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Hey, tech industry, have you noticed Amazon in the rearview?

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Nice Rant

Would read again!

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Re: Nice Rant

Have 'pocket'ed to show to colleagues. Should be required reading.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice Rant

This whole thing reads like it was written by a person with a meth problem that some company put in charge of IT security. This guy needs to put the sentences in order before hitting submit instead of just frantic scatter shot "things that annoy me" tweets in paragraph form. Ironic that an IT security guy is complaining about unnecessary and cumbersome processes which add little value.

Easy question: then show me where he's wrong (and by that I don't mean the alleged meth problem).

The only issue I see is the dependency on reliable network infrastructure (as in: it uses the Net - not good). But, having dealt with suppliers who all want their full dose of BS spent before they even want to discuss taking money and supplying kit (let alone help you in an emergency), this piece is quite accurate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice Rant

I'm not arguing against cloud in general. That's just a banal point, see every other IT article or vendor ad for the last five years for the same argument in favor of cloud. Everyone agrees, except hardware vendors.

The "just use a credit card" and get whatever you need today point is dumb. If you have all kinds of people in any sort of enterprise just putting in their credit card number and spinning up whatever they want to spin up, you are going to have an architectural mess. Who is going to integrate all of those one off environments with on prem, third party, other cloud apps, who is going to manage all of those one off environments, etc.

Put another way - the argument that this guy is making against traditional IT vendors is EXACTLY the same argument that end users make against IT every day. IT is slow, expensive, bureaucratic and process orientated. They can do it faster with an Excel/Access app in VB without even contacting IT to hear the 18 reasons why what they want to do won't work. Now some of this is a legit complaint by the end users, IT is too slow and overly focused on the rule book instead of getting stuff done. A lot of the reason IT has the processes, procedures, etc in place though is not just for the sake of processes and procedures.... It is because if they half-bake an app for every user that needs something that day, over time it is going to be an expensive, discrete, duplicative, mess. Now IT doesn't recognize the same logic when it is them, instead of the users, that need something "right now.".... In short, half of this article is just stating the obvious (the cloud thing is going to be big) and half of it is just going over board on why everything can't be whipped up that day. I think it is incoherently written as well, but more of a stylist complaint.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice Rant

I actually don't think the network connectivity problem is a real argument against the cloud. If you lose your external networks (already running in the AT&T, Verizon, Orange, Vodafone, etc network "cloud"), you are dead in the water. You are not going to be any more dead in the water if your data center is within AWS or Microsoft Azure instead of in the room down the hall as your users are likely using the internet to connect anyway..... Don't get me wrong, I think the cloud is great and everyone should be using a cloud service of their choosing (not necessarily AWS), but just spinning stuff up in anyway that anyone feels like it is a bad idea on cloud or on premise.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice Rant

I'll give him the point about SAN though. That is a solid point that many people seem to have overlooked. It is really difficult to justify the need for an external SAN today. The hyperconverged or SDS (in the cloud would probably make sense too) approach makes a lot of sense... particularly SDS in my opinion. This is especially true now that you can scale storage in hypercon models independently from CPU/cache.

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Re: Nice Rant

"your users are likely using the internet to connect anyway"

This is only true for some values of "your".

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Re: Nice Rant

> This whole thing reads like it was written by a person with a meth problem that some company put in charge of IT security. This guy needs to put the sentences in order before hitting submit instead of just frantic scatter shot "things that annoy me" tweets in paragraph form. Ironic that an IT security guy is complaining about unnecessary and cumbersome processes which add little value. <

This whole thing reads like it was written by one of the retards in Sales/Marketing - you know: the people who barely understand their /own/ jobs never mind the thing they're selling/marketing.

I look forward to the day when they're replaced by A.I.s - I only hope it happens before I die, so that I can witness their pitiful attempts to sell me their children's/mothers' kidneys for a drag on my cigarette.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice Rant

Also, if AWS is so easy to click a button and have services up and running in a few seconds, why do they need this guy? Whoever is consuming the service, like development, can click their own buttons on AWS or the cloud of their choice and they don't need to bother with sys admins, ops, etc.

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Re: Nice Rant

They don't.

Next?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice Rant

"This whole thing reads like it was written by one of the retards in Sales/Marketing - you know: the people who barely understand their /own/ jobs never mind the thing they're selling/marketing."

You are kind of in the same boat as the reps who sell you infrastructure. When the cloud hits in full force, there will be few IT ops, infrastructure jobs and few infrastructure sales reps selling to the non-existent IT departments.

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Re: Nice Rant

Yes.

And?

In case you hadn't noticed, virtually all sectors are facing this issue across all of society. This is the 4th industrial revolution. At present, nobody has any solutions to the problem.

Next.

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Happy

Re: You are kind of in the same boat as the reps who sell you infrastructure.

No, I'm not - I saw the writing on the wall a /long/ time ago and got out of /doing/ IT - I'm a consultant these days and get to go to interesting places and help people do stuff with IT instead.*

* audio/visual mostly - it's /loads/ more fun and it pays better too :D

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice Rant

"In case you hadn't noticed, virtually all sectors are facing this issue across all of society. This is the 4th industrial revolution. At present, nobody has any solutions to the problem."

So what is your point then? Cloud is going to be big, hold the presses, and that all of these IT vendors should become Mexican restaurant chains.

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Re: Nice Rant

These vendors can adapt or they can die. There are no other choices.

You either enable IT to become as easy to work with as Amazon, or IT won't be there for long. And in order to enable IT to be as easy as Amazon you need to be able to meet IT's needs quickly, efficiently and in real time. You also need to provide them with hardware, software and services that enable IT to deliver a self-service approach to their internal customers.

That's the way the world is now. Cope.

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Re: Nice Rant

I agree - this is an over simplistic view on a very complex problem. There are lots of things that can be gotten 'just like that' - but there an awful lot that can't. Most people I end up speaking to have no idea what they are creating and need specialised help - you know - that sort of technical help that isn't just asking for what sort of anti-virus I need. If every Tom Dick and Henrietta got the company credit card - watch out world - IT has just descended into Chaos.

Simplistic article - however, I quite liked the style and a lot of the content - it just needs moving away from 'IT' as a whole..

(But he did get an article published so what does he care ;-)

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Amazon?

Not if the incompetence of their store is anything to go by. I can search for something simple, like "bose radio" and get model rockets and gym equipment as "results"

Not exactly confidence inspiring.

They are, however, good at taking your money. That's still a step up from some vendors.

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Re: Amazon?

I'm relived to find I'm not the only one who gets poor search results. Amazon is always held up as the holy grail that all should aspire to, but I can never find what I'm looking for and end up passing them by for a site that has a decent search.

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Re: Not if the incompetence of their store is anything to go by.

As a way of evaluating AWS? No, it isn't.

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Stop

Re: Not if the incompetence of their store is anything to go by.

The search on the Amazon store does suck, indeed. It's however fairly irrelevant in an article about AWS.

Must be one of these people saying "why would you rent computers from a book store??"

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Re: Amazon?

No the search on Amazon is the worst ever. Go for lowest price means having to scroll though 20 pages of £1 upwards unrelated crap before getting to what you need. Better to go high to low and then you only have 5 pages to scroll through.

Selecting other search categories like size, price or brand can totally throw search results too.

It's the one area Amazon have totally neglected.

However, as said paying for stuff once you find it is so simple. Two clicks for me and done.

I had one of my old IT Trade suppliers call me up recently to ask why I had not bought anything from them for a while. I just told them that Amazon is usually within a £1 or so of them and offers cheaper delivery with two click purchase. Whereby they always require I login every time, have to confirm my address, type my credit card details in over and over and don't offer a free delivery option. I told them that even if Amazon is a few quid more expensive I'll still buy from them as it saves me 10 minutes. I'm a lazy sod!

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Re: Amazon?

Even when I know exactly the very thing that I am looking for, I still can't find it on Amazon. It's easier to find stuff on Amazon through Google, than it is through Amazon. And lets face it, Google search results are now what they used to be...

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Re: Amazon?

No the search on Amazon is the worst ever. Go for lowest price means having to scroll though 20 pages of £1 upwards unrelated crap before getting to what you need. Better to go high to low and then you only have 5 pages to scroll through.

Selecting other search categories like size, price or brand can totally throw search results too.

It's the one area Amazon have totally neglected.

Quite. The search is so staggeringly awful, that I can't help but think it is that way on purpose. Perhaps the idea is to drum up more impulse buys that way.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Amazon?

Hey Straw Man -- "I can search for something simple, like "bose radio" and get model rockets and gym equipment as "results"" < wrong.

10 pages of results, all related to bose radios & related equipment:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bose+radio

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nailed

Agree. From start to finish, the buying process just works and even gets better. I now get free delivery in a couple of days on average, without even trying. They got the IT right, right from the start. How very, very, very, sadly, incredibly rare.

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Re: nailed

"From start to finish, the buying process just works and even gets better."

Usually. And when it doesn't then IME their disempowered helldesk with its incomplete grasp of the English language doesn't stand a cat in hell's chance of putting it right.

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"this sort of hubris is exactly how mainframes were overrun by PCs"

I think this is a very misleading statement; mainframes weren't "overrun by PCs", it's just than in the majority of use-cases, PCs were better. But not all; for large scale IO-intensive applications, mainframes still rule.

We're seeing the same with phones and tablets replacing PCs for content consumption; for most content creation the PC (or Mac) is still the better tool.

Cloud will definitely be the better solution for lots of applications that are "on premise" now, but it won't be appropriate for everything.

IT has seen lots of technology changes, sometimes the new stuff is better for every use-case, and becomes the new baseline (paper replacing wax tablets) but usually we're just adding more tools to the toolbox and the intelligent user will select what's most appropriate.

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Anonymous Coward

Sigh,

Premise - a : a proposition antecedently supposed or proved as a basis of argument or inference; specifically : either of the first two propositions of a syllogism from which the conclusion is drawn b : something assumed or taken for granted :

Premises - a : a tract of land with the buildings thereon b : a building or part of a building usually with its appurtenances (as grounds)

IT'S PREMISES!!!!

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It's probably cyclical.

I'm too young to have personally experienced the dethroning of the mainframe by PC proliferation, but that situation has remarkable similarities with what's described herein. Need a service? Whip out the credit card and there it is! Just like people could solve a lot of their problems with Lotus 123 and dBase...

And then those little services proliferate. You find out that their integration with the rest of your processes is nonexistent to lousy. You end up with an unholy hodgepodge of little custom somethings which are partly critical to the functioning of your business, and you don't know which parts are the critical ones. So you organize a department to integrate, control and oversee the services -- and the next priesthood is born.

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Spot on

Not to mention that, in the ease of setting up new, business-critical bits and bobs, absolutely no forethought is given to general data architecture, nor is security even mentioned at all.

Hey, doesn't that make a solid basis for DevOps ? Hoo boy, it sure does.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's probably cyclical.

Really good point. Yes, using the mainframe took longer, because there was actually a plan in place and an organizing process instead of a 1,000 people with PCs doing whatever they felt like... PCs worked well to get them what they wanted immediately that day and the next day... but a year in and it was a giant mess of disconnected spreadsheets, file servers, etc and they wished they had a single enterprise app which everyone used instead of 100 versions of the truth. More efficient in the short term, less efficient in the long term. AWS and people with credit cards is similar. It will get them what they want right now, but what about when they want to have a universal service bus or integration architecture. Hmm. It is really no different than people whipping up Excel VB apps with Access and so forth. Quick and easy. You can get it running in a day. Over time it becomes a mess.... Not to say cloud in general is bad, from AWS or Azure... but cloud via people with credit cards is definitely bad.

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A superb summation of the 'dinosaur' effect nicely sprinkled with some of the most inoffensive to action put-downs I've seen. Who's to know whether the Amazon effect will be as quick to endanger species as the asteroid[s]?

Just as Amazon has its decriers, the funeral industry constantly plods on. Oh hey, they're making more of them. Burning is a better option. You can still buy books from Amazon and guess what - they are still cheaper too. Ready for scanning.

I agree that systems from the past have their applications and we wouldn't be here without them but they are not to be discarded, just adapted. I want to push a button to get things done as much as the next and I thank those who are enabling such shortening of task time.

P.S. Perhaps PHBs have a function in demanding ever shortening time cycles for the rest to implement.

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Channel + Frameworks + Internal Purchasing

I'm with you, and by the time you've added in Internal Purchasing, Framework Purchasing Agreements, Tendering and all that rubbish it takes us months to buy a couple of servers with exactly the same spec as we already have 50 of. Oh and we have to correct the order from the supplier because they've not spec'ed it correctly cause we read the spec sheets more carefully than they do...

Not only that, we buy them from "resellers" who order them from the "Supplier" who then have some muppets build them (3rd party?) and ship them (another 3rd party) - as a result we don't get what we ordered and it's never shipped to the right location - and no ones knows even when it's going to come.

AND, the reseller's don't support what we buy, that comes from the manufacturer directly...

AND, once it's here it needs it's firmware upgrading, which then breaks something else, and DOA pieces replacing before it even thinks of working...

No wonder AWS/Azure/... is so appealing!

It's quicker and easier to spec and buy a new car...

Fume....

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Re: Channel + Frameworks + Internal Purchasing

I see you too have worked in the public sector.

We have been trying to lease (yes thats right, lease) a new version a bit of kit we already lease for over a year now. It's been going on for so long the old contract has expired and rolled over to Silly Price With All Support Chargable Per Call™. So now finance are refusing to pay and the vendor are threatening us with reposession.

We still haven't got an order approved for a new one. And now we have rolled into a new financial year so we've lost budget approval.

ಠ_ಠ

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Seems like nothing changes. . . .

1998. I'm deploying a system to HQ NATO outside Brussels. And the HP printer we shipped in turns out to only have a North America power supply. So, talk to HP, find the local vendor, buy correct kit ?

Not that easy. Vendor wants a meeting first. A week from day we called them. Fine, didn't need the printer immediately, continued deploying the rest of the gear. Show up for meeting (at their offices, they wouldn't come to us. . .). They find that we're not registered as a HP Belgium customer, " . . . could you fill out these forms, and we'll get you approved in a few weeks. . . ."

I look at them like they're from Mars. I pull out my AmEx Corporate Card, telling them I simply wanted to purchase a printer, why couldn't we do that, right there, right then ? "We have procedures".

Fine, I had approval to spend up to a quarter million Belgian Francs on the spot. . .and they told me to wait a few weeks ?

So, I go back to the deploy site, grab a copy of the local Yellow Pages, and call up computer stores.

5 of them say they can get me the printer I want, so I ask them to fax me a bid by COB the next day.

One faxes me a bid in about 30 minutes. Radio silence from the rest. COB next day hits, I call the guy who responded, give him the credit card, and arrange delivery for the following Monday (this is a Thursday afternoon).

Monday morning, printer arrives, we unbox, install, all is good. Then a second bid comes in (this is ~Monday, 1:30PM), followed immediately by a phone call, asking what we thought of their bid. They were shocked that we went with someone else (who, BTW, was cheaper), and they were actually surprised that we thought a deadline for submission was actually a deadline, and they promised to complain to NATO Purchasing (That didn't bother us, as the program was run out of, and paid for, by an office in the Pentagon. . . ).

Even funnier, was that a day before the team flew back to the States, the "official" HP vendor we had originally talked to, called to ask when they could expect our application to become a customer. . . .

. . . .I finally got to use my limited knowledge of invective in French. . . . (grin)

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So, so true.

I stick with one of my suppliers because they're fast and no-nonsense. I want XYZ, I ask for a quote, they get back to me within an hour or so. Usually I can then get an order in that day, and can have thousands of pounds worth of equipment here the next day.

Compare that to some of the software companies I have to deal with. We have a contract with one web based software provider, and we are likely going to expand it to cover half a dozen or more additional organisations in the next 6 - 12 months. I can't just get the same deal for each school. Instead, I have to meet a rep, get a 40 page contract, sign it, send it back. Whole process several weeks. For access to a website.

Other companies have it down. AirServer? I want a license? I click buy, stick a card number in and voila I have it!

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Anonymous Coward

Don't worry many managed service providers protect themselves from this innovation thing by including "revenue protection" in their contracts meaning nobody can afford to leave less they get charged £400,000 for decomming their 5 HP G6 servers with sql server ontop of the £1.2m you've already paid over the previous 5 years. Unless you buy the managed solution providers new solution which costs twice as much, but they'll waver the ETF.

Moral of the story, never work for a company that uses managed hosting.

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Pint

disclaimer

That is the best article-leading disclaimer I've read in a while. I can almost hear the frustration devolve into "You know what? FUCK this!" Here, I think you need this more than I do. You'll feel much better.

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While I agree with the entire point on trying to buy stuff...

I don't entirely understand why your friend Mr. Unicorn was given network superpowers as opposed to being told to go stick his horn up his own backside, given that the result was so entirely predictable. Next time someone demands superadmin root godhood so they can do their job as junior assistant to the janitor, just scream 'SONY HACK!!!!!!!!' at them repeatedly and then jump out the window.

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Re: While I agree with the entire point on trying to buy stuff...

just scream 'SONY HACK!!!!!!!!' at them repeatedly and then jump out the window.

Nope

just scream 'SONY HACK!!!!!!!!' at them repeatedly and then throw them out the window.

TFTFY

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Ebooks more expensive that books

Can someone explain to me, why second hand books on Amazon are cheaper than Ebooks for the kindle? How does that work?

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Re: Ebooks more expensive that books

I am no expert and know nothing about it but that doesn't often stop a determined commentard.

It seems to me that Ebooks are priced as for the new book, you are paying for the content more than for the physical item.

Whereas second-hand books are an entirely different market, you are no longer paying the publisher for the original (they've had their cut when the book was first sold) and you are buying it from the current owner as a used item.

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Re: Ebooks more expensive that books

"How does that work?"

Second hand dealers buy books in bulk for bugger all. Some of them take library disposals. House clearances. Car boots. Remainders. Whatever. They can then afford to pass them on for very little. In fact many of them can sell for a nominal amount because they have enough margin in "post and package" charges.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ebooks more expensive that books

Because publishers.

Instead of saying that ebooks are books with much cheaper sales and distribution, they decided to monetize the convenience and as a result, keen readers like my wife continue to return from B&N with books from the bargain bin.

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Re: Ebooks more expensive that books

Well, they're not second hand are they. A more fairer comparison would probably be a new paperback. Also if I recall correctly ebooks suffer from full VAT.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ebooks more expensive that books

Thats as maybe, but why buy an eBook that costs as much or more than a hardback from the same or other source? Does the ebook format add any value other than convenience

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Re: Ebooks more expensive that books

Shhhhhhh!!!!! (..he said, all the time making 'cut' gestures)

Its not an Amazon thing, its the publishers. Due to longstanding law once you buy a book (or a record) its yours -- you get to read it, lend it, sell it or use it to prop up a table leg. Kindle files aren't as flexible. You get to buy a facsimile of the book for about the same price as the book and you can't do anything with it except look at it (and maybe 'lend' it to another Kindle user -- but that's got a lot of strings attached even when its possible). Publishers would love to have a business model that charges customers every time they read or listen to something and the Kindle's closer to that than physical media, its all gravy (which doesn't stop the publishers bellyaching about how hard done by they are).

My Kindle profile is a bit odd. I seem to read a lot of 'Samples' but relatively few books. It might be due to a) if its an old book I can get a used copy for a lot less than the Kindle price, typically $1 for the book and $4 S&H (and the business is going to a used book store) or b) if I'm going to be nailed $13 or more for a digital file I'll spring for the extra and get a real book thank you very much.

I suspect Amazon knows all this.

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Thumb Up

Worth it for:

"one of those omnijerk-class twunts who whines and whinges until they're given network superpowers because they're a special unicorn princess"

Thank you.

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Re: Worth it for:

Also had CryptoLocker on my network.

Luckily permissions to files and folders was heavily enforced, so the damage was constrained to only that user's departmental folders.

It was a simple procedure to rm -rf said department's data, copy fresh data from a backup, apply network permissions where needed, and everybody was back to work.

Laptop hard drive? Got binned as I could not get rid of cryptolocker - seems user's son "played" with it and it got installed so good and proper that I preferred to bin that hard drive rather than take the risk of a resurrection. It even start to encrypt USB drives inserted... nah, not good to mess with that. Bin it, get new HDD, reinstall windows, and all is well and good.

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