Saturday, March 17, 2018

Pets and Cattle

Any pet owner will understand the pain felt by the owner of the pet that died on United Airlines. What essentially happened is that flight attendant dealt with the pets as if it were cattle. Your onboard baggage is cattle and the airline is optimized for cattle. This is not a note on UAL or pets, but on the notion in cloud computing that enterprise applications are pets and should be converted to cattle so they can leverage the cloud computing infrastructure.

The market for enterprise software is around $280B and market for infrastructure that includes servers, network and storage is roughly $60B, $40B and $20B. As cloud takes a large upfront cost hit on the infrastructure they want to host workloads that are more sticky that the ones that drive revenues today. Today's workloads are mostly transient. New workloads start on the cloud and migrate out of it as soon as they are viable (business modelwise). So, it is understandable that cloud computing giants are pushing the pets vs. cattle metaphor and exhorting enterprise IT to migrate to their pet applications to the cloud. And why not, the prize is huge. Almost $200B of revenues should it happen. But will it? The case of UAL and the pet reminds us that pets cannot be treated as cattle and when they are the consequences are disastrous.

As any pet parent knows planning a vacation requires careful selection of pet friendly hotels, airlines and destinations. We don't have the same pet friendliness in a cloud yet. Given the economics of the cloud, it will be difficult.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Too many Dashboards

It seems we have a dashboard for every metric and dashboards to pick dashboards. This reminds of the early 2000s when widgets were introduced and we placed a widget for every metric, data stream on the desktop. We have distributed our IT systems and that enables us to monitor everything, but dashboard is not the answer. In fact with so many dashboards I kind of miss the good old monolithic system :)

What we need is an automaton which processes these metrics and takes automatic decisions. Dashboard seems too much like a business process. What would be great is if we get a alert saying "metric reached threshold and controller took some action".. kind of like what we get from our banks when a charge is made or fraud prevented. What would be neat is if we replace a whole bunch of dashboards with a few controllers that execute some policy that was recommended real-time by ML.

(Lack of) Trust is killing the World

Not to take on the "Software is eating the world" meme, I believe the pendulum has swung too far in the SD* world. Automation wa...