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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4722 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Nothing to SNIA at: Not dissing storage specs now, are ya?

Trevor_Pott
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Deduplication allowed a one-time deferral of new storage kit when it first started showing up in bulk around 2006. Storage volume was the Big Problem of the day and the ability to delay new filer purchases was a Good Thing. Very shortly thereafter all the dedup houses were bought up and integrated into the major filers in order to ensure that they could retain control.

Host-based caching is filling this void today; instead of allowing a deferral of storage volume it is addressing the growing need for high IOPS. In-SAN flash caching and hybrid arrays aren't enough. All-flash is too expensive. data access needs to move closer to the application.

Converged infrastructure and host-based caching are rewriting the IOPS and latency portions of this market just as deduplication rewrote the bulk storage.

Standards are thus critical if you're EMC because you can't just buy up the competition (there are too many this time.) EMC needs standards because standards will enable smart tiering at the hypervisor and eventually the guest/application level. It's the only play they have left. If any of the converged infrastructure or host-based caching companies survive then their offerings will drive down demand for Fat SANs at the center of things and Thin Simply Can Not Be.

If you want the future of storage, look to Nutanix, Simplivity and Maxta on the converged side and Proximal or Flashsoft on the Host-based caching side. These are the folks making storage cheaper for enterprises. They are a direct threat...and the reason standards are now being seriously considered.

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Supreme Court can't find barge pole long enough to touch NSA lawsuit

Trevor_Pott
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Laws are for the little people.

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IBM and Nvidia: We'll build your data center like a SUPERCOMPUTER

Trevor_Pott
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Actually, buying nVidia makes a great deal of sense. IBM could buy the company, take the GPGPU piece and spin the rest off to Lenovo. GPGPU fits well with IBM's hardware strategy: get the best of the best of the best and sell it with insane margins.

GPGPU is the new mainframe, and IBM needs to be the only credible player there. Besides, GRID + POWER* = nerdgasm.

*IBM POWER GRID?

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Amazon, Facebook, Google give Cisco's switches the COLD shoulder

Trevor_Pott
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I use Huawei and ZTE. Why not? America is no more a friend of Canada than China; I've zero reason to trust either. Given this - and that they both have performance good enough for anything I could ask of them - I might as well buy the cheaper kit.

"Buy American" is bullshit. Both nations seek to be my nation's Master...but we only share a border with one of the bastards. I'll bung my $ at the nation that actually has to work to take us over or cow our politicians into submission.

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NASA probecraft to FLY the SKIES of MARS - IF it can make its launch window

Trevor_Pott
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$671 million makes no dent in the problems of healthcare/food security/housing/etc.

$671 million is a fuck of a lot of food stamps; something I hear you've recently been screwing your citizenry on.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: $671 million?

The US doesn't receive hundreds millions of dollars in foreign aid, they choose as a nation to be backwards-ass barbarians without proper healthcare, education, etc. They actively vote for such lunacy.

I'd expect any nation that was at the point of requiring foreign aid simply to meet basic necessities of it's people to be deprioritising militarily spending, government handouts to megacorporations and exploration until they were back on their feet, financially speaking.

If you are just so fucked up that you collectively don't care about your poor - and thus don't seek foreign aid do help remediate the problem - then by all means, carry on. That's a social choice you make together: you build your nation, and you have to live in it.

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Rip-'n'-replace box maker gets $58m to make data centre poison cubes

Trevor_Pott
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Go Simplivity! They've got good tech and good people. Glad to see others are recognizing this. One of these days I hope to get both Simplivity and Nutanix into my lab for a nice head-to-head; these folks have sexy gear to show off and it just seems to keep getting better.

It's nice to see Simplivity will have the cash to start hiring additional bodies; Nutanix has been on a hiring spree and they'll need the wetware to keep up! Competition is good, and with both VMware and Maxta on the pure software side (and HP making Lefthand free for ProLiant buyers) the converged infrastructure space certainly has a lot of it.

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Deep beneath MELTING ANTARCTIC ice: A huge active VOLCANO

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Ooops. Can you say "Tipping point"?

Iceland isn't a hotspot. Iceland is the result of the plates pulling apart. *big* difference.

Also: even on Iceland, when a volcano goes it rarely takes the whole glacier with it. Even when it does, the glacier starts to reform almost immediately. (A few years).

An isolated volcanic hotspot (which is going to produce *steady* quantities of magma, like Hawaii, or Erebus is not remotely the same as "oh shi-"-style volcanoes like Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland.

If you want to learn more, read up on Monut Erebus, a hotspot volcano that is "so terrifying" they build Mcmurdo station a mere 35km away, near the outflow of several of it's glaciers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Ooops. Can you say "Tipping point"?

Lots of volcanoes exist under glaciers. Mt Elbrus comes to mind. Or most of Iceland. It doesn't strike me as particularly worrisome as "moving at Xkm /million years" makes it likely to be a hotspot (like Hawaii) thus fairly minor, as these things go. (I would expect that if it were a fault line shied volcano (like Elbrus) there would be a whole mess of 'em roughly in a line.)

Now, if there were a 40-kilometer-wide caldera down there harboring the next Yellowstone itching to let loose, soil your panties and panic. A regular old volcano, however is nothing to worry about, even with all the ice parked on top of it.

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When three Linux journos go crowdfunding

Trevor_Pott
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@mikesaunders

Let me know how I can help. We don't have a lot of spare money at the moment (bootstrapping our own venture here,) but we do have access to a few internal resources that might be good for overflow. The world needs more quality open source reporting.

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Boffins warn LIMPWARE takes the pleasure out of cloud

Trevor_Pott
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From my understanding of the issues discussed in these papers, this is the sort of thing that the folks at Cloudphysics have st out to identify. I wonder if group A has been introduced to group B? Sounds like they are thinking along the same lines...

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'Planned maintenance' CRIPPLES nearly HALF of all Salesforce instances in Europe, US

Trevor_Pott
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Re: SDN

If that was the case, I'm sure it was an attempt to implement Cisco's version of it. Everyone else has a business case to make SDN that actually works.

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Trevor_Pott
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The outrage is because of scale. If one business selling tat to people has the POS system go down they inconvenience a few dozen folks that day, maybe cause a knock-on b2b issue to a couple of other businesses.

If VISA goes down, the world stops. Now the same is true of salesforce, Amazon and increasingly Microsoft. That's hundreds of millions of consumers inconvenienced and millions of B2B issues created.

How many single points of failure does your economy need?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Nobel Peace Prize for .... Twitter?

Twitter is just as likely to cause such incidents when a postal worker/writer/politician/policeman/what-have-you is forced to deal with the braying masses.

The internet is full of piranhas, most of them utterly irrational and without any semblance of clue.

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Trevor_Pott
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...and she's not even named Enterprise!

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Google spaffs $80m on Sun-powered kit: Calm down, Oracle. It's SOLAR

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Still won't help at night of course.

...no it wouldn't. At 800KM it would spend a significant portion of it's time in Earth's shadow, and the rest of the time frying hapless people and animals as it whips across the Earth faster than it could possibly track any ground stations.

Perhaps you're thinking of geosynchronous orbit, which is 42,000 km (give or take), which would allow a satellite to park itself above the ground station and only microwave every satellite, station, ship, plane or bird that happened to cross it's beam. Even then, as any geosync orbit that isn't wildly elliptical (thus fluctuating in distance from the surface (and thus beam intensity) quite wildly) has to be at the equator, that satellite will certainly pass within Earth's shadow.

You can see this phenomenon every month. There is a rather large example in the form of a large chunk of rock approximately 384,400km out. As I recall, our ancestors even created the concept of a "month" based on the tendency of that particular rock to "go dark" as it passed through Earth's shadow.

The only way you're getting a satellite to experience 100% sunlight is a circumpolar orbit (which would fry a lovely ring around the terminator) or a geosynchronous polar orbit; from what I understand the vagaries of the magnetic fields and the Van Allen belts make that latter one a right bitch.

Also: spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace...

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Nutanix building elite squad of crack VMware designers

Trevor_Pott
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Nutanix have been hiring a lot of top talent. I would not bet against these fellows; they know their shit and they have a fantastic offering.

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Space hotelier Bigelow wants capitalists to FIGHT comm-MOON-ist takeover

Trevor_Pott
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Re: UN Lease

Because what you end up with is the UN as the "one government" for off-planet humanity and a bunch of infighting egoists on-planet. Under no circumstances do the infighting egoists want to give the UN any form of legitimacy as a governmental body whatsoever. Ultimately, they want to rule. They want to see their "enemies" - for that is how they all truly see other nations - sundered. America does not want a "United Nations colony" any more than it wants a "United Earth" under anything but the heel of it's own jackboots. China, Russia, the UK and 99%* of the rest of the nations out there are not different.

*Exceptions made for Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland Estonia, Canada and possibly New Zealand.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: I think lunar commercial development is desirable and inevitable.

How resources should be shared>? Goddamned communist.

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Investors on Microsoft: What, Ballmer, leaving? Hand me my wallet

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Sell! Sell! Sell!

But if Nadella gets the nod the value of that company will treble.

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How d'ya make a JPMorgan banker cry? Ask him questions on Twitter

Trevor_Pott
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Re: "Miss another payment, and we take the blanket."

Point of order: if they make millions upon millions and then get bonuses even during catastrophe they are not remotely stupid.

We are. For letting these assholes be in charge. But them? They're fucking brilliant.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: That's weird.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you aren't going to get "censored" for bringing up a concern with a writer, but you will get your wrists slapped if you can't do so in a civil manner. Under what social ruleset should anyone be expected to suffer unbuffered, unhinged or irrational ad hominems in their own digital home?

Maybe I'm jaded, but it seems to me that most of those doing the whinging are aught be entitled douchenozzles gnashing their teeth that someone dares to speak ill of the the brand to which they've associated their sense of self worth.

Boo hoo. I weep. Really, I do...

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Maxta chucks vSAN out of stealth and into El Reg review suite

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Where's the failure?

It passed every failure mode I had time to test. Rebuild speeds were about what you'd expect from a regular RAID. We had to tear down the cluster for a reconfiguration, but we're hoping to get back to it next week as part of testing it against VMware's VSAN.

I want to find a way to break this as much as anyone. So far, I haven't found one. When I do, I'll post it here, just like I always do.

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Concerning Spiceworks' evil plans for world domination

Trevor_Pott
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Additional comments thread

For those interested: the official Spiceworks thread on this article (with some good jabs at yours truly by some of the Spiceheads) is here

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Is it just me?

Defanging the spam takes some poking around in your settings, but it's possible.

Ignore the help desk and focus on the automated inventory and problem detection stuff. Get the GPOs right for the thing to talk to your various devices and I have found the software to be quite useful. There's all sorts of way better monitoring software out there. There isn't much that's free and in terms of both "free" and "remotely easy to use" there's basically nothing else available.

I also suggest you explore the plug-ins. They make a world of difference, especially when it comes to integrating the existing applications and hardware on your network into the system.

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Rent a virtual desktop from Amazon: 35 bucks a month (PC not included)

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Licensing

I think the licencing discussion http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/latest/2013/11/11/Chris_Mellor_1_Death_of_the_business_Desktop/ here is very relevant to this thread...

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Death of the business Desktop

Trevor_Pott
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Renting your stuff only makes sense if the price isn't ruinous. With Microsoft's cloudy fuckgasm the price is beyond ruinous and well into "obscene." Microsoft's NSA-friendly cloudjsm only looks even remotely attractive if you

A) believe that upgrading every generation is a benefti, to which I I say "Vista, Exchange 2007, Ribbon Bar, Windows 8, VS colour-free edition" and so on and so forth.

B) You upgrade every two years. To which I say "I still have an active installed base of hardware and software over 10 years old and it works just fine, thank you."

Microsoft is trying to use their cloudspooge as a means of making people more, more often. Oddly enough, people want to pay less and pay that less often. SMBs believe a reasonable refresh cycle is 6 years, maybe 10. Microsoft believes it should be every 2 years, maybe 1. And retraining everyone to deal with their lobotomised-monkey interfaces is the problem of the client. (You will adapt to service Microsoft!)

In what universe is that remotely equivalent to leasing a car?

You lease cars you get a choice. You can even hang on to the existing units by extending the lease. You don't get these kinds of choices in the GOOGLE/MICROSOFT/ETC STOP MOVING MY FUCKING BUTTONS cloudy touch-enabled testicle-waving kinect-based future.</ragequit>

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: *ahem*

I can't tell you how I really feel. I still occasionally have to cross the border into the US and the NSA monitors everything. Free speech is dead. Fear big brother, because I sure as fuck do.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: *ahem*

If I could get my hands on the poxy whoresons responsible for this spectacular clusterfuck "interviewing" these wretched accretions of mewling fundamental evil would be the singularly last thing that came to mind.

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Trevor_Pott
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*ahem*

Original text the below quote is here.

VDI

If System Center licensing required a spreadsheet and a cheat-sheet, to truly understanding VDI you’re going to need a young priest, an old priest and possibly a bottle or six of scotch. To start with, VDI has a few different flavours.

The first is Remote Desktop Services (RDS) - otherwise known as Terminal Server - in which multiple users log into a single Windows Server instance. With the new Fair Share feature and a lot of the enhancements to RemoteFX in RDS, this is a method worth considering if only for the simplicity of it all. You licence the appropriate number of Windows Server virtual instances to host the number of users you require, you buy a Windows Server CAL and an RDS CAL for each user and you’re done.

The extension to this is that you can give each user their own virtual machine by simply buying a Windows Server Datacenter license and spinning up one Server VM per user. This method was popularly considered a neat way to sidestep the byzantine complexity that Microsoft’s Vista/Windows-7-era VDI licensing was, as WS2012 allows two administrators to connect to the operating system without needing RDS installed.

Microsoft has explicitly forbidden this approach; if you are using instances of WS2012 as individual VMs for your users, you must get an RDS CAL for each user. Unlike the traditional RDS approach, however, your users can have their own VMs.

Microsoft’s official stance is that VDI is best done by using a Windows Client operating system. This is where things get dark. The intuitive licensing approach - buying a copy of Windows XP, 7, or 8, installing it in a VM and letting your users have at it - is explicitly outside of compliance. As soon as you put Windows Client inside a virtual machine - or remotely access a physical machine through RDP - you must licence the client device as well.

There are some basics to VDI licensing for Windows Client operating systems to know. Microsoft offers a licence called Virtual Device Access (VDA) which costs $100 per year. It is available only through volume licensing; signing a volume licensing agreement means agreeing to have Microsoft audit you each year, so make sure you have your ducks in a row. VDA licenses apply to client devices. Windows endpoints covered under Software Assurance (SA) have VDA rights and so do not need to pay this fee.

A single Windows VDA license allows that endpoint to be RDPed into a maximum of four Windows Client instances simultaneously. You must hold as many VDA licenses as you have thin clients and non-SA-covered endpoints accessing the VDI environment.

Extended Roaming Rights are another critical concept. Any device covered under VDA or SA allows the user to access a Windows Client from up to four x86 devices, so long as those devices are outside the corporate firewall. This is designed to allow users to access their work PC from home, or a personal laptop.

If that personal device - the canonical example is the personal Macbook - is brought into the office, then it is considered part of the work environment and must be covered by VDA or SA.

To summarise: if you have a PC at work covered by SA or VDA then you can access up to 4 VDI instances of a Windows Client operating system. You can use up to four computers not owned by the company outside of the corporate premises to access those same VDI instances. If you stop using your Macbook at the Starbucks across from the office, walk into the office with it and use it to RDP into a work VM, then that Macbook must be covered by VDA or SA.

ARM devices are licensed differently. If your company covers its PCs with Software Assurance and buys you a Windows RT tablet, then you can access a Windows Client instance from that Windows RT device.

Corporate-owned iOS, Android, Blackberry or other ARM devices must purchase a Windows Companion Subscription Licence. CSLs are per-user and cover up to four companion devices. Personally-owned ARM devices - including Windows RT devices - must be licensed under a CSL to access a Windows Client operating system.

None of the above brings Intune or Office 365 into the discussion, considers diskless PCs, or attempts to explain licensing Office in a virtual environment. It is not intended to offer exacting guidance: VDI licensing can change at any moment, and making sure you get the best possible set of licenses for your deployment can involve factors beyond those discussed above. It is always best to discuss your VDI plans with your VAR or Microsoft rep.

If possible, try to get a stamp of approval from MS on your deployment before you deploy. Remember that the burden of auditing is on the business - not Microsoft - and you may be asked to verify your compliance every year. It is strongly recommended that anyone considering VDI invest heavily in automated compliance tools. You’ll need them.

Personal take

The long and short for me: I clocked my access in 2012 to my home XP VM at just over 300 devices. At $100/device/month for "remote usage rights" Microsoft would have me pay $30K/year to access my home VM. Of course, I can't access my home VM because I can't get remote usage rights without SA. I can't have SA without being a company. So I the initial cost for just that one licence is up a few thousand as well.

If I want to stand up the ability to allow my staff to access Windows 7 instances from any device anywhere in the world it is going to cost, and cost and cost. Every new endpoint that connects is $100/device/year, and Office is yet more.

Microsoft says "just use Server + TS and use shims to fool apps." Sadly, I have a number of apps that won't work on Server and for which shims have not been - and likely never will be - written. Microsoft's response is "tough titties." (That's not even getting into a Server licence + CALs, etc is a hell of an entry-level buy in for someone to access a home VM, or an SMB worker to use a centrally provided desktop on the road.)

For me, I am dumping every last spare dollar into both supporting Weyland/Weston with the new FreeRDP compositor and porting my apps to Linux (for graphics intensive stuff) and standards/HTML delivery (for everything else.) Until Weyland/Weston/FreeRDP are ready to rock on RHEL/CentOS (a few years yet) then VDI just isn't something we can afford.

Your mileage will vary.

We are the Beast of Redmond.

Lower your expectations and surrender your productivity.

You will use both biological and technological means to accomplish what should doable with technology alone (we won't licence the technology to the likes of you.)

Your business will adapt to service us.

Resistance is futile.

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Why build a cloud when you can get one ready made?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Trevor Potts = Snow Patrol fan?

There's no S in my family name, you pugnacious troglodyte.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Where's the real Trevor!

Your brain only has two states, doesn't it? Everything is binary. 1 or 0. I loathe Microsoft's licensing department with the burning passion of 10,000 suns. I think the endpoint people are the organised and led by the most arrogant, out of touch douchnozzles on the face of the earth. I think Azure and Office 365 are overpriced when compared to proper alternatives and I'm not afraid for a half a second to call Microsoft on it.

That said, Microsoft does employ some of the most brilliant people in the world, their server division is amazing and Satya Nadalla actually seems to have the barest glimmerings of clue about how to price things. He might even use metrics to inform decisions rather than justify them. Where and when Microsoft is deserving of praise, has stumbled into a good idea or simply is inevitable, I will write about that too.

It is a terrible thing, however, that you can't accept the world isn't as binary are your limited mental faculties. There are other possible states; reality - not to mention human behavioural characteristics - are quantum in their diversity. When you grow up some, you might be capable of nuanced analysis rather than blatant brand tribalism. We all anticipate that day.

P.S. I don't honestly believe Canada would win a war with the US. We would, however, take so many of the bastards to hell with us as to make such a war unbelievably costly and highly unprofitable. A bunch of paupers with little more than sand and caves held off the mighty US of A. A technologically advanced nation within missile range of their major cities could inflict genocidal damage, even with good old conventional weapons. Again, however, that requires a type of complex, non-binary thinking you have clearly demonstrated yourself to be incapable - or unwilling - to be party to. More's the pity.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Yes, why use your brain when you can just spend money?

"Don't outsource your e-mail, use a small hosting provider."

The fuck, what?

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Berners-Lee: 'Appalling and foolish' NSA spying HELPS CRIMINALS

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Copying from the BBC

Sometimes you have to put deliberate mistakes in. I may be all writery now, but I'm still an internet troll at heart...and its/it's is the one that seems to irritate everyone the most. (Followed very closely by your/you're.)

Now I want a survey; which grammar mistakes cause the most angst amongst commenttards?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Copying from the BBC

You can be factually correct and still a douchebag. You're like one of them whiny little bitches whinging that "ain't is not a word" despite the fact that it's entry into common parlance has been accepted for decades.

I'm on your goddamned lawn, sir, and my dog's taking a shit. That rocking chair and shaken broom impress me not at all.

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Microsoft's so keen on touch some mice FAIL under Windows 8.1

Trevor_Pott
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@aqk

There was never anything wrong with Windows 7 (from a technological perspective) other than "snap" was on by default and the up button was missing. Snap can be disabled easily and Classic Shell fixes the up button.

The VDI licencing changes, however, were atrocious and are the only reason XP remains in my estate.

Windows 2000 was godlike. An excellent operating system that simply wasn't worth replacing until XP SP2 came around and fixed the unbelievably bad RTM release.

I said "why upgrade to Windows XP" when it was the shitty RTM release. I became a champion of Windows XP when it stopped sucking. Vista was a turd and I skipped it with the rest o fhte world. We jumped all over Windows 7 - carefully modified to suck less - almost immediately. Windows 8 is a turd and 8.1 is no better. Maybe Windows 9 will be workable. (Seriously doubt it. It'll probably be touch only, or "touch + kinect". Maybe "wave your testicles to select." If you don't have testicles, oh well, Microsoft is perfectly happy alienating half of any given market until it has cumulatively alienated everyone in all markets.)

So I call bullshit. I won't be buying Windows 8. Windows 7 lasts until 2020; I'll stick with that unless and until something better comes along. In terms of something better, let's examine:

1) OSX doesn't demand $100/endpoint/year for each endpoint I use to remotely connect to my Mac. That's a huge plus. It doesn't have a native RDP-speed remote connectivity server, that's bad. Teamviewer 9 is finally as fast as RDP, however, it eats a lot of CPU and is $600/year/user. That's still better than Microsoft's pricing - fuck you I'm not paying $30K if I use 300 different devices to connect to my home VM, which I did in 2012 - but $600/year/user for viable remote connectivity is still pretty steep.

2) Linux - in the form of Weyland - finally has an RDP server. The FreeRDP server code was ported into Weyland and it's fast. That's groovy, but the downside is that *dun dun dun*, it doesn't work yet. That said, what's on the table as a beta is damned close and it's only a couple of years out from full release. It costs me sweet fuck all to remotely access a Weyland system.

So, what to invest in? I could invest in Windows 8. Then 9. Then 10...paying Microsoft a tithe at each turn and then paying them more for the right to access that system remotely. (Thus meeting my business and workflow requirements.)

Alternately, I could take roughly one quarter of the same total amount of money I would spend on Microsoft licences and "upgrades", CALs and "remote usage rights" between today and 2020 and port every last one of the legacy Windows apps I have to Linux and/or standards-compliant HTML-5/CSS/JavaScript/etc.

I pick the latter option because once I've done it, I'm free. And I have a saleable product in the form of the apps I've just invested a few hundred thousand into porting.

This isn't about sour grapes. It's business. Microsoft is no good for the future of my company or that of my clients. As that is the case there is no logical reason to continue to use their software.

That's without even getting into "the interface sucks, Microsoft doesn't listen to customers, pushing us into an American cloud which I - as a Canadian - want nothing to do with."

I don't have to go there to determine that Microsoft is unsustainable. I just have to do the math. Is Windows licensing sustainable in the long term for my business? Absolutely not. Even supporting us on Windows 7 out to 2020 will come damned close to breaking us given the remote usage rights bullshit Microsoft makes us jump through.

The quicker the exit, the better for my business and the more money in my pocket as a business owner. That - right there - is what matters.

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Wanted: IT world domination. Can Spiceworks succeed?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Wouldn't mind finding out more about Spiceworks - in the normal El Reg way.

Well, as it so happens, I actually have "a complete noob to Spiceworks" working on such an article. He's a sysadmin used to things like Nagios, Zenoss and some of the Enterprise monitoring options. I got him working on Spiceworks about a month ago. Sometime in the next few weeks his report should be ready and it'll get worked into an article.

I've been using Spiceworks for so long, I felt a more objective perspective was required...and it hasn't change that much since my last review of the software portion of the exercise a little while back. The basic MDM stuff has finally been integrated is really the big one.

As for the community bit, the closest would be Stack Exchange, excepting Stack Exchange doesn't have the deep vendor integration. And it's for developers. (Who cares about dev? It's all about ops! :P)

The unique bit about Spiceworks is honestly how they integrate vendors into the community. Ask a question in Spiceworks, get an answer. If the community itself doesn't have it, the vendors will. Play vendors off one another to see who can do best for a particular project. See if you can get a lower quote from one than another.

If Stack Exchange is a library full of nerds where other nerds go to seek sage advice then Spiceworks is "the big city" that a work crew on an out-of-town site drives into for supplies, access to consultants and to meet up with other working hands.

The ads are pretty dominating, there's no lying about that. They are typically static - no screen-dominating crap - but they occupy a fair amount of screen real-estate. You can, however, simply ad-block them and they go away. (Should you choose to do so.)

Spiceworks claims the local install doesn't even send asset management data back to the mothership. As it's on-site, any plugins, etc that you install are all on your own server. Your database lives on your network. Mostly just metrics about how you interact with the community go back to them, but that's because "the community" actually lives on their site.

Integration with vendors depends on the vendor. Some - like Juniper, HP - have begun integration projects. Some companies (LogMeIn as one example) have gone whole-hog and are deeply integrated. Others (like Teamviewer) view Spiceworks as competition for their ambitions to be the helpdesk and so have zero integration. That said, a lot of vendors are working on integration today. (This part is discussed more in depth in part 2.)

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: This article reads like an ad.

"Backhanders" from Spiceworks. *snort*

If these internet piranhas had even the faintest clue in hell how much I loathe travelling (especially flying) or the unbelievable amount of shit I have to go through every time I enter the USA*...

I go to Spiceworks because it's relevant to "my people" (sysadmins). I went to VMworld because as a newly minted vExpert I wanted to meet all the other super-cool vExperts I'd met on Twitter. Both were arduous, painful, miserable experiences I didn't enjoy in the least.

Most things I do that might generate a "backhander" by piranha standards - reviews, conferences, etc - usually cost me far more (up front or in the time spent) than I'll ever make writing a few articles. I do these because they are what generate the majority of positive comments from readers. Admittedly, via e-mails from readers, rather than in the piranha pit. The piranha pit isn't happy with anything, ever. Criticize or praise, analyze or opine, they'll be a tank of piranhas demanding you for dinner.

Well, off to bed before I become completely jaded and cynical...

*I really hate being interrogated. The lights in that damned room are too bright.

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Trevor_Pott
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That's a fair statement and an entirely reasonable complaint. I will take that under advisement when writing any future series on them, or other sysadmin-centric companies.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Titus Technophobe

Now there's a thing that hadn't even occurred. I didn't see it remotely as "advertising myself" so much as "giving context." Unsurprisingly, most of the other companies involved in marketing/content creation and so forth are very leery of talking "on record" of how they feel they fit in with Spiceworks (or any other community.) There's an awful lot of hatred for anyone that does anything remotely close to marketing, and everyone wants to keep their "secrets" of how they do things all close to the vest.

I'm terrible at lying, so I stick to "tell the truth." Make a business of honesty and you have a heck of a lot less to remember. It also comes out in my writing; I've no issue using myself or my company as examples for things where others would fear retaliation from a vendor or theft of trade secrets. If you remove my ability to find work in an area, I'll go find work in another.

If that's a problem, it leaves me curious...and perhaps a bit sad. Unfortunately, however, not surprised. "Honesty" is something with decreasing value these days. :(

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Re: Meanwhile...

The thought had occurred. I think, however, this is largely because Microsoft simply doesn't see technical folks as all that relevant anymore. For whatever reason, Microsoft doesn't feel they have to influence coalface admins or even CIOs. It's all about the consumer, or the CEO. Nothing in between.

I have to admit to a great deal of curiosity about who's right in that gamble. Microsoft seem very desperately ti want to be the new Oracle.

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@Titus Technophobe

I have a choice every time I write an article: spend the whole article explaining every acronym, every service, every product as though my readers were dumb, deaf and blind...or presume a reasonable amount of industry knowledge on their part and move forward. No matter which of those two I choose, someone is going to get their panties in a bunch in the comments.

I could try to find a happy medium, but that ends up just upsetting everyone.

Do I need to spell out RAID for you lot? MAID? RAIN? What about Cloud, does that still need to be "defined" in every single article? Do I need to keep writing Software as a Service (SaaS) or can I finally just write SaaS and presume that readers have more than 12 functional brain cells to rub together.

There came a point where we stopped having to explain to everyone that Facebook was a Social Network, or that Twitter is a micro-blogging site that allows communication like a crippled public IM at 140 characters per second. Sure, some dude who has recently crawled out from under a rock will demand that we explain what they are, but we're at the point that anyone who works in IT and doesn't know what they are should simply not be working in IT.

At some point, as a writer, you have to make that call. You have to presume that your audience will have heard of the service/acronym/standard/etc that you are discussing. If you don't, your entire article devolves into explaining everything and you manage to convery absolutely nothing.

Spiceworks is big enough within our industry that I feel entirely confident saying "it's time to treat it like one of those services everyone in our industry does - or at least should - know about." It was a conscious choice. If you want to call that "an advertisement" you are free to do so. You'd be wrong, but you're free to be wrong.

At the end of the day I am making an assumption about Register readers: that you have access to - and know how to use - search engines. If you've missed something like "Spiceworks becoming a hugely popular service you should know about by now within the IT industry" then I make that assumption that you have the wherewithal to look up the backstory you obviously missed over the past several years.

So when someone says to me "I am unable to figure out what Software Defined Networking is" or "what is Spiceworks" understand that to me such individuals appear to be proclaiming publicly "I have not been paying attention to critical developments in my profession for at least four years and am completely incapable of rectifying this using a search engine. I demand that technology writers continue explaining every little detail for at least a decade after the product/service/company/standard/acronym/etc became mainstream industry knowledge."

You lot seem perfectly happy to demand that I give up on GUIs - despite my being a non-linguistic learner - because CLI/scripts/PoweShell are how "real admins" do things. Anything else is kid's stuff and GUI babies deserve nothing but contempt.

But lo! Attempt as a journalist to treat my audience as though they posses clue and might make it part of their professional advancement to keep abreast of key developments in their industry that are years old and I'm advertising, or being too hard on the poor little muffins who never heard of product/service/company/acronym before.

You lot are going to turn me into one of those jaded journos who no longer reads the comments because I'm utterly convinced there are no signs of intelligent life to be found there.

That's before we get into the bit where one half of the commentards demand that you do nothing but praise the brand to which they've attached their personal sense of self worth and the other half demand you never say a nice thing about anything ever...

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Re: This article reads like an ad.

Spiceworks is a Network Management and Help Desk application. That's a very minor part of the value prop, however, despite what some of the closet-dwelling introverts around here will tell you.

The software is a hook to get you sucked into the community. The community is a social network, full stop. The application itself is evolving away from being "just an app" and towards becoming a "platform" into which vendors and dedicated coders form the community can add modules, etc.

The goal, however, is to build the community in order to buff the social network which is where the revenue comes from. Frankly, they've done a good job of that part. It isn't shocking at all to find that part of the business model pooh-poohed on The Register; of all the tech communities in the world, El Reg has one of the most openly hostile to Social Networking in any form.

Make of it what you will; it's either A) A Network Management app with some annoying stuff you have to put up with in order to get Free Stuff, B) A Social Network with some applicaiton software as a hook, C) Both or D) GET OFF MY GODDAMNED LAWN.

You decide.

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Nvidia CEO: Android 'the most disruptive operating system in decades'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: OS?

Mir sucks decomposed goat balls.

Ubuntu can't make an interface to save their wretched little souls. Not that they care. Ubuntu is at this point nothing more than a vanity project for a madman so utterly out of touch with what actual users want he makes Microsoft seem sane.

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Who would have thunk that 4 years ago?

Oh, oh, I know, I know!

Me.

If you treat your customers like serfs and gain a sense of entitlement that you are owed X thousand dollars per endpoint shipped then don't be shocked and shaken when your market share drops. When you are a douche to the masses the masses say "up thataway" and buy somewhere else.

But holy fnord that crap you take in the comments section of a tech publication for speaking that truth to the entrenched power of brand tribalist fanboys.

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Foxconn-rebrander Apple to rebrand hardware from other Taiwanese firms, too

Trevor_Pott
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El Reg has removed comments that personally attacked writers. Grousing about the publication, choice of titles or other such things is a longstanding El Reg tradition. Just look at the (mostly successful) campaign to ban mobe.

There is a difference between ad homs against writers and "come on El Reg the Foxconn rebrander thing is getting old*".

That said, there's a crazy amount of brand tribalism amongst the readership. "OMG you attacked $brand_I've_associated_my_self_wroth_with, DIE HEATHEN" is just as overplayed as any linkbait. Would you suggest that The Register is pro-Microsoft? Pro-Apple? Pro-Samsung? Pro-Google? Pro-anyone?

It's not. It's also not anti-anyone. Individual writers may have certain chips on their shoulders, but the publication as a whole does not. Consider the dichotomy between Andrew O and myself, as one example. I disagree with virtually everything that man has ever written. He certainly disagrees with me. That's perfectly fine, we stay out of eachother's way and on we go.

Tim Anderson loves Windows 8. I assuredly don't (Win 7 uber alles) while Drew - and many, many others - use Macs. Chris Mellor tears into Tintri and buffs Pernix. I love Tintri but have deep reservations about Pernix (ones that go far beyond my affiliation with a competitor.)

So perhaps what irritates you is that The Register represents a diversity of opinion. It isn't obviously one thing or another. It doesn't pick sides...or if one writer does, another is perfectly free to come along and disagree as loudly as they so desire.

What isn't cool - and what isn't remotely allowed - is attacking a writer. If you want to come into the comments of an article and say "I disagree strongly, and here's why:" you'll be left alone. That sort of reasoned debate is strongly encouraged.

Coming into the comments with things like "Trevor Pott, you are a giant douchebag who knows nothing about anything and I think you kill yourself for the good of humanity" will get your comment pulled. If it happens too many times, you'll get banned.

To make things even more frustrating for those who simply want to convert all and sundry to their tribe's viewpoint, comments are adjudicated by human beings. These people - good people all, I assure you - may well pull a marginal comment when they are having a terrible day that wouldn't receive the same treatment during a happy day.

That leads to some inconsistency, but that's life. This is a world where human beings have to interact with other human beings and we - each and every one of us - bear a joint responsibility for learning to play nicely with others. (Not that any of us succeed at this all the time.)

It might seem callous and cold to say "if you don't like it go elsewhere", however, If you don't like it I strongly encourage you to go elsewhere. Publications need readers, but the truth of the matter is some people are way - way - more trouble then the two fleshy orbs at the top of their meat popsicles are worth.

If you desire, demand and expect the right to abuse, chastise, berate, belittle or demean the writers of this publication personally then quite frankly we are better off without you. Any publication - and frankly any business in any sector - is better without people such as that as customers. (Or as "product", if that is what you choose to view yourself as.)

If you don't like something about how The Registerdoes headlines, in-jokes, pith or articles, by all means speak your piece and take a stand. Do it in a reasonable and mostly professional way and I think you'll find that feedback incorporated into robust internal debates on the topic.

The Register can't be all things to all people. It will have a style that will be loved by many, hated by many. This is true of every business, every brand, every person on earth. What makes The Register different for so many others is that we actually do listen.

Me, personally, I far prefer a publication known for taking the piss out of things than republishing bland press releases. The day I become an "on message" sycophant like Ed Bott is the day I retire from writing forever.

So if you have a complaint, talk to us about it. Give rationale and use logic and evidence to back up your points. Open a professional dialogue and participate in a back and forth. Anything else will get filed under "haters gotta hate" and we'll get on with the business of doing business.

I hope that clears at least a few things up. Cheers, and have a great day.

*For the record, in my humble opinion, not only is the Foxconn rebrander thing a little tired, but I'm highly critical of this whole "peak Apple" nonsense. Peak Apple my chrome-plated ASCII.

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Dodgy Kaspersky update borks THOUSANDS of NHS computers

Trevor_Pott
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Re: What happened...

Expecting your vendor to do testing for you is socialism. It's nothing more than entitled sysadmins looking for a hand out. This is something everyone should be doing for themselves. If you want to have someone else do testing then you pay them for it. Specifically. Independently of the definitions.

I can't believe all the crazy socialists around here. This planet sure is going to hell.

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IBM makes cheeky SNATCH at AWS's cloud crown

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Gartner? Really?

You're hilarious. IT was hacked and cracked ages ago. Just look at all the cattle using Windows 8. It's all about whose influence you buy. Few think for themselves anymore, or beyond their immediate desires to see what business practices they are enabling and encouraging with their purchases.

The corrupt leading the blind enabling the greedy who manage the stupid. The meritocracy is long dead.

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Enabling the on-demand data centre with SDN

Trevor_Pott
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Re: What Network Virtualization is?

Abstraction layers provide easy of use at the cost of efficiency. When the cost of what's lost to inefficiency of the abstraction layers drops below the cost labour cost required to run things without the abstraction layers then the abstraction layers see widespread adoption.

That's business 101-class stuff...

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Microsoft CEO shortlist claim: It's just Elop, Bates, Mulally, Nadella and...

Trevor_Pott
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Re: 2 ceo's needed

Please. Spend an hour in the same room as Nadella. Presence is not his problem.

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