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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4452 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Is FCoE faster than Fibre Channel? Who knows? Just run your own tests

Trevor_Pott
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Okay, simple reason that iSCSI can be bad? When the pipes reach saturation iSCSI can turn into a pumpkin. It doesn't degrade gracefully. That's pretty much it in a nutshell right there. And even that depends entirely on your implementation.

FC is both less likely to fully saturate any given link and it degrades better if the link does become saturated.

That said, I have successfully used iSCSI over 30Mbit WAN in emergency scenarios and had it work fine. I wouldn't do that except in emergency, but iSCSI has come a heck of a long way.

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Re: just Bing "SMB v3"

I suspect that's because Google knows you all to well, AC, and has customized itself to deliver you results as crappy as the rest of the world gets with Bing. Once you're used to meilie pap, it's hard to adjust to steak.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go hunt a bunch of Windows error codes and look for patches on Microsoft.com For that I'll need Google, because if there's one thing Bing can't do worth a bent damn, it's search Microsoft's own web properties.

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Re: just Bing "SMB v3"

Not for me. First page is a blog with nothing but marketing pap and no meat. http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2012/04/19/smb-2-2-is-now-smb-3-0.aspx

Maybe you were using Google instead? I know it's hard to tell the difference, but here's the clue: Google's the one that works.

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@AC

When you're starting from "zero" it's not hard to make a graph look like you're "accelerating." It's also not hard - if you're Cisco - to make stupid amounts of money for something that isn't as good as the competition. Vendor inertia + pressure sales = victory. That has piss all to do with what's the most appropriate technology and everything to do with lies, damned lies and luncheons.

Side note: please explain to me why I, as a business owner, am interested in having all of my data go through a single wire? If I am speed constrained there may be a case to be made for getting a faster network port, but there are a lot more factors to consider than just speed.

Redundancy, for one. I am not fond of the idea that some putz could come along, unplug a single cable and annihilate my entire datacenter. For that matter, how does a pipe the size of the universe itself help me if the widgets on either end don't go that fast?

Speed = eleventy billion only matters if you subscribe to the notion that life is better with great big hierarchical north-south networks with storage at the bottom, all centralized and bottlenecked. Newsflash: it's 2014. We go east-west now. Fabrics are the new black and Cisco is playing catchup.

Decentralized and dynamic is good, for a number of reasons. Expandability, capital cost, and redundancy are the big ones. FCoE could be a part of this great new world, but at the moment Cisco's implementation isn't. I think we'll see a lot of traction yet from more numerous smaller, slower storage deployments that are connected more widely east-west than a great big fat pipe heading southward to a single point of storage failure.

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@Nate Amsden

Bang on analysis. Insightful, accurate...truly top quality. You should package that up and send it in to Drew, get it posted as an article and get paid for it, sir.

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just Bing "SMB v3"

...so you don't get access to any technical information, get frustrated, and have to Google it to learn anything useful?

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The UNTOLD SUCCESS of Microsoft: Yes, it's Windows 7

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Re: If you got a computer you don't buy Windows 8.

I think, senor douchepopsicle, that it has more to do with a stylus being a miserable thing to use whilst up a 10m ladder, on a boat, at a crowded event and so forth. They get lost easily. Even if strapped to the unit, they are far harder to use than touch screens.

We're not talking about doodling while you're sitting at some sprog's recital, pretending to care. We're talking about usage in the field. There's a reason pre-iPad tablets were niche, and why iPad's are exploding in business usage today.

I happen to rather adore my Fujitsu P1510d. I use a Galaxy Note 2 for my phone. Both are great device, but they - like a Microsoft Surface - aren't fit for the purposes required by my clients for computing in the field.

Microsoft is legacy. Deal with it, and move on. There's more important stuff in life. It's just a company. Someone else's company. Who cares?

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Re: If you got a computer you don't buy Windows 8.

">>If you get a pad you don't get one with Windows 8. Why would you?

Because you use it for work, not just for Netflix, email and web-browsing. Just make sure it's not the RT version!"

Oh, yeah, because "work" apps are optimized for being pawed at like primitives. Not. If I'm lucky, they're web apps. in which case any old tablet will do. If they are modern enough to be touch-optimized, they're coded for iOS (and mayyyyyyybe Android), not Windows.

If you use a tablet for work use you're using an iPad. If you are using a tablet for home use it's probably Android. There's no room there for Windows. The only thing it offers is the ability to run legacy Win32 apps that aren't touch optimized in the first place.

That's what RDP is for.

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Another day, another VDI appliance: ScaleIO intros Nytro-driven kit

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Is this one a bit slow

.72 seconds if they are booting sequentially. Not if they are booting in parallel. Booting sequentially? Impressive. In parallel? Not.

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Re: Is this one a bit slow

Yeah, 1000 VDI instances in 10 minutes doesn't impress me at all. There's something wrong with their config. They should be able to get better than that from a Nytro backend if they were using any form of host-based flash caching whatsoever. Proximal Data front-ending a CacheCade array could do better, for cheaper. Atlantis' ILIO would fucking destroy that figure with room to spare. To say nothing about ILIO USX!

Why is this considered special, other than that it looks like yet another mediocre attempt by VMware to rip off the ideas of a partner? It looks like they've done what VMware always do and rip the ideas off badly and then charge $virgins.

Guess it's aimed at those with sloped foreheads who buy based only on brand.

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Re: Smells like Nutanix

If that were the case, VMware and EMC would have done something underhanded, like telling Nutanix they weren't welcome at PEX in order to kneecap competition and attempt to prevent them from responding questions about direct comparisons. Oh, they did? Hmm.

Well, then I think it's safe to conclude that VMware has decided to once again rip off ideas and intellectual property from their own partners then proceed to act in an anti-compeitive manner and otherwise be complete fuckbags. Shocked? Less and less every day...

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Google's SECRET contracts: Android lock-in REVEALED!

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Re: Sooooo

"http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/02/neither-microsoft-nokia-nor-anyone-else-should-fork-android-its-unforkable/"

Without clicking the link, based on nothing more than the title, I'm going to say this is written by Peter Bright.

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Re: Moderator note

Apple's based on BSD. Microsoft incorporated some BSD code. Open source is everywhere. Basing your platform on it isn't inherently bad, or leads to ultimate evil.

Buying into any ecosystem without realizing that it only takes one douchepopsicle in the right place at the right time to ruin for everyone, however, is just naivete.

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Microsoft gets with the times, builds two-factor authentication into Office 365

Trevor_Pott
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"When you add up staff, license, datacentre and infrastructure costs of Office, Exchange, SharePoint and Lync and look at TCO, it's always cheaper for SMEs to move to Office 365."

Bullshit. I run these numbers regularly, and you are absolutely, utterly and completely incorrect. You also presume that an SME would want all the features listed, which I find rarely the case. Sharepoint - as just one example - is not exactly well-loved. You are spouting nothing but lies and propaganda.

Very on message though, I'll give you that.

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Re: Does it need to be 'always on' 2FA ?

Um, the whole point of cloud computing is so that I don't have to have all this jigger-poo at the office. I run a company where all my employees work from home. They have personal PCs and VMs at home which they use all the time for logging on to things, and there is no reason they should need 2FA to log in. Passwords go into lastpass and that's that.

There is no domain to speak of. Collaboration and so forth is handled by the marvels of Teamviewer and Teamdrive. Host your own damned storage and the NSA can go straight to the special hell.

Anything that isn't one of those systems should require 2FA. Can't you integrate with lastpass so that a system that's logging in using lastpass can bypass 2FA? Or write a browser plugin that identifies a given system such that it can be "registered" with Office 365 and not need 2FA?

I can do this elsewhere. I kinda thought Microsoft would be ahead of the curve. :(

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Re: He's got a point though

"LOL, that's funny. I do hope you were not serious?

If you had actually used both products you would know that whilst having working basic functionality, those alternative Office products are at least a decade behind Microsoft Office in terms of capabilities and functionality...I can't actually think of a single thing that is 'much better' or even 'better' other than the price. But then you get what you pay for...."

I can't think of a single thing that I need in an office package which Office 2003 or LibreOffice don't provide. What is in Office 2013 that I might require? A terrible UI and a distracting set of animations that introduce latency?

Come on now, marketdroid, quick to the button with features I actually care about and would use. I write things for a living, so do your job and convince me that I need to update the tools underpinning my livelihood. This should be an easy sell...shouldn't it?

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"If you want to host your own service in house that's fine. You buy the hardware and storage, software licenses, backup capacity, resilience, support, etc. If you add up what that costs to provide anywhere near the same level of availability then cloud starts to make sense."

I do the math on different cloud offerings at least twice a day as part of my job. I have yet to see a single one of them that offers a better TCO over the standard 6-year replacement cycle of an SME. In fact, most don't come out cheaper even against the mythical 3-year replacement cycles touted to be de rigeur amongst those with too much cash to splash.

We'll not even talk about the growing number of individuals and businesses that cheerfully go 10 years between refreshes. It's obvious by now that cloud vendors don't even consider those folks "people".

The cloud isn't cheaper. It is sometimes more convenient. The tradeoff (apart from the increased cost) is that the cloud has a nasty tendency to put the ruinous power in the hands of those with Dunning-Kruger syndrome. Have fun with that all.

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SME storage challengers emerge one feature at a time

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Re: Research

"You''re suggesting other products are toys or inadequate in some way based on rumour, lack of research and out of date information."

They are inadequate, for the target market I described. HP's 3Par arrays, with all the knobs turned to 11, butcher anything that Synology, Qnap or anyone else could field. But doing so moves the cost of the device right out into a completely different category. You aren't comparing like for like at that point.

You are quite quick to be dismissive of the Synology units from a performance perspective (and to lay into me) but you haven't done much of any research here. You're just latching onto anything that will make that the brand you've taken to heart look good. I have no such attachments. To Synology or anyone else. (Except Ninite.)

Let's look at those Synology boxes, shall we? So in order to achieve "stupid IOPS" Synology is using a system filled up with Intel 520 Series 240GB 2.5" SSDs. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, a bucket of old, outdated, slow and dirt cheap SSDs. Ones I am sure were really super-duper-cool when the original test was run, but now don't even come close to what you can get, even out of consumer gear. So what do we get with this box 'o rocks?

Sequential Read: 622,000 IOPS.

Sequential Write: 330,000 IOPS.

Random Read: 333,000 IOPS.

Random Write: 163,000 IOPS.

Now, I know from experience that Samsung's 480 Pro consumer SATA SSD will crush the Intel 520 240GB SSDs like a bug, write performance wise. Even newer consumer SSDs don't get much better read speed, but they do get far better write speed. Based on a little maths I expect that if you reran the test on that hardware with modern consumer SSDs your sums would look a heck of a lot more like the following:

Sequential Read: 600,000 IOPS.

Sequential Write: 500,000 IOPS.

4K Random Read: 500,000 IOPS.

4K Random Write: 300,000 IOPS.

80/20 Read Write: 550,000 IOPS.

Now, I haven't done the test yet on this myself, but this is based on some educated guessing and a lot of experience. I am currently trying to scrape together enough equipment to prove the numbers above, but I've very confident that they're roughly accurate for modern consumer SSDs.

Your SSDs matter. You won't get that kind of random (or sequential) write from, say, the Micron 960GB units. The controller is a bucket of wet sick for write speeds and does this bizarre thing where it spikes high then runs for a while at half speed. Using a Samsung 480EVO 1TB, however, you'll get a consistently high write speed. It won't be near as high as the read speeds, naturally, but way better than the Intel 240!

An HP unit filled with enterprise-class SSDs would probably be able to take the Synology system. It would cost half a continent's worth of virgins - whilst delivering bupkis in terms of capacity - but it might just get there.

Speed for the price, however? fugeddaboutit. Capacity for the price? Double fuggedabout it. The Synology (and competitor) units are a way cheaper path to falling-all-over-yourself-stupid IOPS and great capacity. Using off-the-shelf consumer drives that you can buy anywhere. It's a hell of a lot more flexible and a hell of a lot cheaper to achieve just about any goal you want...below a certain threshold.

There's a point where HP will absolutely wreck Synology. For that matter, I'd argue HP could probably wreck Dell, give NetApp some bad dreams and has EMC checking over their shoulder on a regular basis. That's way out there, big time in the far off la-la land of "more than the total gross turnover of the company spent of IT infrastructure."

As for Lefthand...I honestly and truly believe it's been surpassed by it's competition. I'd put Maxta up against it any day, to say nothing of Nutanix or SimpliVity. Not that I personally consider the latter two to be "SME"-compatible in any way, but they'll get you where you need to go cheaply and quickly if you're talking about a small CSP.

Look: I like HP. I even - despite what you may think - like Lefthand. I have a soft spot for the thing that I really shouldn't have, since it was so much better than VMware's VSA for so long and a reasonable bit cheaper. As a sysadmin, I love HP's servers and storage because the design of HPs gear is just so much better than anyone else.

HP servers an honest-to-$deity pleasure to work with. Cables are routed nicely, the tools you need are magnetically attached to the back...every detail on an HP server has been thought through for ultimate serviceability. I wish every server could be an HP server.

Synology units, by contrast, are nasty things with sharp edges and densely packed insides that were never designed to be serviced. If I were buying second hand, out-of-warantee stuff for my lab then I would never buy Synology, Qnap or any of these guys. I'd buy HP.

But let's face facts, here, shall we? HP can't match the capacity or performance per dollar of these up-and-coming companies. Synology, Qnap, etc are getting better and better all the time and they are eating the low end.

At the higher end you have this rapidly evolving storage field where there are literally dozens of companies form Maxta and Atlantis to Proximal and Pernix to Nutanix and SimpliVity all working their asses off to commoditise "proper" enterprise storage. They are dragging margins down and offering...(drum roll)...better capacity per dollar and/or better performance per dollar. All without compromising reliability.

HP isn't adapting fast enough. For that matter, neither are most of the big storage heavies. That's normal. It's also normal for those who work for Cisco (or owe their livelihoods to it) to get really angry when someone points out that Arista is kicking ass. Same thing applies here.

I've done my homework. I continue to do my homework every day. Sometimes I'm wrong, sometimes I've missed the existence of a company or product. Sometimes I'm even right.

Here, now, Lefthand isn't priced well enough to match Synology on capacity. Depending on how you build the things it might match on performance, maybe, assuming that Lefthand has improved enough in the last update set to match Maxta for most things.

In which case I'd just buy Maxta for my own servers because it's cheaper. That's assuming I even want converged infrastructure. I might just want a great big ball of CIFS, in which case any converged infrastructure play on the market today is bad value for money compared to Synology, Qnap, etc.

3Par can't go up against Synology on speed for dollar, to the point where matching the Synology would be prohibitively expensive. 3Par is better designed for serviceability. Which you can't have done unless you pay HP's ransom. 3Par is more feature rich.

None of this - none of it - addresses the issue that was actually discussed in the article itself: that of MSPs choosing up-and-coming storage vendors because those vendors A) provide margin support and B) allow the MSP to control the customer relationship.

It's about money. All of it. Price per capacity, price per IOPS, margin available to the MSP, servicing margin available to the MSP...it's all about the money. HP isn't prepared for this new, commoditised world. They aren't ready for the brave new universe where storage margins look like x86 server margins.

Soon, IBM will sell of their storage division. Probably to Lenovo. HP will be sitting there - again - with an offering way above the new rates the market has settled upon. HP needs to shit or get off the pot. Decide if it is going to be the "Apple of enterprise tech", charging $virgins and delivering quality, or if they are going to play in the muck with the mass-market people.

So far, I see no evidence of the latter, and I see a whole bunch of companies trying out the former. HP has a lot of competition if it wants to be "the Apple of enterprise tech". And the "mass-market muck" are getting more than "good enough" while being cheap enough to entice.

I'm not saying HP is crap. I'm saying HP hasn't committed to the evolving SME space and it shows. They are still in the process of deciding who they want to be. Meanwhile, the vultures are circling.

Storage just ain't the easy money it used to be.

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Trevor_Pott
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"50TB's is nothing, yet 10TB's is to much for price sensitive SME's ? You can't have it both ways."

50TB is nothing; the thing has to be able to scale way past that cheaply. Simultaneously, what is charged for the 10TB tier from HP is too much for entry-level stuff. A lot of SMEs need to be able to start off at something small, like 2TB usable but expand rapidly with capital costs that don't exceed the cost of the disks themsevles by all that much.

I am not saying Synology are perfect here either. Synology's approach for their gear still doesn't allow you to pack many disks into the initial unit before you have to go buy an expansion device. I'd far rather see the primary unit be a 24-drive device with the ability to lash on two more 24-disk JBODs.

The biggest reason for this is that SMEs are terrible at organizing their data. They just hang on to everything forever. They're price sensitive, so they sure as hell aren't going to archive any of that to the cloud, nor are they likely to buy tiering or archiving software. They will buy physical hardware because that's tangible. They can touch what they're paying for.

Synology, Qnap and others are on the right path to make fast, bulk storage truly cheap and commoditised...but even they aren't there yet.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: HP's answer

I did not know about lefthand finally getting real capacity numbers. All documents I've read on the thing only mention 1TB, 4TB, 10TB and 50TB as potential storage sizes. Having real capacity makes it almost a real boy. That's good news!

I had heard of Adaptive Optimisation, but had not realized it was at block-level. I understood it to be at LUN level, and thus utterly useless. Of course, it only kicks in at the 10 TB licensing level which doesn't address the price sensitivity of SMEs in the slightest.

From what I have been told - admittedly it's been a good long while since I've put 3Par in - the hybrid capabilities of the modern arrays are not that great. Certainly not Tintri standard, but many have said to me that they've seen faster acceleration off the things is really not that much better than Synology can deliver, despite costing three virgins and a tropical island more.

All of which brings me to the issue you very carefully failed to address: price. As mentioned in the piece, one of the biggest reasons that MSPs put these solutions into the shops of their clients is that the MSPs themselves get to keep the margin, not HP, Dell or so forth.

HP may have the ability to match or exceed Synology. I'd bloody well hope so, considering the size of the organizations and the fact that HP supplies real SANs to enterprises! But what's under the microscope here is the lowest-end, entry-level offerings of HP versus Synology (or Qnap or Netgear or any of the other up-and-coming entrants.)

"You can do everything these guys can on our entry level equipment" is a bunch of hooey because it very carefully omits the part where enabling all this stuff is additional licensing. Thus you are climbing out of entry level and getting into mid range, the prices decoupling from the raw hardware and sailing off out into orbit. This is why the MSPs I have been talking to say "yeah, we love HP, they make the best servers on the planet, but we can't sell them anymore."

That's before we get into the fact that HP doesn't let third parties who aren't part of the handshake club and paying ransom money to the mafia membership to the partner program service units. This HP make sure to vacuum up that margin from MSPs as well.

Then we can talk about using third party drives in systems versus the cost of HP-branded drives. Let's have that talk, too, shall we?

Look: HP makes great stuff. Phenomenal stuff, actually. A cut above virtually many and on par with most of the others. I don't think anyone will dispute that.

The question here is about value for money, competitiveness when compared to up-and-comers (like Maxta, Nutanix, SimpliVity, VSAN and so on and so forth) as well as the key, critical one: value for money.

For MSPs deploying to their customers, there are additional considerations. Do the MSPs get margin support? Do they retain the customer relationship? Are they forced to move upmarket into an increasingly crowded sub-enterprise space in order to be able to find clients who can afford to buy the gear?

Now, that being said...if HP has finally changed their ways, started commoditsing featuresets, begun to play nice with SME-focused MSPs and otherwise made a real effort to be competitive with the new crowd, that's fantastic. I'd love to do a followup piece and showcase how HP is responding to these folks and intends to make strong gains in the SME space. I'd sure as hell love to be putting HP stuff in place of ust about anyone else at my customer sites, and I could point you at somewhere in the neighborhood of two hundred other SME-focused MSPs that feel the same.

I'd also love to give the newest Lefthand a real go. If HP is convinced it has evolved to the point of no longer being a toy, it'd be worth trying out. Besides, the virtual SAN space needs some healthy competition. Margins need to go down so that we can really start commoditising hardware SAN vendors. I'd be quite happy if HP were actually taking part in that.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: HP's answer

First off, 50TB is nothing. It might be lots for really small clients, but it doesn't even begin to address most of my 50-seat clients, let alone those at 250 or 500 seats. Lefthand is for sub-100 seat setups, as far as I am concerned.

50TB maybe seems like a lot when you're using it only for VMDK storage. But then what are you using for CIFS? You could virtualize the file server and use Lefthand storage for that, but then you're back up against that 50TB wall. Or...get an appliance, right?

But why get Lefthand for VMDK and then a separate appliance for CIFS? Why not just get one widget that does both jobs, does it well and does it cheap?

Also: regarding performance...3par RAID 5 performance is inadequate as well. The compairaison isn't a bunch of rust spinning in a circle anymore. It's hybrid arrays. LSI's CacheCade or Microsoft's Tiered Storage Space on the DIY shelf, or Synology's SSD caching on the appliance shelf. Lefthand needs to be as fast as VSAN and Maxta (meaning taking rust and SSD to make superpowers) or it's just a toy.

A 32-node Maxta array can deliver amazing IOPS as well as insane capacity. You can also get a similar (though less dramatic on the IOPS side) effect from Synology storage. Those Synology arrays can top 600,000 IOPS now, and they cost a bent pittance.

Lefthand was cool in it's day. I really liked it. And in situations where all I need is an HA pair of servers to run a handful of smallish VMs without any real storage capacity requirements, Lefthand is fine.

For my customers who are needing 10-30K IOPS for their VMDKs and 150TB of 10K IOPS CIFS storage (about average for 50-seat setups I do,) it has so far proven to be far to expensive to attempt to make it work. There are just better alternatives at this time.

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Re: You nailed it Trevor

I know you didn't suggest there were cost savings. That's sort of where I was going with that. For SMEs, cost is king.

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Re: HP's answer

@Nate Amsden Lefthand is for really small clients. Look at something like the Synology 1813+. I see these things everywhere. Little HA pairs of them littering the SME space. 2 units in RAIN 1 each with 2 SSDs (acceleration tier) and 6 Spinning disks in RAID 5 means 5x4TB usable at some pretty impressive IOPS for dirt cheap.

The RS3614xs+ is an example of the kind of gear I'm seeing put out by MSPs for far heavier workloads. I've never had a chance to play with one myself for an extended period, but I'm seeing them pop up.

The volume of data these things can shift and the IOPS they'll provide (hybrid storage arrays are a good thing) just make the Lefthand offer inadequate. That isn't to say Lefthand is bad for what it does, but it can't compare to VSAN or Maxta for the same job, it can't compare to Synology or Qnap for raw storage and it can't compare to any of them for price.

HP has good tech with Lefthand. They just have to figure out how to market it effectively to meet the growing challenges from proper storage SAN providers on the high end and upstart NAS/SAN providers on the low end.

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Re: Shouldn't there really be a disclaimer...

@Lusty actually you read it wrong. I don't think SME-focused MSPs will "pick from an assortment of new toys [they've] found and put together a unique design" at all. Instead, what I see is that they are standardizing on a new generation of providers that do everything SMEs require while offering direct margin support to the MSP crowd.

This is important, because there is a driver amongst MSPs not to give up margin to enterprise vendors as margins are getting thinner every day. (It's the reason, for example, I'm getting out of the game.) Because they are choosing a standardized set of equipment, they can keep spares to hand should something go wrong, but also refine in-house procedures to make things simple, easy and efficient.

I don't see anything complicated about deploying a Synology or Qnap-based solution into an SME. They're really easy to use. What they don't have, however, are "Synology certified supertechnician" programs, so finding a new consultant to replace the existing one would be hard.

SME-focused MSPs are not big on adding complexity. Perhaps even less so than enterprise-focused types. They handle dozens of customers where they can't offer too much attention to any single one. The last thing they need is complexity.

What's happening, however, is that there is an emerging dichotomy of providers. These SME-focused MSPs are choosing to provide hardware and software to their clients from different providers than the traditional enterprise vendors. I'm seeing it more and more with MSPs from around the world.

This makes it harder for an SME-focused MSP tech to break into the enterprise...but also for enterprise-focused techs to come down and support an SME. The gap here is bigger now than it ever has been, and it looks to be getting wider.

It's not a complexity issue, per se, though there is something to be said for the fact that SMEs tend to have a far larger total number of vendors supplying gear. (Because they can't afford to buy single-vendors stacks, and they tend to buy small/cheap cloud services from multiple providers.)

The issue is more one of a new generation of vendors being more than "good enough", vendors that enterprise techs would never give the time of day to. That makes for inter-professional jihads on the part of the differently focused sysadmins, but it also is creating a gap in product-focused skills and knowledge that we should all be aware of over the next few years.

This trend is something that has always been active at the lowest end, but I'm seeing it formalize and really pick up in the 50-500 seat range of SMEs. It is even expanding upwards in that I have seen things like Synology installed for high-IOPS production deployments in sites as large as 1000 seats. Eventually the squishy middle between enterprise and SME will start to get a lot more blurry and friction between the two camps will accelerate.

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Re: You nailed it Trevor

Maybe, maybe not. The cloud doesn't actually offer a cost savings. That's the real problem. The price is going to have to come down quite a bit for there to be an advantage to SMEs. Remember that SMEs don't replace systems on a 2-year or 3-year cycle. It's closer to 6 years or 10 years between refreshes.

That's the whole reason Microsoft is pushing Office 365 and Azure so hard: they are addicted to subscription fees and they want to put a gun to the head of anyone and everyone to make sure that they pay up regularly. SMEs also aren't keen on change; Office 365 and Azure represent change you can't control and have zero say in. Windows 8 still weighs heavily on SME perception of Microsoft and that will haunt them for some time.

I have seem clients go into the cloud and then seen them come right back out in short order. I have seen clients go into the cloud and be happy with it. I have also seen clients avoid it like the plague. No one size fits all and no one solution is going to address all comers.

Can Microsoft convince SMEs to pay triple or more the cost of IT than they do now? That's the real question. When you start looking at the costs of IaaS and running a fleet of VMs on Azure the costs can be closer to 40x that of running your own infrastructure!

The cloud is not cheaper than buying and maintaining your own gear. That, right there, is the biggest issue with SME uptake. Microsoft is not likely to address that issue. They are far more likely to declare victory at some point where they feel they have enough customers and start turning the knobs on pricing in an Oracle-esque fashion. That won't end well.

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Trevor_Pott
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@AC re: adverts

I do believe you enjoy being incorrect. Why - exactly - would I write an advert for a service I have no interest in offering? My existing sysadmin clients are in maintenance mode. I have a negative interest in acquiring more and I am trying quite hard to extricate myself from most of the ones I do service.

Put bluntly: systems administration doesn't pay well enough. I'll probably be doing it for the rest of my life, but mostly as a favour to those specifically requesting my services and certainly not as a means of making a living. Systems administration hasn't paid the bills for nearly two years. Every dollar I make doing systems administration is 3 dollars I could have made doing any number of other activities.

Your personal prejudice only reveals your own limited worldview, AC. You know far less than you think, and I am increasingly unsure you think much at all. Cheers.

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China's censors censor press censorship report

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Re: "Australia fared best in 28th"

Canada came in at 18th place. Up two, after being down 10 (!) thanks to journalistic interference during the "Maple Spring" incident.

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Google to banish mobe-makers using old Androids: report

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Re: A bit like Microsoft and WindowsXP then, Doc?

4 years since I was last able to buy Windows XP. Not 14.

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VMware, Google, team up to target corporate Chrome OS adopters

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Thin clients?

Sure there would. Wyse costs $virgins. ChromeOS doesn't.

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Have a Linksys router? Now's a good time to update that firmware

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Try OpenWRT before DD-WRT. DD-WRT seems to have ground to a halt. OpenWRT is still cruising ahead.

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Grimly determined Cisco reports weak earnings

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Why? What does China need that they don't make themselves, now?

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DARPA wants to out-Google-Google

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Memex

The DARPA-funded search engine custom designed to root out political dissent. First they came for EVERYONE ALL AT ONCE, because the computers now gave them that power.

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IBM job cuts: Big Blue starts 'slaughter' of Indian and European workforce

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Re: @ Destroy All Monsters

"This is where there might be a big difference between the US and other countries: in the US, a CEO, or CIO, or whatever C*O is not necessarily an employee. All these titles ending in "O" mean that they are an Officer of the Corporation. That is different from being an employee.

Officers have some privileges and rights, and some responsibilities that general-population employees do not have: they can sign legally binding contracts on behalf of the corporation, they can sign checks on behalf of the corporation and they can represent the corporation during a judicial due process. Employees cannot perform any of these actions or duties, and cannot be held accountable for the corporation's liabilities."

This really is different. I can assign the right to sign cheques to employees in my company who are not officers. Anyone I deem fit can be allowed to do so, but I need to retain paperwork within the company to prove that they have this right, should we be asked about it. Indeed, I can add non-officers to corporate credit or debit cards as well.

As a systems administrator I signed legally binding contracts all the time. Most were known as "end user license agreements," but this also covered purchase orders for goods and services and even agreements with customers about the level and quality of service we would provide them.

As a systems administrator I bought - and still do - things all the time on my personal credit card and submitted them for reimbursement. This has to be carefully documented, of course, but it's actually no different than the method I employ as a CEO.

As a shareholder, however, I have the option of loaning money or assets directly to the company. This is a shareholder loan that the company is then on the hook for.

"Technically, and under the law, whenever a corporation goes belly-up, employee pay should be the first debt settled."

I believe this is also true in my jurisdiction, and frankly, in most. This makes my statement about "all debts being equal' erroneous, and you are quite correct in pointing it out. I was wrong there.

That said, I do believe that barring some interesting legal trickery, in most places all other debts are equal. Legal trickery can include contracts wherein one lender is senior to all others, however, in my jurisdiction I believe that only applies if all other lenders have signed their agreement to this arrangement.

"Officers are not personally liable in any way when the corporation enters bankruptcy. They are only personally liable if they default on paying employees wages due *and* the corporation has not entered bankruptcy proceedings. I.e. "I don't want to pay you because I don't feel like it". That's a no-no."

Here, this would go straight to an ombudsman. I would have to double check, but I am pretty sure the CEO's personal assets cannot be dug into by the ombudsman. If - and I have to stress the rarity of this - it goes to court, then under extreme circumstances the judge can pierce the corporate veil. These sorts of things are not done lightly and each case would probably result in a national shitstorm as the conservatives went loony tunes and the unions went thermal.

What almost always happens is the ombudsman sits the parties down, pulls out a bunch of well-worn charts and explains to the corporate officers refusing pay exactly how expensive a trial is. If my friends who work in that office are correct, each session lasts an average of 15 minutes and the staff getting paid occurs in over 80% of circumstances.

The other 20% are usually an issue of the employer having grounds for "termination with cause" and not having filled out the federal paperwork correctly. I have not heard of a case of this actually going to trial in a very long time.

Still, laws differ. Sometimes wildly. Maybe, somewhere, who really does betide the CEO. Maybe...

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Re: @ Destroy All Monsters Addendum

In some jurisdictions board members may be liable for company losses, but they are the rarity. Also, where you incorporate is a choice. It's like the whole line about "where you work is your choice," isn't it? Except that wage slaves generally have to choose whatever's available to them because there aren't a hell of a lot of options. Founders can choose to incorporate anywhere, and CEOs can even choose to reincorporate elsewhere.

In certain - very rare - circumstances I can see it being worth paying a CEO extra to cover risks imposed by specific laws, but that doesn't cover "all CEOs" or even "most CEOs." It certainly is no reason for "woe is me, the poor CEO."

A CEO is aware of the risk before they accept. A wage slave has to work, or they can't afford to live. One is a choice. The other is a lack thereof.

Also: how much of a wage delta and/or bonus delta would such a risk entitle a CEO to? 2x? 10x? 1000x? 10,000x? Why? What maths support this assertion?

Why should a CEO get stocks and not employees? Doesn't the same rationale for motivation apply to them? I could go on, and on...suffice it to say that CEOs as a class are largely overcompensated and underexposed to risk whereas wage slaves generally live in terror of the "rightsizing" axe.

That bullshit about "if you're good at your job you have a hundred job offers lined up?" Well, "if you're good at your job as a CEO, there is zero chance of you bearing any risk from corporate failure."

The power to address the few and largely insignificant risks a CEO faces are in the CEOs own hands. The wage slave has no power to address the risks they face, as their lives are determined by nothing more than the vagaries and whims of their "betters".

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Re: @ Destroy All Monsters

"That is true: in the US, paying employees wages is a statutory requirement, and not a choice, unless there is a written and valid contract stipulating that the employee will work for no pay."

Unless the laws that the barbarians to the south of us have chosen are substantially different, then the CEO of a company is an employee. As such they are entitled to the same protections, unless he has signed them away in his employment contract.

Shareholders are not entitled to dividends, and nobody is entitled to bonuses. Shareholders are no more entitled to loan repayments than any other creditor. The CEO may or may not be a shareholders. Shareholders may or may not hold a position in the company. The position of CEO, however, is that of an employee. He answers to the board and the board to the shareholders. As such - here at least - the CEO enjoys employment law protections for his wages too.

The risk is born by investors and shareholders, not by the CEO. Unless the CEO is a shareholder and/or investor. Even then...

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Re: @ Destroy All Monsters

Its very easy for you to make a comment because you don't know what it takes to run a company.

Maybe he doesn't, but I do.

You are responsible for making the payroll happen. You pay your employees first, even if that means you don't get paid.

That isn't a requirement. That's a choice. It is the choice I would personally make, but it is absolutely not a legal requirement. The CEO is an employee of an incorporated company and is entitled to all labour protection laws that apply to other staff. By rights, if salaries must be cut he is entitled to make % cuts across the company. He does not have to forgo paycheques.

You have to deal with HR issues... (hiring, firing, health insurance... ) You have to deal with sales and bringing in the business. You have to deal with accounting issues like making sure that the taxes are paid and you're withholding the right amount...

Yeah. That's the job. There's no risks there. In fact, it's the accountant who bears the risks. They are a certified member of a professional association. The reason they are hired is that they accept as part of their profession official, legal responsibility for everything from payroll calculations to making sure the tax amounts are right.

How the fuck do you not know this if you run your own company? We only have to pay our accountant like $300 a month for that service. (Our books are not very complex.) That's less than we pay for mobile phones!

So you have all of the risk.

WHERE IS THIS THEORETICAL RISK YOU KEEP TALKING ABOUT?!? I have to accept none of these risks as a CEO. Not a goddamned thing you've talked about in this thread is a real-world risk born by any CEO who isn't a complete fucking numpty. Jesus H mother of fucking-a Christ, man...this sort of information is in "so you want to start a business" pamphlets available from my local municipality, my provincial government and at least a hundred different places on the federal cloud.

My company has five people in it (three of which are shareholders) and we managed to incorporate on day one. We contract with a dozen people from around the world. We have customers on three continents...and there is zero fucking risk to myself or the other shareholders. So what the flaming monkey fuck are you babbling about?

Your employee? His risk is that if you go under, he's got to find a new job.

THE RISK OF LOSING YOUR JOB IS A BIG, HUGE, AMAZINGLY LIFE-ALTERING RISK. Even in "socialist Canada" the so-called "safety net" is virtually non-existant. EI is virtually impossible to claim and the CPP doesn't even cover rent these days. Loss of a job, especially in a more capitalist nation or during a recession can cost you everything. That's a great big fucking risk hanging over anyone's head. Sword-of-Damocles stuff, right there.

He's not the one who's got to pay off the creditors...

Neither are you. Those debts belong to the company, not to you. At worst you are on the hook for loans made to the company during it's startup phase. At which point you have all the same rights and privileges as any other creditor and you will receive the same % from the carcass of the company as any other creditor.

In fact, in most civilized countries there are any number of government programs to help small business owners cover the costs of bootstrapping a company. These vary form outright grants to government loans all the way through to government insurance and/or regulation allowing the private sector to offer shareholder loan insurance. I have shareholder loan insurance. I presume any marginally competent business owner would. Mine costs me like $9.50 a month and covers up to $100,000 in shareholder loans.

Clearly you don't have a clue about the business side of the shop.

Really? Because so far all you've demonstrated is that you don't have a goddamned clue about how to set up a business in a manner that allows you to take advantage of even the most basic protections for entrepreneurs that every western nation has.

But hey, I'm a putz, right? Please do enlighten me as to how I'm wrong. If there's a flaw in anything I've said, I want to know about it right away, and I welcome the concept of someone else doing research into this topic for free. Do you know what the bounty both my lawyers and my accountant have on anything that proves any of the above wrong? I'd get free work out of them for the next 5 years!

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Re: @ Destroy All Monsters

If I am the CEO of my own company, I take on all of the risk.

Bullshit. As a systems administrator I was at constant risk for job loss for any number of reasons, many of which were not related to me screwing up. Company politics, market turnaround or just a manager reading the wrong magazine could all screw me and my family in an instant. That's real risk.

As the CEO of my own company, I don't understand what risk you're talking about. Corporate debts are not my debts. If the company goes under, I'm sitting pretty, with no more risk than my employees (that of having no job.) I put capital into my company to get it going, but I get to recover that through various means ranging from shareholder loan repayment to reimbursements for equipment, software and purchased services.

I'm not out of pocket for starting my company, and I feel I shoulder less risk than when I was a sysadmin. I can always give myself a raise and fire someone to make up the cost. I can hire someone else if my workload gets too high, bring on consultants, get an accountant to do magic with the books or anything else. The reigns of power are mine, but the corporate veil means the consequences aren't.

I work 60+ hour weeks months on end.

And you think that's a lot, do you? Wimp. I've done way more than that for over a fucking decade. Sysadmins get burnt out like candles. I dream of 60 hour weeks. I haven't had those since I was 14.

I forgo vacations.

My only vacation in over a decade was my honeymoon. I attended a VMware conference in Palo Alto while the wife stayed at the hotel. We bought a car and drove home, stopping at a few points of interest along the way. I still worked 40 hours that week, not counting the conference.

Sorry, diddums, but I cry no tears for you.

So when things take off, yeah I want the salary. I want the total comp package.

I think I deserve it.

No, you don't. No more so than any of the billions of others who put the same kind of time and effort in, while having way less control over their lives and bearing the very real risk of getting "rightsized" on a whim. You have done nothing to deserve it that they haven't. You have not sacrificed more, you have not "given" more, you have not risked more.

Now if you're talking about the tosser who comes in to help grow the company... sells you a bill of goods? His parachute is golden because he's taking on a lot of risk to come lead your company. If he fails... you toss him out of the plane and he's not going to find his next job as easy as the techie who has head hunters calling him 24/7

Bullshit. He just moves on to the next company and can say "I've learned from my past mistakes." It happens all the time. Even CEOs responsible for spectacular failures manage to get back in charge of multi-billion-dollar companies on a regular basis. Why? Because experience really does count. Just like any other job.

Besides, he can always work at Burger King. Just like all those people he fired. There's nothing about his past as a CEO that means he should be treated any differently in that regard. He needs the exact same amount of air, water, food and shelter to live as the poor bastards working the cashier. Not one iota more.

Think about it.

I have. And I've lived it. All sides of it. From the dude manning the till to a "professional" through to a CEO. I've done retail, call center, manual labour, systems administration, development, journalist, marketeer and more. Many of them side-by-side.

I've worked 5 jobs at the same time and I've focused on just the one. I've worked myself right up to the grave and stared into the abyss. I've put my time in at the coalface and behind the desk.

There's nothing about being a CEO that entails any more risk than being a wage slave. In fact, because the CEO has more control over the company he works for, he has more control over his own remuneration and thus more control over his own life.

I suggest that you need to think about it. And maybe - just maybe - you need to have some goddamned compassion for the human beings who work with you.

Don't think about it. Live it.

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Dell staffers head for exit armed with redundo cheques

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Finally...

Wait, you mean there was someone out there who didn't know about the Compellent line rejig?

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iPhone maker Foxconn to pump $1bn into new Indonesian factory

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Re: "allow the PRC to move in."

"Do I think the USA could win on it's own, hell no. Do I think China's neighbors, the USA, and the rest of the global powers could win, hell yes."

This is the "rah-rah western imperialist patriotism" I was talking about. There is no reason to assume that the US and it's allies would emerge victorious here.

1) China wouldn't pick a fight it didn't think it could win

2) China would be the one one picking the time and the theater

3) China's production capacity outstrips anyone on earth.

Basically, if the US and it's allies could respond to the invasion of Taiwan with such ferocity and immediacy that they can obliterate China's ability to make war in a matter of days, they could win. Otherwise, China gets the chance to make the battle one of attrition. In a war of attrition, there is no reason to believe the allies would win. There isn't a reason to think they'd fail either. It's a complete unknown.

So espousing a belief in allied victory here is - to my eyes - aught but patriotism.

If and when the US gets to choose the time and the theater they can march in, shock-and-awe the enemy and wipe out the bulk of a country's military assets in a short period of time. They are very, very good at that. They aren't nearly so good at protracted wars. Haven't been since WWII...and the whole society had to sacrifice to make that industrial miracle happen.

As for what I know (or don't)...I've lived my whole life in the shadow of a military base. I may not have had the chance to serve, but my whole life friends (and their family) have done so. I've lost friends to rebels, but also to careless yanks with jets dropping bombs on Canadians. I've listened well when people who've actually been there describe the difference in "proper" warfare from urban "peacekeeping" or rooting militias out of caves.

All of that leads me to believe that in a conflict with between the allies and China during which China gets to set all the rules, a belief in the inevitable victory of the allies is nothing but wishful thinking. There are just too many unknowns to call that one.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: "allow the PRC to move in."

"Read up on history and you will understand why China has not attacked Taiwan."

I know my history. That's also why I said "the costs outweigh the benefits." Do actually read the entire comment.

The rest of your comment proceeds from the assumption that I don't already know that world war three is not something China can win alone. It is a false assumption.

Mind you, I don't remotely believe in your rah-rah western imperialist patriotism, either. China is more than capable of holding its own against it's neighbors and the USA can't beat a bunch of poor people with sand and more sand. It isn't an all-powerful demigod here to protect the world. The USA's doesn't have the ability to project enough force to defend Taiwan all on it's lonesome, let alone defeat China on it's own soil. If you think for a fraction of a second they can, you're delusional.

China is tooled up for mass production. The USA is not. The USA has a bunch of high-end hardware in the field, China's military is somewhat dated. China has it's allies, so does the USA. A war would be devastating and the outcome of that war is in no way a certainty. This isn't a comic book. The allies do not always win.

If China invades Taiwan, much of the world will turn against them. Taiwan - unlike Tibet - has a globally important economy. It would mean war. Thus the price China pays for invading Taiwan would be higher than the benefit they receive from annexing it.

But nothing on this earth could stop China annexing it if they should wish to, and I have my very severe doubts that anyone currently has the ability to blockade China from keeping supply lines open after they've taken it.

The day China makes that move, the next world war begins. China knows this. Today, that isn't something China wants. Tomorrow...who knows? Fifteen years from now the political and economic landscape could have changed so dramatically that China has more and better equipped allies than the USA. They may well at that point decide to make a go of it.

...but nobody - not even 'MURICAH, FUCK YEA! - could stop them taking that scrap of land if they wanted. The best anyone could hope for is to make them pay dearly for doing so.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: "no-one is brave enough to move into Africa as it's too politically unstable"

Bingo. Adam smith was a smart cookie. The problem with most modern "capitalists" is that they only really ever read select parts of his first book. He wrote more than just one, and he covered territory about the necessity of regulation, managing the morale of populations, etc. Marx and Smith both had a lot to say on the subject and both, as it turns out, were largely right.

They were never so dicotomic as we are generally led to believe and they would both be utterly appalled at the world we've built today.

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Netflix speed index shows further decline in Verizon quality

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Re: @Christian Berger Overly aggressive throttling?

"Netflix customers are a fringe group? Last I heard it was around 1/3 of internet traffic, thats more than porn!"

Shhh! You're ruining the capitalist messaging of these people being "abusers of the network."

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Barclays Bank probes 'client data sold to rogue City traders' breach

Trevor_Pott
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Re: "what leads you to believe they, as a bank, have done anything wrong"

No Chris, here you are incorrect. A lynch mob is entirely emotive. It is the extreme end of the spectrum away from cold, corrupt justice. What I - and most people around the world - preach and practice is something very much in the middle.

It is holding people and corporations to a duty that includes social responsibilities, not merely legal ones. It is a recognition that any system can be gamed and anything that can be gamed will be. People who believe as I do believe we must evolve both our system of jurisprudence and our law enforcement to deal with this reality.

I do not preach extremism, unless your personal view is that anyone who preaches something other than the extreme to which you've attached yourself is an extremist. (A very republican (or Greenpeace) view of the world.)

You say you believe in Justice. Yet what you preach isn't justice, it's jurisprudence. What you preach is a gamable system where those with the most resources are above the law. You preach a system where one's past actions are not to be examined. That doesn't lead to justice. It leads to America: massively disproportionate numbers of minorities locked up for petty, victimless crimes while those who come far greater sins walk free.

People who believe as I do believe in concepts like "corporate manslaughter" and "piercing the corporate veil". We believe that corporations are to be held to as much account as individuals, even if that includes holding the individuals behind a corporation to said account.

There must be evidence to convict, but past behavior is - to us at least - entirely admissible evidence.

When you have nothing but the extremes - the lynch mob on one end and the sociopathic legalists on the other - you get America. That's not a good thing. There is no justice to be found there.

Laws must be open to some interpretation and procedures to a given amount of latitude in order to cope with those who seek to game the system. Past crimes need to be used to inform the severity of punishment - or the likelihood of guilt - of current crimes. And nobody - nobody - must ever be allowed to be above the law.

Pure procedure is as broken a concept as pure emotion. The answer lies in balance. Recognition of the fallibility of human nature, and of "the system". The creation and implementation of a system flexible enough to cope with reality.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: "what leads you to believe they, as a bank, have done anything wrong"

Guilt isn't determined by the act (or not) of breaking the law, either. In these days of cutting deals "no admission of wrongdoing" and blatant corruption the law is infinitely malleable to those with the right resources.

Fortunately, the people have more than a flawed legal system at their disposal to hold individuals and corporations to account. One of the more important tools is peer pressure. Ostracisation is a powerful incentive at the individual level and can become "voting with our collective wallets" at the corporate level.

Failure to be found guilty in a court of law does not mean the actions of an individual or corporation are just, morally correct, ethical or even legal. Human beings who aren't sociopaths hold themselves and others to more standards than the lack of being found guilty of a criminal offense.

It's easy to game a system with well defined rules. It is far harder to game a system where the only rule that truly matters is Wheaton's law.

So we arrive at the crux of it. As with so many arguments in the comments, when you strip the events away, it is a fundamental philosophical difference. On one side we have myself, and those who believe as I do, stating that individuals and corporations must be held to a higher standard than the ability to prevent themselves from being held criminally liable for their actions.

On the other side we have you and those who believe as you do, claiming that ethics and morality are arbitrary, and thus should not be used as standards of governance or the foundation of rules of interaction.

One side takes into account the variability of humans, their ability to lie, cheat, corrupt, adapt and conceal. The other side is procedural, believing that everything can be codified and quantified. The debate is as old as time. We'll not solve it here, today...or likely ever.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: "what leads you to believe they, as a bank, have done anything wrong"

The court of public opinion does not require the assumption of good faith.

The assumption of good faith is founded in the principles of the presumption of innocence and is a rational extension of the foundational principles of our society when dealing with unknown individuals or entities. You assume good faith when there is no history to inform you otherwise.

Where history exists it is rational to examine past behavior to deduce patterns. Thus presumptions can be made from past behavior, which may or may not continue to warrant the assumption of good faith.

There is a difference between caution and naivete. When and where a pattern of populace-hostile behavior exists I do not assume good faith because I have never been presented with a rational reason to do so.

At some point the assumption of good faith gives way to naivete. In this instance, I believe that your assertion we should assume good faith falls on the "naivete" side of that line.

What I find most interesting is that you are quick to assert the right of a bank to the assumption of innocence and yet are clearly willing to assume that I haven't read your comment in full. You would seem to believe that corporations are more deserving of the presumption of innocence than individuals. Or perhaps that we should not presume things of corporations based on past behavior whereas we should with people.

Either way, your standards appear to be dichotomic.

For the record, my standards are dichotomic, as I believe there is a difference between people and corporations. I don't for a second believe that corporations should have all of the same rights as natural persons and that includes the "right" to the assumption of good faith. (Not that this is an actual right.) Legally, a corporation is entitled to the presumption of innocence, however, that is a different and separate standard from the assumption of good faith.

The damage a corporation can do is orders of magnitude higher than that which most individuals are capable of inflicting. As such, I believe it is critical that we do not assume good faith of corporations and instead view them with a critical eye.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: "what leads you to believe they, as a bank, have done anything wrong"

Meanwhile, the rest of us live int he real world where it is far more likely that IT operations at any company is underfunded, internal bureaucracy makes implementing policy difficult-to-impossible and negligence is a more realistic assumption than not.

You give no reason to assume good faith beyond your assertions and personal beliefs. Conversely, there is a lot of history that demonstrates that banks have a lackadaisical attitude to regulations in general and large organizations of all types have hostile attitudes towards proper IT policy.

I see no reason to presume the bank did everything to spec when history says it is far more likely that they haven't. People are innocent unless proven guilty. I do not extend the same concept to banks.

Call it personal prejudice - and frankly it is personal prejudice - however, I will always view bank IT as paralyzed and constantly fighting uphill battles they can never win until proven otherwise. I've heard far too many horror stories from very reliable sources in the UK banking industry to be capable of holding a different view.

It's the reason I don't do any reporting on bank IT. No matter how hard I try I cannot believe a bank to be innocent unless proven guilty. Fortunately, comments don't require the presumption of innocence.

That said, you've nothing to prove your side either. Only a philosophical requirement on your part that they be presumed to have done everything right. Your beliefs and assertions conflict directly with every iota of experience - personal and secondhand - I've ever had with bank IT. As such, I feel entirely justified in calling you on it and saying that for your thesis to be accepted evidence is required.

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Trevor_Pott
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@AC re: "Dont Worry, Trevor *loves* sensationalism.."

With your utter lack of passion you must be an amazing romantic partner.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: "what leads you to believe they, as a bank, have done anything wrong"

Oh, I read what you wrote. But what you wrote basically says "oh, sure, It's not impossible to lock down your machines, but that's just such a hassle that no bank can really be held to those standards." Which is utter bullshit.

Also, under EU law data controllers have certain responsibilities. One of the most critical is ensuring that any third parties with whom they share data meet the same data protection requirements as the original entity itself. In plainer language: by law, the bank has a duty of care to that data even if that data is being used by a third party.

It doesn't matter if the breech happened at a contractor or at the bank itself. The bank is responsible for that data. It must ensure that all of the contractors it uses secure the data as well or better than the bank must itself.

That makes a data breach at a contractor the bank's responsibility and an abdication of responsibility by the bank. No matter how hard it is on the wee diddums to have to comply.

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Getting documents all too easy for Snowden

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@Titus_Technophobe

A cogent reply! Yes, in many instances, you are correct...but in many instances this is not so.

Consider the following two scenarios:

1) A reporter is covering a topic in which they have someone (or multiple someones) to hand to interview. The reporter asks whatever questions they can think of, publishes the result. This is not really the reporter's interpretation at this point so much as that of the interviewees. The only means by which the reporter can/does skew anything in through a lack of knowledge or willingness to ask various questions. A good reporter will ask the hard questions, and ask every hard question they can think of.

2) The reporter has objective testing results to deliver. "I ran IOmeter on this disk with these settings and it returned these results" or "the parks and rec department discovered there were X milligrams of mercury per kilolitre of lake water."

There are a few more examples, but you get my drift. I far prefer to be as objective as possible when and where I can. Other times, I climb my soapbox and preach my opinion. I try for a balance.

When I am preaching my opinion it is typically because I done some analysis work and come to conclusions that seem nonobvious or go against the prevailing wisdom of the day. A journalist gains sources that they can't always reveal. What the journalist sees coming down the pipe sometimes needs to be talked about, even when it's uncomfortable or seemingly unlikely.

As only one example, I remember being pilloried for saying Windows 8 was going to Vista, and that it was about more than just the lack of a start menu. I also remember saying Server 2012 was awesome and would see wide adoption. Both - despite a great deal of grief - turned out to be true.

A journalist makes a choice - and thus injects some bias - simply by choosing what to report on. That's unavoidable in any model I know of. (Though an argument could be made that aggregators such as Google news are more objective.) For me, personally, this is why I do not rely on my own judgement. I have built a circle of confederates whose opinion I seek out regularly. Many of these individuals were asked to part of the club specifically because they disagreed with me loudly and often.

When I am thinking about embarking upon an analysis - an opinion piece based on connecting various dots where not all of those dots can be made public - I talk to the gang. I put forth my evidence and ask if the shape I am making out of these dots makes sense.

Sometimes what we write is our interpretation of events. Sometimes what we write is completely objective testing and empirical data. Sometimes what we write is utterly partial.

What I think sets the journalist apart from the average internet commenter, however, is that the journalist has cultivated a sense of self awareness. They don't trust themselves or their senses. They understand that eye-witness testimony is the weakest form of evidence (except, oddly, in a court of law,) even if it is their own eye-witness testimony.

When I asked a journalist I greatly respect what the secret to the craft was they responded thusly: "question everything. Especially yourself." I maintain that this is the core of good journalism to this day.

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