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

Project vs product, banking edition

Banks are on a digital transformation journey that will require them to get out of “project” mode, largely driven by IT, and transition to business-driven products that deliver customer needs through a planned and published roadmap—and then proceed on their journey to a platform orientation. In general, projects have an end date, while products have a lifecycle that continues to deliver capabilities well beyond the initial delivery. Projects typically perform only maintenance changes and don’t evolve the product’s capabilities. The product ethic is “standard issue” in software technology companies, many of which are already either operating as platforms (e.g., Google, AirBnB, Uber, etc.) or on the path to becoming one. The platform is a way to modularize products and combine them in different ways to meet customer requirements and business goals. Banks need to undertake this journey if they want to scale and benefit from powering an ecosystem that will help them generate incremental revenue with a very low capital outlay. Bottom line: To win, both banks and tech companies need a platform that powers both their products and their ecosystem.

Original source: Standing At The Crossroads: Observations on Banking and Technology

Blame the rule for saying “no”

Steve Kamb, the founder of NerdFitness.com, told me that the best and most polite excuse is just to say you have a rule. “I have a rule that I don’t decide on the phone.” “I have a rule that I don’t accept gifts.” “I have a rule that I don’t speak for free anymore.” “I have a rule that I am home for bath time with the kids every night.” People respect rules, and they accept that it’s not you rejecting the offer, request, demand, or opportunity, but the rule allows you no choice.

Original source: My Octopus Teacher/Pocket synth/Dreamy wallpapers

Time with kids

It isn’t that I like my job more than my kids overall—if I had to pick, the kids would win every time. But the “marginal value” of time with my kids declines fast. In part, this is because kids are exhausting. The first hour with them is amazing, the second less good, and by hour four I’m ready for a glass of wine or, even better, some time with my research.

Original source: Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool

Oracle’s strategic missteps

Success in old it was a big reason why Oracle was late to the new sort: cloud computing. Mr Ellison long dismissed it as a faddish label for existing technology. By the time he realised it was an epochal shift in it, Oracle had fallen behind. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (oci), as it calls its offering, is said to have sales of less than $2bn annually, compared with more than $40bn for Amazon Web Services (aws). The e-commerce titan’s market-leading cloud unit is valued at several times Oracle’s market capitalisation of $178bn. Cloud-based rivals of the sort that Mr Ellison once dismissed, such as Adobe and Salesforce, are worth around a quarter more than his firm.

Even in databases, Oracle’s core business, the world has moved on. For many new applications, such as customer-facing websites, its tools are too expensive and inflexible. Recent years have seen the rise of more specialised digital repositories, many of them in the cloud and based on malleable “open source” software. According to Gartner, a research firm, Oracle’s share of the database market fell from nearly 44% in 2013 to 28% last year. And it has yet to shake off a reputation for antagonising clients with things like audits to verify their use of software by workers—and hefty charges for firms that exceed licence limits. Brent Thill of Jefferies, a bank, echoes other Oracle bears when he says that the company has been stuck for years even as “we are living in the data age, the biggest tech-boom ever.”

I'm not sure you can avoid open source destroying a closed source market. Oracle does have MySQL, but can revenue from a “free” piece of software replace Oracle DB losses?

Original source: Can TikTok help Oracle stay relevant in the cloud-computing age?

Getting customer feedback makes better businesses

“The use of near- and real-time analytics to collect CX data is a rising trend among growth companies, with 43% of product managers at growth companies using analytics to collect and analyze customer perception and sentiment data. This is compared with just 22% of product managers at nongrowth companies.”

Original source: Gartner Says Growth Companies Are More Actively Collecting Customer Experience Data Than Nongrowth Companies

Depression is a reality distortion field

While I’m manic I assume that people want to hear what I have to say. I assume that people are interested in what’s happening to me, and that what I can share might help them in their own lives. When I’m depressed, it’s the opposite. I assume that nobody wants to hear from me, that nobody could possibly care enough about what I have to say for it to matter. I get down about my readership and listenership numbers — I don’t think there’s any number high enough to make me feel validated in those times. There’s no amount of affirmation that can make me feel like I’m OK.

One of the key understandings is that rational proofs, responses, "argument" that "everything will be fine, is fine," don’t stick, simply aren’t believable. Imagine if someone told you that the world was flat, that time portals were always opening just around the block but you were refusing to see them. That feeling of dismissing the stupid impossibility of those claims is what it feels like, there’s no appeal to reason.

Original source: Bipolar: feelings vs. reality

Crisis drives transformation

The rise of digital-business models predates the pandemic, reflected in how quickly organizations were able to pivot to telemedicine, online learning and remote work, according to Kristin Moyer, research vice president and distinguished analyst at technology-research firm Gartner Inc.

But in its wake, nearly 70% of corporate boards cite the impact of Covid-19 for a ramp up in spending on IT and digital capabilities, according to a Gartner analysis this month.

Gartner forecasts global IT spending to reach just under $3.7 trillion next year, up 4.3% from 2020. Within total spending, investment in cloud-based IT infrastructure is expected to surge 27.6%, to $64.3 billion in 2021, Gartner says.

The goal for companies, Ms. Moyer adds, is to enhance customer engagement and generate revenue by driving “a higher proportion of business through digital channels.”

Unfortunately, for most it’s only a crisis that drives change. Hopefully once people in the organization demonstrate to themselves that the new way of working is possible and works, they’re more into sustaining the new way of working.

Original source: Enterprise Tech Efforts Move Beyond Survival Mode