Title: Coté Memo #031: Avoiding Showing Up, Yet Another Private Equity in Tech Story, Cyborgs, and more #VMworld
Hello again, welcome to #31. Today we have 39 subscribers, so we’re +1. I’d love to hear what you like, dislike, your feedback, etc.: firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you’re reading this on the web, you should subscribe to get the daily email.)
Come check out cloud hijinks at 451’s HCTS conference Oct 6th and 8th. I’ll be speaking there on developer relations and marketing. Use the code
MC200to get $200 off when registering. Only one person has taken advantage of this snazzy code, so: come on, sign up!
Come hear me yammer on about DevOps: I’ll be in Chicago (Sep 23rd) and Toronto (Nov 18th) giving my DevOps and cloud talk with TechTarget
Tech & Work World
- There’s a markdown spec out now. Lovely!
- I haven’t listed to it yet, but it’s obvious that this episode of Mindful Cyborgs with RU Sirus will be fun. I mean: Mondo 2000, am I right?! (Anyone…anyone…?)
- Also in the “unfinished WIP” category, episode #2 of Inquisitive has a delightful re-cap of the history of podcasting, including the dark years.
It’s a real project if…, or, avoiding showing up to save time
I liked the quick summary of determining if something is a real project or not on this week’s Back to Work. I spend much of time sorting out if I should get involved in a project or not, both internal to 451 and externally. In analyst life, there’s lots of people looking for open-ended projects with no budget, and those become time-sucks that marks like me end-up carrying the water for.
I spend a lot of time observing behavior of other people in the companies I work for, mostly the people who are considered “successful.” What I’ve noticed is that those successful people don’t do much, in a good way. They’re highly selective of the projects they get involved with, and even the email threads they answer.
If you’re the kind of person who subscribes and actually reads this newsletter, you likely have the problem I have: you get bored easily and use work as a way to entertain yourself…instead of using work as a way to get paid. I’ve got to shift more and more of my efforts to that second part, because the first creates a stream of unfinished projects that go nowhere and becomes a terrible loop of boredom on its own.
451’s VMworld 2014 pieces are coming out
- For 451 clients (and folks who have a trial), Peter ffoulkes has a nice, brief piece on VMware’s usage and planned usage, broken down by pre-#VMworld2014 brand-name. A sample of the analysis:
The names may have changed, which makes it quite difficult to track both historical usage and forward-looking plans, but at the end of the day marketing departments like to change names to protect the guilty. Whatever the products are called today, or may be called in the future, it is clear that the hypervisor-level technologies that are the basis of VMware’s current market dominance are commoditizing. This provides leverage but no guarantee of future market share for VMware in adjacent markets (management and cloud platforms), which have notable established incumbents and a set of engagement rules that are not necessarily aligned with VMware’s historical success factors.
Hey, don’t worry: that vRealize one is on the kitchen island ready to cook up.
Private Equity, which was the style of the time
All the sudden so many large tech companies are looking to go private. TIBCO did the obligatory hanging out a sign recently, it seems. Of course, I’m sure many are all like “TIBwho?” which is fine (and if you’re a TIBwhu? person, you’ll love this discussion of Compuware!). If you couple this trend with another macro-theory, that IT spending is slowing down, permanently, then you’ve got something slightly interesting. Tech becomes normal.
Fun & IRL
There’s only two days left to upload several years worth of photos to my newly TB’ed Dropbox account. Yup. Try not to do that.
With EVO, VMware is pitting the hardware vendors against each other for deals that will likely involve hundreds to thousands of nodes in large enterprises, and the competition will drive down hardware prices and therefore the overall price of the EVO solution. If hardware costs less than it might otherwise without such pressure, that extra margin can come from the software and support in the EVO stack.
It’s rough being a hardware vendor. At the VCE level, pro-services is another margin lever to play with (mostly the increase price, not discount), but that’s a bit up market.
tl;dr: they need to straddle two worlds, pre-cloud and post-cloud infrastructure. When VMware says “hybrid cloud,” that straddling of “legacy” IT and “real cloud” seems to be what they mean:
That brings us to VMware (and many of the other traditional IT vendors who are trying to figure out what to do in an increasingly cloud-y world). Today’s keynote messages at VMworld have been heavily focused on cost reduction and offering more agility while maintaining safety (security, availability, reliability) and control. This is clearly a message that is targeted at traditional IT, and it’s really a story of incremental agility, using the software-defined data center to do IT better. There’s a heavy overtone of reassurance that the VMware faithful can continue to do business as usual, partaking of some cool new technologies in conjunction with the VMware infrastructure that they know and love — and control.
But a huge majority of the new agile-mode IT is cloud-native. It’s got different champions with different skills (especially development skills), and a different approach to development and operations that results in different processes and tooling. “Agility” doesn’t just mean “faster provisioning” (although to judge from the VMware keynote and customer speakers, IT Operations continue to believe this is the case). VMware needs to find ways to be relevant to the agile-IT mode, rather than just helping traditional-IT VMware admins try to improve operations efficiency in a desperate grasp to retain control. (Unfortunately for VMware, the developer-relevant portions of the company were spun off into Pivotal.)
This last parenthetical point is what always confus[es|ed] me about the Pivotal divestiture. I get all sorts of answers depending on who I ask, the official one (as far as I understand it) is always the least interesting, of course.
This analysis from Donnie at RedMonk is pretty fucking awesome. It’d make an extremely valuable service.