Sun’s Chief Open Source Officer’s new Gig

August 27, 2010

Last but not least in my series of interviews from last month’s Cloud Summit at OSCON I present to you my conversation with Simon Phipps.  Simon, who until earlier this year was the chief Open Source officer at Sun Microsystems, recently joined the start-up ForgeRock as their chief strategy officer.  Here is what Simon says:

Some of the topics Simon tackles:

  • ForgeRock offers access management and authentication software based on open source code that was developed at Sun.
  • Since the software is open source you can download it for free at ForgeRock.
  • ForgeRock makes its money by selling subscriptions that provide various grades of SLAs.
  • Even though they are 4 mos old, they already have 20 customers including the world’s largest gambling exchange.

Extra credit reading:

Pau for now…

Chief Scientist at BT: “In nature there are no SLAs”

August 16, 2010

J.P. Rangaswamy is British Telecom’s chief scientist and a very interesting fellow.  At the Cloud Summit at OSCON last month he delivered a talk on the future of the cloud.  I was quite intrigued so I grabbed him during the break to learn a bit more about a few of the concepts he presented.

Some of the topics that J.P. tackles:

  • Many of the best utilities we’ve built: Internet, Web, wireless environment etc are built on fundamentally frail best-effort infrastructures.
  • In order to gain predictability you sacrifice a lot of the original value eg. QWERTY
  • He’s not against SLAs, J.P.’s against the throwing away of value under the guise of false beliefs in SLAs.
  • What is the key area in the cloud that needs to be shored up? Interoperability.  Security is overplayed, just look at the development of the Web.
  • Need to concentrate on federation as a mind set — the ability to create services that are daisy chaining select pieces from a variety of each, vs integrated vertical stacks.
  • He’s worried about SLAs because the things people are doing to stop SLAs from being light weight are actually things that prevent interoperability.

Pau for now…

Ubuntu, the Cloud and the Future — Neil Levine

July 27, 2010

After the cloud summit last week at OSCON, I sat down with Neil Levine of Canonical to see what was in store for Ubuntu cloud-wise (Canonical is a partner of ours in our cloud ISV program).  Neil is the VP of Canonical’s corporate services division which handles their cloud and server products.

Here’s what Neil had to say:

Some of the topics Neil tackles:

  • The next Ubuntu release “Maverick Meerkat” and its geek-a-licious launch date: 10.10.10.
  • Look for Maverick to make Eucalyptus even easier to deploy and use.
  • Data processing and data analytics is one of the key use cases in the cloud and Canonical is looking to move up the stack and provide deep integration for other apps like Hadoop and NoSQL.
  • What are some of the areas of focus for next year’s two releases i.e. 11.04 and 11.10.
  • Project ensemble: what it is and what its goals are.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

My quick spiel on the cloud

July 25, 2010

At OSCON last week I ran into a compadre from a previous life, Fred Kohout.  Fred is now the CMO at UC4, a pure play software automation company, and he, like I, was in Portland to attend OSCON and the Cloud Summit.

At the summit Fred did to me what I’ve done to so many others, he got me on the receiving end of a video camera to talk about where Dell plays in the cloud and how we see the cloud evolving.

You can check out Fred’s blog from the Summit where he posted my video as well as the interview he did with another former compadre, Peder Ulander, CMO at

Don’t touch that dial

If you’re interested in OSCON be sure to stay tuned.  I’ve got four more interviews from the event that I will be posting soon.

Pau for now…

The OpenStack design summit in review

July 22, 2010

Tuesday after the OSCON cloud summit I sat down with Rick Clark over a well deserved beer.  Rick is the chief architect and project lead for the OpenStack compute project that was announced on Monday.

Last week I interviewed Rick on the first day of the inaugural OpenStack design summit and I wanted to catch up with him and get his thoughts on how it had gone.  This is what he had to say:

Some of the topics Rick tackles:

  • How it went engaging a very large technical group (100+) in an open design discussion patterned after an Ubuntu Developer Summit.
  • Some of the decisions he thought would be no brainers, turned out differently e.g. OVF (open virtualization format) and keeping the storage and compute groups separated.
  • Since the summit involved representatives from over 20 companies, some of them competitors, how good were people at putting away their business biases/agendas?
  • How far they got (hint they got requirements from everyone for the first release).
  • They’ve already gotten their first code contributions.
  • How they plan to build a community: actively looking to hire a community manager.   In the meantime its actively growing and in a week they’ve gone from 10 people in the IRC channel to 150 on Tuesday.

Extra-credit reading:

But wait there’s more…

I got back from OSCON last night with a fist full of videos.  In addition to the above, coming soon to a browser near you are the following interviews:

  • Brett Piatt with more OpenStack goodness
  • J.P. Rangaswami, Chief Scientist at BT — Nature doesn’t require SLAs
  • Simon Phipps about his new company ForgeRock
  • Neil Levine, VP at Canonical about what’s in store for Ubuntu.

Pau for now…

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