EVO Rail, is technology really making things easier for us?

This week at VMworld, the announcement of what had been Project Marvin became official.  I wanted to add my voice to the debate on the use case for this, and where I believe the industry goes with products like this.  To answer the title question, EVO is a step in the right direction, but it is not the end of the evolution.  As always I have no inside information, I am not speaking on behalf of VMware, this is my opinion on where the industry goes and what I think is cool and fun.

To understand this, we need to consider something my wife said recently.  As a teacher, she was a bit frustrated this week to return to school to find her laptop re-imaged, and her printer was not configured.  I tried to help her remotely, but it is something I will need to work on when I get back.  Her comment was, “Technology is supposed to make things easier”.  This stung for a moment, after all technology is my life, but when I thought about her perspective, it struck me just how right she is.  Why afterall shouldn’t the laptop have reached out, discovered a printer near by and been prepared to print to it, afterall, my iPhone/iPad can do that with no configuration on the device itself.

So what does this have to do with EVO?  If we look at EVO as a stand alone product, it doesn’t quite add up.  It is essentially a faster way of implimenting a product which is not too complicated to install.  I have personally installed thousands of Nodes of vSphere, hundreds of vCenters, it is pretty simple with a proper design.  The real value here though, the trend, is simplification.  Just because I know how to build a computer, doesn’t mean I want to.  Just because I can easily impliment a massive vSphere environment, that doesn’t mean I want to go through the steps.  That is why scripting is so popular, it enables us to do repetetive tasks more effeciently.

The second part of this though really comes down to a vision, where are we going.  If you look at where we are going as an industry, we are moving to do more at the application layer in terms of high availability, disaster recovery, and performance.  We see this with the openstack movement, the cloud movement, docker, and so many others.  At some point, we are going to stop worrying about highly available infrastructure.  At some point our applications will all work everywhere, and if the infrastructure fails, we will be redirected to infrastructure in another location without realizing it.  

That is the future, but for now we have to find a way to hide the complexity from our users, and still provide the infrastructure.  We need to scale faster, better, stronger, and more resilient, without impacting legacy applications.  Someday we will all be free from our devices, and use what ever is in our hand, or in front of us, or just get a chip in our brains, someday HA won’t be an infrastructure issue, but until then projects like EVO will help us to bridge that gap.  Not perfect arguably, but this is a bridge to get us a step closer to a better world.  At the end of the day the more complexity we hide with software, the better we are, provide that software is solid, and we can continusiouly improve.

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EVO Rail, is technology really making things easier for us?

VMware, come for the people, stay for the vision

As I approach the end of my second month here at VMware, having had this conversation with some friends, I thought it would be valuable to talk about the reasons why I chose to join, and what it looks like from this side of the fence. As a disclaimer, what I am disclosing is all public knowledge, nothing untoward here, I am speaking for myself not VMware, and this is intended as a larger statement on careers and where we choose to go.

When I made the choice to join VMware I was very happy at HP. I was looking for a new position within the company to align with my career goals, but I was very happy. HP is a great place to work, my peers, management, and teams were amazing. When VMware approached me I was very adamant that I was not interested, even though I was helping to lead the VMware Champions team within HP, and have a great love for all things virtual and cloud related. What finally convinced me was the people. Everyone I talked to, both during interviews, and friends who worked there, was excited. Everyone had the vision and was on fire to change our industry for the better. There were many conversations around products, around culture, and around where the company was headed.

When I got here, I couldn’t help but be sucked into that culture. I was excited, and every day I get a little more excited. We are doing amazing things here. When I go talk to customers I am sharing the vision with them. Where we see the industry going, how we are improving businesses, simplifying them. This is my dream job…well for now. Next week VMworld 2014 kicks off, and we share a little more of the dream with over 20,000 of our friends, customers, and partners. We have a vision and it is so awesome.

So what is the point of all of this? Choosing a career is tough, but finding the right company is tougher. One of the things I have learned the hard way has been finding a company with a vision that I can really believe in. I don’t just work for VMware, I believe we are changing the industry. I came here because there are some really amazing people and products, but I am here now because I believe in our vision. It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur, or a plumber, if you don’t believe in what you are doing it shows. Life is short, and if you are not sold out for your job, you need to ask yourself why. I am not saying go out and quit your job because you don’t like it, but take a long hard look at yourself and ask why you aren’t passionate about it. No matter what you do, it is up to you to make it awesome. VMware is awesome because I believe in what we are doing. Do you believe in what you are doing?

VMware, come for the people, stay for the vision