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Sane people, I BEG you: Stop the software defined moronocalypse

Sysadmin blog A raft of potential vulnerabilities was found in whitebox Software Defined Networking (SDN) equipment. This is the beginning of the saga, not the end. The issues with the Internet of Things promise to be far, far worse. SDN solves a lot of problems and is broadly applicable (once it gets cheap enough). This brings with it a …
Trevor Pott, 7 Aug 2015

HP snuggles up to OpenStack in cloud embrace

It's hard to understand OpenStack's role in the data centres of the future without understanding HP's approach. HP's cloud strategy is named "Helion" and it includes public, private and hybrid elements. HP bought and has incorporated Eucalyptus into Helion, but the core of its cloud bets are on OpenStack. Helion is vital for …
Trevor Pott, 7 Aug 2015
The really big hole for the well, with some stone at the bottom

Nutanix digs itself into a hole ... and refuses to drop the shovel

Comment Nutanix has dug itself into a hole by trying to occupy the moral high ground with regard to performance testing of hyperconverged systems, saying it's in favour of transparency, yet pulling out of an independent StorageReview test of its product following poor results. About a month ago, Nutanix (Lukas Lundell) and VMware ( …
Chris Mellor, 7 Aug 2015
Star Trek Into Darkness

EMC II, VMware and the future: Unpicking the house that Joe built

Comment Look guys, the options are pretty limited. If VMware can't leave the EMC Federation and the Federation somehow has to upvalue itself for investors and find shares priced high enough to pay off Elliott Management, then one bit of the Federation has to buy the rest or the Federation has to be acquired/merge with a white knight. …
Chris Mellor, 6 Aug 2015
management management3

EMC and VMware doing the old in-out shows the board is on the job

Comment The finance, storage and virtualisation communities have all been abuzz in recent days, following industry chatter that EMC might buy back the shares in VMware it doesn't already own – or that VMware might buy EMC. Both suggestions have been met with many sharp intakes of breath as pundits contemplate these financial …

Telcos' revenge is coming as SDN brings a way to build smart pipes

Telcos, terrified of being consigned to eternal status as ‘dumb pipes’, keep coming up with crazy ideas for over-the-top (OTT) high-value services. In America, they’re buying entertainment properties. Comcast, easily that nation’s most hated company, purchased NBCUniversal so that they’d have something to transmit over all that …
Mark Pesce, 6 Aug 2015

Hacking Trump: Can we not label web vandalism as 'terrorism', please?

Sysadmin Blog American politics are something of a national sport in Canada. No matter who runs for either side, Canadians throw popcorn at the screen and try to pretend our choices are any better. We debate the relative merits of the boob tube's highest stakes biennial reality TV soap opera. Things can get heated, sometimes, but we enjoy …
Trevor Pott, 3 Aug 2015

Will flash save the data centre? Don't spread your wings yet, Vultan

Analysis The all-flash data centre: does it exist? Will it ever? Can we really imagine a data centre with no spinning disks and all the executing apps relying on solid-state storage? Such is the vision put forward by Violin Memory in its "Disk is Dead" campaign. But is this the future of the data centre? Violin chief marketeer Amy …
Chris Mellor, 3 Aug 2015

No, Microsoft: Your one-billion Windows 10 goal is just sad ... really sad

Comment Targeting one million of anything is no longer cool, according to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. Only one billion will do. It's not surprising, therefore, that Microsoft has set itself a billion-device goal for Windows 10. What is surprising is just how unambitious that goal is, given the computing giant's aspirations. Indeed, …
Matt Asay, 31 Jul 2015
Handing over dollars picture via Shutterstock

Windows 10 marks the end of 'pay once, use forever' software

Comment Windows 10 is the last version of Windows that will ever be released. If this really is the last version of Windows desktop operating system ever, though, where will Microsoft make its money? Microsoft, after-all, has built a multi-billion-dollar business on sales of new versions of Windows through retailers and to PC makers, …
Stuart Burns, 31 Jul 2015
Misty woods picture via Shutterstock

Missing in action: The OpenStackers lost from Gartner's quadrant

The more I look at Gartner's recent Magic Quadrant for x86 server virtualization infrastructure, the more confused I get. The analyst's take on Huawei's relevance to virtualization is particularly puzzling. Not so much because I disagree with Huawei's inclusion, but because many of the organizations left out are even more …
Trevor Pott, 31 Jul 2015
Doctor Who in Listen

Think beyond the Beeb: Gov consultation is crucial for free telly

Breaking Fad Do you like your free-to-air TV? It looks like a reasonable chunk of spectrum will be saved for terrestrial broadcasting at the WRC–15 meeting later this year, but the battle for Freeview is far from over. Doctor Who in Listen Listen up: it's time to have your say on the BBC A couple of months back, the BBC Trust gave the …
Nigel Whitfield, 31 Jul 2015

Sysadmin Day 2015: Fun things to do – and prizes to win from El Reg

Sysadmin Blog Friday, July 31 is 2015's Systems Administrator Appreciation Day, better known as Sysadmin Day. It is a day during which sysadmins feel sad that nobody remembers there is a day dedicated to them, and they go on being as unappreciated as every other day of the year. The exception being vendors and other sysadmins; they remember …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jul 2015
IT Crowd's Roy: "Have you turned it off and on again?"

Windows 10: A SYSADMIN speaks his brains – and says MEH

Sysadmin blog It's Windows 10 day. That means it's time for a completely biased and in-no-way-even-remotely-objective assessment of Windows 10. The internet is filled with people trying to act all objective about Microsoft and Windows 10, and explain what it all "means." I'm forgoing all of that this round. This review is not from the …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jul 2015

Violin Memory thinks it'll boost sales by copying face cream giants

Comment The Grateful Dead concert was only the start to a sustained, brand-led marketing effort by Violin Memory, which aims to rewrite the rules of tech product marketing. Techy speeds and feeds and flashy tactical positioning statements will be subsumed into a disciplined, co-ordinated and orchestrated marketing campaign led by Amy …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jul 2015

IT in Iran: Servers sold on the grey market, and the rule of FOSS

The eXpat Files Usually for the eXpat Files we talk to folk who have moved to another country. But this week, Vulture Weekend has varied things a little to chat to 28 year-old Roozbeh Shafiee from Tehran, Iran. As readers doubtless know, Iran restricts internet access and hasn't always been keen on freedom of assembly. It's also the subject …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Jul 2015

Server storage slips on robes, grabs scythe, stalks legacy SANs

Analysis In ten years, legacy enterprise storage-area networks (SANs), network-attached storage (NAS), and direct-attached storage (DAS) revenues will have lost 88 per cent of their present value, according to Wikibon research. Nearly 90 per cent of today's storage revenues will then be split between enterprise server SANs and …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jul 2015
woman's arm flexing biceps

Facebook's React Native is exciting devs. Or is it, really?

Facebook's React Native framework is hot. The question is, for how long? After all, while Facebook-born React is smoking, it wasn’t very long ago that Google-spawned AngularJS had the web world all a’flutter. Before that, it was Backbone, SproutCore, and a variety of other hot-until-not JavaScript frameworks. On the one hand …
Matt Asay, 17 Jul 2015
"Typical E-scrapping dismantling operation. 100,000 such migrant workers labor in Guiyu breaking down imported computers in hundreds of small operations like this one in a four village area surrounding the Lianjiang River."

You care about TIN? Why the Open Compute Project is irrelevant

There’s a lot of angst right now over the Open Compute Project, Facebook’s open-source data centre gift to the world. Some, as detailed by El Reg, describe Open Compute testing as “a complete and utter joke.” One that isn’t apparently very funny. At least, not to Cole Crawford, executive director of the Open Compute Project. …
Matt Asay, 16 Jul 2015
Frustation, image via Shutterstock

Run Windows 10 on your existing PC you say, Microsoft? Hmmm.

Throughout my career I have seen many Windows releases with minimum requirements that were a little bit deceiving. Sure, the machines would boot, but you would sometimes have enough time to brew a fresh pot of coffee before the computer was in a usable state. That usable state excluded any applications you wanted to run on top …
Stuart Burns, 15 Jul 2015

Gazing at the future: Taking a look at two $20m storage upstarts

Comment Startups Jut and CoreOS are each funded to the tune of twenty million dollars but spend their money differently, inhabiting different geographies in Silicon Valley's mental landscape. Both are based in the valley's new centre of startup gravity, San Francisco, where office rents are going up to – and beyond – $63 per square …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jul 2015

Hey WD. Are you killing off Arkeia? 'Solutions... contracts... burble'

Is WD killing off its Arkeia backup product? After writing about some WD community forum members who have been told the product is effectively going end-of-life, we were sent a "clear statement from WD." Here it is; see what you think. WD has been developing a full portfolio of network storage solutions for a number of years …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jul 2015

China's STILL holding up the full WD-HGST integration. Why?

Comment WD's buyout of HGST took place in 2012. MOFCOM, China’s Ministry of Commerce – here concerned with competition – said it was delaying its approval for two years. During that time, HGST and WD had to be run as two separate businesses subject to strict conditions. Those conditions were: Maintenance of HGST at pre-transaction …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2015

OCP supporters hit back over testing claims – but there's dissent in the ranks

Comment Open Compute Project aficionados did not like our story about its allegedly insufficient hardware testing procedures and said so, publicly and loudly. “Terrible journalism” whinged one, adding it was an attack on the entire open source movement. Is this fair? It seems a can of worms has been opened. Cole Crawford, the …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2015
Ship scrapyard photo via Shutterstock

Why the USS NetApp is a doomed ship

Comment NetApp last month changed chief executives, and in May laid off just over 500 people. Some believe this is the start of great new things and a turnaround for NetApp. I disagree. To put this as bluntly as I can, NetApp is most likely doomed. Getting rid of the CEO won't save it. NetApp's problem is that the culture of: "The …
Trevor Pott, 9 Jul 2015
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 …

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

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 …

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

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

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

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