Leadership in the Cloud (And everywhere else)

This is really a post about leadership in general, but I like to apply it to our industry. I am totally cool if you take these concepts and apply them elsewhere.

In any work environment there is constant posturing, politicing, conflicting, that has nothing to do with the actual cause of the workplace. I am going to offer a few leadership tips for everyone, not just for managers, vp’s and directors. Tips that we can all put to use.

1. It is not all about you. We all know that “guy” (or girl). Using every oppurtunity to push others down and himself up. Using others backs to climb on never lasts. Being the MVP of a losing team is never my goal, make everyone around you better. The skills involved in doing that will take you further than your daily task knowledge. No one ever says, “Wow, Jon sure can deploy a sweet VM.” If you are known for adding value, contributing and making everyone better that is how what you do will last. Valuing your team as something more than tools to make you look good is a good start.

2. Have a Purpose/Mission. I am here to change the world. Personally and Professionally. I have done jobs and have volunteered with people and organizations where no one knows why they do what they do. If you are making Pizza, make life changing pizza. If you are building next-gen datacenters, do it in a way that will alter life for someone.

3. Lead, Even if you aren’t supposed to. Don’t sit around and wait to be asked to do something leadershippy.

4. Have a Strategy. If you don’t know why you do what you do get that first. Then decide how the world will look when you are done. Impact (well good impact) on people will not happen on accident.

5. If you see a problem be part of the Solution. Stop complaining. There is only so much time in the day. Personally, it is natural for me to complain. I am very good at pointing out faults in everything. I have to consciously make the decision to work on the solutions for things I can change and shut up about the other stuff (for now). Some things just need the proper timing.

6. Community. Jump into the deep end of the pool of community. Make this a core tenant of everything you participate in. You can not do it all by yourself. Community substitues like Twitter and Facebook are a start but go meet in person with some real people. Just an idea.

The most cynical of my readers never started reading this. If you got this far, I hope in your mind you see how this applies to you. Of course any comments are welcome.

The VMWorld 2012 Voting Post

I decided to wait a couple of days after the posturing/begging/campaigning died down. So that I could start it up again!

 

Shameless plugs are not usually my thing. I have been learning from @vTexan so here goes.

Make sure you sign in here to vote http://www.vmworld.com/www.vmworld.com/cfp.jspa

There are literally 9 Billion entries this year. So here are a few I like:

By the way I am stoked for a joint EMC / NetApp Session that doesn’t have Chad and Vaughn (no offense guys).

 

Finally, my title didn’t make the cut (View 5.1 and Storage so Awesome you’ll slap yo Mama OR Things only Ninjas know, behind the scenes with View 5.1 Storage Architectures) but here is my session on View 5.1 and Storage Deep Dive with EUC Ninja Mark Ewert.

 

Title: 

 

View 5.1 Storage Features Deep Dive 

Subtracks: 

 

Desktop Virtualization 

Tracks 

 

End-User Computing

Technical Level 

 

Advanced Technical

Area of Interest 

   

Abstract: 

 

Presented by VMware and EMC, this session will provide an in depth exploration of the new View 5.1 features related to storage optimization including the View Storage Accelerator (CBRC) and View Composer Array Integration (VCAI). The discussion will also provide detailed results of a joint VMware / EMC study quantifying the benefit of these new storage features and their resulting impact on virtual desktop density and the EMC VNX Storage Area Network used in the testing. To enable attendees to perform their own analysis, an overview of the LoginVSI virtual desktop benchmark system and test methodology used to obtain the results will also be provided.

 

 

So remember to Vote. Do it for the Children!

Lead the Transfomation

Speaking with customers everyday the most common thing I see the infrastructure teams struggle with is how do we get from X to Z. We are virtualizing first. Evaluating tier 1 apps as VM’s. Migrating non-essential services to the cloud. As an overall strategy how do I get from what I have, to where I want to go?
While there are many topics to get you going on this path, from management and orchestration to improved monitoring and security. One thing we as infrastructure guys often forget to ask is, “Are our applications ready for the future?” Many of the off the shelf applications are just fine for many of our use cases today will they still be viable in 5-10 years? Can we take a design that was created from a physical silo, virtualize it, and hope to be cloud ready? Maybe. How can we think in a new way about our applications?
Currently we take our application and think of it this way:

20120509-100452.jpg
It consumes parts of these buckets. Physical or Virtual, the application is bound by the contraints of a general purpose OS accessing some sort of physical resources that are bound a physical RU in a datacenter.
So even as we look to build out like this:

20120509-104434.jpg
We take the same solutions that we used in the physical world in order to provide scale and high availability. Mainly clustering. Does clustering provide actually cloud enabled applications? Most likely not. We look to the new bubble of dot com innovators for solutions to the boxes the old guard of application vendors have locked us in. I am not going negative on any current application but rather trying to challenge us to think beyond the way we have always done things.
So if we want to move towards a new model, public, private or hybrid cloud. It would be in the best interest of the infrastructure teams to lead the charge and provide thought leadership when moving applications to a cloud. I would argue in the near future you do not want to be the one that is seemingly hugging your infrastructure. It is always better to be leading the change than
roadblocking it, especially when the change will drive the business to the next level of service capabilities.

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So a few questions to start asking:

  • What does my data actually look like?
  • How does the business use the rows and columns to function?
  • Are all application decisions made in a room walled in by current capabilites?
  • How are we going to deliver applications with a new model? (think mobile)
  • At what point do we need to expand the foundation of what we are built on in order to increase our effectiveness in the market?
  • In 5 years do I want to be working on plumbing of the datacenter or have enough agility and scalability built in where I can drive innovation rather than daily maintenance?
  • View Client on iPad with Bluetooth Keyboard

    I was very excited to try out my View desktop using my new ZaggFolio Keyboard case. I did not have a chance to try out the View Client with the keyboard until today. I was sad to find out the keyboard does not work very smoothly. So I would like to point this out:

    20120508-200728.jpg

    First you have to tap the keyboard icon in the top menu. Not sure why this exists, but it would be great if the keyboard fully worked. The keyboard fully working would be great because using the on screen keyboard it uses the half of the screen.

    Anyone else think this is kind of weird?