Tibco acquiring Information Builders

The takeover deal, said by Reuters to worth about $1bn, was justified because it offers Tibco the opportunity to “access to a broader set of analytics and technology,” said Dan Streetman, chief executive officer at Tibco. “The blend of our two companies, with strong and complementary capabilities, will further unlock the potential of real-time data for making faster, smarter decisions.”

Also with a brief history of Tibco…

Original source: Dotcom era data wrangler Tibco to buy Information Builders, reportedly for a whopping $1bn

Pay decisions, manager tools

This means that, in theory at least, managers should benefit from the automation of mundane tasks and the support provided by ‘technology augmentation’ even if it means significant changes to their job spec — as long as such ideas are thought-through; presented in a non-threatening way they can buy into, and finally that they are provided with appropriate levels of training to help them make the most of it.

I hadn’t had enough coffee to sort out all the survey numbers and assertions in this write-up. However:

  • As I’m fond of pointing out, most “management” and office work stuff (where the work is oriented around The Meeting where project status will be reviewed or business decisions made) has very little tools (beyond Office) or process.
  • People spend a lot of time on low-value decisions: “Another issue is that they spend inordinate amounts of time working out what amount to small pay variations.” This is a kind of, I don’t know, “local optimism.” You think that spending a lot of time on this decision will create a lot of value, but it’s actually just over a few points of improvement that don’t payoff on the time spent.

Original source: How tech will change the role of the line manager, according to Gartner

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

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.

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

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

Benefits of using kubernetes as a standard

According to Juergen Sussner, a cloud platform architect at German IT service provider DATEV, Kubernetes has the potential to be a game-changer for how teams like his do their jobs.

“Before we had the standardization layer, we had a lot of things to consider when putting new software in the data center," he says, "like about network topology, sizing of VMs, how to place the VM into the network, firewalling, and all this stuff. And nowadays you can say, ‘Does your product run on Kubernetes, do you have a Helm chart for the plan deployment?’ for example. If yes, we're fine. If no, maybe we choose another one.”

This is a very large org. benefit: making a decision on the architecture to use, instead of yet another platform inside the enterprise.

Original source: Kubernetes as a New Standard for Infrastructure Management

Women in tech

The study does offer some strategies to beat the trends and create more-inclusive cultures. This includes setting external goals; encouraging all parents to take parental leave; and providing mentors, sponsors and employee-resource networks.

And:

Accenture and Girls Who Code also found that a disparity exists between how senior HR leaders at companies and women themselves perceive the situation. Forty-five percent of these HR respondents said it's “easy for women to thrive in tech.” For women, that percentage is 21, and it drops even lower, to 8 percent, for women of color. Fewer than half of HR leaders (38%) think that building a more inclusive culture is an effective way to retain and advance women.

Original source: Half of young women will leave their tech job by age 35, study finds