Category Archives: Opinion

2016, a year of industry friendliness

You may have seen various posts in blogs and social media over the past few days about VMware staff accounts being blocked from joining the Nutanix community website, and the VMware User Group- VMUG- blocking Nutanix staff from leadership committees. I’m not party to the detail or the reasons behind these moves, but I’m surprised at the developments with the backdrop of 2016’s collaborative direction. As an industry we managed so well being friendly in 2016 despite the divisive world landscape with things like the US Election and Brexit, what happened over the Christmas break to mess this up? Here’s a few things I picked up on in the past year which paint a picture of much more inter-vendor friendliness, hopefully the issues in this particular case will be ironed out quickly and we can revert to business as usual.

VMware (and Amazon Web Services)

VMware’s 2016 announcement that you will soon be able to run their hypervisor on AWS may have rubbed a few of the vCloud Air vendors the wrong way by picking a collaboration with their biggest competitor. However, look at the positives- VMware are creating a standard platform whereby customers can take the workloads they run on AWS and port them to one of the smaller vendors if it makes sense to do so. This could even be automated- if AWS is more expensive in a particular month than another provider, some or all of the customers workloads can be migrated across.

The Dell purchase of EMC (and therefore VMware) had a few people worried that the hardware side of the VMware ecosystem would be destroyed- DellEMC would push their own traditional , storage, compute tin and hyperconverged platforms at the expense of the competition. Both Michael Dell and Pat Gelsinger have been consistent in their message that this won’t happen.

There’s also other good signs from VMware with their VM encryption package in vSphere. Rather than providing a VMware Key Management System, or insisting on an application provided elsewhere under the Dell Technologies umbrella- the requirement is just for a KMIP compliant service.

Microsoft Loves Everything

Microsoft also surprised a few people with their friendly approach to former competition recently- even to the extent that Steve Jobs and Amazon’s Alexa featured prominently in a Keynote at a recent Microsoft event I attended.

We’ve seen for some time that Microsoft Loves Linux  and Open Source. And these days they get on pretty well with Apple and Google these days, focusing on their flagship applications on Android, iOS, and MacOS and sometimes adding features there ahead of their own OS.


So, I hope this current grumbling between Nutanix and VMware either turns out to be nothing or everyone turns around and agrees to just get on. The London VMUG team sound like they agree:


IT Pro, Developer, Or Both?- The Results

For the past month I’ve been running a survey using Straw Poll to try and discover how my fellow IT Professionals and Developers see themselves. There’s a not very hidden DevOps elephant standing in the room somewhere, but I was careful not to use that term, or even mention “Ops” anywhere in the strawpoll or related blog post.

Here are the results

Interpret as you see fit, but here are some conclusions I’m drawing

  • Many people working in Computing see themselves as both an IT Pro and a Developer (a third of the respondents)- I take this to mean that in essence they are practising DevOps (at least in it’s most literal form) or otherwise see “Developer” being a subset of a more general “IT Professional” occupation.
  • “IT Professional” was possibly not the best term to use, one friend mentioned on twitter that he saw himself as a “Professional Developer”- a “Developer” vs “IT Professional” implying the non professionalism of the Dev. I suggested in this context perhaps the terms “IT Professional” and “Professional Coder” might be more suitable. Perhaps this is something to follow up in the future.
  • This was my first experience using the Straw application for a poll. It’s very straightforward to use, but I found I needed to work on advertising the poll if I was to get any respondents.

Knock Knock

2013-10-24 13.25.16In a large organisation it’s commonplace to have a large IT organisation with staff taking on specific roles in the infrastructure to deliver part of the IT service. However, it’s often the case where a colleague outside of IT will always go to their nearest IT person regardless of whether that individual is “first line” support or whether their skills and permissions are suited to solving the case at hand. Continue reading

ITAM- It’s all about the questions

imageIT Asset Management has taken up quite a bit of my time over the years. Creating the “IT Inventory” is often a challenge in an organisation, building and keeping accurate records of hardware and software once the number of devices grows can be difficult and isn’t a “do-once and forget” task. It’s common to start with a discovery session – either by scanning the company network or sending someone round with a clipboard. For me, however the first step is all about the questions; what do we want to ask the database to tell us?

Continue reading