Anti-intellectual times

AF: How much is toxicity on this issue a function of culture wars playing out online?

JB: I think we are living in anti-intellectual times, and that this is evident across the political spectrum. The quickness of social media allows for forms of vitriol that do not exactly support thoughtful debate. We need to cherish the longer forms.

Original source: Judith Butler on the culture wars, JK Rowling and living in “anti-intellectual times”

You have to teach people to collaborate

When I analyzed sustained collaborations in a wide range of industries, I found that they were marked by common mental attitudes: widespread respect for colleagues’ contributions, openness to experimenting with others’ ideas, and sensitivity to how one’s actions may affect both colleagues’ work and the mission’s outcome. Yet these attitudes are rare. Instead, most people display the opposite mentality, distrusting others and obsessing about their own status. The task for leaders is to encourage an outward focus in everyone, challenging the tendency we all have to fixate on ourselves—what we’d like to say and achieve—instead of what we can learn from others.

Traditional corporate culture is not good fit collaboration.

Original source: Cracking the Code of Sustained Collaboration

Overview of VMware’s kubernetes distros/packagings, and integration with vSphere

“The customers will be able to get completely integrated Kubernetes, the same value proposition. IT administrators can deploy this drop-in Kubernetes infrastructure right into their environment. Most enterprises have vSphere today. You can drop it right in and you can administer Kubernetes from the same platform, the tools and even the same skill sets that they already have. But the developer or the application owner can consume the infrastructure the way they’re used to doing it, the way they want to do it, through the Kubernetes interface, [which] is an API. With vSphere with Tanzu, customers can bring their own networking, they can bring their own storage. That’s a key difference from VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu. vSphere with Tanzu will really, really open up the floodgates for application modernization initiatives and the simple reason for that is it’s by far the leading hypervisor.”

Also, screenshots of lots of the marketectures and such.

Original source: VMware Bets On Enterprises Wanting Kubernetes And Virtualization Mashup

iPad growth over its ten years, analyzing the difference between the iPad and iPhone

As a result, iPads stay in use longer, get passed on to new users and serve for many years. Their average life span is likely well over 4 years and 9 year old iPads are not uncommon. It’s therefore very likely that the vast majority of all iPads sold are still in use.

So the true measure of success is not units sold but number of active (and satisfied) users. The iPad user base is probably around 400 million (about 27% of total active Apple devices.) The degree of activity is also telling and is reflected in the million apps built specifically for the platform.

And, taking over the traditional PC space is a big task:

It has not done that so far, much to the delight of naysayers. But this is not as big a failure as it might seem.

First note that the Mac user base itself is not nearly as big (110 million +/-10%). iPad could be 4x bigger in user base. The Windows base is larger at 1.2 to 1.4 billion but that resists frontal assault as it is deeply entrenched around enterprise workflows. It’s also bereft of profit.

Original source: [The iPad at 10](

20 years of mainframe Linux

By the spring of 1999. Frye recalls, "Enterprise Systems Group General Manager William Zeitler had enough information for a final chart of his presentation to then-CEO Lou Gerstner: ‘We also have Linux on s/390,’ Zeitler said." Gerstner was not impressed at first. In fact, "’That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard,’ said Gerstner, who then paused for reflection and added ‘Or maybe not?’"

Original source: 20 years of Linux on Big Iron

The missing context from that new Woodward book

In their self-hagiographys, people involved in the Trump presidency suddenly become astonished by the incompetency of the adminstration.

And then, Woodward’s conclusion:

But now, I’ve come to the conclusion that the ‘dynamite behind the door’ was in plain sight. It was Trump himself. The oversized personality. The failure to organize. The lack of discipline. The lack of trust in others he had picked, in experts. The undermining or attempted undermining of so many American institutions. The failure to be a calming, healing voice. The unwillingness to acknowledge error. The failure to do his homework. To extend the olive branch. To listen carefully to others. To craft a plan.

Also, the review writer:

Most of this Administration’s greatest disasters have been policy-related—but policy of this sort was inevitable with a person like Trump. What his racism did not infect, his corruption most certainly did; we are left with nothing except Trump himself and the political party that was broken enough to nominate such a man.

Such a weird time in American civics.

Original source: Bob Woodward’s Bad Characters

New VMware kubernetes distro packages

The new kubernetes distro packages/products from @VmwareTanzu. There’s four bundles of the distro, associated management tools, and integrated developer stuff.


the vSphere-Tanzu combo does not need to run the complete stack. “They can bring their own networking, they can bring their own storage,” D’Paiva explained, adding that it should also accelerate modern workload transformations because it ties directly into the vSphere platform that many enterprises are already running today.

“With this drop-in infrastructure it takes about an hour for an existing IT administrator to simply get started with Kubernetes and go,” D’Paiva said.

Original source: Simplify Your Approach to Application Modernization with 4 Simple Editions for the Tanzu Portfolio

Multi-cloud as dragging workloads across clouds hampered by data gravity

Organisations should not make portability a primary driver for adopting Kubernetes, Meinardi explains, as the likelihood that an application, once deployed, will move to a new infrastructure provider is actually very low.

This is simply because databases and data lakes are expensive to move, weighing down applications. The truth is that most organisations don’t think moving this data is worth the hassle so end up sticking with the same provider.

Gartner analysts question Kubernetes portability credentials

Relearning to change, improve

This is the process of relearning, which comes with its own challenges: (1) you must be willing to adapt and be open to information that goes against your inherent beliefs (2) you may need to to learn how to learn again and (3) you must create an environment for relearning to happen in a meaningful, yet often challenging, space outside your existing comfort zone. The point of relearning is that you’re trying to get better information and learn to see, sense, and listen differently, to respond and act differently.

Original source: Book Review: Unlearn by Barry O’Reilly

Move from the Bay Area, get paid less

But employees who worked at VMware’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters and go to Denver, for example, must accept an 18% salary reduction, people familiar with the matter said. Leaving Silicon Valley for Los Angeles or San Diego means relinquishing 8% of their annual pay, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal policies.

Original source: VMware Cuts Pay for Remote Workers Fleeing Silicon Valley

Little boxes

McLuckie has explained that with containerised applications running on an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model, code could be written in a hermetically-sealed unit, from which it could be deployed, whole, into disparate environments — a test cloud and a production cloud, for instance.

So far, this standardization of packaging and app architecture looks like one of the most useful effects of kubernetes. Using kubernetes comes with an implicit architecture model, a way of instrumenting applications (making them observable and manageable in production), and a defined life-cycle. It’s not perfectly clear-cut, but there are enough constraints in how you package up, deploy, and run apps in kubernetes that you don’t have many options.

This gives you an architecture you can just accept and start using: you don’t need to spend months – years, often – debating an enterprise architecture in your organization, coming up with many competing stacks, and then 3 or 4 years later sort of deciding on one but having to live with all that variation (e.g., the state we’re currently in).

Less grandiose, it means less architectural position papers you have to write, less meetings to go to, less arguments with rival ideas, and less time spent building and enforcing the policy of your enterprise architecture. Instead, you can spend all that time making the application better, and, thus, the business better. No CEO ever cared which kubernetes distro you ran, how much you paid to build or licenses it, or if it’s multi-cloud. They care if it helped them make money.

The same applies to ops: there’s now one way (sort of) to understand and manage it all. In contrast, we current have many different ways and tools, often customized within large organizations. That much variety ends up costing too much, and slowing things down more than you’d think.

Original source: VMware VP: Kubernetes as the ‘new IaaS normal’

Sharp edges

“We’re seeing Kubernetes emerging not just as an infrastructure service abstraction, but as a dominant control plane for driving workloads, whether those workloads are running in Linux application containers or pretty much anywhere. And that’s an absolute delight.”

The downside is that “it’s a fancy system and it has some really sharp edges.” This brings us back to the goal of simplifying the developer experience. “Creating a comfortable environment that uses the power of the system, that doesn’t force them to deal with all these sharp tools that can cut them all the time, is very important,” said McLuckie.

Original source: VMware supremo Pat Gelsinger makes peace with Microsoft, and Virtzilla pitches Tanzu to the Spring crowd

Portability isn’t a thing with kubernetes

Kubernetes facilitates portability because it helps standardize our software development life cycle and, most importantly, our operating model. However, it also adds management overhead to our organization, it forces us to engage with commercial vendors and to completely rearchitect our applications. Implementing portability with Kubernetes also requires avoiding any dependency that ties the application to the infrastructure provider, such as the use of cloud provider’s native services. Often, these services provide the capabilities that drove us to the cloud in the first place.

In conclusion, the portability tax is high. Make sure to pay it only for applications that truly need it and that are likely to switch infrastructure provider at some point. For all the others, don’t choose Kubernetes on the basis of a universal portability principle, just because it “sounds right”. On the contrary, adopt Kubernetes for agility, scalability and for modernizing your application architectures.

Original source: Why Adopting Kubernetes for Application Portability Is Not a Good Idea, Marco Meinardi, Gartner

Getting ready for change sure pays off when things change

Strong digital foundations are already helping leading companies adapt to the crisis quickly. One global retailer that invested for years in true omni-channel sales and delivery had already offered curbside pickup at 100 of its stores. When forced to close its physical stores owing to COVID-19, in just 48 hours it was able to expand its curbside service to 1,400 stores while maintaining a majority of its revenue. Meanwhile, many of its competitors struggled to shore up their online channels.

Black Swan thinking seems to be the principal that surviving long-term is all about avoiding the rare, but reliable occur disaster. When times are good, things are easy. You have the prepare for the worst, because eventually the worst will happen.

Original source: Accenture’s CEO: 5 rules for rethinking digital transformation during COVID-19