Posted by vele1655 | Posted in Containers, Hybrid Cloud, PaaS | Posted on 03-10-2014
Excited is likely the least impactful word I can think of in terms of this post, maybe Excited2 is better. I am truly lucky to be a part of an organization (EMC) that really gets it and isn’t afraid of taking chances.
The Software Defined Enterprise is changing everything.
Keeping customers first, embrace and contribute to disruption, self-disruption, and cannibailization, while helping customers take advantage of the new world.
My time at EMC has always been full of going against the grain and doing things that are different all the while following and aligning to industry trends. I have always been involved in small teams that get placed squarely in the middle of the unknown. ie. What kind of disruption and at what scale will a small group of ninjas have on a cruise ship?
- The vSpecialist group where I learned a ton about pre-sales, evangelism, high output teams, and leadership while working among some of the industry’s brightest
- The Data Protection Virtualization group where I spread some vSpec juice and learned from some talented fellows and helped shape how to talk with customers about Data Protection with VMware, the SDDC, and Hybrid Cloud
- And most recently in the Global Specialty Practice Integration Labs group pushing, pulling, lifting, lowering, and influencing the direction of DPAD products
All along this journey I’ve been lucky enough to have leadership that has provided rarely needed air cover for some of my radical ideas and openly fostered innovation while aligning towards corporate strategy. For this I thank Jeff Thomas (at scaleiomonster), Mike Zolla (at mikezolla), Wade O’Harrow (at wadeoharrow) and Chad Sakac (at sakacc).
What’s up next? Another journey into the unknown. At the time of the original vSpecialist group, VMware was beginning a more rapid adoption in the Enterprise but it was somewhat obvious this adoption was to turn into a landslide and massive opportunity to align technology and solutions toward VMware. Depending on who you talk with, we are at a similar point today where things seem to be changing in a less than unknown way all starting with developers but making its way through IT. Let me rephrase that, technology has already changed and Enterprises are getting closer to adopting it.
So lets term it the known unknown state in a new tech-bubble driven by things like 3rd platform applications, continuous delivery, and big data that are serving as the enablers for new-comers to un-seed large organizations from their seemingly anchored positions (Software Defined Enterprise/Economy). But wait, I said bubble! Sure, and my opinion is that soon we will see it burst again. But to me there is something more substantive being left behind this time.. a ton of open-source technology that was contributed along the way that removes the barriers to entry for huge markets leaving more competition among players and in the end a better product for the consumer. It is this same technology that will also continue to eat at the Enterprise workloads where large swaths of capital and workloads runs.
Being as how I mostly focus on the tech stuff (although majored in Business), lets look at the last few years as being an innovation bubble versus looking at it from the most obvious financial side, agree? In the dotCom tech bubble, it burst and a bunch of proprietary closed-source technology was just thrown away (ie. rusty gear). On the contrary, now we have a massive amount of stimulation to reusable technology (software, designs, architectures, and design patterns) or economically speaking, efficiency technology that mostly won’t be lost. However, my justification for this is partly in personal experience. I started my career working with Apache and open-source technology, but at that time there was a small fraction of open-source contribution happening compared to now. Guilty party included here as it was mostly a take, enhance, and keep to ourselves at the time. But now, I really can’t say that I have seen this much excitement or engagement from the community in my short purview of 15 years in the tech industry.
My short sighted view is that this comes first from the engagement in open-source projects of large tech companies that finance their employees to engage, second from the coolness of the technology being built, and third from the comradery of being a part of these initiatives.
“Software Defined Enterprises”, and “cloud” among other things is driving profound changes.
- Applications being driven from the “cloud” and being highly globally consumer focused
- Applications going from a North-South Availability and Persistency to Non-Persistent and Scale-Out
- Applications adopting microservice versus monolithic designs
- Applications designed around consumer facing APIs
- Applications publishing more true REST/Hyper-Media APIs instead of language specific SDKs
So what is the common thread here? Applications, being the consumer of infrastructure, are changing dramatically and have a completely new set of requirements of infrastructure. This is going to and has driven all kinds of crazy shifts and further emergence of new technology and depletion of old. There is no doubt however, that this new stuff will be the new competition for our existing technology and will make existing technology even better. ie. Good news for Enterprise shops!
- Hypervisors innovating in new ways quack like a container to compete with new efficiencies of Linux Containers and these same containers will also quack like a VM
- VMware resisting commoditization of vSphere and sprinting on the Software Defined Data Center concept to make existing the existing Virtual Data Center concept further ITaaS aligned
- Convergence and Hyper-Convergence continued growth to simplify and optimize the SDDC
So whats left behind with all of this work in the innovation bubble and what to expect moving forward? Some of this is here now.
– Existing monolithic applications slowly deprecated while the ones that stay further leverage Hybrid Cloud SDDC in an ITaaS model
– New convergence of the Hypervisor and Containerization layer, IaaS inclusive of PaaS
– Hybrid Cloud PaaS models inclusive of IaaS
– Auctioning layers minimizing costs and enabling perfect competition for cloud resources
– End-to-end applications completely defined by blueprints built on top of and considering PaaS frameworks
– Apps designed for containers and their availability models
– Abstraction of data center services up through the Application and native Hybrid Cloud functionality
– New programming languages existing languages optimized for efficiency, asynchronousness, networking, concurrency, big data, REST
– More open-source technology and projects that leverage other pioneering open-source initiatives
So deeper down than the apps, what is driving all of this innovation? Developers! Businesses are asking more and more for developers to innovate. They are then turning to methods like continuous integration to rapidly develop and iterate on applications. This type of environment demands more of a Developer and Operations relationship. And this leads to things like the most recent Dockernado storm where I am specifically referencing a tool (Docker) that helps both Dev and Ops teams stay apart yet work optimally with one another when building, deploying, and managing next-gen applications.
Stay apart? Developers don’t want to care about networking, underlying storage, or monitoring. They want to focus almost all of their efforts on their application. This aligns to what they’re building– scale-out architectures that don’t care about any of this stuff. They also want a way of building and running this software on their system and having it portable to production on top of any environment (sounds like a Java promise). Some of the same concepts that drove Java to #1 popularity as a language are now driving Docker and changing infrastructure.
Plenty more to speak of here, but the cloud’s Dockerization is a great example of the future where Developers Win in the end. It is going to be one of many tools that is embraced by developers for next-gen and current architectures which will drive containerization and the disruption of the legacy Hypervisor markets all driven by Developers.
To win the Developer’s mind in this era, companies that exist in “cloud” must focus on an easy to use API for their products. Let’s leave the definition of “easy to use” for further posts. At EMC, if we want to exist, maintain share and not shed our hardware as IBM has, we must embrace these changes. At the same time to be successful you likely need a good combination of knowledge to help customers get from A to B, old to new, or Platform 2 (~VMs) to Platform 3 (~VMs/Containers/Micro services/Scale out apps). Let me coin this Platform 2/3 for those customers that are born in the 2nd Platform and leveraging the 3rd for growth. Reciprocally you also probably need a skill set for Platform 3/2 where new companies need to take advantage of new tech while also running small amounts of monolithic technology. All the while you likely need folks that have a hybrid skill set across these two types of technologies. The platforms APIs, open-source applications, and programming languages in a 2/3 and 3/2 world are what will be critical to adoption and getting Developers leveraging these during the development phase is critical.
Finally, the purpose of the post!
As of now, Oct 1 2014, I am on a great new team and initiative at EMC focused on Developer Evangelism. The focus of the group will be to internally and externally align ourselves to the needs of Developers. ie. Make Developers Love EMC.
Through this charter there is now a new group of Developer Advocates at EMCII lead by a cloud veteran and co-founder of cloudcast.net Brian Gracely (at bgracely). We are lucky to have a leader that is as involved and aware of industry trends as Brian is. His podcast is superb and has published a stunning amount of content and forward looking interviews with the industry’s brightest. I believe at the time of this post they are on #163 in a few short years!
Alongside myself I am joined by a couple of all-stars from the industry. Jonas Rosland (at virtualswede, purevirtual.eu) joins the team from the EMC CTO office where he is already head down focusing on all things hipster and has early on infected the team with his SaaSification. Another brother and character that needs no introduction is Kendrick Coleman (at kendrickcoleman, kendrickcoleman.com) who has been rocking the PaaS stacks and served as a bad *aaS player at VCE since the beginning.
So whats the least to expect out of us? Community engagement will be inherent in the success where we will have presence at Github, meetups, hackfests, conferences, IRC, social media, and frankly wherever we can.
You’re going to find us listening a ton to customers and general folks and evangelizing EMC technology all the while fighting to align our people, tools, and software to developers’ needs.
emccode.github.io is home! Here you will find Open-Source projects, sample code, examples, and documentation. We plan on having this be a central place for hosting projects, and other contributed code.
And no doubt, vElemental will be shifting from the most popular vCenter Operations, vSphere, vCloud Director, PowerCLI and Powershell posts to more hipster stuff like Golang, Cloud Foundry, GCE, Mesos, Docker etc.
We are in exciting times. Tip of the spear!