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Danny Bradbury

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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
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