Shift right to improve corporate strategy

Corporate strategy could be improved by shifting right, moving closer to the week-to-week software cycle to get more familiar with customers and changes in the market. See more on corporate strategy in The Business Bottleneck.

Plus, I discuss bottleneck removal and thinking about policy and governance as human system, not static “laws.”

Mentioned

Chapters

0:00 – The agenda.

02:51 – kube.academy.

4:00 – Remove bottlenecks to get better at software, always.

22:06 – Amsterdam art nouveau.

24:06 – Shift right to improve corporate strategy.

35:45 – Discovery workshops.

38:07 – Policy is made by humans.

43:33 – Bye, bye!

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Doing something works better than doing nothing

Summary

Doing something works better than doing nothing

When you put a new process, like agile, in place, you often realize there was very little process in the first place. Also, kubernetes at the edge, T-Mobile, and as architecture.

Mentioned:

Also

Programming notes

Chapters

00:00 – Staycation.
01:32 – Doing something works better than doing nothing
04:36 – BMC case study
09:03 – ending zombie process
11:21 – lack of management tools
13:59 – example of a management tool
15:09 – three small things on kubernetes
28:31 – Your CTA!

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On-premises kubernetes, or edge, or ROBO

You will be deploying sets of microservice applications on fleets of edge locations, and so will need to think about and invest in deployment strategies for a variety of applications.

Questions you will need to answer include: How do we do canary deployments? When do the updates actually propagate to locations? Where does the container registry that holds all the applications sit? It’s even more important that the non-production development environment is as close to identical to the hundreds or thousands of edge sites to avoid bugs in production. It’s also imperative that application and operations teams work together to automate the blueprint using GitOps or a similar approach for the entire stack—to the point that a disaster recovery strategy can be backed by bootstrapping edge environments and applications from scratch in the event a site gets corrupted or damaged.

Original source: VMware Tanzu at the Edge: Solution Architecture for ROBO Topology

Everything is production, T-Mobile and kubernetes

The other thing that we do for our internal customers is we don’t evaluate things in terms of production and non-production. Everything’s production to us. All of our customers are important, whether it’s just internal developers who are trying to meet deadlines for their project, or whether it’s external customers who are interacting with the website to buy or upgrade a phone.

Original source: How Communication Helps T-Mobile Keep Its Applications Up

Case: IRS using lean design

This is a case I’ve used a lot over the years to demonstrate the value of doing user testing, and having a small batch, lean designer mindset in place.

One of the big elements of lean methodology is to determine what in your plan might be an assumption rather than a fact and then come up with a way to test those theories before fully building out a product.

And:

While the product is still new and continues to be considered a soft launch, taxpayers have initiated over 400,000 sessions and made over $100M in payments after viewing their balance.

Original source: “Your IRS wait time is 3 hours.” Is lean possible in government?

When “multi-cloud” means “standard interface”

Kubernetes Provides a Common Interface – Another big benefit we didn’t totally expect when first using Kubernetes is the simplicity a common interface offers. Right now, CockroachCloud runs on GCP and AWS, and we have plans to expand. Kubernetes offers a consistent way of running production across clouds. And that’s powerful.

There’s a distinction here between something like “portable executable” and “common interface, API, and architecture.” I get tired of my own analogy here, but kubernetes has the potential to be like J(2)EE as leveler for One Architecture.

For example:

Reading between the lines, it seems that the advantage of using Kubernetes in flight is that it allows multiple software packages to be run on the aircraft’s mission systems (the ones used for working the onboard cameras, basically) without being dependent upon a single hardware environment – or requiring long and costly recertification of multiple software packages running on that single hardware environment.

I’m not sure it’s positioned that way, nor used that way enough to know if it’s true or good, yet.

Original source: How to Run a Software as a Service on Kubernetes

Notes Gnolling

  • Vacation is a good time to go through your note-taking apps.
  • Be careful that you don’t just cycle through things
  • …and end up back with Evernote.
  • Keeping creation dates is hard.

Domestic terrorism in the USA

In hearings last month before the House Homeland Security Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau conducts about 1,000 domestic terrorism investigations a year—“well north of 1,000” this year. Most of these cases, he said, involve white supremacist groups—contradicting Trump, who has claimed that leftists like antifa commit the most crimes. But Wray also said that the most “lethal” attacks come from “anti-government, anti-authority, anarchist” extremists. “We don’t think in terms of left or right,” he said. “That’s not how we view the world.”

Original source: The Michigan Kidnapping Plot Wasn’t About Trump. It Goes Deeper Than That.

The right mindset for starting application modernization

Marc Zottner talks with Coté about large scale application modernization. Also, they discuss the value of starting small and constraining yourself to short time lines. Also: what does the American-speaking French accent sound like?

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De-risking software

IT, let alone software development has a poor track record for success in large organizations. And yet: we’ll told software is not critical for enterprise survival. We’ve got to figure out how to de-risk software, then. That’s the topic today.

Topics, mentions, etc.

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Microsoft’s Azure Arc, overview of the multi-cloud solution suite

“There will be some IT resources, whether they are physical hardware, VMs, Kubernetes clusters or databases, that will stay in your data center or at the edge for some time or maybe forever, if it is a data regulated thing. With Azure Arc, we give you the ability to manage both centrally under one control plane from the Azure portal. Below the control plane, you can use Arc to deliver services to your edge or your data center in a hybrid way.”

Complete with laundry list of products bundled into Arc.

Original source: Azure Arc Is a Control Plane to Orchestrate Hybrid Cloud Systems

VMware Tanzu’s competitive differentiation: integrating kubernetes into/with enterprise infrastructure

one of the biggest difficulties “enterprises face is not in simply delivering Kubernetes as an abstraction on compute, but dealing with the mechanics of integrating storage and networking capabilities,” McLuckie said.

“As we have worked with customers, this consistently emerges as one of the biggest challenges to building a functional Kubernetes based abstraction.”

“The challenges of dealing with network configuration, ingress routing and load balancing, etc. will be tackled at the infrastructure level with a fully integrated solution. Our goal is to deliver turnkey Kubernetes in a variety of configurations based on the needs of the business with minimal effort and infrastructure retooling.”

“VMware vSphere with Tanzu helps customers rapidly adopt Kubernetes by allowing them to configure enterprise-grade Kubernetes infrastructure with their existing technology, tools and skillsets.”

For example, VI admins can now turn on kubernetes in vSphere, as opposed to setting up, integrating, and managing a whole new infrastructure stack.

Original source: VMworld 2020: Can a Single Vendor Pull DevOps into One API?

How the Oracle vs. Google fight over Java use-by-inspiration on Android could effect how software is done

Good summary of the Oracle/Google case over Java in Android. Also, good discussion if possible implications for the outcome, either way: either SW vendors will have to pay more for re-use, or legal controls in OSS licensing weaken.

The wrap-up is great clarity:

And then of course there is the cold reality of what Google actually did.

Google didn’t want [to work with Sun/Oracle] because it wanted to control the subsequent ecosystem. And so, the truth is, it knowingly grabbed Java, and pulled in the parts it simply couldn’t avoid using.

I’ve wanted to write a book on what went wrong with Sun for a long time: Sun WTF. I haven’t thought too much about this episode, but it’s likely a major part. In the last years of its life Sun was trying to make money by participating in large, new, growth markets – like mobile in the 2000s, “the cloud.” It has assets everywhere, but couldn’t figure out how to monetize them.

Theory (in that I have no idea if it’s true or not): it’s so difficult to make money by “participating” in a high growth market that you shouldn’t do that strategy. It’s not sustainable (see Sun’s crash after the dot.bomb when dumb money stopped buying servers?). You need a hard, protected asset (software you have to pay for) or some kind of dominate position.

Further, theory: open source is not a viable business model, if ever it was. You have to have closed source (or “impossible to get source” as with public cloud) to get revenue. We confuse open source companies with high valuations with viable businesses. Somewhere, you need something that isn’t freely available. One line of inquiry on this theory would be to look at the on-premises, multi-cloud things like Google Anthos, VMware Tanzu, RedHat’s stuff, etc.: how much of that is open source vs. proprietary. I think you’d have to look at more than the code, and the integration work to pull all the parts together (including thing like regulatory and security certification that came only with the official build of those products/suites).

I don’t really know the answer here.

Because of open source and the “free to use your ideas” mentality of Google’s position here, for years, developers have enjoyed free access to quality, for lack of a better term, “IP”: all the actual tools but also know-how to write applications (and backing services, and infrastructure). As Stephen puts it:

As a result, developers then and since have had a vast array of tools and services at their fingertips, with more software and services arriving by the day. Nearly anything that a developer could want is available, at either no cost or for an amount that is accessible for most, if only on a trial basis.

That’s another consequence to look out for: does a decision either way change that?

Original source: After ten years, the Google vs Oracle API copyright mega-battle finally hit the Supreme Court – and we listened in

Enterprise Burgers

Summary

Platforms are often represented in enterprise architectures, “marchitectures,” or as I like to call them, “burgers.” Today, I walk through some past, great burgers, from CORBA, to J2EE, to Cloud Foundry, and more. In doing so, I over some advice about how to find and care for your burger, especially when it comes to keeping your burger fresh.

Planned on topics

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The thrilling world of chargebacks, or, the dangers thereof – Tanzu Talk Daily 20201006

Summary

Chargebacks! People love asking about chargebacks – “recouping” costs, metering usage. How should you think about these in cloud native land? There’s plenty of unintended side effects that can harm your overall strategy and business, so make sure to put a lot of thought into how you’re doing it, if at all! That’s today’s topic.


Planned on topics

Chargeback

  • What goals do you have? This will determine what, when, and by how much you charge.
  • The idea of “recouping” cost can be crude. What if costs are high for one thing, but that brings down overall cost/raises overall value and price-premium, competative advantage.
  • I know this all naive and wishful thinking…
  • Like pretty much all of my work, it’s like flossing: we all smile and knod that we should do it, and then get on with managing the slow rot of our teeth instead of changing out mindset and behavior.
  • Onto the slow rot strategies!
  • Often, early on, you don’t charge. You want to drive adoption to deliver value (ironically). You might be doing your whole formula wrong. Should you measure per BU, per app, or per overall company revenue? See TDAmeritrade case of tracking ROI.
  • Also, consider the benefits – retire tech debt to get more agility; removing wait time/waste; being secure and compliant (how do you chargeback for “airgaped”).
  • Finding the unit to charge for.
  • Metering it.
  • These are all fun, technical details of curl’ing APIs, using fancier tools (like VMware CloudHealth and others)…
  • But you need to figure out what your goals are.

More material

  • Pivotal Cloud Foundry whitepaper:
  • “The value of PCF is much higher than passing along the cost of power, compute, storage, networking, and operational overhead. How do you put a price on the value of increasing speed to market? On optimizing the value stream? On improving application resiliency? These benefits are meaningful to the business. This value is baked into the cost of the PCF product. But until application teams—and platform operators—fully experience these benefits, it’s counterproductive to assign a value to the platform.”
  • Plenty of APIs you can curl (see also VMware CloudHeath, etc.)
  • Decide on goals – adoption, “recouping,” etc.
  • Find the unit to meter, paper recommends memory, but your unit price can vary. Networking can be a huge part of costs, but difficult to measure.
  • The unit to meter can get sliced by org/cluster, pod/namespace, node/container…but also service…etc.
  • Beware of scaring people off and killing adoption, e.g., THD, MasterCard, many others.
  • MasterCard case, 2018.
  • The Home Depot didn’t do chargebacks at first, 2015 talk. Also, see 2016 update.
  • Wikipedia, “The purpose of chargeback includes: (1)Making departments responsible in their usage, e.g., refrain from asking for resources they are not going to use; (2) Providing visibility to the head of IT and to senior management on the reasons behind the costs of IT; (3) Allowing the IT department to respond to unexpected customer demand by saying “yes, we can do it, but you will have to pay for it” instead of saying “no, we cannot do this because it’s not in the budget.”
  • Listen, I know all of this is “that’s fine for a FANG,” but a least aspire to not be lame and work towards this kind of thinking.
  • Rohit, 2017: “First and foremost remember PCF is a PRODUCT and when you’re launching a new product whether it’s ice cream cones or a PaaS, if you don’t price it right based upon the market conditions, then no customers will come and you’ll be left with a bunch of melted ice cream or an empty PaaS. If the market is undefined i.e. the platform engineers are not already doing chargeback for other infrastructure, any attempt to price PCF now would be a shot in the dark and more likely to over/under estimate the value of the product than to be hit the mark. And over/under pricing it both come with big risks in the both the short and long term. Put in place all the facility you need to understand consumption, do market research on what people are willing to pay. Customers don’t even know the value yet until they start using it!”
  • VMware CloudHealth
  • Purser kubernetes chargeback, VMware open source.
  • Kubecost, video. Also from Google.

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What does “digital transformation” mean? – Tanzu Talk Daily 20201005

Summary

Coté discusses three ways he thinks about what “digital transformation” means, and then focuses on the software related one. That whole “BE LIKE A TECH COMPANY” thing people are always PowerPointing about. Also: technology actually is hard, and pre-dread.

Planned on topics

  • What exactly does “digital transformation mean.”
  • The Orange small shop owner example (from this talk, I think).
  • Blockchain in shipping?
  • Technology is hard, and so is “culture.”
  • Avoiding pre-dread …?

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Wouldn’t it be great if…

Note that the team was very precise in describing the behaviors it was seeking and their blockers. This is critical; if you don’t do this when developing BEANs, you may end up with ersatz blockers or laundry lists that are difficult to tackle. A simple way to identify specific changes you’d like to see is to gather groups of employees and ask them to complete two sentences: “Wouldn’t it be great if we…” (which surfaces the behaviors; see the sidebar above) and “But we don’t because…” (which helps pinpoint the blockers).

Some ideas about getting specific in "be more innovative." #mindset

Original source: Breaking Down the Barriers to Innovation