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Dave Cartwright

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Dave Cartwright has worked in most aspects of IT in his 20-year-or-so career, though the things he claims to be quite good at are strategy, architecture, integration and making broken stuff become unbroken. His main pastime is shouting at people who try to install technology without considering whether it actually fits the business or the requirement. Dave is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of the BCS, and lives with his family on a small rock in the English Channel.

Is it the right time to virtualize?

Picture the scene. You’ve run your legacy infrastructure into the ground. You bought it six or seven years ago with a view to depreciating the hardware over four years, or perhaps even three, so it’s done its time and then some. Now it’s starting to get flakier than you can live with, and as your channel partner’s spares supply …
Skip full of rubbish outside an office building. Photo via SHUTTERSTOCK

Legacy clearout? Not all at once, surely. Keeping tech up to snuff in an SMB

“Legacy” is a word that we tend to associate with big companies. After all, they’re the ones who have vast piles of equipment that go out of date in no time at all but require big money and big projects to replace them with modern stuff. Not that they all do the updates, mind you: I have an entertaining photo I took the other …
Hipster with laptop photo via Shutterstock

BYOD might be a hipster honeypot but it's rarely worth the extra hassle

I have a confession: I've fallen out of love with Bring Your Own Device. Over the years, I've worked with, and administered, a number of BYOD schemes. I've even written positive things about BYOD. After all, what was not to love? Users providing the mobile equipment and the company not needing to worry about maintaining the …
Cat in a small box photo via Shutterstock

Small businesses: GDPR affects you, too

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on May 25 2018, enforcing a strict set of new rules concerning privacy and data security and imposing strict penalties on violators. Enterprises are having a tough enough time coping with it. How will small businesses with fewer in-house IT and legal resources …
Dave Cartwright, 26 Sep 2017
Business: Stressed man with pile of paperwork works against the clock

Tick, tock motherf... erm, we mean, don't panic over GDPR

Welcome back from the summer. Feeling refreshed? Good, now let’s talk General Data Protection Regulation from the European Union, due to swing into effect on May 25, 2018. You now have eight months to get your data infrastructure, tech policies and related procedures ship-shape. Not feeing so refreshed now, are you? Plenty of …
Dave Cartwright, 14 Sep 2017
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So you're already in the cloud but need to come back down to Earth

We generally think of a transformation to a hybrid infrastructure as one where you're going from a completely private setup to one that spans the public cloud and your private installation. But what if you started life as a small company with your systems entirely in the cloud? It's not an unusual approach, as running up your …
Cat peeks outside cardboard box. Photo by shuttertsock

A big ask for any nerd, but going outside (your usual data sets) can be good for you

So, you want to be data driven. About time too. It amazes me to watch companies basing their forecasts on experience, assumption and instinct when their storage area networks are teeming with data that they could use to make what they do more scientific. It seems obvious that you would use the data you hold to make your …

So much data, so little time: How to not flip your wig processing it

Working with data can be a pain in the butt. You do it because you need to, and because there's value in it – data-driven enterprises thrive on being able to eke as much concrete information as possible out of the stuff in order to maximise efficiency and attack the market share of the competition. But data is complicated and …

Rolling in personally identifiable data? It's a bit of a minefield if you don't keep your feet

The world – well, Europe at least – is going potty about the impending new General Data Protection Regulation. If I signed up to every data protection seminar invitation in my inbox I'd have no hours left in the day to work... or drink or sleep, for that matter. So it's easy to forget that data protection legislation has existed …
Dave Cartwright, 31 Aug 2017
CES 1980: telly it like it is

They say 'quality over quantity,' but quantifying IT performance is a good shout too

Every year in living memory I’ve sat in the obligatory “how to complete your annual goals in the HR system” meeting, and each time I’ve been told: make sure you make your objectives “SMART” – Specific, Measurable, Achievable and so on. Our HR cousins have been telling us this for years, and yet we seem to continue to measure …
Dave Cartwright, 30 Aug 2017

So you're planning on outsourcing some enterprise security

It makes sense to have a solid collection of security expertise within your organisation. And in fact most of us do: security is so core to most of what we do in IT that it’s a standard part of the syllabus for all the courses we do on, say, router configuration or Windows administration. These courses always have security …
Dave Cartwright, 23 Aug 2017
Computer worm photo via Shutterstock

Yeah, WannaCry hit Windows, but what about the WannaCry of apps?

WannaCrypt crippled 230,000 Windows PCs internationally, hitting unpatched Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 and computers still running Microsoft's seriously old Windows XP, though the latter wasn't responsible for its spread. The initial reaction was a predictable rush to patch Microsoft’s legacy desktop operating systems. …
Dave Cartwright, 20 Jul 2017
Surprised man computer photo via Shutterstock

Feelin' safe and snug on Linux while the Windows world burns? Stop that

The ransomware problems reported by The Reg over the past few weeks are enough to make you, er, wanna cry. Yet all that's happened is that known issues with Windows machines – desktop and server – have now come to everyone's attention and the bandwidth out of Microsoft's Windows Update servers has likely increased a bit relative …

Who's going to dig you out of a security hole when the time comes?

You may have noticed that information security is something of a big deal these days. You’ll also not have missed that the attackers’ capabilities are far ahead of those of us trying to defend our systems against them. For many people, and maybe you, it makes sense to fill that knowledge and skills gap by bringing in a support …
Cat in a box, image via Shutterstock

Performance anxiety: A different take on 'hybrid infrastructure'

One commonly thinks, when the word "hybrid" is used, of an infrastructure that combines on-premise (or at least private data centre) and public cloud. But "hybrid" also works in the other direction - across the heterogeneous systems within a particular location. It is rare for an organisation to base itself entirely on one …
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Ransomware realities: In your normal life, strangers don't extort you. But here you are

As "trendy" as ransomware is at the moment, it's a sobering thought when you remind yourself that in this case you're literally having to deal with some miscreant holding your data to ransom. In practical terms, when your systems become infected, the malware encodes your files using a strong encryption algorithm, and leaves …
Dave Cartwright, 30 May 2017
Shouting match

'The internet is slow'... How to keep users happy, get more work done

IT services are rubbish. It’s a fact of life – or at least it is in the eyes of the average user. Of course the nature of IT is that you get far more negative feedback than you do positive: you seldom get people calling the IT service desk to say: “Hey, my webmail is superb today”. But people wouldn’t be phoning if everything …
Dave Cartwright, 23 May 2017
Under a blanket photo via Shutterstock

WannaCrypt: Roots, reasons and why scramble patching won't save you now

I became a Solaris system administrator in the 1990s: first proper job out of university. I read a lot about the Morris Worm – believed to be the first of its type, and of interest to me because the Sun-3 kit I looked after was vulnerable. Not long after, I was asked to take part in a radio interview about the "scary" new …
Dave Cartwright, 19 May 2017
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Insuring against a future financial crisis

There’s nothing quite like a nice, juicy financial crisis to wake up the regulators’ rule-setters, psych up the lawmakers and get the lawyers sharpening their quill pens and breaking out a fresh bottle of Quink. And so it seems to have been proven since the financial car crash of the mid to late noughties, with the appearance of …
Dave Cartwright, 27 Apr 2017
Base jumper photo via Shutterstock

Don't stop me! Why Microsoft's inevitable browser irrelevance isn't

May's nearly here, and you know what that means. Yet another round of monthly browser stats articles. If past trends are an indication of future development, we'll see the continued loss of market share by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and the rise and rise of Google’s Chrome. I’m old enough to remember the browser wars of the …
Dave Cartwright, 26 Apr 2017
Broken cables, photo via Shutterstock

Have we got a new, hip compound IT phrase for you! Enter... UserDev

Users are those strange creatures who break the computer you put on their desks, and for whom software that has worked perfectly in the test lab suddenly decides to crash. I used to share an office with the most amazing user of all, who could slay the most stable code with just a flourish of the mouse: I'd never seen a …
Dave Cartwright, 20 Apr 2017
Skip full of rubbish outside an office building. Photo via SHUTTERSTOCK

How to breathe new life into your legacy kit now you've gone hybrid

Several things change when you decide to move from an in-house technology setup to a hybrid infrastructure. And if part of the move involves relocating services and applications from the on-premises installation into the cloud, one of those changes is that some equipment suddenly becomes underemployed. If you decided to make …
Dave Cartwright, 19 Apr 2017

So, you're 'ISO 27001 accredited', huh? Just saying so doesn't cut it

ISO/IEC 27001:2013 is more commonly known simply as "ISO 27001". It is, as the ISO website puts it, "the best-known standard in the family providing requirements for an information security management system". On the other hand, many businesses think it is a highly complex, unattainable standard – and a pain in the backside – …
Dave Cartwright, 18 Apr 2017
Heartbeat graph

Graphite core? There are other ways to monitor your operation's heart

The BBC and NHS epitomise enterprise: the BBC has 23,000 staff while the NHS is one of the world's largest employers, with 1.4 million. Their IT estate is vast and central to the delivery of their services. The BBC's iPlayer is on the front line in a world of on-demand TV defined by Netflix, and among its layered infrastructure …
Dave Cartwright, 13 Apr 2017
business meeting, debate over data. Photo by shutterstock

The 'data driven enterprise' is actually just the enterprise

Many, many moons ago – OK, more than 25 years ago – I studied computing science at university. Yet there are still many instances in my modern life where I find myself thinking back to something I was taught in the 1980s. One recent example was a flurry of conversations and articles about the “data driven” enterprise. Back in …
Dave Cartwright, 27 Mar 2017

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