Infrastructure Masons is building a community around data center practice

IT is subject to seismic shifts right now. Here’s how we cope together.

For a long time, I’ve advocated for open operations (“OpenOps”) as a way to share best practices about running data centers. I’ve worked hard in OpenStack and, recently, Kubernetes communities to have operators collaborate around common architectures and automation tools. I believe the first step in these efforts starts with forming a community forum.

I’m very excited to have the RackN team and technology be part of the newly formed Infrastructure Masons effort because we are taking this exact community first approach.

infrastructure_masons

Here’s how Dean Nelson, IM organizer and head of Uber Compute, describes the initiative:

An Infrastructure Mason Partner is a professional who develop products, build or support infrastructure projects, or operate infrastructure on behalf of end users. Like their end users peers, they are dedicated to the advancement of the Industry, development of their fellow masons, and empowering business and personal use of the infrastructure to better the economy, the environment, and society.

We’re in the midst of tremendous movement in IT infrastructure.  The change to highly automated and scale-out design was enabled by cloud but is not cloud specific.  This requirement is reshaping how IT is practiced at the most fundamental levels.

We (IT Ops) are feeling amazing pressure on operations and operators to accelerate workflow processes and innovate around very complex challenges.

Open operations loses if we respond by creating thousands of isolated silos or moving everything to a vendor specific island like AWS.  The right answer is to fund ways to share practices and tooling that is tolerant of real operational complexity and the legitimate needs for heterogeneity.

Interested in more?  Get involved with the group!  I’ll be sharing more details here too.

 

Dell goes to the Clouds (hardware & Joyent)

As a Dell employee, I’ve had the privilege of being on the front lines of Dell’s cloud strategy.  Until today, I have not been able to post about the exciting offerings that we’ve been brewing.

Two related components have been occupying my days.  The first is the new cloud optimized hardware and the second is the agreement to offer private clouds using Joyent’s infrastructure. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring some of the implications of these technologies.  I’ve already been exploring them in previous posts.

Cloud optimized hardware grew out of lesson learned in Dell’s custom mega-volume hardware business (that’s another story!).  This hardware is built for applications and data centers that embrace scale out designs.  These customers build applications that are so fault tolerant that they can focus on power, density, and cost optimizations instead of IT hardening.  It’s a different way of looking at the data center because they see the applications and the hardware as a whole system.

To me, that system view is the soul of cloud computing.

The Dell-Joyent relationship is a departure from the expected.  As a founder of Surgient, I’m no stranger to hypervisor private clouds; however, the Joyent takes a fundamentally different approach.  Riding on top of OpenSolaris’ paravirtualization, this cloud solution virtually eliminates the overhead and complexity that seem to be the default for other virtualization solutions.  I especially like Joyent’s application architectures and their persistent vision on how to build scale-out applications from the ground up.

To me, scale should be baked into the heart of cloud applications.

So when I look at Dell’s offings, I think we’ve captured the heart and soul of true cloud computing.