* Posts by Trevor_Pott

6173 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Microsoft's Surface Hub mega-slab DELAYED 'cause you demanded it

Trevor_Pott
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Good for Microsoft. Hope it sells well.

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I cannae dae it, cap'n! Why I had to quit the madness of frontline IT

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Inherent vice

It is useful to think of it as another version of the tragedy of the commons.

That may be the single most interesting thought in the whole thread.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: That includes the firmware.

Getting the right core team together would be the make-or-break of the whole enterprise.

No, no, no and 10,000 times no. This is absolutely wrong. The whole point of security by design is to design out any single point of failure, including the failure of individuals. You don't need a stellar core team to run a secure, successful business. You need one to run a business that will rock wall street and perpetually exceed expectations.

There are literally thousands of examples of large enterprises around the world that are well run, stable, steady businesses that do things in a secure fashion. They don't make the news because they aren't prima donnas, they aren't high-stakes wall street derivatives stocks but many of them are household names.

If you design your business to rely on the charisma and personality of individual members of your corporate team you have already failed at information security. Everyone in a company is disposable. Even the CEO. That's proper security. Nobody can be indispensable. Nobody can be in a position to "leverage" the company. No one person - not even the CEO - can be allowed to have full security access to anything.

Policies, procedures and best practices determine how operations are carried out. Changes to those policies procedures and best practices are researched, audited, vetted and tested before being implemented.

It means the company evolves slowly. It means they will never be on the bleeding edge. But it can mean - assuming the design is correct - that they will be secure.

Anyone who is "exceptional" is a threat to the stability of such a company. Exceptional individuals have no place in the smooth running of an organization. They may be useful in research and development, but not on the implementation side.

None of this is a dig, by the way. I'm almost certainly worse at this hoo-man stuff than you are. People can also be considered as exploitable flaws, however, and a bit of introspection does no harm.

People are exploitable flaws. But the biggest risks are in ongoing operations (and the people making those operations go). New equipment can be vetted and tested and verified before being put into service. Any behaviour that deviates from modeled behaviour can be/should be analyzed. Equipment can be deployed in test/simulation environments before going into real ones.

Individuals responsible for design of equipment should be isolated from those designing testing. Those implementing testing should be separate from those implementing production and from those who designed the tests. Those who deliver the goods should be separate from everyone. There should be a "chaos monkey" group internally whose job it is to try to break things. Talk to Netflix about it and you'll understand the benefits.

But the people who are doing day-to-day production. Who are working the help desk, who have access to backups, administrative privs, commit privs, push privs, deploy privs...all these people are threats. They need to be categorized. They need to be maintained. They need to be well cared for, kept happy and - above all - their activities need to be closely monitored and documented so that if they attempt to screw up you not only know about it, but you can replace them at a moment's notice.

That said, that doesn't mean you have to be the evil overlords. You make it clear to people up front that you are a secure environment. They will be monitored. The company doesn't care if they watch porn while waiting for something to break. The company doesn't care if they listen to music or drink coffee at their desks.

The company does have issues with communications with the outside world during office hours unless they agree to allow that communication to be monitored for corporate secrets getting out. If they want to type sexy somethings to their significant other, that's fine: but it's going through the corporate network, not their cell phone, and the content will be analyzed by computers.

Make sure the corporate policy doesn't prevent them from typing sexy sweet nothings, and that corporate policy prevents anyone other than security teams from accessing those messages. respect privacy as much as possible and provide as relaxed an environment as possible, but make it clear that there are concessions to security.

If they don't act against the company's interests then they are guaranteed a job as long as they perform adequately. If the systems detect them acting against company interests a specially qualified, vetted individual trained in discretion and personal privacy ethics will examine thier suspect events/traffic and determine if they pose a risk to the company. The individual will be informed of the event and information about whether or not the data was false or positive will go back to the algorithm team to make the machine better.

That's the best design I have for keeping operations teams satisfied, but I am still not sure if it manages the balance quite well enough. And it is here where, if there is a failure in my design or a breach in the company that it will occur.

This is why I would personally bring experts in to pick apart various stages of my design.

That said the design is based on a lot of research. Failures and successes of other companies. Every single security expert I've talked to - and most that I've read - are adamant that the biggest risk to any company is ongoing operations. Not procurement.

What's more, the procurement design discussed here ad nauseam is one that aligns not only with the best expert advice, but with game theory as well. I simply do not understand why you seem so obsessed with the idea of compromising devices as opposed to compromising the people who will be safeguarding and using those devices every day.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: That includes the firmware.

Pretty sure that your biggest problem is going to be people

So you design everything in such a way that noone is 100% trusted. Which is what I've been saying all along...and was really hoping for a great discussion on how one might go about that.

mentioned earlier that IT knowledge and loyalty-inspiring charm weren't exactly synonymous and we spent subsequent posts proving exactly that. Now you can mitigate that with good working conditions; but that only goes so far.

Where did I claim to have loyalty-inspiring charm? That's a purchasable commodity. A network architect doesn't require it directly. Picard didn't have to deal with children on his ship: he had Riker for that. Etc.

And that goes for parts of the supplier chain you own.

Holy fuck, you're back on that again.

As you said in the article, a project of this type requires leadership and a company-owning leader who pisses people off may quickly end up in a worse position than someone more personable who has never been near the place.

Well, yes and no. You see grown ups don't sabotage their workplaces because they don't like their boss' boss' boss' boss. Good HR can root out most of those who would before they do and good network design can limit access of the hoi polloi, with only the most trusted (and well vetted, well compensated) individuals having deep knowledge of more than their segment of the network and/or access to multiple areas.

In addition, quite frankly, when someone is as obstinate or stubborn as you have been - not to mention unable to read - I'd simply let them go.

A better approach might be to send in a personable member of the team to negotiate a fixed-term contract that includes all the data/diagrams that you need.

Uh, no. That would leave your designs in the hands of someone else and raises all sorts of interesting rights issues. The goal is total control. You can't control what's in peoples' minds, but you can bind them by contract not to disclose and you can expunge their access to any design materials when they are not actively working on a design-related project.

and as a bonus, anyone who is trying to attack you by spiking hardware and the like will have to do it all over again at regular intervals; thus making it more expensive

Wrong. it makes it easier for them to do so, because you've created multiple soft targets that have information about your designs. You're far better to control the supply chain and still design your testing and validation regiment to expect potential compromise. Reduce the risk of compromise at the outset, but test for it anyways.

I put it to you (and this is not a snark, although it absolutely would have been if I'd said it 8 hours ago) that "If you own the folks who make the devices" is the worst possible way of approaching things...you're already inciting revolution (or at least mumbles of "fuck that guy rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb") before you've even plugged in your first box.

You're really, really bad with people, aren't you? Funny how it seems to be fairly easy to get qualified, talented, relatively loyal people to work for you if you pay them well and get them to work on projects they enjoy. I don't have problems with "rebellion", and hundreds of millions of other businesses don't have problems with rebellion. There are entire disciplines devoted how to treat people right to ensure you don't have rebellion. You could also - holy shit - listen to your staff regularly and find out if they feel they need anything.

And there's trust (although this may just be a different name for the people problem). You have testing and monitoring kit; but who wrote it? You have testing and monitoring kit; but who wrote it? The software stack it runs on? The hardware? Do you need monitoring software to monitor the original monitoring software? Who writes it? And so on.

As discussed eleventy billion times already, multiple independant teams who are given the design materials and tasked with coming up with independent testing regimens. They are not related to the original design team at all.

This is ground I've been over dozens of times. And you're still obsessed with the kit going into the business as the point of attack. Holy wow, man. Holy fucking wow.

Questions along these lines end up in a recursive loop and your brains running out of your nose. </I.

No, they're really quite straight forward. As a matter of fact there are quite a few very simple bits of game theory that apply here. They even give you the optimal number of independent teams, etc. Verifying supply chain is not hard if you own it. It's really, really not.

<i>For an enterprise of this type, it'd probably be better if you took the Merlin role and appointed someone else to do the King Arthuring.

No, Merlin had to read.

You'd also need someone truly stellar in HR...one of those rare ones who are very good at reading people.

The ability to read English and retain it would be where I'd start. We would then proceed to see how much charisma was required from there...but honestly that skillset if not that difficult. There are entire business schools full of them.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: That includes the firmware.

You did say that the network would have monitoring, mitigation and all the rest. First order of business for a potential evil attacker is gaining some sort of access. Thinking of ways to do that and sidestep as much security as possible sounded like a fun thought experiment

I agree that it is a fun thought experiment. I certainly enjoy kicking holes in such designs. I'm merely saying you're attacking the wrong end. If you own the folks who make the devices then guarding against tampering with the devices themselves is trivial.

This means that if you want to attack the network you need to get closer. Your attacks - and your reconnaissance - need to be at the point of deployment, not at the point of procurement.

I'm positive there are vulnerabilities here. There is, after all, only so much isolation and mitigation you can do. Systems have to interact in some fashion. How to you do that so they can, but are still as isolated as possible? How do you do this in a manner than can change in an automated fashion so no one person can know the whole design?

These are the weak points.

My poking at you was to get you to see this. To do a broader security analysis of the design and move your focus away from the easily defended procurement and towards the areas of the network where there actually are real questions.

That would have been a much more interesting debate because there are some very real limits to what's possible with today's technology. Even "new" application designs present problems. Any legacy apps would be huge security holes.

I have some thoughts - application proxies, mainly - but it's the area where my knowledge hits its limits and I would have to bring in a series of specialists to help me work out the fine details.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: That includes the firmware.

What I thought we were doing was wargaming a 'perfect' networking product to look for chinks as a fun thought experiment. Bear in mind that I do not know the size; shape; purpose or likely customers of your product; nor do I have any idea what precautions you are taking. From the above post, I gather it's some sort of data centre. Up until then, I was assuming some sort of mass-produced physical product.

Which is kind of the point. I had mentioned on several occasions in our thread that A) I had never claimed 100% ability to prevent all attacks and b) the purpose of the exercise was to ensure that you, as the implementer of technologies could ensure that your own network was secure. And that you would do so - in part - by owning the supply chain for your widgetry.

Just a second there matey. You said you had that bit pretty well covered at the start; so I was trying for ways of accessing the kit without tripping any alarms.

No, I didn't. Please go back and actually read the thread. You were arguing your own points and not what it was that I was actually discussing.

Based on what you said in the above post and going with tradition; possibly a combined attack might work...simultaneously getting at one or two of your star-chamber auditors and also trying to spike your monitoring software.

The liklihood of your being able to get both (or more) auditing teams as well as the designers and/or the manufacturing is pretty small. And if you did - and the super secret squirrel one that i threw in for funsies - I can still stand in from of a judge and say "I did everything humanly possible, ma'am." You're up into "living to see the asteroid that wipes out humanity" territory of unlikely there.

Either way, I still accept it as a possibility in my design and there are still countermeasures and mitigation and incident response. Because it's actually possible to implement those things without spending too much (on an enterprise budget).

But again - it depends upon the product and the customers. Dribbling selected data over a time period might be the best payoff; or maybe showing up with a couple of guns and emptying your warehouse into the back of a lorry.

And you're back to "you can somehow pwn my network if you can pen the stuff en route". Wrong. You'd have to get the stuff en route, both public audit teams, the secret squirrel audit team, have the previous version testing software also have been pwned, and find a way to bypass automitigation and auto-incident response to get the data out. Even if you did, you'd get a small amount of data. That's a whole fuck of a lot of effort for not very much.

Whatever. Anyway, I could return the serve with some personal abuse and aspersions on your professional competence or I could wander off and do something different. On this occasion, I shall go for the latter, I think.

Oh, please, don't leave everyone hanging. Do demonstrate your ability to pwn the proposed design. But, before you do, please actually read what the idea is, so you're arguing what I'm discussing and not your own, completely unrelated idea of what I'm discussing.

Cheers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: That includes the firmware.

I was talking of spiking your product after it has left the factory en-route to the market. You have to do it sometime and that's a weak point.

Except it's not. If you have known-clean firmware to load on the device after it arrives at it's intended location and a set of test software/hardware devices to look for compromises then it doesn't matter if someone compromised it en route; you'll be able to detect that because you know exactly what it is supposed to behave like and you can both load clean firmware and test the behaviour to all conditions.

You seem to feel that owning a company is some sort of ward against evil. I would suggest that that is not the case.

And you're wrong. Owning the company means you own the designs of the hardware and the software. You can have those designs and software independently audited. You thus know what clean firmware should look like and how devices should behave under all circumstances. So even if you are compromised by the workers in your assembly plant, or compromised en route you have the means to test for compromise and even to potentially correct it.

There is no requirement to trust anyone. In fact, if you are doing it right, you don't trust anyone. You establish multiple teams each in different jurisdictions, each serving different masters and with different personality mixes whose job it is to find flaws and compromises. There is no single point of trust or failure throughout the entire procurement process.

You're outsourcing all over the place and each time you do that you're introducing potential holes. It gets to be a fractal coastline thing very quickly; impossible to police properly

Wrong. My procurement design doesn't rely on trusting anyone. It doesn't even need to have many suppliers. Two for any given component will do, each with their own logistics arrangements. Two (preferably three) teams of auditors auditing firmware, designs and creating test suites, each in different jurisdictions. Done. The chances of compromising all of them is effectively zero, and you can always add a hidden auditing team that the rest don't know about for extra paranoia.

When stuff arrives onsite you look for compromises. You absolutely don't trust that it somehow wasn't compromised en route.

If you're assuming an essentially unlimited budget then you have to assume that for your potential attackers. How about if your opponent had a secret chip fab and somewhere to make custom batteries? They could get up to loads of shenanigans

I do assume an unlimited budget for potential attackers. if they compromise things, regardless of if that compromise is done in firmware or in hardware a proper suite of tests designed by people with access to the original designs of the hardware and source code of the firmware will be able to detect the compromise. Doubly so if there are multiple independent teams who are creating separate tests.

You seem obsessed with the idea of prevention as the sole means of doing security. This means you are terrible at security. Nowhere are you looking at detection, monitoring, mitigation and incident response. The fact that an item might be compromised isn't the end of the world. You simply need to detect the compromise before being put into production, or during production if it slipped by. You need to mitigate the damage that any compromised item can do and you need to plan for the fact that you will inevitably miss some and how you will deal with individual breaches.

I can reduce the possibility of compromised equipment being put into my datacenter to damned near zero if I own and operate the supply chain. (Prevention)

I can detect almost all compromises that do slip through by having access to the hardware designs and the source code of the firmware and software. (Detection)

I can further reduce the impact of any compromised equipment by designing my network so that no individual component or piece of software has access to all of my data. (Mitigation)

I can continuously test and monitor all equipment, firmware and software to ensure that it is behaving as expected and immediately trigger alerts if it does otherwise. (Monitoring)

I can immediately lock down my network and trigger security audits and/or alerting of authorities/customers/insurance/etc if a compromise is detected. (Incident response)

You will not catch 100% of incidents this way. You will catch 99.9999%+ of incidents this way. You will also be able to stand in front of a judge and say that you have done literally everything humanly possible to protect your customers' data from harm.

What's more, that's all perfectly doable on the budget of a mid-sized enterprise. None of it requires "unlimited" budget to accomplish. None of it is even particularly hard.

You just have to understand something about information security and best practices, which your comments lead me to believe you do not.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: That includes the firmware.

Except that in the scenario discussed the items are coming from the factory to you for internal use. You can then reload clean firmware (actually, every end user should be doing this for every product anyways) and running your test suite on the product before you deploy.

Since you own the company that designed it and employ the devs that code it and the multiple teams that develop the testing suites there should be no way for tinkering to go undetected.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: That includes the firmware.

So you get someone in the factory. And? Precisely what do you think they will do there that can't be tested for elsewhere?

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Trevor_Pott
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I have recently been told Audi may have been the better analogy and been given a host of reasons why. I am investigating.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ Trevor

"I meant 'bomproof' figuratively. With the sort of distributed supplier chain you're describing, compromising it would be relatively easy, if the assailant also had a decent budget. It'd be another "You have to be lucky all the time; whereas the other team would only have to be lucky once" scenarios. Depends greatly on what sort of product, who the customers are and what useful information is passing through."

Interesting viewpoint. I'd love to buy you a beer and go back and forth about it. I think there's merit in both approaches. There are just two different things that need defending against: 1) external actors attempting to "poison" the supply chain and 2) loss of one of more elements of the supply chain. (I'd argue that a "poisoned" supply chain component can be treated the same as one that is destroyed or embargoed.)

So what is the optimal distributedness versus risk solution? I could spend quite a bit of time in front of a whiteboard having fun with that calculation. :)

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Trevor_Pott
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You are absolutely sure that the VHDL compiler they used to cook up the masks for all the chippery or the microcode for your CPU is not compromised?

No. Which is why I talked about ensuring that you write firmware that presumes you can't know this and tries to compensate. By doing that you have done everything humanly possible and can stand up in front of a judge and say so.

"hat Japanese factory making the tantalum's didn't place a transmitter inside?"

Yes. Yes, this one I can think at least three ways to verify conclusively.

"You have to assume that the operation is compromised and then work out what the consequences are and how to mitigate this."

Which is exactly what I said. But you also work to minimize the number of different points of compromise so that you have fewer potential holes through which nasties can get you. Security is a comprehensive affair that should be done in depth.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Nothing to see here move on

"Secondly, Potty actually says he likes to think he can make a system secure, but goes on to state later that he can't. "

I never said I could make a system 100% secure. I said I could build the best network out there, given enough resources. Nowhere does that mean that the network will be 100% secure. It means that it will be as secure as is possible and tha tit will be able to cope with the inevitable security breach.

Learn to read.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: IT Sales Problem

"In order to be good at IT you must first master business, sales, marketing, procurment, etc. etc. BTW, the pay is shit, you get no respect and people on the internet will tell you you're a failure if you aren't capable of doing the job of 15 departments full of people for less than the average mortgage payment with a smile on your face."

Thanks for remaining me why I quit, Justin.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ Trevor

I'd guess at automated probes back, followed possibly by throwing a few exploits at whatever you detected

Nope. Nope nope nope. That is illegal on so many different levels I just...that's a great big huge bucket of nope.

"Incidentally, I've been hatching evil plans to get at your bombproof "networked product" factory ever since you mentioned the concept; favourite so far is build the nastyware into the case."

Why bombproof? Hardware is cheap and cheerful. Source from multiple suppliers. Write your own firmware. Have it checked by teams in different countries and foster some spirit of competition between them.

Expect that people will try to compromise your hardware (building nasties into the CPU/ASIC?) and try your hardest to write stuff that will detect it. Shut down if required, work around if possible. Have network gear that doesn't trust what's attached; always look for suspect traffic, etc.

No single point of failure. Not even in your supply chain. Someone bombs your motherboard factory? That's why you source from multiple places! Etc.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ Trevor

The stuff I've seen is a little bit more advanced than that. Some of it's in beta with stealth companies. Some of it is just tip-top-secret squirrel because it actually works for now and the current "big fish" customers pay the startups a truly obscene amount of money to ensure that only a very limited number of people have access to the technology. (I.E. not their competitors.)

Security products and services are a disgusting business. Companies aren't willing to spend a lot to defend themselves, but holy crap will they spend money to thwart their rivals.

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Trevor_Pott
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Prisoner's dilemma.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Wearing my rubber-soled shoes

That network you've got protecting you... surrounding you... do you really think it'll stand up against the big gangs? We are everywhere living in the worst parts of the worst big city. Be ready to run like hell. Individually if need be.

Absolutely not. But that's why proper security is about far more than prevention. You need the following covered, at a minimum:

1) Prevention

2) Detection

3) Monitoring

4) Mitigation*

5) Incident response**

6) Penetration testing

7) Randomization

*Compartmentalisation/isolation/segmentation of data so that no one breach can pwn your whole network or all relevant data.

** You will be pwned. Accept this. Have plans of action to deal with it.

You will eventually have a security breach. Make that reality part of your security plans. Too many IT "professionals" think that security stops at "prevention". There's a hell of a lot more to security than patching and firewalls!

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ Trevor

Read the article. Nowhere did I say I would solve every security need.

I merely said that I could build the best network that has ever been built, if the resources were provided. That includes counters for every known security problem, policies/procedures that limit new problems for occurring, incident response plans to mitigate damage when breaches do occur and resolution plans to deal with breaches once they have occurred.

Now, bad code, state actors slipping things into hard drives/switches/etc...these are all easy to solve. Expensive, yes, but these are known issues that can be worked around. Automated testing can be built to look for them. Mitigation programs designed to handle them. If you know about an attack vector you can plan for it, assuming the resources are there to do so.

This includes social engineering. It even includes some thigns I can't talk about related to automated incident response because I'm under NDA with several companies developing next generation technologies.

Suffice it to say that yes, security is actually not that hard. It's spectacularly expensive, and the experts required to implement the things you need to be properly secure are in high demand, but it's all perfectly doable.

That's the problem. It is doable. Worse: I know how it's doable. I can detail for you every single corner cut, every compromise made, every bent copper clawed back in exchange for deepening the risk pool.

You can't guard against what you don't know, but you can absolutely can put in place mitigation and response, compartmentalization and...and...and...FUCK IT. ENOUGH! I'm not going down this goddamned rabbit hole one more time.

Look, companies aren't willing to pay money to secure themselves. Sony wasn't. The US Government wasn't willing to. Many health care providers aren't willing to. Over and over and over and over, up and down the whole damned list.

Every week I have sysadmins from the largest companies on earth telling me very blunt, honest tales about how they have raised flags about things they KNOW are issues, but which management utterly refuses to address. They want me to write about these things in The Register, but somehow keep them completely isolated so that nobody can trace the leak of info back to them.

Government malpractice? Pick a fucking country! SMBs? Cloud providers? SaaS providers? Startups? You name a segment, I'll tell you tales of cut corners that will make your blood run ice cold. Corners they know they are cutting, but take the risk to cut anyways because they delude themselves into thinking that the risk of incidence is low.

Christ man, you read about these things here in The Register every single week! It's now gotten to the point that most of us just tune it out because the frequency and scope of the digital apathy and ignorance is so astoundingly staggering that we, as pratitioners of the art can do nothing but weep.

Then we go to work and pretend that same restrictive penny-pinching bullshit approach to everything is somehow not leaving our precious networks vulnerable. Or we fellate marketing (and oruselves) with the trumped up idea that by using public cloud computing we will somehow offload all risk and responsibility to a third party provider, without, of course, reading the EULA which very explicitly is Nelson Muntz says "ha ha" with both middle fingers in the air.

It is not naieve to think that with the right resources a competent administrator can build the best network on earth. Not impenetrable, but damend close, well monitored, segmented, compartmentalized, isolated and with incident response for when it is inevitably compromised.

What is naive is thinking that anyone will ever be given even a fraction of the resources required to do so, or that any of us are even remotely secure unless and until we do.

And who takes the blame when the hammer falls? When you don't have the incident response you should have? When you are pwned by a known vulnerability, or you didn't have the latest security measures due to budget cuts? Your boss? Accounting? The shareholders?

Nunh uh.

You. The systems administrator. Every single person reading this comment does not have the resources to secure their networks enough to be able to stand in front of a judge and say "I did everything I could, your honour". The best that they can hope for is to document each and every incidence of resources being denied, log strenuous objections and keep paper copies of it all locked away in case you end up in front of that judge.

And if you don't? You just leave room for the attorneys of your employer to blame you. You should have known. that's your job. By not objecting you either didn't know - and are thus incompetent - or you didn't object, and thus committed malpractice. Either way, it's your fault.

But no, sir. Nobody is willing to pay "big $$$ to secure themselves". That's the whole goddamned problem right there.

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Re: Been there done that - To some extent money and time are the easy bits ............

It..but...

...goddamn it...

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Yeah but how can you be *sure* that those companies haven't been got at?

By owning the companies. If you own the companies you own the code. Do external code audits...like you should be doing with all the code you own anyways. Never trust anyone. Not even yourself. Everything and everyone is a potential point of failure. Build as many checks and balances as you can with the resources you have. Then try to get more resources.

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Why the USS NetApp is a doomed ship

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Seems like an article set up for bashing NetApp, but...

Your customers are whiners? The people trying to sell your stuff are whiners? I'm glad to see you hold the opinions of the individuals and corporations who purchase NetApp's products in such high regard.

I'll be sure to link them to this post with your views on the subject.

But thanks for proving my point so spectacularly.

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Re: Beware of Confirmation Bias

I don't see why even if they were in the dire straits you describe they couldn't turn it around - they have the capital and base to work with. They probably could simply buy one of the smaller, newer storage companies if they need to.

Then you must work for NetApp. As has been described ad nauseam in this thread - and in the article - the big reason NetApp can't succeed is because the people who work at NetApp are some of the only people out there who can't see why it is that NetApp is doomed. They simply cannot comprehend the problem.

An inability to recognize there is a problem limits the likelihood of buying the right companies to plug the gaps. And if, by some chance, NetApp does buy the right companies, history tells us that NetApp will do a piss poor job of integrating them, kill the best products, destroy the remaining products and drive out all the innovate talent from the acquired companies in short order.

But, of course, the people who work at NetApp can't see that this is what happens. Everyone else can. Which leads up back to...

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Re: Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake I shake it off, I shake it off

Mainframes are still around. Should that be NetApp's ambition? To become the mainframe (circa 2015) of storage?

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Re: where will other vendors be?

Yes.

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they were innovating beyond their flagship much, but they aren't. And they really push any consideration of anything else aside. That is very much so a huge, huge, huge problem.

Next?

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Re: New technology - jets

Don't apologize, I like learning! Keep up the great comments, please!

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Re: Nothing special about it??

Nothing special about it. NetApp was cool 5 years ago. In case you hadn't noticed, the storage world exploded in that time. There's a lot of options that can take NetApp for one hell of a ride, thanks.

An enterprise storage product that is mature in serving all major protocols

*Yawn*

(and FYI, retrofitting enterprise NAS on other systems is insanely hard, which is why nobody's done it).

Funny, others seem to be doing just fine at it. Maybe your assertions are based on dated knowledge.

With no downtime for pretty much any operation, including things that would mean major downtime for other systems.

Some other systems. Old systems. Shitty low end SMB systems. Some legacy stuff from other fossils that haven't grown up in the past five years. But there's a hell of a lot out there that is perfectly okay with doing all sorts of major changes without downtime. *shrug*

With the best application integration tools on the planet.

Let's agree to disagree.

The best heterogeneous fabric management system in the world (OCI).

I'm neutral on this. More testing required. Mind you, a storage fabric isn't the only way to do scale out, scale up storage. At least, not fabric in the same way NetApp goes about it. But I'm willin gto be convinced on this point.

Amazing automation (WFA).

*shrug* Automation is increasingly table stakes for enterprise storage. Enough do it that it's really not making me excited.

Great performance.

Granted. But performance from almost everyone reached way the hell better than "good enough" some time ago. We're well past worrying about that. Now it's about driving down latency, heaping on the features, building for failure and driving down cost.

Insane scalability.

Define "insane scalability". Almost everyone has scalability. Is it rational to think about going to hyperscale with NetApp? The cost of that alone turns most people pale. NetApp is hugely, hugely, hugely expensive and thus is left out of conversations where "insane scale" would be a serious consideration.

Netapp is a great tier 0 storage platform, especially for legacy workloads. If I had a workload that I know wasn't modern and designed for failure, needed life-or-death class reliability and I needed to know I could scale it up to a moderate-sized array, NetApp would be in my top five companies, no question.

But the number of these tier 0 workloads out there is diminishing. New applications aren't written in in legacy Win32-style monolithic single points of failure. Scale is increasingly cognate with price sensitivity in today's storage market and so I am not sure exactly how scalability helps the NetApp marketing pitch. It just focuses the mind on what that much NetApp would cost and immediately starts one thinking about alternatives.

Technology that literally keeps the lights on (part of the control chain of many power distribution systems).

Or deployed in life or death situations. By the most paranoid organizations in the world.

See above: great tier 0 storage for legacy workloads. No question. That's why it's still relevant for this refresh cycle. But it isn't the only storage capable of performing here...and increasingly competitors are earning their stripes as being reliable on this level. Even as virtually everyone is moving away from the requirement for this kind of storage.

Is that what NetApp wants to be? The mainframe of storage? Because that's what I was warning about in my article: that slow fade to niche, maybe, ultimately, complete irrelevance.

NetApp's reliability is a huge plus...but it's not enough to make it more than a point consideration for specific niche workloads.

That's the storage foundation behind the largest companies in the world.

Actually, the storage foundation behind the largest companies in the world is either OCP-style home-rolled storage (Google, Facebook, etc) or EMC. NetApp has a few wins as primary, but mostly NetApp serves the purpose of being a credible second-string provider used to threaten EMC during negotiations and you know that.

The damning thing is that many startups are eating your lunch as regards to playing "beat EMC over the head and drive down margins". See: EMC versus Pure Storage as one example.

That's nothing special?

Not overly, no.

I'd love to see what you consider special. Must really be something.

Go to VMworld. It really should be renamed "storage world". You'll see all sorts of lovely things there. Marvelous and entertaining things. Storage to wow and amaze. Storage to run screaming from. Storage and compute that works together. Storage, compute and networking and automation and orchestration and NFV and hybrid extensions and more that work together all in one SKU.

Maybe you should buy one or two. Incorporate their fresh thinking into your company after you buy them, instead of driving them out. Maybe you can bring to their products the level of QA and testing that makes your products so stable and reliable while gaining a much needed DNA infusion.

What I find impressive doesn't exist yet. I'd link you to a much newer, more comprehensive article but sadly, that one hasn't been published yet. (Written, but not out the door, quite yet.)

I'm rarely impressed by the past. Having the ultimate solution to fighting the last war is as irrelevant as the development of the F-22 Raptor. Just who exactly did the US expect they would be fighting with those things, hmm? That cold war wet dream was sure useless in clearing out a bunch of entrenched resistance fighters from hastily constructed bunkers in the middle of the desert.

That is how I see NetApp. Not just the technology - that can be excused - but the corporate culture. The best and brightest laser focused on solving the last war's problems, completely ignoring the one currently being fought or the one brewing on the horizon.

Alas, I feel that conversation may be falling on deaf ears.

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Who the hell do you think you are, Trevor?

The honest truth? I wrote the article because of the number of NetApp people stampeding around conferences, forums, Twitter, comments sections and literally everything else claiming overwhleming superiority of NetApp over all things. Now, that's fine and good when they can back it up, but it really did not line up at all with what everyone who was not from NetApp were saying...and quite frankly what many who worked inside NetApp were saying behind closed doors.

What really got me digging on this was discussions by VARs, MSPs and other people who have to actually sell storage. The tales are many and varied, but they rarely end with NetApp winning. Some of this I can (and do) discard as bravado and smack talking, but the sheer volume of different sources started to make me think that NetApp was presenting to the world an image of itself that was untrue.

Very specifically I feel that NetApp is not a secure long term bet for companies, for all the reasons in the article and here in the comments section. This is a problem. NetApp is more than "just a filer". There is an entire data management ecosystem that NetApp is trying to sell people on. If NetApp fails to innovate and evolve at a pace required to keep up with a rapidly exploding storage market then their customers will find themselves locked in to a stagnant storage architecture that will ultimately place them at a disadvantage.

Okay, so we have my views on the matter. But what does that matter, in the grand scheme of things? Why tell the world what I think? It all goes back to the "full court press" by NetApp evangelists and marketdroids. I hate stretched truths, half truths and outright lies. I cannot abide them.

So I wrote about NetApp. Somone had to talk about the elephant in the room. The conversation needs to be had. It needs to be had for NetApp's customers - they need to think about all of this and decide for themselves if I am right or wrong...and what that means for them and the long term strategies around storage and datacenter architecture in their environments.

NetApp needs to think about it too. If I am right - and based on the evidence I've assembled, I believe that I am, - NetApp needs to make changes if it is to thrive...maybe even if it is to survive. NetApp has been in full-on denial mode about these issues for quite some time...having someone who isn't the same list of enterprise storage bloggers and storage journalists speak up about it might well shock NetApp into contemplation.

And oh, look, here you are.

So the "why" I wrote the article isn't really simple and easy to write off. Nobody asked me to write it. I don't gain anything by writing it beyond the word rate I get for writing. I could have written about the memetics of cats on the internet or how to build a cantenna or a treatise on deterministic lockstep usage in video games. I get paid the same word rate either way.

I don't think I made too many friends amongst the storagerati by writing this piece; we've all had this conversation at conferences before a dozen times. You don't get storage bloggers in a bar without eventually someone laughing about NetApp and then moving on something less depressing. I know I probably made some enemies.

But with the CEO change and the "great purge of those who disagree/think differently", I felt the time had come to speak up. If not now, when? If not me, who? Everyone else who makes a living as a "storage blogger" or an analyst or whatever the box it is I am being put into now can openly say mean things about storage companies. They rely on those selfsame companies for income. They need you to like them, or their livelihoods collapse.

I don't. Oh, don't get me wrong; I make my money doing analysty things, writing whitepapers and so forth just like they do...but I'm not nearly so monofocused as most of the others. If I get banhammered by the storage kingpins for telling the truth as I see is then I just write about SDN, or Automation or maybe I'll take up robots.

I'm not so long gone from the coalface that I've given up my generalist tendencies.

I haven't gotten invited to a NetApp briefing. I've certainly taken the time out to get the spiel from a number of folks. Watched all the webinars I could find and had quite a few great discussions about some really nitty gritty technical details will all sorts of different folks.

You ask what I do for a living. I investigate for a living. I test hardware and software. Sometimes I set it on fire. I snoop in nooks and crannies and listen in on conversations I shouldn't. I pay attention to what everyone says. I write notes.

I talk in public about things that others only talk about in private.

I don't know what you call that. People call me to get the honest straight goods on a topic; lately, storage is a popular one. I write about it. I review things.

Your competitors didn't ask me to write this article. I can think of no way in which I benefit from writing it (as opposed to having written something else). Yet I felt it had to be written. Maybe - just maybe - that's the thing to ponder here.

I don't unload on companies without reason. Not even Microsoft. It's just not worth it to do so. I do it when I feel that the balance has been disrupted. When the needs of the many are better served by raising a fuss, or when something grievous has been done and a voice deserves to be raised in protest.

The balance is off. Seemingly everyone can see it but NetApp. NetApp has carefully constructed their world so that dissent is not voiced, and opposing views are not heard.

Count me honoured to have pierced the veil, however briefly.

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Re: Doomed really?

Yes. Doomed. Read the article. In it I said the following:

NetApp made a great product, but that one product is all that they have, and in today's storage world there's really not a heck of a lot that's special about it anymore. NetApp solves the storage problems of last refresh cycle, and might be relevant for part of the next, but the company as a whole isn't doing anything substantial to address the fact that the compounded average growth rate (CAGR) of the storage array market is about to go negative.

Nothing that any of the NetApp staffers who have commented in this thread has said addresses the actual point of the article.

That you are making money today means nothing regarding tomorrow. Ask Novell. Or SCO. NetApp in 2015 is Novell in 1995. ON top of the heap and thinking they'll stay there out of sheer largess. Novell didn't see their utter annihilation coming either.

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Re: where will other vendors be?

"you've stated in comments that it may take 15-20 years for Netapp's demise. Do you really think there will be no innovation or absorption into another company by then?"

Okay, let's break this into three bits.

1) In order to be able to be relevant 5 years from now you need to have been investing in innovation 5 years ago. You need to be putting out innovative product into people's hands about now and 5 years from now you'll have enough adoption to be able to compete. This is something NetApp has cataclysmically failed at.

2) You can not simply buy a company today and be relevant 5 years from now unless you have the greatest luck integrating them. so far, NetApp's track record for integration is shittastic. They also don't seem to keep the thinkers and innovators around very long after absorbing their tech. BAd, bad, bad. You pay how many hundreds of millions or billions to get a product that isn't going to evolve much? You'd better be able to get enough revenue off that new widget to deal with your ongoing lack of innovation and the decline of traditional markets! Not seeing this as a NetApp strength.

3) NetApp is so large that it could survive irrelevance in 2020 and still be around (in diminished form) in 2025. I don't think anyone disputes that. Inertia is powerful in tech purchasing. But for NetApp to be relevant in 2025 they need to start innovating now, and that just isn't happening either.

So NetApp is wielding the ONTAP hammer of singularness while spectacularly failing to buy the right companies and integrate them well. That combination doesn't bode well at all. NetApp desperately need new DNA, but I honestly don't think their corporate culture is capable of coming to terms with that fact.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Beware of Confirmation Bias

Dimitris: for there to be confirmation bias you have to actually have something you're looking to confirm.

Here's a quick hint: I don't give a bent damn who "wins" storage, or why. None of this crap - Netapp, EMC, Nutanix, Tintri, Pure, any of it - is stuff I'm going to be buying for my own use any time soon. So i research storage and the people who buy it and look at what they are buying, why they are buying it ans I ask all sort of nice, probing questions about what they like, don't like, the why of each and what they are looking for from future purchases.

I do this at companies from the 5 man SMB all the way up to the largest Fortune 500s and government purchasers. I aim to get some pretty comprehensive information.

Then - and here's the real interesting bit for me - I talk to people inside the vendors. I get a view into what corporate culture is like. Where R&D is being spent. How new ideas by staff are treated and how bureaucratic the companies are. I start doing my research and I talk to people who worked at other companies in the past during periods of success and periods of failure.

I learn what makes different types of companies fail and what makes them succeed. I learn how in (or out) of touch different companies are with their potentially addressable market. I look at the CAGR of their competition and do ROI calculations (and estimations) based on various competing technologies and from all of the above attempt to extract a reasonable trajectory for businesses.

I do this in storage because people tell me they want me to do it in storage. Here's a hint: I loathe storage. Always have. But I got sucked into it a few years ago (thank, Maxta!) and haven't been able to escape. There's just so much brutal, merciless warfare by desperate companies trying to murder eachother that there is almost literally endless work doing research and analysis in this area.

So no, there's not much confirmation bias. I don't care who wins. I think the vicious axe-murdering of the storage industry is hilarious and I hope you all gnash eachother to bits for my own personal amusement.

If you want the area where I absolutely do</i. have religion, and need to be <i>very careful about confirmation bias it's endpoint management. (I'm a Ninite fanboy, so sue me!) I get very religious about it to the point that if I am asked to write about it I ensure that i am getting my articles vetted by at least a dozen people before publishing, instead of the usual 3-4 for storage or SDN.

That said, if you or yours want to take the time to walk through your portfolio and explain where you think I am so very desperately wrong about everything, I'll take the time out and listen carefully. That's my job.

And, also: good luck with the storage wars. As I said, I don't care who wins, so if you prove me wrong and end up not only surviving, but thriving....good on you! I think it would be great fun to see a come-form-behind victory. The storage wars could use a good upset, they're getting a little stale.

Cheers,

--Trevor

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: CV-6...

Yeah, the whole "she wasn't turned into a museum ship" thing was something I never understood.

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Re: Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake I shake it off, I shake it off

"To the author - Why is Isilon, a company nearly 15 years old, is still described by you (and others) as "the future""

Where did I describe Isilon as "the future"? Link please?

Also: hi, we're from IT. IT obsoletes way the hell faster than aircraft carriers. Aircraft carriers periodically get refurbished and have most of their tech stripped out and replaced. What about your datacenter, when was the last time you replaced the technology, not just swapping out one ONTAP full of disks from an ONTAP with a slightly larger number of disks? Hmm?

I await your description of how you've invented the IT equivalent of a rail gun and implemented it, changing "datacenter warfare" forever.

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Re: The slowest death ever?

How long will their death take? 10 years?

At least. if not 15 or 20. I mean, hey, Novell are still around...but the Novell of today doesn't have a bent fraction of the relevance of Novell in the 90s. $deity be still, SCO are still around, despite everyone's fervent efforts to murder them.

The existence of a company doesn't mean that company is anything but a shadow of it's former self.

As I said in the article: Netapp are relevant for today's refresh. Maybe the next one. But not beyond that. And the problem is that they aren't preparing for the future. They aren't making the radical changes required to be relevant past the immediate term.

Worse: Netapp are not very good at integrating acquisitions, so they can't simply buy innovation and hope it all goes to plan. Their toxic "OnTap is the only hammer you need" kills any new hotness they buy in a right hurry.

NetApp doesn't need to innovate at some nebulous point in the future. They need to innovate now in order to be ready for that future! Sadly, that is not possible given NetApp's current corporate culture.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Seems like an article set up for bashing NetApp, but...

Sorry mate, but you're just wrong. I "bash" everyone. The Register doesn't pull punches, mate...and NetApp quite frankly isn't pulling their weight. You strike me as someone rather invested in them. If not financially then certainly emotionally. Sorry if the truth is upsetting, but it is what it is.

Talk to NetApp about adapting. Once they manage to start making real movement in that direction perhaps there won't be so many negatives to talk about. Sorry about your feelers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Seems like an article set up for bashing NetApp, but...

But I don't know of a hyper-convergence solution that has a filer

Nutanix. Announced at their .NEXT conference. Everyone else I know in the HCI field is actively building filers into their products for future releases as well.

10 years goes by fast. What happens when these "smaller companies" have, in fact, been around for 10 years and Netapp has done sweet fuck all in the meantime? Hmm?

Netapp isn't innovating now. That means they are already dead and they just can't admit it.

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Hacking Team: We're the good guys, but SO misunderstood. Like Batman

Trevor_Pott
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Trevor, what do you do for a living?

I say in public things others only say in private.

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Trevor_Pott
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Dear Hacking Team,

You are not the good guys. You are evil, sociopathic asshats. I hope you rot in prison for your crimes. Or, at least, that's the politically correct way of saying things. The truth is that I am much, much more hateful towards you. What you have done is evil. Worse, you not only show no remorse for your crimes, you seem to honestly believe that you have done nothing wrong.

There is a part of me that believes you are entirely beyond redemption. There is a part of me that is truly hateful.

Hacking Team: I hope you get cholera and shit yourselves to death.

There, I've said it. It probably makes me a bad person...but if my "badness" comes in wishing ill upon those who have actively sought to help remove rights from the majority of people in the world, I'm oddly okay with my own incivility. May you reap in full everything you have sown.

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Someone at Subway is a serious security nerd

Trevor_Pott
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Subway devs employ security by design

About time. I hope the chaps behind this app get bought up by some top end development houses and spread their approach far and wide. Preferably attached to salaries large enough to buy themselves private islands.

Good job those folk.

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Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Okay... let me be the first to do this here...

The first rule of Toronto - nobody can talk about Toronto

Why would anyone want to?

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KERR-PAO! Reddit interim CEO Ellen quits amid Redditor revolt

Trevor_Pott
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Re: "she and Altman both criticized the sometimes vitriolic comments leveled at Pao by reddit"

Where did I say leadership was a requirement of her job? She was hired to be gestapo. Stamp out the wretched hives of scum and villainy, attract the ire of the hivemind for doing so and get ushered out so that the hivemind would feel they had "won"...all the while Reddit ends up a less controversial place (and friendlier for advertisers) because of her guillotine work.

There were (and sadly, still are) some pretty dark corner on Reddit. She was to clean them and take the blame for it. She didn't get to finish before this little bit of WTF exploded and they needed an emergency sacrificial lamb.

Remember: it wasn't Pao who sacked Victoria or generally made Reddit crappy. It was Alexis Ohanian. If Ohanian had not been such a goddamned idiot, Pao could have finished cleaning up Reddit then taken the fall, left, and Redditors would feel they'd have struck a blow for free speech and victory and all that good stuff by driving her out.

Now Reddit still has to clamp down on the dark corners of the site but they don't have an obvious fallperson, and Ohanian has proven to be a wild card running around doing completely batshit crazy stuff that ruins everything for everyone.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: "she and Altman both criticized the sometimes vitriolic comments leveled at Pao by reddit"

Her job was in making money from an Internet forum that hosts people's comments, bad or not.

Wrong. Her job was to crack down on Reddit's commenters by banning the worst of the worst and guiding the rest towards a more civilized self-moderating community that wouldn't be so controversial. Then take the fall if they lashed out at her, which they did.

Her job was not to make money from vitriol and hate. It was to stamp it out so that Reddit would be more attractive to advertisers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Trump

Upside-down piece of candy corn in a wig made of used medical gauze.

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Canadian dirtbag jailed for SWAT'ing, doxing women gamers

Trevor_Pott
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Re: What a difference...

It certainly ought to cut his narcissism down to size and adjust his oversensitivity.

You, like pretty much every other commenter in this thread, know absolutely fucking nothing about psychology or psychiatry.

I'm appalled at the lot of you.

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PLUTO SPACE WHALE starts to give up its secrets

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Call me simple

There are thousands of Jovian trojans in the same orbit as Jupiter. Does that constitute "in the neighbourhood"?

No. They aren't orbiting in Jupiter's orbital path excepting at the Lagrange points. Those asteroids are essentially trapped by Jupiter's gravity. All the rest of the crap that was in it's orbital path has been eliminated. There aren't a bunch of free floating rocks careening out of control behaving willy-nilly. There are a handful of rocks being dragged around at fixed points by Jupiter itself.

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Re: Call me simple

It seems to me that the current classification system for planets does not give enough detail as to what a planet is and would benefit from the addition of information about size and makeup at the very least.

This. 10,000 times this. There are some basic classifications that are informally used.

Brown Dwarf Star: not actually a star, this is a really large gas giant that outputs substantial heat but does not sustain fusion of hydrogen. Brown dwarfs can be extremely heavy and may well undergo hyrdrogen fusion in smallish amounts (in addition to the massive amounts of fission they are undergoing) but never quite "ignite" into burning balls of plasma in the sky. Can range from similar or smaller radius do superjovian to nearly the size of a red dwarf. May actually have a habitable zone, but many questions about radiation belts and magnetospherics remain.

Superjovian: large enough to output minor radiation and potentially notable heat to its inner moons but not large enough to be classified as a "brown dwarf star". Heat is primarily fission-based, megnetodynamic (depending on stellar flux) gravitational and remnants of its accretion. Can be absolutely huge planets, but don't start getting much bigger than Jupiter until they've gotten to be about 80 Jupiters in mass. Gravitational interaction with most moons will cause internal heating.

Jovian: Gas giants. They range from large but "fluffy" and not very dense planets (like Saturn) to several time Jupiter's mass. They they do not emit any noticeable radiation or heat past their roche limit, however, they are not massive enough for their megetosphere to deflect stellar radation completely outside their likely moon orbits. Thus most moons will pass through a belt of deadly radiation similar to the Van Allen belts here at Earth. Gravitational interaction with larger moon may cause internal heating of moons.

Neptunian: These planets have a roche limit that is far enough away from the planet that many planets this size will be capable of supporting ring systems. Planets are large enough to capture smaller terrestrial planets as moons. Gravity is high enough to hang on to hydrogen in the atmosphere. Expect ammonia in the atmosphere as well as water.

Superterrestrial: Planets larger than Earth but unable to hang on to hydrogen unless it is bound into a heavier molecule like water or ammonia. May have ring systems but highly unlikely. Unlikely to have captured moons. Can potentially be habitable. Very thin atmosphere compared to Neptunians.

Terrestrial: Planets just large enough to hang on to an atmosphere. Like all planets larger than it, silicates and metals form the planet's core/mantle/crust. Very thin atmosphere. Marginally habitable in that it is continually bleeding away lighter gases into space. These planets require life to be able to continually recycle molecules in order to have an atmosphere that contains lighter molecules that are critical to complex life.

*****Special case terrestrial: Metal Planet. Metal Planets can form very near a star where metals are hyper-concentrated in the core of a large gas giant as part of the regular formation process. The gas giant's atmosphere is then blown off (typically by the sun expanding to engulf the planet as a red giant for a billion years or so) and the metallic core is left behind, typically orbiting a dwarf star.

Subterrestrial: rocky planets that are too small to hold on to much of an atmosphere at all. Likely to cool after only a few billion years and not have much of a magnetosphere. May briefly be habitable. May briefly sustain a hydrosphere.

Dwarf: smaller than a subterrestrial. Not likely to ever have a hydrosphere. Not likely to ever have much of an atmosphere. (Minor outgassings and capturing of an inch or two of solar wind aside.) Dwarfs are separated from subterrestrials mostly because of density. They may be nearly as large as a subterrestrial, but they contain a lot more ices. Some dwarf planets at the fringes of a system may be mostly or all ices.

The big issues are drawing firm lines between the classifications. While in use by many astronomers, formal definitions require drawing arbitrary lines and this causes much consternation and debate.

Plus ca change...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Call me simple

Vesta, Ceres, Orcus, Quaoar, Eris and Makemake are, of the top of my head, round. Eris is bigger than Pluto. Sedna is suspected to be round. Haumea is an oval. Eris, haumea, Quaoar and Orcus - at a minimum - all have moons.

Do we have 8 planets and many dwarves? Or do we have dozens of planets? With 8 planets + dwarves we accept that "planet" comes in gradations and we start to be able to reasonably classify them in a useful fashion.

With "there are dozens of planets" we're just lumping anything that happens to be round and orbiting a star - as opposed to another planet - as a planet.

For that matter, Pluto isn't a planet even by the "forget the orbital path clearing" criteria. Vesta, Ceres, Orcus, Quaoar, Haumea, Eris and Makemake all are, but Pluto isn't. It's a double planet. Or a double moon, depending on how you want to look at it.

Pluto and Charon both rotate around a common barycenter that it outside of Pluto proper. Pluto is Charon's moon. Charon is Pluto's moon. Add in Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra and it's not really so much "planet" or "double moon" as "pile of rubble that somehow hasn't all collapsed in on itself yet".

Now let's have a conversation about Luna. And the Galilean moons. And Titan. And Triton. These are all worth considering as "planet-sized" bodies in some definition or another. Titan as a denser atmosphere than Earth. Triton is almost certainly a "captured planet". Hell, Staurn alone has 7 moons in hydrostatic equilibrium!

Being round does not make a ball of space debris special.

Anywho. The solar system, eh? Endless wonder. Endless debats to have about categorization and classification.

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Brit teen who unleashed 'biggest ever distributed denial-of-service blast' walks free from court

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Ledswinger Serious.

If he is receiving leniency because of mental illness then the public has a right to know the details

Not if he was a minor while the crime was committed.

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OCP supporters hit back over testing claims – but there's dissent in the ranks

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Cole is Delusional

Feel free to call me delusional but I can't imagine any company the size of Facebook not testing the gear that goes into their data center

What, what whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? You are expecting each company that buys OCP hardware to do their own tier 1 class testing? What?

How does that make sense at all? OCP is about driving down cost. Testing is a cost that should be centralized so that it doesn't have to be replicated.

More to the point: lots of companies that aren't the size of Facebook have come to rely on OCP gear. What are you doing to the open compute project? Why are you doing it?

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Samsung's latest 2TB SSDs have big hats, but where's the cattle?

Trevor_Pott
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Gotta disagree. A few tereabytes a month written is really not that big a deal. "consumer" drives basically mean "everything that is not server". You shouldn't have to put server drives into your business desktops. An endpoint drive is an endpoint drive.

Maybe what they should do is sell this marketed to as "for aunt Tilly who never uses her computer for anything except the internet". You know, people who think the little blue "e" is the internet, that the box under their desk it "the hard drive" and who smack the monitor when the computer doesn't do what they expect?

And then they can sell real endpoint drives for people who actually use their computers for everything from CAD to entertainment, and who aren't limited by the speed of their internet connections.

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