The New XPS 13 Developer Edition Lands in Europe and United States

October 4, 2016

Today, on the 59th anniversary of the launch of the Sputnik satellite, the 6th generation XPS 13 developer edition makes its debut in both the US and Europe (Canada to follow).  This Kaby Lake-based system comes with Ubuntu 16.04LTS preloaded and features the InfinityEdge display.

A Quick RefresherDino

As you may remember, these systems began life four years ago as Project Sputnik, an open-ended exploratory project.  From the very begining, the effort was designed to solicit and incorporate input from the developer community as to what they wanted in a laptop.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of nasaimages

With the community’s input, Project Sputnik became an official product and continues to evolve.  Recently, as the ultimate honor, Linus Torvalds selected the XPS 13 developer edition as his mobile laptop.

Additionally, as a happy by product of the program, an initial investment of $40,000 from an internal innovation fund has turned into in tens of millions of dollars in revenue, helping to keep the effort humming along :-)

Thanks everyone for all your support!!

Specifications — Next gen XPS 13 developer edition

Here is what the 6th generation developer edition (9360) features:

  • 7th generation Intel® Core™Processors
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS preloaded.  Augmented with the necessary hardware drivers (drivers are upstreamed to allow a variety of distros to work)
  • Killer Wireless cards*
  • InfinityEdge™ display, FHD (1920×1080) and QHD+ (3200×1800) versions available

*Killer cards are a branding of Qualcomm Atheros.  Their Linux drivers are open source and the firmware is now upstream.

US Configurations

As was the case last time, the US is offering four configs.  This time around we are offering the following (including one in Rose Gold):

  • i5/8GB/128GB, FHD – $949.99rose-and-silver-xps13s
  • i5/8GB/256GB, FHD – $1,349.99
  • i7/8GB/256GB, QHD+ (touch) – Rose Gold – $1,599.99
  • i7/16GB/512GB, QHD+ (touch) – $1,799.99

You’ll find the XPS 13 developer edition collocated with Windows version on the following page.  The easiest way to see the Ubuntu line up is to select “Ubuntu” in the “Operating System” pull-down menu on the far left.

European Configurations

The following configurations are available both online and offline in Europe.  All of three of the XPS 13 developer edition configurations come with the Killer Wireless card and international keyboards can be selected.

  • i5/8GB/256GB, FHD
  • i7/8GB/256GB, QHD+ (touch)
  • i7/16GB/512GB, QHD+ (touch)

Where to order your system

As is the case in the United States, both versions of the XPS 13, Ubuntu and Windows, are featured on the same product page.  Once on the page, you can get to the Ubuntu-based configs by scrolling right to the last three systems.

The systems are avalaible online in the following twelve European countries:

  • United Kingdom — available in the “for work” section 
  • Ireland — available in the “for work” section
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Switzerland (German)
  • Switzerland (French)
  • The Netherlands
  • Belgium (Dutch)
  • Belgium (French)
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Sweden

There is a second group of nations where the developer edition is available by contacting your local Dell representative.

Extra credit reading

Dell EMC’s Ceph Performance and Sizing Guide for the PowerEdge R730XD

September 23, 2016

If you’re not familiar with it, Red Hat’s Ceph storage is a distributed object store and file system.  To support its deployment on the Dell EMC PowerEdge R730XD, a team from Dell EMC recently put together a white paper that acts as a performance and sizing guide.

In the first video below, Amit Bhutani of Dell EMC’s Linux and open source group explains Ceph and takes us through the test environment that was used to create the deployment guide.  Video number two stars Valerie Padilla from Dell EMC’s server solution CTO team.  Valerie gives an a high level view of the white paper and the five categories of the results.

Take a listen

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…

Microsoft and Containers

August 24, 2016

Earlier this summer I was out in Seattle for DockerCon.  Among the people I interviewed was Taylor Brown of Microsoft.  While Microsoft may not be the first company you think of when talking containers, they actually have a bunch going on.  Taylor in fact leads the team focusing on the server container technology coming out of Windows e.g. Hyper-V containers and Windows server containers.

Taylor and I sat down and he took me through what his team has been up to and their goals for the future.

Take a listen

Some of the ground Taylor covers

  • Taylor and his team support customers running Windows on Azure, Amazon, Google and others.
  • The team has been working closely with Docker and the community contributing code to allow Docker to work with Windows
  • Windows Server 2016 will come with full container support
  • Following on Azure’s container services with Linux, they’re adding Windows support
  • Goals for the future: performance and scaling are a big focus; security around authentication and authorization;  also thinking about Linux containers on Windows

Extra-credit reading

  • Docker’s Close Integration with Windows Server – Redmond magazine
  • Microsoft PowerShell Goes Open Source, Arrives On Linux, Mac – InformationWeek
  • VIDEO: Ubuntu comes to the Windows desktop — OpenStack summit – Barton’s Blog

Pau for now…

EMC Dojo – Teaching the way of Modern Software Development

August 24, 2016

Last but not least in my series of interviews from SpringOne Platform stars Brain Roche of EMC.  Brian heads up engineering for EMC Dojo, headquartered in Cambridge Massachusetts.  The dojo, which has been around for a year, teaches modern software development practices based on DevOps and focuses on Cloud Foundry.

Take a listen as Brian talks about the dojo, how it works and where it’s going.

Some of the ground Brian covers

  • Teaching pair programming, extreme programming and more with the goal of showing customers and partners how to rapidly deliver software in the modern world to better serve customers.
  • Qualifying as a Cloud Foundry dojo by contributing to a Cloud Foundry sanctioned open source project.
  • The dojo’s qualifying project is RackHD which acts as a cloud provider interface, providing and management and orchestration layer to run Cloud Foundry on bare metal.
  • The goals for the dojo going forward including expansion and evangelism.

Extra-credit reading

  • EMC Dojo on Github 
  • EMC Dojo Blog
  • EMC Is Pumping $10M Into Open Source, Launching Dev Program in Cambridge – BostonInno
  • RackHD — Storage kingpin EMC is open-sourcing software to manage and orchestrate server deployment – Fortune
  • An Interview with Cloud Foundry Foundation’s CEO, Sam Ramji – Barton’s Blog

Pau for now…

An Interview with Cloud Foundry Foundation’s CEO, Sam Ramji

August 23, 2016

A couple of months ago at the Cloud Foundry summit I tried to grab Sam Ramji, CEO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, to do a short interview.  Unfortunately the stars didn’t align and it didn’t happen.  At SpringOne Platform however I had better luck.

Sam, who lead off the keynotes on day two, sat and talked to me about Cloud Foundry’s origins, what’s going on today and what its goals are for the future.

Take a listen

Some of the ground Sam covers:

  • Cloud Foundry began at VMware in 2009 and was open sourced back in 2011.  The foundation itself was set up a year and half ago.
  • wa established to increase the velocity of contributions (over the last year, over 2000 individuals outside of  the core companies have contributed.)
  • While they want to grow the foundation, they need to be thoughtful on how they grow.
  • What drew Sam to the CEO opportunity and the role that APIs and Warner music played in his decision.
  • The foundation’s goals: 1) increase diversity of contributions, 2) increase the foundation’s population, predominantly via end users, 3) determine how best to build a framework that will allow to the effort to survive and thrive over the next 20 years.

Extra-credit reading

  • Talking Cloud Foundry Foundation – OpenStack summit Austin – Youtube
  • SpringOne: The Spring Platform, Where its Been and Where its Going – Barton’s Blog
  • SpringOne: Native Hybrid Cloud — The Pivotal Cloud Foundry Developer Platform in a Box – Barton’s Blog
  • SpringOne: When Web Companies grow up they turn into Java Shops –Barton’s Blog

Pau for now..

The Spring Platform, Where its Been and Where its Going

August 22, 2016

Early this month, armed with my trusty Flipcam (and oldie but a goody), I attended SpringOne Platform hosted by by  While there I was able to grab a few interviews with some of the movers and shakers.  Given that the title of the event was “SpringOne,” I would have been remiss had I not grabbed one of the Spring community leaders.  I was able to convince Spring Framework developer, Rossen Stoyanchev of Pivotal to chat with me.

Take a listen as Rossen talks about the history and evolution of the Spring Framework.

Some of the ground Rossen covers

  • Spring Framework’s birth 12 years ago and the role of Rod Johnson’s book
  • Providing tools that simplify and symbiotically work with Java Enterprise
  • Additional Spring Projects e.g. Web Frameworks, Spring Integration, Spring Batch
  • The debut of Spring Boot in 2012 and the quick follow up by Spring Cloud which extended programming to new models
  • Where Spring is headed: reactive programming and much more

Extra-credit reading

  • Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development – Rod Johnson
  • Spring Boot, a quick overview — Barton’s Blog
  • SpringOne: Native Hybrid Cloud — The Pivotal Cloud Foundry Developer Platform in a Box – Barton’s Blog
  • SpringOne: When Web Companies grow up they turn into Java Shops – Barton’s Blog

Pau for now…

Native Hybrid Cloud — The Pivotal Cloud Foundry Developer Platform in a Box

August 17, 2016

A few weeks ago at Pivotal’s SpringOne Platform event I met Drew Dimmick of EMC.  Drew heads up product management for EMC’s Native Hybrid Cloud offering.  Native Hybrid Cloud, or “NHC” is a complete shrink-wrapped Pivotal Cloud Foundry developer platform that can be set up in as little as two days.

I grabbed some time with Drew and had him take me through the offering at a high level.

Here is what Drew had to say:

Some of the ground Drew covers

  • How NHC cut set-up time from weeks to days and provides a single-vendor solution
  • Today’s stack is composed of: VxRack with Neutrino nodes + Pivotal Cloud Foundry with metering, monitoring billing etc, all siting on top of OpenStack
  • There are couple of other NHC flavors wating in the wings:
    • Pivotal Cloud Foundry + VMware’s VxRail solution sitting on top of vSphere (today half of all Pivotal Cloud Foundry implementations sit on top of vSphere)
    • Further out, a version featuring VMware’s Photon platform which customers could choose in place of OpenStack

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


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