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Acquisitions & Automation – IT Management & Cloud Podcast #64

Mr. T baby changer

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I haven’t gone through to correct any transcription errors, so if something looks fishy, check the audio.

Michael Coté: Well, hello everybody! It’s the 12th January 2010, and this is the IT Management & Cloud podcast episode number 69. This is one of your co-host Michael Coté with RedMonk, available at, and as always, I am joined by the other co-host.

John Willis: John Willis at

Michael Coté: As you may remember, and listeners, there was a slight power outage in my neighborhood last week when we were recording, and it just kind of — there was some excellent editing. We basically wrapped up talking about OpsCamp, January 30th, in Austin Texas, and then, all of a sudden my power went out. It was a great Cloud story, because it was apparently out for the whole neighborhood.

John Willis: In fact we were actually just about to talk about, the Zimbra rumor, and market suggested that it might be a conspiracy.

Michael Coté: Oh Yeah! Well, I was just scanning the news before this and it looks like that’s — it sounds like from when I was reading it, that’s confirmed that VMware is going to buy Zimbra. If I remember, the last one I looked at said they were buying — let me get this new story up, because it won’t be me, not to have the correct facts.

According, to this report from Network World, from John Fontana, which is just reporting on Kara Swisher’s reporting over at the Wall Street Journal or the awesomely named Boom Town Blog, VMware is going to pay, $100 million for Zimbra. So there you go. And this article also says that it was in 2007 that Yahoo paid $350 million for Zimbra.

So maybe Zimbra was like Yahoo’s Skype, except in a smaller increment. But well, yeah, it’s — I think the obvious thing that one would have to say, as people are saying about, VMware buying Zimbra is it’s this further thing of VMware wanting to be a company, wanting to have a broader portfolio, it’s not just virtualization; in the same way, if they have brought SpringSource and, yeah SpringSource.

John Willis: Well, if $100 million used, I mean —

Michael Coté: That is a pretty good deal.

John Willis: That’s a hell of deal, alright.

Michael Coté: — to buy a customer based and the channel relationships and the development team.

John Willis: Yeah everything, yeah brand, it’s a lot more brand.

Michael Coté: That is an excellent point that that’s a damn good deal.

John Willis: Yeah, that’s a real good deal. Yeah it’s like — I mean it’s the best deal ever, back in your neighborhood from BMC bought Remedy.

Michael Coté: Oh yeah!

John Willis: That was the all time best IT, because I don’t know people know, but what happened there, because I followed that space and then what happened — and we’ll get back to Zimbra, I don’t know what are your thoughts about it. But what happened there was the company that actually owned Remedy; they threw out about a-year-and-a-half, bought every product, every problem change, configuration management problem product on the market and Peregrine was the name of the company, and they basically have it, 80% in the market, because they own, they bought up the three biggest products. Then they went through that whole, they actually had Anderson consult and they didn’t get as much press as Enron, but they were using the same counting principles and almost got bankrupt and they had to fire sale stuff.

Michael Coté: I have the article from September 23rd 2002 from our friend Denise Dubie, our old friend there, and it says, what was it, they announced the deal; it’ll close in 45-60 days, because Peregrine was in — is that like say Paragreen or is it —

John Willis: Peregrine like the eagle, peregrine eagle.

Michael Coté: So Peregrine it was recognized under Chapter 11 bankruptcy and BMC paid $315 million in cash.

John Willis: Cash, that’s insane.

Michael Coté: And considering the —

John Willis: That’s not — we are not talking about Zimbra numbers now, we are talking $359 of cash, a company based, a customer base of B of A, Federal Reserve, Bank of America — I said, Bank of America, you name the launch company and it will run.

Michael Coté: I was actually at BMC when that happened and I was in the petrol line, we didn’t really know, what the hell this, we thought, just like any snarky developed, we thought everything outside of our control was a bunch of crap, which is — that’s how you can be in a nice way when you are a developer.

John Willis: That’s right.

Michael Coté: Over the past 8 years or so, I mean — as James Governor one of my fellow RedMonks likes to say, Remedy saved Beacham’s ass, which think is —

John Willis: Oh yeah! Beacham would have been gone, Beacham would have fired, big time, he is a hero, but you know what, I don’t know how to —

Michael Coté: That was a damn good move; that’s like that company, Remedy, is like a huge chunk of BMC and for many years was. So it was a damn good buy.

John Willis: So there’s a little bit of a history there too, because Peregrine was owned by John Moores, who was the owner of — and John Moores was the Admin at BMC.

Michael Coté: And also owns the Padres in San Diego, if I remember.

John Willis: Yeah, that’s right, yeah Padres. So that thing probably went down so quick, it was probably a couple of phone calls. We got to dump this task; we know you can buy it, let’s do this. I don’t even imagine anybody even had an opportunity other than BMC to buy that, because that just was an insane acquisition.

I don’t follow Zimbra in email space that much and all that, but the — I am just in following Twitter and there are all these like crazy insanity arguments like, what the heck are they doing; this makes no sense, and then I have seen James, this is one step further towards the 05:59.

Michael Coté: Yeah. I’ll give you my full little run down here with my — which is a mishmash of what people say and what I think people say and what I think of myself. So first off, organizationally, I think at the moment the thing that people say about VMware acquisition is you’ve got Paul Maritz, who is the CEO, and everyone is quick to point out that he is an ex-Microsoft guy. So when you are like the MNA conspiracy tech nut guy — if there’s a Microsoft guy and you are like, oh, they are trying to build Microsoft, so that’s something people always say, which — if you were to choose — like I always say, if you want to try to be IBM or Microsoft, that’s not too shabby.

So you got that going, where basically you have sort of Microsoft. You probably have — well I forget when he worked there, but you probably got like 90s era of Microsoft mentally going at the top. That’s the assumption. I have never actually met the dude and I don’t really know anything about him. So I am just reflecting what people say.

Then you have the — Like I always say, you have — VMware bought SpringSource which owned Hyperic, and the GlueCode — is it GlueCode, not GlueCode, they own the Groovy people. GlueCode was the Geronimo stuff way back.

Anyways so VMware is already sort of gone on this, we want to expand our portfolio, and to recap that hold notion, the whole deal is, if you are going to be a long-term tech company, if you aspire to be, what I would call an elder company, which is a tech company that’s been around for like 20 or more years like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, basically, you can’t be a one trick pony, you need a very diverse portfolio. There is serial exceptions like BMC, which is one of the top ten software companies, that are — and CA which — they are sort of like multi-trick ponies that do the same trick or something like that.

John Willis: CA is a multi-donkey.

Michael Coté: Right, so you either need to follow like — I mean CA is the exaggerated version of this. You either need to be kind of like the CA or kind of BMCs of the world, where you dominate every silo in the one silo that you are in. So if you want to do IT management, you can go to CA or BMC and you are done, if you want to be, right, which not everyone wants to be.

But the point being that, VMware is known for VMware, for its name sake, for ESX essentially, for its virtualization product, and they are not so much known for the management. They have management stuff and everything like that but really they are a hypervisor company, and that’s what they specialize in and that’s what people know them about. So, I mean what they need to do, they are public company, right. So, if they want to become an elder company, which is a good thing, then they need to have like at least three different product lines, I would — I am kind of making this up, but at least three different things on their portfolio.

So, they have got virtualization, and, in theory, as we have spoken into a length that if they have SpringSource and they build on that some more, I mean, they would need to develop or buy more stuff, then they would have application development as one of their portfolio items essentially, and then, with something like Zimbra, the theory going, if they are going to grow this $100 million asset into a billion dollar product line or whatever, which seems to be the benchmark for product lines in companies, then you would basically have what they call the Collaboration Space.

Collaboration is one of the more vague terms out there, but basically, what it means is first it means email. Email is like table stakes, as people like to say. So you’ve got to have email, and then on top of that, you got to have calendaring. So basically, Exchange. Then, built on top of that — or Google apps, if you prefer — built on top of that, in collaboration, you can have things like SharePoint and sharing documents and collaborating around artifacts that people create, whether it’s spreadsheets documents, presentations, ideas, wikis, whatever, so you got that going on.

Then even on top of that, you start to get into things like behind the — you get in, what they would call, Enterprise 2.0. So these are like, what am I — I am distracting myself with something —

John Willis: Collaboration.

Michael Coté Yeah, it’s basically like —

John Willis: Like what IBM has done with the whole —

Michael Coté Yeah. So basically, essentially if you look at the Lotus portfolio, right, Lotus has everything in the space at the moment.

John Willis: Right, right.

Michael Coté They are not always as fantastic as they can be about making that statement, they are like, hey, we’ve got everything, which I think — I mean I didn’t used to say this about Lotus, but over the past year or so, they have actually brought a lot of impressive stuff to market and I think we might have talked about this back when I went to the software, the IBM Software Analyst Conference that there are — there is actually some impressively giant installs that Lotus has at companies that are like in the hundreds of thousands.

John Willis: Oh yeah!

Michael Coté And it’s not just like old Lotus Notes stuff, it’s like Lotus Connections and Lotus Email and stuff. We were kind of like, oh, wow!

Anyways, so that’s kind of like — that would be like the happy path, glass is half full theory of Zimbra stuff is that as a corporation — like if all this were true, all of the stuff we are talking about were true that VMware’s current corporate strategy is to become a very diversified software company. So they would have infrastructure, all of their virtualization stuff, which is — I mean that’s a fair goal for them to have, because the work they did in virtualization, both technologically and marketing, market wise, has sort of created a huge amount of what IT management is or aspires to be nowadays primarily based on virtualization.

And then again, they would have basically software development. They could essentially take over — take the large chunks of the Java world, if you will, and then they would have collaboration. So you can already see they’ve got three of the six software brands that IBM has and similar comparison to Microsoft. Now all of that said, that’s a tall order to build up; that kind of thing doesn’t happen overnight at all, and it doesn’t even happen — it takes like a decade or more to build up something like that.

If you look at the career of like Steve Mills who is the head of software at IBM. I mean that dude has been there a long, long time, building up the software group. And just now, it was like, the big revenue powerhouse that it is. So it takes a while to build up that kind of thing and there is — as you know in the Tivoli space, there is plenty of missteps and weird things that can happen and all sorts of stuff.

But I mean just to round it I mean I am not a numbers guy by far but I would wager, I mean my gut tells me that VMware probably has the cash and the access to credit and the time essentially. They have the resources to probably — if they can defend the revenue that they get from virtualization and kind of innovate enough in that area to have that to be a cash cow, they probably have the resources to have a pretty good shot at building out something like this over the next ten years or so.

John Willis: Yeah, and if they don’t screw up they are — now you’ve heard from the analyst; now you hear from the other dose.

Michael Coté That’s right.

John Willis: They don’t screw up then yeah. No, I mean, no —

Michael Coté I think we need to — I need to rename my practice within RedMonk, the glass half full practice.

John Willis: No. The thing about — I think just looking at EMC, EMC is like for yeard tried that crap going.

Michael Coté Oh! That’s a good — go on. Yeah.

John Willis: Ceiling, and they have done like fantastic acquisitions and — but they just never seem to get out of that rut, and they make money. I mean I don’t think they have lost any money on the acquisition they’ve made. I still talk to people — running smarts and things like that from EMC. I am just wondering if EMC — I mean VMware will fall into the same fate, maybe too powerful or branding in one space, I don’t know, but I know just from following Twitter and the Cloud and all that, they are pouring so many resources into redefining kind of the Cloud world, and they are in a better place than — if you had — you get in betting, you had to bet on somebody right now to dominate, the place where it’s going to. I mean you’d have to have to say VMware is going to be the — is the better bet, even more than IBM or anybody else.

Michael Coté Yeah, yeah. I wouldn’t have really taken this whole strategy sort of seriously just based on them buying SpringSource, but buying Zimbra and if they buy a few more then you can kind of trust that, oh, they are actually willing to put money buying this. So it’s not just like a fluke or whatever, which can happen, and happened for a lot.

John Willis: Well, SpringSource wasn’t — I mean I know you know this, SpringSource is not a clue, right, that was — that was another like people scratching their head, getting into the outside of the enterprise, it’s where it’s at, and it should got to be in the Cloud business.

Michael Coté Yeah.

John Willis: And I think for $100 million how can you go wrong with Zimbra, right? And then it’s interesting to see what they did next because I am sure they are not done.

Michael Coté Yeah, I think this is about two years ago now but RedMonk used Zimbra for a while. When I first joined RedMonk we were using a hosted exchange server which was fine if you were just using POP or IMAP, but it was not pretty to log into and use. And then we switched over to using Zimbra, and it was much better than whatever hosted exchange we had.

And it was fine, there is no big deal, but then we just looked at Google Apps and it’s like $50 a seat, and I don’t know the terms of service for Google Apps but I am pretty sure we looked through it enough that it was satisfactory that Google wasn’t going to like own us or whatever. But it’s just like, Google Apps is hard to compete with.

John Willis: Oh yeah, I mean to any start-up right now or any small business start-up, you mentioned Google Apps. I mean it just makes no sense, I mean it is so – and you can argue all the lock-in stores you want.

Michael Coté Yeah. But the thing that Zimbra has and I have to admit, I haven’t checked in on them in a while, but the last I looked, they did have some excellent ways to like extend the platform and build in little widgets or applications, or things like that. Those are the kind of things that when you are trying to build out more of an enterprise solution, right. It is handy to have ways of customizing and immigrating things like that. So I don’t know, we’ll see how that works out with the Zimbra folks.

John Willis: Yeah. So the other thing I was going to — one last thing I was going to mention about my thoughts on acquisitions, like VMware is that essentially you get really big. Of course now VMWare is really big. In fact, it’s kind of dangerously too big too fast, right.

Michael Coté Yeah.

John Willis: And there is an arc, not that I know how to do this, but you can see companies that do it skillfully, and like IBM, there is an arc in integrating large organizations into large organizations.

Michael Coté Sure!

John Willis: And I think that — you talk about how long something comes to that fruit, right, I mean a lot of that has to do with how good you are at assuming the culture, everything about the organization that you are part of, and IBM as I think always been the standard for doing that.

Michael Coté Yeah, I mean they are the only ones who have a term for it, Blue Washing.

John Willis: Yeah, right, and even with them I have been in the guts on some of these as a partner where the companies that they caught on the way and handles major acquisition and it takes a good year-and-a-half, almost two years. Even when they know exactly what they are doing, exactly what they want to do. And that’s where a company that has got it down to science.

Zimbra, I don’t worry about so much, but SpringSource, and then iPeer, where does iPeer show up I mean — or do they ever come out in a 18:27 steaming right now if he is listening. But I mean they were – Hyperic, I mean, GroundWorks, Zenoss, I don’t think they hit the radar anymore.

Michael Coté Yeah, yeah, we’ll have to go look that up and see where they are popping up in the portfolio. If someone else — Citrix seems to have done a good job like acquiring Xen like from the outside. I don’t really know the state of the Xen open-source community and things like that, but from what I can tell they didn’t screw that up which is pretty good for Citrix. So that’s another — and they had some Netscaler and there is and they have a couple of other things. So they are another –

Citrix is another one of these like — I guess you could call it like a sleeper company, like BMC always used to joke about itself that it was the quiet giant which we thought was really dumb because why would you want to be quiet. But Citrix is one of these companies that they also do a lot of things that you never really hear about them very much, but anyhow.

John Willis: Yeah. But they are another one of those companies that have just got unbelievable adoption of the enterprise so they can, it was like VMware, they can screw up or like EMC, they could screw up royally but they still succeed.

Michael Coté So speaking of start-ups you said that you had an exciting announcement to make.

John Willis: Da… da… da… no. Yeah, so Monday I start a new job, isn’t that exciting?

Michael Coté And what is that job, John?

John Willis: I am going to be Vice President of Services and Training for an option called OpsCode.

Michael Coté: You cut out there, Vice-President of Services and what?

John Willis: And Training.

Michael Coté: Alright, for OpsCode.

John Willis: For OpsCode. The proud owners of the product Chef.

Michael Coté: Alright, definitely and they are in the —

John Willis: I am more excited than I have been probably in my whole career. These guys are in start-up mode, they are growing, they are blowing, they are rocking and rolling.

Michael Coté: So, this means you are not going to be independent anymore, right?

John Willis: I will always be an independent soul. Do you know that movie? What’s the movie? The Coen Brothers. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Michael Coté: Right, right.

John Willis: So in the beginning of the movie, they escape from the prison and they get on like the guy is pushing the little two men dolly train, and the guy says, you work for your airline, the guy turns and he says, I work for no man.

Michael Coté: That’s right

John Willis: Yeah, yeah, I know, I am going to be — well, I mean significantly for me is I haven’t get the job in 30 years so or 25 years.

Michael Coté: That explains a lot, it’s all coming together.

John Willis: I actually worked as an employee for — they gave us some like weird contracts that I had to do, but they were contracts. But the bottom-line is I have been in consulting.

Michael Coté: Yeah, I mean we were talking about this a little before the recording. The exciting thing is like, that’s the past few companies you have been all around services and training. So it seems like a natural sort of thing for you to start doing. And I know you and the OpsCode guy, you are an advisor, you have been an advisor for them.

John Willis: Advisor, yeah. Yeah, for me that’s the thing is, when I finally came in realization that the — I started this company called Gulf Breeze Software about five-six years ago and there was a lot of things which were perfect when we started. And when I look at what’s going on right now, the Cloud, it’s about identical to what we did, what happened with that company? I built a $3.5 million service company in three years there.

And everything looks exactly the same, there is a lot of confusion in the technology, there is not a lot of people that actually really — I have been doing against just independent consultants, I am finding these people. When they are going out to find Cloud experts and stuff, they just, they don’t even know where to pick and they are getting jalopies, they are getting people that really say they are great, they don’t know, what they are doing.

So a lot of things we have seen very similar to the way it was, when I started at Gulf Breeze, and it’s exciting back when I started Gulf Breeze, typically was phenomenally exciting. In fact, it’s been about ten years now actually, and I think it’s about 2000 — 1999, 1998 is when I actually started.

Michael Coté: Three or four years ago.

John Willis: Yeah, right, because you are awfully fast when you get old, right. Yeah, there are so many similarities to it. So I think it’s going to be great, I mean configuration in the Cloud is I think the most exciting thing right now.

Michael Coté: Yeah, that’s definitely the whole space that like, Reductive Labs with Puppet and OpsCode with Chef that they are in. I was slinging around the phrase the other day like Model-Driven Automation or something and the VP of Development, Michael, over at Zenoss, he noticed that phrase and he was asking for more detail about it, it made me thing, I need to sit down and actually think about, what the hell that means. But whatever this Model-Driven Automation for the lack of a better phrase is, like it definitely is that seems to be sticking to the wall pretty well. And even hear people like Cisco and BMC when they are partnering around the unified compute stuff, like they speak in these terms and if you talk to Tivoli people, they are starting to talk in these terms.

So, yes, it’s exciting and it seems like, we have joked about this a lot to use a common frame. But it’s kind of like the autonomic stuff, except it looks like it might actually work this time.

John Willis: Exactly, well in fact, you’re talking about, it’s funny how, like you block something or treat something, and then have somebody to say, hey! Well, tell me more about my book. I was just got talking it out loud, right?

Michael Coté: Right.

John Willis: But it’s kind of funny because I have been — when I actually got started in Tivoli a while back, there was – Tivoli had acquired this company called Think Dynamics, which actually called the founder of a sudden kind of — friends with him for about a year or so. A year-and-a-half we just talked about Cloud and stuff, and I know he was a founder. And I asked him, because they kind of introduced this concept of orchestration for IT enterprise. This idea of being able to — it’s kind of funny because this is like 1995 and they were having this idea of being able to dynamically move server resources, based on workload and monitoring.

And it was actually a ridiculous idea in 1995, right? I had some briefing in New York City from IBM after they acquired them talking about. Yeah, we can have 20 Oracle servers over here, and 15 utility servers over here, and if the workload gets we’ll move them back and I am like, you know I am playing myself. They are current, they are 1998 version of configuration, it took a day-and-a-half to build the server.

So I wonder how they are going to pull that trick off, and then, by the way the monitoring matrix don’t seem to be too reliable either. But they are back in the day, but they had this idea and IBM is always great about the ideas and this idea of policy-based orchestration being.

And so, I was kind of playing around with the term and I started thinking about, kind of like, people just took the word Cloud and may be the definition that we live with, and put a taxonomy around and like. So as I move into this new job, I want to kind of — I think I am going to try to put a stake in the ground, can’t of like your model-driven idea of orchestration being the lynch of the datacenter. It requires everything from, agile infrastructure; it takes in all the agile like how do you get the requirements to fit with the development which fits with the continuous integration, which fits with the provisioning, which fits with the configuration, which fits with the actual dynamic movement of resources. And all that holds their orchestration.

Michael Coté: Definitely.

John Willis: In fact, I submitted with Damon Edwards, the guy over at DTO Solutions, he is one of your clients, right?

Michael Coté: Yeah. The control (Voice Overlap) guys.

John Willis: Yeah, we submitted a presentation to Velocity, in fact, we did it at the midnight hour last night.

Michael Coté: Oh! Yeah.

John Willis: Last night was the deadline. But I have had this idea, and he is just a sharp guy, and we think alike. So we were talking about, I had this idea of orchestration.

Michael Coté: Yeah, I was talking with Mark — it was someone the other day. I think he was Mark Hinkle and he was asking me about moderating a panel that was kind of along the lines of having some enterprise, sort of people talking about stuff. So we’ll see what happens with that. That would be interesting.

John Willis: Yeah, we set a paper what’s called the IT Philharmonic, how out of tune are your operations, and just really kind of —

Michael Coté: Exactly! That’s exciting, so come Monday we’ll finally see you wearing a suit. I am looking forward to it.

John Willis: Yeah, I’ve got to get do, what they call 28:03, really fancy shoes and all the —

Michael Coté: And like an old brother what I thought, may be you’ve got to figure out if you are a dandy dan or a thought man.

John Willis: Yes, you are right, I am a dandy man, no way man.

Michael Coté: No way no thought, I am a dandy man.

John Willis: That was a great one, pulled back from the O Brother.

Michael Coté: Well, you know, speaking of that, so that the thing that Lin was commenting on with that Model-Driven Automation, so we’ve got a huge back log of little news items. We should go through here.

John Willis: Yeah.

Michael Coté: From the holiday, from last weekend. So since it’s a good segue, so BMC last week bought this Austin-based company called Phurnace, which I wrote up that little quick analysis, as I like to call them on that, it’s to give the quick run-down, if you are not familiar with it.

So Phurnace is this company that they are little company here in Austin, and essentially the core technology that they have, is they can extract the configuration from Java application servers and portal stuff, basically Java app servers. And they can move, they have an intermediate model if you will that hints model-driven automation, you see the hook up here. They have an intermediate model this configuration goes into and then they can move this configuration to other types of app servers.

So when they started out they did a lot of WebSphere to JBoss migration, cost-saving stuff. And then what they got into after several other years is more, just more purely configuration management, the theory being that, the configuration for an application server is kind of complicated and easy to screw up, and so forth and so on, like any configuration.

And so part of their system is just helping you manage the life-cycle of that configuration and deploying it and so forth and so on. And so yeah, BMC bought them for, I forget — I don’t think the terms were disclosed. But I talked with their CEO and he said that, according to him, they were good favorable terms, it wasn’t any fire sale thing or anything at all.

So every now and then I have mentioned Phurnace is someone who if you wanted to manage Java stuff they were interesting people to look at.

So it’s kind of not to toot my own horn, but it’s kind of heartening that one of the IT management people actually sort of realized it, what looked like a Java sort of company was actually a management company.

John Willis: Yeah, now you have mentioned and I think before and the products when we talked about, because right now it’s kind of ringing a bell, but I moved back and I looked at them, it was interesting, they were actually apparently it was part of University of Texas, MBA were they had to come up with business plans and then —

Michael Coté: Yeah, down here in Austin there is a couple of like start-up incubators, and things associated with the University of Texas down here. There is actually a fair amount of contest like that where, you get like a small amount of money if you enter this contest, but it takes you through the rigor of coming up with the business plan. And there is another sort of friend of mine, this guy Divakar, he had a company eVapt, which we might have mentioned a couple of times, they did SaaS, and he had a similar story.

I don’t know if it was the same — it might have been the same program, but he was another success story of the local Austin community here having like a little contest, and being Mr. Booster here. But having a contest where they basically — I think they won like $20,000, or something like that but it gave them the validation, enough funding to really kick up a bigger company and eVapt got sold to an Indian billing company recently. So there has been a nice round of sort of exits.

John Willis: I was surprised that students would have actually come up with kind of a Java configuration, that’s kind of out there and looking somewhere.

Michael Coté: Yeah, and so in their press releases and stuff that — I didn’t actually speak with BMC about this, I did speak with Larry Warnock is his name if I remember the CEO of Phurnace, but it look like I think the BladeLogic Group bought this, and I think essentially what Blade – Blade does automation, they do kind of contemporary old school automation.

John Willis: There what I call Second Generation Configuration Management.

Michael Coté: Here you go, perfect!

John Willis: As opposed to Third Generation.

Michael Coté: That’s right.

John Willis: Like including Puppet and Chef, oh by the way, sorry.

Michael Coté: That’s right, so I think essentially Blade is buying them to fill out their product line to help, to manage Java more essentially, which makes perfect sense.

John Willis: Yeah.

Michael Coté: Like I said in the write-up that I had, I mean from the BMC that I know does two types of acquisitions, and this is like the BMC episode apparently, and usually it’s the Cloud or IBM episode, but some other TLA is getting all the juice. But either BMC buys like a transformative company like Remedy or BladeLogic that adds a whole new portfolio, a whole new product like line of products, or they would buy one of these little tactical companies that just fills in a technology hole for — and I think that’s what Phurnace does.

John Willis: Yeah, and going back to kind of IBM, that’s another thing IBM does really well, they even buy really big mammoth companies, or they find these like little diamonds in the rough, and they pay nothing on their scale even if they pay $30 million for these guys, or $20 million. They all got loaded and – for that kind of money for BMC to solve this problem. It’s a nice little acquisition.

Michael Coté: And while we are on the acquisition thing back in December Microsoft bought this company called Opalis, or Opalis, however you want to pronounce it, which I think I also wrote up something. I am a little writing-up dude apparently.

John Willis: Yeah, you’re writing them up.

Michael Coté: But that’s another interesting acquisition, kind of in this orchestration space if you will.

John Willis: That’s in some of the area, not Run Book, but Run Book Automation I guess is another. And that’s definitely kind of a strange acquisition I guess, right.

Michael Coté: Yeah, well, I mean I think, so run books are an interesting – I’ll admit that until I joined RedMonk about four years ago, I didn’t really know redbooks.

John Willis: You didn’t know Run Monks?

Michael Coté: That’s right, I didn’t know too much about Run Books, so when I was first discovering, I was like, Holy Crap! This is awesome, you know like the promise of a Run Book is it’s sort of like a first generation sort of Cloud-based infrastructure, automation, orchestration, hooplaw. And the promise of a Run Book is essentially this is like the most full blown out like robots serving UT sort of thing.

But you basically you’ve got this self-service page to one goes to and they are like, I want to get this, and they just click on it and the Run Book just executes everything, and then you provision stuff when you are just all happy-dandy, it’s all like automated. So that’s like what a promise of a Run Book is.

So the Run Books that exist they end up being based around like a service catalogue and the sort of workflows that have to execute to deliver these services and things like that, which is fine, right? And I think this is — so with that sort of scattering introduction like Run Books are very ITSM or IT Service Management, or good old IT Management sort of conception of delivering the stuff. And a lot of the ones I’ve talked with nowadays they are catching up or have caught up with kind of the Cloud theory behind thing, which is a lot more loosened fast than the sort of perfection that Run Books are.

And I think for Microsoft, I mean Microsoft has been bogged down in responding to virtualization and Cloud stuff versus good old fashion IT management, which if you are forced to put money down I think is probably the wise move to get bogged down in virtualization and Cloud stuff. And meanwhile, in the background Microsoft is for a long time, they have aspired to be one of the big four essentially.

So I think getting something like Opalis, or Opalis or have you say probably help some with their more good old IT management stuff, which I think is interesting. And it’s also significant that I think it’s mostly their virtualization people that are talking about it. Which make sense because to have a real good Run Book, I mean you have to use virtualization and all this Cloud orchestration business, so we’ll see what happens with that. It seems like it wasn’t too bad of a thing for them to get.

John Willis: Yeah, well, this is again I think it’s similar, I heard you were going back to — I think this is at good times. I think you are seeing the cost of the economy, which is really good, very similar to when I started my last company is that you are seeing a lot of good technologies get purchased by big guys.

A lot of it is, yeah, it maybe good, but a lot of it is just the bargain prices, and the money that these big guys have, and make sense to just acquire them, and that just leaves wide gap openings for new technologies to fill the gap.

Michael Coté: Yeah, and I am scrolling through my stuff, we should also mention that I forget if it’s an early release or the finished release, but the guys who are at Reductive Labs they have some dashboards out now. Basically UI stuff on top of Puppet that I have been taking a look at, those are with checking out in this, what did you call it Third Generation Orchestration, John?

John Willis: Third Generation Configuration. Yeah, they are Puppets, I mean Puppet to find this space.

Michael Coté: And I think since Puppet, the Reductive Lab guys have been in the lime-lights it’s getting fine. I mean, they have been mentioning that they are working on something, right, and I think these dashboards and another UI, they are finally exposing to the public stuff they have been working on.

So if I remember correctly like what these dashboards do at the moment is they obviously have reporting on like things that are run in your — the Puppet, the different Puppet masters that run around and configuration that’s happened, and there is also just being to look at different alerts. I think there are alerts in there. I might be over-thinking it. But it’s basically just a visualization of what’s happening in Puppet land if you will, which their really wasn’t a rich UI at all or really any sort of UI beyond the command line. So that’s good that they are adding that in there.

John Willis: Yeah, so I was actually searching this stuff, pretty good stuff, look like good stuff. So what else? I am kind of looking at my list, we’ve got — there are couple of things like we talked about the Ops camp on the 30th, right?

Michael Coté: Oh yeah, that’s definitely.

John Willis: Yeah, we’ve got three – and in fact Reductive Labs is a sponsor.

Michael Coté: Oh Yeah, and Zenoss.

John Willis: 38:53 is coming.

Michael Coté: Yeah.

John Willis: So he is your buddy.

Michael Coté: Oh yeah he is like the Agile in the longest developments.

John Willis: Yeah good, so I am just going to see if some of the OpsCode guys come down. I think we’ll get about 50-60 people. We’ve got guys like you, me, Luke, and maybe I can get Adam.

Michael Coté: Oh, so if you go to then I love this about Eventbrite, but it lists all the people who have signed up and BitNami is a sponsor as well.

John Willis: Yeah, BitNami.

Michael Coté: It looks like the Marketing VP Tara Spalding from GroundWork coming as well.

John Willis: Yeah, very cool!

Michael Coté: I don’t think I have met her, so that will be fine.

John Willis: I never met her either, and it looks like another team of Zenoss.

Michael Coté: Yeah, he is part of the five runs injection for Zenoss.

John Willis: Oh there you go, they go, 39:44 Luke, BitNami, Damon Edwards and DTO where this control 39:49 is coming.

Michael Coté: Yes, so far if only these people show up I’ll have a good time.

John Willis: Oh by the way we have heard recruit you during the video recording.

Michael Coté: Well, fantastic, yeah, this is the great thing about Dave Nielsen who does CloudCamp, he is very good, and I don’t know if this is a non-PC word to use, he is really good at shanghaiing you, like all of a sudden you are like, oh, hey, how did I become involve in this?

John Willis: Yes.

Michael Coté: I’ve worked with him enough now that I am pretty good at like deflecting it and like accepting what I — because he just add (Voice Overlap). So you’ve got to watch out with this guy because next thing you will be —

John Willis: Well, at all fairness, I accepted the task of asking you if you would do it.

Michael Coté: That’s right.

John Willis: Yeah. And one other thing just so we got little ways to go, but if you are planning and going to Velocity, Velocity actually runs Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday this year, and we are going to run DevOps Days US. So I went to DevOps Days in Belgium last year and we had a one-day DevOps Days in that general area around where Velocity is going to be. So a lot of the guys from Europe that ran DevOps Days are coming all over.

So if you are interested in this whole camp Agile infrastructure, Agile operations and Agile shapers definitely going to be there, in fact the Agile shaper is you say it’s like 75% that he is going to be able to come to an Ops camp.

So yeah, I mean we get those guys around, and you feel I just got stop and it just doesn’t get any better.

Michael Coté: Yeah definitely. So why don’t you hit us with something from your list?

John Willis: Okay, so here we go da… da… da… So I talked to the guys from Solasta the other day. They had called me about sponsoring the Ops camp and he was telling more about, the Solasta is that they are kind of the killer app in the Amazon Cloud. And really I guessed it couple of times. They do the testing, they’ve got the testing.

Michael Coté: Oh, that’s right, that’s right.

John Willis: Their famous story is, they’ve got a lot of stories now, but one of their famous stories is that they did the turbo 2009 and they basically automated a simulation or they ran a 22-hour test, like 2000 nodes and it emulated 350,000 e-files. And the cost is like dropping the bucket, right? Because it’s all Amazon [Inaudible]. I didn’t realize this.

He was telling me a little more about the product and the owner, I think Tom Lubane (ph), I am probably hacking us last time, but he will be the first guy that hacked us. He said, in fact one of the things I didn’t know about, which is right now kind of our area of interest is, they actually built a whole monitoring infrastructure and all app infrastructure on the backend.

So they don’t just do the testing, they are very serious about integrating with Tivoli and different monitoring tools and so on, they are running the test. They are like scraping data from like anything available and they are throwing it into a very sophisticated kind of all app data warehouse to do analysis on where did they break, where did performance strength break. So it sounded more sophisticated, just, you know I know when you talk to people. Oh it sounds better when they are telling you — when you are using it, but it sounds like, wow, that’s you know, give me that all the time. You know what I mean. Sounds like they run this trace for like ten hours or run this testing deal for ten hours and then have a backend data store, data warehouse all that. Here’s where you need to improve, just killer stuff. A, what’s killer about it? The whole advent of the Cloud in that and these are the kind of things you just couldn’t ever do.

Michael Coté: I think this is kind of like the bright side of Cloud Washing if you will, which is sort of like retrofitting your offerings to the current buzzword as you were being Cloud stuff. But if there is a shimmer, a silver lining to that Cloud so to say, it makes it easier to appreciate these existing technologies that you are kind of like one would be easily dismissive or confused about, right?

So something like doing that kind of testing and data access on a mass scale (Voice Overlap). Like if you didn’t have Cloud stuff you’d be like, oh that’s a weird freakish thing, but now you have the context to put that stuff in.

People like one, we have talked about this client of RedMonks like these people Sonoa, they are another one of these people who — they have this — they make using APIs to their Cloud easier and they have little Cloud accelerators and things like that, I am greatly simplifying it. But they are another company like who is offering, it would seem kind of weird if you didn’t have the context of the Cloud to put it in. It would be sort of like, who needs to keep management of APIs, but now that you understand Cloud, this makes a lot more sense.

John Willis: Yeah, this whole abstraction, this whole — you know what I call Cambrian Explosion where things are really starting to make sense to group things together, that you couldn’t five years ago even dream of.

Michael Coté: That’s right.

John Willis: So, I guess some Amazon stuff quickly, just little stuff, like so Amazon had, I guess, Windows Server 2008, looks like some LDAP, I didn’t play, but some LDAP federated service support, it’s kind of cool.

And then we talked about the spot pricing a couple of podcasts ago, right? There is actually have been a couple now, the first one I saw was called as Cloud Exchange, and what they do is they actually have grass now, where they actually show you the average pricing. Actually get a feel for using some kind of capacity to may be figure out, what your — if the spot pricing is all about, you put in a price that you are willing to pay.

Michael Coté: Yeah, it’s a marketplace, it’s kind of brokering as you like to call it.

John Willis: It’s kind of cool, now there has been some nice, I figured it had to happen soon.

Michael Coté: So, what’s the average pricing looking like?

John Willis: You know what, I shouldn’t look that up. I did a quick look on, well, why don’t you start talking about something?

Michael Coté: Yeah, like also looking through our pile of old news, there was also some media streaming stuff from Amazon. I mean like John was saying at the end of last year, Amazon has really been piling on the news.

And this reminds me of, I think it was today, that Rackspace announced that they are hosting like or something like that which is another — I am always fascinated by this — what does is, it’s pretty straightforward, they do video and media encoding, sort of on-demand. And me doing a lot of this media stuff, I am fascinated by that kind of business delivered over the Cloud, whether streaming medias is the end-user consumption of it, which is exciting.

But then the actual encoding of it is also nice as well, because I think HD and even non-HD video encoding is one of the last front — it’s one of the major current frustration sources in computing at the moment, because that stuff is just painful, and it’s with these files that are still huge enough that you can’t — it’s difficult to just like upload them to somewhere and things like that. So if you had a high-speed access and you could upload a gig reasonably well, then I can see doing online encoding, it would be fine, which I am sure most people who use it do that.

And it’s actually — once you have like a high performance. I guess this is what I am getting at, as I am rambling here. Doing video work is one of the few instances, where you actually need really high performance computing at the moment, for common everyday uses, and it’s not really easy to get that high performance computing. So that’s why it’s curious to see how people are applying video stuff to the Cloud.

Did I eat up enough time for you yet, John?

John Willis: Yeah, perfect! Good example, so now if you look at like pricing or what they call on-demand pricing for Amazon, they have three different regions, now they have the US North Virginia, US North California – not North California, sorry and then – but East Coast, West Coast US and then Europe. So do you look at like US West Coast a small on-demand instances, 9.5 cents an hour, and so (Voice Overlap) exchange guy, it’s running right now at about 3.9 cents an hour.

Michael Coté: Okay, and so, how does that compare to like list price?

John Willis: Well, list price is like 9 cents.

Michael Coté: Oh, got it, got it.

John Willis: So, the running is – here in fact, it even gives you the percentage ratio, it’s 41% off the list basically, and you can look at like for example, I look at the large, large is 43 in the same region, and then what’s cool is you go to any region too, and so you can go, you kind of change your region, so I can go up in the East, 49:09.

Michael Coté: Yeah, well, I am sure, there is some aspiring — what would you call them? Gray hat people out there, who were trying to figure out how to like eat up Cloud resources to raise the price and if they can make money off of, that’s key in that.

John Willis: Well, that’s come up on Twitter, there has been couple of interesting conversations about, 49:35 Amazon and then will there any kind of whole side business or sub business of doing this?

But anyway, I thought that it was cool and they are virtual product of clock came out big. I don’t even know what the difference between beta and non-beta is these days. So some of the beta for like two years and then now VPC, but other things, and then there is the perpetual beta.

So I was going to ask you, I don’t know if we have some time here at gadget guy more than me, so what’s the skinning on me 50:10?

Michael Coté: Well, it seems like one of the higher level executives at Orange which is a French telecom. It was kind of like a, I don’t know, a Verizon for France, I am probably exposing myself to be an American idiot. But it’s like a French Telco that’s pretty big across the pond there. And according to news articles John, he let slip that there will be a tablet. You can see how this would have happened if it was accidental or it was controlled. He was like oh, yeah, Orange will offer one of these for sure.

So that means that there will be one of these tablets. But beyond that, I have to be honest with you, I used to follow Apple rumor news really closely when I was bored of programming and stuff, but nowadays I just kind of wait for them doing non-stuff because there are so many different rumors that. I don’t get much pleasure out of tracking gadget rumors I guess. But yeah —

John Willis: Yeah, it sounds like pretty cool, because I am thinking of buying Kindle, but maybe I’ll wait.

Michael Coté: Oh, I hadn’t thought about that but you see Apple is pretty tight lipped about stuff, but it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Apple to be being strategic and especially right before Christmas to basically put a dent in like Kindle sales and other sales to kind of say like, well, maybe I should wait a little while, because I bet there are people probably somewhat maybe yourself who would have bought a Kindle, but you are a little like — now you are like, well, maybe I should buy this other thing.

I think in the summer when these rumors came up, the old columnist John Dvorak, I think he actually had some pretty good commentary on this kind of stuff. And it was basically like if you are paying like $300-400 for a gadget, it’s kind of like this whole other realm of stuff.

That’s kind of around what Kindle’s cost and so they are like luxury gadgets, essentially. So I think this kind of thing is all about the pricing versus being general compute.

On the other hand, you could see that something like an Apple tablet would get the same what’s the right phrase? It would capture the imagination of the market, just like Netbook sort of have, right? And you could say like well, a Netbook is not a fully operational battle platform. It’s not a fully functional laptop but it’s cheap enough for what it is. So like I will spend $300-400 to get what a Netbook is, right? And if the tablet is like a general purpose machine that has multitasking for God’s sake unlike the iPhone, then maybe you’d be like, well, I’ll buy that.

John Willis: Yeah.

Michael Coté: We will see what happens if it even comes out in the first place.

John Willis: I bought a Netbook for one of my boys for Christmas and it came — it was one of the Acer ones. So it’s actually pretty cool, because it’s not the SD drives, it’s a real hard drive and it’s actually pretty — for the boys it’s unbelievable. They put on this Windows 7 starter set. So it says Windows 7 when you get it. I am not going to torture my kids and make them run Ubuntu. But it’s like the starter set that you can’t change it. You can’t even change your background screen.

Michael Coté: Oh really!

John Willis: Yeah, you can’t. Like Christmas day we spent the whole freaking day, just trying — he wanted to put one of his pictures on the background screen which is one of his friends got one too. And they were running XP I guess. And so he was like, Dad how come you don’t know how to do this? And I was like, oh, no son, I’ll figure it out. So I wasted the whole day and I should have done when writing in the Google, I did a Google search and this Google search says, yeah, yeah you can’t change it. It’s horrible.

Michael Coté: That’s interesting because I think messing around with your Desktop configuration is one of the better entrees into learning about computers, because it’s never easy. But you’ll learn to like explore the computer right like just —

John Willis: I did actually learn about the whole Windows 7. I actually know where the screen — I mean there is all sorts of stuff I want to know but I —

Michael Coté: You basically like walk every tree through the UI if possible.

John Willis: So the lesson I learned always Google something first, no matter how — I think, it was like being dated by my son. He was like Dad — I can do this, I can do this, son. But hey, I got some really, really huge news.

Michael Coté: What’s that?

John Willis: Bigger than anything ever. I left Axon when I was like 25-years-old. So I have been an independent consultant for 25 years, right? For 25 years I never had a company buy me a computer. You know what I get on Monday?

Michael Coté: Are you getting a Mac?

John Willis: You got it, baby!

Michael Coté: Sorry, are you getting a MacBook Pro or an Air? What are you going to get?

John Willis: No, not the Air, I am going to get the MacBook Pro.

Michael Coté: Oh, that would be exciting. Well, you know, John, I have an excellent article that’s basically like surviving the first 100 days of the Mac.

John Willis: Oh, really, I need that for sure.

Michael Coté: I am kind of overstating it, but it’s more or less like the — like I sat down because people asked me this a lot. So I got a Mac, I am a Windows person like what do I do. So I kind of wrote up something that’s sort of like the way I used my Mac for day-to-day work essentially, and it doesn’t really have Windows equivalent season, but it is.

John Willis: Just your advice on the iPhone when I got it, it was like you know what apps to get and all, that was like real, so yeah.

Michael Coté: Yeah, well that’s exciting to get a Mac.

John Willis: I know, well to get a computer, I have to buy myself, I mean I don’t even know that. I was complaining about my Dell about how it doesn’t do this and that, it’s like, well, that won’t be a problem in a couple of weeks and what do you mean? It’s like, oh, we’re going to give you a — why? That’s better than the offer, that’s better than the job, somebody actually buy me a computer, my goodness1

Michael Coté: So is this like the fist Mac, you ever going to get?

John Willis: Yeah.

Michael Coté: Wow! That is interesting. From sleeping on crest to MacBook Pro.

John Willis: Yeah, I get a fun at 56:22. Yeah, that’s a good introduction if I do write a article that might be joke.

Michael Coté: You know what while we are on the topic of Apple, I just want to mention that from my birthday which was the 1st of January, my wife Kim got me one of the new iPhones, the iPhone 3GS and I’ve been complaining about the iPhone 3G that I had, and so far this has fixed all of my complain problems essentially. And this is like a love-hate sort of thing where it’s a sort of like, the old iPhone I had. It just got to that point, like all computers do or it just gets crudded up and things are slow and stuff crashes all the time.

You know whatever, I don’t really care, why, or like if it’s my fault, all that matter is that it was happening.

And it basically made me start to really hate my iPhone, because there were things which just crashed all the time and it was slow but — now that I have got this new phone, and I don’t know just because it is a new phone, so it’s got like the new OS, Operating System install and everything on it. Or it’s probably more than it has; a better processor and more memory and stuff like that, but man, it’s fantastic having this new phone.

It’s just like — it’s as good as I remember the iPhone being when I first got it, which is like good for Apple for making us give them extra money to put out with their crappy products but —

John Willis: Oh, you had a surprise party, right?

Michael Coté: Yeah, that’s right. I did that was really fun.

John Willis: Were you surprised?

Michael Coté: Oh, totally.

John Willis: Okay, I got an invitation from Kim’s, I thought it was — it was like right after January 1st, what was it?

Michael Coté: Yeah, it was on the 2nd I think.

John Willis: 2nd yeah. I would have used the 58:02. You were probably like what the hell is he doing here?

Michael Coté: No, it was great like, the nice thing about the surprise parties, Kim has only done two, but the nice thing about parties that Kim orchestrates is that she orders — she invites like friends from all the different silos that I and we have.

John Willis: Yeah that’s cool.

Michael Coté: There might be little clicks of people that hang out like you know there is the BMC work friends and then there is like the people I know through RedMonk and then there is the people I know through Kim and so forth and so on. And the people I know from my college days. I usually hang out with those people in little silos, but whenever we have a larger party they all come together which is, it’s always fun.

John Willis: We are going to party like it’s 1999 on January 29 till 30th, right?

Michael Coté: That’s right. Absolutely! So we are topping an hour here, do you want to keep going or do you want to wrap it up, John?

John Willis: I don’t think I have anything more, we’ve covered a lot.

Michael Coté: I have a ton of links that I will put it into, we didn’t get to it. There are things like GroundWork had some new customer stuff and they said they’ve grown in customers that will put a link too, and our friends over here in Austin Spiceworks raised 16 million in a round C, and they’ve got new numbers as far as adoption and things like that.

John Willis: It was you or who said this, somebody said they are like the Facebook, or enterprise systems manager.

Michael Coté: Yeah, well that’s their line that they’ve made.

John Willis: Is that their deal, okay? I don’t know I can take a look at those guys again.

Michael Coté: Now those guys are — to think about Spiceworks is I mean one, they are just a good company to start with, and two, they are — and I have mentioned this before. I mean, I think they are really — they are trying to go up market this year and you’ll see them with this extra funding that they have and just with the positioning that they have. I mean, I think they are going to spend a lot more time, rather than growing their community, only growing their community so to speak.

I think they are going to spend a lot more time on product management new features and trying to — they are going to try to grow their community through more enterprisy features and things like that in addition to what they are already doing. Which I think will be interesting for consumers of this, people like myself, but also people who are in the lower, the sort of lower rung of the monitoring and sort of basic asset management, and even helpdesk.

Basically people who are in the medium IT management area, as Spiceworks sort of sets their sites on larger installed-bases, and if they can manage moving to that area they have a pretty compelling offering. So that’ll be an interesting force in 2010.

And also, I mean to be frank, I mean there is got to be lots of companies looking at them as far as buying them, because they are — they have many different phenomenal assets. I am not only saying — well, hopefully, I am not only saying that, because they are a client, but they are really interesting. So we’ll see what happens this year.

John Willis: (Voice Overlap) why do people say to be frank?

Michael Coté: To be frank, I think you are right, this reminds me of —

John Willis: Why are they to be like Bill or BigTom(ph)?

Michael Coté: Yeah. Oh! Why is it frank? I don’t know. May be it’s because the Germans were franks, right? So may it’s to be Germanic, which is sort of to be serious. I bet I am just totally making that up. I am sorry for that joke.

John Willis: It sounds good though.

Michael Coté: But yes, this reminds me of a great like, that author who — I guessed he killed himself David Foster Wallace. He has this great video I came across, where he discusses the use of the word per se, and why it’s terrible when you use the phrase per se, I’ll have to put a link to that video because it’s hilarious to see him like — I don’t want to say mathematically, because he is not a math guy, but very linguistically, and like very rightly going through why per se is a total waste of a phrase to use. But it fits in with like, why people say let me be frank, as if like, well, what were you being before, were you just screwing around with me?

John Willis: Did I tell you that one my friend he works for IBM, and he has taken all the large group to manage in India. So he tells his great stories about how, like all these idioms that he normally uses that he never realizes, he is always getting burned out. Like he’ll say, a guy, you’ll be in a con call, and so we really have to round up the wagon and circle around.

And then, like two hours later one of the guys will call like Mr., Mr. we didn’t really quite understand circle the wagons, what should we do?

Michael Coté: That’s right, and then there is some stuff like you had your cloudy awards, I’ll put a link to that.

John Willis: Oh! That’s right, Cloudy awards, yeah.

Michael Coté: Thanks for the little RedMonk node and there is an excellent post that Stephen O’Grady, one of the RedMonk guys also commented on from Tim Bray, that’s sort of like, what is it? There’s always the sentiment that Enterprise Software is a big bowl of crap and as Tim Bray titles his post that we are doing it wrong. And usually, this is just the cliché trite write-up of this problem, it’s very real, but commenting on it gets boring. But I think Tim Bray manages to have a breath of fresh air, as they say, for this sort of idea.

I think it’s kind of worst taking a look at just to kind of see the way, that he phrases what’s kind of going wrong there, and they both have some other links in there, like quest 01:03:21 which you might remember from (Voice Overlap).

John Willis: Yeah.

Michael Coté: And some things here and there. And then also I should mention, Tivoli Pulse, February 22nd.

John Willis: Yeah, I am hoping, I can go to that.

Michael Coté: As the VP of Services and Training, I mean it seems like the kind of thing. I guess maybe you are not 1:03:40 for partnerships. But it definitely – it’s worth going to.

John Willis: Yeah, well, I’d like to go.

Michael Coté: With that, there’ll be a bunch more of links that we didn’t get to. But I think that takes care of our back-log for the past 12 months.

John Willis: For 2007, or 2009, yeah, good (Voice Overlap) 2009.

Michael Coté: And next week, we’ll have next co-host from OpsCode on.

John Willis: Yeah, that’s right, he is a lot smarter than the guy.

Michael Coté: Oh! There is one last thing. I think you should tell people about, the gifts that you got your kids, having to do with rock bands and things like that.

John Willis: Oh! Yeah, that’s very cool. Sorry! So I’ve got you the little caroler, I’ll take my foot out of my mouth or whatever it is.

Michael Coté: See this is (Voice Overlap) because that’s the whole point.

John Willis: I know you, don’t you think I have figured this out in two years. You set me up to get me all excited about some idea. But yeah, so I have gone record and said that I would never do guitar hero, and so we got — one of our boys got the Xbox 360 for Christmas and my wife went ahead and slipped in a rock band, Beatles rock band.

Michael Coté: And I love the way you sort of like solved the problem, that you had with this.

John Willis: Well, yes, so —

Michael Coté: The whole thing was to give more background that — you were kind of — I remember you had some post, right? Where it’s basically like you shouldn’t play guitar hero, you should play real guitar.

John Willis: That’s right, correct!

Michael Coté: Which I think is perfectly valid, and you figured out an excellent sort of —

John Willis: Oh! I didn’t want my kids spend like three hours a night playing guitar hero when they could have been spending three hours a night playing real guitar.

Michael Coté: Right, right, exactly which makes sense. So now, that you have rock band but what did you do to make sure that doesn’t happen?

John Willis: Well, so unfortunately it was actually kind of serendipitous, because the rock band actually comes with a microphone, drum set and a bass guitar. So bass guitar, I can handle. So I am kind of slipping back or black slide, and I guess. But I only play the drums or sync, I don’t play the bass guitar.

Michael Coté: So you have a rock band without the guitar.

John Willis: Actually yes, so well, you could either play it as bass or play it as guitar. So I concludely restrict usage of it as a guitar.

Michael Coté: That’s awesome!

John Willis: So I am selecting – I’d like to figure out how to break a code, disable the guitar option, but I don’t know, I don’t think I can probably do.

Michael Coté: As a totally un-music oriented person, my understanding of the bass is the only thing you need to do to be a successful bass player is always look bored.

John Willis: Yeah, that’s right.

Michael Coté: Like basically, if you are playing the bass and you look bored out of your mind, you are perfect!

John Willis: Yeah, that’s right. It’s final tad version. But yeah, I still know, it’s a blast, what’s actually really fun is the singing. And the drums are actually drums and they actually have to keep the beat.

People would argue that the eye-hand coordination of playing guitar and guitar hero is a good thing, but again, if you don’t put two or three hours a day into something that’s —

Michael Coté: It might as well be a real guitar, right?

John Willis: But actually you are, there are patterns and you are — actually I have got my little guy and he is — so you are actually really being playing pattern, and from the singing it’s even better because my older son is a little bit of a good singer. And you have to kind of follow with your voice. I didn’t realize I had this. So your voice is an instrument in the game and you have to — they give you the pitch and you’ve got to follow the pitch to get —

Michael Coté: Oh! Yeah, that’s right.

John Willis: It sounds great.

Michael Coté: It sounds like fun. Well, on that note, I think all I can say to everyone is, don’t stop believing. And we’ll see everyone next week.

Disclosure: several folks mentioned above and in the podcast are clients, see RedMonk clients list.

Categories: IT Management Podcast, Systems Management.

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3 Responses

  1. It appears that Don Cote was correct describing the etymology of the word "frank" used in the phrase "to be frank". From from Medieval Latin francus.

    Francus, the invention of Merovingian scholars, is a legendary eponymous king of the Franks, a descendant of the Trojans, founder of the Merovingian dynasty and forefather of Charlemagne. In the Renaissance, Francus was generally considered to be another name for the Trojan Astyanax (son of Hector) saved from the destruction of Troy. He is not considered to be historical, but in fact an attempt by medieval and Renaissance chroniclers to model the founding of France upon the same illustrious tradition as that used by Virgil in his Aeneid (which had Rome founded by the Trojan Aeneas).[1]

Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] is the IT Management & Cloud Podcast, Episode 65. And just a minor correction upfront here. Last week was not Episode 69, it was episode 64. So don’t get all upset that you have gone back in time and you are hearing an old episode, […]