VMware’s Foundation is a solution bundling of hybrid cloud software

Think of Cloud Foundation as a grouping of VMware’s existing services for staging virtual workloads and virtual storage into a stack that is more conducive to managing a hybrid cloud. The off-premise part of that cloud comes from major public cloud providers: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, as well as IBM Cloud and VMware’s own vCloud Air. Gelsinger stated Monday that Cloud Foundation’s support for staging and managing workloads on the “Big Three” platforms comes by way of working with their respective public APIs, not through any direct partnership or interaction between VMware and other firms.

And, on the target market:

[T]they made it very clear that Cloud Foundation wasn’t pursuing telcos and communications carriers, but mid- to large-size enterprises in general.

VMware also previewed a SaaS service for tracking cloud costs:

The key objective of this component is to keep track of public cloud resource consumption across public clouds: AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and VMware’s vCloud Air and vCloud Air Network (still separate items). An administrator can perform service discovery of active applications across multiple clouds, cost analysis of resources consumed in each of these public clouds, and monitoring of active status.

Source: VMware Reassembles Its Cloud Stack with a New ‘Foundation’

A brief history of the Gartner Magic Quadrant

The wider adoption of the MQ by Gartner services rapidly shifted its time-orientation. MQ’s became ways to show markets as they were rather than showing future direction. Staff working at Gartner at the time tell me that the MQ allowed new analysts to be brought on board more quickly, and to produce compelling research outputs even before they fully mastered their market knowledge. Over the following decades, the MQ has gone through many methodological shifts, most aggressively in 2005. Now the MQ is much more like Blank’s procedural reviews, with extensive data-gathering placing substantial workflow burdens on vendors and producing analysts who could move more easily from segment to segment.

Source: Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

Quest and SonicWall to operate independenly once divested from Dell

After Dell Software’s expected sale is completed this fall, its new private-equity owners will separate some of the divisions — including Quest Software and SonicWall — into independent companies.

This is similar to how Novell was divided up under Attachmate.

Related, see this summary of comments around the plans for VMware in Dell Technologies.

Source: Quest Software, One Identity To Operate Separately From SonicWall After Dell Software Sale

Singapore’s DBS Bank selects Pivotal Cloud Foundry

According to the bank, the built-in automation of Pivotal’s cloud platform allows it to focus on delivering differentiated value, instead of being caught up with systems management and IT resource procurement. This means that DBS will be able to quickly deliver services, as well as build and update next-generation applications in order to deliver a better banking experience to users.

Another Pivotal Cloud Foundry customers. Banks seem to like it.

Source: CIO-Asia – DBS Bank leverages Pivotal to innovate at start-up speed

How Cloud Native Computing Is Evolving

In the last 15 years, application delivery has moved from being bound to physical servers to running on virtual machines with a full operating system and now to containers with Docker where developers can specify every aspect of deployment, he added.

The move has also been a shift from a heavyweight application deployment model to a lightweight model that takes less time to start up and deploy applications. Additionally, there has been a move from being bound to a single closed-source vendor to an open-source model with multiple vendors, less risk of lock-in and more choice.

And, on the maturity front:

not all organizations are ready for the move, according to Donnie Berkholz, research director at 451 Group. He pointed to a recent survey his firm conducted that found that most IT organizations are still running lots of manual process and aren’t in the DevOps world, and many aren’t even using agile development methods either. For cloud native to make sense, organizations need to make use of continuous integration and continuous development technologies, Berkholz said.

“You can’t do cloud native if you don’t have the right processes to support it,” Berkholz said. “For some of the world, it’s a long way to go on the journey to cloud native, and it will take at least five years to get there.”

Source: How Cloud Native Computing Is Evolving

Doing ROI for agile, DevOps, et. al. is difficult

I wrote up a rant-y style summary of thinking about ROI when it comes to planning out Agile, DevOps, cloud native, and otherwise “new ways of doing things in IT” schemes.

A little excerpt:

Doing “agile,” however, isn’t like dropping in a new, faster and cheaper component into your engine. Many people I encounter in conference rooms think about software development like those scenes from 80s submarine movies. Inevitably, in a submarine movie, something breaks and the officer team has to swipe all the tea cups off the officer’s mess table and unfurl a giant schematic. Looking over the dark blue curls of a thick Eastern European cigarette, the head engineer gestures with his hand, then slams a grimy finger onto the schematics and says “vee must replace the manifold reducer in the reactor.”

Solving your digital transformation problems is not like swapping “agile” into the reactor. It’s not a component based improvement like virtualization was. Instead, you’re looking at process change (or “culture,” as the DevOps people like to say), a “thought technology.” I think at best what you can do is try to calculate the before and after savings that the new process will bring. Usually this is trackable in things like time spent, tickets opened, number of staff needed, etc. You’re focusing on removing costs, not making money. As my friend Ed put it when we discussed how to talk about DevOps with the finance department:

In other words, if I’m going to build a continuous integration platform, I would imagine you could build out a good scaffolding for that and call it three or four months. In the process of doing that, I should be requiring less help desk tickets get created so my overtime for my support staff should be going down. If I’m virtualizing the servers, I’ll be using less server space and hard drive space, and therefore that should compress down. I should be able to point to cost being stripped out on the back end and say this is maybe not 100% directly related to this process, but it’s at least correlated with it.
In this instance, it’s difficult to prove that you’ll achieve good ROI ahead of time, but you can at least try to predict changes informed by the savings other people have had. And, once again, you’re left to making a leap of faith that qualitative anecdotes from other people will apply to you.

Read the rest over in my Medium feed.

“No one wants to eat a finger-pie.” – Software Defined Talk #70

This week we discuss Rackspace going private and the OpenStack cloud scenarios that could have been. We also cover Matt Ray’s first trip to New Zealand where, sadly, he finds no Power Ranger monuments. Also, a little bi-modal flavor for ya.

Check out the full show notes (https://cote.io/sdt70) for links to the recommendations, conferences, and tech news items we didn’t get to cover.

Listen above, subscribe to the feed (or iTunes), or download the MP3 directly.

With Brandon Whichard, Matt Ray, and Coté.

SPONSOR

Show notes

RAX goes private for $4.3bn

OpenStack dead, again.

  • “Tough times ahead”.
  • “There was a time when it was hard to read an article about OpenStack without hearing about ‘pets vs. cattle,’ and OpenStack was designed to herd cattle”
  • “It has itself become a big, complex pet, which is why Mirantis and others can make a living providing services, software and training.”
  • What could have happened: (1.) “we can beat AWS,” or, (2.) “containers, shoulda thought of that.”

Innovation is hard, esp. business-wise

  • How could you compete with AWS?
  • Word vs. Google Docs vs. Office 365.
  • Uber has spent at least $4bn?

BONUS LINKS! Not Covered in show

AWS Sentinel is Coming

  • Skunkworks-ish project from AWS for managed services. Potentially lots of partner conflict
  • “MSPs need to work with customers to convert their infrastructure to Platform-as-a-Service using microservices architecture,” said one AWS partner. “They also need to bring DevOps into the heart of the organization. Unfortunately, most MSPs don’t have the developers that truly understand this.”
  • “Few AWS Partners Are Really Surprised By Sentinel’s Emergence“

MariaDB switches away from open source license

Hashicorp Shuts Down Otto

Microsoft Open Sources Powershell

Recommendations

  • Brandon: first US college football game in Australia
  • Matt: Rugby, help me learn it.
  • Coté: BCG on two speed IT; Wizard of Oz series.

Rackspace goes private for $4.3bn

  • Apollo Global Management paying $4.3bn to acquire Rackspace, $32 a share in cash, a 38 percent premium (Bloomberg)
  • Competing against AWS is hard, plus the other mega public cloud plays: “Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc., Amazon and Microsoft have combined cash holdings of more than $200 billion compared to Rackspace’s less than $1 billion.”
  • Brenon at 451 points out that Rackspace throws off a good amount of cash, “$674m of EBITDA over the past year,” and concludes:
  • More from Brenon: “While we could imagine that focus on customer service as competitive differentiator might set up some tension under PE ownership (people are expensive and tend not to scale very well), Rackspace has the advantage of having built that into a profitable business. In short, Rackspace is just the sort of business that should fit comfortably in a PE portfolio.”
  • Meanwhile, as we discuss on Software Defined Talk (#70, “No one wants to eat a finger-pie”), AWS is at a run-rate of ~$10-11bn and growing.
  • In the recent Gartner IaaS Magic Quadrant, Racksapce is in the dread lower left hand corner. To be fair, a whole other MQ, “Cloud Enabled Managed Hosting,” which maps closer to what Rackspace says is their core strategy in cloud, has Rackspace leading. But, back to that “normal IaaS” MQ:
  • The MQ says “Rackspace has successfully pivoted from its ‘Open Cloud Company,’ OpenStack-oriented strategy, and returned to its roots as “a company of experts emphasizing its managed service expertise and superior support experience.”
  • Also: “Rackspace will continue to divert investment from its Public Cloud to other areas of its business, rather than try to compete directly for self-managed public cloud IaaS against market-leading providers that can rapidly deliver innovative capabilities at very low cost, or against established IT vendors that have much greater resources and global sales reach.”
  • See also Rachel’s analysis over at RedMonk.

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Finally, check out a tad of commentary on the deal in #32 of Pivotal Conversations.

Why do you have to burn $4bn to add mobile apps to taxis?

In the first quarter of this year, Uber lost about $520 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to people familiar with the matter. In the second quarter the losses significantly exceeded $750 million, including a roughly $100 million shortfall in the U.S., those people said. That means Uber’s losses in the first half of 2016 totaled at least $1.27 billion.

Meanwhile, revenue:

Bookings grew tremendously from the first quarter of this year to the second, from above $3.8 billion to more than $5 billion. Net revenue, under generally accepted accounting principles, grew about 18 percent, from about $960 million in the first quarter to about $1.1 billion in the second.

It’s expensive to start a global, meat-space business, even if you’re “assetless”:

Uber, which is seven years old, has lost at least $4 billion in the history of the company.

I find the continuous usage of Uber as an example of “the way forward” in business unhelpful. Not because it’s not an interesting business, but because without these kinds of numbers in context, you think it’s easy. If you’re prepared to burn through $4bn before profit, sure thing!

The advantage established businesses should have is less spending to build a market: they just need to do better serving their existing customer base at first, not spend all that money to start from zero. What I find devilishly fascinating is why it’s so hard for those large organizations to take advantage of the assets they already have and why, possibly, it’s easier just to start from scratch, as Uber has been doing with that $4bn.

Source: Uber Loses at Least $1.2 Billion in First Half of 2016