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Danny Bradbury

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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
hacker

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
USS reliant by https://www.flickr.com/photos/oceanyamaha/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Improve, automate, rinse and repeat: All aboard the starship DevOps

Steve Ballmer once famously ran around on stage screaming "developers, developers!" You never hear anyone jumping about shouting "sysadmins!" or "quality controllers!". That’s because code conventional wisdom dictates that code trickles down from the ivory tower, while the boys in the engine room make like Scotty in Star Trek, …
Danny Bradbury, 13 Jan 2016
Gorillas by Thomas Wildmann Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

You want to migrate how much data?

Sooner or later, you’re going to have to move some of your data. Perhaps you’re moving to a hybrid cloud model, and need to move some offsite. Maybe it’s already out there in a third-party’s infrastructure, and the contract isn’t working out as you’d planned. Or perchance you’re being smart and replicating between two …
Danny Bradbury, 06 Jan 2016
The Office

Ready for DevOps? Time to brush up on The Office and practise 'culture'

DevOps is the Holy Grail that could save your IT architecture – or so we’re being told. Do DevOps properly, and the IT department can deliver software continuously and fix complaints more quickly. This makes line of business managers happier, which is lovely. It also gives you more time to listen to their requests for new …
Danny Bradbury, 05 Jan 2016
container_ship_hamburg_shutterstock_648

After safe harbour: Navigating data sovereignty

Max Schrems has a lot to answer for. The Austrian is single-handedly responsible for bringing down a key transnational data agreement that has left cloud service providers scrabbling for legal counsel. This is either a good thing, if you’re a privacy activist concerned about intrusive US surveillance policies, or a confusing and …
Danny Bradbury, 17 Dec 2015

Mining for insight in the economy of things? Check your toolkit

The Internet of Things (IoT) has given us watches that talk to our phones, phones that talk to our cars, and robot spies that talk to Amazon. But can it revolutionise industries with lots of unstructured information that hasn’t yet been collected? The IoT concept is a bit like soap in the bath. You think you’ve got a grip on …
Danny Bradbury, 15 Sep 2015
2001: A Space Odyssey

Cognitive computing: What can and can’t we do, and should lipreading be banned?

Next year will mark the 60th anniversary of the Dartmouth Artificial Intelligence (AI) Conference. That conference, which marked the birth of AI research, explored whether machines could simulate any aspect of human intelligence. Since then, Google has developed a self-driving car, computers can type what you speak, and phones …
Danny Bradbury, 04 Sep 2015

Who should be responsible for IT security?

Typically, when a cybersecurity problem arises, it’s the IT department that gets it in the neck. Ostensibly, that makes sense. After all, if someone is in your network mining your database for corporate secrets, it’s hardly the office manager or the accounts receivable department’s lookout, right? Perhaps. On the other hand, …
Danny Bradbury, 18 Aug 2015

The Great Windows Server 2003 migration: How to plan your trip

Think switching OS is bad? There are just weeks left to migrate away from Windows Server 2003 before support for the operating system runs out. At this point, if a CIO hasn’t yet taken action, CEOs should be getting involved. After all, if a business is insecure and non-compliant, that’s a corporate governance issue On July 14 …
Danny Bradbury, 29 Jun 2015
suicidal_clown_shutterstock_648

Bitcoin, schmitcoin. Let's play piggyback on the blockchain

Bitcoin may have generated countless salacious news headlines, but it’s a cameo player in a much bigger act. The blockchain is the real innovation that that makes Bitcoin work, and could well outlast the upstart currency. But it’s in trouble – and Silicon Valley has forked out millions to try and save it. The blockchain is a …
Danny Bradbury, 26 Jun 2015

Win the business services race with run-book automation

Bringing a more service-based culture to your IT department is a great idea, but who will manage it behind the scenes? Service-based IT is the holy grail for IT departments that want to improve their standing in the business. In the bad old days, IT was a black art, practised behind closed doors by Merlin-like figures. No …
Danny Bradbury, 26 Jun 2015
Spaghetti with tomato sauce

How to turn application spaghetti into tasty IT services

The promise of IT service management is to deliver services that make sense to their business users. To do that, though, IT departments must be able to untangle their own internal resources. IT services must be accessible in one place so that users can find them easily and administrators can manage them. And the back-end …
Danny Bradbury, 25 Jun 2015
Circuit board underwear by emiko-o

Whoops, there goes my data! Hold onto your privates in the Dropbox era

Your users are probably using cloud-based services that you’re not even aware of to organise their files and collaborate with each other. What are you going to do about it? “Shadow” IT — cloud services bought from third-party providers without authorisation by the IT department — is becoming a significant problem for many …
Danny Bradbury, 24 Jun 2015
Threesome photo via Shutterstock

You'll never love an appliance like your old database

Huawei recently announced a database appliance. The Appliance for Large Database is based on the Chinese data centre usurper’s FusionServer RH8100 beast that targets RISC with a battery of Xeon Intel chips. The Huawei machine has been constructed for the newest version of SAP’s Business Suite, S/4HANA, which was announced …
Danny Bradbury, 02 Jun 2015
management cloud7

IT service management as an enterprise-wide service

When it comes to providing efficient services, can the IT department teach the rest of the business a thing or two? IT has come a long way in the last few years. Traditionally, the IT department lived in an ivory tower, but commercial pressures forced it to change its stance. IT service management (ITSM) tools and techniques …
Danny Bradbury, 29 May 2015
Free range chicken and farmer photo via Shutterstock

Wi-Fi was MEANT to be this way: Antennas and standards, 802.11 style

Forged nearly 20 years ago, the 802.11 wireless networking standard was responsible for cutting the cord and letting us roam. During that time, 802.11 has evolved as devices using it have both proliferated and got smaller – while the data they swallow has grown in quantity and in size. In March the IEEE OK’d the latest chapter …
Danny Bradbury, 26 May 2015
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Death of a middleman: Cloud storage gateways – and their evolution

For decades, we’ve survived quite nicely using on-premise storage. According to industry research, though, that may be changing as cloud-based storage emerges. A Tata Communications survey last year found that within ten years enterprises will store 58 per cent of their data in the cloud, compared with 28 per cent today. Whether …
Danny Bradbury, 25 May 2015
Old Trafford football stadium Photo PeeJay2K3

Don’t want a footie-field-size data centre? No problem (or is there?)

Open Compute has generally been a playground for super-large, cloud-scale service providers to play in. Unless you’ve got a data centre the size of a footy field, the general consensus has been that it isn’t for the likes of you. As it gradually gains traction among non-cloud service providers, though, there’s a question to …
Danny Bradbury, 12 May 2015
Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

Apple surges in on the BYOD wave

This article was produced in association with Jamf Software Apple has wowed consumers with its phone and tablet devices but this is not the only market to embrace its products. Enterprises are snapping up iPhones and iPads in ever increasing numbers. Last year, IDC said that the iPhone held 59 per cent of the US enterprise …
Danny Bradbury, 24 Nov 2014
Cloud security

Make sure big data doesn't land you in big trouble

Size isn't everything. Big data may be about storing terabytes or petabytes of information but it is also about complexity, and complexity often brings security challenges. Are you ready to handle them? Right now, someone in a marketing or finance role somewhere in your organisation is probably putting together a big data …
Danny Bradbury, 14 Nov 2014
Hacked sarcasm

Someone has broken into your systems. Now what?

So, you've been hacked. Compromised. Breached and violated. Some criminal Goldilocks has been inside your network and found that your data was neither too hot nor too cold but just right. What are you going to do about it? This could happen to any organisation and what you do to mitigate the problem could define your public …
Danny Bradbury, 10 Nov 2014

Security products: Best of breed or create your own monster?

IT security is not just about antivirus or firewall products anymore. There is a whole layer cake of different product types designed to protect your organisation in different ways. It is a stack, in much the same way as TCP-IP networking or web server functionality has stacks of functionality. The question is, what's the best …
Danny Bradbury, 07 Nov 2014
Smartphones

Resistance is futile: mobile working is on its way

It is happening now, but is it happening under your guidance or under your nose? It can be scary tooling up your employees for online collaboration. Paranoid business managers and IT directors have their reasons to avoid it. Take your pick: security, control over employees and complexity are all valid excuses to keep staff at …
Danny Bradbury, 09 Jul 2014

Power BI: Office 365 just got more intelligent

Review If a picture tells 1,000 words, then an interactive bubble chart indexed by year based on a data model with a hierarchy of sub-categories ought to speak volumes. Microsoft’s business intelligence product Power BI is the latest addition to Office 365, its online office suite designed to integrate with desktop versions of Office …
Danny Bradbury, 29 Jun 2014
Various devices including phone, laptop and tablet

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
The Register breaking news

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 …
Danny Bradbury, 12 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

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

Interview 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