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UK.gov still drowning in legacy tech because no one's boarding Blighty's £700m data centre Ark

Analysis Only in IT is “legacy” a pejorative term, where it is used to condemn ageing systems and forgotten workarounds. In the UK government, as with banks, increasingly difficult-to-maintain mission-critical systems are a huge problem. Not least because of the dwindling number of folk who remember how the damn things work. One …
Kat Hall, 23 Jan 2017
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UK.gov departments are each clinging on to 100 terabytes of legacy data

Some Whitehall departments are saddled with more than 100 terabytes of legacy data, and are wasting time recreating old work at a cost of £500m per year, according to a Cabinet Office report. The Better Information for Better Government report [PDF] said good information governance is critical for effective government. …
Kat Hall, 18 Jan 2017

Digital transformation?! Your boss's PowerPoint New Year resolution, deconstructed

Hey, it's the new year. Time to let those annual planning slides shimmy over you, washing away the dangling tickets of last year like a purifying clean install. Somewhere amid pictures of robots shaking hands with meat-maws and millennials writing on glass walls will, no doubt, be the details of your firm's "digital …
Michael Cote, 18 Jan 2017
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Tech committee slams UK.gov for dithering over digital strategy

The Science and Technology Committee has today slammed the UK government for dragging its feet in releasing a digital strategy, now more than a year late. In a letter to digital minister Matt Hancock, the chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, Stephen Metcalfe, said he was "disappointed" by the "continued absence of …
Kat Hall, 13 Jan 2017
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Outage-hit Lloyds Bank in talks to outsource data centres to IBM

Exclusive In the week that Lloyds Banking Group suffered multiple outages, it has emerged the UK financial giant is negotiating to outsource management of its bit barns to IBM Global Business Services. Online services were interrupted on Wednesday and Thursday by unspecified technical glitches that prevented people from logging into …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jan 2017
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

IT spending to soar a whopping 2.7 per cent, says ball-rubber Gartner

Clairvoyant Gartner has once again dusted off the crystal ball in its quarterly global IT spend divination ritual to predict a 2.7 per cent year-on-year increase in 2017. Companies are due to splash $3.5tr (£2.87tr) on IT this year, globally, although that is down from its previous projection of three per cent. Worldwide …
Kat Hall, 12 Jan 2017
cloud

IT ops doesn't matter. Really?

Listen to some DevOps evangelists talk, and you would get the impression that IT operations teams exist only to serve the needs of developers. Don't get me wrong, software development is a good competence to have in-house if your organisation depends on custom applications and services to differentiate its business. As an ex- …
Dale Vile, 19 Dec 2016
Man shouting the news from a rolled up newspaper

HPE: We're 'opening floodgates' for Synergy orders... a year after launch

Hewlett Packard Enteprise's composable infrastructure is going into mainstream distribution in January, a year after the covers were first lifted off the machine – with some added fluffy white stuff and hyper-converged extensions. Synergy was made public at HPE's Discover event in London in December 2015. It offers IT bosses a …
Paul Kunert, 29 Nov 2016
bear_cub_with_salmon

Yeah, that '50bn IoT devices by 2020' claim is a load of dog toffee

The Internet of Things is mostly a hype bubble, with real-world spending and deployments being just a fraction of their predicted level, according to a report by analysts IDTechEx. While spending on IoT runs to "billions yearly", the cost of buying and installing actual IoT networks "is much more modest, contrary to heroic …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Nov 2016
Cloudy shopping trolley in the sky (representing cloud sales/procurement). Photo by Shutterstock

The cloud is not new. What we are doing with it is

Sysadmin blog In the 10 years since the modern form of public cloud computing went mainstream, it has changed the entire industry's approach to IT. In response, IT's top vendors have had to change as well. Like any technology, however, the public cloud has adapted, evolved, and become something much different than was ever originally …
Trevor Pott, 25 Oct 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Glued-shut IT wallets hindered UK govt's programmes – study

Efforts by the previous UK government to rein in lavish Whitehall technology spending caused more harm than good in some instances. That's according to a new academic paper, titled Identifying the critical success factors for major government projects that incorporate IT or “digital” developments. It builds upon two …
Kat Hall, 21 Oct 2016

Data integrity and failover in the hybrid cloud

Discussions of information security tend to revolve around keeping confidential information confidential: preventing intruders from compromising the protection of the systems and gaining access to data they're not entitled to see. But there's more to security than just keeping information secret: it's a three-pronged concept. …
Dave Cartwright, 19 Oct 2016
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Adding trendy tech SIEM to a hybrid computing setup

As I write this, Security Information and Event Monitoring is considered rather hip and cool. Everyone's talking about it, and the vendors of SIEM software are promoting the life out of it. The thought process that prompts consideration of SIEM is: “No matter what I do to protect myself, an attack is possible so I need to pre- …
Dave Cartwright, 14 Oct 2016
Shouting match

Desktop budget wrangles: Whose device is it anyway?

“Giving away budget never felt so good." Those were the words of an IT manager attending one of our roundtables recently. But why was he so happy about losing control of a chunk of his IT funding? The topic of the roundtable was end user computing, and he was explaining how the annual budget negotiations around desktop …
Dale Vile, 12 Oct 2016

How does a hybrid infrastructure fit my accreditations?

Security-related certifications such as ISO 27001 and, more particularly, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), have stringent requirements regarding the controls on infrastructure, how data is routed and stored around it, and so on. Particularly in the cloud components of a hybrid setup, the control you …
Dave Cartwright, 06 Oct 2016

World spent US$7.7bn on cloud in Q2, and that was during a lull

World spent US$7.7b on cloud in Q2, and that was during a soon-to-end lull in construction of hyperscale data centres. So says market-watcher IDC, which in its new Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker says sales of servers, switches and storage destined for use in public and private clouds grew by 14.5 per cent …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Oct 2016
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Avoid the dreaded auditor's smirk: Smart policies and procedures for the hybrid cloud

When you get to a certain age, and you've been in the IT industry for enough years, you start to get an idea of what auditors are looking for when they descend on you and ask you pointed questions about your systems. And I don't just mean security auditors: if your company has an annual financial audit the team which comes to …
Dave Cartwright, 04 Oct 2016
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Roll over Beethoven: HPE Synergy compositions oughta get Meg singing for joy

Comment HPE's Synergy is, it thinks, the next great advance in servers and is far more capable than hyper-converged infrastructure systems, being able to provision bare metal as well as servers for virtual workloads as well as containerised ones. Getting a grip on this beast is tricky. Is it a form of dynamically reconfigurable …
Chris Mellor, 03 Oct 2016
Cloud server room. Photo by Shutterstock

Big data and the cloud: It's not even that scary

Sysadmin blog Once all the marketing is cleared away, just what is big data, and how does it help real businesses of all sizes? Marketing would have us believe that big data is new, huge, terrifying, complicated, impossible without their help and yet will deliver unmatched benefits. Like many things in tech, however, big data is really just …
Trevor Pott, 30 Sep 2016
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Microsoft's chums Dell, HPE and Lenovo give Azure Stack a shout-out

Cloud isn’t what it used to be. Amazon’s AWS began life like open source, with the same net result: a developer secret that became an infrastructure fact. Well, the days of furtive downloads are dead and the suits are coming. Microsoft demonstrated that last month, letting people down by saying Azure Stack won’t be something …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Sep 2016
Windows Server

Windows Server 2016 will cost more on big servers, but discounts can be found

Windows Server 2016 has finally been shoved out the door today, albeit only for evaluation purposes. Which is a very good thing because the software will cost a lot of users more than they paid for Windows Server 2012, especially if they're slow to talk to Microsoft about their upgrade. Microsoft revealed its Windows Server …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Sep 2016

Official: Cloud computing is now mainstream

Cloud computing is so mainstream these days that maybe it should just be called “computing”. That’s what an IDC survey of 6,100 organisations in 31 countries, released today, indicates, with 68 per cent of respondents using public, private or hybrid cloud in their IT mix. This is a 60 per cent jump from 42 per cent of …
Drew Cullen, 20 Sep 2016

The perimeterless, ever-shifting enterprise: What would a real, red-blooded IT team do?

If you work in a manufacturing, plant measuring productivity is simple: you measure the number of widgets produced in a given time frame. A person in this environment must not be the one holding up the production line. Nothing more, nothing less. But what does productivity mean for less tangible "knowledge work" occupations such …
Trevor Pott, 19 Sep 2016

Hybrid infrastructure: You did it. You switched over. Now lock it down. Yes, really

Hybrid infrastructures – where you combine on-premise equipment with systems that sit in a public cloud installation – have their own particular foibles when it comes to management. It's really not so hard, though – here are 10 things to think about when you're looking at the security aspects of managing your hybrid world. …
Dave Cartwright, 19 Sep 2016
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Exploding public cloud just getting bigger, will be worth $200bn in 2016 – Gartner

The global public cloud services market is set to grow by more than 17 per cent in 2016. According to Gartner, cloud services were worth $178bn in 2015. This is set to increase to $208.6bn in 2016, higher than the nominal GDP of Portugal. This growth will be driven by cloud system infrastructure services, which are projected …
keyboard with 'Help' key

Dear sysadmin: This is how you stay relevant

Sysadmin blog Who are the sysadmins of tomorrow? Are they today's sysadmins, evolved? Or are they something new – a different breed of administrator that looks at the world differently, lacking the biases of those who built their careers hugging servers? Anything that touches even tangentially on hot-button fear topics like job security is …
Trevor Pott, 15 Sep 2016

Microsoft to slap Slack with Skype – reports

A report – and a job ad – have popped up suggesting that in the wake of its aborted multi-billion-dollar Slack acquisition, Microsoft's gearing up to roll Slack-like capabilities into Skype. News that Skype will slack off broke at MS Power User. While The Register can't verify the details in that post, it's clear that …
Delta Airlines, photo by Lerner Vadim via Shutterstock

Delta computer outage costs $100m

Last month's computer outage at US airline Delta cost the company around $100m, its CEO has admitted. In a financial statement, Delta's boss Ed Bastian said that the disruption was caused by a power outage in Atlanta and led to more than 2,300 flights being cancelled over a three-day period. While in purely financial terms the …
Iain Thomson, 06 Sep 2016

A quarter of banks' data breaches are down to lost phones and laptops

One in four breaches (25.3 per cent) in the US financial services sector over recent years were due to lost or stolen devices, according to a new study. Cloud security firm Bitglass further reports that one in five recorded breaches over the last 10 years were the result of hacking. More than 60 financial sector organisations …
John Leyden, 25 Aug 2016
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Your colleagues will lie to you: An enterprise architect's life

Enterprise Architects … well, among other things they design and build corporate infrastructures. It's very easy, though, for these highly technical masters of electronic wizardry to concentrate on making the technology work at the expense of the more tedious corporate governance stuff. Here are my favourite five things that …
Dave Cartwright, 10 Aug 2016
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Hybrid cloud: Deciding the right mix for your workloads

Blog Anyone who's read much of what I write for The Reg will know that I'm a believer in hybrid cloud – using the cloud for some elements of your world whilst retaining components on-premises too. But precisely which elements? We'll look at how you might decide what belongs where: on-premises, in the private cloud, or in the public …
Dave Cartwright, 09 Aug 2016
Two execs in a server room. Has to have happened some time heh. Photo by Shutterstock

No supercomputer cash? Time for a systems squeeze

Many companies have, understandably, a burning desire to learn things from their data. There's a cost and this manifests itself in one – or, frequently both – of two forms: money and time. Big data equals big storage and big processing power, and both of those equate to a financial cost. (And yes, we could go into the idea of …
Dave Cartwright, 08 Aug 2016
Hand holds green tea and sweetpotato soft serve ice cream cone. Looks delicious if you didn't know about the flavours though. Photo by Shutterstock

Bimodal IT: Let the backlash begin

Gartner defines Bimodal IT as: “the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility. Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is exploratory and nonlinear, emphasizing agility and speed”. I find myself more than a little …
Dave Cartwright, 05 Aug 2016
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Ready for the Internet of Things big data firehose?

Today’s cities, transportation networks and even theme parks are filling up with wireless sensors designed to sniff, hear and feel what’s going on in their environment. They’re generating an unprecedented amount of data on everything from temperature to rainfall, vibration and location, and they’re sending it all back to central …
Danny Bradbury, 04 Aug 2016
An eraser

OK, we've got your data. But we really want to delete it ASAP

Storage is a big deal for IT people and beancounters alike. For the IT team the story is pretty consistent: there's never quite enough, and the users seem to eat it up and an amazing rate. For the finance team it's a seemingly endless queue of IT people asking for funds for yet more storage because the rate of growth in stored …
Dave Cartwright, 02 Aug 2016
Cloudy shopping trolley in the sky (representing cloud sales/procurement). Photo by Shutterstock

You’ve left too many VMs lying about. You’re a very naughty boy

There’s no doubt about it: cloud computing is a leveller, both outside organisations and in. But do we really want a free-for-all democracy in which anyone can procure anything at will? And if not, how do we stop it? Back in the day, the operations staff held the keys to the kingdom. They got to decide who got what hardware, …
Danny Bradbury, 01 Aug 2016
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Why Big Business is usually last to the party

Big businesses tend to be exceptionally risk averse. There's a general reluctance to adopt new, bleeding-edge technology because the priority – understandably – is to be able to maintain productivity. Small companies can live with the occasional glitch in systems – a couple of dozen people without email for a couple of hours …
Dave Cartwright, 29 Jul 2016
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Hyperconvergence: Designing for failure

Hyperconvergence is one of those relatively new names for something that many of us having been doing for years: consolidating sprawling infrastructures into tight, largely virtualized setups that vastly reduce the number of devices one has to manage (not to mention the number of things to spend maintenance fees on, and the …
Dave Cartwright, 28 Jul 2016
Man relaxes, stretches out, outs his feet up on a cloud.... Fun but hammy stock pic. Photo by Shutterstock

Getting comfortable with cloud-based security: Whom to trust to do what

There are some bits of computing that you just don’t want to trust other people with. They’re just too sensitive. But at the same time, there are some things that people can do as well or better than you, for a lower cost. Finding a balance between the two can be tricky, but useful. Take cybersecurity as an example. It’s …
Danny Bradbury, 27 Jul 2016
Homer Simpson

Data's democratisation: Because there's no doh in Type 0

There has been a slow but steady democratisation of business intelligence (BI) and data science over the years with Excel (and PowerPivot), through introduction of self-service BI and growth of R as the language of choice for statistics. For those from a traditional programming background, Python has become the analytical …
Andrew Cobley, 26 Jul 2016

By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

Without much fanfare, the Semiconductor Industry Association earlier this month published a somewhat-bleak assessment of the future of Moore's Law – and at the same time, called “last drinks” on its decades-old International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The industry's been putting together the roadmap every …
Verne Global data centre server racks from above

UK councils refuse to push data into the cloud

The majority of the UK's local councils run two or more data centres each, suggesting cloudy adoption is still a long way off for local gov, according to Freedom of Information research. Requests sent to the UK's 100 largest local authorities revealed that two-thirds of councils run at least two bit barns and store 90 per cent …
Kat Hall, 21 Jul 2016

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