After a refreshing summer road trip through the beautiful Michigan Upper Peninsula I am happy to be back at work. I even got a fresh perspective on the phrase “cherry picking”.
The geek in me got to see the “Nuclear Energy” sculpture at site where Enrico Fermi’s Manhattan Project team devised a nuclear reactor to produce the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago. ( image from - http://www.chicagobauhausbeyond.org/ )
While I was away, I missed an interesting webinar on optimizing operations of Cisco Data Center environments with converged infrastructure management. Thanks to video archiving, I was able to review it this week. EMA analyst Jim Frey gave a comprehensive view of data center management using converged infrastructure. Some key takeaways from my perspective were:
Converged infrastructure will usher in a renewed focus on application performance and service quality.
The need for automated discovery and configuration will become all the more important with converged infrastructure.
It was very interesting to see a customer -- Molina Healthcare -- discuss their journey to a service oriented data center. The reorganization of the IT department along the lines of service delivery was fascinating. Like other UCS customers, they had seen quantifiable benefits from the Cisco UCS management capabilities.
Speed of deployment improved 50- 75% (down to 1 week from 2-4 weeks)
Support costs reduced by 60%.
Discernable improvements in reliability and availability of the infrastructure.
As integrated infrastructure gains importance in data centers with physical and virtual environments that support application services, simplified management of these assets becomes very important. The Cisco UCS management portfolio was recently enhanced with the Cisco UCS Director. It provides unified management of industry-leading integrated infrastructure solutions that Cisco delivers with EMC (VSPEX) Read More »
A few weeks ago, I was at Cisco Open Source Conference 2013 -- a conference hosted by Cisco where we had speakers from IBM, Canonical, Red Hat and Rackspace, among others. I learned a lot, specifically about the evolution of Hadoop and the OpenStack project. As a follow on, I collated different activities around Cisco UCS and OpenStack, which I will share in this blog.
Dr. Dan Frye, Vice President, Open Systems Development, IBM, head of the IBM Linux Technology Center (LTC) gave the keynote address at the conference. It was nostalgic considering the fact that I sat in the same aisle as some of the LTC team members in the IBM facility in Austin, a few years ago. His talk included some fascinating historical anecdotes and three lessons IBM learned about open source software development-
“Develop in the open” (Don’t try to contribute finished software products, heed to feedback)
“Don’t reinvent the penguin” (“Scratch your own itch” – interesting phrase to explain the behavior of communities which want to solve the problems at hand and not those perceived to be problems by external entities)
“Work with the process” (The community process is usually an agile methodology with no assumptions on roadmaps and delivery dates)
These lessons are invaluable in light of the open source projects such as OpenDaylight (no pun intended) and OpenStack that Cisco is now an integral part of. According to Dr. Frye, these newer open source consortiums have the following characteristics:
Larger number of initial members
Relatively large initial budgets
Often require the commitment of a specified level of FTEs
Chris Wright from Red Hat expanded upon the principles and ethos of open source projects including release early, release often, iterative development and the culture of giving back. He contrasted the Linux kernel development project with the OpenStack project showing the relative speed of projects with the number of developers and commits by release. He gave a fantastic overview of the various Openstack component projects. He also identified two newly graduated projects namely, Ceilometer and Heat in the Grizzly release. I gave a talk on the requirements for the Ceilometer project, and you can find the slide deck on slideshare.
I make no bones about it I love the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). Yes, you’re reading a Cisco Blog…so you’d expect nothing less, but understand I came to love the system long before I was ever a Cisco employee. In fact it’s the reason I’m here – well that and the paycheck. You can read a bit about my “conversion” here: Something to Believe In. Or if you’d prefer to watch me talk about the UCS as a GE employee take a peek here
One of the great things about being a market disruptor is that you don’t need to carry along all of the baggage that slow down other companies as technology or market transitions occur. Of course, one of the frequent challenges to being a disruptor is that you often have to ask customers to adopt an entirely new technology standard in order to realize the benefits of your product.