Innovation flying high in the Windy City with Red Hat

City of Chicago

The panel on The Promise, Challenge and Opportunity of Open Source Software was kicked off by Kathleen Kennedy, President of the MIT Technology Review with her opening statement “Open Source is a lighter fluid for Innovation”! The venue where this was held was in Chicago — no surprise there! This is the Windy City with a skyline that proudly flies high despite the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 after which a set of innovative architects and inventors collaborated to reshape Chicago.  The best type of innovation is driven by collaboration, says Gartner VP, Marcus Blosch. The open mindset of collaboration that started 140 years ago continues to this day not only in Chicago but also, for sure, in the Open Source Community.  Thus, it is no wonder that the essence of the Red Hat Summit held earlier this year is being brought to The Wrigleyville Inn in Chicago on 20 Sep 2016 where Innovation is positioned to take flight with the sponsorship of Red Hat, Intel, and Forsythe.

Let me explain how.

For starters, you will get first-hand insight on the Trifecta of innovation through business, technology, and culture through the session on Accelerating Innovation at the Red Hat Open Innovation labs.  But then, Innovation is not a short term project.  Competitive enterprises of tomorrow need to drive continuous innovation within their enterprise today.  Attend the session on Building an architecture for continuous innovation to get additional insight on how this could be done effectively.

Continuous innovation also requires seamless co-existence of the traditional IT as well as the evolving world of next-generation technologies like containers and DevOps.  While the session on The roadmap for containers and DevOps looks into the future, Forsythe calls out an effective way of Bridging the Data Center from the Old to the New IT.

As explained in this article on the Forsythe Focus magazine, fact is that the New Frontier of IT has arrived! Are you ready?  Do make sure that you factor in the 3 C’s of cloud transformation when taking steps to Increase visibility, manageability, and control through cloud management and automation.

So, what lies in store at the end of this event?  The Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds game is immediately following and is open to all attendees to view from the rooftop.

And it really does not matter if you are a Cubs or Reds fan.

Innovation is in the air in the Windy City at this Red Hat Road Tour event.  All the better if this unique ambiance extends into the Happy Hour as well as Cubs game that follows.

Frank Sinatra immortalized the city of Chicago as “my kind of town.” Being a technology strategist at heart, this is is certainly “my kind of event!” 

See you there!

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The Magic of Open Source Innovation through Collaboration

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 The best type of innovation is driven by Collaboration, says Gartner VP, Marcus Blosch. As I was walking the Collaboration Area at the Red Hat Summit, I came upon an intriguing setup called the Marble Track Hack Attack with several individuals taking turns to engage in a challenging exercise. It was all about a ball traveling from start to finish with some constraints within a limited time. This is an exercise where there is no clear answer and the optimal solution is one that emerges through multiple essays – and if they fail, so be it! We continue to learn. Red Hat associate, SJ Cox was diligently trying out her own ideas while encouraging and inviting the attendees to join as well. So, what was such a contraption doing at the Red Hat Summit? It may not be obvious at first sight, but when I go back to Blosch’s assertion in his article, I can see why. Open Source is all about collaboration and when you have the passionate individuals continuously contributing to it like what I witnessed at the Summit, it is easy to experience the wonderful magic of open source innovation through collaboration!

Open Source drives innovation on the Red Hat Road Tour

“Open Source is a lighter fluid for innovation”, said Kathleen Kennedy, President of MIT Technology Review in a recent panel she moderated in Chicago.  Guess it is no surprise that open source is increasingly becoming the defacto standard for emerging technologies. I was witness to this first hand when I attended the Red Hat Summit earlier this year and vividly remember the day after the last day of the conference when I happened to see the very large logo on the Moscone West center being brought down.  And I was thinking that it would be another year before we have an opportunity to experience the summit again hosted by the world’s best open source company to work for!  But, wait a minute.  Not so fast, buddy !  Little did I know that the Red Hat Summit had other innovative plans in September.  Thanks, in part to the sponsorship of Intel, the Red Hat Summit 2016 is also hitting the road like many of us to travel to our favorite vacation spots with families and friends.  Well, I may not know a whole lot about your vacation plans but don’t be surprised if you have a chance encounter with Open Source driving Innovation on the Red Hat Tour.  Or even better.  Read ahead to see where you can be to experience first-hand valuable glimpses of the Red Hat Summit in a city near you!

Road to Blue Sky

Girl: Don’t be shy. Develop it.

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Corinne Warnshuis speaking at Red Hat Summit 2016

That’s the matter-of-fact tagline of a pioneering organization called Girl Develop It, headed up by Executive Director Corinne Warnshuis.

You’ve probably heard that the number of women in technology is low. But the number of women in open source development is even more abysmal—about 11%. The industry is notoriously hard for women to break into.

Breaking down barriers to women in open source

Girl Develop It is on a mission to change that. The group is working hard to “provide affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development.” Founded in 2010, Girl Develop It embodies the idea of the power of participation and aims to make women feel comfortable learning technology.

And it’s truly changing lives.

Red Hat Cloud roadmap

Spanning the development and production spectrum

Tuesday’s discussion of the Red Hat Cloud Roadmap began with a brief overview of the current portfolio. Host James Labocki, Red Hat senior manager of strategic design practice for integrated solutions, described Red Hat’s vision of a unified cloud solution that meets IT needs “all the way from development to production.”

NASA’s JPL: Protecting the planet through open, advanced development

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First selfie on Mars, courtesy of the Mars rover

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has achieved a lot of firsts: First flyby of Mars. First interplanetary spacecraft. And first selfie on another planet, to name a few.

They got there by staying at the forefront of technology, said Tom Soderstrom, JPL’s chief technology and innovation officer—who also likes to call himself chief toy officer.

To keep innovating, change how you work

With this legacy of firsts, how will JPL get to the next firsts? In his session titled “Innovation is everywhere: Opportunities in a changing world,” Soderstrom said JPL has to change the way they work.

Once every IT decade (that’s 3 years for you and me) JPL looks at what key disruptors are coming and embraces them. What’s coming now? Innovation in the consumer space. There, innovation happens rapidly, unlike in the enterprise where innovation happens at a glacial speed.

The enterprise space could learn a thing or 2 from the consumer space. So JPL researched human behavior as it relates to IT. They discovered that if engineers and scientists can get tools quicker and see what IT disruptors are coming, they’ll be more productive. And that will help all of humanity.

Now JPL practices what Soderstrom calls E4: Engage and enable everyone and everything. It’s about the power of participation (which just happens to be this year’s Red Hat Summit theme).

MAD for mobile

I was able to wrap up the Summit “graveyard shift” the same way I began the week: Hanging out with the Red Hat Mobile folks. Love those guys.

This session was centered around MAD: microservices, agile, and DevOps. On top of that, Cian Clarke, John Frizelle, and Philip Hayes of Red Hat Mobile showed how all 3 of these pieces relate to Red Hat Mobile Application Platform.

Cian began talking about the new era of applications. Apps can’t cost hundreds of thousands of dollars anymore. They can’t take 6 months to develop; that’s far too long. They don’t live for decades–traditional software lasts for a long time.

“Now, the idea of an application living for 10 years is almost laughable.”

Ansible takes on container management FTW

Plenty of people are aware of and use Ansible to manage systems. Whether you need to provision, configure, deploy, or orchestrate systems, at scales small or large, Ansible makes it simple.

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Greg DeKoenigsberg

As Ansible Director of Community Greg DeKoenigsberg describes it, Ansible is “basically distributed SSH with some other goodness on top. You describe a list of plays, and Ansible uses them to accomplish tasks you’d otherwise have to do yourself.” DeKoenigsberg teamed up with Matt Micene, solution architect from DLT Solutions, to discuss how Ansible is rapidly moving beyond host management into corralling containers.

Ansible is written in Python, with a small, functional core and a huge variety of modules for almost every imaginable function. DeKoenigsberg showed off some simple examples of Ansible playbooks, which are easy to understand descriptions of tasks. Combine an inventory of systems, variables to distinguish between them, and a set of these Playbooks, and you have a recipe to easily recreate infrastructure on demand.

So Ansible works well to manage the traditional operating system. But what about an OS like Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host? Some tasks often seen in Playbooks don’t apply. “Mostly,” said Micene, “because we need to reset our fundamental understanding of what the Atomic Host is, versus the general purpose RHEL 7.”