The Register Columnists

Drew Cullen

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed

Rip up secretive patent royalty deals, says new tech'n'biz coalition

Did you know that about $60 of the cost of a $400 smartphone goes to holders of something called "standards-essential patents" (SEPs)? And, when you consider that up to 250,000 patents could affect smartphones, you can see why there are such rich pickings for patent trolls ... more politely known as non-practicing entities. …
Drew Cullen, 17 Nov 2015

IBM bets POWER8 processor farm on hardware acceleration

SC15 For 50 years, Moore’s Law held good. The axiom, formulated by Intel founder Gordon Moore in 1965, stated that overall processor power would double every year. In 1975 this was revised to every two years. But in July this year, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich revealed in an earnings call that in the wake of the introduction of 14nm …
Drew Cullen, 16 Nov 2015

Acer chief exec Stan Shih: Exiting the PC market? Not us!

IDC analyst Tom Mainelli put the cat among the pigeons with his prediction last week that two of the top 10 PC vendors – but not the top four – will shutter their operations within the next two years. His prognosis stung Asustek CEO Jerry Shen yesterday to proclaim his company’s allegiance to the PC market. Today, Acer …
Drew Cullen, 12 Nov 2015

Apple to add 1000 jobs to Cork payroll

Apple is expanding its Cork, Ireland manufacturing plant - where it builds its iMacs - and will hire up to 1000 more people in the next 18 months. CEO Tim Cook announced the move today in an address to students at Trinity College Dublin. The company already employs 5000 at its Hollyhill campus - a 25 per cent increase over the …
Drew Cullen, 11 Nov 2015
SAP logo

Simpler ERP for all! Well, if you're a SAP S/4HANA customer

SAP is updating its next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite, SAP S/4HANA. But is it enough to get the company’s huge installed SAP V3 base to bet the farm on an entirely new code base? The company took the floor at its annual shindig TechED in Barcelona this week to introduce several “key simplifications and …
Drew Cullen, 11 Nov 2015

GCHQ goes all Cool Dad and tags the streets of Shoreditch with job ads

Spotted in Shoreditch, London's Hipster Central as well as the beating heart of Tech City, witness the labours of a GCHQ advertising team hoping to go viral. It's working, as you can see. Shoe-leather advertising Let's hope the tagging team avoids the mistake that IBM made in 2001 when it stencilled the streets of San …
Drew Cullen, 11 Nov 2015

Tax bill could kibosh Dell-EMC deal

Dell could be landed with a $9bn tax bill for buying EMC - a deal-breaker. That’s what Dell insiders are telling the Silicon Valley publication Re/Code. At the heart of their concern is how the Internal Revenue Service will treat the tracking stock in VMware, an EMC subsidiary, that Dell plans to issue to help fund the …
Drew Cullen, 11 Nov 2015

NHS IT must spend a fortune to save a fortune, says McKinsey

The NHS must bolster its IT budget by up to £8.3bn over the next five years – in order to produce savings of possibly £13.7bn, said the management consultancy McKinsey. Get this right and the prize is huge; the £30bn NHS funding shortfall – estimated at £30bn by 2020-21 – could be cut by a quarter. But, get it wrong ... The …
Drew Cullen, 10 Nov 2015
Roof of Crawley datacenter

Rackspace beats The Street with strong Q3

Rackspace topped analyst expectations for Q3, pulling in $509m revenue, up 10.7 on same time last year and net income of $37m or 26c a share. Consensus analyst forecasts were 20c a share. Net margin was 7.2 per cent, up from 5.6 per cent in Q3, 2014. Shares climbed 8.3 per cent in after hours trading. For the full year …
Drew Cullen, 10 Nov 2015

Safe-mail.net goes titsup. Storage failure blamed

The secure email service Safe-mail.net has been out of action since Wednesday, Nov 4, following a “major storage hardware crash”. No further technical details are available. About 80 per cent of user data was unaffected “as we had already moved it to a new system during the last few months,” the Israeli company said in a …
Drew Cullen, 07 Nov 2015
red_hat_648

Red Hat buys Ansible for DevOps loveliness

Red Hat is buying Ansible, a big wheel in the DevOps tools scene, for an undisclosed price. But the gossip is $100m or so, a tidy sum for a company with just 50 employees. Ansible does IT automation and will sit in nicely with Red Hat’s so-called “hybrid management portfolio” – that means it joins OpenStack and containers. …
Drew Cullen, 16 Oct 2015
Broken piggy bank with coins surrounding it. Image via Shutterstock

Companies grow faster when they buy more IT. Yes they do

Dell has taken a digital leaders vs. digital laggards angle for its second Global Technology Adoption survey, which finds companies that buy and use new stuff - cloud, big data and mobility - grow faster than slow-spending sluggards. Some 82 per cent of respondents said they use the cloud - but the survey does not reveal what …
Drew Cullen, 13 Oct 2015
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

New cloud bookings are a thing for SAP in Q3

It's all about the cloud for SAP in its Q3, 2015 results announcement today, with the company posting cloud subscription and support revenues of €600m, up 116 per cent on last year - and a slightly less heady 90 per cent at constant currencies. Even less heady, new acquisition Concur delivered €149m of the growth. New cloud …
Drew Cullen, 13 Oct 2015
basho logo

NoSQL pioneer Basho stamps its mark on time stamp data with Riak TS

The Riak NoSQL database is now available in a version capable of processing vast gobbets of Internet of Things data sources at high speed. Its creator Seattle-based Basho Technologies says the new product Riak TS (as in time series) incorporates the high availability and scalability of its nippy sister Riak KV, short for key- …
Drew Cullen, 06 Oct 2015
Parachutists and cloud image via Shutterstock

Amazon Web Services customers love hybrid clouds (true)

The public cloud is the only cloud and anything else is a pale imitation, according to Amazon. But customers appear seem unconvinced, with most running or intending to run a mixture of private and public clouds sourced from multiple vendors. That's what a survey of IT professionals who attended AWS summits in San Francisco and …
Drew Cullen, 05 Oct 2015
paper cut-out men holding hands in linked semi-circle

IBM buys top Workday channel partner

IBM is beefing up its human resources software roster by buying Meteorix, a Boston MA reseller with more than 200 Workday consultants. Financial terms are undisclosed. Workday competes directly with Oracle for finance and HR software business in large enterprises – IBM’s heartland too. The SaaS provider is on a roll, …
Drew Cullen, 29 Sep 2015
Angle grinder image via Shutterstock

MemSQL makes it easier to hook up to Apache Spark

Apache Spark may be the fastest data processing engine around for big data, but unless you are conversant in Scala or Java, this cluster computing framework can be a pain to set up and manage. So here is some help from MemSQL, the in-memory database start-up: a way of letting organisations use Spark without writing code, the …
Drew Cullen, 24 Sep 2015
A rather dusty old Dell, pictured by Tim Massey

How to build a server room: Back to basics

Readers' corner Dave Cartwright, an IT operations manager for a telecom company, recently compiled a list of dos and don’t for IT infrastructure buyers for El Reg. The article was well received but… ”the writer obviously moves in better circles than I do”, says Reg reader Hatless Pemberty In response, Hatless - we can call him that, can't we …
Drew Cullen, 22 Sep 2015
red_hat_648

Red Hat raises guidance after good Q2

Red Hat rode on the back of rising cloud subscriptons to turn in a good Q2. Revenues for the quarter ended 31 August, 2015 were up 13 per cent year to $504m ($445,9m) – and 21 per cent on a current currency basis. Net income was $51.8m ($6.8m) The open source vendor reports an annualised run-rate of $100m for its certified …
Drew Cullen, 22 Sep 2015
Electronic waste dumped in developing world

Ouch! Microsoft sues recycling firm over 70K stolen Office licenses

They were supposed to be destroyed, but up to 10 workers at an Arizona computer recycling firm instead sold 70,000 copies of Office 2010 on the black market. Now Microsoft is suing their employer, Global Electronics Recycling, for restitution in full. In a lawsuit, filed last week in the U.S. District Court of Western …
Drew Cullen, 21 Sep 2015
MariaDB logo

MariaDB bakes native encryption into 10.1RC - with some Google loving

MariaDB is beefing up security with the latest upgrade of the open source database, MariaDB 10.1, courtesy of encryption technology donated by Google. The upgrade can be downloaded today as a release candidate and general availability is slated for October. By migrating to 10.1, current MariaDB and MySQL users can natively and …
Drew Cullen, 16 Sep 2015
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

HP overtakes Cisco in cloud infrastructure revenues

HP sells more cloud infrastructure equipment than anyone else, including Cisco, which was shunted into second place for the first time in Q2, 2015. Cisco is unlikely to be too dismayed, as both companies are recording "stellar growth in the burgeoning market", running at some $16bn a quarter and growing 25 per cent year on …
Drew Cullen, 10 Sep 2015

Chef to take DevOps 'mainstream' with $40m funding round

Chef, the IT automation software vendor, has secured $40m and three new investors in the latest round of funding. The valuation of the company is undisclosed. The new investors are DFJ Growth, which led the Series E round, Millennium Growth and - taking a "strategic investment" - HP Ventures. In other words DFJ put in the most …
Drew Cullen, 10 Sep 2015

NFV vendors of the world unite! Or maybe work together?

Light Reading, the insider’s publication for the comms industry, is calling on vendors to join the world’s first interoperability tests for Network Function Virtualization (NFV). The online magazine has teamed up with the European Advanced Networking Test Center, based in Berlin, as its test partner to evaluate "which products …
Drew Cullen, 11 Aug 2015
android logo

Wanted: beta testers for El Reg’s Android app

Dear Reg reader. Do you have an Android phone? Maybe you downloaded our Android App? Found it wanting - a lot? Help us make it better by joining our beta testers group. it is easy-peasy although you do need a G+ account. 1. Apply to join the private G+ community group El Reg Alpha Test. 2. Once accepted you can download the …
Drew Cullen, 30 Jul 2015