* Posts by Fenton

211 posts • joined 19 Feb 2008

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Server vendors board the Xeon SP party bus

Fenton

Forgot a couple

Dell, Cisco

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Vblock tags in Vxblock: Move is a 'simplification' for punters

Fenton

Re: There are viable alternative

But do you get the single point of call, a patch set (RCM) that has been tested against the entire stack including the hypervisor and provisioning software be that Enterprise hybrid cloud or pivotal cloud foundry?

That is the value proposition of the VxBlock.

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Intel to Qualcomm and Microsoft: Nice x86 emulation you've got there, shame if it got sued into oblivion

Fenton

AMD

Interesting one for AMD though. They hold an x86 license and have an ARM chip, could they legally bake x86 emulation into ARM?

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Coming Xeon 'scalable' family will run SAP HANA '1.6 times faster'

Fenton

Re: And the software licenses will cost how much?

Yes they do.

Cisco/Dell/EMC/Lenovo all offer systems with 3TB of RAM

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Microsoft founder Paul Allen reveals world's biggest-ever plane

Fenton

Another idea

Rather than design a large aircraft to carry the payload up to a certain height. Why not design a smaller aircraft that attaches to the payload (with it's own fuel), that uses the engines on the payload.

The Payload then drops the aircraft bit, which flys itself home.

No need for large fusalages, automate the whole thing with no need for people on board.

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BA CEO blames messaging and networks for grounding

Fenton

Hardware vs software

Even if the hardware is locally maintained, it's the software that goes tits up when the hardware fails. And it's the software management that has been oursourced.

The software is old and does not have automated resyncing (taking referencial integrety into account),

there are likely to be hundreds of little scripts that have been created to get around functionality gaps, many of which will not have been documented or architected properly (likely to have been created to fix a P1 issue).

I've been part of many an outsourcing deal, with perspecitive from both sides.

The recipient doesn't know what they don't know, the people giving up the system don't know what they have forgotten and are generally pissed off they may be redundent soon.

The best moves have been the ones where a ground up review/re-write/rearchitect/retest have been part of the move adding new functionality, plugging gaps properly and properly re-testing.

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Michael Dell? More like Michael in-Dell-nial: No public cloud, no future

Fenton

Well they already have an enterprise class cloud with virtustream.

Also why build a cloud when you can hook into existing clouds, without the need to build them.

AWS can now take on VMware workloads.

DellEMC storage can use existing cloud storage providers as an additional storage tier within

and array. You can even backup to existing cloud storage providers out of the box.

My personal opinion. Why go out to the cloud, why not invite the cloud into your own data center.

I.e. offer you spare capacity out to the cloud providers who can then distribute/create HA nodes

on a smaller granular level, thus taking the risk away from large sites.

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Chap 'fixes' Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8 update block on new CPUs

Fenton

Does not Compute

So the hack lets you get new updates, compiled for the previous architecture. Will never have been tested on the newer chips, so may well end up with performance issues/stability problems?

Time to move on I think.

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AWS v Oracle: Mark Hurd schooled on how to run a public cloud that people actually use

Fenton

Virtualisation

Why the hell would you not run DBs on Virtual machines?

30% overhead? Not seen those kinds of overheads for years.

90% of DBs I see out in the marketplace, do not require anywhere near the amount of

compute capacity available on modern platforms with 18+Cores per Socket in a two Socket server.

If you have the kinds of requirements for 8+ Sockets for a DB then you probably want to run the DB on Prem anyway or at least in a private/sourcing deal as no cloud can provide the kind on SLAs needed with such a DB which is likely to be business critical. (Or the company is crap at archiving data)

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'Clearance sale' shows Apple's iPad is over. It's done

Fenton

Keypad and touch screen

Why do you need both? You don't but if you are typing on a keyboard it is quicker using the trackpad that is only a thumb away than the screen.

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AMD does an Italian job on Intel, unveils 32-core, 64-thread 'Naples' CPU

Fenton

Re: But What About Purley?

We can get a good indication of the performance differences when we look at the Ryzen benchmarks against the desktop skylake processors that include the new AVX instructions.

As an example in Cinebench

Ryzen 1800X achieves a single threaded score of 162 and a multithreaded score of 1637 (16 threads)

10:1 MT/ST ratio

Intel 6900K Also achieves 162 and a multithreaded score of 1490

9.12:1 MT/ST ratio

Intel i7-7770k (skylake) achieves 201 and 985 (with 8 threads only)

Lets assume a 16 thread skylake will run at the same 4.2-4.5Ghz and has double the multithreaded performance of the i7-7770k the multithreaded result would be 1970

9.8 MT/ST ratio

But are we likely to see a 16 thread skylake run at that frequency range?

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Fenton

Re: But What About Purley?

From what I have read, the are creating a common socket for E5/E7 yes they may get a different name, but the E5 equivalent will have the AVX accelerator and the E7 the XML acceerator. Personally I'd love them to merge the lines as currently the software I deal with in only certified on E7 and the associated servers carry a large price premium.

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Fenton

Re: But What About Purley?

I assume you mean the Skylake server release?

Not a massive jump in IPC from Broadwell to Skylake and Skylake to Kaby Lake even less so.

The E5 2699v5 is rumored to only have 28 cores (although a 32core rumor has also been spotted).

But the clock speed rumor is only 1.8GHz, So I think this will be neck and neck, Skylake with a little higher IPC but fewer cores, is may just come down to Multi-threading efficiency and frequency)

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Fenton

Check out the Ryzen Benchmarks

You will see that in most workloads except Gaming the Ryzen pretty much equals Intel and beats Broadwell-E.

It looks to be a very good multithreader, even with a little less IPC it appears to be far more efficient

in multi-threading workloads than intel.

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Fenton

Ryzen

So why do we not have any articles on Ryzen that was released last week?

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Cynical Apple gouges UK with 20 per cent price hike

Fenton

Which Market is Apple trying to target?

I'm really getting confused about the market Apple is trying to target these days.

Creatives? So if you do photographic/Film work you need lots of memory! But you can't go beyond 16GB.

If you want to be creative on the move and use all of that processing power, your battery won't last with such a thin device.

Any creative I know is very particular about desk appearance/tidyness, yet no Apple docking station, so you have endless adapters clogging up desk space that can easily fall out when working. And you probably have a number of external devices. Cameras/Screen Calibration devices/Tablets/Scanners, etc

Remember when Apple released the Dustbin MacPro with two Graphics cards? Where was the 5K monitor to go with it. They released the iMac with a 5K Monitor at the same time.

Business users? Well at this price point, strained corporate budgets will not stretch to these prices, and do you want to risk the chance of loosing that VGA/HDMI adapter before you turn up to a customer site?

Apple need to refresh MacOS to make it tough friendly and catch up with convertibles, consider who actually uses a MacBook Pro.

Alas they have become the B&O/Bose of the IT world when it comes to computers. Form over function!

MS have really managed to out Apple Apple with the new Surface range. (regardless what you thing of Windows 10)

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AMD is a rounding error on Intel's spreadsheet and that sucks for us all

Fenton

Third parties

Whilst AMD chips have not been able to compete with Intel at the high end, APUs have been great performers for the price.

However third party Laptop makers have only every paired these chips with crap hardware, preferring to put equivalent Intel chips into "Premium" laptops.

I for one am hoping the Zen performs as promised especially in the server market.

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Google may just have silently snuffed the tablet computer

Fenton

Reasons I hardly ever use a tablet and won't upgrade

1) Kids keep taking it and whenever I'd like to use it it is out of charge

2) Still able to run all my apps without much slowdown after OS upgrades

3) Not a SIM enabled model so pretty useless when out and about unless I tether with phone

4) I always have my phone on me, which is usually charged and can do everything on that

5) Tablet screen is still too small to watch a movie and sound is crap (I don't always want to wear headphones)

So yes it's a nice to have but no need to upgrade every couple of years.

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Cisco re-commits to VCE with a very public display of affection

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Larry Ellison today said really nice things about rival Amazon's cloud

Fenton

Slow threads

The trouble is you load up a sparc chip with 4000 odd threads and each thread will be as slow as hell.

Fine for very light weight threads but not heavy lifting.

Give me lots of x86 servers any day.

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Is hyperconvergence about to take over the enterprise data centre?

Fenton

Time is money

Every hour you spend building the infrastructure and calling vendor a) because the product from vendor b) or c) does not play ball you are not adding value to the business.

I love driving fast cars around a track. I have also in the past built myself a good track car (because I enjoyed it), but all the time I spend building the car I can't drive it.

In terms of compute and storage scaling there are now rack scale products out there where you don't need to scale compute and storage together, you can buy compute dense nodes and storage only nodes.

Yes build you own can be cheaper from a capex point of view but not from an opex point of view.

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Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 ... and Linux, BSD, OS X

Fenton

Opportunity to get rid of 32bit silicon?

There is a lot of legacy stuff in x86/x87 to support 16bit/32bit.

I could see this as a good opportunity to strip all of this crap out to have a pure

64bit CPU.

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$329 for a MacBook? Well, really a 'HacBook' built on an old HP

Fenton

MacOS as alternative to Windows

If (an unlikely scenario I know), Apple were to shrink wrap OSX (even with a tight hardware compatibility list) it would really hurt Microsoft. Given that phone/tablet integration with Microsoft is so poor compared to iOS/MacOS.

Set MacOS free and Apple would see even more adoption of iphone/ipad at the expense of Android as well (Android integration with desktop/laptop is pretty much non existent unless you use a google apps).

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North Korea unveils its home-grown Netflix rival – Manbang

Fenton

Feeds

With a name like that does it have 24 hour grindr live feeds

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iPhone: Apple's Mac battle with Windows rebooted

Fenton

Re: Set OSX free

And that is exactly the problem, too much choice neither are particular polished.

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Fenton

Set OSX free

The biggest upset Apple could cause Microsoft is to sell OSX so it can be installed on any PC, They could even get away with a tightly controlled hardware list.

Undercut Windows 10 price, and build in greater integration with iOS.

.

As much as I hate itunes, the integration with the iphone/itouch/ipad for transferring content is so much easier compared to the crap you get on Android (so far no music transfer app has managed to copy 128GB of music to my Android phone, so I have to insert the SD card into my PC and transfer manually)

Windows phone music transfer to Groove Music has to be via Onedrive, sorry I'm not paying a subscription just to get music onto my phone.

Linux is not the answer to Windows 10. The UI does not appeal to the average user and you still have to use the CLI to get stuff working, which turns most people off.

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Nutanix scoops Cisco. Everyone's really happy ... but Cisco is strangely quiet about it

Fenton

Another support mess, will end up blaming each other

Sorry if I want to buy a (hyper)converged platform, I want one number to call and support/test the entire stack. If something goes wrong I want that vendor to triage between the different component companies.

Nutanix are going to end up with far too many options and supporting the systems will be a nightmare.

They are spreading themselves far to thin.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update is borking boxen everywhere

Fenton

What is it with Windows and MacOs

In Both OSs, standard apps (photos, music, film, etc) have been replaced with new ones with less functionality.

Otherwise win 10 anniversary addition has not caused any issues. But what does piss me off is Cortana. When issuing voice commands, eg play jimi Hendrix it always looks for groove music subscription service and complains I'm not a subscriber, but if I type the same phrase it launches groove music and plays local content.

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EMC now spruiking PCs and thin clients, not Compellent

Fenton

Re: What is a SAN

Well it looks like MS are doing just that with bash integrated with Windows

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Fenton

What is a SAN

At the end of the day what is a SAN.

It's a bunch of servers (minimum two) with some software

And attached disk.

So I can see no really reason why VNX/Unity/Complellent can't just merge code

Bases. I.e. Take the best code from each and create an even better product.

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Our man pops the hood on Intel's v4 engine: Broadwell Xeons

Fenton

Core Count

Even if performance per core per Ghz is the same,

Going from v1 to v4 will give you a massive improvement in core count per socket.

Which will dramatically reduce the number of physical servers required in a virtualized environment.

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Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

Fenton

$26B????

That's half an EMC??

Who makes these business values up?

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Latest Windows 10 build loves up cloud, banishes 'strange grey bar'

Fenton

All well and good, but

All these features that the average punter will not use.

Yet simple things like the windows store breaking with insider previews are rife.

Have had to go back to a normal release build

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That sinking feeling: Itanic spat's back as HPE Oracle trial resumes

Fenton

Scalability

This is where Itanium really is falling behind.

Clock speeds have only just reached 2.57Ghz, and core count is only 8 Max.

Yes it can scale up to 16 Sockets, but that is still only 128 Cores in a single image.

An 8 Socket Haswell box can scale up to 144 cores, Broadwell will reach 176 Cores.

And then you look at the cost and wonder why every software vendor is targeting x86.

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The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware

Fenton

A pity MS messed up

I have had iOS and Android (I went android as Apple did not do a big screen phone at the time) My kids have had winphone.

Now the basic premise of winphone in my opinion was was better the iOS or

Android which to be honest have not moved on in years.

But MS forgot some vital features in the beginning a decent PC app that did the interfacing to your PC based media, I.e an iTunes equivalent (and I do hate iTunes).All android equivalents are still very very poor.

The ability to cast content to a Chromecast/appleTV was missing, and obviously apps where missing but for me that was a minor fault.

I even played with win10 mobile today and the interface is still a breath of fresh air. Live tiles are fantastic.

As to Windows 10 desktop. All I can say is. Don't upgrade to a clean install and do go for preview builds

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HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

Fenton

Fenton

A consulting gig. There on behalf of the software vendor as an insurance policy 3 months before go-live.

The entire project was staffed by contractors, with two different consulting organizations "Managing" the project.

I sat on my arse of 3 months (having been sold in at a principle rate even though I was only a senior consultant). Only got asked 4 questions in the whole period. The questions where remedial and answered within seconds.

Spent my whole time day trading, came out £30K up (just before the bubble burst in 1999), got paid over time for the weekends when as they still wanted me there.

Paid for the deposit on my house.

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Dell opens Oracle exit route for SAP data shops

Fenton

ECC vs S/4 HANA

If you want new functionality and move towards a true real time SAP system then you only have one option that is HANA. Some may say lock it, but it is not just a database, it includes a whole lot of analytical tool, GIS solutions, yes potentially a lock in but what matters more, the application functionality or the database.

If you stay on ECC then in 2025 there will be not more maintainance. You either move to another ERP vendor or migrate to HANA.

Sorry Mr Oracle Sales guy. You are wrong. Your biggest VAR is abandoning you.

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Auto erotic: Self-driving cars will let occupants bonk on the go

Fenton

Windows

Does this mean all self driving cars will have to have blacked out Windows?

I've seen enough truck drivers watching port on their on dash TVs.

Once we have self driving cars will we start seeing more and more drivers knocking one out on the way to work?

So please can we have blacked out windows.

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EMC VxRack thrown on the review rack

Fenton

Not really a VxRack test

This is more a scaleIO test. Ideally you'd run the VMs on the compute nodes in VxRack

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'A word processor so simple my PA could use it': Joyce turns 30

Fenton

Pain if your disk was full

I remember loosing a document my mum was writing.

When you started a document it would write a header to the disk.

If the disk was almost full and you tried to save you could not save.

You then lost the document when you inserted a new disk.

Fortunately you could drop to the OS and delete some stuff, but I managed to exit the word

processor completely hence loosing the document.

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The insidious danger of the lone wolf control freak sysadmin

Fenton

Going to get a whole lot worse as well

With more and more stuff going offshore this problem will only get worse,

especially with some of the Job titles some Jnr Staff abroad seem to get.

Director of technology? After two years on the Job? Totally inflated egos.

Working as a team gets harder and harder, eventually everybody becomes a lone

wolf as there is no team.

Also with the offshoring you no longer get the Jnr Staff you can train up locally teach them

those tips and tricks and useful shortcuts.

Personally sharing information means I get to be able to say "no" when workload gets too high but in the full knowledge that somebody else in the team can pick up the work.

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Sysadmins rebel over GUI-free install for Windows Server 2016

Fenton

Dos style install scripts

I can see it now. Software houses will have to build install routines for the lowest common denominator for a server, which will now be powershell.

Welcome to the old days of character based install screens.

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Watch out for the products that have snuck in behind your back

Fenton

Unlicensed add-ons

A few years ago I was doing an upgrade to an ERP system.

All seemed to be working fine. About two weeks before go-live UAT testing started. All of a sudden there was a massive uproar as a key piece of functionality had completely gone AWOL, all associated tables and code.

Much head scratching on our side as there were no errors in the logs and everything had gone really well up to that point.

So we cross referenced the production system still on the older release, traced the functionality only to find none of the tables/programs where marked as vendor specific code or even customer specific code.

After much digging we found out that the Vendor had demo'd some beta code on their system but it was never purchased.

Some bright spark then decided (contractor), to export the tables/programs from the demo system and import it all into the normal DEV/QA/Prod landscape, passing it off as his own code, so had managed to "save" the company a stack of cash for the functionality they needed.

Alas as the code was not signed correctly it got deleted on the upgrade.

Much embarrassment later they had to hand over vast amounts of cash to the vendor (backdated licences for 5 years), the go-live date was missed due to having to import the official code base, create routines to export the data and reload, and do another round of regression testing.

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Flash dead end is deferred by TLC and 3D

Fenton

Does Flash have to be smaller

Unlike a processor where size does matter, is it really that important for storage where the form factor is largely irrelevant?

Obviously it's cheaper to make chips at a smaller scale, but the cost of the Fabs is quite considerable.

Why not have say 5x500GB flash chips in a single 2.5" enclosure with say a RAID 5 controller built in.

That would give you a 2TB disk with some level of redundancy.

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Remember SeaMicro? Red-ink-soaked AMD dumps it overboard

Fenton

What has happened to R&D at AMD

They came up with multicore before intel, 3Dnow before intels equivalent,then x86-64, on die memory controllers, on die GPU, shared memory between GPU and CPU

Did they play too nice in allowing intel to copy?

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Lenovo: We SWEAR we're done with bloatware, adware and scumware

Fenton

Re: So Lenovo doesn't want to sell in the indeterminate future?

The trouple is there are a lot of devices out in the channel they have no control over only with windows 10 release will they have the opportunity to ship without bloat.

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Raspberry Pi, meet face: You're probably NOT Blighty's biggest PC maker!

Fenton

Archimedes

So the Archimedes is finally a success ;0)

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SAP unveils its biggest thing for 20 YEARS: Core suite with HANA

Fenton

The FUD is that HANA can only work with clustered memory systems. Not true, it will scale to the size of the largest box given to it.

All well and good scaling up to 64TB. Do you know of any SAP customers who currently have ERP systems that are currently 640TB is size (assume 10:1 compression ratio).

Even the largest systems hover around the 20 - 30 TB size, so will compress down nicely to 2/3TB.

So will work with a

The M series may be the Maclaren of in memory systems, but 99% of customers only need a fast bus, or maybe even a fleet of buses, but they will still come in cheaper than a propriety closed architecture, with oracles lock-in and appalling customer service.

Also if you want to run the SAP Analytics on your oracle box, you need layers and layers of software to extract and transform the data, into the exalytics engine adding more and more complexity.

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Fenton

@seven_of_five

Not seen the time frame yet, but it will happen soon. It was demo'd at SAP teched

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Behold: The touchy-feely future of Office on Windows 10 fondleslabs

Fenton

Flat look and feel

If there is one thing I hate about Modern Windows is this horrid flat look on everything in horrid primary colours.

Please bring back some eye candy. I know they've taken it all out to run on low powered cpus, but some of us still use powerful desktops with high GFX cards.

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