Tis’ time Cleveland went DevOps


I’m sitting at the Red Hat Booth at the Information Security Summit at the LaCentre Conference Center on Detroit Road.  I look at the agenda for this Information Security Summit event attended by over 1,000 attendees across 100 sessions sponsored by about 32 forward-thinking organizations – including Red Hat. Innovation and invention are not new to the city of Cleveland – a city that led the nation in patents per capita in 1900.  In 1920, Cuyahoga County had the fourth largest manufacturing economy in America.  Cleveland was one of the leaders in the Industrial Revolution in the yester years.  That said, when it comes to technology today, Cleveland may not be the first city that comes to mind.  Just like there is a call to action for competitive enterprises of the future to make innovation relevant, cities like Cleveland need to take action too.  And taking action it is.  Red Hat is bringing DevOps to Cleveland on Nov 7.

The Information Security Summit itself was a validation of the steps that Cleveland is taking in this direction.  Mobile Monday looked at the pay-offs and concerns associated with mobile content, its development, delivery, storage, and risks.  About 30 vendors displayed the latest in security technology on Tuesday.  Wednesday was Healthcare day atop the Global Center for Health Innovation — a place that I had accidentally encountered in the recent past. Two hundred healthcare and information security professionals including Red Hat gathered to immerse their understanding dedicated to PHI, HIPAA, cloud-based storage and the IoT data protection.

The two-day Information Security Summit itself is Ohio’s most highly attended security conference in Cleveland.  Bob Bragdon,  Publisher of CSO Magazine’s keynote discussed why security is a boardroom issue now and the steps enterprises can take to make security real.  “Does this mean we can do real security now,” challenges Bragdon.  It reminded of a recent Twitter Chat #ChatSTC on the topic of creating a culture of Cybersecurity from the Break Room to the Board Room.

Containers are the new platform of Enterprise IT.  Check out Dan Kuznetsky’s take on how Red Hat combines containers and microservices in interesting ways.  The Microservices Day that I hosted in Minneapolis recently was attended by over 120 next-generation IT enthusiasts who were there to interact with key contributors and committers in the open source community—all of whom are employees of Red Hat.  Red Hat disrupts the open source engine by having employees provide technical leadership in the community as well as selectively hardening innovative software and making it enterprise grade to enable mission critical solutions for customers.

The same Red Hat is bringing the first ever User Group to Cleveland.  The topics being covered are the forward thinking concepts including containers, microservices using technologies like Docker.  Every company is a technology company including KeyBank (also a financial institution of great repute) – who will be sharing their experience using container platforms.  Microsoft, a strategic partner of Red Hat will be presenting on deploying Red Hat solutions on Azure – talk about innovative interoperability.  Needless to say, the User Group will also have sessions on Red Hat technologies that provide today’s enterprises an option to modernize with the backing of a powerful ecosystem of innovation.  An option that makes their IT relevant.

And why not Cleveland, I say!  Tis’ about time.

Please click here to register for the first ever Red Hat User Group in Cleveland at a location in the West Side of Cleveland.  East Siders are welcome too, by the way!  For you see, Red Hat is all about interoperability!

Taking the Game of Disruption to the World Series the Red Hat way


Fly the W! Was the cheer that resounded across Wrigley Field as well as the family rooms and the streets of Chicagoland.  The audience at a gala being held at The Art Institute during a live performance on a makeshift stage erupted in a loud cheer when it happened.  Not only was the cheer disruptive but the historic win itself was a disruption in its own right.  The fact that the Chicago Cubs going to the World series instead of the usual suspects over the last seven decades is disruptive in itself.  Enterprises of today — knowingly or unknowingly — are playing this Game of Disruption as well.  The average lifespan of an enterprise has been steadily declining over the last few decades — indicative of disruptive forces strongly changing the market forces by providing innovative customer experiences hitherto unforeseen.  Hello, Uber! Technology used the right way is a powerful partner in this game of disruption.  Red Hat had recently conducted a Red Hat Road Tour event where customers were presented an overview of innovative solutions and technologies and yes, taken to Wrigley Field in the evening for a Cubs game.  Perhaps, it is no wonder that Red Hat selected this venuethe same venue where the Cubs historically disrupted the game of baseball by earning their spot in the World Series.  Join me as I walk you through how Red Hat can help enterprises win the game of disruption all the way to their own World Series … and beyond.

1.Disrupting development:  The Developer is the new customer of Enterprise IT.  Development teams look to containers to have rapid access to just what they need instead of waiting for whole bare metal or even virtualized environments to be stood up.  Just what they need when they need it.  How do seconds (containers) sound compared to minutes (virtualization) or hours (bare metal)? And if competitive, futuristic development teams do not get this type of service from the infrastructure team, they tend to take matters into their own hands.  Red Hat OpenShift provides an open, hybrid Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that lets developers quickly develop, host, scale, and deliver apps in the cloud. 

2.Disrupting operations:  “Automation can provide the single biggest payback across environments,” said Red Hat SVP, Tim Yeaton, during his session at the Gartner ITXPO Symposium.  Automation of the deployment of code to multiple platforms and environments frees up the operations team to spend more time innovating efficiencies across the IT environment. Ansible by Red Hat automates IT processes to reduce complexity. Share playbooks and delegate jobs using Ansible Tower, freeing up resources and ensuring consistency and compliance.  Describe your infrastructure and processes in code, so you can automate more to increase productivity.

3.Disrupting innovation:  “The best type of innovation is driven by collaboration,” says Gartner VP, Marcus Blosch. Red Hat drives a open culture of collaboration that is based on careers of achievement rather than careers of advancement, like CMO, Jackie Yeaney describes.  This culture effectively nurtures a continuous engine of innovation and open communication within Red Hat fueled by proactive collaboration.

4.Disrupting open source: Just take a look at the Microservices Day in Minneapolis. The event was attended by over 120 next-generation IT enthusiasts who were there to interact with key contributors and committers in the open source communityall of whom are employees of Red Hat.  Red Hat disrupts the open source engine by having employees provide technical leadership in the community as well as selectively hardening innovative software and making it enterprise grade to enable mission critical solutions for customers.

5.Disrupting culture:  To avoid disruption, stay open – says Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst.  Whitehurst’s book on The Open Organization is a testament to his own experience at Red Hat.  A culture where values and achievements matter more than titles.  A culture that can drive change across the enterprise! Time permitting, please consider joining the #OpenOrgChat on Twitter where we engage in active conversation with other leaders in the industry wholeheartedly subscribing to this disruptive concept.

There you have it. Five perspectives on playing the game of disruption.

What are your thoughts on playing this game?  Are you interested in disrupting your enterprise all the way to the World Series?  Do you have the right pitchers, batters, managers and disruptive partners to play the game? Are there other dimensions?

Meanwhile, it gives me great pride to belong to the city that hosted the historic disruption of the ball game while working for a company that is well positioned to take the game of disruption to the World Series.

Hello, World Series! Here we come! Let the disruption begin!

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Technology innovation drives business differentiation at Gartner Symposium ITXPO

Technology Innovation Drives Business Differentiation is the title of my sessions at the Gartner Symposium ITXPO in Orlando,FL.  If you are attending this conference and have started using the Events Navigator tool, I look forward to you signing up to attend these sessions and engaging in a good discussion at the conference.  I will also be available at the Red Hat booth at the conference to continue the discussion on topics that may be of more interest to you.  As I gear up to attend the conference, I figured I would share some of my initial thoughts right here in this blog on the vital need for technology innovation to drive business differentiation.

The abstract for my session states: There’s a vital need for IT to be relevant to the business. How can enterprises leverage technology to be competitive in the future? How do next-generation tools and innovative expertise increase agility and reduce friction within the enterprise? Come find out how customers can go through this transformation effectively.

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It’s a great Red Hat day in Minneapolis — Go Microservices !

It was a great day in Minneapolis! The Microservices with Apache Camel was held at Target Field (inside the ballpark, overlooking the field of play). “Takes a lot to put together an event like this but can certainly be a lot of fun! Go microservices!,” says Red Hat associate Jen Fissel.

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Innovation on the menu at the Red Hat User Group event in Minneapolis

Marc Skinner presenting to Red Hat User Group attendees in Minneapolis

It was my first time at the Red Hat User Group in Minneapolis — as well as the Surly Brewing Company where the event was held.  Not having been there before, I did not realize the size of the facility and was impressed by its imposing structure along with the name in full capitals outside the building.  I could see the TCF Stadium and the Surly Brewing Company signs bright and clear on a beautiful day in Minneapolis.  As I entered the facility, I could feel the aura of innovation at play — as mentioned on their site, “it is an environment where beer harmonizes with food to empower trailblazing pairings.”  I began to perceive striking similarities between concepts and mindsets germane to the world’s best Open Source company to work for and the Surly Brewing company.  Perhaps, it is with good reason that the Red Hat User Group events in Minneapolis have been held at this venue for about 3 years now.  Join me in a toast to the Red Hat User Group session as well as Red Hat associate Marc Skinner who has been coordinating these sessions with intriguing topics for some time now. Topics that bring forth innovative ideas through the collaboration that happens between the open source enthusiasts who attend these sessions with an open mind. A venue where innovation is on the menu.

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Houston, we have a problem! Let’s innovate IT !!

Containers in Houston

“Houston, we have a problem!” is the all too familiar phrase from the Apollo 13 decades back that has become a cliché over the years. Given the downturn in the Oil & Gas economy in recent times, and the predominance of companies in this industry in the city of Houston, Texas, the phrase takes a different meaning altogether today. Going by the average price for a barrel of oil, there is a call to action for oil & gas companies to combat this challenge. Innovation comes to mind, for sure. Even though the Energy industry has been all about technology innovation for decades together, where does it stand with innovating the business of IT? There are several new options available now to innovate IT within the enterprise that can not only offer options for reducing cost of delivery but also positively impact the business of the enterprise. The Road Tour event sponsored by Red Hat and Intel being held on Sep 22 at The Westin Houston, Memorial City offers a few seeding thoughts. Who knows, after attending this event, one might even revert back to the original version of this quote, “Houston, we have had a problem!!”. Come on, Houston! Let’s innovate IT! Hello Red Hat!

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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


 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!

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