Link: My Interoperable Opinions of Cloud Foundry Summit 2018

“[I]n my previous life working in IT, I’ll admit I wasn’t in the opinionated camp. I didn’t even understand it as a concept. I generally went for selecting software with the ultimate flexibility. What I didn’t realize was how often this led to analysis paralysis and decreased productivity.”

I remember one of the last projects I worked on. We were selecting a software product for financial planning and reporting. Ideally, we’d have found a solution that did 80% of what was required. We should have reevaluated the actual importance of the other 20% we thought we needed. Instead, we focused on that 20% until we settled on something that could handle it. Then implementation details, changing requirements, and complex technology got in the way anyway. As I recently heard one industry analyst say, “Choice is not a differentiator.”
Original source: My Interoperable Opinions of Cloud Foundry Summit 2018

Link: The Contradictions Of IBM’s Platform Strategy

“IBM is a systems company with a very large portion of its revenues and an even larger part of its profits coming from these two platforms, the System z mainframe and the Power Systems – now sometimes called the Cognitive Systems – line. The core systems business – meaning the servers, storage, and networking hardware and the operating systems and transaction processing software plus any financing needed for it – comprises about a third of IBM’s revenues and more than half of its gross profits, by our estimates. Various database and middleware stacks up on top of this, generating even more platform revenues and profits, but this is tougher to peel away.”
Original source: The Contradictions Of IBM’s Platform Strategy

Link: The Contradictions Of IBM’s Platform Strategy

“IBM is a systems company with a very large portion of its revenues and an even larger part of its profits coming from these two platforms, the System z mainframe and the Power Systems – now sometimes called the Cognitive Systems – line. The core systems business – meaning the servers, storage, and networking hardware and the operating systems and transaction processing software plus any financing needed for it – comprises about a third of IBM’s revenues and more than half of its gross profits, by our estimates. Various database and middleware stacks up on top of this, generating even more platform revenues and profits, but this is tougher to peel away.”
Original source: The Contradictions Of IBM’s Platform Strategy

Link: The Platform Matters More Than Ever, The Operating System Less So

“Windows Server 2019 is a case in point, and going through the highlights shows it. Back in the day, when a new Windows Server release came out, everyone was obsessed about its scalability and reliability and how it compared to alternatives such IBM i, a slew of Unix variants (including IBM’s own AIX), and the IBM mainframe platforms: VSE, OS/390, and VM. We all dug through the manuals to see how many processors or cores or threads it could span, how much memory it could address, what the impact of SMP or NUMA clustering was on performance, how the I/O was architected to match whatever new gizmos were on the PCI-Express bus. No one really worries about these things. It is a given that any operating system will exploit hardware, and that most hardware is more than enough for most customers. This is not just an IBM i thing. Certain customers, to be sure, can make use of as many cores Intel can cram into a two-socket server, but for most companies, they are nowhere near the top bin parts and they have much less capable processors running at a lot lower cost and with plenty of excess capacity. It doesn’t matter if it is Windows Server or Linux. The basic workhorse server does not look that different from a Power8 or Power9 machine, and in many IBM i shops, there is far less compute dedicated to IBM i on a single instance than on a Windows Server or Linux machine. The database jobs that most IBM i shops have are fairly modest.”
Original source: The Platform Matters More Than Ever, The Operating System Less So

Link: Why is Everything a “Platform”?

Manage IT as a product, not a project, and things will go better: “we are finding the concepts of product and platforms very useful for establishing governance. As companies move to agile development, they quickly realize the power of treating their applications or web/device apps as products with a well understood customer to keep happy and prioritize improvements.”

Actually paying attention to and responding to how people use your IT stuff is key. Make the software useful, not just a project delivered to plan.
Original source: Why is Everything a “Platform”?

Link: Look at stupid, sexy Kubernetes with all the cloud firms hanging off its musclebound arms

“I think that a lot of companies find themselves using Kubernetes because it’s going to be built into the AWS’s and the Azures and so on,” Longbottom said. “So if you’re going to be looking at a hybrid cloud then you might as well be putting Kubernetes in place in your private cloud environment, because you’ll be able to plug far more easily into the public cloud component of the hybrid.”
Original source: Look at stupid, sexy Kubernetes with all the cloud firms hanging off its musclebound arms

Chef Automate: the big stack o’ stuff from Chef

Chef stack diagram

The idea behind this consolidation is to give organizations system-wide insight across all their applications and their supporting environments, be they in the cloud or within private data centers.

Also, some momentum updates:

More than 80 percent of Chef’s revenue now comes from enterprise deployments, consisting of more than 900 commercial customers.

See also Tim Anderson’s coverage at The Register.

Source: Chef Rolls all of its IT Management Ingredients into One Package, Chef Automate

025: .NET and Beyond 12 Factors with Kevin Hoffman (Pivotal Conversations)

We’ve seen a goodly spate of news in the container space recently which we cover in the episode. In the second half, we talk with Kevin Hoffman about the .NET world, Steel Toe, and his book, Beyond the Twelve-Factor App. A recent survey from the Cloud Foundry Foundation is widening the framing around container management, adding in the use of Platform-as-a-Service into the usual container orchestration mix. The survey also shows some interesting results around adoption, e.g., managing containers in production ends up being more difficult than people predict during evaluations. Also since our last episode, DockerCon brought a bevy of announcements in the container ecosystem which we cover briefly. And highly relevant to our guest, Kevin Hoffman, .NET Core 1.0 was officially released, as open source. In the second half we talk about the recent history of .NET and how it’s being used to create microservices. We also talk about the three extra “factors” Kevin’s book adds to the 12 factor app and typical experiences when migrating to 12 factor apps.

Full show notes: http://pivotal.io/podcast Feeds, archives, etc: https://soundcloud.com/pivotalconversations

Full show notes: pivotal.io/podcast

Download the episode, check it out in iTunes, subscribe to RSS, or check it out in SoundCloud.