implementing virtual desktops across a whole enterprise is rarely as easy as it sounds in vendor white papers. Rich Raether, IT manager, and Dan Putnam, published systems architect at large US law firm Quarles & Brady faced a unique set of challenges when they decided to roll out virtual desktops as a means of improving the firm …
Danny Bradbury, 29 Nov 2011

Big guns turn sights on cancer-causing genes

In the heart of London, researchers are splitting apart the building blocks of life and working towards a cure for cancer. The Biomedical Research Centre, run by King’s College Hospital and Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, has a genomic sequencing unit that genotypes tissue from patients with cancer and other diseases …
Danny Bradbury, 17 Nov 2011
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Step forward the chief information security officer

What does the modern chief information security officer (Ciso) look like? The role used to be little more than acting as a glorified sysadmin but things have changed. These days, Cisos must be all-rounders, concentrating not just on technology but on business too. “In recent years, the role of the Ciso has become more business …
Danny Bradbury, 15 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Were Lavasoft's buyers once on its hit list?

Anti-spyware company Lavasoft AB is now owned by a set of online entrepreneurs who have been linked with misleading websites. The Montreal-based entrepreneurs, who purchased the company's assets in January, have previously been accused of selling the free versions of Lavasoft products to unwitting internet users as recently as …
Danny Bradbury, 11 Nov 2011
cable

IBM rises to the optimisation challenge

In computing, it sometimes pays to specialise. Generic systems will handle most computational needs, but they may not excel at them. For larger companies, honing systems to handle specialised tasks involving large amounts of data could help to make data centres more efficient. This is what workload optimisation is for. …
Danny Bradbury, 10 Nov 2011
Broken CD with wrench

Old apps must die when you migrate to the cloud

How many applications is too many? In March, Capgemini issued its 2011 Application Landscape report, which surveyed almost 100 companies application portfolios. It found that 60 per cent of enterprise respondents had more applications than they needed. In large and enterprise-class firms, a bigger proportion of people felt that …
Danny Bradbury, 10 Nov 2011

Prepare for a growth spurt when you virtualise systems

Virtualising systems often means scaling them up. Sometimes, disparate networks of machines are consolidated together, creating a mega-portfolio of assets. This carries a special set of technical challenges, but let’s not forget the managerial ones. What happens when you scale a system by virtualising servers and cramming more …
Danny Bradbury, 09 Nov 2011

How to get the best from your IOPS

The number of inputs and outputs per second from your networked storage can dictate the success or failure of your whole architecture. Danny Bradbury interviews systems administrator Trevor Pott and finds out how networked storage can be configured to avoid bottlenecks and maximise performance. Watch Video var MediaPlayerVars …
Danny Bradbury, 09 Nov 2011

Trevor works out on VDI roll-outs

Deploying virtual desktop integration may save you lots of money (or not). It may increase your employees' mobility (or not). But if you stream the footie match in high definition on 30 virtual machines, it will definitely do a number on a single Gig-E interface. In this webcast systems administrator Trevor Pott reveals some …
Danny Bradbury, 03 Nov 2011

Is your network taking on a life of its own?

Networking has always been something of a dark art, but you would have thought it would get easier as technologies mature. In fact, technology, along with users’ expectations of it, is making the network manager's jobs more difficult than ever. Virtualisation and private clouds, combined with unified networking and next- …
Danny Bradbury, 31 Oct 2011
The Register breaking news

Process, not just product, will save your IT department

So, you’ve bought your firewall. You’ve spent thousands on an intrusion prevention system, and you’ve got expensive data leak prevention software. Are you dead sure that your sensitive customer data hasn’t been leaked? In IT security, capital expenditure on products can help to protect your systems, but it isn’t enough. Thinking …
Danny Bradbury, 26 Oct 2011
The Register breaking news

So many risks, so little time

How much risk can your IT department tolerate? There’s always going to be a certain amount of it. The trick is working out where to put it so that it causes the least damage. And to do that, you need to understand how risk fits into the broader world outside the IT department. There are various types of risk facing a company, …
Danny Bradbury, 24 Oct 2011
The Register breaking news

Breathe life into your cyber security campaign

Ah, another day, another government initiative designed to educate users about cyber risk. The Canadian government has declared October “Get Cyber Safe” month. It has a web site, too, which advises users on how to avoid getting pwned. The advice list includes updating your malware signatures and not giving out your password. …
Danny Bradbury, 18 Oct 2011
The Register breaking news

If the name’s not on the whitelist it can’t come in

The poor old corporate endpoint has had a bit of a battering in the last few years. Malware is more widespread and complex than ever and it is easy to get infected simply by visiting legitimate sites that have been hacked. Now that the internet has become such a dangerous neighbourhood, are malware blacklists enough to keep the …
Danny Bradbury, 14 Oct 2011

Virtualising your infrastructure? Get your numbers right

Virtualisation can be a powerful tool for your IT department, making your infrastructure far more efficient. But without proper planning it is easy to trip yourself up by not scaling the system properly. How can you plan the capacity needed for a virtualised system so that you don’t end up overspending or under-resourcing? Here …
Danny Bradbury, 26 Sep 2011

Mapping the threat environment

The threat landscape has changed considerably in the last few years, as the focus expands from network worms to advanced persistent threats. Danny Bradbury speaks to Raj Semani, EMEA CTO at McAfee, to explore how things have changed since botnets first came into being, and Melissa spread across the world. Download the MP3 here, …
Danny Bradbury, 12 Sep 2011

Can clouds ever be fully secure?

Computerised clouds are often similar to their water vapour-based counterparts; they're amorphous in the middle, and often fluffy around the edges. That can spell problems for IT departments when securing their private clouds, and for public cloud providers when locking down theirs. Danny Bradbury and Jim Reavis, executive …
Danny Bradbury, 07 Sep 2011
Cat 5 cable

Trev's Big Adventure in Virtualisation

Trevor Pott, our adventurous sysadmin guest, never does things by halves. When a client asked him to virtualize its desktop and server infrastructure all in one go, he jumped at the chance. Danny Bradbury interviews him day by day as he grapples with missing equipment, application issues, and backup woes. Watch Video var …
Danny Bradbury, 31 Aug 2011

How to stay out of big trouble from little devices

Here's the tricky thing about mobile security: the perfect storm of smartphone threats is always just over the horizon. Every couple of years, the vendors are up in arms about it and predict handheld apocalypse. At the same time, we are seeing an unprecedented level of activity in the mobile space. Morgan Stanley analyst Mary …
Danny Bradbury, 24 Aug 2011
The Register breaking news

Performance monitoring is Someone Else's Problem

Douglas Adams obviously knew what makes an IT shop tick. In Life, the Universe, and Everything, he identified the Somebody Else’s Problem (SEP) field, which renders some things not so much invisible as unnoticeable. For a while, the imminent collapse of the Greek economy was an SEP, until it became too big to ignore. IT …
Danny Bradbury, 24 Aug 2011

Just when you thought it was safe to enter the data centre

It is surprising that thieves don’t target data centres more often. All that expensive kit and copper is worth a pretty penny, not to mention all the data that’s on it. Several BT exchanges have been hit, along with facilities owned by C&W. But of course, thieves don’t always need to get in to wreak havoc: data centres can be …
Danny Bradbury, 23 Aug 2011

Detection systems guard against network intrusion

How do the different types of intrusion prevention system (IPS) work? Inline systems sit on the network like layer-two bridges, passing traffic along as they receive it. Host-based systems sit on the server, watching the traffic that it sends and receives. Both check packets for any suspicious activity, often using the most …
Danny Bradbury, 23 Aug 2011
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How to get a firm grip of applications performance

When applications go wrong, they can either stop working or slow to a crawl. The problem for IT managers is keeping track of when this happens and why, and preferably preventing it altogether. How can they do this? Ideally, your applications are all written under one framework, like J2EE or .Net, which makes monitoring web …
Danny Bradbury, 22 Aug 2011
The Register breaking news

Who the hell cares about five nines anymore?

Does anyone really care what “five nines” means anymore? For the record, it means 99.999 per cent availability, which means your business managers can founder in digital limbo for just over an eighth of a second each day. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? What about six seconds a week, or roughly five minutes a year? Talk is …
Danny Bradbury, 19 Aug 2011
The Register breaking news

IT governance: a help or a hindrance for your projects?

Facebook has become a source of pithy quotes. One is doing the round in friends’ status windows right now is: “Follow your heart, but take your brain along with you.” In relation to IT, another way to put it might be: “No action without control.” Embarking on projects and service delivery without proper governance leads to …
Danny Bradbury, 02 Aug 2011

Upstairs, downstairs: IT goes into service

It seems as though everything these days is being provided as a service. Software, security, storage, platforms and infrastructures are all being rented by the seat, MIP or gigabyte. And now it's desktops. Virtualisation transforms the desktop from an item of personal jewellery into a service. Your users’ PCs cease being …
Danny Bradbury, 21 Jun 2011
Broken CD with wrench

Licensed to bill: software vendors love virtualisation

If you thought managing traditional software licences was a challenge, then just wait till you're accessing an Remote Desktop Services-delivered application, on a virtual machine precariously balanced atop a type-two hypervisor. How much should you pay? Given the state of some vendors' licencing schemes, you might as well throw …
Danny Bradbury, 17 Jun 2011

Don't forget the network

Two cups and a piece of string won’t cut it in a virtual world. If you are virtualising your desktops, your network must be able to cope with the additional traffic load, and resilient enough to support users who require access to their desktops at all times. How can you ensure it measures up? A poorly configured network can …
Danny Bradbury, 14 Mar 2011

Should IT departments tackle desktop virtualisation on their own?

So, you’ve made the business case for your desktop virtualisation project and you have the budget to do it. The next question is whether you need outside help, either from product vendors or consultancies. How do you decide? No two organisations are created equal, and neither are IT departments. An organisation’s individual …
Danny Bradbury, 11 Mar 2011
Broken CD with wrench

Look before you leap into desktop virtualisation

Desktop virtualisation is today’s hot topic in IT circles but as with every innovation, rushing headlong into it without proper planning could land you in trouble. How can you go from zero to 60 in measured, sensible steps and avoid a car crash along the way? In an ideal world, you would have all your ducks lined up in a neat …
Danny Bradbury, 09 Mar 2011

The case for DV

Ever since the PC landed on desktops in the early 80s, it has been a mixed blessing for IT administrators. On the one hand it has empowered employees, but on the other hardware refreshes, maintenance and support have entailed high capital and operational expenditure. Most organisations are virtualising the desktop to regain some …
Danny Bradbury, 15 Feb 2011

Skinning the DV cat

The IT sector is at once innovative and cyclical, throwing up new technologies that are updated variations on hoary old ones. Virtualisation is a good example. Server virtualisation has taken the industry by storm in recent years but IBM was already doing this with its mainframe platform in the 1960s. Similarly, in the early …
Danny Bradbury, 10 Feb 2011
DVD it in many colours

New desktop, new DV strategy

With the economy looking a little rosier, companies are coming round to upgrades that have been on hold for longer than usual. As they refresh the corporate desktop, should they be looking at desktop virtualisation too? Mark Bowker, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, thinks IT decision-makers can minimise headaches and …
Danny Bradbury, 08 Feb 2011