Trevor Pott

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Trevor Pott is a full-time nerd from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He splits his time between systems administration, technology writing, and consulting. As a consultant he helps Silicon Valley start-ups better understand systems administrators and how to sell to them.
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VMs: Imperfect answers to imperfect problems, but they're all we have

Comment I got into an argument with a friend of mine a little while back. This person abhors containers and virtualization, claims not to understand why anybody should need to use them, and refuses to deploy them in production. What I took away from this encounter were some valid gripes about the design of modern operating systems and …
Trevor Pott, 10 Apr 2018
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Container orchestration top trumps: Let's just pretend you don't use Kubernetes already

Container orchestration comes in different flavours, but actual effort must be put into identifying the system most palatable. Yes, features matter, but so too does the long-term viability of the platform. There's been plenty of great technologies in the history of the industry, but what's mattered has been their viability, as …
Trevor Pott, 13 Mar 2018
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Netflix could pwn 2020s IT security – they need only reach out and take

The container is doomed, killed by serverless. Containers are killing Virtual Machines (VM). Nobody uses bare metal servers. Oh, and tape is dead. These, and other clichés, are available for a limited time, printed on a coffee mug of your choice alongside a complimentary moon-on-a-stick for $24.99. Snark aside, what does the …
Trevor Pott, 8 Mar 2018

You can't ignore Spectre. Look, it's pressing its nose against your screen

The Spectre processor design vulnerability is here to stay. Even if you choose to ignore it, the problem still exists. This is potentially a very bad thing for public cloud vendors. It may end up being great for chip manufacturers. It's fantastic for VMware. Existing patches can fix Meltdown, but only seem to be able to …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jan 2018
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Serverless: Should we be scared? Maybe. Is it a silly name? Possibly

What exactly is "serverless"? Like many popular technology terms, the exact definition of serverless is increasingly fluid. Also like many popular technology terms, the fact that the term means different things to different people doesn't sit well in some quarters. I've taken my own stab at defining serverless here on El Reg. …
Trevor Pott, 23 Jan 2018

Mine all the data, they said. It will be worth your while, they said

Good developers instrument their applications. Good ops teams monitor everything. This near-fetishisation of telemetry has been extended to DevOps, where it now risks becoming something of a problem. It's good to collect data on your applications and your infrastructure. An important part of Doing IT Unstupidly is baselining: …
Trevor Pott, 10 Jan 2018
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Microservices 101

Supported Public cloud providers increasingly differentiate themselves through the features and services they provide. These run from basic storage or content delivery network up to sophisticated flavours of data analysis and increasingly Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). For the most part, these services are not …
Trevor Pott, 20 Dec 2017
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Developers, developers, developers: How 'serverless' crowd dropped ops like it's hot

What is serverless? Sure, the name serverless sounds stupid, but serverless technologies like AWS Lambda are increasingly being used by developers looking to build applications quickly. The key word is developers. Serverless is all about giving developers the ability to execute code without requiring sysadmins. There's no …
Trevor Pott, 12 Dec 2017
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What on Earth is Terraform: Life support for explorers of terrifying alien worlds

Terraform is taking over as one of the critical new technologies for managing composable infrastructure both in and out of the cloud. Where does it fit in a world with Docker, Kubernetes, Puppet and other tools that all seem to be important elements in this space? Terraform is an open source infrastructure automation tool …
Trevor Pott, 6 Dec 2017

No humans allowed: How would a machine-centric data centre look?

Even using the most conservative estimates, the number of connected devices has surpassed the number of humans. Machines are communicating more with other machines than they are with humans. It's therefore reasonable to assume that, eventually, data centres will exist specifically to cater to machine communication, and those …
Trevor Pott, 6 Nov 2017
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C'mon, edgelords: The APIs are ours to command – do we do good or evil?

Edge computing is the pendulum swinging away from the idea of big, centralised servers back to distributed systems. It's the idea that instead of centralising all of our workloads in big clouds we bring the computing closer to the devices requesting that compute power. The idea is that edge computing solves whole new classes …
Trevor Pott, 31 Oct 2017
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With microservices Java can at last join us in our cloudy, DevOpsy world

Microservices aren't a new concept to Java – their forerunner was Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), which could be constructed, among other means, with the assistance of Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs). The fundamental concept behind microservices is applications should be broken down into small services that can be …
Trevor Pott, 16 Oct 2017
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Google hooks up with Scale for cloud collab?! What does it all mean?

At long last, Google's cloud has an on-premises extension. That extension is... Scale Computing? The cloud giant and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) vendor have have said they will build a service with some interesting potential. The collaboration started a couple of years ago when Scale was approached by the Chocolate …
Trevor Pott, 5 Oct 2017
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It's a small VMworld after all – life in the shadow of re:Invent

VMworld 2017 is nearly upon us. The primary event in Las Vegas taking place August 27-31 will be followed by VMware Europe from September 11-14 in Barcelona. The first thing to note is that the Vegas sun has thinned the herd. The Solutions Exchange exhibition hall will have fewer booths this year. Vendor after vendor has told …
Trevor Pott, 4 Aug 2017

Welcome to the Rise of the Machine-to-Machine. Isn't it time to 'block off' some data ducts?

Sysadmin blog Do you remember Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and so forth? It's marketing terminology that was popular at the turn of the millennium and was as used and abused as "cloud" is today. Underneath all the fluff, however, were solid and reasoned ideas about how technology would evolve and the benefits they'd bring. To understand where …
Trevor Pott, 1 Aug 2017
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Sysadmin Day 2017: Still time to get the beers in

It's that time of year again, dear readers: it's Sysadmin Day 2017. Today is that one day a year where employers and coworkers are expected to give a token acknowledgement of the trials and tribulations of their overworked IT staffs and usually fail to do so. We here at The Register, however, have not forgotten you. Today's …
Trevor Pott, 28 Jul 2017
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Approaches to building the enterprise cloud

Sysadmin blog Data center technologies are constantly evolving, displacing their predecessors. Data center storage, and Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) in particular, make for a good example. HCI has been around for almost a decade. We're well along the hype cycle. We've seen outlandish marketing claims, watched vendors IPO and be …
Trevor Pott, 4 Jul 2017
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What does an enterprise cloud look like?

Sysadmin blog In late 2014 I wrote about Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI). I revisited this early last year. This year I expect the first mainstream SDI blocks to emerge, likely under the moniker "Enterprise Cloud". So what does the enterprise cloud of 2017 look like? A number of players are entering, or have already entered the …
Trevor Pott, 3 Jul 2017

Hyperconverged infrastructure. It's all about the services

Sysadmin blog Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) isn't a product, it's a feature. The future lies in turnkey cloud solutions. This means that there are certain IT services HCI vendors need to bring to the table to remain relevant. At its most basic, HCI is virtualization + storage. You take hard drives, put them into servers and put a …
Trevor Pott, 30 Jun 2017
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Not that scary or that hard: Two decades of VLANS

Sysadmin blog Next year will see the 20th anniversary of IEEE 802.1Q, the standard that defines the tagged VLAN for Ethernet networks. Despite it being two decades since modern VLANs started being used in anger a significant number of systems administrators remain afraid of them. Unfortunately, the time is upon us where VLANs are becoming a …
Trevor Pott, 30 Jun 2017
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Can VMware exploit its VRealize refresh?

Sysadmin blog VMware's VRealize suite for management and orchestration recently received its bi-annual refresh for hybrid-cloud wranglers. The vRealize brand is at the core of VMware's cloud play. It's also a meaningless bit of marketing jibber-jabber that VMware slaps in front of a swatch of products that share no connection whatsoever. …
Trevor Pott, 30 Jun 2017

How HCI simplifies the data center

Sysadmin blog Organizations look at the cloud as an option because it was impossible to get their data centers to operate at the same efficiency. Now if you flip it over and get the data centers to behave the same way as the cloud, how would that change things? Companies are already on board with server consolidation and virtualization – …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jun 2017

What is the enterprise cloud?

Sysadmin blog The private clouds are coming. A few of them are already in place, lurking in the shadows, but in 2017 the Infrastructure Endgame Machines (IEMs) land and everyone starts being able to buy cloud-in-a-can. With private clouds moving along the hype cycle towards Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) solutions, the race to rebrand the …
Trevor Pott, 28 Jun 2017
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WannaCrypt: Pwnage is a fact of life but cleanup could and should be way easier

Comment WannaCry is Microsoft's fault. Microsoft, of course, blames the victims and system administrators get fired. But every one of us is to blame because we refuse to force our governments to hold software-makers to account. Criminals are here to stay. Anyone who thinks they will somehow be defeated, go away or simply give up is …
Trevor Pott, 31 May 2017
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Dell EMC's Azure Stack: Get thee behind me, Microsoft subscriptions

Dell EMC will release a four-node Azure stack. This potentially places Microsoft's cloud-in-a-can within reach of the SMB. The subscription model thing could get in the way. Microsoft recently released pricing information for Azure Stack, loudly and proudly championing the subscription model. This is different from what many …
Trevor Pott, 15 May 2017

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