Long Live the Cloud!
I was asked to give some remarks this week about innovation, ideation, to characterize the past 4 years spent working with cloud infrastructures and to share some thoughts on the next development cycle.
Travel back in time for a minute with me; May 2007.
The DOW was at 14,000, final preparations were being made for the VMW IPO, your house was probably worth a bit more and there were only a handful of funded teams working on cloud projects in the Americas. The first public cloud was about a year old and no one knew what a private cloud was. 800-146 was in its first draft for comments; Merrill Lynch (still an independent company) wouldn’t release its report calling cloud a $100B opportunity for another year. The first Federal CIO appointment was still 2 years away.
The industry was a few dozen folks on the west coast and a few dozen folks on the east coast with fundamentally different views on how the burgeoning technologies centric to disk, compute and network were going to be adopted. Reflection 1: both teams were right. Meta-Data matters, hardware abstraction through virtualization was to be a key enabler and end users needed to be able to self-provision resources pools.
As so often happens, competitive positioning and marketeering for a brief period was more mature than the initial platform deliverables from the nascent development community. Large development organizations got serious about adding to their talent pool, unique IP was created along with multi-year roadmaps to justify advancing the spend columns. Reflection 2: Limit version 1 deliverables. Pay attention when well managed open source projects start competing with your big idea.
Early adopter customers began lining up to bring technologies into their wet labs to proof enterprise capabilities and to help start delivering Infrastructure as a Service. Reflection 3: Early adopters are an absolute key to success. Nurture them. Walk over coals for them. Take them to lunch, the bar, ballgame. Send their spouses flowers. Own the failures and let them take positive credit for favorable outcomes.
Usage cases are a funny thing. One builds a technology for a discreet, validated market and another set of end users (if you are lucky) will adopt it for challenges you never considered. Some will appear, crazy, some visionary. Reflection 4: listen to the crazies. They’re smarter than you and really only want to help you out.
What are the crazies asking for right now? Version 2 and 3 capabilities.
- DevOps level instrumentation and reporting.
- Platform portability.
- More robust rule engines for provisioning, ilm and distribution
- Commercial management tools that work with open source platform derivatives
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