* Posts by Matt J

16 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Sep 2007

AWS's grand plan: It'll slurp your databases, spit them into its cloud

Matt J

Not just to AWS...

...but it also supports replication to/from on-premise or 3rd party cloud-hosted databases as well; only requirement is for a "database migration" instance to be running in AWS to act as the connector between the two.

Check out: http://dms-preview.s3.amazonaws.com/awsdms-ug.pdf#CHAP_GettingStarted for more details.

The Government Digital Service: The Happiest Place on Earth

Matt J

Won't comment on the rest of the article/report since I don't have direct knowledge of dealing with GDS, but I have worked with Neil (as an SME supplier) whilst he was in a project delivery role at BIS. Based on this experience, in my opinion the "Whitehall source" has a case of sour grapes, and the implication that he doesn't deserve a senior role is unfounded.

Watch out Seagate: Here comes WD with a hybrid flash/disk drive launch

Matt J

Really, El Reg...

...On a day when journalists and police have been massacred in Paris with assault rifles, you use *this* image to supplement a story about flash storage?

Whatever you're trying to achieve with the site re-design, if you don't have an appropriate image *which is related to the article* then just leave it blank. It's far from the first time that the image has had no relation to the story, but this is just too much.

Dumping gear in the public cloud: It's about ease of use, stupid

Matt J

Re: How many ?

"In fact all you cited can be called in one word - webserver. So "industry" is just one."

webserver an industry? Surely it's a technology? And most of the industries I highlighted need more than just webserver technology - databases (structured and nosql) to hold the data, middleware to handle the business logic and integration with other services (payment processing, order fulfilment, media encoding), analytics for, well, analytics, user management systems to handle AAA, etc. All of these need to scale (to different proportions) in response to changing demand on the systems.

If you disregard the advertising and PR hype around "cloud", the concept of technology services that scale up and down rapidly and on demand are logically sound (and have been used in more manual ways, such as recruiting seasonal workers, for decades). The problems organisations face relate to the lack of capability of a "traditional" application stack to easily make use of this type of flexibility, together with the business analysis to understand when there are benefits of using cloud v in-house technology. For these reasons, cloud delivery of some services are often (much) more expensive than alternatives, as the article highlights.

Going forward, more enterprise apps will be built with a cloud delivery model in mind. In the same way that it's possible to generate your own electricity, and historically you had to build your own generators, nowadays most people buy power from a utility provider. Similarly, the time will come when it is both easier *and* cheaper to buy commodity IT services from a utility provider. In-house delivery of technology will be done for edge-cases only.

This move to commoditisation will be competitive and brutal, and be based primarily on scale; in the same way that there are only a small number of national electricity providers in the UK, a similar thing will happen (and is happening) to cloud providers as the industry matures. Take Rackspace, which have already dropped out of the cloud price wars. I would put a bet that in 5-10 years time their main focus (and revenue) will be on their managed services, rather than their infrastructure.

Disclosure: I work for an SME managed services provider, that runs its own cloud infrastructure - but there will come a time in the future when it makes more sense, technically and commercially, to use commodity IaaS providers (plural), managed properly, to deliver some of these services.

Matt J

Re: How many ?

Well, for starters:

* Education - to handle clearing, exam results days, freshers week, etc.

* Government - tax return deadlines, new public services (census data, etc.)

* Retail industry - Christmas, other busy shopping days

* Research - burst processing capabilities for data analytics

* Entertainment - on-demand services handling evening peaks

* Gambling - for major sporting events (Grand National, Cup Finals, etc.)

* News sites - for major breaking stories

In fact, the more you look at it, the fewer industries you find that *don't* have variations in demand. The problem is that very few enterprise workloads are built to scale horizontally, which is why cloud services are (currently) better suited to newly developed services rather than traditional ones - but this is changing slowly.

Google grants cloud servers IMMORTALITY (during maintenance)

Matt J

Sub heading is wrong...

This doesn't protect against a "bit barn exploding", unless of course the explosion is known about in advance :)

Feedly gets Greedly: Users suddenly HAVE TO create a Google+ account

Matt J

Re: Bit harsh...

Not sure I understand what you're trying to say... Feedly is an opt-in service, that offers benefits to its users similar to those offered originally by Google. A change to the authentication mechanism for an optional service doesn't seem to warrant a "big fuck you"?

Surely it's all about calculated risk: would I object to signing into a health records system using Google? Probably. Do I mind using Google as an authentication mechanism for a service that aggregates a feed of public sites? Nope... although I can understand that some people with "eclectic" reading habits might have more of an issue... :)

By the way, I fully understand how the Internet economy works, and personally I don't have much of an issue with it. I like the articles that The Register produces, and am happy to be shown (targeted) ads if that means that the journalists get paid. FWIW, I would prefer a subscription option which disables ads and targeted tracking, similar to that offered by Ars Technica - perhaps that's on The Register's roadmap? :)

Matt J

Bit harsh...

...calling it a "crappy RSS feeder"., they've been a good solid replacement for Google Reader (which strangely enough also tracked my reading habits) - and at the end of the day, I'm really not bothered if they know about the websites I subscribe to!

Also slightly hypocritical of ElReg, given that (according to Ghostery), this site is currently deploying the following 19 trackers on this webpage...:

Atlas - Advertising

DoubleClick - Advertising

Facebook Connect - Widgets

Facebook Social Plugins - Widgets

Google +1 - Widgets

Google Adsense - Advertising

Google Analytics - Analytics

Integral Ad Science - Analytics

LinkedIn Widgets - Widgets

MaxPoint Interactive - Advertising

Media Optimizer (Adobe) - Beacons

Reddit - Widgets

Rubicon - Advertising

StumbleUpon Widgets - Widgets

TradeDesk - Advertising

Turn - Advertising

Twitter Badge - Widgets

Twitter Button - Widgets

ValueClick Mediaplex - Advertising

Yo, storage geeks: Fancy a bit of scale-out fun time?

Matt J
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Virtual appliances - great for feature evaluation, but watch out for performance!

As a user, I think that in general, the more exposure to "test" virtual appliances, the better. That said, I can understand why suppliers aren't keen - we use Isilon, and the physical kit/performance is great - but their virtual appliances can be *very* slow, unless you're running it on a hypervisor with access to SSDs. Run a virtual cluster on a bog-standard laptop with a 5k4 disks, and performance will not be great!

If I were a supplier, I would be worried that somebody just playing with a virtual appliance, without some initial hand-holding and qualification of hypervisor limitations, would get the wrong impression about the performance of the app.

Automatic Facebook couple pages: Nauseating sign of desperation

Matt J

What's the big deal?

So they're mashing up public data where people have actively chosen to set up a link between accounts? What a horribly creepy thing to do...

And as for the couples page - are people really scared that this is a privacy issue? The URL www.facebook.com/us sort of gives the game away that it's going to be specific to each user, with no (intentional) way of seeing those of others.

Don't get me wrong. Facebook do lots of potentially creepy stuff, but it must be a slow news day if this is the privacy scare of the moment...

No GPS in the iPad Mini Wi-Fi: People are right to criticise

Matt J

Don't forget Microsoft's Surface RT...

...that shiny new tablet from Microsoft? Wifi only? The one with no GPS either... are they also evil incarnate?

Also, would love to see the evidence for the statement: "Apple does *reluctantly* fit GPS in its devices" - on what basis is it reluctant? Having GPS allows it to sell satnav applications (typically high-value) in its AppStore. and take a 30% cut of the price...

I agree that GPS should be standard on all tablets, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to say it's evil not to have it, when it's probably just product differentiation, to be able to charge more for the cellular version!

Martha Lane Fox hits caps lock, yells at small biz websites

Matt J

Bit ironic...

...highlighting MLF (unfortunate initials) for "hitting the caps lock", when El Reg seem to capitalise words in lots of their headlines these days?

Amazon cloud sinks, smothers Web 2.0 darlings

Matt J

To be fair to Amazon...

...only one of their availability zones had issues, and in much the same way that a private DC can have problems; if the Web 2 outfits had designed for multi-site delivery (using Amazon or another provider as a secondary site), they would be fine.

Online sync'n'store services

Matt J
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Will also second SugarSync...

...cheaper than DropBox, and can sync folders from any location. I find I use SugarSync for backing up / keeping my local docs sync'ed between machines, and a (free) DropBox account for ad-hoc sharing with other people.

Cutbacks strip speed cameras from Blighty's roads

Matt J

Whether you like them or not...

...logically, you can't argue with them - there is a speed limit, which is the law; if you go faster than this limit then you are breaking the law - and if you do it in front of a day-glo orange box, with warning signs and markings on the road, then you are a stupid law-breaker!

I personally don't mind the government making money from stupid law-breakers - beats taxes!

Phishers bait hook with Verified by Visa scam

Matt J

SecureSuite enrollment

For what it's worth, I had the same suspicions and concerns as James about SecureSuite, but I checked with Capital One, and they confirmed that it was genuine. It could certainly do with better branding though, it looks more like a phishing site than some "real" phishing sites do!