Sunday, August 16, 2015

Why Docker is a winner versus VMs

This is a quote from the blog A Not Very Short Introduction to Docker by Anders Janmyr, perhaps one of top techie bloggers in the world who speaks with such clarity, that even non-techies understand.

Now when everything is crystal clear, what does this mean? It means that Docker containers are smaller, faster, and more easily integrated with each other than VMs as the table illustrates.
vm-vs-docker-table
The size of a small virtual machine image with Core OS is about 1.2 GB. The size of a small container with busybox is 2.5 MB.
The startup time of a fast virtual machine is measured in minutes. The startup time of a container is often less than a second.
Integrating virtual machines running on the same host must be done by setting up the networking properly. Integrating containers is supported by Docker out of the box.
So, containers are lightweight, fast and easily integrated, but that is not all.

Docker is a Contract

Docker is also the contract between Developers and Operations. Developers and Operations often have very different attitudes when it comes to choosing tools and environments.
Developers want to use the next shiny thing, we want to use Node.js, Rust, Go, Microservices, Cassandra, Hadoop, blablabla, blablabla, …
Operations want to use the same as they used yesterday, what they used last year, because it is proven, it works!
But, this is where Docker shines. Operations are satisfied because they only have to care about one thing. They have to support deploying containers. Developers are also happy. They can develop with whatever the fad of the day is and then just stick it into a container and throw it over the wall to Operations. Yippie ki-yay!
devs-loves-ops
But, it does not end here. Since Operations are, usually, better than development when it comes to optimizing for production, they can help developers build optimized containers that can be used for local development. Not a bad situation at all.
If Docker is a contract between devs and devops, then Apcera's HCOS seals it in form of ITOps policies that make it  respected and implemented in an automated fashion

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Google's Alphabet and Kabbalah

The Guardian joins the thousands of opinions on why Google restructured as Alphabet. They came up at least with a clear diagram:
But why the name Alphabet? Guardian speculates:

  •  “alpha” is a financial term meaning return on investment above the benchmark, making Alphabet a good Alpha-bet
  •  the Alphabet is one of humanity’s most important inventions
  • Alphabet is perhaps the most generic name imaginable, perfectly standing for anything and nothing at the same time.
Well, Guardian did not considered the Kabbalah. The word Alphabet comes from the Hebrew AlefBet which has 22 letters.


There is a book called The Alphabet that Changed the World . Quote:
The author examines the Hebrew text of Genesis and its relationship to the alphabet. He shows how each letter is both concept and gesture, with the form of the gesture matching the function of the concept. There is thus an implicit relationship between the physical world of function and the conscious world of concept.
The Kabbalistic creation consist of basic letters, the same letters Gd wrote the book of creation and the entire Torah,

So to me, the name Alphabet has a mystical co-notation and represents the re-creation of Google into something fresh, beautiful  and new.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Apcera's insightful discovery

This picture which I published on LinkedIn  had  quite a few "Likes"

3EC23073-E554-4206-BE34-786278C1581D.jpg
From  Ogilvy and Mather Beijing
The Human Experience expressed here is insecurity, even fear. The word "code" normally people associate with devs. But in clouds, the devops must deploy the tens of thousands of smaller applications over a cloud infrastructure and this not easy.

Normally there is bottle neck when the devops must do their magic to place the assembled enterprise app in production from bigger and bigger volumes of smaller apps from devs.

Now that we have containers and microservices, this is truer than ever.

Notice the fear is not speed. The fear is not - not having magical tools and toys. Sure devops need those too, but are not the deciding factor.

Because the biggest concern they have, overriding any thing on their wish list,  is The Lack of Trust.

This very simple discovery is a miraculous insight of Derek Collison, the founder of Apcera, after nearly twenty years of experience. He himself was a coder, he himself was a devop. Some notes from my conversation with Derek
...after developing B29 - now called Cloud Foundry, - speaking to users and contributors, Derek realized the Cloud Foundry was designed to make the devops look smarter and give them all toys to deploy faster,  This was a real problem, but not the big almost show-stopping problem that needed solving..
When Derek had this epiphany, "the train already left the station". There is no way to go back and re-code Cloud Foundry. He decided in 2012 to start his own company and to call it Apcera.
Apcera is an unique word.  Acronyms  Abbreviations web site lists the definition of Apcera as
"Apcera is building the modern enterprise IT platform. Driven by policy, our solution delivers revolutionary technology along a customer’s evolutionary path, unifying IT to go faster, safely. All at enterprise scale."
This is true, but these words from their web site remind me of the the saying : Nothing clanks when he walks . You need to speak to Derek in person and hear all the clanks, the real substance of an extraordinary man who founded an extraordinary company.
Apcera’s motto must be  Trust, Trust, Trust.This is a translation of the well-known dictum in real estate: Location, Location, Location.
What really counts is that devs want is to program and forget about anything else. Derek founded Apcera to create this trust, by automating the task, and making it as transparent to devs and devops as much as possible.
 Apcera web site is somehow vague in wording. but  HCOS (the new name of product originally named Continuum) has only one interface, used by ITOps. Devs and Devops do not use any Apcera specific UI. The platform takes care of everything.

Whatever violent psychopaths are roaming  around, Apcera will implement policies to keep them at bay. 
Sample Apcera IT Ops management interface. See policies and permissions
Perhaps the guys at Ogilvy and Maher would like to look at Apcera, If they can wait a little bit, they can get an ERICSSON HDS 8000 –HYPERSCALE DATA CENTER SYSTEM  More about this in a future post

Disclosure

I don’t say anything online that I wouldn’t say in person. I am now an evangelist on contract to the Ericsson Cloud Product Team.  What I say are exclusively my thoughts, views, opinions or understanding of a topic or issue, and not my employer's. I can be wrong even though I try hard not to be. I will admit to mistakes, correct them promptly and even apologize where it is appropriate.

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