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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
A US police officer smiles while standing in front of her patrol car. Photo by Shutterstock

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
wrecked cargo ship abandoned on sea bay. pHOTO BY shUTTERSTOCK

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

UK's digital strategy must account for Brexit, say MPs

The UK government must explain how its long-awaited new digital strategy will be impacted by the country's decision to leave the EU, a committee of MPs has said. The Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee in the UK parliament made the call in a new report on the digital economy in which it also said there is a need to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Jul 2016
Docker logo

Containers rated more secure than conventional apps

Containers are more secure than apps running on a bare OS and organisations that like not being hacked therefore need to seriously consider a move, according to analyst firm Gartner. Analyst Jeorg Fritsch, in a new document titled How to Secure Docker Containers in Operation says “Gartner asserts that applications deployed in …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2016
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Clouds will gather again after wispy Q1, says IDC

The cloud infrastructure market dipped in the first quarter of 2016, but analyst outfit IDC reckons the full-year result will be much brighter, with the segment slated to pass US$37 billion for the full year. IDC's cloud infrastructure forecast for 2016 According to the Prognosticator's Patent Difference Engine, clouds are …
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Linux cloudy tie ups: SUSE and Microsoft, Canonical and Pivotal

It's a big week for Linux cloud tie-ups, with SUSE and Microsoft expanding their partnership, and Canonical becoming Pivotal's preferred operating system in Cloud Foundry. In the SUSE/Microsoft deal, the Linux outfit joins two Redmond programs: the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance, and the its test drive program. The …
linux_tux_cloud_648

Linux letting go: 32-bit builds on the way out

Major Linux distributions are in agreement: it's time to stop developing new versions for 32-bit processors. Simply: it's a waste of time, both to create the 32-bit port, and to keep 32-bit hardware around to test it on. At the end of June, Ubuntu developer Dimitri Ledkov chipped into the debate with this mailing list post, …
Bad tech buyers

This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!

An unnamed local council has entered the hall of shame for making the most eye-watering tech purchase of 2015 - coughing up a 1095 per cent margin on an SD memory card. This is according to the annual poll of 200 procurement heads from 24 industries by pricing bench markers KnowledgeBus, which found average margins paid had …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jun 2016
Metal plant grows out of circuit board - Green IT concept pic. Photo by Shutterstock

Hyperscale cloud operators are saving the planet

Once upon a decade ago, green computing was a big thing. Nowadays it is an actual thing, thanks to the usual suspects: virtualization and cloud computing. Take for example, the United States' data centres: collectively they chewed up about 70 billion kWH in 2014, about 1.8 per cent of total US consumption, according to a June …
Drew Cullen, 28 Jun 2016

VMware aims high with a little help from its friends

VMware's extensive ecosystem has been a massive part of its success, as demonstrated by the fact that even when server virtualisation looked like a reason to stop buying servers it created an opportunity for Intel to make virtualisation sing and arguably left Chipzilla making more coin from virtualisation than VMware itself. …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jun 2016
Cartoon - Private SNAFU

TWELVE YEARS of US Air Force complaints lost in database crash

The US Air Force Inspector General is investigating the corruption of around 100,000 investigation records, and presumably someone's asking hard questions about backups. Corruption in the database happened last month, but has only just come to light after both the USAF and Lockheed Martin threw in the towel on trying to …
2x2 Rubik's cube

MBE? Pah! Gartner gurus made us an MQ L

Gartner’s magic quadrant-producing gurus have awarded Commvault the data centre backup and recovery Iron Throne. They have also added Veeam to the Leader’s quadrant and severely pruned the niche player section, following a market criteria review, in "response to Gartner client requests to focus more on backup and recovery …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jun 2016
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Hackers targeting SWIFT banks also targeted US moneymen: Hedge funds at risk

The Lazarus Group of hackers, blamed for a recent run of attacks against mainly Asian banks linked through the SWIFT network, is now suspected of targeting a mid-market US bank. Evidence uncovered by threat detection firm eSentire suggests that the Lazarus crew (which is also the chief suspect in the 2014 Sony Pictures hack) …
John Leyden, 13 Jun 2016
Profits down, image via Shutterstock

Cisco drags down the Ethernet switch market, routers grow a little

The Ethernet market remains limp, with IDC's first-quarter data showing a mere 1.4 per cent increase compared with the first quarter of 2015. By contrast, the number-cruncher reckons the router market expanded by a still-disappointing 3.3 per cent. The only Ethernet geography to show double-digit growth was the Asia Pacific, …
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

Anaemic hyperscale orders hurt server makers in Q1

A pause in hyper-scale deployments has triggered the first year-on-year decline in seven quarters for global server shipments and revenues. Also a “clear end to the enterprise refresh cycle” contributed to the Q1, 2016 slow down, according to IDC, the tech market watcher. In essence, Q1 2015 revenues were flattered by a major …
Drew Cullen, 02 Jun 2016
Amazon data center

Server makers love Intel Xeons (true) - but not the price tag

Amazon, Google and other giant cloud companies are buying server CPUs in huge numbers, helping to increase global shipments in 2016 for x86 and ARM server class microprocessor by 3.5 per cent to 22.9 million shipments. Strong demand means rising average selling prices (ASPs) - up 25 per cent between 2010 and 2015 - and revenue …
Drew Cullen, 01 Jun 2016
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'Australia tax' doesn't apply to Azure

Microsoft is offering unintentional discounts to Azure users. The discounts are available if you pre-pay for a year of Azure. If you do so, Microsoft kindly trims your bill by five per cent once you spend a certain amount. If you're billed in US Dollars, that threshold spend is US$6,000. If you choose another currency, …
Simon Sharwood, 31 May 2016
Containers

The B-side of storage containerisation

Blog B as in back-end, of course... My attraction to this technology started when it was first introduced on Sun Solaris and I had the opportunity to work with it. Now, of course, it is more appealing and portable than back in 2005. Indeed containers are quickly becoming one of the most compelling revolutions to hit IT in the last …
firing range - target in cross hairs

ICSA Labs wants IoT industry to seek security certification

The venerable ICSA Laboratories – these days a subsidiary of Verizon – has added Internet of Things certification to its cyber security certification. Whether it's got any chance of success is anybody's guess. While the world is trying to catch up with the idea that a security camera might need to be configured with something …
floppies

US nuke arsenal runs on 1970s IBM 'puter waving 8-inch floppies

A US Government Accounting Office (GAO) report has highlighted the parlous state of Uncle Sam's IT infrastructure. As an example, the computer used to coordinate America's nuclear forces is an IBM Series/1 that uses eight‑inch floppy disks capable of storing about 80KB of data each. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department is …
Iain Thomson, 25 May 2016
50 of your British pounds. Photo by Shutterstock

UK.gov preparing to lob up to £4 BEEELLION at commodity tech

The government’s official procurement arm, Crown Commercial Services, has coughed the contract notice for a multi-year mega framework for commodity tech valued between £2bn and £4bn. The Technology Products 2 buying vehicle is set to go live in November, replacing the previous iteration, which launched in the same month back …
Paul Kunert, 24 May 2016
Green data centre

Your next server will be a box full of connected stuff, not a server

Servers are about to devolve into bespoke collections of compute and storage, says Gartner veep and distinguished analyst Andrew Butler. Speaking last week's Infrastructure Operations & Data Centre Summit in Sydney, Butler said the days of buying a server to handle a specific workload are nearly gone. Instead, you'll soon shop …
Simon Sharwood, 23 May 2016

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