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Agricultural silos in Paraguay

Three things you need to break down those company silos

If you’re the guy tasked with breaking down silos, should you be breaking down the people who police those silos first? We explore how to de-mine your team ahead of your brownfield project. I've worked with a number of companies, as both an employee and a contractor, since I started working in IT in the late 1980s. And of course …
Dave Cartwright, 18 Jun 2015
US Navy man crawling under barbed wire in tough mudder competition

Why are there so many Windows Server 2003 stragglers?

Windows Server 2003 is almost out of support, and many of us simply don't have the option to upgrade to a newer operating system. In some cases this problem is self-imposed. In others it is the result of events beyond our control. Either way, there are millions of businesses – mostly small businesses – who simply don't have the …
Trevor Pott, 16 Jun 2015
NBC suit worker image via Shutterstock

A server apocalypse can come in different shapes and sizes. Be prepared

I run into the same misconceptions about business continuity on an almost daily basis. “We’ve already got backups, so why would we need to have a disaster recovery site as well?,” comes up with alarming regularity, as does: “We spent tens of thousands on a disaster recovery site, so why did we have that four-minute outage – why …
Tom Baines, 16 Jun 2015
Abbott and Costello dressed as policemen

It's curtains for you, copper: IBM boffins push the LIGHT FANTASTIC

IBM last month claimed a breakthrough in photonics – the practice of using light pulses rather than electrons to quickly send signals in chips. Big Blue claimed its boffins had successfully designed and tested a fully integrated wavelength multiplexed silicon photonics chip which would be capable of turning out 100Gbps optical …
Dave Wilby, 15 Jun 2015
Edward Snowden

'Snowden risked lives' fearfest story prompts sceptical sneers

Analysis A row has broken out over claims that Russian and Chinese have reportedly decrypted files of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, identifying British and US secret agents in the process. The Sunday Times used unnamed UK government and intel agency officials1 to support a story that MI6 has withdrawn agents from overseas operations in …
John Leyden, 15 Jun 2015
big dog little dog, image Shutterstock

How OpenStack became the big dogs' game – and why it's still for you

If you did have any doubts, recent events should have assuaged them, the division between the public and private cloud is here – and widening. In what might seem to be the industry’s quickest act of consolidation and M&A in less than five years, almost all the originators of OpenStack and the early entrants are gone – snapped …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Jun 2015

Innocent Spaniards roasted by experimental napalm mead

Pics Regular Reg readers will be aware that our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) rocket wrangler Paul "Lord Shax" Shackleton, when he's not lighting blue touchpapers, may be found brewing 18 per cent ABV mead or blowing his own head off with 1.5 million Scoville masala omelettes, featuring the awe-inspiring Carolina Reaper …
Lester Haines, 14 Jun 2015
Green data centre

Fire, fire! Just move your data centre onto my lawn ... Oh rats!

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our regular weekend feature in which readers share the odd things they've been asked to do at odder times of the day. This week's contributor has asked to remain anonymous, because his tale of a curious incident concerns a company that provided services to the emergency folk, among others. Our reader …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jun 2015
Eugene Kaspersky in Sydney

Duqu 2.0: 'Terminator' malware that pwned Kaspersky could have come from Israel

Eugene Kaspersky reckons hacking into his firm's corporate network was a "silly" move by cyberspies, but independent experts are far from convinced. All seem agreed that the rare attack by a state against an leading information security firm is bad news for corporate security more generally, as it shows attacks are getting more …
Weather vane image via Shutterstock

A 16 Petaflop Cray: The key to fantastic summer barbecues

Successful BBQ at the weekend, or did a cloudburst stop play, leaving your fridge groaning beneath a mountain of uncooked ribs and sausages? If only the weather forecast had been more reliable. By 2017 that might be possible, as the Met Office – responsible for generating more than 3,000 tailored forecasts and briefings each …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jun 2015
Protestor barricade image via Shutterstock

Software-defined freedom: A liberating experience for YOU

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) are the future – and if you aren't already learning about them you're probably already doomed. If that strikes you as a little pessimistic then there is a bright side: most of us are already doing some of it and we all understand more about it than we …
Trevor Pott, 8 Jun 2015
Racecar

SDN's dream: Use what you've got, not what you're promised

Is hardware turning soft? Yes, if you listen to IT vendors. Companies such as Oracle are investing in Software Defined Networking (SDN) — turning features that were once hardware into apps or part of the networking layer or running as apps on servers. I've recently written about the problems and promises of SDN and find the …
Trevor Pott, 8 Jun 2015

The weapons pact threatening IT security research

Analysis The US government has rewritten chunks of an obscure weapons trade pact between itself, Europe, Russia, and other nations – a pact that is now casting its shadow over today's computer security tools. Dubbed the Wassenaar Agreement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, the treaty limits who …
Iain Thomson, 6 Jun 2015
Jamie Bartlett delivering Register Summer Lecture

Camgirls, crypto currency and beer: The Register tours the Dark Net

Register Lectures Very few of us, even at The Reg, have spent a year trawling the darkest corners of the internet, getting to know right wing agitators, crypto currency zealots, and Yorkshire’s leading Camgirl. Jamie Bartlett did though, and he shared his experiences with a room full of Register readers at our Summer lecture on May 21. He took …
Joe Fay, 5 Jun 2015
arrow pointing up

What hyper-converged storage really means for you

To paraphrase an old joke, ask three IT “experts” for a definition of hyper-convergence and you'll get four different answers - depending on which areas they work in and what their employers are currently trying to sell. We are going to simplify things though by looking at it through the prism of storage. This turns out to be a …
Bryan Betts, 5 Jun 2015
Amazon data center

Your servers are underwater? Chill OUT, baby – liquid's cool

Every time we Tweet, procrastinate by watching an online video of a puppy with hiccups, or query a cloud, we spin up a chain reaction of hardware and electrons in some data centre somewhere. This generates heat that must be dissipated. Moore’s Law – the observation that recently celebrated a 50-year milestone and which maintains …
Dave Wilby, 4 Jun 2015

Federation promises to bring your storage under control

As virtualisation brings IT consolidation back onto the agenda, storage federation is being touted by many as the best way to impose discipline on infrastructures that have grown unwieldy. So what can it offer that storage virtualisation or a global file system cannot, and is it time for us all to join the federation? Storage …
Bryan Betts, 3 Jun 2015
Mist and condensation, image via Shutterstock

Hybrid cloud: Define what it is, then decide what you want

First, there was software as a service, infrastructure and then platform as a service, then public and private cloud, and today hybrid cloud — but is the latter vendor-driven cloud washing or something more? Lending credence to the latter is the fact EMC last week spent a juicy $1.2bn buying Virtustream to increase its presence …
Flats, image via Shutterstock

Forget the density, just unlock your cloud's power sweet spot

Talk to a friend or colleague in IT, and pretty soon you’ll get on the topic of big data, the data explosions, and mega data centres. Bar stool logic — and prevailing wisdom — suggests there is no end to our collective hunger for data, and so this must be fed by ever-larger, ever-denser data centres designed, powered and chilled …
Dave Wilby, 2 Jun 2015
Threesome photo via Shutterstock

You'll never love an appliance like your old database

Huawei recently announced a database appliance. The Appliance for Large Database is based on the Chinese data centre usurper’s FusionServer RH8100 beast that targets RISC with a battery of Xeon Intel chips. The Huawei machine has been constructed for the newest version of SAP’s Business Suite, S/4HANA, which was announced …
Legoland Windsor Knight's Kingdom

Spoiling staff with toys could turn against your business

Many companies put staff engagement high on the agenda: they reason that if you keep staff happy they are likely to be productive and stick with you through difficult times as well as when it is all going swimmingly. It is a perfectly sensible thing to do – so long as you involve the IT department in the process. My first IT …
management mobile

Where’s the best place for your infrastructure bottleneck?

As technology evolves, bottlenecks in the infrastructure move around. The switch speed leapfrogs the server speed, then the servers are upgraded with faster LAN cards and the spinning disks in the SAN become the weak link, so you upgrade and find that the SAN fabric is holding you back. How does everything interact? And as the …
The Sirius Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

What does it take to find the Antikythera Mechanism? Underwater robots, of course!

I worked on ... A few days from now, Christian Lees will be in the Greek islands, sunning himself on the deck of a colossal private yacht. Staff on the yacht will prepare his meals, even do his laundry. But those staff can't program or troubleshoot Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), which is why Lees will be aboard the yacht during its …
Simon Sharwood, 31 May 2015
Crossness Beam Engine

Taming the Thames – The place that plugged London's Great Stink

Geek's Guide to Britain At various times in the history of the UK, there’s been a massive stink at Westminster, accompanied by demands that “something must be done”. We’ll be stumbling through the demands for PR after this year’s election for a while yet, but spare a thought for the politicians of 1858 who had to endure The Great Stink. With a river …
Nigel Whitfield, 30 May 2015
management cloud7

IT service management as an enterprise-wide service

When it comes to providing efficient services, can the IT department teach the rest of the business a thing or two? IT has come a long way in the last few years. Traditionally, the IT department lived in an ivory tower, but commercial pressures forced it to change its stance. IT service management (ITSM) tools and techniques …
Danny Bradbury, 29 May 2015
Free range chicken and farmer photo via Shutterstock

Wi-Fi was MEANT to be this way: Antennas and standards, 802.11 style

Forged nearly 20 years ago, the 802.11 wireless networking standard was responsible for cutting the cord and letting us roam. During that time, 802.11 has evolved as devices using it have both proliferated and got smaller – while the data they swallow has grown in quantity and in size. In March the IEEE OK’d the latest chapter …
Danny Bradbury, 26 May 2015
Chinese fence

Geofencing: The ultra-low power frontier for the Internet of Things

Internet of Lawnmowers How are the next 10 billion devices going to connect to the internet of today, tomorrow? Having all of these gizmos talk to one another over your standard 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi is not going to happen, so how will all those gizmos connect to the wider internet, and how will we keep them all safe, happy and updated? The internet of things …
Trevor Pott, 26 May 2015
Will Hay

Will Hay: Britain's bumbling star of the screen and skies

Feature It’s 80 years since Gainsborough Pictures released the comedy Boys Will Be Boys, the movie that finally established ex-music hall performer Will Hay as a British film name – during that same year of 1935 he also published an accomplished astronomy book Through My Telescope. Hay was now a rising star in both senses of the word …
Phil Strongman, 25 May 2015
Land Rover in the Korean War

Land Rover's return: Last orders and leather seats for Defender nerds

We all know there’s only on one true Land Rover: the Defender. A cheerful, competent, boxy-shaped device that’s been in production since 1948, inspired by the Jeep, the Allies' WWII workhorse. It looks as good pulling logs from a forest as it does pulling up outside a house in Mayfair and it was voted Greatest Car of All Time by …
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Death of a middleman: Cloud storage gateways – and their evolution

For decades, we’ve survived quite nicely using on-premise storage. According to industry research, though, that may be changing as cloud-based storage emerges. A Tata Communications survey last year found that within ten years enterprises will store 58 per cent of their data in the cloud, compared with 28 per cent today. Whether …
Danny Bradbury, 25 May 2015

Vietnam-lovin' VoIP man's 50-nation tally couldn't hold him back

The eXpat Files In this instalment of The eXpat Files, we meet Joshua Puckett – a native of Maryland, USA – who, at 23, has managed to work in 50 countries, with extended stays in Switzerland and Hungary. How did this half-man-half-Boeing pull it off? Read on to learn about his very mobile lifestyle, the best bars in the world and how to blag a …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bog-standard boxty

"Really dad?" It was with a slightly exasperated raise of the eyebrow that my daughter Katarina greeted the news last weekend that we were about to tackle classic Irish spud-based nosh boxty, the better to increase her chances of acquiring a suitable husband* when the moment arises. In case you're wondering, as was Katarina, …
Lester Haines, 23 May 2015
Our happy travellers surrounded by armed police at LAX

Governance the key if you don't want mobile workers escaping your control

Mobile computing is great. No longer are we chained to our desks when using technology and doing proper work. Not only are laptops getting smaller, lighter and cheaper, it is also possible to do real, productive stuff even more freely using phones and tablets. As is always the case in computing, though, the positives of …
Dave Cartwright, 21 May 2015
Flash Gordon

It pays to fake it: Test your flash SAN with a good simulation

It is pretty obvious that storage systems vary. You could reply, with some justification: “No shit, Sherlock!” What is less obvious and more useful to know, however, is how and why they vary and how the variation – not just between all-disk, hybrid and all-flash arrays but even between different arrays of the same class – can …
Bryan Betts, 21 May 2015
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