EMC World 2015 – Day 3 Keynote – Live Blog

Starting soon…there’s a rumor that Apple Watches will be given out for Twitter activity…

Started with Ilumenate again – now Jeremy Burton on stage….

Jeremy Burton

  • Talking about Platform 2 vs. 3
  • Platform 2 = dogs, Platform 3 = chickens
  • You take care of your Platform 2 apps and nurse them back to health.
  • You shoot a Platform 3 app and spin another one up.

CJ Desai, Randy Bias, Chad Sakac, Jeremy Burton

  • In the 90’s lot of talk about data warehouses, today a lot of talk about analytics.
  • Lots of themes going by pretty fast…
  • Cloud Aware – cloud API’s and support various Cloud Stacks
  • Open 2.0 – looking more and more at open source.
  • Rack-Scale Flash Storage –
  1. Announced Data Lakes – Isilon and ECS are part of that.
    • Isilon = Scale-Out File & HDFS
    • Isilon – natively supports a ton of protocols – FTP, NFS, SMB, HDFS, REST, NDMP, HTTP, SWIFT
    • ECS = Scale-out File & Block (uses ViPR & ScaleIO under the covers)
  2. Software Defined Storage
    • ScaleIO
    • Very flexible – can run on bare metal, multiple hypervisors
    • Massive Scalability – the larger you scale, the higher the performance goes
    • Got 100M IOPs from 500 nodes
    • 24x better than Ceph for Response time
    • 7x better than Ceph for IOPs
    • Boom! ScaleIO now free to download – customers would say they used Ceph b/c they could try it for free….so let’s take care of that.]
    • VXRack – can start with 1/4 rack and go up to 1,000 nodes.
  3. Cloud CI – Project Caspian
    • Randy Bias on stage – more Twitter followers than Chad
    • Came over with Cloud Scaling acquisition – wasn’t sure how it would fit at first but saw it when talking to EMC execs.
    • Open Source is about 3 key things
      • Community – bug tracking, getting help from others, etc.
      • Control – if issues can access the code, etc.
      • Vendor Neutrality – if a certain vendor doesn’t work out, you can change vendors
    • So how do we start big with this?
      • Looking at ViPR controller to open source 
    • SAP Global Head now on stage along with Intel & Verizon execs
      • one big concern when went with ViPR were worried about locking. Were pleasantly surprised when heard would open source ViPR controller.
      • Working closely with ECS & ScaleIO
      • Were you skeptical when heard about open-sourcing ViPR? Closed source to open source is hard…have to focus on end user experience.
    • Openstack – now into that…
      • Fastest growing open source community in history.
      • Sponsors = Cisco, Dell, Canonical, EMC, Dell, VMWare, etc. etc.
      • Lot of things on the open stack truck – so many discrete pieces. So how does EMC help people? In what areas?
        • 1) Scalability – Build something scalable or something infinitely scalar.e
        • 2) Third Platform – focus on third platform/next gen apps
        • 3) Hyper-converged – customers want it to be easy/turnkey but also want to scale storage and compute separately.
        • 4) Easy – easy operational model, day to day operations.
      • That’s a hard list of stuff.
    • Project Caspian – Chad Sakac will be running through this on stage in a couple minutes
      • Fun opening video – showing good and bad lifestyle choices with an Apple Watch app poking Chad Sakac or Jeremy Burton about their day to day lifestyle choices.
      • Showing how can bring racks and nodes online very quickly – then scale out apps.
      • 1) Elasticity – helping that with hardware
      • 2) Openstack – help the application scale that way as well.
      • Design Point = Apache OpenStack but could be other OpenStack distros
      • Now into a ScaleIO demo – similar to ones have seen before.
        • Showing multiple tenants and workloads
        • Can throttle individual workloads in various ways – avoid noisy neighbor issues.
  4. NextGen Flash
    1. Going into DSSD – face off match between Bill Moore & Chad Sakac
    2. 15 node Hadoop cluster with DSSD (Bill) vs. 40 node Hadoop cluster (Chad)
    3. Performance test of DRAM vs. SSD vs DSSD – DRAM is 10-15x faster than SSD…DSSD is pretty close to DRAM.
    4. Fun walkthrough of a bakeoff and showing some analytics on Chad’s health – he got taken off stage by media.

That’s a wrap!

EMC World 2015 – Live Blog – Global Partner Summit General Session

Opening with a gentleman – John Maclean – who was an athlete, hit by a truck while running, and paralyzed from the waist down…his story. He wondered if he could ever do anything…married, have children, etc. His father asked him during recovery – “look how far you’ve come – how far can you go?”


He was training for a triathlon and continued – finished a 141 mile triathlon paralyzed from the waist down.  He later married in 2009 and now has a son.

After 25 years in a wheelchair, he’s learning to walk again since last year – is hoping to enter a triathlon as an able bodied athlete. It’s incredibly hard to take 25 years of internal dialogue and reset that.

Incredible. He did.

He did the triathlon – if he could make it one step at a time and keep going, he could do it.

What’s the takeaway? TABB

  • Think
  • Act
  • Believe
  • Become


Now into GPS session items….Greg Ambulos on stage (some items may intentionally be clear if you’re not an EMC Partner)..

  • High intensity opening video…
    • 189 million of Facebook’s users are mobile-only.
    • Mobile drives half of e-comerrce.
    • Spending on cloud computing will grow at 30% CAGR – Goldman
    • By 2020 internet connected devices will outnumber humans 3 to 1.
  • Ambulos telling his first and last story of white water rafting.
    • It’s amazing how we like stories….he went off the raft accidentally and went over a 70 foot falls.
    • He was only focusing on survival.
    • Flash – XtremIO #1 fastest growth platform in the history of IT

<snip>Next section is in Evernote….feels like shouldn’t disclose partner program details publicly. ;-)</snip>

  • Billy Scannell on stage now…
    • We must have the intestinal fortitude to lead the disruption or risk being disrupted.
    • Lead on-prem expansion and off-prem/on-prem portability.
    • Always awkward when the slides get stuck…
  • Chris Riley – Senior VP, EMC Americas Enterprise Sales
  • Jay Snider – Senior VP, EMC Global Alliances

EMC World 2015 – Day 2 Keynote – Live Blog

Coming from the conference floor this time…yesterday was the EMC Elect lounge. Live orchestra again today…this year is interesting with all the small podiums set around the front. Different dynamic but makes it harder to see presenters…

Yes, when you’re inside the bass pulses…feel it.

Jonathan Martin, CMO

  • Recap of highlights from yesterday – attendees, VCE CEO, shots of the Village and folks biking, Solutions Pavilion last night.
  • It’s amazing how high energy an IT conference is…or is that just the music? 😉
  • Joe Tucci starting off today….then various others. Maritz from Pivotal, Gelsinger from VMware. 2 customers – BMW & NBC Universal. Motorcycle racing champion.
  • Lots of things in the village –
  • Broadcasting live on Periscope

Joe Tucci, CEO of the Federation

  • Starting with talking about the Federation – a bunch of Storm Troopers walk on stage…Joe – “let’s try that again” – now light dancers on stage to classic movie music. Thanks to Illumenate.
  • My job is a bit lighter today…more other folks talking.
  • “May you live in interesting times” – you’re living in unprecedented times.
  • Opportunistic part of the current wave is far bigger than the disruptive side of the wave.
  • EMC has made their choice…how do they help partners and customers do that too?
  • Business don’t want to get Uber’d/Tesla’d/Nest’d/Amazon’d to death.
  • Business Imperative #1 – Go on the offense and become digital.
    • Means have to look at new digital era apps.
    • Each app has 1000x more users and each user has 1000x more data.
    • But…..thousands of legacy datacenter, millions of existing applications, cost $billions to build/deploy, generating $trillions in revenues. If take those away, most businesses stop.
    • Challenge = how to lower cost of existing apps/infrastructure/data center while dramatically increasing innovation and performance + new apps.
  • Business Imperative #2 – Laser focus on cybersecurity.
  • Giving choice while not locking you in – it’s expensive and also needs scale.
    • 70,000 in EMC family of companies.
  • Acquisition cost for Nicira/NSX, Airwatch, Pivotal, ViPR/ScaleIO, XtremIO, DSSD -$6B total. It’s negative earnings this year and next year…..serious investment by EMC.
  • Spock (look a like) on stage – Live Long and Prosper – cool end for the first section.

Customer Profile with BMW

  • Jonathan Martin interviewing Dirk Rüger on side stage – BMW IT
  • Discussing BMW integration with phones – manuals, etc.
  • Am close enough to read the teleprompter….it’s interesting how it’s not quite verbatim.
  • Discussing back end analytics as well as accelerating release cycles.
  • Seeing up to 12 times faster development cycles.
  • Predictive Maintenance – very important and something they’re pushing much further into…..sounds like big data analytics to me.

Paul Maritz – Pivotal – Main Stage

  • Going to continue the theme of digital transformation.
  • Must be able to catch changes in flight….and react fast enough to affect that soon enough that it matters. This is “real time” requirements.
  • 5 big focus items – 2 are product/tech driven – 3 are culture/people driven.
    • There are certain technical things you need to learn, certain ways you need to learn how to operate as an organization.
  • 3 big value proportions for Pivotal
    • How to build a new culture – how to get right people and processes to use the underlying new capabilities – Pivotal Labs
    • Apps around Cloud Foundry
    • how to anchor the technology using in major open source initiatives
  • To unpack those…
    1. Pivotal Labs – unique custom apps and data service business
      1. 450 person, best-of-breed custom apps and data team
      2. “Teach customers how to fish”
      3. High demand for deep transformation!
        • Every customer has realized they need to participate in this digital world….and you can’t buy it off the shelf.
        • Business rediscovering product development…which means rediscovering software development.
        • Hospitals realizing they can’t be in illness business alone….but must also be in wellness business. That requires much more integration with peoples’ daily lives.
        • BMW (and other car companies) realizing that the app matters more than the car. Car companies realizing they need to learn to build compelling digital experiences….and do it fast.
    2. Pivotal Cloud Foundry – open source apps platform portable across clouds
      1. Open-source “operating system” for the cloud
      2. Governed by Cloud Foundry Foundation – Federation, IBM, HP, SAP, Intel+40 others
        1. Trying to keep this open with many other companies
      3. Pivotal offers a distribution that is 1) based on open source and 2) subscription business model
        1. This starts to take the ops out of DevOps….makes it easier/faster.
        2. Replace many metrics with one price – per app, per year – any cloud – hybrid/multi-cloud, managed/unmanaged
    3. Pivotal Big Data Suite – comprehensive Hadoop-based open source suite
      1. Suite of software to analyze data at scale
      2. Exploiting powerful, lower-cost infrastructure (appliance and cloud)
      3. Offering collection of data paradigms, present and future
      4. Based on ODP platform:
        1. Common binary-compatible core to Hadoop
        2. Supported by: Pivotal, EMC, Horton, IBM
      5. Open Data Platform – group of 11 vendors – “enabling Big Data to flourish atop of a common core platform”
      6. Highly fragmented world – trying to help you unify over time the many pools of isolated data, data architectures, license models, etc.
        1. Simple, open data suite.
      7. One price – per core, per year – any/all components – Open Source (ODP) – Appliance or Cloud…..this goes into the Business Data Lake
  • Big 3 themes – People & Platform, Open and Open-Source, Federation-aligned
  • Discussion on stage – Maritz and John Roese (CTO of EMC and also Chairman of Cloud Foundry Foundation)
    • How do you avoid getting trapped in the wrong clouds? (since everything will run in a “cloud” something)
    • Lot of competitors teamed up in this….different than anything John Roese has seen before.

Next profile – Jonathan martin with John McGuinness 

  • Motorcycle racing legend –
  • Isle of Man race – little island – get up to 200 miles per hour
    • Time trial, 90 riders
    • Has won Isle of Man Time Trial 21 times…absolutely insane.
  • Why are you so fast? Has something to do with the size of my….well….
  • He wears a biometric suite with a couple hundred sensors –
  • Gathered 700,000 data points from John and his bike in Spain – open-sourced the data set and trying to figure out what makes John so fast.
  • Also using it to help drive motorcycle safety.
  • Collecting first ever data set from this race – he’ll be wearing this suit for the actual Isle of Man
  • Jonathan Martin rode the bike off stage….cool.

Pat Gelsinger – VMware CEO

  • 6th year at EMC World – 3 with EMC, 3 as guest with VMware
  • Brave New IT – no Orwellian references here. 😉
  • This is a good walkthrough….but at the same VMware’s primary vision (not much new here ;-).
  • 3 Industry Imperatives and matching key VMware initiatives
    1. Hybrid Cloud – it’s not a stop along the way, it’s the world we will live in for years to come.
      • We must build the bridges for this.
      • VMware is focusing on this with vSphere on-premise and vCloud Air.
      • “Outside-In Consumption” – New Apps can start in vCloud Air but move back on-presmise. Old Apps can move to vCloud Air and/or have DR in vCloud Air
      • Handled by common underlying architecture – Software Defined Datacenter
      • Showing a customer list of vCloud Air – I love to see customer logo lists but really need to see actual customer use cases and customer spend amounts (we’ve seen very slow adoption of vCloud Air — the price point is too high relative to the features).
      • VMware is taking their next gen SAP and running in vCloud Air….ok, that’s impressive.
      • EMC World application backend is running on vCloud Air.
    2. IT teams that still focus on assembling piece parts are destined to fail.
      • How do I take solutions and quickly productize them.
      • This is the thesis behind the whole Software Defined Datacenter Strategy.
      • Themes are…
        1. Expand virtual compute to all applications
        2. Virtualize the network for speed and efficiency
        3. Transform storage by aligning it with app demands
        4. Management tools give way to automation
      • Vblock, VXRack, VSPEX Blue – see my notes from VCE Partner Advisory Board yesterday (if you’re Sirius/Varrow)
      • Pre-defined services and workflows – goes on top of all the things from VMware/EMC
      • VMware integrated Openstack – trying to take the stability of DRS, HA, SRM, etc. and combine with the innovation and speed of Openstack
        • Will also be available in Enterprise Hybrid Cloud opportunities
    3. Every business must strike a delicate balance between openness and security.
      • VMware NSX is the first answer here.
        • Proven networking for SDDC
        • Agility and streamlined operations
        • Platform for advanced networking and security
      • Microsegmentation – about half of customers are buying NSX for this. This is HUGE.
      • Cloud native application development and new security approaches.
        • Lightwave – Identity & Access Management for these apps.
        • Photon – lightweight Linux OS in the middle of the stack to enable this stuff.
  • That’s a wrap for Pat Gelsigner.

Customer Profile – NBC Universal

  • Deb Gesimondo, SVP Strategy and Architecture – Jonathan Martin interviewing
  • Customer profiles are hard…must make it specific enough to mean something but general enough you don’t lose people.
  • Summary = we’re doing next gen apps + data analytics, it’s cost-effective relative the benefits – we love how Pivotal & EMC are helping us with that.
    • EMC is helping with the engineered solution side so we can focus on the applications.

That’s a wrap!

EMC World 2015 – Day 1 Keynote – Live Blog

This is a live blog of the keynote…purely what I’m able to keep up with but hopefully somewhat organized.

High-energy live intro music as always (live orchestra)…lots of cool honeycomb usual effects.

  • Jon Martin – Chief Marketing Officer
    • Walking through the agenda, Goulden, Praveen, Jeremy Burton,
    • Lots of special guests joining – Scott Harrison (founder & CEO of Charity Water),
    • VP of Global Delivery at Xerox
    • Lots of Guru sessions – Big Data
    • Lots of things happening at the village
    • DevOps theme to EMC World – (I was at the DevOps day yesterday)
  • Intro section with light dancers – same as we had at VArrow Madness two years ago.
  • David Goulden now on stage…
    • 40,000 attendees from 99 countries
    • Themes is Transformation and Redefine:Next – feel that this is accelerating
    • In 2020 – only 5 years from today – 7 billion people connected.
    • Software is not just about a killer app but also about enabling smart devices – Uber, Wick, IVMS (tracking his dachsund around the house), tracking his car, ordering food.
    • What’s important about this picture is that we’re not going back — we’re only moving forward into this even more interconnected world.
    • 5 key attributes – operate in real time, etc. These requirements are coming from the business – so IT must lead or be left behind.
    • 89% of the Fortune 500 companies from 1955 don’t exist today – EMC thinks current disruption is bigger than any before due to platform shift.
    • Key Characteristics of 3rd Platform – Mobile, Data, Social, Cloud
    • EMC Federation – response to this market change is the driver behind the EMC Federation of companies – EMC, VMware, Pivotal, RSA, VCE
      • Focused on outcomes – engineered solutions that drive to outcomes
    • Enterprise Hybrid Cloud – many customers start on a cost reduction side – Enterprise Hybrid Cloud for that. Varrow and now Sirius have this up in our Charlotte Lab – can demo to customers.
      • Tech foundation is VMware and EMC components – these are Platform 2.5 technologies as they bridge Platforms 2 & 3.
      • 24% reduction in OpEx costs
    • Converged Infrastructure – goal is to focus on apps and business. Vblock out for 5 years now.
      • Walking through VCE portfolio
      • VSPEX Blue/EVO:Rail in there as well
      • What about hyper converged at scale?
    • Announcement – VXRack – engineered system like a Vblock – designed and supported by EMC using EMC and VMware technologies
      • Blocks (Vblock), Racks (VXRack), Appliances (VSPEX Blue)
  • Praveen – CEO of VCE now onstage with David Goulden
    • What is compelling about CI to customers? Getting infrastructure deployed more quickly.
    • Deeper portfolio walkthrough – Vblock, VSPEX Blue (can have it up and going in 10 minutes)
    • VSPEX Blue – bring enterprise capabilities into the hyper converged smaller segment
    • VXRack – opening up the rack and showing it….
      • Built on hyper-converged building blocks – 2RU
      • Can get 2 flavors – compute intensive node or storage intensive node
      • Plugs into vScale architecture/ACI from Cisco
      • Will play with Vision and other EMC tech
      • New class that’s different – Tier 2 workloads, emerging applications
      • How small can VXRack start? How big can it go? Start with 1/4 rack, then 1/2 rack, then full rack – can grow to 1000’s of racks. 38 PB of capacity, 1000 nodes.
      • Can go into vScale architecture
      • Want this to be same customer experience as have with Vblock
  • Back with David Goulden – Praveen offstage….
    • Platform 2 of automotive industry – gas cars
    • Platform 2.5 – hybrid cars – some are very cool
    • Platform 3 – electric….brand new platform. Much simpler in many respects
    • Let’s pull this back to IT…
  • XtremIO – next major release – 4.0
    • No revenue to All Flash Appliance (AFA) market leadership in 18 months
    • Architecture Matters – inline dedup, all data services online all the time
    • Million Dollar Guarantee from last year? No one has cashed it in.
  • VMAX3 – new release with lots of features but specifically can sit in front of other platforms.
  • Data Domain 9500 – replaces the existing DD990 – bigger, badder, not much more than that.
  • DSSD – more on that tomorrow….but it’s super cool!
  • Hope you agree this is not your father’s EMC
  • Strategy for EMC storage is simple…
    • Full family of best of breed storage platforms for Platform 2,2.5,3 – automated by ViPR
    • Family of converged/hyperconverged best of Breed – Vblock, vSPEX Blue, VXRack
    • Partnership with rest of Federation for outcome focused solutions
  • Last thought from Goulden….discussing CharityWater/CharityWalk
  • Now Jonathan Martin & Scott with CharityWater on stage…
    • Raised $350,000 for CharityWater to help 6,000 people in Ethiopia
    • they keep 2 bank accounts – one that the public contributes to (all of that goes to help people), another to cover overhead (paid for by private donors)
    • Transparency – can see all the wells around the world
    • Try a lot of approaches based on the area – with EMC money it’s largely drilling wells. $10k to drill a well.
    • Scott spoke with a mother – 8 of her 10 children died partly from bad water/infections.
  • Jeremy Burton now on stage…
    • Talking with Guy Churchward –
    • XtremIO has a crazy fast ramp – along with Data Domain and VMware
    • Gartner just put a report out – 30% market share – 10% over anyone else
    • Xerox up on stage – VP for Global Service Delivery – walk through of how looked at various IT challenges and one major outcome was XtremIO
      • IT perspective – changed our lives
      • Business perspective – 30% increase in productivity – 20x faster response time
      • No escalations from regional geographies since October 2014
    • XtremIO 4.0 – what’s coming….
      • RecoverPoint, etc. For Varrow/Sirius internal folks – we have a slide on Slack with the 4.0 release features detailed out (just search on XtremIO 4.0)
      • More than just software – 40 TB X-Brick released – up to 8 X-Bricks
      • 2 Million IOPs, Petabyte scale,
      • Availability – VPLEX in front with a fun drive-pulling, stick of dynamite demo to keep the workload online.
    • VMAX3 – not your father’s Symmetrix…
      • Talking about how added ProtectPoint last year – we’ve had a VMAX3 beta in our CLT lab all year.
      • Discussing how can go in front of multiple types of storage.
      • So easy a 5th grader can provision it – bringing a 5th grader on stage (Henry). What do you know about VMAX3? Nothing. What do you know about Halo? A lot.
      • Now a do with Henry provisioning a LUN – showing it live…
    • Cloudboost – can use Networker and Avamar to push out to any cloud.
    • All flash VNXE’s

EMC World 2015 – DevOps Day – Live Blog

This is a live blog of the whole day broken out by section. I’ll add all of the talks by title at the top – if you see something like, just scan down to that section. I thought of doing slide pictures but this will be posted on YouTube later if you want that.

  • Intro
  • LinkedIn – Shwetabh Mittal – Running & Growing an at-scale social media platform
  • Steve Marx – Dropbox – “It’s complicated: the user/admin/developer/platform relationship”
  • Nicole Forsgen, PhD – Chef Software – “DevOps: Next” – Director, Organizational Performance & Analytics
  • Docker 101 – Jonas Rosland – @jonasrosland
  • The Post-Cloud – Where Google, DevOps, and Docker Converge, Nick Weaver – Intel SDI
  • Competing with Software – It Takes A Platform – Pivotal Exec
Note: these notes are not necessarily comprehensive….what I found interesting as it went along.


  • Art Min – CTO? of EMC Code
  • Hash tag – #DevOpsEMC
  • Thank you to a ton of folks – EMC Code Team – Cef, Mooo, VMware, Pivotal, Intel, LinkedIn, Dropbox
  • Following DevOps day format – series of talk in one room, other room has Open Spaces/Whiteboards/Demos/Giveaways/Happy Hour (6-8 PM)
  • Open format – please be respectful – letting anyone attend even if not paid attendee of EMC World
  • Github = http://emccode.github.io
  • Twitter = @EMCCode

LinkedIn – Shwetabh Mittal – Running & Growing an at-scale social media platform

  • How many social media profiles do you have?
    • Everyone has one, 90% with 2, 60% with 3, 40% with 5, 20% with 5….give or take
      • Huge competition for social media users….it’s something of a zero sum game.
      • Key tenets of a social media platform
      • Users – Sky is the limit…7 billion or so. Want to have millions or billions of users.
    • Key Questions
      • How to retain existing users while adding new users to the platform?
        • Trust – Users entrust you with their data.
        • “Data is king”.
        • Don’t use data in ways you don’t want users finding out.
        • Transparency – don’t sneak in changes to the platform, provide tools for users to understand platform/policies
        • Value – like any product management need to know who your users are
      • How to gain leverage in a resource constrained environment to deliver value at a fast pace
        • Closed source vs. open source
        • Open source is huge source of value for this.
        • Every web scale giant is heavily entrenched in Open Source.
        • Square has a 1/4 million lines of open source code, Facebook has 10 million.
        • LinkedIn has started a lot – Voldemort, a couple Apache products, etc.
      • What is the long term purpose of the platform and how to rally towards the vision?
        • Create the “Economic Graph” – snazzy animated image on the screen.
        • Overall goal = create opportunity for talent at massive scale.

Steve Marx – Dropbox – “It’s complicated: the user/admin/developer/platform relationship”

  • For anyone who knows AJ Kuftic, this guys sounds like him.
  • Most people call me SMARX – blog.smarx.com – @smarx
  • Dropbox Platform
    • Goal: allow developers to integrate Dropbox into their apps (there are more ambitious goals but this talk focuses on this one)
    • Users authorize apps & apps act on behalf of users.
    • Giving Trulio as an example – utility service to allow developers to build text message capabilities into their apps
  • OAuth Love Triangle – three roles – 1) Server (Dropbox), 2) Client (App), 3) Resource Owner (User)
    • About half the audience understand how OAuth works (raising hands)
    • Graphic on screen to show how OAuth works
    • Means you can get errors from the utility service
  • Example errors
    • “My WordPress backup failed” – so…what’s the app?
    • “I got error 414, and the developer said it’s a Dropbox bug” – interesting b/c means user went to the developer
    • “My printer can’t get files from Dropbox” – cool that printers can access Dropbox but don’t rev API support very often. Some printers are still based on version 0 of the Dropbox API
  • Challenge that at times developers want user info that developers could gather (but don’t) and ask Dropbox for it (email addresses, etc.). Interesting challenge…
  • It’s complicateder – Dropbox for business has team admins, Admins can link apps to the whole team, “My shared link broke”
    • Now the user comes to Dropbox with an issue….and it’s not Dropbox issue or developer issue but the local admin
  • Policy
    • App approval – Dropbox approves apps for production use if have more than 100 users (under that can do whatever you want)
    • Apps must have a privacy policy to access Dropbox data
    • Apps mustn’t claim Dropbox involvement – example = “Dropbox Photosop”

Nicole Forsgen, PhD – Chef Software – “DevOps: Next” – Director, Organizational Performance & Analytics

  • Researchers have recently been able to find a link between IT investments and bottom line – but ONLY if accompanied by investments in culture, people, IT and automation, and process.
    • Would like to think this is common sense but flies in the face of research.
  • We’d like to think that IT investments make the difference…and they do but not enough to get a leg up.
    • This is even the case for really advanced, really expensive ERP systems.
    • Even if gives you a competitive advantage doesn’t give you a sustained competitive advantage….so don’t see benefits last for very long.
  • “Points of Parity” to keep up rather than “Points of Differentiation”
  • We call it the Productivity Paradox – need it to stay competitive but won’t let you get ahead.
  • DevOps is very different….what makes it look different? It’s like the LEAN and Toyota movements in the 90’s – shifts the whole system. This is a culture shift and engineering shift that’s fundamentally different.
  • High performing DevOps teams are MUCH more agile
    • 30x more frequent deployments
    • 8000x faster lead times than peers
  • Much more reliable
    • 2x Change Success Rate
    • 12x Faster Mean Time to recovery – MTTR
    • How do you sell DevOps to the business? These are huge numbers.
  • High performing IT organizations
    • 2x more likely to exceed profitability, market share, and productivity goals
    • 50% higher market cap over 3 years
  • 3 building blocks
    • Culture & Community – matters for any organization.
      • Novelty is valued, messengers aren’t shot, constant learning climate (if we don’t learn, we will die), Dev & IT Ops work well together
      • Job Satisfaction is the #1 indicator of organizational performance.
      • What’s next? Empathy (understanding the users), Burnout (preventing it), Community ()
    • Tools & Automation
      • What we know as best things to do: do version control for all artifacts (not just app code but EVERYTHING), automated testing
      • What’s next – Continuous Integration (CI) & Continuous Deployment (CD), Microservices Architecture
    • Practice & Process
      • What do we know? Cooperation between Dev & Ops, Peer-review change approvals are good for notification but don’t help with lowering error account (actually introduces more errors)
      • What’s next? Proactive & strategic planning, Value delivery w/business players, continue on Kaizen path (yeah…..I need to learn more about Kaizen)
  • DevOps Research in 2015 – looking at Security and compliance at velocity, CI and CD, Exec and org support
  • @nicolefv & nicoleforsgren.com

Docker 101 – Jonas Rosland – @jonasrosland

  • He spoke at Varrow Madness! :-)
  • Around 50% of the audience has played with Docker
  • Launched a bit over 2 years – launched by DotCloud that later changed its name to Docker
  • Introduced during lightning 5 minute talk at PyCon – didn’t even have time to complete the demo – got pushed off stage partway through his demo
  • Then it just took off with a huge organic community push
  • Beginning of docker – why not scale with just load balancers in front of multiple copies?
    • It’s not just scaling but also about “Separation of Concern”
    • Want to be able to update applications individually.
    • This brings us into Microservices (also mentioned in a previous chat).
  • Microservices = the same application but pulled all the pieces apart.
    • This does make the application more complex – it’s a great idea but adds real complexity.
  • Everything is loosely coupled.
  • When want to scale? Still have presentation layer – then scale out the various pieces. Not scale out the whole app with load balancer in front but scale the individual micro service.
  • So how do we deploy it?
    • One app per physical server? No.
    • One app per virtual machine? No.
    • Containers!
  • What do you need to run a Python app? Not really Ubuntu….but really just the relevant Python libraries.
  • Usually have one function per container – if a Python app, that’s it.
  • Containers are separate from each other – showing a picture of a container ship with each container isolated. Doesn’t matter what you put into each container because of that.
  • Traditional Services — Hardware –> OS Kernel –> Multiple Apps on top (why you have conflicts)
  • Inserted a virtualization layer above the hardware – Hardware –> Hypervisor –> lots of OSes –> lots of Apps
  • Containers look like – Hardware –> OS Kernel –> (Apps but really Containers)
  • Isolation is key without needing a Hypervisor
  • Boot2Docker – tool to run Docker on your laptop – http://boot2docker.io
  • Many minimal Linux OS releases to help you run your containers.
  • What about added functionality
  • Summary – Docker can let you run any type of application anywhere (laptop, AWS, vCloud Air, your own datacenter) — anywhere can install a Linux host as well as Microsoft
  • Read this…

The Post-Cloud – Where Google, DevOps, and Docker Converge, Nick Weaver – Intel SDI

  • EMC to VMWare to Intel – SDI-X group
  • Progression of how we produce things over the years – lots of producers and few consumers.
    • Manual labor, slaves, forced labor, etc. – big jump was the Industrial Revolution. Machines allowed creating more things so we consumed more things.
  • Big Switch – fewer producers and many consumers.
  • Jevons’ Paradox: The proposition that as technology progresses, the increase in efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.
  • What does efficiency look like to us? (as technologists)
    • Walking through server changes…..then database changes.
    • Overall things aren’t getting simpler…they’re getting more complex and more powerful.
  • DevOps has been most a cultural change – letting people run more things.
    • DevOps = efficiency in controlling change.
    • That we as technologists can run more stuff.
    • That shouldn’t just let us do more….but also not burn ourselves out.
  • PaaS – what an Apps needs – like IaaS but closer to the point.
    • Great starting point for container integration (Docker, Rocket), cloud-native apps, etc.
  • Pumping Latice – latice.cf
  • Container Benefits
    • Faster lifecycle vs. virtual machines
    • Contains what is running within the OS
    • Ideal for homogenous app stacks on Linux
    • Almost non-evident overhead
    • Containers start REALLY fast – 1 second vs. 1-2 minutes for a VM
    • This is fine if you’re starting at VM that will run for 6 months – it’s big deal if want to spin up something that runs for 8 seconds and is killed.
  • Running out of steam on taking notes on this session (dealing with some scheduling for the coming week).
  • “The Road to Awe” – where Nick would like to see things go…
    • Want to deploy my web services – x86 servers
    • Want my web service deployed on a VM – VMware
    • Want it automagically configured – Puppet, Check, DevOps
    • Want it packaged and released as a service – PaaS (Cloud Foundry)
    • Want it to be immutable images I can…. (all of this is Docker)
      • turn up in a second for a developer to work on
      • do testing cycles
      • turn up for production – Docker
      • want them to be spun down – Mesos, Kubernetes, CF Diego
    • Want it to be managed intelligently and run anywhere –
    • States….where we’re going (also a bit scary to me – Andrew)
      1. Wider telemetry
      2. Google Omega-style decision making for the masses
      3. Brand new disciplines around efficiency
      4. Massive cooperation of cloud domains
    • Post-cloud – just a label for the computing that our grandchildren will take for granted as they provide their own value.

Competing with Software: It Takes a Platform

  • No one is entitled to their business model – showing lots of companies that have exited the S&P 500 that were too big to fail.
  • Everything is technology driven now – financial services (Square), entertainment (Netflix), 
  • @littleidea – You are either building a software business…or you are losing to someone who is.
  • Traditional IT vendors are declining – Cisco, HP, Dell, etc.
  • Consumer expectations are going up…but it’s startups that are not only meeting those expectations but also building those expectations.
  • Changing development and release disciplines
    • Agile/Developer Productivity/TDD
    • Continuous Delivery
    • DevOps
    • Cloud-native App designs
    • Culture/Talent
  • Amazon deploys code very 11 seconds.

Had to pack up after this…the sessions are recorded. The Puppet one was particularly good.

Varrow Madness – what’s the big deal?

I was pondering the fact earlier today that this will be my 5th Varrow Madness — after joining Varrow in late 2010, we put on our first Varrow Madness in March 2011.  This also got me thinking…looking from the outside in, it may be hard to realize what the big deal is. Or…if I say it a bit more politically, what makes Varrow Madness different? Why should you care?

Side-note: for those not keeping score previously, Varrow Madness is a 1 day “free to all” IT conference hosted by Varrow and in Greensboro, NC this year on March 19 (i.e. this Thursday!). Full official conference details and agenda here – session breakdown by theme here. Total attendance last year was over 1,000 people. 

Let’s get right to it – in no particular order…

  • VCDX Concentration – Varrow has (4) VCDX’s (5 if we count Jason Nash’s double VCDX) — Josh Coen, Bill Gurling, Jason Nash, Thomas Brown. Check out the presenter list — I skimmed it and see at least 4 more VCDX’s if not more. Want to talk to a real live VCDX? (they do come outside occasionally believe it or not) There’s not a better place to do so.
  • CCIE Concentration – take two on the previous comment. Let me highlight two specifically — Jeremy Waldrop is one of the first CCIE Datacenter and Michael Bruton is (to my knowledge) the only CCIE Wireless in the Carolinas not working for Cisco. What’s crazy is that I feel bad for not highlighting each and every other one of our CCIE’s (and there’s a double CCIE (Samir Rabbi) and triple CCIE in there too).
  • Sessions – let’s pick a few…
    • vSphere PowerCLI 6.0 – Automate Your Life – Alan Renouf – regularly a top 5 session at VMworld. If you like scripting, go.
    • EUC Layering – Earl Gay – anyone think we have more options in EUC than we did 3-5 years ago? Anyone have every single layering option straight in their head? If not, go.
    • Endpoint Protection with Bit9 – heard of security breaches this last year? (i.e. have you been alive? 😉 ) Heard of a company that does next generation endpoint security and has DOUBLED its sales last year? If not, go.
    • VMware NSX & Cisco ACI at the same event – yep….got that covered. I dare you to find another conference with both given equal billing. And yes, you’ll have various CCIE’s & VCDX’s presenting these (including Scott Lowe, Jason Nash, and Carly Stoughton).
    • VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery – Chris Colotti – sure, this is about the topic listed….but if you’ve not heard Chris present, just go to hear him period. It doesn’t really matter what the topic is….you’ll always learn something.
    • Cisco iWAN – Andy Gossett – want to hear a real hands-on Varrow CCIE (i.e. troubleshoots external OTV for fun…to give a recent example) discuss what some might call marketecture? (We don’t.) Come listen.
    • And here’s what’s sad…I’ve left out way more sessions than I’ve included (and my apologies to all those I left out).
  • Keynotes – want to hear some of what makes Varrow tick? Jeremiah Cook‘s keynote (Varrow CEO) always captures a slice of what makes Varrow unique. You can see his keynote from last year here. Want to hear a fascinating internet startup story and more? Alexis Ohanian (Reddit founder) will be giving the second keynote. Details here on Nash’s blog.
  • Vendor Booths – this is an industry event. As such, some of the vendors are not actually Varrow partners — this is intentional believe it or not. We want to give back to the community overall and a conference like this is one way to do it – come chat with everyone and learn about what’s going in the IT industry overall.
    • For those who have followed Varrow over the years, you may watch our blog site — this conference is really an outgrowth of that same energy.
  • Discussions – this is an IT conference by IT people for IT people. You’ll meet a lot of good IT folks here (mostly Varrow customers but not all). Looking for good off the cuff IT conversations with like-minded folk? There’s not a much better place to find them.

So….I think I’m out of reasons — hopefully that’s enough. 😉

EMC Elect 2015! (with a Varrow thought)

In the category of “hopefully better late than never”, I wanted to acknowledge the honor of being selected for EMC Elect 2015 as well as jot down a few thoughts.

For those not familiar, EMC Elect is a community-driven recognition program with core characteristics focused around Engagement, Commitment, and Leadership. Read more here if not familiar with the program as well as for the full list of all 102 Elect for 2015.

EMC Elect Overview

The EMC Elect of 2015 – Official list

This is my second year as EMC Elect — this year was a bit different as I am Elect primarily due to being one of 12 judges. While definitely not a simple process (and took a good bit of time), it was quite interesting to see how the process works from the inside. For those wondering, no one can be a judge two years in a row and the judges are separate from those who run the program (currently Mark Browne & Mary Kilgallen but also included Sean Thulin and Dennis Smith). For a great write-up of the judging process and some general number-crunching, you can’t do any better than Dave Henry‘s post here.

Journey to EMC Elect 2015 (with Bonus Number-Crunching)

The one statistic that Dave didn’t include is the partner with the most Elect outside of EMC – Varrow (my employer – surprise surprise). We are an incredibly committed EMC partner – EMC Americas Partner of the Year last year actually – press release on that here. While I wasn’t in that picture, I was sitting in the front row about 20 feet away. Given our EMC focus, it frankly only makes sense that we have such a high concentration of Elect. I believe Varrow actually has the most Elect outside of EMC (although am not 100% sure on that — am checking). For that matter, we also have the most vExperts (19) of any partner and we’re #3 for all companies. EMC and VMware are rather in the water around here.

Finally, I do hope to write a later post with some thoughts about my experience as Elect in 2014 and why I’m looking forward to 2015.

Here’s to a great year to come.

Varrow Madness – Session Breakdown by Theme

In case you’re not aware, Varrow Madness is almost here — lots of details at the main site (go look if you haven’t already). To the best of my knowledge, this is the largest technology conference in the Carolinas. While Varrow as a company isn’t a vExpert or EMC Elect, to me this conference lets people see why we have so many of each…it’s who we are as a company.


Along with the keynotes, vendor booths, and basketball games on TV, there are a LOT of sessions (that’s the point after all, right?) — almost 40 actually. On the main site they’re organized by time slot (so you can decide which one for each time slot) but Matt Kushner (Varrow Account Representative) put together a very helpful breakdown by theme. I wanted to give him credit but post here given it was quite interesting to see it organized by theme.

IT Transformation

  • VMware EVO:Rail – Technical Deep Dive and Demo – Kevin Tuffner, Varrow
  • Cloud Panel – IT Transformation from an Application Owner’s Perspective – Miguel Viera & Aaron Dawson, Varrow
  • Accelerating Your Cloud with Converged Infrastructure – Trey Layton, VCE
  • Sun Setting the Silos (Around Data/ Content Management in Healthcare) – Jeremy Hyman & Stephen Willis, RezHealth
  • Future Proof Your Cloud by Orchestrating App Workloads with CloudPlatform – Derek Cassesse, Citrix & Jason Heinrich, Varrow
  • IT Transformation Explained – A Journey to the Cloud – Brandon Hyde & Aaron Dawson, Varrow
  • Open Stack 101 – Scott Lowe, VMware


  • Speed to Care: Securely Improving Clinician Sat. with Instant-On Awareness – John Gobron, Aventura
  • EUC Layering – Comparing & Contrasting the Options – Earl Gay, Varrow
  • AirWatch by VMware Enterprise Mobility Management – Jeff Pool, VMware
  • What Can Smokejumpers Teach Us About Successful Desktop and Application Delivery? – Jason Heinrich, Varrow
  • Future Proof Your Cloud by Orchestrating App Workloads with CloudPlatform – Derek Cassesse, Citrix & Jason Heinrich, Varrow
  • Security Teams Need More Firepower – Carlos Bonet, RSA
  • APPDNA: Alleviating Application Migration Pains, Automate the Application Virtualization Process – Art Harris & Sarath Velagaleti, Varrow
  • Future of Endpoint Security – Marty Kaise, Kaspersky
  • Citrix Workspace Suite – Apps, Desktops, Data, And Services In One Solution – Geremy Myers, Citrix
  • Mobility Panel – Thomas Brown, Earl Gay, Phillip Jones, and Jim Ryland (Varrow Engineers)
  • Bit9 – Leveraging Endpoint Protection to enhance Visibility into Your Hybrid Cloud – Bit9


  • Cisco Next Generation Firewall and BYOD – Sourcefire Integration and Identity Services Engine (ISE) – Neil Humphrey, Cisco
  • Transforming Network Security for the Software Defined Datacenter – Jefri Hillon, Palo Alto & Jason Nash, Varrow
  • VMware NSX – Deep Dive – Scott Lowe, VMware & Jason Nash, Varrow
  • Security Panel (Round Table Discussion about what IT Departments are facing today) –
  • Security Teams Need More Firepower – Carlos Bonet, RSA
  • Future of Endpoint Security – Marty Kaise, Kaspersky
  • The Good, The Bad, and the Compromised: A Complete Lifecycle Approach to Advanced Threat Protection – Kevin Flynn, Blue Coat
  • Security vSphere Hardening – Mike Foley, VMware


  • Intelligent WAN – Visibility and Control – Andy Gossett, Varrow
  • VMware NSX (Securing your Network) – Scott Lowe, VMware & Jason Nash, Varrow
  • Redefining Data Center Networking with Cisco ACI – Jon Onisick, Cisco & Samir Rabbi, Varrow
  • Cisco Next Generation Firewall and BYOD – Sourcefire Integration and Identity Services Engine (ISE) – Neil Humphrey, Cisco
  • UCS Director and IntraCloud


  • VPLEX Unmasked – Functionality, Use Cases, and What it Can Do for You – Joe Kelly & Joel Cason, Varrow
  • EMC XtremIO’s Amazing All-Flash Technology and Capabilities Explained – Josh Goldstein, EMC
  • Backup & Recovery – How Varrow Can Help Make your Critical Environment Backups and DR Planning Easy – Josh Williams & Paul Lozada, Varrow
  • VSAN 2.0 – Deep Dive – Rawlinson Rivera, VMware
  • I Want my DFTM: FVP, Memory, and Unmatched Application Performance – Tom Queen, PernixData

Business Intelligence

  • Leveraging an Open Architecture for the Big Data Opportunity – Mark Greenlaw, EMC
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark (Data)? Here’s how to Conquer Your Fears and Make Sense of all the Data you Have Racked Up Over Time – David Siles, DataGravity & Josh Coen, Varrow
  • CA Technologies Session

Analysis Paralysis – USB Battery Pack Style

So what happens when you’re a detail-oriented individual with an engineering background, need a new USB battery pack (my very faithful New Trent 7000 mAh died after 3 years of use), cannot afford to have peripherals run out of battery power during the day, are semi-obsessive about optimizing what you carry into your car/meetings every day (i.e. you unpack/repack your laptop bag multiple times a day), and have WAY too many options for battery packs on Amazon? (As of 10/5/14, searching amazon.com for “usb battery pack” yields 901,574 results.)

It’s time for Analysis Paralysis – USB Battery Pack Style. For those who need the TL:DR version, I bought the Anker® 2nd Gen Astro E3 10000mAh battery pack. The reasons I bought it were….

  • Good capacity – 10000 mAh is decent for multiple iPhone recharges, iPad recharge, USB headset, iPad keyboard, etc. – means I can always get through an entire day without power (except for the laptop of course – having an iPad + keyboard is my safety net there).
    • Note: any battery pack doesn’t give you the full power rating due to power conversion. This seems to be one of the better ones though.
  • Charging – can charge at 2 Amps (use an iPad power supply or an Anker one)….much faster charging to fill it up (can charge in 5-6 hours vs. 10+ hours at 1A).
  • Brand Name/Reviews – Anker is one of the best brand names on Amazon at this point (5,046 reviews for this with 4.5 starts) and I have other items from them that are working well (4 port charger, iPad keyboard, cables).
  • IQ Ports – a bit of circuitry to figure out the max charge the device can take automatically (vs. just having a 1A and 2.1A port). Very nice to not worry about which port you’re plugging into. With the iPhone 6 being able to handle 2.1A charging, this is more relevant as well.
  • Size – one of the smaller and thinner options (although not the thinnest). This is important given the bag I currently use – STM Linear Shoulder Bag.
  • Carry bag – nice to put a short cable into to keep it with the battery pack.
  • Price – a bit more than the cheapest options on Amazon but not much.

Combine all that and I decided on the Anker 10000 mAh option. BUT….I ended up making a snazzy spreadsheet comparing…

  • Brand
  • Length/Width/Height
  • Cubic Inches
  • Power (mAh)
  • Power (mAh) per Cubic Inch
  • Price
  • Power (mAh) per $$
  • URL/notes

I’ve embedded and linked it below in case anyone finds it interesting. I almost went with the PowerAdd but the IQ ports + 2A charging swung me to the Anker. The RealPower AirX was VERY tempting (40% smaller for same battery capacity) but ultimately too pricey for me at 2x the cost.

Hopefully this saves someone else time on their own Analysis Paralysis – or at the very least accelerates it. 😉

NOTE: the AllPower options should NOT be purchased IMHO….they’re too close to ones that have been found to be filled with sand.

Link to Google Docs version – or see below.


EMC Elect Nominations – Do It

It’s that time of year again – EMC Elect nominations! If you want the official writeup, go here.


I was honored to be selected as EMC Elect last year. Looking back at the last year, EMC Elect has been the most impactful manufacturer/partner program I’ve been involved in from my perspective — have met a lot of very cool people, great conversations, awesome events, etc. (see link above for more details there)

For me, the highlight was being able to attend the EMC MegaLaunch in London (in return for some social media coverage of course….not a bad trade IMHO).

If you think you have a chance of making it, I’d strongly recommend applying.