Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's DevOps, or it's the Wrong Conversation

As I was watching this thread develop, with various comments from people that live and breathe IT, one thing kept coming to mind. IT people often try and justify new technology with technology reasoning. It's analogous to answering a question with another question.

Far too often, because IT has almost always been looked at as a cost-center and measured for ROI based on cost-reduction or productivity improvements, technologist feel the need to drive the justification for a new project based on cost.

  • How will it be cheaper than the last project? 
  • How will it reduce spending for the business in some way? 
  • How can this eliminate something that isn't as effective as this new technology?
The right answer is DevOps. 

Huh? Why would I use a technology term, "DevOps", as the answer to the question when I just got done saying we shouldn't use technology to explain technology? Because the technology use of "DevOps" (short for the combined model of Development + Operations)  has created the wrong way to shorten the appropriate words. To answer the question, "How to Connect IT and Business?", think of "DevOps" as Developing + Opportunities.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Thoughts from VMworld 2012 (San Francisco)

A few weeks ago, I wrote my pre-show thoughts about VMworld 2012. Much of it was focused on the need for VMware to diversify their technology and business model(s) as customer needs are evolving beyond server virtualization.

Now that the US event is over, I wanted to jot down some thoughts before they burn away like the San Francisco fog that greeted us each morning.
  1. The audience was more diverse than in years past - While VMworld always draws a huge group of infrastructure-centric people, this year had a greater diversity of new groups in attendance, even if only around the fringes. CloudFoundry attracted people focused on building PaaS platforms and new applications. Nicira attracted people focused on networking, OpenStack and various open-source projects. 
  2. The audience was less dense than in years past - This is not a commentary on people's intellects, but rather their shrinking waistlines. I was pleasantly surprised to see a good number of friends and colleagues that had lost significant amounts of weight since last year's show. It's encouraging to see them taking control of their lives and I'm hopefully that I'll continue to be able to see them in good health at events in the future.
  3. Not many of the new technologies were attention grabbing - As I walked the fringes of the showfloor, where interesting new start-ups often demonstrate their new toys, there wasn't a long list of things that really wow'd me. I'm biased about XtremIO (all flash storage); I like the way Piston Cloud is trying to differentiate their OpenStack stack for the Enterprise; I always enjoy the insight about new segments of the networking industry in talking with Arista; it's good to see the PaaS progress with CloudFoundry. Bromium wasn't on display at the event, but they were nearby and I had a good talk about their future plans. 
  4. The announcements were not headline grabbing - I had several discussions and dinners with "clouderati" people that seemed to be disappointed that VMware did not announce a public cloud offering (the rumored "Project Zephyr") or new open-source spinoffs or make soul-crushing proclamations against rival vendors. Instead, they announced pricing changes, bundling changes and some incremental new technologies that involved internal or external integrations. They also formalized their change in CEO from Paul Maritz to Pat Gelsinger.