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Cloud security

Cloud Security Temperature Check

Survey Results It is increasingly common for users and business groups to drive their own adoption of cloud services. But even where IT is involved, as organisations ramp up their use of cloud, activity is often uncoordinated. Pulling the threads together across service silos to manage risks effectively can be a challenge. The right strategy …
Dale Vile, 20 May 2015
spok

It's the end of life as we know it for Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 will pass out of Microsoft support on July 14, 2015. Different organisations report different numbers, but all agree that there are millions of Server 2003 servers still running in the wild. Microsoft says there are 11 million Server 2003 servers still running. Gartner says eight million. Several internet …
Trevor Pott, 18 May 2015
Panic button

Never trust a developer who says 'I can fix this in a few minutes'

On-call In this week's instalment of On-call, our weekend thing in which we share readers' tales of odd things that happen at odd hours, we bring you the adventures of “Foredeck” who once “worked for a small UK ISV ... as a Support Manager, which meant I had a lot of different hats to wear, including being on-call one week in three". “ …
Simon Sharwood, 17 May 2015

Adjustments will be needed to manage the Macs piling up in your business

As discussed in the first part of this series, Macs are everywhere. Despite their presence in businesses large and small, managing Macs in the enterprise still is not easy. A few years ago I gave Apple in the enterprise a look, and sadly, things haven't changed too much since then. Managing Macs in an organisation is really not …
Trevor Pott, 15 May 2015

Hybrid storage arrays versus all-flash: will disks hold their own?

In the early days of smartphones, some had hard disks in them – tiny devices storing a gigabyte or two on a single one-inch (or smaller) disk platter. This was mainly because flash was expensive and untrusted, whereas people knew where they were with hard disks. We all know how it turned out, though. Flash memory grew cheaper, …
Bryan Betts, 14 May 2015
Affinity Photo

It’s Adobe’s Creative Cloud TITSUP birthday. Ease the pain with its RGB-wrangling rivals

Feature Exactly a year ago today Adobe’s Creative Cloud servers went dark for a whole day, leaving some users unable to open their apps. Deadlines were missed, clients were let down, digital editions failed to appear and a generally crap time was had by all. Adobe Photoshop For more challenging jobs, stacking elements and effects in …
Adam Banks, 14 May 2015
Parachutists and cloud image via Shutterstock

Rackspace's 'fanatical' army drops in on rival clouds

Rackspace is growing – just not fast enough for the Wall Street pack. Looks like it’s time to roll out the service troops to support rivals' clouds. The firm’s stock was gang-battered on Monday, kicked brutally down the stairs by 13 per cent after management announced revenue growth of 14 per cent to $480m. Not bad – but not …
Gavin Clarke, 12 May 2015
Young hipster man wearing hat, suspenders, bow-tie and fake-looking tattoo-sleeve. Image via shutterstock

Hypervisor indecisive? Today's contenders from yesterday's Hipsters

The origins of the hypervisor can be traced back to IBM’s mainframe systems. Big Blue implemented something approximating a virtualisation platform as an experimental system in the mid-sixties but it wasn’t until 1985 that the idea of the logical partition (or LPAR) on the pSeries and zSeries delivered something recognisable as …
Tom Baines, 12 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
Woman thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

Lies, damn lies and election polls: Why GE2015 pundits fluffed the numbers so badly

Whatever you may think about the outcome of last Thursday’s General Election, there is one issue on which public, politicians and pundits alike seem to be broadly united: how badly the opinion pollsters fared. They got it very wrong! Egregiously so, according to the editor of the Market Oracle, an online financial forecasting …
Jane Fae, 11 May 2015

Automation eases the pain of software patching

The three biggest challenges for IT managers are security, reliability and performance. Ideally, an organisation’s software will excel at all three but in practice we know that isn’t true. Even the best-laid software development plans let bugs through which can cause problems in all these areas. So patching the organisation’s …
Robin Birtstone, 11 May 2015
Mac malware

Ex-NSA bloke: 'I love Apple products, I just wish they were secure'

QuoTW The first full week of May saw Uber size up Nokia's map biz, while a Tiversa employee claimed he went rogue and Tesla caught flack for its new home battery pack. Here are some of the last seven day's choice quotes: Infosec bod Patrick Wardle laid into Apple for its lame security practices. The former NSA, researcher when asked …
Team Register, 10 May 2015
Eingemauerte Nazis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/maxbraun/ cc 20 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

What to do when the users are watching Nazi dwarf smut at work?

On-call (a bit NSFW) Welcome to On-call, our fortnightly look at readers' experiences when called off-site. In our last instalment, we recounted the tale of the reader who sprung a colleague pleasuring herself with cutlery. Which of course prompted readers to send tales about similar indiscretions. Reader Nigel wrote to tell us of his experiences …
Simon Sharwood, 10 May 2015
Blackeyes, image via Shutterstock

NetSuite's leap over to Azure cloud - a shot to the pills for AWS?

NetSuite, the ERP-as-a-service firm, is shifting its entire business – and therefore that of its customers - off Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) and onto Microsoft’s Azure. Zack Nelson’s firm plans to shift its 24,000 customers to Microsoft’s cloud as the basis for their hosted business by the end of 2015. Azure will become the …
Gavin Clarke, 8 May 2015
flasharraysideteaser

Flash banishes the spectre of the unrecoverable data error

Those who follow storage developments know that there are concerns about the viability of RAID systems. Rebuild times are so long that the chances of an unrecoverable read error (URE) occurring are dangerously high. What is true for traditional disk, however, is not necessarily true for flash. Now that traditional magnetic …
Trevor Pott, 7 May 2015
High-altitude snap from Dave Akerman's Cloud 7 payload

Microsoft Azure – or how to make the public cloud work for you

Review Public cloud computing offers the tantalising promise of elastic computing, but few IT practitioners know what it means, let alone how to make it work for them. My job is to know this stuff, the new and cutting edge of IT. I need to know it to educate my clients, but also because I get paid to write about it. I have worked with …
Trevor Pott, 7 May 2015

Facebook's Open Compute could make DIY data centres feasible

DIY vs COTS: Part 2 Last time I looked at the PC versus console battle as a metaphor for DIY versus Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) data centres, and touched on the horrors of trying to run a DIY data centre. Since 2011, however, we've had the Open Compute Project, initiated by Facebook. The ideal is some kind of industry-standard data centre, with …
Trevor Pott, 7 May 2015
Signs on the Metreon, across the street from San Francisco's Moscone West, in preparation for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference

A world of conferences beckons for the Apple sysadmin

Unlike most of its rivals, Apple is primarily a hardware company which also happens to make the operating system and application delivery platform, taking a cut from the sales of software and media that others create for its platform. Mass laptop and desktop management is not really what Apple does; it lets others fill this void …
Stuart Burns, 7 May 2015
Galaxy NGC 2623 captured by the Hubble Space Telescope

Building the world's biggest telescope array - with machines that don't yet exist

Once completed, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the biggest radio astronomy telescope in the world. "Biggest", though, really is too mild a term for the sheer size of this project. The first phase, SKA1, will be broken up into two instruments, SKA1 MID and SKA1 LOW, based on their frequencies. SKA1 MID alone is made up …
lightning_cropped

Low price, big power: Virtual Private Server picks for power nerds

Running your own virtual private server (VPS) was once limited to either profitable side projects or those with money to burn. The relatively high monthly costs (often $40-$60 per month) made it too expensive for personal projects that didn't generate income and more serious endeavors often used dedicated hardware, leaving VPS …
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, credit: Brunel Museum

Bridge, ship 'n' tunnel – the Brunels' hidden Thames trip

Geek's Guide to Britain When you mention Brunel to most people, they think of the one with the funny name – Isambard Kingdom Brunel. A few folks will know that his father Marc Isambard Brunel was the first famous engineering Brunel, but not many will know that Isambard's own son, Henry Marc Brunel, was also an engineer and finished some of Isambard’s …

Hyper-convergence? I believe – just not like this

There's a horrible, horrible thing I get asked at least three times a week: "What is hyper-convergence?" This is like an icepick into my soul, because I consult with almost all of the current hyper-convergence vendors in one form or another and the truth is, “hyper-convergence” is a meaningless marketing term as wishy-washy and …
Trevor Pott, 4 May 2015
Groucho Marx in Duck Soup

How Groucho Marx lost his voice and found his funny bone

Feature One hunded years ago this week on May 7 1915, a U-boat of the Imperial German navy torpedoed the vast ocean liner known as the RMS Lusitania – with 1,962 people on board over a thousand civilians drowned, including many from the US, which was then still neutral in World War One. Groucho Marx in Duck Soup Groucho Marx in Duck …
Tesla powerwall

Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

It's pretty and batteries are ugly – but Tesla's Powerwall is more like an incremental change than a radical disruption. Given that the hype over Elon Musk's Tesla Powerwall announcement has reached all the way from The Verge calling the colours “lickable” (no, not likeable) and tossing in a hypegasm over Musk's “best keynote …
Bostrom drinking coffee. Image credit: Ken Tancwell under creative commons attribution-share alike 4.0 international licencelicence

Meet the man who inspired Elon Musk’s fear of the robot uprising

Exclusive Interview Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom is quite a guy. The University of Oxford professor is known for his work on existential risk, human enhancement ethics, superintelligence risks and transhumanism. He also reckons the probability that we are all living in a Matrix-esque computer simulation is quite high. But he’s perhaps most …

Bonny Scottish post-pub nosh neckfiller: Rumbledethumps

It's been far too long since we at the El Reg post-pub nosh team ventured north of the border in search of the very best wobbly dining haute cuisine, and indeed it was way back in 2012 that we served readers the very pinnacle of Scottish fusion cuisine – the quite remarkable haggis pakora. This simply won't do, so at the behest …
Lester Haines, 3 May 2015
Microsoft Clippy

From Manchester to Microsoft – missing mum :-(

The eXpat files Welcome to another eXpat Files, in which Reg readers tell of leaving home and hearth for career upgrades only available elsewhere. This time around we're chatting to 26-year-old Dai Rees, who moved on from “a small commuter town south of Manchester” that he won't name “to spite my former headmaster, who actively discouraged my ' …
wolves_shutterstock_compressed

One bit to rule them all? Forget it – old storage types never die

Block storage, file storage and object storage are all frequently bandied about terms in the storage world. They are fundamentally different, and yet inextricably intertwined. Choosing the right storage today means understanding the differences between these different storage classes, and how they can be made redundant and/or …
Trevor Pott, 1 May 2015
FAme_the_Musical

If flash storage achieves FaME, will it live forever?

Data access latency has topped the IT sin charts lately and networked flash arrays have been replacing disk drives, doing away with those drives’ rotational delays. Anything that keeps applications in multi-core virtualised servers running, and not waiting for data while somebody accessing a web commerce page gets impatient and …
Chris Mellor, 1 May 2015
Flash Gordon

Take time to get to know the flash you think you love

We have looked at what workloads drive enterprise flash adoption and why picking the right storage medium for the job matters. Unfortunately, the market doesn't always meet everyone's needs, so an understanding of what is available is important. Flash comes in a variety of solutions, from the roll-your-own to the pre-packaged. …
Trevor Pott, 30 Apr 2015
Siemens GSM-R train cab radio. Pic: Joshua Brown

UK rail comms are safer than mobes – for now – say infosec bods

Analysis Last week's warning that Britain's railway systems could be susceptible to hacking has triggered a debate among security experts. Prof David Stupples of City University London made headlines last week with a warning that plans to replace the existing (aging) signalling system with the new European Rail Traffic Management System …
John Leyden, 30 Apr 2015
Printed key

SHA-1 crypto hash retirement fraught with problems

The road towards phasing out the ageing SHA-1 crypto hash function is likely to be littered with potholes, security experts warn. SHA-1 is a hashing (one-way) function) that converts information into a shortened "message digest", from which it is impossible to recover the original information. This hashing technique is used in …
John Leyden, 30 Apr 2015
Power generators, Holborn, photo: Gavin Clarke

Give me POWER: How to keep working when the lights go out

In the summer of 2001, I began consulting for a travel company in North Yorkshire. A very innovative company, but nothing all that unusual about it in a mechanical sense: a 70-or-so-seat call centre, finance department, sales and marketing people, and the IT department hidden nicely away where people couldn't just casually drop …
Dave Cartwright, 29 Apr 2015
LIZARD WEARING A TOP HAT SITS ON A BRANCH.  Brett Weinstein pic - ALTERED BY JUDE KARABUS - licensed under  CC 3.0

E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard

Feature On Thursday May 7, the UK goes to the polls for a General Election. For those from elsewhere, we use the First Past the Post voting system, with each MP representing a specific geographical constituency. So, a majority of one is enough to win a seat, and the party leader who can command a majority of votes in the House of …
Nigel Whitfield, 29 Apr 2015
Spy hides in dustbin, lifts lid to take photograph

Paranoid about the NSA? The case for dumping cloud's Big 3

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may be the most important public cloud providers of the next decade. Hosting your data with an ISP has a number of advantages over choosing the dominant American cloud providers: advantages that run the gamut from technical to political. ISPs have been in the co-location business practically …
Trevor Pott, 29 Apr 2015
Steve Jobs memorial in Russia

Apple BIGGER than the U.S. ECONOMY? Or Australia? Or ... Luxembourg?

Analysis Apple's results are out - and it's time for the traditional game of trying to work out how much richer than which country the company is. With sales at $58 billion for the quarter, profits of $13.7 billion and depending upon how absurd we want to make our method of measurement this makes it the same as the US economy, the size …
Tim Worstall, 28 Apr 2015

Why recruiters are looking beyond IT's traditional talent pool

Simon Zhang is a former brain surgeon, but that’s literally the last thing you’ll find on his LinkedIn profile. Until March, Zhang was LinkedIn's director of business analytics, having worked his way up through a variety of positions in data science and business analytics since joining the careers social network in 2010. But …
Apple Mac Mini late 2014

Close encounter: Apple Macs invade the business world

Companies big and small are running Macs. They are showing up everywhere, from IBM to Google to the SMB. It has been a few years since I seriously looked at OSX in the enterprise and it is time to revisit the topic to see how things have changed. When discussing Apple in the enterprise a clear line has to be drawn between …
Trevor Pott, 28 Apr 2015
Internet of Things

When THINGS attack! Defending data centres from IoT device-krieg

When good fridges turn bad. It may sound like science fiction, but security experts are warning that the growing prevalence of interconnected “thingbots” is opening up businesses to all sorts of bother. Security-as-a-Service provider Proofpoint warned recently that more than 750,000 Phishing and SPAM Emails had been launched …
Rachel Willcox, 27 Apr 2015
MS-DOS 3.2 box

Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

PowerShell is everywhere, it seems. Not just in Windows Server, SharePoint, SQL Server, Exchange, Lync and Azure cloud, but it’s in third-party software, too. Take VMWare PowerCLI – that’s an extension of PowerShell. With many in the Windows world chewing on this fat PowerShell server software sandwich it’s easy to take …
Adam Fowler, 27 Apr 2015

Quid-A-Day Nosh Challenge kicks off early for starvation veteran

The El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse has attracted two last minute members for the 2015 Live Below the Line challenge, and we're delighted to welcome back on board 2014 participant Toby Sibley, who's joined by his better half Ros Griffin. Readers who followed last year's budget nosh entertainment will recall that Toby survived on an …
Lester Haines, 26 Apr 2015
https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/ by Found Animals Foundation CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/

Who was downloading smut in the office while eating ice cream?

On-call +NSFW Welcome back to On-call, our planned-to-be-fortnightly look at the things readers have been asked to do in the course of their employment, often at odd hours. This week, reader Guy* wrote to tell us about a gig he scored in the mid-nineties, where “my first task was to find out where all our bandwidth was going when the office …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2015