- Track US Flights and Global Flight Status
- Charles Marville’s Pictures Show What Was Destroyed - NYTimes.com
- Satoshi: Why Newsweek isn’t convincing | Felix Salmon - Felix Salmon has consistently written perhaps the best pieces on this ongoing saga. One point of mutual incomprehension between the "journos" and the "geeks" he misses/ignores though goes beyond the reasons he gives relating to the accuracy and credibility of the story. That point is that the journos can't comprehend that you wouldn't name someone notable like this if you discovered his identity and this fills a lot of people with real anger.
- Amtrak Sucks - Reason.com
- Twitter / paulcoxon: The power of math: 17 Equations ... - RT @paulcoxon: The power of math: 17 Equations That Changed the World, chosen by @warwickmaths' Ian Stewart FRS (pic @LarryTheTutor)
- The First Woman to Get a Ph.D. in Computer Science From MIT - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic - RT @JamesMaguire: The First Woman to Get a Ph.D. in Computer Science From MIT; talks about her life.
- Newsweek EIC tells Pando “We’ve hired security to protect our reporter.” Social media head: “We won!” | PandoDaily - "Impoco is surrounded by exactly the mix of San Francisco Glassholes and New York media types that you’d expect to find at a venue called the “Samsung Blogger Lounge.” The former contingent is here for the free bar, and most seem oblivious to the fuss surrounding Newsweek’s alleged outing of Bitcoin’s creator. But at least some of the reporters in attendance, ourselves included, are here to soak up the schadenfreude."
- Brundibar: How The Nazis Conned The World - Page 3 - CBS News
- The Satoshi Paradox | Felix Salmon - "I believe that Goodman believes that Dorian is Satoshi. I believe that Jim Impoco, my ex-boss, who’s now the editor of Newsweek, also believes that Dorian is Satoshi. But belief is not enough. Dan Rather believed that the Killian documents were genuine; Hugh Trevor-Roper believed that the Hitler diaries were genuine; Lara Logan believed that Dylan Davies was telling the truth about Benghazi. Big scoops are dangerous things."
- People Powered Front Pages Rule | The Whip - Not nearly as bad as one might fear.
- monkigras 2014 - YouTube - Checkout Monki Gras 2014 videos. Lots of good stuff:
- Newsweek outs Bitcoin founder — and his children, his wives, his employers… — Bob Sullivan - "Bitcoin, or whatever follows Bitcoin, has the potential to cause a revolution. It’s a real threat to central banking systems. It’s quite possibly a real boon to consumers, particularly those who want to move their money around the world without paying hefty fees for nothing. And of course, it’s a gift to criminals. Understanding Bitcoin’s origins and the founder’s philosophy is clearly of massive public interest. It’s worth violating his privacy. To a point."
- Adrian Cockcroft's Blog: Speeding Up Innovation - Cloud Expo Europe and QCon London 2014 - "Technologies and practices that have been developed in the leading web scale companies are finding their way into cloud based services that address the broadening of demand for these technologies, while packaging them to make them easier to implement. In addition, the pace of product development has greatly increased, and the ability to get faster feedback from customers and act on it conveys a significant competitive advantage."
- How Harold Ramis Invented Baby Boom Comedy With ‘Animal House’ - The Daily Beast - PJ O'Rourke. No more needs to be said.
- Getty Images makes 35 million images free in fight against copyright infringement » British Journal of Photography - RT @MatthewKeysLive: Getty making 35 million photos free to embed for non-commercial purposes -
Monday, March 10, 2014
Monday, March 03, 2014
Over at CIO, Stephanie Overby presents a GE Capital case study in which
The team was given some quick training in automation and given three tasks: develop the application quickly, figure out how to automate the infrastructure, and figure out how to automate more of the application deployment and testing in order to marry DevOps with continuous application delivery.
DevOps is often thought of as the breaking down of walls between operations and development. As such, it’s the IT equivalent of other types of integrated teams—an organizational style that goes in and out of fashion but is more in that out at the moment.
Looking at DevOps this way is… well, not wrong exactly but it misses important points. It’s worth stipulating here that there’s not yet a broad industry consensus around what DevOps. Nonetheless, it’s broadly recognized that historical boundaries between developers and operators and—as important—between the tooling that they use are rapidly breaking down.
Let me lead into my point with another quote from the article.
The project not only proceeded quickly -- the application was delivered within several months -- it established some new IT processes. They increased the amount of automation possible not only at the infrastructure level, but within the application layer at well.
Note the repeated use of the word automation.
A naive view of DevOps (which corresponds to how it was often discussed a few years back) was that DevOps was about the merging of developer and operator roles into one. The developer grabbed the production SQL database root password and the operator started churning out PHP. But that’s not really the DevOps story.
Much remains to be written and discovered on this topic. (By myself and others.) But one way that I increasingly think about DevOps is that the architects and operators build the infrastructure, setup developer self-service, automate scaling and deployments and then get out of the way.
For example, here’s how Paypal’s Ryan Granard described their approach with Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS at GigaOm Structure last June:
Our concept is you walk up to a portal, you pick the product that you want to work on. You're not asking VMs and RAM. You just say, I want to work on Wallet. In minutes, we have you up and running in a fully connected container and you're developing. That's the key. That's a real benefit to just the speed of innovation and ultimately not having developers or testers or any of these folks do anything that's not part of what their role fundamentally is.
Viewed through this lens, DevOps can be seen as not necessarily about developers becoming amateur DBAs or operations folks slinging a lot of code. It’s true that some of the newer management and operational tooling—think Puppet, Chef, Foreman, and so forth—is lighter weight and perhaps more suited to a degree of joint dev and ops use. However, it’s also clear that DevOps is about automating the relevant subset of operations for developers and providing easy-to-use instrumentation and controls that let them make effective us of that underlying infrastructure.
photo: CC/flickr by M Ray http://www.flickr.com/photos/mray/7249435726/
Here's a video of the talk I gave at the Linux Collaboration Summit in 2013. I'll be giving a new presentation on How OpenStack is Paralleling Linux Adoption (and how it isn't) in a few weeks at this year's event in Napa.
Listen to MP3 (0:12:02)
Listen to OGG (0:12:02)
- So Long IT Specialist, Hello Full-Stack Engineer - CIO.com - RT @AndiMann: So Long IT Specialist, Hello Full-Stack Engineer - GE Capital takes on #DevOps via @CIOonline
- Red Hat | How Red Hat brings OpenStack into the enterprise - Have a new whitepaper up on bringing OpenStack to the enterprise:
- Twitter / jimaley: Frank Sinatra steps out of ... - RT @jimaley: Frank Sinatra steps out of a pre-Uber vehicle while carrying a handheld social networking device.
- Untitled (https://plus.google.com/+GordonHaff/posts/WS8xdVAmdpG) - Don't understand why so little consideration given to desires of neighboring towns in Mass casino process.
- Coursera.org - RT @Pogue: TED speaker, Duke prof, and author Dan Ariely is giving an 8-week course in behavioral economics. And it’s FREE.
- Quote Investigator | Dedicated to tracing quotations
- 36 Hours in Kyoto, Japan - NYTimes.com
- Oscar Picks: How to Beat Your Film-Geek Friends — Editor's Picks — Medium - I always lean heavily on the wisdom of the crowd for my Oscar picks but this year I didn't fight it at all.
- Farsite was right: 2013 Oscar prediction results | Farsite Forecast - I'd just point out that this "big data" analysis pretty much matches Internet collective wisdom re: Oscars.
- Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience - The Daily Beast - "From the probiotics aisle to the vaguely ridiculous Organic Integrity outreach effort (more on that later), Whole Foods has all the ingredients necessary to give Richard Dawkins nightmares. And if you want a sense of how weird, and how fraught, the relationship between science, politics, and commerce is in our modern world, then there’s really no better place to go. Because anti-science isn’t just a religious, conservative phenomenon—and the way in which it crosses cultural lines can tell us a lot about why places like the Creation Museum inspire so much rage, while places like Whole Foods don’t."
- Slo-mo for the masses - O'Reilly Radar - "Matter later matriculated at MIT, and he sent in images of those golf balls to Edgerton, along with a fan letter. He ended up taking a class from Edgerton, and his admiration for the idiosyncratic engineer only grew. “He was the quintessential maker,” Matter says of his mentor. “Almost everything in his lab was slightly radioactive from all his field work photographing atom bomb and hydrogen bomb tests. He’d look at a problem and come up with a solution. Sometimes his solutions were crude and ugly, but they worked. That was part of his philosophy — better to have something crude and ugly that works than something elegant and expensive that doesn’t work as well.”"
Monday, February 24, 2014
- Second Life's strange second life | The Verge - "A million active users still log on and inhabit the world every month, and 13,000 newbies drop into the community every day to see what Second Life is about."
- Innovative CIOs run their applications a completely different way | The Enterprisers Project - RT @lcongdon: Thoughts on cloud computing: Innovative CIOs run their applications a completely different way via @4enterprisers
- Our Numbered Days: The Evolution of the Area Code - Megan Garber - The Atlantic
- ▶ Bayesian or Frequentist, Which Are You? - VideoLectures.NET
- Are you a Bayesian or a Frequentist?
- Politics of openness - The Ed Techie
- Red Hat Summit - New infographic on 2014 Red Hat Summit sessions/content & alumni feedback 4/14 in SF. I'll be in a couple sessions.
- Critique of Boston MBTA Transit Map - "Well meaning, but seriously flawed. Needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. With the addition of the Silver Line, the centre of the city needs far more space given to it, while the edges can afford to be compressed a bit to compensate (look how much room the Braintree leg of the Red Line has, for example). One-and-a-half stars."
- Platform-as-a-Service: Lessons from Manufacturing | Cloud Computing Journal - RT @CloudExpo: Cloud Expo Session | Platform-as-a-Service: Lessons from Manufacturing [by @GHaff] ▸ #PaaS #Cloud #CloudExpo
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Last month, I wrote a post discussing the parallels between OpenStack and Linux. Briefly, these are the following:
- Part and parcel of a new approach to computing
- Adoption rates won’t be uniform
- It takes time
- About community as much as technology
- Open source development is an incremental process
- Commercial distributions make consumption by businesses possible
- Need for complementary components and integration
A number of folks have pointed out that there are differences too. To which I say "I agree!" From my perspective, here are five of the most salient deltas.
1. Open source is now ubiquitous and part of the landscape. In 2001, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was giving interviews like the one he gave to the Chicago Sun Times in which he said "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches." In 2001, Gartner analyst George Weiss was writing that between 2003 and 2005, "enthusiasm for Linux will increase selectively... However, their enthusiasm will be tempered by the entrenched position of Unix, which has already achieved mission-critical scalability and availability, by the strong Windows 2000 upgrades in the pipeline, and by the potentially heavy cost of migrating to Linux." My point here isn't to pick on anyone in particular (well, maybe Steve Ballmer) but to highlight that, circa 2001, Linux and open source generally faced an environment that ranged from skeptical to unremittingly hostile outside of (mostly) leading-edge technology adopters like Wall Street. Today, by contrast, open source is used widely--ubiquitously even--and companies like Google and Facebook would not even be feasible in open source's absence. In short, OpenStack's birth and maturation is taking place in a much more welcoming environment than did Linux'.
2. Open source is in the enterprise. And not just some enterprises in some industries. According to Red Hat's data, "more than 90% of Fortune 500 companies use Red Hat products and services." That's just Red Hat. (And, one suspects, there are open source pockets at most, if not all, of the remaining 10 percent.) Here's what Gartner is now writing about open source software in their Hype Cycle for Open-Source Software, 2013:
Continuing a trend over the past 10 years, the open-source software (OSS) model continues to expand and affect market segments across nearly the entire IT industry spectrum. For example, Linux was the first widely acknowledged success of open source in many IT organizations, and it remains the flagship of OSS success; however, the list of "industry-changing" OSS solution continues to grow year after year as well. Today, projects like the Apache Web Server, the JBoss Application Server, MySQL RDBMS, Eclipse IDE, MongoDB, and many more show the broad influence that OSS continues to have on the industry as a whole.
3. Open source is driving innovation. Historically, open source was more about commoditizing and democratizing technology approaches that already existed and were proven in the world of proprietary software. BSD and then Linux did so to proprietary Unix but they are hardly the only example. OpenOffice, the Apache web server, and MySQL database all didn't initially drive the state of the art forward so much as they drove price points dramatically downwards--and thereby greatly increased the number of people and organizations that had access. This dynamic remains true for some open source software, but the collaboration that the open source development model makes possible is now driving industry innovation in so many areas. In data storage and analytics, almost all of the interesting new approaches are in open source. And that's true also with building IaaS clouds where OpenStack is gaining so much attention. OpenStack isn't about mimicking a proprietary IaaS. There isn't such a thing outside of a few big public cloud providers (and, with the exception of Microsoft, they all make extensive use of open source as well).
4. OpenStack is for the datacenter. So far, I've mostly discussed how the milieu in which OpenStack plays is different from the one in which Linux operated at first. There are some differences in the projects themselves too. Linux has probably had its greatest impact as a server operating system, but there's nothing inherent to Linux that limits it to that role. Indeed, the fact that someone could spin up Linux on an old PC and tinker with it arguably had a great deal to do with its grassroots encroachment into the server room. In the modern era, variants of Linux appear in everything from mobile devices to Mars Rovers. OpenStack, designed as it is for datacenter infrastructure, is more expressly tailored to run on a (moderately large) pool of servers. It's also more likely to enter the datacenter by the front door as a result.
5. The OpenStack community is different from the Linux kernel one. Finally, it's worth observing that the OpenStack project's organization differs significantly from that of the Linux kernel. There are some similarities in that large commercial organizations (not least of all Red Hat) make significant contributions to both projects. But the Linux kernel runs as a sort of "benevolent dictatorship" (reflecting its roots) while OpenStack is governed by a foundation established for the project (reflecting its establishment primarily by a number of companies coming together). The difference also reflects how the Linux kernel has a singular identity and purpose while OpenStack is more of a framework for a number of sub-projects and includes more rapidly changing technology. In some ways, OpenStack looks more like a distribution than a single open source project--although that comparison fails in a number of respects as well.
Different doesn't mean better or worse. It means different. I always favor looking for historical parallels because they can be instructive and offer a window to the future. It's equally important though to understand the differences in the environment between yesterday and today, as well as between the things being compared themselves. In the case of Linux and OpenStack, there are lessons to be drawn for OpenStack by looking at Linux adoption so long as they're not slavishly drawn.
- Office on the iPad is a product absolutely nobody needs | CITEworld - I don't really get the interest in most iPad content creation apps. I guess they can sometimes be a fallback if you're somewhere and don't have your PC with you but that's a pretty marginal use case.
- Why An Open API is Like a Loaded Gun | Security Management - "From a governance, audit, security, and compliance perspective, no business should ever consider opening up their APIs to any users—internal or external—without adequate controls, such as identity and access management, threat protection, error detection, usage tracking, and rate limiting."
- How Mobile Cloud Services Will Consolidate After The Death Of StackMob – ReadWrite - "StackMob, Parse and Kinvey all started with a focus on developers. Each, in its own due course, realized that selling to developers is basically impossible. Indie developers don’t have money and enterprise developers don’t have control over budgets. The developer-centric approach was not scalable."
- If Invading Switzerland, Please Do So Outside Of "Office Hours" | Zero Hedge - RT @natfriedman: Please don't invade Switzerland outside business hours:
Monday, February 17, 2014
- How PR landed humans on the moon | Articles | Home - "With all the recent hoopla about how online content serves as a tool for public relations, few people realize that content has been around as a PR tool for more than 50 years. The greatest story never told (until now) about content as a marketing tool is that it helped to deliver humans to the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s. While everybody is looking for the next big thing in public relations, I found inspiration by going back half a century."
- Intel’s Sharp-Eyed Social Scientist - NYTimes.com
- Klaus Teuber, the Man Who Built The Settlers of Catan : The New Yorker
- Paddy Chayefsky: The Dark Prophet of ‘Network’ News - The Daily Beast - "When you watch Network now, even the extremest of conversations—the idea of actually killing someone live on air—is not an exactly alien stretch of our reality TV-soaked imaginations. Chayefsky forecast perfectly the changing universe of TV news, with news ceding ground to entertainment, blowhard posturing, personality and extremity."
- It's time for Netflix to stop acting like television - The Week
- The National Map
- George Packer: Is Amazon Bad for Books? : The New Yorker
- London’s West End, a Stage for Good Eating - NYTimes.com
- Watch actual members of Congress read lines from House of Cards - The Week - RT @TheWeek: 'House of Cards' sounds even more chilling when real-life congressmen act it out:
- Instapainting Turns Your Photos Into Hand-Painted Oil Paintings On The Cheap | TechCrunch
- NC snow meme: Attack on Glenwood Ave :: WRAL.com - North Carolina snow meme
Friday, February 14, 2014
- Why There Will Never Be Another RedHat: The Economics Of Open Source | TechCrunch
- History Camp Tickets, Cambridge - Eventbrite
- Instagram - I think I'll just stay in front of the fire.
- Twitter / EricHolthaus: Quite possibly the craziest ... - RT @EricHolthaus: Quite possibly the craziest snow photo I've ever seen, today in Raleigh NC:
- Star Wars OL - YouTube - RT @bakertweets: It's over. They can shut down the Internet now. This wins.
- Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators - Megan McArdle - The Atlantic - "Like most writers, I am an inveterate procrastinator. In the course of writing this one article, I have checked my e-mail approximately 3,000 times, made and discarded multiple grocery lists, conducted a lengthy Twitter battle over whether the gold standard is actually the worst economic policy ever proposed, written Facebook messages to schoolmates I haven’t seen in at least a decade, invented a delicious new recipe for chocolate berry protein smoothies, and googled my own name several times to make sure that I have at least once written something that someone would actually want to read."
- San Franciscans Wait Two Hours in the Rain For Day-Old New York Bagels | Uptown Almanac - "While we've become dizzy with all the eye-rolling, we cannot help be impressed by the brilliance of this pop-up and its ability to lure people into the most degrading "yuppie bread line" possible."
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
- How DevOps Can Accelerate the Cloud Application Lifecycle - "Yes, there's often friction between development and operations, and being part of the same team would undoubtedly improve personal relationships. This approach might incrementally improve the current state by fostering cooperation and less finger-pointing. However, it's not clear that better personal interaction would significantly quicken application functionality release cycles."
- Instagram - Dartmouth winter carnival
- How Skeuomorphism Can Make Electric Car Safer | MIT Technology Review
- Digital Nibbles 02/06 by Digital Nibbles | Technology Podcasts - I was on Digital Nibbles yesterday talking mostly PaaS and #OpenShift starting at about the 27 minute mark.
- Daring Fireball: Microsoft, Past and Future - One of the better pieces. "The next ubiquity isn’t running on every device, it’s talking to every device."
- Instagram - I've been on empty flights this trip. LHR<->EWR
- Microsoft Board names Satya Nadella as CEO - RT @Craw: Smart move by MSFT. Hope they use Gates the right way. Narrow = better
- Twitter / pythondj: This is NOT a test, the apps ... - RT @pythondj: This is NOT a test, the apps are launching on @openshift live from #fosdem today
- Twitter / mhelft: Harsh working conditions in ... - RT @mhelft: Harsh working conditions in Silicon Valley
- Lessons about Community from Science Fiction « Fast Wonder - RT @geekygirldawn: My slides (with speaker notes) for my community lessons from science fiction talk at #monkigras
- "Paperwork Explosion" - YouTube - The Paperwork Explosion video from IBM (& Jim Henson) in 1967.
- Donnie Berkholz presentations
- Getting Rowdy About Cloud in London — Red Hat Open Source Community - RT @jzb: Getting Rowdy About Cloud in London: Thanks to @dberkholz @mfdii @sebgoa @andypiper @TheSteve0 @EMEACloudGuy et al.
- » The End of Higher Education’s Golden Age Clay Shirky - This expansion created tensions among the goals of open-ended exploration, training for the workplace, and research, but these tensions were masked by new income. Decades of rising revenue meant we could simultaneously become the research arm of government and industry, the training ground for a rapidly professionalizing workforce, and the preservers of the liberal arts tradition. Even better, we could do all of this while increasing faculty ranks and reducing the time senior professors spent in the classroom. This was the Golden Age of American academia.
- Help Center : SlideCast Updates - SlideCast feature of SlideShare going away. A reminder that it's sometimes worth effort to create in portable format
Thursday, January 23, 2014
- The dangerous appeal of the Silicon Valley narrative - The Ed Techie - "There are several necessary elements to the silicon valley narrative: firstly a technological fix is both possible and in existence; secondly that external forces will change, or disrupt, an existing sector; thirdly that wholesale revolution is required; lastly the solution is provided by commerce."
- Red Hat Summit - RT @RedHatEvents: The full 2014 @RedHatSummit agenda is now available! Check out all 160+ sessions & labs: #RedHat #SFO
- Grammar Girl : Is the Semicolon in tl;dr Ironic? :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™ - "Semicolon appear in long, complex sentences—they're a hallmark of writing that would likely earn the tl;dr label."
- The Ethics of Unpaid Labor and the OSS Community | ashe dryden
- Remembering Apple's "1984" Super Bowl ad - O Say Can You See? - RT @DCgov: Today marks the 30th anniversary of Apple's famous "1984" television ad @amhistorymuseum
- MIT and Harvard release working papers on open online courses - MIT News Office - RT @nic221: MIT and Harvard release working papers on open online courses - MIT News Office
- Connecting to the Internet – Finding My 15-Year-Old Website I Built at 16 | Random Drake
- Download Over 250 Free Art Books From the Getty Museum | Open Culture
- In IaaS and PaaS Convergence, It’s PaaS That Should Lead | Cloud Computing Journal - "IaaS should be optimized for the management and delivery of virtual application infrastructure, e.g. networking, storage and compute. In contrast, PaaS requires optimization for scalability and availability of applications."
- On the Matter of Why Bitcoin Matters — The Magazine on Medium — Medium - "Marc Andreessen wrote an essay for the New York Times about Bitcoin, “Why Bitcoin Matters,” in which he attempts to explain the relevancy of the digital currency for the future of commercial transactions. He uses analogies, allegories, history, and ostensible facts to build his case."
- Amazon's 'schizophrenic' open source selfishness scares off potential talent, say insiders • The Register - "Amazon is one of the most technically influential companies operating today – but you wouldn't know it, thanks to a dearth of published research papers and negligible code contributions to the open-source projects it relies on."
- The war against butter is over. Butter won - Quartz
- The Open Source Paleontologist: Open Access Journals in Paleontology
- Twitter / nickbilton: Top: Map of the Internet in ... - RT @nickbilton: Top: Map of the Internet in 1969. Bottom: Map of the Internet in 2013.
- The Daily Dot - Now 10 years old, 4chan is the most important site you never visit
- Who Goes There? Identity Management in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta | Red Hat Enterprise Linux Blog - Identity management in RHEL 7 post:
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
- State of the Mobile Enterprise Report
- London Cloud Summit, 29th January 2014 | Lanyrd - Game of Thrones meets cloud by @jzb at the London Cloud Summit on 29 Jan. Free event, sign up today!
- Richard talks about London Cloud Forum Jan 29th 2014 - YouTube - Checkout the London Cloud Summit on 1/29. @EMEACloudGuy discusses on video. cc: @jzb
- Untitled (http://valleywag.gawker.com/farhad-manjoo-quits-wsj-after-15-seconds-to-joint-nyt-1503358192) - “@JoshuaErrett: Farhad Manjoo Quits WSJ After 15 Seconds To Join NYT ” << Mean. Also very funny.
- Jim Beam and the Myth of Bourbon : The New Yorker - "Bourbon seems like a sturdy marker of a freedom-loving American identity, but that narrative is mostly a pleasant fiction. The truth of the tale lies in mergers and holding companies and transnational distribution rights. George Jones never sang about any of that. The real story of the modern whiskey industry is less romantic but no less American. The country’s “native spirit,” as bourbon is often called, is one of capitalization and consolidation."
- PaaS Is Dead. Long Live PaaS - InformationWeek - RT @babcockcw: A counter to popular belief PaaS is passe -- PaaS Is Dead. Long Live PaaS via @InformationWeek
- The Echo Nest Blog
Thursday, January 16, 2014
- Inferior Goods, Giffen Goods, and Shochu
- The Current State Of MOOCs - Edudemic | Infographics
- 10 Things I’ve Learned (So Far) from Making a Meta-MOOC
- The Scale of the Universe 2
- Cloud standards set to mature in next 18 months
- Netflix Is Caught Between a DVD and a Hard Place - Bloomberg - "There’s no great loss without some small gain; I’ve kind of enjoyed rediscovering some of the better 1980s miniseries. (Think “The Winds of War,” not “North and South.”) But the other night, my husband and I were remarking that we may have to go back to using the DVD-by-mail service for movies. And I wonder if we aren’t going to be stuck with that model: streaming for idle watching, but if you want something specific, you’ll need to order and wait. In other words, I wonder if the golden era of streaming is not ahead, but already behind us."
- Adaptive IT — Empathy: The Essence of DevOps - "Dev and Ops need to empathize with each other (and with Design and Marketing) because they’re cooperating agents within a larger software-as-service system. More importantly, they all need to empathize, not just with each other, but also with users."
- Falkenblog: Taleb Mishandles Fragility - "Christmas traditions have gone from stockings and exchanging gifts, to fruitcakes, bad sweaters, NBA games, and now Taleb books, a sign that perhaps the Mayan return isn't so much an apocalypse but rather a mercy killing. Taleb is one of many best-selling authors I don't enjoy (Tom Friedman, Robert Kiyosaki, Snooki), but as he is prolix, pretentious, petulant and clueless, I enjoy commenting on his latest blather (my review of Black Swan here, Bed of Procrustes here)."
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
- Open arguments stack up as hybrid cloud takes hold
- NetAppVoice: Innovative Companies Embrace IT Geeks - Forbes
- Massachusetts launches open cloud to spur big data R&D -- GCN - "The universities are working with industry on the open-cloud technology, which is based on OpenStack and Red Hat cloud technology. The MOC will provide a range of services, including infrastructure as a service, which offers on-demand access to virtual machines, as well as application development and big data platform services via the cloud."
- Massachusetts Open Cloud
- NetAppVoice: Why IT Went Hybrid (And Why It Matters) - Forbes - “@RiCHi: Why IT Went Hybrid (And Why It Matters) ~ by @ghaff for @Forbes @NetApp'Voice/@NetApp_Biz ” << Thx!
- MoMA’s Plan to Demolish Folk Art Museum Lacks Vision - NYTimes.com
- PSA: Back Up Your Shit | Hacker News
- Red Hat, Partners Collaborate on AWS New Test Drive Demos | Information Technology Events and Conferences content from The VAR Guy - "The test drives lend themselves to complex solutions, so partners that have offerings that require multiple steps, components and complexity to display to an end customers are optimal candidates," he said. "However, any solution-based offering that solves a specific customer issue would make a good test drive."
- Daring Fireball Linked List: Kara Swisher: 'Microsoft CEO Selection Unlikely to Come in January' - "If he’s going to be “much more involved”, Gates should just take the job himself. Otherwise, he should be much less involved, and let the new CEO run the company."
- Drinking from the Twitter firehose: I love the stream, but I need more filters and bridges — Tech News and Analysis - "It’s not that unfollowing people on Twitter is difficult — it’s just a click of a button. But first I would have to decide why I was unfollowing that person, and that would require thinking about why I followed them in the first place. I would have to look at their stream and reconsider their value, and I would have to do that 3,000 times. It’s like cleaning out the garage or indexing your photos; you know that you should do it, but it just seems so daunting that you never get around to it."
- Red Hat’s CentOS “acquisition” good for both sides, but ‘ware the Jabberwock – Donnie Berkholz's Story of Data
- Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center
- London Cloud Summit: The 2014 Cloud Forecast- Eventbrite - Plan to be at London Cloud Summit: The 2014 Cloud Forecast day before @Monkigras: If I stay awake post redeye:-)
- I Spent Two Hours Talking With NSA's Big Wigs. Here's What's Got Them Mad | Threat Level | Wired.com
Monday, January 13, 2014
The AWS Test Drive Program is a way to easily try out enterprise software. To quote AWS:
Test Drive simplifies clients’ access to complex IT environments, using the programmable infrastructures of AWS. Test Drive enables customers to rapidly deploy a private sandbox environment containing pre-configured ISV server applications that are ready to Demo and use. Test Drive labs are provided from the APN partner ecosystem, providing rapid provisioning of private IT environments. In a few minutes you can login and start using the software, following a guided tour Video and Lab Manual.
Test Drives labs have been developed by our APN Consulting and Technology partners and are provided free of charge for educational and/or demonstrational usage. Each Test Drive includes around a half a day’s use of free AWS server time for using live enterprise solution stacks, from the industry’s leading ISVs and SIs. You can return here and try any or all of the Test Drives at any time, so feel free to experiment, explore and learn.
The basic idea behind Test Drives is that you can get free limited-time access to complex enterprise software and work through a scripted use case to evaluate that software quickly. Software can then be purchased through AWS Marketplace or other channels. AWS Test Drive is a fairly new program. It was rolled out relatively quietly last year.
Quoting Red Hat North America Channel Sales Senior Director Bob Wilson, The VAR Guy writes: "The test drives lend themselves to complex solutions, so partners that have offerings that require multiple steps, components and complexity to display to an end customers are optimal candidates," he said. "However, any solution-based offering that solves a specific customer issue would make a good test drive."
Red Hat's announcement today is for new test drives with three of our largest North American Partners. Mark Enzweiler, Red Hat's senior vice president, Global Channel Sales:
We've enjoyed working with CITYTECH, Shadow-Soft, and Vizuri to develop these initial solutions, and are eager to develop additional Test Drives with other partners. We believe these Test Drives are invaluable, they enable partners to use their expertise in pulling together complete solutions to solve complex customer challenges and illustrate how easily customers can use these tools to migrate to the cloud.
- NASA's SDO Shows the Sun's Rainbow of Wavelengths | NASA
- Bitcoin-Mining Chips, Gear, Computing Groups: Competition Heats Up - Businessweek
- Citrix Solved the vGPU Problem, So…Where Is the Parade? | The Virtualization Practice - This is technically interesting I'm pretty skeptical about virtual desktops breaking out though.
- Announcing Infrastructure.Next Ghent — Red Hat Open Source Community - RT @redhatopen: Don't miss the inaugural Infrastructure.Next event on 5 Feb. 2014 in Ghent, Belgium: w/presos on RDO, oVirt & more.
- Vermont vs. New Hampshire - "Vermont is a beautiful place, a postcard. New Hampshire looks like Arkansas with snow."
- The Edamame Economy - NYTimes.com - "The computer age has brought yet another new kind of hotel: the mass boutique."
- ongoing by Tim Bray · Software in 2014
- The fortune of the commons | The Economist
- Untitled (http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2014/01/09/leave-the-bus-in-the-dust-cambridge-residents-walk-more-than-anywhere-else-in-the-country/) - Cambridge residents walk more than anyone else in the country
- Twitter / HistoryInPics: This is what Google looked ... - RT @HistoryInPics: This is what Google looked like 15 years ago
- Untitled (https://go.gigaom.com/Webinar-RedHat12114.html?WebinarSource=RedHat&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer&utm_content=buffer15a15) - RT @openshift: Join Red Hatter Gordon Haff and GigaOM analysts as they discuss how to match a PaaS solution to developers' skills
Friday, January 10, 2014
I put this post up on the Red Hat OpenStack blog. If you haven't checked this blog out, give it a look and consider subscribing.
Cloud infrastructure and cloud management. As an industry, we conflate these two things far too often.
This is understandable up to a point. Cloud computing architectures are relatively new and new architectural approaches often involve figuring out how functions are best partitioned and how they relate to each other. The process tends to be pragmatic; that’s how the networking stack first developed. That terminology is often morphing and inconsistently applied (innocently or otherwise) doesn’t help matters.
The overall building blocks of the private and hybrid cloud stack have now crystallized to a significant degree. The boundaries of these blocks aren’t hard-edged of course; there’s always overlap in the management space given that basic functions tend to come built-in even if they’re superseded at scale or for more complex requirements. But we’re at a point where we can describe the relationship of a cloud platform such as OpenStack to cloud management platforms (CMP)s like CloudForms that shouldn’t be too controversial.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
- 40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World - A Sheep No More
- The 11 Most Influential Microprocessors of All Time | PCWorld
- The Next Civil Rights Issue: Why Women Aren't Welcome on the Internet - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
- The parallel universes of DevOps and cloud developers – Donnie Berkholz's Story of Data - "When I look at the DevOps “community” today, what I generally see is a near-total lack of overlap between people who started on the dev side and on the ops side."
- codescaling | Red Hat’s inverse-acquihire of CentOS makes sense
- Why Most Startups Don't 'Get' Press - “PR isn’t about hits, it isn’t about placement — it isn’t ‘You pay us and we’ll get you a clip here or a mention on that blog.’ And it isn’t about a first-day bump that gets no traction,” Hammerling says. “It’s about focusing your voice. It’s about finding your place in the market.”
- Calxeda postmortem: Low power WON'T bag ARM the server crown. So here's how to upset Intel • The Register - A huge amount of money has gone down the low-power/power-efficient server rathole.
- The Pre-History of Software as a Service - "While many factors killed the ASP, none of the major ones are issues for SaaS. Oh, SaaS has its challenges. Security, assuring high quality service levels, and supporting multiple platforms (both desktop and mobile), to name but a few. But the technology has reached the point where we can now profitably deploy and run SaaS. ASPs, alas, were ahead of their time. Still, their failures should be kept in mind as we further push the SaaS model lest we too try to deploy applications that are ahead of our technology or are users’ trust in that technology."
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
tl;dr version: No per Betteridge's Law of Headlines (in many cases). But if you want a more nuanced take on this question, you'll need to read on.
The definitions that we use for the layers of cloud computing today--Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS), and Software-a-Service(SaaS)--are enshrined in a remarkably thin document, NIST Special Publication 800-145, which wasn't finalized until October 2011 by which time many aspects of cloud computing were in full swing. However, this publication has been influential nonetheless because it began life as a draft in 2009 and, furthermore, was developed together with a large number of users and vendors. Indeed, NIST noted upon the finalization of the publication that "While just finalized, NIST's working definition of cloud computing has long been the de facto definition."
Here's how NIST defines IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS respectively:
[IaaS] The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).
[PaaS] The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider.The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.
[SaaS] The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through a thin client interface such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email). The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings.
It's worth noting at this point that the PaaS service model was a relatively late entrant to the discussion. For example, when I wrote a research note that took a crack at defining cloud computing architectures at the beginning of 2008, I only discussed IaaS and SaaS. The on-demand services these provided were clear. IaaS provided compute, storage, networking and related services--server-like things. We already had a working example in Amazon Web Services (AWS)--which was also starting to expand beyond basic infrastructure with SimpleDB. SaaS was at least equally well-understood; it was a Web app. 
The point of this history lesson? Two-fold.
First, it's to point out that the widely-accepted NIST cloud computing definition focuses specifically on the level of abstraction presented to a generic consumer. Secondly, it's to show that PaaS is defined, at least in part, as something that sits in between IaaS and SaaS--which were far better understood by way of concrete examples like AWS and Salesforce at the time than was PaaS.
How do IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS relate?
The significance of PaaS filling the space between an IaaS and a SaaS is that it touches both of those abstractions. Although a PaaS like OpenShift by Red Hat can sit on bare metal, it can also take advantage of flexible IaaS infrastructure. I'm not going to get into all the details of how OpenShift might use the OpenStack IaaS, for example, but I'll touch on what some of those integration points are and how they might evolve in a bit.
It's also worth observing here that simply thinking of PaaS as a higher level of abstraction than IaaS for a generic consumer of computing resources of various types misses an important distinction. PaaS presents an abstraction that is primarily of interest to and used by application developers. IaaS can also appeal to developers seeking more options and control of course. But a PaaS like OpenShift focuses on giving developers and/or DevOps the tools they need and then getting out of the way. IaaS is infrastructure--and therefore often more focused on system admins who are supporting developers (whether through a PaaS or otherwise) and other consumers of business services. This will increasingly be the case as IaaS, or something close to it, increasingly becomes how computing infrastructures are built--whether at a cloud provider or in an enterprise.
SaaS also touches the PaaS layer. This interface typically takes the form of what analyst Judith Hurwitz refers to as a PaaS anchored to a SaaS environment. Another way to think about this is that software is increasingly expected to surface APIs so that users can extend and integrate that software as they need to. These APIs and surrounding tooling may constitute a sufficiently rich and extensible environment to be considered a PaaS (as in the case of Salesforce).
The blending of IaaS and PaaS
Given the relationship I've described, it's reasonable to ask whether IaaSs won't just add abstractions until they're PaaSs or whether PaaSs won't just build in the infrastructure they need until they don't need a discrete IaaS layer.
This will happen in some cases. Azure is an example of a PaaS offering that is a monolithic stack (and which can now also run operating system images as well as .NET applications). A variety of AWS services go beyond the infrastructure layer (databases, Hadoop, Elastic Beanstalk).
However, as discussed above, IaaS and PaaS often address different types of consumers--who may have different types of requirements--so there will likely be benefits in many cases to having a PaaS that is discrete from (but integrates well with) an IaaS as well as other types of software.
How might this integration work with OpenShift and OpenStack?
OpenShift, like other PaaSs on the market, uses a form of Linux containers. (Red Hat's now collaborating with Docker on containers; Docker is planned for inclusion in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7). They're lightweight and quick to spin up and spin down. However, to the degree that OpenStack and OpenShift don't talk to each other, neither has any visibility into optimization possibilities. However, as Red Hat's Matt Hicks notes, if a PaaS
is natively integrated into OpenStack, things get really interesting. The containers themselves could be managed in OpenStack, opening up full visibility to the operations team. They wouldn’t just see a virtual machine that is working really hard, they would see exactly why. It would enable them to start using projects like Ceilometer to monitor those resources, Heat to deploy them, etc. In other words they could start leveraging more of OpenStack to do their jobs better.
The OpenStack Solum project is one of the parts that Red Hat (along with a variety of other companies) is working on with an eye to this sort of integration. Solum is intended to meet various needs of developers (integrated support for Git, CI/CD, and IDEs; take advantage of Heat orchestration; etc.) in what you can think of as a PaaS-like way but without all the trappings of a full-fledged PaaS.
The bottom line here is that there's a continuum between a bare-bones IaaS and a full-fledged development platform. This continuum can be thought of as laying along an axis from complete fine-grained control on one side to various hosted PaaSs on the other. Even this oversimplifies things though as offerings may also differ based on target workloads or other aspects. Which is another reason why a monolithic IaaS+PaaS may not be the best approach.
Finally, as I wrote at the beginning, PaaS is really the youngest of the cloud service models. So it probably shouldn't be surprising that it's evolving so rapidly. (Although all the community energy OpenStack is creating lots of innovation and change there as well at the IaaS layer.) And that evolution will continue--which may well mean that our understanding of the optimal locations for abstractions and interfaces may evolve as well.
Red Hat's cloud portfolio philosophy
Our approach to working on integration points between OpenStack and OpenShift--while leaving customers the ability to use them separately as well--pretty much sums up our philosophy across our entire product portfolio: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, our Red Hat CloudForms and Red Hat Satellite management products, JBoss Middleware, Red Hat storage in addition to OpenStack and OpenShift. Much of this integration work is happening in the upstream communities. You see other examples in the reference architectures created by our system engineering team. (See, for example, Deploying a Highly Available OpenShift Enterprise 1.2 Environment - Using RHEV 3.2 and RHS 2.1.) Openness and flexibility are at the core of our cloud strategy and that applies whether you just want IaaS, just want PaaS, or if you want a well-integrated combination of the two.
 I actually used the Hardware-as-a-Service term in that research note, which was being used mostly interchangeably with IaaS at the time. I also discussed the idea of Data-as-a-Service which was primarily about data returned through APIs--an important trend but one that isn't today really directly part of the cloud computing service model.
- Red Hat embraces adjacent ecosystem CentOS - Open Source Insider - RT @EMEACloudGuy: Great article - covers the podcast too - thanks @ABridgwater for the write up - #redhat #CentOS
- Evgeny Morozov: Hackers, Makers, and the Next Industrial Revolution : The New Yorker
- Create a new browser user profile - Chrome Help - Aha. Finally. This is how to stop Google Chrome from crashing every time I start it.
- i, quaid / Red Hat and CentOS joining forces - RT @lcafiero: Of all the reports about #CentOS and #redhat, #quaid's is the best -- congrats all around!
- George R.R. Martin reveals his ‘Game of Thrones’ backup ending - Zap2it - "I hate outlines. I have a broad sense of where the story is going; I know the end, I know the end of the principal characters, and I know the major turning points and events from the books, the climaxes for each book, but I don't necessarily know each twist and turn along the way," he explains. "That's something I discover in the course of writing and that's what makes writing enjoyable. I think if I outlined comprehensively and stuck to the outline the actual writing would be boring."
- Red Hat + CentOS — Red Hat Open Source Community - I'd encourage folks interested in the Red Hat/CentOS announcement to read the FAQ. It goes into a lot of subtleties.
- Red Hat | Red Hat and the CentOS Project Join Forces to Speed Open Source Innovation - RT @RedHatNews: Big news: Red Hat & the CentOS Project Join Forces to Speed Open Source Innovation #redhat #centos #linux #opensource
- BBC - Future - Science & Environment - Timeline of the far future
- How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet | Threat Level | Wired.com
- The slow but inevitable decline of Netflix’s DVD business — Tech News and Analysis - It's a bit hard for me to believe that physical DVD rental as a business just goes away entirely--at least until streaming availability improves a lot.
- Netflix’s dumbed-down algorithms | Felix Salmon - Interesting counterpoint to the Netflix recommendation engine praise.
- Is there a best Linux file system? | Red Hat Enterprise Linux Blog - RT @RedHatNews: New #RHEL blog: Is there a best Linux file system?: Is there a best anything? Perhaps. I, personally, t... #Linux
- Netflix’s Cloud Architect Adrian Cockcroft left to join Battery Ventures — Tech News and Analysis - RT @a_perilli: Netflix’s Cloud Architect Adrian Cockcroft is leaving to join Battery Ventures: > Congrats @adrianco !