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Premera healthcare: US govt security audit gave hacked biz thumbs up

Serious doubt has been cast on the US government's data security regulations after Premera Blue Cross was declared secure by Uncle Sam – just months before the healthcare giant was ransacked for financial and medical information by hackers. The biz underwent a computer security audit by a federal watchdog in January 2014, was …
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2015
Power lines

Microsoft gets data centres powered up for big UPS turn-off

The problem with data centres is that you have to plug them in. Or to put it another way, the problem with data centres is that they draw their power from a national grid and this ultimately narrows the cost efficiency structure under which they can operate. Conspicuously creaky and ageing grid networks in (even) advanced first- …
Ceremony to mark ARM's decision to open a CPU dev centre in Taiwan

ARM plans to win 20 per cent of the server market by the year 2020

ARM Holdings is telling investors it will take 20 per cent of the server silicon market by the year 2020. The company made the claim last week at an event in Taiwan, sending ripples through the Asian media. A little searching shows that presentations like this one (PDF) shows that the 20 per cent claim has been used in chats …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Mar 2015
Google's data centre in Hamina, Finland

Forget Nokia: Finland's promising future is to be server central

Finland isn’t just known as the country with the highest number of saunas and heavy metal bands per capita, it also counts Linus Torvalds as its most famed technology son and has a growing data centre development culture. Of course, all Scandinavian countries have the potential to grow their data centre businesses, but Finland …

IBM's OpenPower gang touts first proper non-Big Blue-badged server

GTC 2015 The OpenPower Foundation unveiled new hardware – including its first commercially available server – at its first OpenPower Summit on Wednesday, a mini-event nestled within Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference in California. The foundation has also forged a relationship with the Facebook-led Open Compute Project, which operates in …
Chris Williams, 19 Mar 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Premera Blue Cross is sick after hackers plunder their servers

Health insurance firm Premera Blue Cross has admitted that it has become the latest victim of data theft after hackers targeted its IT department's servers in what's been dubbed a "sophisticated attack". On May 5 last year online hackers successfully penetrated Premera's defenses and cracked servers containing personal, …
Iain Thomson, 19 Mar 2015
Zombie rising from the grave

Zombie SCO shuffles back into court seeking IBM Linux cash

The SCO vs. IBM case has once again thrust up an undead limb up from deep beneath the soil. The case hinges on just who owns Unix and has been burbling along since before Facebook was founded. Most of the world's population long since lost interest in SCO's contention that IBM and Novell pinched bits of its code and tossed them …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Mar 2015
Bondi Blue Rev. A iMac - logo

Apple orders white box servers from Taiwan for data centre refresh

Apple's future bit barns look to be built around white box servers from Taiwan, according to a Digitimes report. The Taiwanese outlet notes that Apple recently clambered aboard the Open Compute Project, and says local white-box server makers have recently received orders from Cupertino. Those orders are to replace servers in …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Mar 2015
Sir Terry Pratchett

Web geeks grant immortality to Sir Terry Pratchett – using smuggled web code

The death of Sir Terry Pratchett last week left many fans bereft, but some canny geeks have devised a system to ensure his name lives on in everyday web traffic. In Pratchett's 2004 book Going Postal, the deceased inventor of the "clacks," a form of communications system for sending data over large distances, is immortalized by …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2015
sign post pointing to trail in two different directions

MOVE IT! 10 top tips for shifting your data centre

The scenario's a hauntingly familiar one. You're the IT person who's just been told by the boss: “We're moving the kit to <insert name of whatever data centre he's signed up with in a panic>, now get on and do it.” I've done more than my fair share of migrations from on-premise systems to data centres – and more often than not …
Dave Cartwright, 18 Mar 2015

Drobo releases range-topping fatter, faster 12-bay bruiser

Drobo – the data robot company that almost two years ago merged with Connected Data – has updated its rack-mounted B1200i product, making it both fatter and faster. Drobos data storage robots are remarkably easy-to-use storage devices which you can self-populate with disks, and which protect data with a BeyondRAID scheme, said …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015
yellow measuring tape - black writing

HP: we had portfolio gaps in entry level servers

HP GPC 2015 A competitive bite is something HP has confessed to lacking in the small biz server arena of late but has coughed a couple of entry level boxes, and is tweaking the channel’s financial plumbing. The two ProLiant tower servers, the ML10 v2 and ML110 are priced at $300 and $1000 respectively, with the first aimed at very small …
Paul Kunert, 17 Mar 2015

Latest Gartner wololo: Win Server 2003 refresh might be off the cards

Price hikes caused by the robust dollar could result in European server customers deferring purchases for at least the first half of this year, potentially translating into another period of stagnating revenues. With Microsoft ending support for Windows Server 2003 and Intel refreshing Xeon – which made vendors respond with …
Paul Kunert, 16 Mar 2015

Barracuda CEO snaps up post on Nimble board

Barracuda’s CEO, “BJ” Jenkins, has joined hybrid disk array leader Nimble Storage’s board. Doesn’t the day job fill his time? He’s also Barracuda’s president, as if he’s not busy enough. A canned quote from him on his move said: "It's an exciting time to be in the storage business as innovation thrives and new industry leaders …
Chris Mellor, 13 Mar 2015

Disk array devastation: New-tech onslaught tears guts from trad biz

An EMC chart shows a steep decline in legacy SAN drive array sales coming, with hyperconverged, software-defined and all-flash array storage growing to compensate. William Blair analyst Jason Ader attended the March 10 EMC Strategic Forum event and mailed clients a summary of what he learnt. EMC management quoted some IDC …
Chris Mellor, 12 Mar 2015

VCE scales up, up and out of exclusive deal with Cisco

VCE, the EMC Federation's converged infrastructure company, in which Cisco is now a silent partner, has revealed new scale-out products and the first dilution of its “Cisco-will-always-provide-networking” plan. The scale-out products are also something of a departure for VCE, which has previously sold converged rigs that weren't …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Mar 2015
Sad Mac

iTunes snafu: DNS fail borked Apple's app & iTunes stores for 10 HOURS

Updated Apple has blamed a server configuration blunder for a 10-hour-long outage of its highly lucrative App Store, Mac App Store, iBooks Store, and iTunes Store yesterday. The iPhone giant said in a statement to the media that today's downtime was caused by problems with its DNS setup. Apple's system status page confirms various …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Mar 2015

Intel gives Facebook the D – Xeons thrust web pages at the masses

Open Compute Summit Facebook is using Intel's Xeon D processors to build stacks of web servers for the 1.39 billion people who visit the social network every month. The OpenRack server design is codenamed Yosemite, is pictured above, and is available for anyone to use under the OpenCompute project. The hardware "dramatically increases speed and …
Chris Williams, 10 Mar 2015
HP Cloudline 7100 server

HP battles back against white-box with Foxconn-built Cloudline servers

Open Compute Summit HP has made its bid for relevance in the modern data center with a new line of servers aimed at "rack scale" and "cloud scale" deployments. The HP Cloudline servers, unveiled at the Open Compute Project Summit in San Jose, California this week, are the fruit of a collaboration between HP and Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn …
Neil McAllister, 10 Mar 2015
A hammer and bent screw

Ouch! Google crocks capacitors and deviates DRAM to root Linux

Last summer Google gathered a bunch of leet security researchers as its Project Zero team and instructed them to find unusual zero-day flaws. They've had plenty of success on the software front – but on Monday announced a hardware hack that's a real doozy. The technique, dubbed "rowhammer", rapidly writes and rewrites memory to …
Iain Thomson, 10 Mar 2015

We have no self-control: America's most powerful men explain why they're scared of email

Two of the most powerful men in the United States have revealed they don't use email - because they're scared of what they might say. "I don't email. You can have every email I've ever sent. I've never sent one," Senator Lindsey Graham told NBC's Meet the Press yesterday. Graham's statement follows a similar admission by Senator …
Intel headquarters, Santa Clara

Intel SoCs it to 'em with new D: Tiny but powerful

After some teasing late last year, Intel has taken the full wraps off the Xeon D: a system-on-chip (SoC) version of its data-centre darling that it hopes will excite hyperscale operators and those keen on very dense server rigs. The Xeon D will come in four and eight CPU core models, D-1520 and D-1540. Each will run two threads …
DDoS image

Obsolete – and IP-baring – Anon tool linked to feminist blog DDoS

A feminist blog hit by a DDoS attack on International Women’s Day has used the attack to its advantage. Amber Gordon, founder of, said although the site is no stranger to Distributed Denial of Service assaults, Sunday's attack differed in being unusually intense. “I think it’s because it’s International Women’s …
John Leyden, 9 Mar 2015
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

'If cloud existed decades ago, backups wouldn't have been developed'

QuoTW This week saw the industry freak out over an SSL bug, while Canada's border patrol cuffed a man who wouldn't allow his phone to be searched and Mars was found to be well and truly soaked. Here are some of the best quotes from the past week: Microsoft, which just so happens to be running a massive cloud operation, wanted to make …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Mar 2015
An angry mob

Grab your pitchforks: Ubuntu to switch to systemd on Monday

The Ubuntu Project is set to move forward with a plan to make a controversial system management tool a key part of Ubuntu Linux. On Monday, March 9, the Ubuntu maintainers will reconfigure code base for the forthcoming version of the OS so that it uses the much-debated systemd suite of tools to handle core initialization tasks …

BILLION email address spam scam: Feds collar two blokes, hunt another

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has shed light on what it's calling the largest computer security breach in American history – after three men were charged with hacking email hosting firms, stealing email addresses, and then using the businesses' data centers to run a spam operation. "These men — operating from Vietnam, the …
Iain Thomson, 6 Mar 2015
Crystal ball via

Analyse this! Gartner puts data warehouse leaders on the couch

The old data warehousing and business analytics dogs still bark the loudest, but Hadoopy newcomers are barking loudly on their tails. Gartner compared 17 analytics vendors in one of its magical quadrants and said Teradata, Oracle and IBM were top o’ the tree, with Cloudera, MapR, AWS and 1010data as challengers. Gartner states …
Chris Mellor, 6 Mar 2015
Houses of Parliament at night-time

World’s oldest IT dining society breaks into the House of Lords

Promo If you’ve ever wanted to network like a lord while having your brain stretched, now’s your chance. Venerable tech dining society The Real Time Club is holding a dinner at the House of Lords on 12 March. Lord Lucas of Crudwell and Dingwall will be hosting the evening and the RTC has roped in the founders of Decoded as after- …

IBM System x biz sales: The numbers are out... and they're not pretty

The extent of the slide in System x sales in Blighty during the final year under IBM ownership was laid bare today, and the eye-watering declines were bad: bad meaning bad, not bad meaning good. The UK server market didn't exactly enjoy a vintage fourth quarter; spending declined 5.3 per cent to $503m and unit shipments went …
Paul Kunert, 5 Mar 2015
Scary Skeleton Samba

Pull on your dancing shoes, the server market's ALLLLIVE

It looks like execs behind the biggest server-makers can dust off those dancing boots and get jiggy with it again – the market is expanding in both box shipments and the value of them. The second half of last year proved to be a turning point for what had become a shrinking sector, with Gartner reporting prelim numbers showing …
Paul Kunert, 3 Mar 2015

Insight: Have you heard about Windows Server 2003 support?

As organisations using Windows Server 2003 march - perhaps with ill-found confidence - toward the expiry date for Microsoft support, Insight Enterprises has scare stories galore warnings for them. The software licence and box slinger reckons it has identified five “key problems” that will give sysadmins sleepless nights and …
Paul Kunert, 2 Mar 2015
IBM Headquarters, Armonk, NY

IBM's FlashSystem 900: ‘Better capacity in less rack space’

IBM has upgraded its FlashSystem 840/V840 to the 900/V9000 all-flash array products, using MLC flash in a close collaboration with Micron to prevent any performance or reliability drop-off. The V9000 is as we described here and the 9000 product that we thought should exist but couldn't find, the upgraded 840, does actually exist …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2015
Diver peers through sub window. credit: Alexander Rist

Isilon dives into data lake with HD400

In order to help its customers dive into their data lakes and go insight fishing, EMC has updated its Isilon OneFS software and added a 60-slot high storage density box. The Isilon range of scale-out filers run the OneFS operating system and comprises A100 accelerator nodes, S200 and S210 performance-optimised primary storage …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2015

3D TLC VIMMs could play Violin's music

Comment Before we talk about 3D TLC VIMMs possibly coming to Violin Memory, let’s talk about network storage. It developed for a reason you know, I was reminded by Violin Memory CTO and co-founder Jon Bennet. Servers and storage develop at different rates and people (naturally) don’t want to get stuck with new servers hobbled by slow …
Chris Mellor, 19 Feb 2015
Gun and dollars

Got $600 for every Win Server 2003 box you're running? Uh-oh

Microsoft is officially charging customers at least $600 per server to safely run Windows Server 2003 after its July 14 support cut-off date. The number has come to light from Microsoft licensing expert Paul DeGroot of Pica Communications, who told The Reg he knows customers who’ve been quoted this figure. The price is for the …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Feb 2015

Wanted: PC salesman to head up HP's UK channel ops

Headhunters may be scrambling for their phones on the back of the news that HP is on the look-out for someone with PC sales skills to conduct its UK channel orchestra. A note was distributed to some HP workers this week that Damian Cusick is leaving the enterprise, SMB and channel director role, stating that he is looking for a …
Paul Kunert, 13 Feb 2015
Data centre

Vows exchanged as Telecity and Interxion prepare to wed

A merger between Telecity and Interxion made public on Wednesday will create a £600m-plus sales heavyweight in the European carrier-neutral data centre space, if it's agreed by shareholders that is. The duo confirmed a non-binding $2.2bn all-share pact: the proposed transaction is to be structured as an offer by London-listed …
Paul Kunert, 11 Feb 2015
Ultrastar He6

Helium HDD prices rise way above air-filled spinning rust

A 6TB Helium-filled drive from HGST costs $120 more than a traditional 6TB drive from Seagate. Analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD, Aaron Rakers, interviewed Seagate’s CFO, Pat O’Malley, and noted afterwards that Seagate estimated an approximate $30/drive extra cost versus traditional air-filled drives. Rakers notes the “HGST (WD) …
Chris Mellor, 6 Feb 2015

Extra detailed Big Iron coverage, LIVE TODAY at The Platform

The Platform is a new publication which goes live today in partnership with The Register. It will offer in-depth coverage of high-end computing at large enterprises, supercomputing centers, hyperscale data centers, and public clouds. Some companies are building their own platforms for internal use, while others are building …
Team Register, 3 Feb 2015
Windows OEM devices on stage at Computex

Sorry, admins: Microsoft says NO new Windows Server until 2016

While it's looking like the final version of Windows 10 for client PCs could ship before the end of the year, it seems data center admins needn't hold their breaths. Microsoft confirmed on Friday that the next version of Windows Server won't arrive until 2016. "As we continue to advance the development of these products, we plan …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jan 2015

HP: We're gonna book $1bn worth of Server 2003 sales THIS WEEK

A Windows Server 2003 customer migration blitzkrieg is underway at HP's as it tries to generate $1bn of x86-related sales this week, squeezing a month’s worth of customer deals into just seven days. Microsoft shutters extended support for the operating system on 14 July, issuing no further patches or bug fixes after that date, …
Paul Kunert, 30 Jan 2015
Larry Ellison on stage at the launch of Oracle's X5 engineered systems range

The firm that swallowed the Sun: Is Oracle happy as Larry with hardware and systems?

Oracle-Sun anniversary One Sun swallow doesn’t make a hardware summer, and while it certainly hasn’t for Oracle, it is far from being in a hardware winter for the firm. Oracle's gulp of Sun Microsystems on 27 January 2010 – five years ago today – has resulted in a generally flagging Sun hardware product business and the growing Engineered System …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jan 2015