* Posts by The Original Steve

563 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009

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Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

The Original Steve

As it was under his leadership (and continuing since, sadly) that I found myself unable to follow my heart and historical trend of voting for the Lib Dems, quite frankly I'm rather glad he's pissing off from the UK entirely.

And the values the Lib Dem's supposedly hold, yet he's working for FB.... says everything you need to know about modern politics (or just politics?), regardless of colour.

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Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

The Original Steve
Coat

Re: The Distaff Sound

Um... Perhaps they should consider using "pockets" for things like your phone. See nearest man for reference.

At least that way not only can this segment of the population be alerted without noise to an incoming call, but they might be able to actually answer it before the caller hangs up!

And think of the time saved in not having to pull out what can only be described as a physics defying amount of "life's necessities" (or shit, depending on your POV) from said bag.

Just a thought. :p

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Your pal in IT quits. Her last words: 'Converged infrastructure...' What does it all mean? We think we can explain

The Original Steve

Re: Roll your own

The cost of these HCI "appliances" from Dell, HPE, Cisco and Nutanix are eye watering.

Plus complexities of a new interface and managment stack coupled with vendor lock in make it seem to me like a terrible idea.

X86 tin with a common as muck OS that has virtual SAN, SDN and VMs sounds like a much cheaper proposition to me. Not sure why ElReg keep banging on about HCI being appliance based. VMWare, Microsoft and the OSS community all have their own HCI take built into the tools we all know. Coupled with cheap and entirely compatible X86 tin and it's a no brainer to me.

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The Original Steve

Roll your own

When you said roll your own, I was hopeful of an article on how Windows Server 2016/2019 Storage Spaces Direct and Hyper-V on Supermicro tin (or Dell/HPE if you have 20% unused budget that needs spending) is a very compelling offering.

Made our own Nutanix style offering for our clients which scales well and is about 1/3 the cost of traditional HCI boxes from the big vendors.

I'm sure Linux has an equally good offering too.

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As one Microsoft Windows product hauls itself out of the grave, others tumble in

The Original Steve

Re: Who would want such a thing?

Forget what you know about Windows 10 on the PC, I standby my view that Windows Phone / Mobile actually is really rather good for all by Millennials / those who want lots of 3rd party apps.

Not being one for Snapchat, Twitter, Starbuck, Uber and all that crap, I was more than happy with my £300 flagship 950XL so long as it had Outlook, Skype for Business and Barclays Mobile Banking.

Interface was clean, and it sipped the battery wonderfully. Camera is to this day one of the best you can find.

My mum now has it and I'll end up moving her onto this when her hardware packs in. (She loves the clean and easy to use interface too)

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HMRC contractor scores IR35 payout after yet another taxman blunder

The Original Steve
Stop

Sad

I left my permie role in August and didn't have something to go straight into, so seriously considered contracting and freelance.

After a lot of digging and research as well as getting offered a few public sector (NHS mainly) contracts I ruled it out PURELY due to the tax and IR35 ballache.

Nightmare

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Still using Skype? Good news! After HOURS of meetings, Microsoft reckons it knows when you're Not Active

The Original Steve

Re: Don't diss skype until you've tried skype for business

This was a new feature in SfB 2015. If you have Exchange integration too (pre-req sadly) then get your admin to run:

Set-CsClientPolicy -EnableServerConversationHistory $true

On your particular client policy. Seems to be solid across desktop and iOS, less so fluid on Android sadly.

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Raspberry Pi supremo Eben Upton talks to The Reg about Pi PoE woes

The Original Steve

Viva ElReg and The Pi Foundation

Great article - this kind of thing is what keeps me coming to El Reg daily (as well as the long geeky reads and of course the commentards!)

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Qualcomm's tardy chip upgrade leaves the Great Wearables Reveal to jokers and clowns

The Original Steve

Pronounced Weiner?

See title

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Go Pester someone else: TSB ditches CEO over bank's IT meltdown

The Original Steve
Stop

Dreaming

I would hope that this omnishambles is a wake up call for other companies who see IT as a cost centre and those who do everything to shave every penny off the department including outsourcing.

See title.

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Hello 'WOS': Windows on Arm now has a price

The Original Steve

Re: "Now all Intel can do is watch from the sidelines"

The ink wouldn't be dry on the proposal before anti competition regulators would throw it out.

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Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers

The Original Steve

Re: This needs some input from the DVLR

"I find the DVLA driver license verification tool* effective and modern..."

Only if you know your "Government Gateway" ID and passwords. My brother tried to change the address on his driving licence last week

He gave up after countless attempts so came to his sibling with two decade of professional IT experience to do it for him. Involved a reset of his password, then we didn't know the randomly generated username which the government send him via the post 5 years ago, so had to then "re-register" countless times, before giving up and creating a new ID from scratch.

Took us over an hour.

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Cisco shift to recurring revenue gives 3.8 billion signs that it's working

The Original Steve

Re: I don't know about anyone else...

Mind asking what you switched too?

I've never really used much Cisco, been a HP/Aruba/Juniper guy myself. Did work at an ISP once and whilst they did have a few Juniper boxen around the majority was all Cisco still.

Cisco, the IBM of the network world.

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Brain brainiacs figure out what turns folks into El Reg journos, readers

The Original Steve

Hmmm

I have my doubts how accurate or useful this "study" actually is...

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Internet overseer ICANN loses a THIRD time in Whois GDPR legal war

The Original Steve

Close. You accidentally pressed A rather than U.

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Game over for Google: Fortnite snubs Play Store, keeps its 30%, sparks security fears

The Original Steve

Workaround

I wonder if Epic could create a free app on Play, which only creates a shortcut to a page on their website with instructions and the link to the .apk?

Not perfect but may help reduce the risk whilst still giving Google the middle finger.

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Ecuador's Prez talking to UK about Assange's six-year London Embassy stay – reports

The Original Steve

Re: So much hostility

That'll be the rape accusations that he was interviewed about in Sweden at the time, case was closed and they said he could leave the country. Then once in the UK it got reopened, he said he was happy to be interviewed by the Swedish police in the UK, and which the authorities dropped the investigation on back in May 2017.

He's a prize bell-end, and he shouldn't have skipped bail, but the now dropped rape charges sound like bollock.

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Shock Land Rover Discovery: Sellers could meddle with connected cars if not unbound

The Original Steve

Why so hard?

Two things:

1. Rather than a VIN, maybe a number that could be generated via the ECU and presented in the dash / iDrive. Appreciate the Evil Valet can still do it, but it's harder than walking up to the car and reading the VIN from the dashboard (some cars even have the VIN on the windows!)

2. If there's a dedicated button that needs pressing to connect the car to the online services, why not just have it so that if you press and hold the same button for - I don't know, 10 seconds? - the car will disconnect from the service?

Doesn't prevent the issue if the new buyer isn't aware, but both would help and could be implemented via a software update.

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What if tech moguls brewed real ale?

The Original Steve

NoALE

See above

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The Original Steve

Re: Daily Stand-Up

That’ll be the alcohol free cider, Shirley?

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The Original Steve

“Vulture’s Teat”

See title

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Taps running dry for Capita? Southern Water pens 5-year managed service

The Original Steve

Capita are a "Collection of C..."

You can fill in the blank.

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Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

The Original Steve

Re: At least it's not BING

I've found the difference to be marginal personally. Image and video search I find is far superior on Bing, WHILST Google is slight better at Web / text searching.

Working in a team of geeks, I actually opt for Bing just because everyone else uses Google. A little difference isn't a bad thing.

Certainly Bing isn't terrible, to the point if you changes the styling and branding I doubt the majority would even notice.

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Outage outrage: TSB app offers users a TITSUP* encore

The Original Steve

Re: Surprised they have any customers left...

Move your energy supplier to OVO.

5% interest on all credit up to £1500. Can withdraw it online and takes about 3 - 5 days.

Can then move banks to whoever you want.

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White box server makers flounder BUT big brands shine

The Original Steve

Intel and Supermicro

We're a mid sized MSP and switched to Intel and Supermicro last year. 20% cheaper than Dell or HPE for the same spec and warranty is too good for us to kiss out on. Good competitive edge / cheaper for our clients.

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Storm in a teapot: Anger brews over npm's jokey proxy error messages

The Original Steve

Fuck off

And keep some humour please!

I rather like the 418 error code. Reminds me of a happier time before the marketing companies muscled into the Internet. Leave it be!

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We've found it! A cloud-and-AI angle on the royal wedding

The Original Steve
Pint

Bravo

See above / ------->

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Prez Donald Trump to save manufacturing jobs … in China, at ZTE

The Original Steve

Re: ZTE and Huaweii backdoor all their chips

That's certainly NOT what the Exec Summary states.

The summary says that neither ZTE nor Huawei answered the committees answers adequately, which in their own words does not prove they are a risk / are doing anything wrong - but does not answer security related questions the US state has.

Report seems to suggest that they cannot be trusted, but that there is no proof - yet.

I'm a HPE ProCurve / Aruba man personally, however after needing a DCB supported 10G switch for a project and a budget of just £5k (one of my team failed to estimate the networking costs earlier in the project) I'm now buying my first Huawei kit. £6k for 2 x 10Gig SPF+ datacentre grade switches is a price worth paying compared to £13k for HPE. As the switches are not going to be internet facing I'm comfortable with that trade off.

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'Computer algo' blamed for 450k UK women failing to receive breast screening invite

The Original Steve

Re: The real question is...

May I respectfully suggest that requesting Class A, controlled medications should be left to Doctors rather than patients, particularly if you fail to read the warnings or understand that Fent is an opiate that's used to knock out Great Elephants. It's clearly labelled at every junction how addictive it is, as all opiates are.

Sounds very odd to me that one of the most powerful and addictive controlled drugs were prescribed on request. I take oxycodone regularly and if I walked into any GP and asked for it, morphine or Fent I would be kicked out of the surgery. After the doctors finished laughing. If I'm not in handcuffs.

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Amazon: For every dollar of op. profit going into Bezos' pockets, 73 cents came from AWS

The Original Steve

Azure vs AWS

For what it's worth, in my unscientific view it seems that developers opt for AWS (PaaS) whilst infrastructure geeks opt for Azure (IaaS and SaaS).

I'm the chief geek for a mid sized MSP (circa 90 clients).

MS have a "story" with hybrid (I hate myself for using that term), and can be so very easy to use for even a small thing like as a file share witness in a cluster (great if you have a single site), as well as a massive hook with Office 365 and licensing. Amazon have development nailed from what my dev department tells me. They tell me that Azure is about 85% feature comparable to AWS with them both being equally easy to use.

Literally heard nothing about Google Cloud or others outside of the odd SaaS service (Salesforce, one Oracle for a cloudy CRM etc).

Two horse race, and personally I think it shows the true value of healthy competition. We have at least two very, very good cloud providers to use that continuously try to keep up with each other. I'm no economist, but this looks and feels to me like a textbook example of free market capitalism at work.

All of that said, I still would rather have business critical infrastructure hosted in a date center we can access on tin that we own. I'm enormously proud that multiple HA Exchange and SfB environments I've designed and implemented over the past 3.5 years have 100% uptime which beats Office 365.

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It's April 2018, and we've had to sit on this Windows 10 Spring Creators Update headline for days

The Original Steve

Re: "we've had to sit on this Windows 10 Spring Creators Update headline for days"

Have you used the insider preview of 1803? There's a boat load of additional controls added to let you turn off lots more of the slurp.

So as it goes, release on release, we can actually rudce the slurp - it's not increased.

But don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant

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Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Active Directory go TITSUP*

The Original Steve

Not always rosier

I work for a MSP and for a large client about 3 yeard ago I put in place a 4 node Exchange DAG with a pair of load balancers across 2 sites. Not a minute of downtime since it went live.

Hearing they were moving to O365 about 6 months ago saddened me after putting in place a system which I was extremely proud of. (Had a site failure and users didn't even know).

Whilst I'm sure this won't change their plans, hearing today from them that they had email issues for the users they've migrated did at least put a smile on my face briefly...!

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Spring is all about new beginnings, but it could already be lights out for Windows' Fluent Design

The Original Steve

Whilst I agree with everything written, I should say that after playing with the very latest W10 build, for the first time since W10 was released I'm genuinely impressed. Actually works and window dressing which was sorely overdue has made a positive impact.

Shame it's practically irrelevant

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Apple whispers farewell to macOS Server

The Original Steve

Re: I can see why they are saying goodbye

A couple of years ago I was saying the same thing about SBS, however even without Microsoft pushing cloud, the majority of SME's going for O365 is through the roof. (I work for a mid sized MSP). So Windows Server Essentials or whatever it's called these days is actually pretty reasonable. Does pretty much everything MacOS server offers plus a load more. (GPO, WDS). Only thing missing is email/collaboration, and let's face it no small business needs the overhead of running their own mail server these days, not when Exchange Online is £3 a month a user or thereabouts.

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Carphone Warehouse cops £400k fine after hack exposed 3 MEEELLION folks’ data

The Original Steve

Stores

What really annoys me is that if I pop in to buy an unlocked phone they demand address and other details that are not required by law. No details, no sale.

Which is fine, I took my business elsewhere.

Rather glad I did now...

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Last week: Microsoft accused of covering up rape claim. This week: Microsoft backs anti-cover-up law ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Original Steve

It's a start

In fairness to Microsoft, well done. Shouldn't have taken what it has, but I congratulate them on putting their weight behind something that they still didn't have to do.

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SCOLD WAR: Kaspersky drags Uncle Sam into court to battle AV ban

The Original Steve

Re: BestBuy

That's odd.

I switched our AV from Kaspersky to Webroot around May time, never had a single problem and it's detected a crap load more than K ever did.

That's on over 2990 endpoints with various hardware and software mixes. (I work for an MSP)

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Google Chrome vows to carpet bomb meddling Windows antivirus tools

The Original Steve

Overkill?

I went off Chrome a couple of years ago. The core project I still love, but I'm really falling out of love with Google for all sorts of reasons (many listed by other commentards).

Doesn't this seem rather heavy handed? According to the article, this is all about making it less "likely" that 15% of the 2/3rd's of Chrome users on Windows may have a crash.

"Roughly two-thirds of Windows Chrome users have other applications on their machines that interact with Chrome..."

"..., users with software that injects code into Windows Chrome are 15 per cent more likely to experience crashes."

Seems a tad overkill to me.

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Apple succeeds in failing wearables

The Original Steve

> it makes using the underground in London easier and safer (no getting wallet out in congested areas)

Really?

Because it's a very rare (and an exceptionally good) day when I have £300+ cash in my wallet which I then show off to all around me when I go through a turnstile.

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Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

The Original Steve

Re: StargateSg7 / Not sure about Office

Whilst I can do basic sys admin task to BSD, Linux, Windows and Android, I'm at my heart a Windows sys admin.

So whilst I think most of what StargateSg7 wrote sounds like bollocks, I can sympathise with what I believe he was trying to get across.

Being that the usability of Linux is still poor. Personally the biggest challenge is the mental names used for certain commands and even items in the various X window mangers. Names like yum, grep, sudo, apt, grub and applications like Thunderbird, The GIMP, Kate, Synapse, Pidgin etc. don't help usability.

I'm happy to use them, as I know what they do and how they work - and generally they are awesome. The tools on Linux is one of the reasons I love it so much. But for a new user, you need to spend ages learning what each command or application does as the name has little bearing.

Whilst nowhere near as powerful or flexible, Windows applications and commands like Mail, Explorer, Maps. Photoshop is a stark contrast to the names of tools and applications often found in a GNU environment.

I don't need to hear that there's alternative with more descriptive names, nor to have the examples above explained to me. I prefer to work in Linux/GNU, and I know why certain applications / commands are named that way, and I'm very happy to keep using them.

I'm merely highlighting that for someone moving from Windows to Linux/GNU there's a hell of a learning curve which I know does put a lot of people off. Rectifying this wouldn't be a be idea if trying to encourage more people from the dark side into the light.

My 2 pence worth.

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The Original Steve

Re: @ Voland's right hand

Agree entirely with Access for the backend, but for a rapid, business focused, low cost front end to a real DB, Access is a reasonable product.

VBA front end, reports engine, built in packager to MSI, no licence or Access installation for runtime. Shove in a MSSQL / MySQL backend and you can have a flexible, multiuser little application without needing multiple experienced developers coding in "big boy" languages.

As a front end, power user tool for accessing business data in a real DB's it's not bad.

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Thousand-dollar iPhone X's Face ID wrecked by '$150 3D-printed mask'

The Original Steve

Re: From experience though.....

"...being a £1000 phone, true enough, but a Samsung S8 is not much further behind (price-wise)..."

Um, £515 says you're wrong.

I brought a S8 yesterday evening after always assuming the S8 was up there with the iPhone an Pixel 2 price wise. The non + was brought for £515 plus it has a microSD slot so I don't need to even contemplate a higher capacity model for insane prices.

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Brace yourselves, fanboys. Winter is coming. And the iPhone X can't handle the cold

The Original Steve

Re: Diversity figures are meaningless without context

"The sex and ethnic breakdown of the population is irrelevant unless it precisely mirrors the breakdown of qualified candidates"

This.

Couldn't agree more. The expectation of all jobs to reflect the POPULATION is bonkers. At a minimum we should be starting with the demographics of the local workforce, which will then at least take into account the bias of having more women being a housewife than men being a househusband. I'm no expert, but I would assume there are more potential male candidates generally than female across the board for this reason.

Your ideal of going further and basing 'diversity targets' on the total potential eligible candidates for each specific role sounds incredibly sensible.

So I doubt it'll happen.

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Kubernetes bug ate my banking app! How code flaw crashed Brit upstart

The Original Steve

Where's the HA and DR?

Sure, shit can happen - although as nearly everyone else has said above - proper testing would have prevented this.

But what struck me is they have a single cluster. Is there not a mirrored version elsewhere using different infrastructure, where the changes get applied later? Sounds nuts to me that a BANK is depending on a single tech stack that they don't fully understand without a different stack running in a different environment in a different datacentre.

Like their debrief, but I wouldn't let them hold my money.

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The age of six-monthly Windows Server updates starts … now!

The Original Steve

Upgrading every 6 months?! No chance. But...

I must say the new hyperconverged web UI looks very tempting...

Had some excellent results in using Win 2016 as Hypercovereged platform so far. HyperV 16 and Storage Spaces Direct are actually really quite impressive for the same price we'd pay for Win Datacenter anyway for HyperV hosts. Cost for deploying hosts and storage have gone through the floor as a result.

Where's it's been lacking has been on the management tools side of things, presumably to get people to shell out for Sys Centre which unless you have 2 years and a deep loathing for yourself, your time and your life isn't viable for all but the largest of estates. Good to see improvements in this area.

Although long term the effort to upgrade every 6 months does dilute the benefits somewhat...

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Amazon, Azure, Google will eat all the IT. Google, let us be your cake fork, pleads Nutanix

The Original Steve
Stop

Is this a sponsored article?

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Is it the right time to virtualize?

The Original Steve

Not always

Virtualisation is no silver bullet. I probably virtualise about 95%, but there's always a fringe case.

Good example is wanting to have HA for a service rather than just for a VM. In which case you'll need application level HA. Application level HA takes the wind out of virtualising somewhat, as you'll likely gain no benefit from the VM being HA (as you'll have multiple VM's running the service), and also likely that each VM will have it's own copy of the data - meaning you're taking up a sh!t tonne of space on your very expensive SAN.

Using Exchange as an example;

Lets say you use Exchange for the application level HA via a DAG. This is great, but means we're getting very little benefit in terms of HA by running as a VM. I've got two Exchange servers running on separate VM hosts, but regardless if the VM crashes or one of the hosts dies, Exchange keeps running... Exactly the same as if I had two physical Exchange servers rather than virtual.

Now running our imaginary Exchange servers as VM's, we're now making things expensive, as each Exchange VM has it's own copy of the mailbox databases - so that's twice the data I'm storing on the expensive shared storage SAN.

Things like Exchange can eat up your storage, to the point where you may need 10TB for each Exchange server, yet your SAN is only 30TB in total. So that's 2/3rd of your SAN used up straight away, and the cost per TB isn't usually that great with the typical SAN.

All of a sudden, you take a step back and realise that it would be considerably CHEAPER, and you get the same levels of resilience if you just buy 2 x DL380's or 730xd's and use local cheap storage instead.

You then have a load of extra capacity on your virtual hosts, plus your SAN has oodles of space left on too, saving your a fortune as you don't need to ask the FD for another £20k for a new shelf on your SAN that you brought only 6 months ago.

One big benefit that the article didn't touch one was how much easier virtualisation can make backup and DR. Agentless backup solutions (like Veeam, others are available) just rock my world - if it's on the virtual cluster it's getting backed up. No agents, no tapes, super fast restores.

After providing hardware HA for a server, it's the portability, manageability and backups that make virtualisation a default choice personally - but still it's not for everything, everytime.

P.S On a side note, who the hell is working in IT in 2017 and doesn't know where to start / hasn't used any virtualisation? Seriously?!

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Facebook, Google, Twitter are the shady bouncers of the web. They should be fired

The Original Steve
Facepalm

Re: Some nutter says "We'll cancel student debt"

You're correct.

In the 2017 manifesto Labour said it will scrap University tuition fees.

And in an interview with NME, Mr Corbyn said that "there is a block of those that currently have a massive debt, and I’m looking at ways that we could reduce that.."

No idea why people may have thought Labour was going to scrap student debt...

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2019: The year that Microsoft quits Surface hardware

The Original Steve

Re: Isn't it obvious

Having to install patches as soon as your friend got the unit sounds entirely reasonable to me. I'd much rather devices are fully patched as soon as possible as the device has probably been sitting in the channel for 6 months or so.

And not wanting patches to be applied at the coffee shop - I'd suggest going to Settings -> Updates & Security -> Windows Update and click the "Change active hours" link.

You can specify what time of day you want to exclude any patching. I have mine set between 7am and 10pm, so any patching gets done when my laptop isn't in use.

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From slow batches to fast files, how Microsoft is luring folks into Azure

The Original Steve

Re: Still sceptical..

I agree, have an upvote.

Unfortunately, the way the cloud providers are going, particularly MS, it's not that clear cut. Have your data on prem, but use Azure for monitoring... Meets your requirements but the security, profiling and accessibility / cost risks still exist.

It's a blurry, hybrid world - or at least that's the way MS are going.

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