In this week’s episode, Richard and I talk with Dino about the work Pivotal does to help companies quickly start migrating applications to Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Check it out, and subscribe if you haven’t already.
While HPE is getting $2.5bn in cash, the whole deal value is more like $8.8bn, the non-cash being stock. More details:
- “Under the deal, HP Enterprise shareholders are expected to end up with Micro Focus shares currently valued at about $6.3 billion. Micro Focus will pay HP Enterprise $2.5 billion in cash.” (WSJ)
- There’s about 12,000 people in HPE Software. (WSJ)
- HPE Software revenue: “HPE’s software unit generated $3.6 billion in net revenue in 2015, down from $3.9 billion in 2014.”
- Put another way, from TBR: “2Q16 software revenue [had a] decline of 18% year-to-year, driven down by a license revenue decline of 28% year-to-year.”
- HPE has been divesting a lot, getting a hoard of cash: “In earlier transactions, HP Enterprise in May completed a $2.3 billion deal in China to sell a 51% stake in a venture there called H3C that sells networking, server and storage hardware and related services. Later the same month, HP Enterprise announced a deal to spin off a computer services business that employs about 100,000 people—two-thirds of the company’s total head count—and merge it with operations of Computer Sciences Corp.”
- Also: “The company sold at least 84 percent of its 60.5 percent stake in Indian IT services provider Mphasis Ltd to Blackstone Group for $1.1 billion in April.”
What now for HPE?
Elisabeth Greenbaum Kasson asked me recently for advice on working with legacy applications. Check out her piece on it. Here’s the full reply I sent to her in email:
– The steps someone could take to get themselves up to speed on their employer’s legacy software.
– How this knowledge can make them indispensable (I know that term is relative)
– Why this type of expertise is so necessary, especially when it comes to integrating said software with new and/or evolving products.
When it comes to “dealing with legacy,” there aren’t that many good options. We often think of “legacy” as software that must be changed but that we’re afraid to change. If you’re not afraid to change it, you often just think of it as “our software.” Legacy has this connotation of it being risky, scary, or maybe just boring.
If someone wants to go down into the mines of legacy management, the first thing I’d recommend is doing some history work to find out why the legacy system in question was created, what it’s currently used for, and, hopefully, who the current stake-holders/owners are. You’d be surprised – or maybe not! – how often some or all three of those are totally unknown: with unknown stake-holders, I sometimes hear tale stories of IT departments just shutting down systems and waiting to see who calls them.
Understanding the why, what, and who of a legacy system will tell you most of what you need to know when it comes to managing it. Further up the management chain, having a good grasp of and on portfolio management is valuable. Given the why, what, and who, you should be able to prioritize any given “legacy application” relative to another with respect to funding and attention. Is fixing the application that’s used to schedule office party birthday cake orders more important than the application used to re-order plungers for the warehouse bathrooms? You won’t know between cakes or plungers if you don’t do portfolio management.
The other aspect is simply learning the technologies you need – operationally, programming, and sometimes physical management – to keep the thing up and running and to modify it. This might mean learning, for example, about operating systems for mainframes, AS/400, UNIX, older versions of Windows, and sometimes even exotic things like OS/2. There’s dozens of programming languages out there, and you’ll need to learn not only the appropriate “old” language, but how the build, version control, and project management tools around those old stacks function.
For more, I wrote about dealing with legacy in my cloud native journey booklet last year.
The biggest cloud native conference is coming up at the first week of August, SpringOne Platform. To plan out my time I took at look at the sessions. Here’s what I’m looking forward to and what I think you, dear readers, will find interesting as well. Doing a list like this, of course, ends up excluding some awesome sessions, so be sure to check out the talk list yourself as well.
Also, if you’re interested and haven’t registered yet, be sure to use the code
pivotal-cote-300 to get $300 off.
Dealing with legacy
Almost every conversation I have with large organizations involves a discussion about dealing with legacy software. While you may not be running JFK era IT, you probably have to deal with legacy. Here’s some sessions on that topic:
- Moving from Monolithic Architecture to Spring Cloud and Microservices – an overview of how Premier, Inc. (servicing 3,600 U.S. hospitals and 120,000 other providers) moved from a monolithic JBoss platform to Spring Cloud and friends.
- Bootiful Microservices in a Legacy Environment: Lessons Learned
- It’s Not You, it’s Us: Winning Over People and Yourself for the Team – while this session doesn’t explicitly address legacy, it sounds like the tactics of persuading your meatware to do the new thing would apply for sure: “what do you do when someone rubs you the wrong way or when people don’t quite get along? The problem is simple: not getting along, and the solution is simple, too: getting along. What’s not so easy is the magic in between.”
- The Journey to Becoming Cloud Native – A Three Step Path to Modernizing Applications – this one hits all the major “yeah, but, whaddaabout this!” questions around moving legacy apps to the new approach.
Cloud Native Coding
Moving to The New, New Thing requires different ways of architecting and coding your software. Here’s some sessions that go over those new ways:
- 12 Factor, or Cloud Native Apps – What EXACTLY Does that Mean for Spring Developers? – “At the conclusion you will understand what is needed for cloud‐native applications, why and how to deliver on those requirements.”
- Architecting for Cloud Native Data: Data Microservices Done Right Using Spring Cloud – dealing with data is always a pain and one of the least talked about parts of the cloud native approach. I’ve seen Fred give a version of this talk, tho, I have to admit I wasn’t paying full attention. It’ll be nice to actually listen and watch.
- Building .NET Microservices – compatibility with .Net ranks up there with a top question right after asking about dealing with legacy. We recently talked with Kevin on Pivotal Conversations, so I’m looking forward to seeing .Net and Spring in action together to go all microservices crazy.
- Consumer Driven Contracts and Your Microservice Architecture – while we were walking to a park bar in Warsaw a few weeks back, Marcin explained this idea of contracts with API management. It sounded like an intriguing way, to use my rephrasing, get the benefits of type safety into a dynamic languages and type-enforcement-resistant environments like over-the-web APIs. Should be interesting. There’s also another session on using the contract metaphor if that’s your bag.
- Implementing Microservices Tracing with Spring Cloud and Zipkin – another one with Marcin and also Reshmi Krishna. I asked Marcin to explain all this Zipkin in Spring and PCF stuff to me on a train ride between Warsaw and Krakow: it was awesome, esp. given my background in systems management. When we talk about “day two problems,” a large part is monitoring new applications in production. I think Zipkin’s addition to cloud native ecosystem will be incredibly helpful.
- Who Does What? Mapping Cloud Foundry Activities and Entitlements to IT Roles – this is another one that could pop-up in the “dealing with legacy” bucket, but it’ll apply to net-new development as well: “In this session Cornelia will take a holistic view of the Cloud Foundry “control plane” and map the key functions to IT roles (perhaps with some redefinition), and she’ll show which entitlements allow which configurations.”
While cooked up demos of Pet Stores and Breweries are education, I’m most interested in hearing tales of what’s actually happened out in the world. Here are some of the case studies that look interesting:
- Building Out a CI/CD Pipeline at Express Scripts – “Find out how Brian worked with the Line of Business, with Application Development, and with IT to broker this alignment, exposing to the business why the infrastructure matters and why they were able to get a better seat at the table and become more relevant. Hear the reality of what Express Scripts experienced in adopting microservices, touch points into legacy integration, and how to approach the challenges involved.” Brian was also on the Lord of Computing podcast where he gave an excellent overview of transforming ESI.
- From 0 to 1000 Apps: The First Year of Cloud Foundry at The Home Depot – Home Depot has been using Pivotal Cloud Foundry for awhile now and each time I’ve seen them talk on the topic it’s been incredibly helpful to understanding how large orginizations do cloud native. Most of this session looks like meatware-talk, which suits me just fine!
- Unwinding Platform Complexity with Concourse – hear Matt Curry and his co-worker at Allstate, Alan Moran, talk about setting up their continuous delivery pipeline. Also, see my recent Q&A with Matt where we talk about this session, as well as transformation in general at Allstate.
The Usual Chuckle-heads
And, to highlight talks from my team:
- Someone got Casey to do two sessions! The Five Stages of Cloud Native and The Twelve-Factor Container.
- Cloud Native Java – if you haven’t seen The Josh Long Show, you should make sure to check this out. I’ve seen him present to a huge room and then an audience of one: it’s always fun, and educational.
Containers Will Not Fix Your Broken Culture (and Other Hard Truths) – as someone who’s actually run containers in production, Bridget is legit on this topic. Check out a little preview here from Velocity.
- Extending the Platform – the other part of the Cloud Native Java duo, check out Kenny: ”
There are several supported mechanisms for extending the platform. In this talk we’ll consider each method and which problem areas they address well. We’ll cover everything from user-provided services to first class services managed by BOSH.”
- Machine Learning Exposed! – when it’s time to hit the cocktail circuit, you’ll need to know about machine learning: “You’ll be the hit of your next party when you’re able to express the near-magical inner-workings of artificial neural networks!”
- IoT in the Cloud: Build & Unleash the Value in your Renewable Energy System – I’ve seen Mark talk and he packs a lot into a good, coherent session. Here, I like the idea of showing how the cloud native approach is helpful, if not needed, for IoT.
- DevOps for Normals – What’s Happening as Donkeys Adopt DevOps – my 2016 DevOps talk, updated with stats, studies, and advice I’ll have come across.
(And, remember: if you want to come, you can get $300 if use the code
pivotal-cote-300 when you register.)
(Will post link to recording once it’s up, or sign-up to see it on Dec 1st!)
“For those not familiar with the concept, microservices is essentially a software architectural design pattern. The fundamental premise of microservices is that value can be unlocked through decomposing large, monolithic legacy applications into a set of small independent, composable services that each can be accessed via RESTful APIs.”
“Finally, CIOs need to understand if the juice worth the squeeze.”