A common side-effect of rapid growth for any organization is the introduction of complexity and one-off solutions to keep things moving regardless of the long-term impact. Over time, these decisions add up to create a chaotic environment for IT teams who find themselves unable to find an appropriate time to stop and reset.
IT operations teams also struggle in this environment as management knowledge for all these technologies are not often shared appropriately and it is common to have only 1 operator capable of supporting specific technologies. Obviously, enterprises are at great risk when knowledge is not shared and there is no standard process across a team.
Issue : Infrastructure Management
One-Off Operations – Customized operation tooling per service leads to team dysfunction as operators cannot support each due to inexperience with unique tools
IT Productivity – Data centers struggle to meet business needs with no standard process or tools; cloud platforms expose this deficiency causing business to go shadow IT
Impact : Delivery Times
Costly and Slow – Many data centers operate with dated processes and tools causing significant delays in new service rollout as well as maintaining existing services
Cross Platform Support – IT teams MUST maintain control over company services by supporting internal data centers as well as cloud deployments from a single platform
RackN Solution: Global Standard
Operations Excellence – RackN’s foundational management ensures IT can operate services regardless of platform (e.g. data center, public cloud, etc)
Operational Standardization – RackN delivers a single platform for IT to leverage across deployment vehicles as well as ensure IT team efficiency across services
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I love great conversations about technology – especially ones where the answer is not very neatly settled into winners and losers (which is ALL of them in IT). I’m excited that RackN has (re)launched the L8ist Sh9y (aka Latest Shiny) podcast around this exact theme.
Please check out the deep and thoughtful discussion I just had with Mark Thiele (notes) of Aperca where we covered Mark’s thought on why public cloud will be under 20% of IT and culture issues head on.
We feel there’s still room for deep discussions specifically around automated IT Operations in cloud, data center and edge; consequently, we’re branching out to start including deep interviews in addition to our initial stable of IT Ops deep technical topics like Terraform, Edge Computing, GartnerSYM review, Kubernetes and, of course, our own Digital Rebar.
TOPICTIME Intro to Mark / Latest on Culture 0:00 – 3:50
Winners/Losers Mentality in IT 3:50 – 8:35
Bottleneck in IT for Future 8:35 – 11:00
Pay Down Debt in Interconnected Systems 11:00 – 13:15
IT More Consumable 13:15 – 15:10
Resiliency 15:10 – 16:15 Jevons Paradox & Internal/External Cust 16:15 – 22:44
Public Cloud & Edge Computing 22:44 – 26:55
Problem is People Not Tech 26:55 – END
Podcast Guest – Mark Thiele @mthiele10
Chief Strategy and Chief Information Officer – Apcera
Mark Thiele’s successful career in IT spans 25 years and has focused on both operating roles and on driving cloud adoption across enterprises of all sizes. Mark has deep industry experience and extensive knowledge of the requirements of policy-driven cloud computing and drives cross-functional strategic initiatives as Chief Strategy & Chief Information Officer for Apcera. Prior to joining Apcera, Mark was the executive vice president of ecosystem development at Switch SUPERNAP, builders of the world’s highest-rated data centers. He is also the president and founder of Data Center Pulse, an organization created to promote best practices in the data center industry. Mark has held executive roles at HP, Gilead, VMware and Brocade and is a member of nonprofit groups including The Green Grid and Infrastructure 2.0, where he advocates for data center and cloud industry evolution. A globally recognized speaker at leading industry events on a wide range of topics including cloud, IoT, data center, DevOps, and IT leadership. Mark is a regular content contributor to InformationWeek, GigaOm, Data Center Knowledge and other publications. Mark also serves on the technical advisory board of several startups.
While the RackN team and I have been heads down radically simplifying physical data center automation, I’ve still been tracking some key cloud infrastructure areas. One of the more interesting ones to me is Edge Infrastructure.
This once obscure topic has come front and center based on coming computing stress from home video, retail machine and distributed IoT. It’s clear that these are not solved from centralized data centers.
While I’m posting primarily on the RackN.com blog, I like to take time to bring critical items back to my personal blog as a collection. WARNIING: Some of these statements run counter to other industry. Please let me know what you think!
By far the largest issue of the Edge discussion was actually agreeing about what “edge” meant. It seemed as if every session had a 50% mandatory overhead in definitioning. Putting my usual operations spin on the problem, I choose to define edge infrastructure in data center management terms. Edge infrastructure has very distinct challenges compared to hyperscale data centers. Read article for the list...
Running each site as a mini-cloud is clearly not the right answer. There are multiple challenges here. First, any scale infrastructure problem must be solved at the physical layer first. Second, we must have tooling that brings repeatable, automation processes to that layer. It’s not sufficient to have deep control of a single site: we must be able to reliably distribute automation over thousands of sites with limited operational support and bandwidth. These requirements are outside the scope of cloud focused tools.
If “cloudification” is not the solution then where should we look for management patterns? We believe that software development CI/CD and immutable infrastructure patterns are well suited to edge infrastructure use cases. We discussed this at a session at the OpenStack OpenDev Edge summit.
What do YOU think? This is an evolving topic and it’s time to engage in a healthy discussion.
Gene Kim: Tell me about the landscape of docker, OpenStack, Kubernetes, etc. How do they all relate, what’s changed, and who’s winning?
GK: I recently saw a tweet that I thought was super funny, saying something along the lines “friends don’t let friends build private clouds” — obviously, given all your involvement in the OpenStack community for so many years, I know you disagree with that statement. What is it that you think everyone should know about private clouds that tell the other side of the story?