Podcast: OpenStack Developer Summit 2013


I’m in Portland, Oregon at the OpenStack Developer Summit 2013. Place is buzzing and we released Red Hat’s RDO – learn more by visiting the site, signing up for a user account and downloading everything you need – now.

So we recorded a load of podcasts – heres the first featuring two interviews with Dave Neary talking RDO and the drive behind Red Hat’s rolling OpenStack community release and how to get involved. Bill Bauman is up next talking RDO and OpenStack, talking Summit goodness, hear him at IBM’s tech conference next week in Amsterdam.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Red Hat Summit – A Retrospective

Blessed Are The Sausage Makers (with apologies to John Cleese and Terry Jones)

I’m tapping this article on a tablet at 37500 feet, sat on a plane enroute home from the US. I am taking time to reflect on a long week of activity at the Red Hat Summit at The Hynes Convention Centre in Boston after a week of little blogging.  It was my first Summit, the eighth Red Hat has staged in what has become an annual tour de force. Talking to fellow staffers, business unit coworkers and attendees it was enlightening to hear how an ever evolving company of Red Hat’s commercial and community standing lines up two major assets for public consumption – products and people.

Let me explain why this is a brave and necessary thing to do and carries a heady measure of risk alongside it.

Ready? Deep breath and let’s dive into this one…

As the accepted global leader of Linux technologies and certified platforms there is an ever present risk when staging anything public that you are putting the entire sausage shop on display. Sausage shop meaning everybody likes eating sausages, but very few people want to know what actually goes into the constituent parts of the recipe, just accepting the final product meets muster and tastes acceptable. Red Hat by its nature can be aligned to a sausage shop in its most literal sense. Like a butcher procuring meat, herbs and raw ingredients from best of breed organic or commercial sources, Red Hat has its own production environment. Its raw ingredients for flagship product grow free range and generically organically, in a well fed and nurtured ecosystem of community and commercial developers alike. Akin to the sausage maker, Red Hat also has to pick the best constituent ingredients and make them certifiable, supportable and marketable to an ever growing market globally.

But here’s where we differ from that local quality butcher, producing his goods in quantities that are manageable to suit market expectations, or supplying his/her local customer base with first class quality product in small batches. Red Hat has to take the resulting products be they Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Enterprise Middleware, management clustering technologies or even Red Hat Storage and get them to a global market, whilst still maintain the discernible and overwhelming local quality, rather than a mass marketed less tasty version of a factory produced product. To bring products, solutions and consumable visions we convened in Boston and we opened the doors.

Still with me?

In the keynotes, discussions, learning labs, in the corridors and the restrooms, breaking bread and downing espressos sit the very customers who invest in the disruptive technology we bring to the fore, but also community developers who make the ingredients we put in the sausages. So, when our subject matter experts, our keynote speakers and project leads got up in any of the sessions the room was populated with the consumer, the ecosystem and the future potential technology leaders of products platforms and solutions that become the household names of the future.

Try doing that at other computer conferences from major global vendors, where you meet the sausage salesmen and get the mini samples on cocktail sticks. Vendors who ofen first make you accept an end user licence agreement, or vendor lock-in as part of normal commercial practice, before you’ve had a chance to truly understand what the sausage actually tastes like and what went into it.

To stand in a room of your peers at Red Hat Summit takes on another dimension when you then remember that we are in a remarkable model. Major contributions to the Linux kernel are sponsored (by way of companies such as our sponsors Intel, IBM and Cisco) from the .org communities and the daily learning we do globally as an organisation from our end users means the model has reached accepted maturity.

Red Hat in the marketplace is way out ahead by a distance over its nearest rivals in commercially supported Linux, JBoss Enterpise Middleware and on a fast track to understanding the quandary of Big Data / unstructured data etc. This year with Cloud on every analyst’s notebook, our finest sausage makers stood up on stage and put their wares on display to their most discernible audience, the people who care – genuinely – the people who won’t accept smoke and mirrors. The next tech leaders of the ever developing Internet and Cloud age.

For those of you reading this blog, who have proprietary technologies deployed as mainstays of your daily environments, let me throw you a curve ball you cannot afford to drop. The technologies you use – that have the complex multitier EULA agreements and that you cannot get under the hood of – dilute your achievable growth and your technical capabilities.

Never more so is that demonstrated than at a Red Hat Summit. For those organisations who think Open Source and Linux is a cheap and secondary alternative to shrinkwrapped traditional site licence ways of working, you have never been at more risk of being left behind. Left behind commercially, technically and by reflection you potentially fail to return shareholder value to your companies. Every organisation and individual PAYING to attend Summit in Boston walked away armed and tooled even more to continue their evolution and growth.

If you roll your eyes and think this is a Cathedral vs Bazaar Eric Raymond doctrine you couldn’t be more wrong, the top ten emerging technical companies that have become household names all have one thing in common, they ALL use Red Hat Enterprise Linux derived stacks. They rely on Red Hat to go to work and they rely on having that flexibility and power to go from startup to legend.

Everyone attending contributed, shaped and consumed our sausages. I have no doubt (and with the new Red Hat Innovation programme for helping start-ups emerge) that sitting in the labs, meeting rooms, the Spice Cafe and the breakout sessions are people who will be at the very forefront of tools and technologies each of us will rely on, the next Facebook, the next Google. Some very very bright folk.

They have a commonality apart from understanding the domination of Open Source over proprietary models. They share one common bond. They contribute to, consume and distribute with passion the products platforms and technologies we release. They rely on our products and thought leadership as much as we value listen and benefit from their friendship, their tenacity and vision as we build the next house of Red Hat.

Openly, transparently and with purpose the “revolution” took a massive well practiced and sure step beyond angry young men to accepted industry giants, who have grown to a revenue of over one billion dollars annually. Press I spoke to picked up on it, analysts are aligned and anyone who chooses to pay scant regard to the facts in play is running the risk of being marginalised.

Summit 2012 was a turning point. For all of those who attended, spoke, contributed, organised and delivered it – thank you and we hope to see you next year 11-14 June back at the Hynes. Pre-register your interest online here now

Catch up with the Red Hat Summit Video’s

All the keynotes and a lot of the presentations are online right now. Watch them in MP4 and OGG format by following the link to our mediabank here.

Pictured above, some of the Red Hat EMEA Solution Architects run into each other at Boston Logan after a long week of booth duty and customer interaction at Summit – a successful and busy week.

Cloud: The Nuts and Bolts

“We’ve talked about being in an information age for the last 60 years but now we’re finally in the information economy” were the words that came out of Jim Whitehurst’s mouth last night when we sat in a packed auditorium at Red Hat Summit 2012. “60 years after the invention of the computer we are now finally getting to standardized piece parts, what i’d call cloud computing,” – Jim offered up, comparing how the invention of the Autolathe in the 1800s had created a fertile manufacturing capability to produce standardised components rather than needing bespoke craftworkers in-situ with a tap and die set to produce nuts and bolts. Painting the analogy corectly that without these standardised QE’d parts we wouldnt have had the later combustion engine or manned flight etc. He had a point, and by painting a mental picture to the room he nailed it.

Taking the hype out the analogy of Cloud and returning it to a compartmentalised view of the constructs of Cloud. Comparing Red Hat to an ACME rocket type company of the industrial era Jim essentially pegged Red Hat into a really exciting place. That place is the hub room / the machine room and the factory floor of open standardization for the pieces Enterprises need to virtualise and to get to Cloud, to make it accessible and to make it palatable. Reducing the time to market and reducing the risk and the complexities without watering down the governance and the risks.

It was interesting sitting in the room as it filled up noting that this wasn’t an Apple product release ala Tim Cook / Steve Jobs, or some fanbois event. It wasn’t LinuxWorld Expo or akin to anything I’d been to in my sixteen years in Linux. Remember I’ve never been to Summit, I’m the newbie around here, although I work  for Red Hat USA we were having our first child this time last year and I was preoccupied with diapers so I never made it out. The people in the room, the PAYING attendees are people who use Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss as part of their everyday go to work, and as a snapshot of the userbase they represent people that a decade ago you probably would have presumed to be large scale Microsoft users but who have migrated away to a more resilient sensible way of working.

These people sat in the room hanging on Jim’s every weighted word aren’t pasty faced sysadmin types who you’d stereotypically assume (if you believe the mental picture painted by many) who sit and write shell scripts and can build you a LAMP stack in the time it takes many of us to finish reading a daily paper. No. These people listening to Jim, spending time in the partner summit boothes post keynote (in their thousands) were paying to listen to the guy desribing the journey they’re about to go on .

The same people who listened to the amazingly cool JBoss demo Burr Sutter’s team kicked ass with in the JBoss keynote slightly earlier are also the customers and technical exponents who are building the next technical generation of achievement. Not just absorbing and utilising subscriptions but relying on there being Open Standards and componentised approaches to the interaction of tools, languages, protocols, applications and architecture. These people, sat on plastic chairs patiently aren’t consumers of IT they’re the practitioners of expectation and delivery. In short they’re you and I. They’re tasked with doing more with less and doing it better and brighter than the other guy and the only way they can take that roadtrip is by harnessing Linux. They’re sat in a room in Boston because theres a commonality that says that if you don’t want to listen and you don’t think out the box you will be left behind. It’s understood. A common thread amongst the entire room.

The next three days are going to be extremely full of activity for us Red Hatters, I’ve got interviews, podcasts and meet and greets to schedule, we’ll offer you up some exclusive very cool stuff here over the next 72 hours.

Keep refreshing the site as we go and I’ll try and find time to get this stuff published as quickly as we can.

If you want to keep up with my photos from Summit visit my Flickr album either by following this embedded link or if you look to the right hand navigation column on the blog you’ll see a feed.

JBoss Summit Rocks Boston

So I arrived in Boston, Sunday and today have attended six developer sessions and am sat waiting for Craig Muzilla’s keynote JBoss keynote in a packed room here at the Hynes Convention Centre.

Great OpenShift and Gluster sessions earlier and although it’s almost 4pm here Jim doesn’t kick off Summit proper until 5.30 when Red Hat Summit gets green lit for three days of world leading tech. Having seen how much work the staffers and thought leaders at Red Hat have put in the last few months it’s going to be a doozie.

More to follow

Red Hat Summit 2012: I’ll be there

I fly back out to Boston for the nth time this year but this time no daily drive to Westford, this time it’s an entire week of hard work at Red Hat Summit 2012 at the Hynes Convention Centre.

What is Summit ?

For the last eight years Red Hat has held a major conference that also brings in JBoss World to congregate the worlds foremost thought leaders in technology alongside the leaders in industry and business globally to discuss and brainstorm where we’re going as an industry and to look at innovation, new Red Hat technologies and to work out best practices. It’s all about business transformation powered by Open Source technologies.

I’m there with the Cloud team talking about our latest technology releases and the ethos and best practices around Open Cloud. I’ll also be taking podcast gear to record a lot of stuff (hopefully if I can chain people to a table) and recording and writing webinars for release over the summer period. It’s going to be a busy week and I’m teaming up with Red Hat UK’s Graham Biswell to get out there and back as Boston seems to be entirely booked up for hotels as there are a multitude of conferences on next week.

So Who is Speaking from outside Red Hat ?

The keynote speakers for Red Hat Summit and JBoss World 2012 are top executives from companies at the forefront of the evolving technology landscape, including:

  • Accenture’s Adam Burden, executive director, Cloud Application & Platform Services;
  • HP’s Steven Dietch, vice president of worldwide cloud, HP Enterprise Group;
  • IBM’s Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, Software Group;
  • Intel’s Pauline Nist, general manager of Enterprise Software Strategy; and
  • SAP Sybase’s Irfan Khan, senior vice president and chief technology officer

There will be a multitude of keynotes from Red Hat board and management and some great content from Matt Hicks, Eric Schabell, Juan Noceda, Joe Fernandes, Issac Roth, Chris Wells, Thomas Cameron and many others. I’m really looking forward to it.

Red Hat nowadays is a major corporate size company with approaching 4500 employees so you can imagine spread across the globe its necessary to sometimes get downtime with virtual team members who otherwise only converse via the ether.

To find out more information on Summit or to book attendance (it’s cheaper to pre book) then follow this link.