Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Opening Acts: A VMunderground and vBrownBag Love Child

I'm finally decompressed from my 9th straight VMworld conference and have had some time to reflect on the happenings and what I've learned and share a bit of my perspective here.  Today I just wanted to discuss a new event at VMworld, the VMunderground Opening Acts with #vBrownBag.  Or as I like to refer to it, a VMunderground and vBrownBag love child.

After years of organizing the VMunderground with Theron Conrey (and later Brian), I had to step down this year due to a number of life changing events, new job, move cross country to Seattle area, and selling two houses. But even though I was a VMunderground deadbeat organizer, Jim and Brian still thought it appropriate to ask me to participate on the Cloud and General Virtualization panel discussion at the Opening Acts. I jumped at the opportunity and had a blast participating with with the perfect cross section of analyst, blogger, cloud startup, storage, and cloud mercenary participants. I think you'll enjoy the show as we all played off each other nicely and brought many different, but similar viewpoints from the cloud.

A couple of my key takeaways from the panel are as follow:

  • Private cloud job market is still hot - Cloud can be complex (even when not over engineered), and lot of people are still looking to build private cloud internally today. The job market is still hot for VCAC talent that have been through a few battles....which I'm very thankful for. :)
  • How "cloudy" your cloud is depends on your apps. If app can't be easily deconstructed, scaled out, flexed up and down and run easily on commodity cloud, you are probably a legacy dinosaur best suited to big iron, physical servers, or minimally, "Big VMs".  And therefore, you'll be forced into managing and backing up this workload as was always traditionally done. 
  • Containers are back, all right! - Containers walk on water, but probably only if you app came of age during the One Direction era and not the Backstreet Boys
  • Same ole dog poop, different container -  I make a living helping companies navigate the "cloud". One key feature we work towards is the ability to have a self-service portal define a service offering and integrate with VM deployment engine and pass properties to a configuration management system (Puppet, Chef, SCCM, etc.) to build out the specific VM + Middle Ware + App code necessary.  Once this key feature is provided, you can then consider scale out / scale down use cases and bursting to cloud.  Without this key cloud capability, I think many shops become deluded into thinking containers solve all their problems.  But how do you configure your containers becomes my question?  I'm not a container guru yet, but I'm of the mindset that if you can't auto configure your VM's appstack, you will have same problem in container land.  
  • I heart VMunderground and vBrown Bag Opening Acts -  For a first year go at things, I feel Opening Acts was a huge success.  I predict this is the beginning of a beautiful arrangement.  
  • Watch the other panels as well.  There is some really good content as well as entertainment here.  - All Opening Acts Panels