xPaaS – cornerstone of Cloud

A fortnight ago Craig Muzilla and Paul Cormier announced the ambitious launching of xPaaS the Red Hat vision for the adoptance and standardisation of enterprise Cloud PaaS. By unifying a set of strategies and technologies proven in their own specific business areas, OpenShift and JBoss. Obviously with JBoss providing the underlying secured grunt under OpenShift it was only a matter of time before the realisation that there would be a defined offering made available for public consumption. xPaaS is very real and represents a subtle gamechanger that I’ll provide further focus on in this article.

Leading from the front, Red Hat continue to shape and to prosper what Cloud is as a consumable catalogue service rich environment for enterprises to rack up to safely and with confidence. To outline a comprehensive, open and uniformed PaaS built of the constructs and technologies that are already used by so many customers you don’t have to look too closely to realise that it also represents a clever move to circumvent the timeline of application migration to Cloud while lending credibility and an important tick box to the decision makers within enterprises who were otherwise looking to curtail ambition around Cloud deployment.

The JBoss teams in Red Hat have long since described JBoss technologies as cloud friendly, this just further provides continued emphasis that the engineering capabilities in Red Hat have moved one step further to extend beyond the datacenter and traditional enterprise network perimeter to Cloud.

Having read the reactions from the IT press and industry analysts now that the dust has settled a fortnight post announcement there are two major missing pieces of the jigsaw that they’ve missed entirely.

xPaaS – extending the catalogue to Service Providers

I have pointed out in talks I give at Cloud events and in my podcasts that one of the problems I’ve seen with Cloud providers globally was the rush to stand environments up to compete with Amazon or “to have something to offer”. A lot of providers rushed to get Cloud 1.0 out the door and then had to bare the costs as those platforms then lost them a chunk of revenue whilst their traditional managed hosting businesses had to pay the bills. Sadly a lot of those platforms built around proprietary technologies mean that even now the costs of adoption have to be passed on to the customer, but also now mean that further re-architecture requirements to build a Cloud of “what people want” now mean a lot of that investment has to be made in Open technologies to remain relevant.

xPaaS for the first time means that those providers actually have a major reason to think about the writing off of those initial Cloud adoption costs to move to open hybrid cloud built of proven secure building blocks and to follow their more switched on counterparts and competitors using KVM as the hypervisor of choice. xPaaS hosted within a provider gives a Cloud provider partner something essential. Revenue stickiness. Customer onboarding and attraction is never easy in a crowded marketplace but now heres the gamechanger opportunity to be able to be a happy part of the foodchain rather than a bitter pill to swallow.

The second opportunity – the JBoss community win win

The JBoss eco-system is packed solid with the most amazing developers who both contribute to the upstream JBoss.org codebase but also who provide services and solutions built around JBoss. The emergence of xPaaS is a huge vote of confidence allowing them to be able to work with their enterprise customers to push solutions onto supported xPaaS either in public or private cloud, driving revenue opportunity and new partnership opportunities to these partners.

So in many ways the birth of xPaaS was always going to be significant, I hope by playing the angles we can demonstrate that it’s more relevant than you thought possible as a vote of confidence in enterprise migration of applications to a secure business as usual platform as a service technology platform allowing you to do what you do best.

Podcast: Red Hat Events

I uploaded overnight a new short podcast talking about the re-arranged Gluster Community Day that the Gluster team at Red Hat are re-arranging for mid October. I also talk about a Red Hat Storage Webinar that is coming up next week. Also on the 10th and 11th of September is a two day installfest for the RDO Openstack crew as part of the Havana milestone three that comes around next week on 9th September.

You can find more information on the RDO Havana Test Day by following this link. My thanks go to Rich Bowen, Perry Myers and the amazing crew working on RDO and Openstack engineering goodness.

Download the podcast in MP3 format here – or alternatively browse the RSS or use iTunes.

VMWorld 2013 – Come visit our booth

If you are planning on visiting VMWorld this week in San Francisco (see map here of locations across the show campus) please make sure to take time out to visit Booth 522 and meet my colleagues from Red Hat who are in attendance.

We will be talking Red Hat Open Hybrid Cloud, demonstrating CloudForms and the latest beta 2.1 which includes support for OpenStack, our OpenShift Enterprise platforms, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation and Red Hat Storage.

We love attending VMWorlds in the US and Europe and will also be attending the Barcelona show in the fall. It’s always a busy booth packed with people wanting to know more about where we are at with Cloud.

More importantly this year for the first time we’re demonstating CloudForms and it’s ability to kick the ass of every other VMWare friendly virtualised environment across cloud types. It’s a game changer that has analysts and the press alike talking about how Red Hat has enabled Cloud management to become a realistic technology adoption curve for enterprises. Taking the game to VMWare and Microsoft for the first time and it’s not for nothing that customers are really excited and adopting fast.

Make time out to go visit Booth 522. Tell them I sent you.

Podcast: Max Cooter of CloudPro talks sense

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I’m joined on the podcast today by Max Cooter who is editor of CloudPro Magazine for a remotely recorded podcast, Max in Sussex me in windy wet Wiltshire for a podcast I’ve been meaning to record for some time but last time we tried we couldn’t get diaries to sync. Technology allows us to do next best thing other the ether and this is the result we recorded yesterday. We originally aimed to record 8-10 minutes but the discussion got deeper and we ended up putting a lot of things on the table that are vitally important to decision makers and to cloud in general.

I let the session run and listening back when I was mixing the session in the early hours of this morning I am glad I did because here you have a podcast that might just make people start making notes and thinking about their own plans and provisioning and thinking about the structure of their ambitions in Cloud.

Max is a heavyweight, he talks Cloud for a living but gets to see a lot of the actual cloud metrics and deployments across the entire industry so is more “clued up” than most analysts due to exposure. We’ve worked together on a Dell Think Tank before and we were both out at GigaOM Structure in Amsterdam last year (Max is pictured above on the left during one of the fireside chat sessions).

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We talk governance, regulation, security, privacy, PRISM fallout for Cloud, we talk Red Hat Certified Cloud Provider Programme, service providers and the need for conformity, PaaS and OpenShift. CTO and CIO pressures in the datacentre – theres a whole wealth of stuff going on.

Do take time out to listen and come back next week where I have a podcast with Tim Kramer my colleague of way way too many years talking OpenSCAP, Cloud Security, OpenShift and the Cloud Security Alliance. Don’t miss it we’re going to make some people sit up.

 

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

I’ve been busy – Red Hat Summit 2013

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The last ten days have seen me camped out in Boston in the US at Red Hat Summit recording, mastering and publishing fourteen podcasts during Red Hat Summit. Usually I do one a week so to get fourteen recorded and out there on iTunes, Stitcher and a dedicated smartphone app for all platforms was tiring to say the least.

So for those of you wondering why there hadn’t been a Cloud Evangelist podcast last week, go listen to the shows I made available to you on the Red Hat Official Podcast page from Summit by clicking here.

Podcasts on OpenShift, OpenStack, Gluster, RHEV, IBM PowerLinux, ARM and Hyperscale, identity management in the Cloud, SELinux (with Dan himself). We talk NetApp and oVirt with Jon Benedict once more and we have a lot of fun along the way.

Fourteen shows you can’t miss out on with over 10,000 listeners to date – go listen.

Podcast: Arun Oberoi VP of Global Sales at Red Hat

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Another heavy hitting podcast this time featuring Arun Oberoi VP of Global Sales at Red Hat.

Well worth listening to, we talk Cloud, OpenStack, Red Hat growth and positioning, our community responsibilities. Arun is great to talk to, and to listen to, I remember recording this and having one of those “come to Jesus” moments when stuff slots into place. His legacy experience in the IT industry allows him to paint a picture with credibility and assurance.

Do take time out your day to listen to it.

Coming up next week a podcast with Karl Stevens talking Cloud Providers, CloudForms and much more, the planned podcasts with Rhys Oxenham and James Labocki are shelved until we can all get together at Red Hat Boston Summit.

Advance ticket discounting and more information on Summit can be found here.

 

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Cloud – it’s about relevance

The consensus around the water fountain is in, the sensible folk are achieving and those that play catch up are spending way more corporate investment on keeping up with the achievers and go-getters in Cloud and virtualisation. That sums it up in a nutshell but to simply write an article with less than thirty eight words isn’t going to suffice so let’s explore where the Cloud market is making active differentiation in the evolving dynamic world of corporate and enterprise computing.

Blessed are the geeks for they will inherit the datacentre

There are very few differences in the manner that eighty percent of global enterprises tackle enterprise computing challenges. No matter whether exponents of purely “Cathedral” type platforms and toolsets or the “Bazaar” model of entrepreneurial achievement utilising open standards and challenging established paradigms of development and provisioning by reasoned utilisation and embracing of community ethics and freedoms. I hope I’ve got that right or my ex VA Linux colleague Eric Raymond is going to be less than happy. I use the word geek in the heading above with due reverence, without levity as a badge of achievement.

Whilst you could argue that venture capital and the influx of guidance in the form of management at many of the investment companies are the lifeblood of the evolution of new start companies developing and pushing technologies and products across Cloud. You could also observe that the vast majority of these organisations are building and ramping up harnessing and embracing open source libraries, binaries and technologies in order to get to revenue and to develop products that are relevant.

So what changed ?

The difference between now and the dot.com boom/bust era is that we grew up. Open source grew up too.

The difference is that in 1999/2000 a lot of the advisors who were often positioned or parachuted into new start companies using less “mature” developmental environments and an emerging internet were old school, 1980s/90s boardroom types, often expensive, entirely out of touch with working with dynamic energised folk who were capable at embracing tech but lacked maturity in corporate circles. Management came with money. I was there, I worked at Linuxcare from early days until I parachuted to safety to join the then ebullient VA Linux Systems. It was painful, it was replicated across hundreds of companies globally who all managed to burn huge amounts of funding rounds without generating products or significant revenue. A lot of the blame needs to be levied at the investors who handcuffed companies with legacy management who didn’t understand the gulf between founder management and couldn’t levy influence or control.

In the Cloud arena we have more startup companies producing better product with better guidance from more savvy investor folk, if any of you have ever bumped into the electrically charged spark that is Satish Dharmaraj for example, my former boss at Zimbra (now with a well known VC team) will understand the mental picture I paint entirely. Satish I pick out purely as an example, he isn’t remotely alone in being a trail blazer, at Red Hat you can’t throw a pebble without hitting a key manager or thought leader whose role it is to identify talent and opportunity and then nurture it. We even invest in technology regularly outside of Red Hat.

More importantly nowadays, most of these advisors attaching to first and second round funding have emerged from the Open Source community and are helping shape the direction that many Cloud startups are now able to follow. Thats a good thing. Lower burn rates, better code, better practices and revenue centric companies using Open Source as a base. For those basing companies on revenue (the small percentage) it’s even more impressive.

However they ALL have one thing in common, they’re all aiming to be relevant.

Make relevance your personal mantra for 2013, especially in Cloud

The number of times in recent months I’ve sat down with people in technology circles and talked open hybrid cloud, talked to them about how this gospel I preach weekly from my podcast pulpit of how at Red Hat we are working to demonstrate how we’re innovating by providing key RELEVANT capabilities. If you’re a listener to my podcast broadcasts I weekly try to provide you with balanced thought around cloud and virtualisation but with a passion that comes from a need to “do this right”. To stay relevant with the needs of my listeners.

Arming, influencing, determining datacentre future behaviour and enterprise adoption of cloud across physical bare metal platforms, virtual, private cloud and public cloud with the Red Hat stack. Marshalling and creating the frameworks for growth that are significantly different from proprietary platforms such as VMWare and Microsoft and with more relevance (see it crops up again) to the problems that enterprise companies need to solve. Built openly, built with focus around application development and portability underwritten by the glue that is Red Hat’s continued core open source belief as part of the fabric of cloud today. ISVs and startup companies who are aiming to be relevant and to drive product adoption and therefore revenue growth (either based on revenue or with the help of investors) are all looking to Cloud.

So next time you are stood, board marker in hand in front of your team drawing out your tiers of your architecture or brain blasting APIs and platform decisions with those in your circle who you rely on just consider. Is the technology and the platform and direction I am taking relevant ? Relevant now, relevant tomorrow, flexible and rugged enough to grow with your organisation, flexible enough to change securely, relevant enough to get you to the finish line, relevant enough to drive revenue and growth to match your ambition.

Unless you’re doing this harnessing open technology, truly open source components and stacks you need to pay attention, you aren’t going to be relevant, and neither is your Cloud.

If you want to know how this all glues together reach out to me and I’ll point you at some folk who will change and empower your needs in Cloud. If you’ve been on Red Hat tour or been to Red Hat Summit (the next kicks off in Boston at The Hynes Convention Center in a few weeks time) then you’ll be aware of the common sense relevance of what we mean by Open.

Red Hat – this is what we do, be open, be relevant and be part of the future of Cloud. Ignore me at your peril.