Sep 24

Patent Trolls, Your time may finally be up

Patents are a valid protection against intellectual property theft. They are granted by the relevant authority on behalf of a sovereign state: for example, the US Patent Office in America, and the Patent Office in the UK. Once granted, patents assign exclusive rights to the assignee (inventor) for a limited period (usually twenty years) from the award of the patent.

This is a very strong protection of the inventor of a thing, as it prevents other, more established players from copying their ideas without licensing it. It is a valid and correct way of dealing with the protection of Ideas.

Unfortunately, over the last twenty years or so, the system has appeared to have begun falling apart and harming the very innovation that it was supposed to protect. Companies have sprung up that have a business model of buying up patents from dead companies and then suing other companies for infringements. Why do these people and companies chase these cases? Well, the rewards can be large for the victor and very damaging for the losing party.

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Sep 23

HP and the Journey to the Multiverse

In the beginning, there was Hewlett and there was Packard, and they formed a company called Hewlett-Packard (HP) and the rest, as they say, is history. Yes Hewlett-Packard picked up some companies along the way: DEC, Compaq, Autonomy, and EDS, to name a few. HP had its fingers in many pies, acquiring numerous technology companies while attempting to become a one-stop provider of everything: storage (3PAR, LeftHand Networks), compute (Compaq, Neoware), networking (Metrix Network Systems, Colubris Networks, 3Com, Aruba). It also acquired various software companies (Persist Technologies, Novadigm, RLX Technologies, Opsware, Autonomy) and professional service providers (Atos Origin Middle East Group, CGNZ, ManageOne, EDS), among others along the way. Things seemed to be going the right way for it, but then along came this slightly disruptive technology called virtualization. HP the hardware company weathered it. Now we are in the cloud era, and everybody is doing everything they can to become software defined, virtual SANs, virtual networks—the list goes on.

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Dec 29

HPE Discover

HPE had its own little conference called HP Discover this year, in the Excel Center in London. First a little disclaimer. I was invited to attend by Calvin Zito @HPEStorageguy (so thank you for that). That said, it will not affect my independence regarding technology. Now a little aside: one of the oddest things for those of us who are UK based is that even though this was a UK-based conference, we had to use European-to-UK power adapters.

I’m sure we voted for brexit

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Dec 27

Veeam Wins Significant Victory Over Patent Trolls

Just as Veeam has released its latest edition of Backup & Replication, v9.5, it has also finally emerged from the shadow of a patent case completely vindicated. The case could have been very painful for Veeam had it gone the other way.

Veeam wins the war of the patents against Symantec/Veritas

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Dec 23

Symantec Expands Security Offerings

Symantec has expanded its portfolio by acquiring identity protection firm LifeLock with a $2.3 billion dip into its pockets. Since Symantec divested itself of Veritas at a loss to the Carlyle Group in 2015, it has been looking to move into new markets. It acquired Blue Coat in August for $4.65 billion, a move that was seen to enhance its enterprise offerings.

 

Symantec acquires LifeLock to expand its Norton business

The reason for the LifeLock acquisition is to bolster its consumer arm, Norton. Although currently profitable, Norton has been struggling with growth due to declining consumer PC sales. Traditionally, Norton has been bundled with new consumer OEM (original equipment manufacture) PCs in the hope that after the “free” year, the owner will just pay the subscription to keep the protection; this model been doubly hit due to declining PC sales and the rise of free antivirus protection from the likes of Free AVG.

Symantec acquires LiveLock to expand its Norton Business

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Dec 22

Oracle dip into their pockets again this time for Dyn

Oracle have been quietly building out their next generation cloud environments, building up a cloud practice with seasoned professionals that includes Ex-VCE, VMware and AWS personal.  They have released a completely new version of their IaaS layer cloud. Dipping into their not insignificant loose pocket change to make several key purchases or acquisitions this year.

Now in what should be their last acquisition of 2016 they have now acquired Dyn for an undisclosed amount; but according to Dan Primack, a former senior editor at Fortune it is expected to be in the region of $600million.

D

yn are a Manchester, New Hampshire based internet DNS provider founded in 1998, who have unfortunately recently been in the news for all the wrong reasons. They were the target of a massive DDoS attack in October that caused by a botnet using Mirai. Mirai is Malware that targeted Linux based systems and took down numerous high profile sites on the east coast of the USA including Spotify, New York Times, Twitter and eBay.   Whether this issue affected the purchase price is to date unknown.

Oracle acquires Dyn to Bolster their Cloud

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Dec 21

VMware Has Released vSphere 6.5 — but Do I Care?

This week, VMware finally GAs the latest and greatest version of its flagship product, vSphere. We have now reached the lofty heights of version 6.5. It has the usual improvements. The vCSA can now handle updates natively, has high availability, and runs on PhotonOS. Virtual machines can be encrypted.

Now, I do not intend to deep dive into all the new features; you can read the What’s New document as well as I can. That said, with this release, I do not have that buzz I used to get with a new vSphere release. The reason, I feel, is that although the new features are welcome and extend the capability of the platform, they most likely will not be widely employed. On the whole, they will be utilized for niche use cases. vSphere is no longer the crowd puller it used to be. Like an aging rock star who is still trying to fill stadiums, it just seems a little sad.

The hypervisor is now passé, with regard to vSphere; it has met the vast majority of users’ needs since version 5.0. The newer features are really just sprinkles on your ice cream. With the release of Server 2016, Hyper-V is now good enough, and RHEL-V is, too. XenServer, if Citrix can get its marketing and sales teams into gear, is also a viable product. I cannot find myself getting excited about the hypervisor any more.

vSphere reaches 6.5, but do we care anymore

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Dec 20

We’ve Changed the guard at Buckingham Palace, it’s time for Hybrid – Vembu to the Rescue

In this, the eighth article in our series investigating the benefits of Vembu BDR for Virtualized Environments, we carry on examining Vembu’s migration capabilities. We all know that backing up your data is only one part of the equation. The ability to recover is the other, and arguably more important, side. This is where Vembu BDR really shines.

Again life is being kind to you, and once again you are sitting in your cube, monitoring your environment. OK, you know the score by now — playing Gorf! Well your wrong you’ve stated re-playing Donkey Kong after watching the movie Pixels at Steve’s Daughters birthday party. This is more fun as both you and Steve can now have a real points tally competition.  All is calm in the world and you are planning the next phases of the company cloud migration.

Cast your mind back to our previous conversation where we managed to moved completely into Azure and started the decommission our last on-premises datacenter. Well there has been a change at the top and they and the powers that be have decided that although Cloud is a great idea and enabler, the release of Windows 2016 and AzureStack has brought some interesting options to the table, and they now want to take a more hybrid position on their Cloud utilization and have therefore decided to return the corporate crown jewels; the Databases back in house.  You die a little inside as, this is what you actually advised in the first place, but hey never mind.

Time to Hybrid

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Nov 09

AWS and VMware Now Friends, but What Happens to vCloud Air?

Recently, at VMworld Barcelona 2106, VMware announced a partnership with AWS to provide an SDDC based on Cloud Foundation on AWS hardware hosted in AWS regional data centers. This environment is a pure VMware play, but using AWS hardware. I had a number of conversations at the conference regarding this announcement, and the consensus appeared to be “Interesting, but we need to know more.”

VMware loves AWS
VMware gets into bed with AWS—but what about vCloud Air?

Cost was the main question. How will this be priced? Gelsinger intimated that existing customers will be able to leverage their current vSphere licensing to consume the AWS vCloud. This raised additional questions. How exactly do you leverage a CapEx-based perpetual license to a consumption-based OpEx cost? There is little to no information on this. We would like a lot more clarity. We appreciate that it is currently only a technical preview, but if it is going to be utilized on release, budgets need to be planned.

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Nov 07

Everybody Has to Print—Or Do They?

It feels like we have been promised the paperless office forever. When I first entered the IT industry in the mid 1990s, it was a mantra, and it is still a mantra today. The fact is, we still need to print. We may have moved away from managers’ administrative assistants printing emails for them to read, but the fact that HP still has a highly profitable printing arm that could afford a $1 billlion dip into its pocket to buy Samsung’s printing arm shows how big a business it still is. What is also interesting is that enterprises and businesses are still having so many problems. These problems are being compounded with the introduction of new end user technologies like DaaS, VDI, and mobile devices such as tablets and phones.

Everybody Has to Print—Or Do They?

Everybody Has to Print—Or Do They?

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