Coté Memo #057: Is Cloud Foundry a Thing?, EU Coffee, and developers

Tech & Work World

The Cloud is Developers

It’s an exaggeration, but for the most part “cloud” is all about supporting developers. What I mean by this is that it’s not exactly the best way to run packaged applications: there’s VMware, Linux, etc. for that it seems.

When I was working on cloud strategy at Dell, I’d often joke that we should do some field material (“field” == “sales”) that was a crude decision tree, like you’d see in magazines. The point of it would be, only sell cloud to them if they get to the “sell cloud” node in the tree. I doodled out that diagram, so here it is for your entertainment:

Cloud buying decision tree

We have some recent survey data at 451 that lines up nicely with this theory:


To put it another way, if you know a way to use cloud that does not involve developers, you’re probably educated enough not to need a cheesy decision tree…but if you’re not sure, start with the crude tree.

Is Cloud Foundry a thing?

We had an internal thread in Cloud Foundry, the foundation announcement of course being the cause. The main question from those who don’t follow PaaS, middleware, and appdev was, basically, “is this a thing?” Here’s what I typed:

I think it’s important, indeed. PaaS has never really taken off (beyond Salesforce, Heroku, and EngineYard), esp. in private PaaS. Part of the issue is that there has been no “standard” to agree on. Historically, unless you’re Microsoft, middleware needs a standard (formal or de facto) to adhere to (think of J2EE, the LAMP stack, even rails, etc.) for wide, enterprise adoption. Cloud Foundry appears to be “the OpenStack of PaaS.” With IBM on board, HP, Pivotal/VMware/EMC, and others there’s some good backing: even better, those companies seem to have commercial offers that they take very seriously.

Aside from “the big folks,” I also think relatively tiny ActiveState/Stackato is a good proof point. They’ve been in GA with Cloud Foundry for a long time and seem far from dead. My hope is that Cloud Foundry (along with Docker-as-PaaS)finally ushers in a new middleware era. We’ll see.

Slow Business Travel

Last week I was on a week long travel tour taking me from Santa Clara, to being stranded in DFW, to Amsterdam. It was fun, but a week is a long time. Each work-day I rush to finish things up at the end, to cram as much in as possible. Time seems to move quickly.

When you’re doing business travel, time moves slowly. You realize how slow time can move if you’re not distracting yourself with the check-inputs/do work/check-inputs loop constantly. My brain is wired to always check on Twitter, email, listen to music, file expenses, go get a glass of water: find anything to do but the core work.

Plane time reminds you that things can move slower. Of course, what did I do with most of my plane time? Well, after working on what work projects I could, doing some planning…I watched movies and read books.

Quick Hits

Fun & IRL

European Black Coffee

I’ve been lucky to be in Europe twice for work in the past month or so – the OpenStack Summit in Paris and DockerCon in Amsterdam. I drink black coffee, a lot of coffee. Probably too much given the history of heart attacks in my family.

Having drank European black coffee a lot, I can tell you that it’s not like American black coffee. It’s pretty, well, “motor oil” class. Thick, bitter, and far from smooth. Perhaps this means American coffee is “watery coffee,” which, having just grimaced down a cup of EU black coffee, sounds lovely.

The type of coffee you want, then, is an Americano. I’d always thought it was an odd drink, but in fact it’s the best simulation of “normal” to me black coffee you can get in Europe. I just had two cups, and found myself thinking: finally, some good coffee!


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