He said he never sought lot of advice because if he had gone and asked people what he was about to do and work, they would have told him it wouldn’t work and dissuaded him from taking up the venture. “I would experiment experiment, test, go fast, fail fast. Planning is fine but generally over-rated,” said Dell, who founded the company as a student.
Also, see TPM’s coverage.
I’ll have a little cameo on a webinar tomorrow, speaking broadly to Dell’s cloud strategy. It’d a good chance to see what we’re up to now-a-days and how we think about it. This will be one of the first, public overviews of our cloud approach since we announced we were no longer building and running our own public cloud.
And, it’s got a snappy title: Is Cloud Meeting Your Expectations? Today’s Results….Tomorrow’s Promises, and the agenda:
According to IDC, cloud revenue is growing at more than 25 percent a year, and will reach $55.5 billion by 2014. I think we can agree that cloud is here to stay, but is your organization seeing the results they expected? This session will show customer success in adopting cloud; time/cost savings, and improvements to the quality of life. There will also be a discussion on up-and-coming cloud trends and how Dell is addressing these and simplifying the process with Dell best practices, cloud enabled hardware, software and services.
Join this session to:
- Discover how organizations like yours are successfully adopting cloud and seeing real business results
- Understand future trends that can affect your organization, and hear how Dell is addressing these with the right solutions: hardware, software and services
- Learn 3 key steps in making cloud adoption work best for your organization
You’d probably also like this one with Barton George and John Willis: How IT and Developers Can Join Forces to Innovate in the Cloud.
With the Enstratius acquisition, Dell is getting a group of people with deep influence in the community. Founder George Reese is an O’Reilly author and a cloud pioneer. He is supported by James Urquhart, Bernard Golden and John Willis, all recognized as influencers in the cloud community.
–Alex Williams, TechCruch
— Rob Hirschfeld (@zehicle) May 6, 2013
This is the part I’m most excited about. I’ve worked with and known the team at Enstratius for many years, esp. John Willis who you may recall from the salad days of The IT Management & Cloud Podcast. The talent at Enstratius up and down the org is phenomenal and I can’t wait to start working with them in continuing to build Dell’s cloud portfolio. I’ve had a great time being part of the industry heavy-weights at Dell, and it’ll be a privilege to be part of the combined team.
In a coincidental note, check out Barton’s interview with John Willis on culture and DevOps, from last week’s DevOpsDays Austin.
The video for the think tank I mentioned last week is up. They say they’ll slice it into smaller chunks as well, but if you’re interested in a discussion of sorting out how “The IT Department” can do more than keep the lights on, here’s 60+ minutes on it!
Among my other doings at Dell, I helped put together and now run the internal incubation program. The idea of the program is to provide a sort of internal angel investment fund and program for employees who want to develop ideas. Project Sputnik is the first project we’ve done, and the second one, RIPTide is now emerging into public.
The idea behind Project RIPTide (headed up Shree Dandekar) is to pull together a business intelligence platform for the mainstream. There’s a tremendous amount of now affordable horse-power (in hardware and software) available to customers of any size now but the last mile of hooking it up all together is a tough one. Shree’s idea was to take advantage of Dell Boomi, some beefy hardware, and BI tools to help smaller companies get better analytics over their business.
When we were in the concept phase of this project, I was cooking up all sorts of fanciful use cases like helping food-truck owners analyze Twitter in real-time to find where people are longing for a taco…so they can drive the truck over there to sell some grub.
It’s been exciting to watch Shree put this project together and even find an initial customer, Team Express. There’s more to go with the project and we’d love to get your input if you’re interested in this kind of thing. Check out Shree’s overview from earlier this week.
One of the tools in Project Sputnik is the “cloud launcher.” The idea for this tool is to help instrument a DevOps life-cycle: the tool models out a simulated cloud on your desktop during development, and then deploys it to “real” clouds once you’re ready. We demonstrated one version of the cloud launcher at Dell World this week that uses juju.
In the meantime, OpsCode’s Matt Ray has been working on another approach (which he describes in the above video) that uses Chef under the covers. See the code checked into the Sputnik repo as well. I’m looking at these two versions as proofs of concept, or even “spikes” to explore how to best implement the idea. We’re eager to get feedback and engagement from the community to figure out which approach (or a third!) is most helpful.
Moving Beyond The PaaS Paradox
In my strategy role I’ve been looking at PaaS for awhile now. In doing that, I keep hitting upon what I call “The PaaS Paradox.” If you take any given analysts forecasts for PaaS, the overall market looks “bad” compared to IaaS and SaaS: $2.9B by 2016 by a recent Gartner estimate – or about 3% of the ~$110B public cloud market in 2016 (I subtracted out that annoying “advertising” segment that Gartner tracks).
And then you have some real gorillas already moving in there: Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, IBM, Oracle, and so on. While several billion may seem amazing to individuals, in the IT industry, it’s not much…esp. if you’re competing with those guys. (As another data point along the PaaS road: EngineYard helpfully reports its revenue from time-to-time, $28M back in July, 2011.)
And yet, everyone is always going on about how PaaS is mega important. Each year it’s going to be “the year of PaaS,” and analyst survey data always indicates high interest in PaaS.
My theory has been that when most people, esp. all those gleeful survey respondents, think of PaaS they’re not thinking of “pure PaaS” (or 1st and even 2nd generation PaaS). Instead, they just are thinking “doing software development with cloud technologies and practices.” Once you re-calibrate your whiz-bang charts to include all of software development, “PaaS” seems a lot more attractive.
I ran this by Jeffery Hammond and James Staten in a conversation the other day and they framed it in another, interesting way: people want the ability to run, and target different frameworks in a cloud context. Heroku is the classic of example of this. While Heroku is a PaaS, it’s more about being able to run rails (and plenty of other languages and frameworks now). This flexiblity fixes that unsettling feeling that 1st generation PaaS had: you were using, essentially, a propriety framework that was limiting your choice.
Or, as Stephen puts it: PaaS is the new middleware.
With that framing, you can escape the PaaS Paradox, and PaaS is a lot more interesting. So far, Cloud Foundry has seemed one of the better architectural fits for this “PaaS as middleware” think.” As we move “Project Fast” through (the new) Dell Cloud Labs, I’ll be eager to see how that architecture plays out and even more excited to see how the Dell community reacts to and participates in the project. As with Project Sputnik, a huge part of what we’re doing is engaging with developers, which sounds like a pretty good way to spend time to me.
Also: check out some demo videos of Project Fast PaaS.