Podcast: Ian Lawson – Mr Red Hat

What a weird title for a podcast episode you think. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Ian and I have worked together in two lives. In 2007 I took a sabbatical to go do hush hush secret stuff in the government space for a major vendor and met Ian and gelled immediately. We’ve worked together ever since and when I joined Red Hat I brought him in soon after. This is a coup because after a life spent in the shadows talking common sense doctrine to governments and people in positions of authority Ian is actually on the record and talking Open Source. To say he was outside his comfort zone is an understatement but it was lovely to have the chance to open a door sensibly and only talk about stuff which doesn’t see us carted off to jail for breaching each of our obligations as signataries of Her Majesty’s Official Secrets Act.

Ian had always worked in the proprietary rather sheltered world of data intelligence and manipulation. He definitely wasn’t a Linux user – at all, in fact I gave him his first Linux laptop. He didn’t get Open Source as nobody had ever explained or shown him, didn’t know Open Shift or how to even install Red Hat. A hugely talented versatile developer with a brain the size of a family car and the ability to hold a room in his hand he has become one of the most important hires Red Hat UK has ever made.

Ian, now immersed in Open Source was reborn, reborn with a new verve or vigour and is now truly Mr Red Hat when you put him in front of customers and with his almost unrivalled abilities with the understanding of data storage and data manipulation in the European space is always in demand to help bring projects to conception.

He was nervous as hell recording this, don’t know why – he’s the mac daddy when it comes to big data even if he does hate the term. We talk OpenShift, OpenStack, we pour scorn on some and heap praise on others. A very enjoyable recording session.

I urge you to listen on two fronts:

1) If you’ve ever wondered what Big Data meant come here Ian blow that concept wide apart
2) If you’re considering a change in career and want to understand the passion that drives Red Hatters to go to work – then this is for you.

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

Podcast: Udo Seidel of Amadeus Talks Gluster/OpenStack

I was at the Gluster London Community event in London yesterday and listened to speakers there talk about Gluster and demystifying what it is and also how it has made an impact in the storage world.

One of the speakers there was Udo Seidel from Amadeus in Munich who is well known in Open Source circles and a great guy to talk tech to. We meant to record this in Edinburgh as he was also at Linuxcon but time ran out. So we reconvened and yesterday we put this ten minute podcast together for you.

Come back next week for some more great content. Remember you can subscribe to the show via iTunes on your iOS or MacOS device of choice or any platform via the RSS or my syndicated feeds.

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

Linuxcon Europe Show 4: Open Daylight

So heres the thing about working with the Linux Foundation, and the reason why every year I stump up my membership fees to be part of their rollcall. They get it, they genuinely get it. Jim Zemlin, Mr Enthusiastic himself who is one of the most articulate geeks you would ever have the pleasure to meet bounds on stage or into a room like an excitable child and on Monday when he jumped on to the stage in Edinburgh this was no different.

One of the reasons for his beaming smile and positive attitude though was the fact that under his stewardship and with boundless energy and pride several projects including OVA have been added to the roster of collaborative projects under the auspices of the Linux Foundation.

Today Chris Wright who is the Director of Software-Defined Networking joined me to talk SDN goodness and how the Cloud piece interacts with the integration of OpenStack. Chris was recently promoted to Director level in Red Hat, well earnt and judging by the size of the audience here for his keynote there were obviously a lot more people out there who wanted to hear him speak than could get in the room.

To find out more about Open Daylight watch the video below and then listen to the show we recorded for you today.



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

Klaus Oxdal Red Hat Nordics / Gluster Community Info

c1e1c27b-a864-475c-94fa-97c5a553ff2cThis weeks podcast is with Klaus Oxdal of Red Hat Nordics. Klaus is a good friend of mine who I’ve worked closely with for 3 1/2 years or so and he eats lives and breathes Red Hat. Much like my erstwhile American/Dutch TechGod colleague Eric Schabell he is one of the Red Hat EMEA cyclists spending a lot of time in Red Hat colours on the roads of Denmark.

Only this time he’s going one better. Klaus is part of a team cycling from Denmark to Paris, France culminating in a sprint finish to the Eiffel Tower. It’s all for a good event it’s for a Children’s Cancer Charity. It’s a mammoth distance, it’s a mammoth effort and I thought we’d tag onto the end of our conversation an invitation for people to find whatever they could afford to make a difference in treating childhood cancers. An amazing cause that deserves our support. I’ve stumped up cash as a parent of two children and I’d like to think we can help raise them some funds.

You can read more on their sponsorship page here, go visit it now !!

john_RMGluster.org Community Workshop and London Community Day 

In the podcast I also talk about Gluster.org the upstream of Red Hat Storage having a workshop at LinuxCon Europe (where I will be attending and doing the show podcast) and speaking with the likes of my shadow and compadre from Gluster.org / Red Hat John Mark Walker pictured with me above. The day is WELL WORTH ATTENDING if you’re going to LinuxCon or even if you’re not.

The workshop starts at a very reasonable 10 a.m. This full-day, free workshop includes talks on using Gluster with OpenStack, KVM/QEMU, and how to develop apps to integrate with GlusterFS. This is a chance for developers and admins to learn first-hand what GlusterFS and related open software-defined storage projects in the Gluster Community can accomplish in cloud and virtualized environments.

  • State of Gluster (John Mark Walker)
  • Gluster for SysAdmins, an In-depth Look (Dustin Black)
  • Gluster and OpenStack, a Case Study (Udo Seidel)
  • Gluster, QEMU and KVM (Vijay Bellur)
  • Developing Apps and Integrating with GlusterFS (Justin Clift)

Please join us on October 24th at the Sheraton next to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Registration for the Gluster Workshop is free, sign up today on the LinuxCon/CloudOpen sign-up page. Note: Choose the “Speaker” registration and use the code GLUSEU13 if you’re not registering / registered for the rest of the conference.

London Community Day – 29th October

In previous podcasts we’ve talked about the cancellation of the London Community Day, well it’s all back on and taking place in London in Hoxton on 29th October. Again I am attending with podcast mic in hand !

There is a stellar cast of speakers and breakouts and you can register either by meetup.com or Eventbrite.

London Community Day Agenda

14:00 – 15:00 – The State of the Gluster Community – John Mark Walker, Red Hat
15:00 – 16:00 – GlusterFS for SysAdmins – Tom Llewelyn, Red Hat
16:00 – 16:15 – Break
16:15 – 17:00 – Cloud Storage with OpenStack and GlusterFS – Udo Seidel, Amadeus
17:00 – 18:00 – Gluster for Developers – Justin Clift, Red Hat
18:00 – 18:30 – Gluster Forge Demos
18:30 – 19:30 – Happy hour! Drinks and light snacks for everyone

I will be there and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. Now go download the podcast. Please. I’m asking nicely.

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

Podcast & streaming video – OpenStack


Apologies it’s taken so long to get the latest content online. The two recorded podcasts I had scheduled had to be dropped because of content issues / legal issues and having been on paternity leave and then conference travel time has got the better of me.

Yesterday we made up for it, Rhys Oxenham has a new role at Red Hat that we want to get out there and talk about and also there is a lot of cool stuff happening in OpenStack aligned with milestone 3 of Havana and open hybrid cloud in general.

The podcasts we recorded, the first we’re bringing you this week, the second one next Wednesday, however there is a break with tradition. If you’ve ever wondered how we do these podcasts especially on the road, I’ve made a video for you of the podcast which you can stream below.

Enjoy and come back next week for another show and some great articles.

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

Cloud: Doing your research pays dividends

Over the last sixteen years of being paid full time to work on Linux and Open Source I have seen technology grow enormously, I’ve seen projects both explode as well as implode and fork, protocols appear, new ways of solving old problems evolve and companies both rise and fall. One thing has remained the same, the conjecture and the articles written by analysts and journalists alike to describe how we all create our pathways to new technology.

To survive in this marketplace any company worth it’s stock price and meeting analyst and customer expectation accordingly needs to have a very flexible but defined set of controls over it’s development, acquisition and market approach. It’s been the same since the dawn of IBM and Xerox and it continues to be the same. One thing that of course has changed has been the shackles imposed by intellectual property being “owned by the fee” to the ability of companies globally to share in the rapid and agile methodologies afforded by using Free and Open Source Software. Reduced time to market, the ability to reverse positions and to move quickly to change market approach and to re-think strategy has become fluid and entirely dynamic. This has of course, not come without significant challenges, and the responsibility of all of us to ensure that we don’t just consume but also contribute back and to maintain the strength and the community heartbeat of Open Source as we take next steps.

Let’s be very clear, Open Source allows organisations to sandpit and build proof of concepts in all areas of technology in a more rapid fashion than ever before and it allows a consensus to grow in every business vertical that unless we adopt, connect and give back we are not partaking in the spirit, but simply reaping the benefits without solving new problems and sharing experience on the way. Red Hat has given back to the community since day one and continues to do so and we also benefit along that route and produce, and support solutions that are best of breed around Linux and Cloud. It’s not a secret, we even show you how the sausages are made, it’s transparent and it’s in your face and customers globally rely on us to maintain software, services and guidance around Open Source.

Open Source could have been described by some in the industry as revolution, in fact you only have to go back and see how young many of us looked in RevolutionOS and other features produced around that time, but more than anything Open Source has supplemented other methodologies and earnt a place at the head of the table for every major household name online brand you could care to name by virtue of it’s flexible nature and power. More than revolution there was steady evolution, responsible guidance and frameworks for growth from companies who emerged. Caldera, Linuxcare, VA Linux, Red Hat, Penguin Computing, SuSE amongst the ranked masses that appeared in the late 1990s. Red Hat, we’re still here. We don’t take for granted for one second the creativity and the power of the community, we still contribute and employ more Open Source key figures than any other SEC listed company worldwide. We also still contribute to every aspect of Open Source and Free Software Communities as well as pushing the mantra of Open being key to what we do and how we succeed.

So this brings us up to where we are today with Cloud.

Recently a couple of articles have appeared that invited discussion and painted a picture of Red Hat and our Cloud Engineering focus that I’d like to correct and to try and explain out. Without conjecture and without the need to appear that I’m playing a biased card because genuinely I’m not, just both articles had me scratching my head having read them confused at the editorial direction and trying desperately to work out how we were being positioned without due diligence seemingly not being done in the drafting of either.

The first was from Laurent Lachal at Ovum. Anybody who has met Laurent knows him as a polished and versatile analyst with his finger right on the pulse, I took part in a thinktank event with him not so long ago and it was great to see him at work, a real thinker, erudite with great balance to technology. His article which appeared in late June on Ovum’s portal confused me slightly because of the positioning. The opening gambit of Red Hat “needing to get out of it’s comfortzone – OpenStack not being the new Linux” confused me greatly, I understood the need for market differentiation and the need to be different but the whole gambit was entirely wrong, hit the tree and missed the apple by a royal mile.

If anybody, analyst or journalist alike thinks that the company who gets to the winning post has the best supported OpenStack solution or a one size fits all installable supportable solution then they’ve misunderstood where we are in 2013 with enterprise computing and solving the needs of our customers. Fact.

Day in day out Red Hat works globally on projects and contributes code, solutions and importantly people, not just our own staffers but our vitally valued and critically important reseller and partner community to solve first world problems in Cloud and virtualisation. We supplement and promote key decision making ability across companies who are looking ahead to OpenStack and other infrastructure solutions to understand how they’re going to form the successful and strong foundations of where to go. Red Hat has long since stopped being just a distribution based company, Red Hat has been out there proving it’s mettle and underwriting and supporting the ambition of customers getting the best out of their rollcall and their investments in technology – and we also have a Linux distribution, RHEL which continues to be the dominant enterprise Linux player. Nobody at Red Hat thinks that OpenStack is the new Linux. Brian Stevens even said it on stage in Amsterdam in November last year at the GigaOM conference, it’s even Google’able. If the main man says it then am entirely unsure what the remit and direction of the editorial stance is ?

Also confused – What is Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform (RHEL-OP) ? It’s described in the article at the commercial version of RDO.. Don’t know what RHEL-OP is, we announced RHOS (Red Hat OpenStack) and it isn’t the commercial supported version of RDO. We explained what RDO was eight weeks before this article went live – it’s even been available on the RDO website since the Monday we launched it at the OpenStack Developer Summit in Portland. Search engines are great at enabling that when researching a position paper or article that you are able to align your sources and editorial before pressing the nuclear publish button. If there is confusion, guess what there are also podcasts available with the RDO community team lead on this very portal that explain what RDO is and what Red Hat OpenStack is. There is also a plethora of other resources such as the podcasts I recorded with Perry Myers and Rhys Oxenham two weeks before this analyst article went live that was listened to by 3,000+ people (including analysts) on the official Red Hat Summit podcast channel so no real excuse for getting stuff so categorically “wrong” . The paragraph “Red Hat needs to more clearly define how it plans to converge its technologies” then goes on once more to entirely confuse our actual stance around Cloud engineering. At Red Hat we’re open and transparent. It’s one of the reasons people feel safe because we tell people what we put in our sausages and we work hard to communicate effectively with customers – ahead of time. We’re a subscription based company built on strong foundations of engineering excellence and communicating our services and our solutions to resellers and customers alike. It’s something that works well and something that we always strive to ensure is a deliberate go to market strategy.

To this end on the 16th June we released tools to help people understand our strategy around RHCI to enable and aid customers looking at workload migration and to also make sure that our pathway and positioning was easily understood. Alongside these paper tools and online articles we even released a video detailing what our stance is and how we’re working hard to enable transition and change in Cloud. So once more I’m left scratching my head as to trying to understand that if we release this stuff a whole nine days before the analyst piece appeared on Ovum as to why the positioning in the article was so blatantly at odds with reality ? My good friend Stephen J Vaughan Nicholls at ZDNet whose counsel and guidance I regularly rely on published this article on the 13th June almost a fortnight before that did well to paint the reality of how hard we’re working to enable OpenStack as a developing and critical part of Cloud. Add on the whole raft of keynotes and product specific videos that were available immediately online via YouTube during and post Red Hat Summit a week before the article was posted actually gave root and branch guidance as to our stance without having to even do a great deal of homework, you just have to listen to Paul Cormier or Brian Stevens (especially the cameo from Mark McLoughlin who features on podcasts here) to have enough correct info to position your piece accurately without conjecture or mistake.

The second article was from Brian Proffitt carrying the headline – Reality Check – OpenStack is NOT the new Linux. Might be worth you reading it (clicking on it will open it in a new window).

Now Brian is somebody I personally owe a lot to and whom I have a great deal of personal admiration for. On September 22nd 2000 he published the worlds first polished editorial reviews of our then GPL project SmoothWall that myself and Lawrence Manning were quietly creating in a back bedroom in Hampshire in the UK that would go on to be so huge worldwide and still so popular in millions of networks worldwide. He’s written books that I have on my bookcase and he’s someone I look up to a lot and is one of the original good guys of Open Source and he won’t take it personally if I react to his editorial. At least I hope not. To be very clear here’s a guy who has written and published more editorial in a calendar month than I have in years. You’ve probably read dozens of his articles. However this piece I disagreed with entirely and I know I don’t stand alone. I read it three times, I shared it with people I trust inside and outside of Red Hat who scratched their head and again didn’t quite get the conclusions or the workings . It genuinely didn’t seem to have a point to it and meandered around in circles without making conclusions that merited being published on Linux.com. I can call it out I pay my annual membership to the Linux Foundation and I always loudly support their goals and aims. Just very surprised that this merited publication didn’t suggest balance in the final draft. In some ways the article made some of the same salient points Laurent attempted without research to project across. Maybe it influenced the article, who knows. I know Brian works at SuSE as an evangelist and I am wearing my red Fedora to type this but don’t expect some MTV style Cloud Deathmatch any day soon. Open Source invites discussion, views that differ and provides an avenue for clarity and resolution in all areas of good software development and release and our reporting and analysis of it is no different.

Let’s be clear where we are at without conjecture

At Red Hat we always strive to communicate openly and transparently (and this is in no particular order):

  • To the market, our shareholders, analysts the press etc
  • To our global customers
  • To our partners throughout the world
  • To resellers and the channel who do an amazing job assisting customers with OSS solutions
  • To our community and the wider Linux and OSS community who we rely on to behave in the same manner
  • To customers we haven’t yet welcomed into the Red Hat family

It’s like showing your math working in an examination or test, it’s about being open and transparent so situations like this don’t arise if you use the freely available information at your fingertips to make reasoned judgement using accurate sources. When I record shows and write articles I try to do my homework, Google is my friend and where I need concise information I go and ask people for guidance and information or I don’t hit that publish button. OpenStack has a foundation that Red Hat contribute to, Mark McLoughlin sits on the board and we again are supportive and open to everything that OpenStack stands for and where it’s going. Anybody who thinks that Red Hat is trying to “take over” or to be the best polished OpenStack distribution or make Red Hat the dominant player in OpenStack alone is so far away from the reality of how Cloud is consumed and provisioned by IT departments who want the best out of their technology and simply want a safe bet. Given how many customers globally look to Red Hat compared to every other OSS player for enterprise support it therefore doesn’t surprise me that there are some conclusions reached often where things are slightly rose tinted.

I hope I’ve explained why in this case it’s really quite vital that I feel that you need to prepare before publishing a position piece which can otherwise look inaccurate. Sources like my portal should be invaluable to analysts as you get to hear from the horses mouth as it were, from the people involved in the podcasts I release and the articles I link to from my Twitter feed. I do half the leg work for you.

Getting to the Cloud relies entirely on engineering excellence, relies on knowing the problems you need to solve and being open and entirely diligent about the steps you take in order to build service and offerings. To not learn from the lessons and experiences of the last fifteen years at Red Hat flies in the face of what this company is about and where we are taking this organisation fuelled by the passion and integrity of the staff and the ethos of the company.

We have no secret sauce, we just have the ambitions and the goodwill of the forward thinking customers globally to take care of, openly.

Podcast: Fedora 19 is Cloudy – Peter Robinson


With the launch of Fedora 19 in the last two weeks we thought it was time to get a podcast out with Fedora team member Peter Robinson. It coincided with the third birthday party of OpenStack which we (Red Hat) co-sponsored at the BlueFin building this last Friday gone. Peter and I met up to do some work together Friday and then retired from the scorching heat of London South Bank to the sane 1960s concrete jungle that is London’s National Theatre. It’s a great place to chill in the heat but also to record (hint there in case anyones in London and wants somewhere free to record).

We talk Cloud, Fedora 19 ARM goodness, how Fedora is built and we talk about every aspect of FOSS within Fedora. We also pay tribute to Seth Vidal and this podcast is very much in his memory.

Come back next Wednesday for a new show.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Podcast: Mark McLoughlin, OpenStack Goodness

Mark and I have recorded a podcast before in Belgium four months ago today in fact, and on the back of all the interest at Red Hat Summit talking OpenStack and the buzz around OpenStack itself just being so hot I thought it was time to do another cast with Mark.

With Havana on the radar, with HeatAPI, TripleO, SDN and so many other projects and initiatives going ballistic I wanted to take his temperature and see what his take was on OpenStack Developer Summit that we both attended and also the road ahead.

Catch up as well with the OpenStack podcast I also recorded in Boston talking RDO with Perry Myers and Rhys Oxenham which is also worth a listen talking about Red Hat OpenStack, RDO and the plans that are evolving. You can find that episode on the Red Hat Summit Podcast page – here.


Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Podcast: Arun Oberoi VP of Global Sales at Red Hat


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

Podcast: Brian Stevens, Red Hat CTO talks OpenStack


So today we have a very special podcast for you with Brian Stevens our CTO at Red Hat. Brian kindly recorded this with me, I’d meant to record this twice before, at GigaOM last November and then at ODS in Portland but Brian is always so damn busy I didn’t get a chance to get a microphone in front of him. I’m doing some more recording with the exec team in June in Boston for the official Red Hat Summit podcasting channel I’m setting up which I’ll blog more about in the coming weeks prior to Summit.

Brian is what I’d call a tech prophet, a thought leader in every way. He’s watched Red Hat evolve and he’s watched the market embrace Open Source and against that tsunami of demand he’s crafted and shaped supported technology offerings that have seen the company grow to fit customer ambition. That is no easy task to marshall.


He’s been a trailblazer for OpenStack, hugely supportive and very humble in how he’s ensured our contributory and community approach is transparent and very real. Hear more on the podcast. We talk OpenStack, the Red Hat RDO community release, the amazing HeatAPI project and we take you behind the scenes.

Not often you get to listen to the CTO of a $1bn+ company talk openly and honestly about tech, so take time out to listen to it, remember to subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher internet Radio or the RSS feed directly to the shows, for those that haven’t ever listened there is some thirty three hours of broadcasting there to catch up on.

Enjoy the show and come back soon for more unique content from the Cloud Evangelist podcast channel.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

My thanks for the photo of Brian at Summit go to Mr Pulsecaster himself, Red Hat’s Paul W Frields