Today Chevy took my SXSW loaner Volt back to the dealership in the cloud. While I was already inclined toward the Volt, I was much more impressed that I expected. Frankly, the fact that the Volt and my home-conversion RAVolt both have a 30 mile range made the Volt seem like a pretend EV on the surface. Yet, the Volt proved it was a full EV and more.
The Volt is a very solid electric car with the all torque and feel I was expecting.
Since the Volt was delivered without a charge, my first day in the car relied on the gas hybrid feature. Even on gas, I was getting >40 MPG. While I would have preferred to get the Volt fully charged, it was an important lesson for me to see it perform as a gas fueled car first.
Once I got it charged, I was able to drive nearly all my trips electric only. That included my 30+ mile commute. The magic of the Volt is that I never worried about running out of charge. As an EV driver who has had close scrapes, that is a truly liberating experience.
I enjoyed playing with the Volt’s drive system. I managed to find an accurate power input/output gauge on the dash instrumentation (the center console view is mainly a pretty animation for passengers). I was able to extend my electric range using feedback from the more accurate gauge. In addition, the built-in tutorial explained that I could use the PRNDL “low gear” in traffic. Low gear activated behaviors in the Volt that made it more efficient AND EASIER to drive in traffic than conventional gas cars. I was also intrigued by how efficiently the Volt used its gas generator – it used some smarts so the generator ran as little of possible. Of course, I also enjoyed the acceleration of the electric motor :)
In addition to the power train, I found the fit and finish of the Volt to be very satisfying. The electronics were effective, interior comfortable and handling responsive. While it did not pretend to be a luxury car, the Volt does not feel like a econobox either.
One note: if you are considering a Volt then plan on a 220 charger. Relying on charging from household power is simply not practical. Using 220, you can charge quickly at night when power is cheapest/cleanest to generate.
It’s impossible to resist posting about this month’s 451 Group Cloudscape report when it calls me out by name as a leading cloud innovator:
… ProTier founders Dave McCrory and Rob Hirschfeld. ProTier [note: now part of Quest] was, indeed, the first VMware ecosystem vendor to be tracked by The 451 Group. In the face of a skeptical world, these entrepreneurs argued that virtualization needed automation in order to realize its full potential, and that the test lab was the low-hanging fruit. Subsequent events have more than vindicated their view (pg. 33).
It’s even better when the report is worth reading and offers insights into forces shaping the industry. It’s nice to be “more than vindicated” on an amazing journey we started over 10 years ago!
Rather than recite 451’s points (hybrid cloud = automation + orchestration + devops + pixie dust), I’d rather look at the problem different way as a counterpoint.
The problem is “how do we deal with applications that are scattered over multiple data centers?”
I do not think orchestration is the complete answer. Current orchestration is too focused on moving around virtual machines (aka workloads).
Applications are a dynamic mix of compute, storage, and connectivity.
We’re entering an age when all of these ingredients will be delivered as elastic services that will be managed by the applications themselves. The concept of self management is an extension of DevOps principles that fuse application function and deployment. There are missing pieces, but I’m seeing the innovation moving to fill those gaps.
If you want to see the future of cloud applications then look at the network and storage services that are emerging. They will tell you more about the future than orchestration.