A Story of Rebuilding a Steinway, reminds me of the hidden complexity in Data Centers

For those of you who subscribe to Amazon Prime you can watch "American Grand." The web site for the movie is here.  http://www.pianomovie.com


One of the stories coming across from the main character Richard Davenport is how there are barriers between those who play pianos and those who make and maintain pianos.

Most pianist are ignorant about their instrument and as a group they are more uninformed than players of other musical instruments.

Take this quote and modify it to .

"Most cloud staff are ignorant about their hardware environments and as a group they are more uniformed than other technology developers of the technology they deploy on."

You could say it is because that is because it is the cloud and they shouldn't care.  After watching American Grand, another view you may have is some of greatest race care drivers have intimate knowledge of how their cars are made and maintained.

The best cloud infrastructure executives are curious about all the details and care.

Maybe only those who are driven to be the best care about the details they cannot see.

Why I liked "Becoming Steve Jobs" Book

I just spent the last 21 days slowly reading the book "Becoming Steve Jobs."  The book has glowing reviews from many.  And Apple executives present and past think this is a better story than the other Steve Jobs book.

I worked at Apple from 1985-1992 so I didn't interact with Steve when he was there.  These were the days of John Sculley.  From an outsider I watched the rise of Pixar and even saw the Luxor Jr at Siggraph in 1986.  Ed Catmull's book Creativity Inc gives insight into some things that Steve learned from Ed.  And "Becoming Steve Jobs" tells the story of how Steve went from Apple to Next and Pixar and back to Apple and was transformed.

One of the best descriptions I found of the book is in the Source Notes at the end of the book.  Beyond where most would stop reading.

providing a deeper understanding of Steve Jobs’s ever-evolving arsenal of entrepreneurial skills and capabilities, and the deepening of his almost messianic drive to have an impact on his world. We want to show how it was fueled to an unusual degree by his unique gift for being an autodidact, and by genuine idealism as well as his occasionally scary obsessions, his rigid and austere yet consistently well-thought-out aesthetic standards, his often pompous sense of mission. All along, he held a genuine compassion for the anxieties and needs of ordinary people who want to find new tools to empower and improve themselves in a world that grows more complex, cacophonous, and confounding every day. So for us, this is an entirely new story.

— Schlender, Brent; Tetzeli, Rick (2015-03-24). Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader . The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

My Last Uptime Symposium visit, 2016 they move to Dallas

I wasn't planning on being at Uptime Symposium this year, but it turned out I had some other business in San Jose this past week and I wanted to catch up with some data center friends.  So we met at the Hyatt Regency hotel bar.  It was well worth my time to be at the bar so I went back the next night.

The bar crowd was a bit light, but I still had good conversations.  Helped out a power company guy who was going to have a media event with an environmental person.  Chatted about design ideas.  Who is where and what they are doing.

One of the little known facts is Uptime Symposium is planning on being in Dallas in 2016.  This could change as any event planning can do, but they usually plan this stuff well over a year out. The staff friend also said this is part of a plan to take Uptime on the road.  People from East Coast will travel to Santa Clara given the density of users.  The West Coast people are there.  Will these two crowds travel to Dallas or other locations?  What other cities have the density of users in the SF Bay Area?

I have gone to Uptime Symposium in Orlando, NYC, and Santa Clara.  Now I just go to the hotel bar where the conference is.  Next year I extremely doubt I will be in the Dallas area to go to the bar.  So this is my last Uptime Symposium.

The data center events aren't what they used to be.  In April 2016 is Data Center World in LV.  In May Uptime will be in Dallas.  In May 7x24 will be in FL.  And in July DatacenterDynamics is in SF.

7x24 Exchange Conferences have turned into my preferred data center conference.  Why?  Because more of my friends are there.  And every event I make a few more.  I learn a lot too.  You can argue what event has better presentations which depends on your experience.  Where I learn the most is chatting with some of the smartest people in the industry.  Which is usually at the hotel bar.  :-)

PS, in the picture above you can see three of smartest DC people in the industry. I left the image a bit dark and low resolution to make it harder to recognize, but if you know them you'll recognize them right away.  And all three will be at 7x24 Exchange Orlando.

Last Day for Early Bird Registration 7x24 Exchange Spring Conference

I am going to 7x24 Exchange Spring and today is the last day for early bird registration. http://conferences.7x24exchange.org/spring15/

For a short time I was debating whether I should go.  I've gone for 4 years and 2 conferences per year.  Chatting with a data center executive who has attended just as many he was debating as well,  after a quick discussion we both agreed we are returning.

One of my data center friends who now works for Uptime Institute originally suggested I attend 7x24 Exchange years ago. Of course at the time he didn't work for Uptime.  Am I going to Uptime? No.  Am I hosting a party next week?  No.  Honestly Uptime Institute and 451 Research doesn't come up in any of my discussions.  So why would I go.

As one of my friends pointed out the Data Center industry organizations are like religions.  AFCOM/Data Center World, Data Center Dynamics, Gartner Data Center World, 7x24 Exchange.  And like religions they appeal to people for different reasons.  I've been to all of them.  And I favor 7x24 Exchange.  They are consistently growing while everyone else is shrinking as the overall data center ecosystem shrinks.

The data center ecosystem is shrinking?  Yes.  It is.

Even as it shrinks there are some that are holding steady. 7x24 Exchange a non-profit is doing fine.

Copper River Salmon season starts today, Eaglet delivers a fish to our back door

Today, May 15, 2015 is the start of Copper River Salmon season.

"Alaska Air Cargo is proud to deliver the largest catch of wild Copper River salmon from our namesake state to the masses here in Seattle and across the country," said Betsy Bacon, Alaska Air Cargo managing director. "As the salmon season gets into full swing, our team is prepared to continue to bring fresh Alaska salmon to restaurants and consumers in the Lower 48 and points beyond."

Copper River Salmon will be on the menu soon.

This morning I heard a thump out the door and looked out saw this fish.

An Eaglet (young eagle) had just flown by and being a youth was clumsy with his catch and dropped it.  Luckily he/she didn't decide to try and fetch it back.

Is Litbit Orchestration service like Biztalk Server and other Application Integration Suites?

Many of my data center friends ask have I heard anything what Litbit is doing.  No.

So I checked out the Litbit video that has been up since Nov 2014.

When I saw the video say it was about Orchestration it reminded me of Biztalk Server.

Extend your applications across enterprise and cloud
Keep your apps connected across private and public cloud environments. Deploy BizTalk Server on premises and leverage Microsoft Azure BizTalk Services and Service Bus in the cloud.

Provides Business-to-Business (B2B) and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) capabilities for delivering cloud and hybrid integration solutions.

Service Bus is messaging infrastructure that sits between applications allowing them to exchange messages in a loosely coupled way for improved scale and resiliency.

Here is a Gartner Magic Quadrant on the Application Integration Suites. http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1YJ9WDM&ct=140731&st=sb

Application integration is defined as making independently designed applications work together. In 2008, Gartner published a seminal paper (see "Understanding the Three Patterns of Application Integration") identifying three integration patterns:

Data consistency — The objective of application and data integration is making data across all applications consistent. For example, if a customer changes a billing address in a CRM application, that changed data is pushed out to other applications (such as accounting, billing and ERP) so those applications can update their databases with the new data.
Multistep process — This entails orchestrating the execution of a sequence of business process activities, regardless of whether these activities are performed by software (applications or services), humans or intelligent devices, such as a printer or a programmable logic controller. Comprehensive support for multistep process integration involves supporting multiple styles of business integration, including system-to-system, collaborative, document-centric and administrative.

Composite application — This creates what appears to be a single application, purpose-built from the ground up to address user requirements. When examining the deployment of the application, users will find components, both business logic and data, that are part of existing production applications.

We'll see what Litbit finally announces, but from the video Youtube it looks like LitBit is a data center use case of Biztalk Server.

Here is a Biztalk Orchestration demo.