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Chris Evans

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Top Stories by Chris Evans

Probability says that with an infinite number of monkeys and typewriters given an infinite amount of time, at some stage the monkeys will produce the entire works of Shakespeare. According to this BBC News article, a programmer in the US has tried to do just that, using AWS (Amazon Web Services).  He’s created virtual monkeys that run on AWS instances, typing out fragments of the great Bard’s collected works. It sounds like a great thing to do, however maths is against him. With 26 letters, doubled for upper and lower case, plus maybe a dozen punctuation symbols and the space, each letter multiplies the possible combinations at least 60-fold. I have no idea how many letters are in Shakespeare’s entire works, but it’s too many to make this task practical. Whilst this is a good storyline, it demonstrates the power of splitting and distributing computing tasks, somethi... (more)

HP Cloud Now Available In Beta – A First Look

HP have joined the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market and released their HP Cloud service in public beta.  Here’s the announcement press release.  The services on offer are: Available Now as Public Beta Compute – on-demand server instances. Cloud Object Storage – object-based storage using RESTful APIs. Content Delivery Network – local distribution of web content. Still in Private Beta Cloud Block Storage – persistent data for compute images Relational Database for MySQL – managed cloud databases There’s also the HP Identity Service for managing key & token access managem... (more)

Storage Old, New and Past Due?

It’s been an interesting day of contrasts in the world of storage, one that shows storage is a diverse and wide ranging segment of IT. The Old Tape has been part of the discussion on the twitterverse and despite everyone’s best attempts, is not dead yet.  Tape and backup may not be seen as cool  - but data protection is an essential requirement of sustainable data management and tape still provides the one of the most cost effective methods of data protection and of course archive.  This has happened because tape continues to innovate.  Tape drive speeds and media capacities con... (more)

So.cl and Google+ Musings for a Monday

This morning I signed up and had a play with Microsoft Labs’ social media application, so.cl.  This was quietly released over the weekend with little attention as it’s a piece of experiment work rather than a new social media platform.  It’s early days to be commenting on whether so.cl will be useful; currently it appears to be targeted at students and search sharing.  I wonder whether the intention is to use the output to help improve the quality of Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. Anyhow, the so.cl interface is reminiscent of Google+ (especially party invitations, that seem to... (more)

The Cyclical Nature of Storage

Perhaps I should have entitled this post “The Cyclical Nature of IT” because the same principles apply. Over time, storage moves back and forth between fully dispersed and fully centralized like a sine wave on an oscilloscope. The Evidence Look at the evidence.  In the 1950′s and 1960′s there was no choice but to be centralized. All we had was mainframe and dumb disk drives.  Storage needed a controller the size of a fridge to work and so was never going to be distributed to the masses any time soon. Then in the late 1970s, in comes Al Shugart and Seagate, giving us the first d... (more)