Reading The Analyst Tea Leaves

We talk about understanding analyst reports and engaging with analysts. How do analysts shape the industry and the industry shapes the analysts?

Today we discuss how every part of this ecosystem has to work together in order for us to build serviceable technology, because fundamentally, we count on the analysts to help understand what’s ready, what the problems are, and what’s working or not working in the enterprise.

It’s easy to pitch stuff, it’s much harder to use stuff and sell tech, and the analysts are a reasonable filter for that, and we break down how and why.


Learning about eBPF Applications

Special guest Bill Mulligan ( talks to us about the use cases for BPF and how it works.

We discuss eBPF, the kernel extensions that allow you to write small programs that work inside of kernel space in a safe sandbox way. These have a lot of applications, and they’ve been creating a lot of hype inside of the Kubernetes community as a way to address networking shortfalls.

Our conversation starts broad, but eventually zeros in on eBPF. I know that you will learn a lot about how eBPF can enhance and improve your infrastructure operations environment.


Getting the Right Talent And Staffing

How do you build, manage and fund your systems? Today’s episode is about talent, staffing and hiring the right people to do the job for you.

How you make hiring decisions is inexorably linked to how you think about solving, funding, and structuring solutions around those problems. You cannot hire people without also having straightforward answers for those questions.

We have a fantastic conversation about staffing, that we find to actually be about building the foundations for your hiring.


Mentoring Jr DevOps

How do we help junior people build the right skills to do advanced automation system administration, and actually build systems that are resilient and robust? Then, after understanding that that is a learned skill that’s predominantly learned by doing the work, troubleshooting.

We started the conversation talking through how to teach troubleshooting and find opportunities for that. But we transformed the discussion into the challenge of teaching people skills that they then walk away with, that, as you’re mentoring people, you’re increasing their value, and potentially giving them the keys to leave and find a better job.

We talked about this as an industry trend, and some expectations on what you can do about it, and how you can approach that situation. Overall a very robust conversation about building great teams, through junior engineers, and what it takes to be thorough and complete in a process like that. Both from what you can do, and what you have to watch out for.


VMware Explore Retrospective

VMware Explore is a show at the end of August where VMware brings together its community, its vendors and tells what’s going on. VMware is dominating in their market, they are making the right moves, and doing a good job for their customers and their partners. This is a surprising summary of the conversation, because this conclusion is certainly not where we started out.

In this conversation, we start from the position of VMware not doing what it needs to do. It’s fumbling its message, it’s not doing the right things. Then we talk through all of the things that contribute to VMware’s position in the market.

If you listen through, the conversation follows a fascinating path to our concluding position.


Are Platform Teams Good?

How do you build effective, productive platform teams? What should their mission be, and what type of tools and dangers do they have? 

We start by questioning if there are such things as platform teams and their roles, as well as how they can go awry in modern organizations. 

At the end, we recognize that they do and can provide a very important role. In this conversation, you will learn the right ways to form a platform.



IT In An Age of Scarcity

How do supply chain, ecologic, capital, and political issues limit our ability to continue to build big data centers? Today we expand on this continued conversation.

We’re already seeing this in the news, and we need to rethink how we are building a lot of the core infrastructure we depend on. That includes power, data centers, networking and connectivity. Potentially even human logic, which we get into.

The purpose of this conversation was to look at the bigger picture, and then pull it back into how we build IT systems.


CHIPs Act And Global Supply

How do we build advanced innovative products and companies? We discuss the Chips act and global supply chain of silicon and manufacturing in today’s episode.

We took that apart into its component parts: supply chains, raw materials, power, whether talent, real estate, and put it back together in ways that look forward towards how we think these forces and global politics are going to shape manufacturing for the next decade.

Absolutely fascinating and critical discussion that will impact every single person’s health, their careers, and frankly, what they can buy on the store shelves.


Orchestration Balancing Events And Flows

When working with orchestration in automated systems, how do you find the right balance between things that are event driven and things that are workflow driven, or more linear?

We go through some of the history of where we went from linear orchestration (Ansible) to timed orchestration (Chef or Puppet). We also discussed SaltStack, which had an event driven system into it, but didn’t gain the traction that we might have expected as we look at the amount of orchestration systems that are now coming to light.

In this conversation, we address the balance between when you orchestrate and when you want to do workflow and linear transactions, and how to find that sweet spot.

One of the things that we’ve determined is, there aren’t a lot of tools that hit that sweet spot. And I think if you listen carefully, you’ll see why.


Consumerization Of Power Storage

How can we structure incentives to build strong, resilient infrastructure? Today we talk about power infrastructure.

There are a lot of commercial incentives for internet providers and for consumers to have good internet, but there aren’t the same incentives for consumers to have reliable power systems. We’re seeing a rash of failures and faults in the grid.

In this conversation, we talk about storage systems and resilience of the grid, not by putting more wires in the ground but by actually creating incentives for people to have independent supplies, and independent sources of generation that can support them.