Podcast: David Egts talks Secure OpenShift

If you hadn’t noticed theres a bit of a credit crunch on, it’s affecting every aspect of life including provisioning of every aspect of government and military forces and their supporting services and solutions bodies. Governments and the military use en ever increasing amount of Open Source technologies, and a lot of platforms that have grown up with open APIs and that fit secure accreditation regimes.

We’re talking DISA, STAX, how to get to secure PaaS using OpenShift and how we are helping defence (or defense for those over the pond that can’t spell) get to secured accredited trusted PaaS.

David Egts has been on a podcast here before and appears weekly on the Red Hat Gunnar and David show that I listen to avidly. David recently wrote a great article about how military platforms should not be deployed on proprietary PaaS solutions and frameworks, if you haven’t read it go do so before you listen to the podcast.

Thanks for this show also go out to Red Hat’s Paul W Frields who wrote the amazing Pulsecaster that sits on Fedora and that I used in a very different split channel mode this week thats allowed me to get this remote podcast out fast and in great audio quality considering there is 6000 miles between the two people talking. Also this week both David and I are solely using Samson GoMic’s and the entire thing as usual mixed using the free and open source Audacity DAW. The GoMic is a revelation if you don’t know what I’m talking about follow the link.

Come back soon for two podcasts next week talking CloudForms with James Labocki and OpenStack with Rhys Oxenham.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Podcast: Grant Shipley talks OpenShift

grantpodcastSo I had the opportunity to plan to hookup to record a podcast with Grant Shipley of the OpenShift team when he was in the UK today. Grant is a really good guy and passionate about PaaS and the major gains OpenShift Enterprise makes for Enterprise customers wanting to embrace cloud.

Hear us talk PaaS and talk dynamic environments, Enterprise 1.1 cool stuff for the future and just generally get deep into talking tech.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only


Podcast – Frederik Bijlsma talks Cloud

I’ve been in Frankfurt, Germany this week with my colleague Frederik Bijlsma working on projects and plans, it therefore gave me a chance to take a mobile recording rig with me and to record a podcast. This is what fell out of that recording session.

We talk Open Hybrid Cloud, approaches to Cloud adoption design and deployment, exploring the Red Hat value proposition and avoiding vendor lock in. We talk about how to engage and to look at the key areas that benefit from Cloud planning, PaaS and IaaS. ManageIQ, CloudForms, OpenShift and also the interconnects to all layers of Cloud management.

Next week you’re spoilt, two podcasts one recorded with James Strachan talking FuseSource, recently acquired by Red Hat and another with Ross Lawley of 10gen talking NoSQL goodness.

Download directly or via iTunes, Stitcher or Podfeed. Alternatively if you want to use your podcast client of choice add the RSS via – http://cloudevangelist.libsyn.com/rss

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Cloud: Open Business Transformation

A lot of attention this week has been focused on comments made in an interview with Barclays Bank on how their use of Linux allowed them streamlined and focused development environments and how use of Linux and Open Source confirmed their internal strengths to get to first base quicker and faster, saving a huge amount of budget in the process.

Barclays are a thought leader, they’re a great company who understand how changing the ethos and supporting their people to deliver the platforms and technologies allows them to be one step ahead of many in the same vertical industry. It’s one reason Red Hat work with them and why we put so much effort into supporting their ambitions.

So if Barclays can harness Cloud openly and benefit by association can other businesses use it for transforming not just their architectures but also the underlying ethos that glues IT processes and practices together ? Allowing the adoption of Open Cloud to re-invent or re-imagine what they are able to achieve. Agility has always been a cornerstone of Cloud, elasticity goes beyond availability but also describes methodologies of provisioning to fit both governance and appetite. Using Open Cloud to develop hybrid methodologies to build new structures around your internal capabilities may yet be seen as the smartest move yet for shrewd CIOs facing the ever increasing needs from both internal and external facing customers.

OpenShift has given voice to Red Hat’s ability to work with forward thinking developers at every level across every business vertical. To be able to demonstrate openly with three clicks how you break through existing barriers to Cloud application deployment and management. Tie in JBoss (the underlying glue behind OpenShift) and you have an agile structured development environment world class and ready for application deployment as well as those organisations who are realising that migration from WebLogic and Websphere makes JBoss a more advantageous platform than just being a JRE stablemate.

Barclays aren’t the first, they may be one of the most vocal and supportive, but the world is waking up to the fact that if you are sensible, if you understand business process and bottom line effects on your business – you avoid vendor lock in, and you think Open.

We’ve worked very hard over the last five years to build a solution set of technologies as part of engagement at the customer level to get existing enterprise customers often drowning in older legacy less flexible legacy platforms to start thinking openly. The Red Hat Pathways engagement model is proven to work and is a great starting point when you are starting to consider how you re-imagine and re-focus your business process methodology around harnessing the best of Open Source. This is never more critical when it comes to the decision making around Cloud. The video below gives you a brief snapshot of what it is and how it can be engaged with.

Below you’ll also find two more online resources to help you think about why being Open can dramatically increase your agility and flexibility at every level of your business using Red Hat Open Hybrid Cloud.

Red Hat – Get more out of your Open Cloud

Red Hat – Enterprise PaaS

Podcast: Juan Noceda – Mr OpenShift

Juan Noceda who is the Senior Product Manager for OpenShift at Red Hat is in London this week with Ashesh Badani General Manger of Red Hat’s Cloud BU. They are on what can be politely described as a whistlestop tour of customers analysts and thoughtleaders talking Open Hybrid Cloud and OpenShift Enterprise.

So whilst they were in territory it gave me the chance to get Juan in front of one of my microphones and record a podcast.

This is what fell out of that session, well worth a listen. If you’re also still looking for CloudEvangelist on iTunes we’re still waiting for Apple to list it. Soon as we have an update we’ll get it out to you. If you want to subscribe to the RSS feed or from a podcast client or engine of your choice go click the Podcast button in the top menu above.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

OpenShift Enterprise is here !

Yesterday evening UK time we launched OpenShift Enterprise On-Premise PaaS to great applomb. I’ve been sworn to secrecy with the implied threat of being sat on if I’d talked about this or even hinted at it in the run up to launch so sorry this is the first time I can even mention it “in the open”.

OpenShift Enterprise IS A BIG DEAL. Let’s make no bones about it, OpenShift is one of the most talked about hot properties in Cloud and rightly so. Since we first launched on OpenShift on AWS it’s gone viral, demand has been off the scale. Demand then started to creep up regarding when we were going to make this available in an on-premise supported solution for Enterprises and Channel Providers to be able to consume.

Today we reached that milestone, a culmination of a lot of hard work from across Red Hat. The goal of being able to have a supportable carrier class enterprise ready on-premise PaaS platform extends and underwrites Red Hat’s value proposition in Cloud. It’s a major opportunity out the box for organisations that were or are putting off moving apps or extending their reach to public cloud to be able to do more in house with the flexibility and proven power of OpenShift. This immediately means more risk averse companies can build OpenShift into their governance models building within enshrined network boundaries.

So all the cool flexible power you were used to in OpenShift on AWS now extends to the enterprise. That means out of the box fast scaling cloud application platforms. Rocket fast application development pace, secure and scalable. And if you can administer a RHEL box you can deploy and support OpenShift. So immediately you have better productivity and an opportunity to further embrace Cloud at your own pace on your legacy on-premise hardware.

I also totally recommend reading Jimmy Guerrero’s great launch piece here which gives a technical overview of the building blocks of OpenShift Enterprise and talks about the cartridge based functionality of OpenShift.

You can read more on this great blog posting from Ashesh Badani, and also read the press reaction with these links below.


Cloud – The Hidden Costs of Saying No

In the mid 1970s one of Britain’s most eminent theoretical physicists, pioneer quantum physicist, pure mathematician, metaphysicist (now residing in New Jersey aged 89) wrote an article called “The Hidden Costs of Saying No”. That man was Freeman Dyson who to this day is one of the most forward thinking scientific engineers to have ever walked this earth. His work in nuclear physics and quantum computing all led to major advances in things that we take for granted today.

The paper he penned in 1974 first crept across my desk as a student in the early 1990s and it’s as probably completely relevant today as it was the day it left his typewriter on that spring day in the mid 1970s. At the time I remember reading it as part of work I was doing around environmental technologies and investment in technology. Didn’t think I’d ever be pulling it out again but it’s pertinence to where we are today in Cloud is enormous.

The argument made in the paper essentially argues eloquently that the price we pay for not doing something should be considered carefully during the decision process, I can pull some key phrases out the paper here – and thirty eight years on they still resonate and are applicable to technology processes today.

Freeman writes “it is not enough to count the hidden costs of saying yes to new enterprises. We must also learn to count the hidden costs of saying no. The costs of saying no may be high, although they are often uncertain and intangible. Our existing political processes introduce a strong bias into the consideration of new enterprises”

We need to know more accurately the costs of saying no, and we need procedures that allow a more realistic weighing of uncertainties when knowledge is lacking.”

In a nutshell Freeman described a lot of the things we take for granted working using Open Source methodologies and technologies. Daily development routines and complex decision making that is sped up by the adoption of combined global sharing of ever changing but singularly stable code trees. That code polished and brought to an enterprise market by Red Hat. Saying no to established costly proprietary ways of working that tie us into vendor lock in but also slow down the establishment and the stabilisation of future technology advancement.

In Cloud we have tangible decisions to take and those decisions impact on our core existing infrastructures as much as they do on our future road maps both for technology advancement and technology adoption. This also often the shapes of our businesses as we grow them either by harnessing more intelligent open ways of working. I am fortunate in working with some of the best and brightest from MIT and Dartmouth. I can count in my Rolodex (ok so artistic licence my email address book) some of the most capable technologists on the planet. We all, to a man (or woman) have grown careers and fostered approaches to our working days by sharing. We are daily creating pathways openly and in a community that stands up to be counted. In Cloud it’s no different.

The practical advancements in everything from storage to provisioning, from application deployment to lifecycle management rely on constant re-evaluation of process and often political dogma. We challenge regularly the recognised established old school ways of working in software environments to both satisfy the ever growing needs of our customerbase but also because as fast as we release stable supported code, the underlying network and physical hardware we rely on to pump those ones and zeroes changes. This then affords us new highways to motor down to deliver our cargoes certifying RHEL / RHEV / JBoss / Gluster in a supported release on these latest greatest technology environments. Honing, performance testing, securing and documenting to provide stable and polished deployable environments.

If we look at Platform as a Service, PaaS, a decade ago the decisions needed to get an application into a live environment to be consumed both internally and externally. This would have gone through a whole selection of change controls and also interpersonal relationships and decision making circuits within an organisation. All time consuming.

So we’re talking 2000-2, web based application development wasn’t in it’s infancy but the role of DevOps vs ITOps was a lot less equal than it was now. Silo’d mentality meant disproportionate decision making was often weighed to the advantage of the greater good rather than advancement. Open Cloud affords us now in 2012 the ability to utilise the best our developers can deliver and get that out in a safe and supportable manner and to do it using a range of tools, languages and libraries like never before – and to share this globally.

I truly believe the last proprietary technologies we will see in the datacentre are VMWare and to a lesser much smaller extent (because of current adoption levels) Microsoft’s HyperV cloud technology. While you could see that as a contentious statement the law of diminishing returns dictates that there is less available funding for IT projects globally, that our masters and our consumers are more savvy and expect more for their pound, euro, dollar, rupee, yen etc. To critically be able to do more with less headcount to be able to maintain what we have but to get to the next level with regards to being able to harness and deliver against business need.

The only way you can do that is openly.

The only way you can do that if you understand real world sane economics at a processor core level or at the application development and management level is openly. To therefore sink your investment into a proprietary core product and try and then stretch your IT architectures around something that makes you fit around it not you work to best advantage holds no credible place in the long term procurement strategy of the savvy CIO.

I was at VMWorld in 2012 in Barcelona. I probably will be blackballed for writing this and not get invited back but it reminded me of the same sort of protective over arching ethos of the Windows shows circa 2000-2001. When BackOffice was most at its hyped. BackOffice was great for those who needed a GUI to provision a file and print environment – to stand up a SQL database, to provision a mail system. It was the defacto go to environment of choice for those that counted their technical staff’s prowess by the number of trained staff who could click a mouse and read event viewer without falling into a coma. It was point and click enterprise computing at it’s most basic supplemented by “developers” who using Visual Basic and Visual Studio took runtimes and libraries of precompiled and often MSDN sourced libraries in order to get applications and databases to work. It wasn’t cutting edge. It wasn’t innovative and it’s a reason many of these organisations and system integrators got left behind both in growth and revenue by the more savvy tech startups who went Open and used code from Red Hat and the Open Source community.

For the companies that adopted an open strategy (the companies that have become the dot.com darlings and you rely on daily) they used Linux. They used Samba, they used Apache, they used Exim/Sendmail/Postfix for their mail as they spent money on people and research rather than on per seat licence or per mailbox licencing. They didn’t use Microsoft SQL or Oracle they just used MySQL or Postgres. The very rate they needed to develop using a paid for access model would have broken them but also the technology sucked (a lot) both from a performance perspective but also because you couldn’t get under the hood and tinker. They also contributed back – sharing information and sharing modifications for the common good. They challenged the hidden costs of saying no by embracing opportunity cost and common technical challenges rather than signing a EULA and waiting for the next MSDN CD box to arrive in the post.

The forward thinking companies who became the backbone of the internet relied on Linux. Not Solaris, not SCO, not Microsoft Windows NT or BackOffice. They deployed at speed and they were able to ride on the back of the speed of advancement of development environments such as PHP, Perl, Python, Java etc to get things done and to get things done stably and openly. These are the companies now with the banked revenue with the earnings figures and the technologies we consume (and Red Hat more often provide the support and provide the backbone to achieve stable platforms to base these technologies).

In Cloud we do the EXACT same thing, we build using what we have and we are brave enough to ask questions to understand what we have, and to understand what we need. We change the dynamic of IT by being brave enough to follow the example of Freeman Dyson.

In 1974 as part of this paper Dyson stated “Technology has always been, and always will be, unpredictable. Whenever things seem to be moving smoothly along a predictable path, some unexpected twist changes the rules of the game and makes the old predictions irrelevant.” A more visionary statement you are less likely to find in any management textbook or MBA guidance.

And for those who try to challenge and control or dictate privacy regulation or to impose territory or sovereign specific controls on Cloud. Beware, Freeman Dyson saw you coming nearly forty years ago and cleverly ties in William Blake’s writing he states with such punch that our elected officials in the EU and in other countries should take heed from:

The other lesson that we have to learn is that bureaucratic regulation has a killing effect on all creative endeavor. No matter how wisely framed and well intentioned, legal formalities tend to become inflexible. Procedures designed to fit one situation are applied indiscriminately to others. Regulations, whose purpose was to count the cost of saying yes to an unsound project, have the unintended effect of saying no to all projects that do not fit snugly into the bureaucratic system. Inventive spirits rebel against such rules and leave the leadership of technology to the uninventive. These are the hidden costs of saying no. To mitigate such costs, lawyers and legislators should carry in their hearts the other lesson that Blake has taught us: “One Law for the Lion and Ox is Oppression.”

Freeman Dyson didn’t invent Open technologies but he does talk a lot of sense. At Red Hat we like to think that the paradigm shift that is leading us to Cloud has a backbone that is empowered by open creative technological folk wearing red fedoras that want to understand how you can get to Cloud today, securely safely and empowering you to be able to answer the difficult question you may face when positioning open technologies vs proprietary stacks. How much does it cost to say no ? After reading this article you should be able to answer a lot of that question yourself. Working with Red Hat we’ll help you get the rest of those answers using the knowledge we’ve worked on over the last thirteen years in the enterprise marketplace.

I was also at GigaOM Structure in Amsterdam recently and Brian Stevens from Red Hat sat on stage doing a fireside chat and was asked the question whether Github was the new Linux ? The question made me giggle nervously as Linux is Linux – there was no polished answer but it relies on a company such as Red Hat and a thought leader such as Brian, Paul Cormier or Jim Whitehurst to continue to prove that our work and our mission statement shares the same punch as Freeman Dyson’s almost prophetical paper did way back in 1974.

The same level of expectation around our support of OpenStack being critical for open hybrid cloud aligned with our proven Red Hat stack and we are doing it openly and transparently as Platinum members of the OpenStack Foundation. You can get the latest Folsom technology preview by clicking here for RHEL users. Challenging to say no to proprietary working methodologies, aiding and maturing OpenStack and the whole Cloud paradigm.

There’s one future-proof cloud and it’s open

Happy Thanksgiving, thanks for reading. With grateful thanks to Freeman Dyson one of the greatest technologists in the modern world. The original Sheldon Cooper.