Coté Memo #059: Containers make butter-scotch pudding delicious and floors shine

Tech & Work World

Floor wax, dessert topping

As I mention below, I’ve had more time to write reports recently. I just submitted one titled “Docker: floor-wax or dessert topping? Reflections on DockerCon EU”. It’s one of our “spotlight” pieces, which means it’s an open-ended think-piece rather than a write-up of a briefing.

Here’s some excerpts:

451 Take: The container technology Docker and the ecosystem around it is figuring out its identity while at the same time contending with a sudden rise in popularity. While early attention on Docker paired it up against the likes of VMware at, let’s say, the IaaS level, as we look at it more, Docker looks like more of a PaaS innovator. VMware would certainly like that option, and Docker, Inc. spent much of its recent conference in Amsterdam talking more about Docker-as-PaaS – through the lens of “microservices” – than Docker-as-IaaS. From this vantage point, it looks more and more like dotCloud never really stopped being a PaaS vendor, and instead, with under its new name of Docker is just evolving the nature of PaaS.

The technology promises at least two things: (1.) an alternative way of virtualizing workloads on servers using the underlying containerization technology and (2.) a DevOps friendly way of packaging applications for deployment on cloud and cloud-like infrastructures. Much of the vendor sports watchers fixate onto the first use-case, looking to thrust Docker into a Thunderdome with VMware. However, as both Dockers – the open source project and the startup – have evolved, it’s becoming clear that the second is perhaps the more interesting promise, long-term.

Over the next 12 to 18 months, expect to see much shuffling and toe-stomping on the ecosystem dance floor. Indeed, with so many interests, large and small involved, it wouldn’t be surprising if the landscape changed dramatically over the next year. Early moves like the Rocket container standard effort point towards conflicting (or at least “differing”) interests, and with deep larders and large revenue sources to protect behind many, large Docker ecosystem member’s backs, anything could happen with something as miraculous as a floor wax that also makes butter-scotch pudding taste so terrific.

One of the ongoing theories I hit on in the piece is that (a.) cloud is all about developers, but, (b.) the PaaS market is small compared to others, so, (c.) what up with that? As you can imagine, I posit that the interest in Docker-cum-containers could change the market-dynamics a bit. We’ll see.

I’ll throw a link in here and all the usual places once it gets published, I’m guessing next week. I put in three or four charts too, so look forward to them if you like charts.

(Lucky[?] for you, this is the only place you’ll see the silly dessert topping floor-wax reference as the copy desk asked me to take that out since another analyst used it recently.)

How I use Twitter: ignore the timeline

I’ll let you in on a secret: I don’t really pay attention to my main timeline in Twitter. There’s too much crap in there that I’ve ended up following (1,910 account, to be exact) since I started using Twitter in 2006.

Sometime ago, I created a list called “Focus” that I actually follow. It has just 127 accounts in it and it works well. There’s some tricks of how to do this depending on which client you use. I can stand the official Twitter web and iOS (actually, I haven’t looked at it in awhile) apps so I use TweetDeck on my desktop and TweetBot on my phone. In both instances, you can choose to focus on a list.

In TweetDeck, it’s easy: you just move the column over that you want. You’ll notice in the below that my “timeline” is nowhere to be seen:

Switching around columns in TweetDeck

In TweetBot, it’s a bit more hidden, you have to “long tap” (is that what you call it?) on the title bar until it pops up a list of lists, then select the one you want. You can see what it looks like after I long-tapped on the title bar:

Viewing a list instead of your timeline in TweetBot

Sometimes I go slightly insane and think there’s not enough from Twitter. Recently, I thought I’d take a look at the timeline and see what was in it, what was going on. It’s a fun walk down memory lane as I discover clusters of accounts I’ve added over the year. I found a bunch from when I thought I didn’t get enough local and “real-world” news so I have/had several Austin accounts and things like Meet the Press. There’s also folks from long ago in there that I vaguely remember. And, going in and out of the analyst world, there’s also a lot of people who are or were clients at RedMonk and 451 Research. Lots of IBM. Lots.

I’ve been pruning that main timeline this week in the hopes of perhaps actually using it. I’m not sure it’s worth it, but it a good distraction-as-entertainment.

Quick Hits

Fun & IRL

No fun today, just work.


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