Podcast: Tim Marston talks DevOps Goodness

Tim Marston was on episode two of the podcasts I’d just started about 18 months ago and he was overdue to be on another show so we’ve recorded this talking DevOps funkiness, migrating JRE workloads to cloud. Tim’s one of the honchos at Red Hat JBoss Advanced ISV Partner and ally Midvision who make some amazing products that help move JRE platforms to Cloud but also to do migration and management of JRE platforms easily and in a way that makes auditors sleep easy.

Well worth a listen and thanks to Tim for making time to do this.

   You can download the show here or via the RSS

Podcast: Robyn Bergeron talks Fedora

Today’s podcast is with Robyn Bergeron who is of course the Community Project Leader of the Fedora Project, the erstwhile evergreen Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat.

Last June Robyn and I were in Boston together and I meant to get her in front of one of my microphones to record a podcast but it was the last day of Red Hat Summit and people were packing up and getting ready to disappear all points east and west and it never happened.

So it was a given that the first opportunity I had to record something with her turned into a forty five minute recording I’ve cut down to about 25 minutes or so for this podcast.  We talk Fedora of course, releases, release criteria and etiquette, conventions and community, we talk OpenStack, we talk Aeolus and JBoss and all things technical that make up Fedora’s capabilities as part of upstream RHEL.

Listen carefully and you may even hear John Mark Walker from Gluster.org muscle in on the recording. Do of course download and listen, or subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher Internet Radio, Podfeed or via the RSS using your client of choice.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Podcast – James Strachan – Mr Apache Camel

James Strachan

I was fortunate enough a couple of weeks ago to be at the Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Summit in London and for my colleague Barbara May to have walked to my microphone rig the erstwhile guru, the legend, Mr Apache Camel himself James Strachan. James is a legend. Co-founder of Apache Camel, ActiveMQ, Apache Service Mix and contributor to so many projects I’m not going to mention them here but I do namecheck them in the podcast.

James, one of the founders of FuseSource joined Red Hat along with Rob Davies, Jon Anstey, Ulhas Bhole, Tim Bish and Dejan Bosanac when we acquired them last year. Hugely capable bunch of guys adding strength in depth to the Red Hat story.

Rob Davies and his amazing crew have created and driven FuseESB and the success stories they’ve won in the technology arena should be legendary. David and Goliath – they are the living embodiment of the analogy itself, taking on large industry players and winning left right and centre on major global accounts – all now reliant on FuseSource. I can’t emphasise enough just what a coup these wins were and won on technology excellence and attention to detail. Proof that Open Source can, and more than often does, triumph over the behemoth of legacy platforms and infrastructure core technologies.

FuseSource, genuinely, are a force to be reckoned with, amazing technology and amazing goodness building on the backbone of Apache Karaf, Apache Camel, Apache ActiveMQ, Apache CXF, tied together with the magic fairy dust that is FuseFabric. It is hugely pertinent to Hybrid Open Cloud for Red Hat hence the acquisition and the strength it brings to our JBoss capability is also huge. Hence the importance of you listening to this podcast.

I’m going to also feature a longer interview with Rob Davies in the coming weeks as well as some tech deep dives and videos on FuseESB.

Listen to James and I talk Fuse goodness in this latest episode. We had a lot of fun and James has an enthusiastic love of everything messaging which I share having spent the large proportion of my last six years doing nothing but mega large scale messaging infrastructures for Virgin and latterly at Zimbra. I am hoping to justify going out to the devconf this weekend in Brno where the Fuse guys are also attending so hope to hang out with microphone for more content and cheap beer.

Remember you can download directly from the link below or alternatively iTunes, Stitcher, Podfeed and many other sites syndicate the feed. Enjoy the podcast, comments welcome come back later in the week for podcasts with Robyn Bergeron from Fedora and Ross Lawley from 10gen talking NoSQL and MongoDB. Nearly 70,000 downloads of the podcasts to date and growing fast so we’re obviously doing something right.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Red Hat UK – we’re hiring, got what it takes ?

Working at Red Hat is among the most coveted jobs in the tech landscape. Repeatedly we get plaudits for being one of the most forward thinking employers in our field. As an employee working WITH Red Hat since the late 1990s I’ve seen the company emerge to be a powerhouse fuelled by the passion and the input of it’s staffers, a landscape shaped by the people who make up the brand.

We are constantly hiring, our growth rates as a very profitable company for the last twelve years has seen us realise that our potential is aided by making sure we have the best people in role. Working at Red Hat is challenging, fast-paced, and rewarding. All at the same time. We are passionate about what we do — from engineering to support, marketing to sales. You will have an opportunity to make an impact.

Our Mission: To be the catalyst in communities of customers, contributors, and partners creating better technology the open source way. We believe in our mission. We know we are changing the world. We lead, contribute, and participate in many open source communities. But you’re probably curious about other things at Red Hat. How do we collaborate ? How do teams work together ? And what do our associates have to say about working here ?

As an example of the working community ethic and our better ways of working here’s an episode of our internally distributed video – “The Show” that will give you a snapshot of what it’s like to work here – as well as the stuff we support in the community. Putting back. It’s more than just work. When I got married my Fedora was on the top of the cake and in the wedding photos so it’s more than a job – it becomes a passionate responsibility and a way of life.


We are hiring globally, there are roles in every sphere of operation and across disciplines, if you’re interested check out the careers search page and when you find something and you want to talk to me about it get in touch as and when you’re ready to take that next step.

At Red Hat UK we are hiring, here are two roles we’re trying to fill right now. Got what it takes then maybe we need to talk. No agencies please, people deal with people.

The first role I’m highlighting here is a UK based Senior Infrastructure Consultant who will be a really critical hire – more information on the role can be found on the specific role page here, the second role is a Senior JBoss Middleware Consultant who ideally has a passion for everything JBoss and OpenJRE, who has a drive and consistent understanding for Middleware and the Cloud. More info on that role by clicking here.

If you have the skills and verve to put yourself forward for either of these roles please get in touch after you’ve read the job description pages. You can find other roles at our Farnborough office here alternative locations geographically refer to our careers search page link a few paragraphs above.

Red Hat Developer Day UK 1st November !!!

If you haven’t already registered get to the Red Hat Developer Day page and sign up fast to register for the Red Hat UK Developer Day to be held at London South Bank University on the 1st November.

It’s already promising to be one of the best developer days we’ve done outside of North America and we’re reaching out to all corners of the Open Source developer community to build on a lot of the strong work out there developing Linux, JBoss and OpenJRE technologies, OpenStack and Gluster.

Keynoting the event is Dr Mark Little who leads the JBoss engineering team, if you were in Boston and heard him speak at Summit there you’ll know already that he is both very good at grabbing the attention of a room but also inspiring communities and developers alike.

If you’re interested in Cloud, Big Data, JBoss, OpenShift, or using or developing technologies for use in enterprise Linux environments then register today for what promises to be a really cracking day.

More information on our registration page.

Podcast: Partner Tour London 2012

Richard on stage, photo courtesy of Phil Rudge
So I’m currently on the road for Red Hat again. Six weeks of travelling, planes, trains, automobiles and maybe even a camel this time. Am in London in a rented ex LOCOG apartment on UK leg of the Red Hat Partner event. Next week I’m in Portugal on event duty, I’m in Egypt, Spain and Amsterdam in short order after.

Richard captured on camera by Phil Rudge
Tonight I thought I’d reflect on some of the stuff I’ve seen and heard and also muse / ponder on the position of suppliers and partners in the evolution and growth of Cloud. As I travel around I will be recording using my mobile rig and doing a lot of podcasts and interviews as well as posting pics.

If you want to listen to this it’s sub 10 minutes and tries to paint an aural picture of the state of the nation from a partner perspective as well as level some of the playing field. If you are a Red Hat partner who couldn’t get to tour maybe this will help you with some adlib non scripted perspective of my take on tour and Cloud tech.

  Download this podcast here in MP3 format or OGG format

Value Add – Tough Love in Cloud

There is no doubting the fact that as a lot of enterprise organisations and institutions who have for many years been wholly reliant on silo led computing platform architecture feel a little overwhelmed (or underwhelmed in some parts) by Cloud. Cloud the buzzword de jour, the spin. The undefined re-invention of IT. I see it a lot, and I hear it more. There seems to be this “Tough Love” battle of hearts and minds where the positioning of new IT enablement and design becomes more than technology refresh or even attrition to a position where Cloud becomes just part of the paradigm shift to doing more with less, or getting more for your dollar as you plan and procure your IT spend. It could even, if you outsource some of your current IT mean you spend less with your incumbent provider as you are able to identify and skill requirements and platforms internally with the people who understand your business the best – your current staff rather than hired consultants at arms length.

Cloud will, be under no illusion, also make those service providers and industry service providers increase profitability by being able to create elastic easily consumable cloud services that become stock catalogue items that sell themselves without sales people needing to push the hard sell. If that provider has the right services they become an asset and a building brick for growth – providing people want them. Where demand is met with intelligent solutions in Cloud there is a marriage made in heaven.

Last year, before I transitioned into this role as one of two Red Hat “Cloud Evangelists” I worked alongside the EMEA sales team in Cloud as their technical solutions architect helping providers stand up Red Hat platforms for customers to burst out to or to bring enterprise workloads too. It was enlightening because here was a software and services company working with the provider channel to build context extensibility into providers rather than just providing an OS or middleware capability. Real world business engineering (or re-engineering if you’d prefer to view it in that context) for both provider and enterprise customer alike to build a two way Open non-vendor locked in example of how we envisage those longterm hybrid and public workloads transitioning to Cloud. And then on the back of it building the provisioning and engagement model to assist customers to be able to just slot in as and when they felt the demand and push to do so. Getting over the “tough love” argument by making Cloud business as usual and easy to consume for both consumer of services – and the provider.

Tough Love – The Provider Angle

Service provision at any tier you can define as being able to take a blended approach of solutions and services that customers want or need to be able to contract. With Cloud it’s been hard for the service tier. A massive over emphasis on the hypervisor, on the provisioning and management and the self service element of the equation has left many now with an expensive overhead in the form of the ongoing licencing costs and ownership costs of proprietary technologies and layered or tiered infrastructures. Ken Hess and Jason Perlow of ZDNet explored this when discussing HyperV vs VMWare and there are a lot of other analysts who are now realising that at some point you are left in a position where that most basic cost of Cloud in the public or hybrid tier has to be passed on in the form of the contractual cost to the customer.

They are also missing a point. It’s not just about the provision of Cloud it’s about what you need to do with it when you get there as a customer, your development and deployment of architectures and infrastructures, your hidden ownership charges and your management layer on top. It would be great, and overdue somewhat for the likes of  GigaOM, Gartner and Forrester whose advice and guidance is read and given credence by many to now start thinking out the box and do more than just tickle Cloud ownership. There isn’t one credible ongoing analyst piece around the service provider tier and frankly when I talk to people (people being customers and decision makers) the positioning of left and right mystical fluffy quadrants needs to align itself to physically adaptable IT planning and positioning not just thought leadership and marketing budgets.

For service providers building Open infrastructures on KVM and in the past on Xen (although we now see KVM as the de-facto standard) and who understand the need to use open components such as CloudForms and OpenShift into the mix they are at a major advantage. They are better armed to be able to offer customers a customisable onramp to Cloud adoption at a pace that meets the appetite of sceptical CIOs but also that then reacts accordingly when the consumption and demand for services from that fledgling customer increases at speed. The ability for providers to have that flexibility and capability with the likes of Red Hat at a engineering level, matched and married to a software stack capability across storage, the hypervisor (RHEV KVM), the secure capabilities afforded by SELinux and sVirt, Middleware OpenJRE power in the form of JBoss, Gluster giving them the unstructured kick ass big data story and then wrap it up with their own ability to ride on the back of CloudForms (and DeltaCloud by association) means an immediate IaaS capability. Then as the customers who are already smart enough to be using OpenShift Origin to build out their sandpit PaaS test capability or to have used OpenShift on AWS start to demand hosted PaaS for that provider to be able to do so with applomb.

Bolt on capability = revenue, the providers who think out the box attract and retain customers longer and become an essential part of the foodchain of Cloud.

Tough Love – The Enterprise / Institutional Customer

It’s hard enough sometimes to run an enterprise environment at the best of times. The driving factors that push and promote the need for ever increasing attention to the needs of customers and consumers of your platforms and architecture are only beaten by the fact that from an accountancy perspective there is little to no elasticity in budgets that need to match or at least demonstrate an affinity for ambitions around elastic cloud. Now add on a new found skill as CIO. Contract negotiation at the most granular level. Signing an SLA is only made easier when you know what signing the solution with your Cloud Provider when you know 1) what you are signing up to 2) if you know what the problem is that you’re trying to solve by engaging with the provider.

Bryan Che of Red Hat writes brilliantly about his“2nd Tenet of Evaluating Products – You Have to Know What Problem You Want To Solve”. If it’s the only thing you click on in this article then I recommend you do so as it’s both thought provoking and influential in it’s steering as a guidance piece. Bryan correctly argues that the comparison of two given cloud products or services are aligned to understanding the problem that the consumption or procurement of that service will deliver. You can’t evaulate until that argument is understood and examined.

When we talk about Open Cloud it’s an understanding that to succeed and get the best out of the utilisation of compute capability in a manner that affords an enterprise something very clear. Independent, capable, assured performance married with a commitment to a flexible future as you grow.

An open provider who demonstrates that the tough love in Cloud is part of their problem, not yours, is the one who can give you the flexibility and the core belief to get to the start line (never mind the finish line). The good news is the smartest way to achieve that goal is for that provider to base his platform capabilities on Red Hat Cloud technologies.

It’s not just about the hypervisor and management – if anyone else tells you it is then it’s time to talk to someone who understands the pressures and needs of your expected IT delivery programme. Make sure they’re open, and make sure they use a certified supported open infrastructure married to a upstream that just happens to have millions of pairs of eyes examining its every release and move.

Pays to be open – but genuinely it’s the toughest love and the most responsible you can be when delivering future computing.