I am definitely a mad man with a box!

So in keeping with the theme of Dr. Who quotes for the titles of my posts, I think this is a good topic to discuss.

When I started virtualizing servers, vMotion was still a roadmap item, HA was still a frightening concept that we were only comfortable using in test environments, and iSCSI was not quite ready for the enterprise. At that time, we were convinced there would be no more datacenters built, everything would be virtualized, and we would just buy cheap commodity servers and storage.

In this utopia, hardware companies would become software companies, and all our applications would become more and more advanced, hardware would be built from parts or purchased from the lowest bidder. Interestingly the past few weeks I have had the privilege to meet with a number of my customers in the Enterprise Health Care space. Most of the conversations have been around the Software Defined Data Center, and the concept of driving more value to the business. Many of these customers want to get out of the datacenter business, they don’t want to manage boxes. The challenge for many of them though is getting their applications to come along.

To solve this, many of these types of customers are looking at implementing SDDC solutions, and treating their hardware as a commodity, purchasing servers from the most cost effective source, while storage and networks still seem to come down to the teams preference. As we observe this shift in strategy, it is time for the applications to catch up. Hardware is a dying business, customers need to get out of the business of managing boxes, it is time to shift and realize what matters. Drive value to the business, or become obsolete. We are in a software world, the age of hyper convergence through software.

This is an exciting time, but we have to move with the times. We can no longer be tied to legacy hardware architectures, we must move forward, faster, better stronger, and stop worrying about the box.

I am definitely a mad man with a box!

Humans, you’re so linear.

We always assume that things will continue to be on a linear trajectory. In statistics we can project future points on a graph based on previous points. In technology, we have always assumed that because things have always been, they will continue to grow as they always have.

When the iPhone was released I was happy with my Blackberry Curve 8300. I was at Comcast managing a datacenter in California, and I was just fine with what I had. The iPhone was a toy for yuppie kids with too much of daddies money. Today I have an iPhone, and iPad, a Mac Book Pro, 2 apple TV’s, my wife has an iPhone and an iPad, 2 of my 3 kids have iPod Touch, and one of them has an iPhone. I do more work on my iOS devices than I do on my Mac Book. When Steve Jobs and Apple created the iPhone, they didn’t assume that a small screen and a qwerty keyboard were going to be what we all wanted, they went out and built something most of us said we would never buy and changed an industry.

Seth Godin, in his book tribes said, “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there.
People will follow. ” The real message here, well the one I take for the purposes of this post, is that we need to stop thinking that things are how they are and won’t change. Things change because we make them.

In his post Do You Drink The Kool-Aid Or Do You Make It? Gabriel Chapman points out that we need to be deeply involved in the technology process to be effective at our jobs in technical sales. We can’t just drink the Kool-Aid, we can’t just take what marketing gives us and accept it as a fact. Being hands on, being able to communicate, and being able to stand up and be honest when something is not the right fit is critical.

So in closing, don’t be so linear, don’t just drink the Kool-Aid, get out there, get your hands dirty, understand what you are doing, whether you are in technical sales, or any other field, and do what excites you. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, it shows and you will not be nearly as effective. ┬áDon’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and go in the opposite direction from everyone else, you might just create something amazing.

Humans, you’re so linear.