VMworld last week continued 2020’s atypical tech world tradition of offering all its sessions virtually. That format definitely makes the audience transition from session room to session room much quicker and easier. But for those of us tracking our physical activity we earn many, many fewer steps!
This year’s conference offered the usual, very broad selection of sessions. They addressed all the new offerings and features and trends in VMware’s huge portfolio of products and offerings. In my opinion, as an application solution techie geek, the fundamental transition of vSphere to an orchestrated container platform based on Kubernetes (demystified in App Modernization ) was far and away the most interesting track of the conference. The architect in me votes hands-down that Paul Czarkowski’s session, Cloud Native Operations on Kubernetes, was the best presentation of the conference. No question it’s worth an hour of your time!
Paul’s session exposed three critical insights into the architectures and technologies driving the evolution of VMware’s App Modernization portfolio. Those insights apply to all current app modernization projects. If you are a serious solutions architect, you will embrace and internalize them.
- First, there is a tremendous amount of data (and buzz and hype) out there about development and operation’s very real efficiency and productivity gains for exploiters of Site Reliability Engineering. (SRE – formerly kinda known as DevOps, currently buzzed as DevSecOps). Paul makes the point that dev and ops gains are really significant, but not existential. At the end of the day, delivering new, successful features to production is what matters. So don’t limit your attention to “DevOps”. Focus on the entire software lifecycle. Study the metrics that confirm whether your business is more effective “after” your new features, as opposed to “before”.
- Next, I think Darwin’s theory is pretty well accepted: if you compete a bit more effectively, you’re likely to win in the long run. Evolution yields advantage by many small improvements. These days, shareholders and the Internet generally don’t understand “the long run”. So while natural evolution slowly introduces changes over generations, digital business requires rapid evolution. SRE practices help you get deliver changes to production much more quickly. Then tracking the relevant metrics around those changes enables business decisions that strengthen competitive advantage, both sooner and better.
- Finally, the cloud-native technologies built to support development pipelines and container orchestration (think Kubernetes as one “winner” in this area) enable fundamental improvements to the work of building and operating and maintaining software. Paul walks us through how the platform for operations – Infrastructure as Code (plus Configuration as Code), Automation, and Orchestration – bridges the gap between development efficiencies and operations efficiencies, and delivers differentiating business advantages.
There’s definitely more in the talk. Oh, and by the way, since it’s a commercial tech conference, there are the normal, branded product placements in the material. Paul even does those nods-to-business-reality in an instructive and value-added manner.
Final word: Tech architects, you will bring new value to your business’ App Modernization efforts by adding the insights of this presentation to your internal toolset.