More stories

Scotty - Star Trek

I cannae dae it, cap'n! Why I had to quit the madness of frontline IT

Sysadmin blog It took a massive hack attack against the United States government resulting in the theft of up to 14 million 21.5 million records to make me realise why I want to quit working in IT. Over the past year I've significantly drawn down my involvement in day-to-day IT operations, and I'm much happier for it. The US Office of …
Trevor Pott, 9 Jul 2015
Hipster with laptop photo via Shutterstock

Summer breeze makes IT fine, blowing through sysadmins in my mind

Comment Summer is here and IT bods can rejoice because if users aren’t already on their annual two-week holiday then those remaining – the ones with kids – will be soon once schools break up in mid July. It’s the time of year when the heavy lifting side (physical or virtual) of infrastructure upgrades can be done without pesky users …
Stuart Burns, 9 Jul 2015
Mist and condensation, image via Shutterstock

Stay Misty for Me: G-Cloud’s transparency called into question

Comment The cash flowing through the G-Cloud is rising exponentially, increasing by £400m last year alone to total a very nice £600m. But while the cloudy framework's flexibility and choice is proving increasingly popular with buyers and sellers, it's worth examining what that money is – and isn't – being spent on. In fact, only a …
Kat Hall, 9 Jul 2015
Topgun fighters

All-flash is a synonym for a tough market

Comment Last week NetApp launched a new line of all-flash arrays (AFAs) called AFF. It’s based on a specialised version of ONTAP, which has added particular optimizations to read/write data paths. It’s not the notorious FlashRay yet, but it’s not that bad and it has something to say... especially if you are already a NetApp customer. …
MC Hammer

Don't touch this! Seven types of open source to dance away from

Comment In a world where even Microsoft gets the open source religion, the planet’s overall quota for positivity and good karma must be increasing, right? Of course this is not the case, there are bad eggs in every basket and open source has had its share of so-called “openwashing” from time to time. For the record, it’s not Microsoft …
fbservers_648

Open Compute Project testing is a 'complete and total joke'

Comment Facebook's Open Compute Project testing is sub-standard and doesn't follow well-established industry procedures, according to The Register's sources. The Open Compute Project (OCP) was formed in 2011 and involves the Facebook-initiated design of bare-bones computer equipment that can supposedly be built, installed and operated …
Chris Mellor, 7 Jul 2015
7/7 London bombings headlines. Pic credit: Elly Waterman under cc 3.0

7/7 memories: I was on a helpdesk that day and one of my users died

Ten years ago today I was sitting at my IT support desk at an ad agency in central London – covering the early shift and waiting for the first calls of the morning to come in from tired, agitated users. But on that day, the phones remained eerily silent and as the minutes ticked by none of my fellow techies had yet turned up …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Jul 2015
Windows Server

Migrating from WS2003 to *nix in a month? It ain't happening, folks

Sysadmin blog Some people take exception to my recommendation that those running Win32 applications try to move to a newer version of Windows. They believe that if I were a "credible" IT professional I would counsel a move to *nix technologies such as Linux, Unix or BSD. The context for this debate is that Windows Server 2003's end is upon …
Trevor Pott, 6 Jul 2015
qantas_route_tracker_648

Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight

The Airbus A380 has a range of 15,200km, but the longest scheduled commercial flight using the aircraft is the 13,804km Dallas (USA) to Sydney (Australia) jaunt flown by Australia's Qantas. Heading from Oz to the USA, the trip takes just 15 hours and 35 minutes, which at only about an hour longer than a Sydney-Los Angeles flight …
PInwheel_galaxy

It's not for everyone, but hyperconvergence is still a valuable solution

Comment I love the concept of hyperconvergence. Who doesn’t? An IT infrastructure built out of relatively balanced (and small) nodes, all contributing together to a large pool of computing and storage resources, which can linearly scale just by adding more nodes. This kind of infrastructure, thanks to the latest advancements in software …
White boxes

The case against Open Compute Project Storage flotation

Interview Did you know there was a storage part of the Open Compute Project? If not, you do now. The Facebook-generated OCP aims to make good, basic hardware available for data centres at low cost, with no bezel tax and no unwanted supplier differentiation justifying high prices. Its main focus is servers, but that's not all, as there is …
Chris Mellor, 2 Jul 2015
Easter_Island_Monoliths

Don't start reading the last rites for monolithic storage just yet

Monolithic storage arrays may well claim that rumours of their death have been exaggerated, but that doesn't mean that they aren't entering the digital care-home for the soon-to-be-departed. These boxes — the mainframes of storage — are magnificent beasts, like do-everything battleships of the storage wars in an era in which …
Chris Mellor, 1 Jul 2015
container_ship_hamburg_shutterstock_648

Speaking in Tech: Just slacking off and keeping things contained

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, Sarah is on vacation while Eddie and Greg slack it off on Sheryl Sandberg, API copyrights and containers. Our special guest this week is Chad Sakac, president, global systems engineering, EMC. This week we …
Team Register, 1 Jul 2015
Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop

Ditching political Elop makes for a more Nadella Microsoft

Comment With bad things possibly in the post for Microsoft’s Windows phone business, its commander Stephen Elop has been shown the door by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella. As a hardened Elop detractor I literally cheered at the news. The reason I cheer Elop's departure is actually a little complicated, and not entirely for the reasons …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jun 2015
graveyard_648

Pure's mass disk drive killer lays out plans for flash hegemony

Comment Fresh from a big product and business model launch, Pure Storage was undestandably reticent about future technologies at a briefing in Mountain View. However, interesting tidbits did drop from speakers' lips. Co-founder John "Coz" Colgrove said: "Our goal is to make all disk storage extinct." Dressed in his signature long t- …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jun 2015
Three Telstra vans restore one line

The slow strangulation of telework in Australia

From the day I arrived in Australia, I’ve had a high-speed broadband connection. The owner of the ISP came over to my flat to set it up, attaching a point-to-point wireless link to my terrace, then aiming it at his offices. Within a few minutes I had the very same 5 Mbps symmetric connection that I’ve enjoyed ever since - even …
Mark Pesce, 25 Jun 2015
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

The wonderful madness of metrics: Different things to different folk

Managers and customers love statistics and metrics. Companies can live or die by how good their metrics are and the potential penalties for failing to meet the required service levels as defined in agreements. It can also be: “Have my team met their SLA” or: “What is the uptime on the server farm”. The dictionary defines the …
Stuart Burns, 23 Jun 2015
Falcon explodes

SPICEWORKS FAIL: Are we ready for ‘social’ network administration?

Analysis Yesterday, a security screw up with the Spiceworks application was noticed, and reported a little earlier by our good selves. Anyone with a Facebook or LinkedIn account could log in to Spiceworks installs running the latest version and it would create an administrative account for them. This is not OK, not at all. Many …
Trevor Pott, 23 Jun 2015
Sir Maurice Wilkes photo Computer Laboratory University of Cambridge

So what are you doing about your legacy MS 16-bit applications?

This is the last gasp migration for Microsoft ecosystem 16-bit applications. Windows Server 2008 x86 is the last Microsoft server operating system to support them. You can upgrade from Server 2003 to Server 2008 and buy yourself a few more years, but extended support for Server 2008 runs out in 2020. The migration won't be …
Trevor Pott, 22 Jun 2015
Mustard

Can Said Ouissal really cut Violin’s sales mustard?

Has Violin’s new worldwide sales head Said Ouissal got what it takes to lift sales at the recovering all-flash array company? He comes to the SVP position with no prior direct sales management experience, and told us he joined Violin in April last year to be SVP for product management and strategy. He came from Juniper Networks …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2015
wham_bang_648

All-flash array reports aren't all about all-flash arrays, rages Gartner

Comment Our earlier pop at Gartner's all-flash array methodology has generated a response from Gartner. Joe Unsworth from Gartner – the author of the Market Share report and co-author on the Solid-State Arrays magic quadrant – has been in touch. We said corrective glasses were needed to read the report. View what follows as corrective …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jun 2015

Data AWOL? Thank God for backup. You backed up, right?

Backup is a fundamental component of a healthy infrastructure. I admit backups are neither cutting edge nor sexy but they are important. It is an often-quoted statistic that of the companies that suffer serious data loss, one third go out of business within three years. Actually, it’s worse than that: 94 per cent of companies …
Stuart Burns, 18 Jun 2015
Stll_life_with_skull

Disk is dead, screeches Violin – and here's how it might happen

Analysis And in a flash, disk is dead. Well, actually, not that fast. But flash array flogger Violin Memory is convinced disk is dying in the data centre, killed by a series of NAND acronyms: 2D MLC, 3D TLC and, the final blow, 3D QLC. Is this view realistic? Even remotely realistic? It starts from a pair of observations by Violin …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jun 2015

The insidious danger of the lone wolf control freak sysadmin

Often within teams there is a certain shared camaraderie and level of trust between team members. They chew the fat, have a moan or playful poke at other staff during a day’s work. They cover for each other and stuff usually gets done. At the end of the day, they spend more time with each other than family. Occasionally, however …
Team Register, 17 Jun 2015
Railway line split. Pic: Ian Sane

VMware doubles the VM count for EVO: RAIL systems

VMware has pumped up the power of its hyper-converged EVO: RAIL nodes with more memory and storage, so they can run twice as many VMs. As detailed in a VMware blog, the latest node options look like this: Dual 6, 8, 10 or 12 core Intel Haswell or Ivy Bridge CPUs per node 128GB to 512GB of memory per node, up from 192GB VMware …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jun 2015
management intelligence

Corrective lenses needed for Gartner's flashy array vision

Comment Gartner's gnomes gnosticated on all flash array sales (AFA) and revenues recently. Dell did not appear at all in its charts or revenue numbers and neither did HDS, leading us to suppose Dell revenues were lower than any of the eight AFA vendors mentioned. Yes, really. What's happened is a consequence of Gartner's requirements …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jun 2015
Wall St bull image via Shutterstock

The Hound of Hounslow: No $40m Wall Street wobbler

I'm keen on energy efficiency. Some would also describe me as a cheapskate (I'd sue 'em all if I could find a cheap lawyer.) In our living room we have nice (cheap) pair of lined, M&S curtains with a (cheap) solar reflective blind hanging behind on the same hooks, which helps keep the room lovely and cosy in winter and cool in …
Wine Taps by N Wong, Flickr, CC 2.0 License

Hyperconvergence isn't about hardware: It's server-makers becoming software companies

Public cloud is supposed to be a mortal threat to enterprise hardware vendors, whose wares look clunky and costly compared to a servers-for-an-hour-for-cents cloud and the threat looks scary … until you actually use a public cloud for a while. The Reg increasingly hears that the cost of operating in a public cloud quickly adds …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jun 2015
Photographic plate image of the colliding galaxies NGC 6769, 6770, and 6771.

Data Dynamics chap lifts curtain on anti-fluster cluster thruster tool

Comment There's no need to get in a fluster over clusters. Data Dynamics reckons it has a better tool to migrate NetApp's non-clustered array users to the joys of clusterdom; having separate NetApp arrays function and be managed as one. The move to clustered Data ONTAP (CDOT) from the original ONTAP operating system — 7mode — has proved …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jun 2015
Nutanix_XCP

Nutanix hyper-converges upwards with bells, whistles and KVM

Comment In the name of server and storage efficiency, Nutanix has added KVM hypervisor support, erasure coding and new management to its hyper-converged systems, and promised VVOL-type integration, container and file-serving support. The aim is evidently to increase scale-out X86 server node, storage and admin efficiency, and top-level …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jun 2015
nasuni_cloud_storage_648_CROPPED

The data centre is becoming the cloud file doorway centre ...

Interview On-premises flash storage for blocks with files migrating to the cloud; that's cloud storage gateway supplier Nasuni's view of the world. We thought this was a tad self-serving, but then again it could be true. So we asked Nasuni CEO Andres Rodriguez some questions to find out more: El Reg: Do you think on-premises computing is …
Chris Mellor, 9 Jun 2015
Bloody Serial Killer Shower Curtain

Let's kill off the meaningless concept of SW-defined storage

Comment Software-defined storage has become a meaningless and useless concept. It doesn't tell you anything useful beyond the vague idea that software drives the hardware. Well, yes, when virtually every storage hardware product you use is based on commodity hardware then it would, wouldn't it? I met a person the other day who said …
Chris Mellor, 9 Jun 2015

Private cloud is NOT dead – and for one good reason: Control of data

Comment Reports that private clouds are dead are greatly exaggerated. Far from being dead, IDC’s latest research shows that private clouds are expected to grow at the same rate as public clouds for the next five years. This will not surprise anyone who has worked in or with an enterprise IT operation. Even public cloud giant AWS is …
Internet of Cats feeder

The USB Lego, bluetooth coffee cups and connected cats of Computex 2015

Taiwan's technology industry likes to position the annual Computex expo as the week in which it shows off its ingenuity to the world. This year's show might just have shown that Taiwan - and the rest of us - are in a bit of a rut. Last year, I couldn't move at Computex without stumbling over a booth offering a zillion …
Skull image

Kaspersky says air-gap industrial systems: why not baby monitors, too?

I wasn't at AusCERT this year, but watching the Tweet-stream and chatting to fellow Vulture Darren Pauli kept me clued-in, and I was interested to hear that Eugene Kaspersky thinks air-gaps are a good way to protect SCADA systems. Because you won't convince the industrial sector to reverse the cost savings it got from connecting …
Storm_That_VSAN_hill

How to storm the virtual heights of SAN

Platoons are easy to manage, nimble and fast-moving, but regiments need a host of logistics operations to bring them to the battle point. Virtual SANs (Storage Area Networks) comprised of a few nodes are simpler to buy and operate than a full-scale SAN with its network connections, HBAs, thousands of LUNs (logical unit numbers …
Chris Mellor, 3 Jun 2015
Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, speaking at Build 2015

Fanbois designing Windows 10 – where's it going to end?

Opinion What happens when your data sample isn’t representative of the public? We already know, for 2015 is turning out to be the year of the dodgy opinion poll. And it isn’t just politicians who are being stung. In Windows 10, Microsoft says it will hide running apps from the task bar, breaking a twenty-year-old convention which …
Estonia folk dancers in traditional costume

My life under Estonia's digital government

There is much government talk about the economic importance of enabling a digital society. Yet little coherent in the UK seems to materialise – bits here and there imperfectly integrated and with insufficient commitment. Just think of the multiple UK initiatives over the years. That such slow progress is a given calls into …
Charles Brett, 2 Jun 2015
Miss Piggy sings opera

Docker death blow to PaaS? The fat lady isn’t singing just yet folks

Logically nestled just above Infrastructure-as-a-Service and just beneath the Software-as-a-Service applications it seeks to support, we find Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). As you would hope from any notion of a platform, PaaS comes with all the operating system, middleware, storage and networking intelligence we would want — but …
Sunset

Red-inked Crossroads goes straight on with rights issue

Comment Crossroads Systems, which makes StrongBox archiving and Sphinx virtual tape systems, as well as the smaller RVA tape verification product, is looking poverty-stricken as it goes for a rights issue to replenish its coffers. Sphinx virtual tape OEM revenues have been falling for several quarters and StrongBox LTFS archiving …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2015

Why voice and apps sometimes don't beat an old-fashioned knob

Internet of Lawnmowers I recently gave the Internet of Things (IoT) a good look. I talked about geofencing and the communications technologies of the IoT, but now I think it's time to talk about nightmares. Specifically, I want to talk about my wife's "you need Lastpass for your smart house" IoT nightmare. It's the reason I'm not allowed to buy a …
Trevor Pott, 28 May 2015
IT_graveyard

Fibre Channel over Ethernet is dead. Woah, contain yourselves

Comment How many times have you heard one of these statements: Tape is dead! Mainframe is dead! The laptop is dead ... and so on. It then turns out not to be true. Most of the time it was just a way to say that a newer technology was seeing a strong level of adoption, so strong as to eclipse the older one in the eyes of the masses. …