Times Change and So Shall Your Technology Partners

August 26, 2017 10:54 pm Published by -

 

It may be time to evaluate your partners

We are at an inflection point for new technology and process adoption. We are under a time of rapid change and there are several new tools and processes available to the enterprise that can enable dramatic cost savings, time savings, and modernization not seen for a decade. But recommending and consuming these; from a perspective of adoption and integration is a foreign concept to most folks, including legacy technology vendors and system integrators.

Just this past week, I had conversations with four technology manufacturers that are struggling to find teams to work with that understand new approaches and tool chains. For many this may seem like a captain obvious statement; new tools mean that they haven’t been widely adopted and finding experts is difficult. But that is not what is concerning. More so are the number of vendors that are selling transformation and change without a real understanding and practical experience of what they are pitching.

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This post was written by Chris Ciborowski

The Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Cloud

January 3, 2016 12:11 am Published by - Leave your thoughts

The presence of strong Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a goal since the late John McCarthy coined the term in 1955. What does the future hold for such an intriguing field? Cloud computing may hold some answers. The cloud offers convenient ways to traverse large volumes of data and access low cost computing which has been made possible by cloud computing infrastructures.

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This post was written by Anthony Ramirez

What are we Thankful for?

November 24, 2015 8:39 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts

What Are You Thankful For?

As we all prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, to spend time with friends, family, and loved ones, I want to take the time to give thanks to those who we are deeply fortunate to have supporting us, met, and worked with over the last twelve months.  This is the time of year where we all should give pause and contemplate how truly fortunate we all are.  For without these people we wouldn’t have the success that we do.

Without a doubt everything starts with our family and friends.  I can speak for Gerry and the rest of the Nebulaworks Team that we thank you for helping us get to where we are today.  Without your support and love we couldn’t put our hearts into what we do.

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This post was written by Chris Ciborowski

MS-DOS goes mobile

April 1, 2015 12:43 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts

Microsoft’s next mobile operating system goes back to its roots, with a version of MS-DOS 10. “Black-and-white text has never looked so good,” says Joshua Bradley. With customization, you can do white text on blue background.BSOD_2

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This post was written by Gerry Fleming

5 Ways to Enhance Yourself in 2015

December 22, 2014 9:51 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts

As 2014 comes to a close, I like to look back and revue the good bad and the ugly from the year. The only way to improve yourself and your circumstances is to carry out an exercise such as this. 2014 brought me to a new challenge; starting a business from the ground up. I have truly enjoyed the task and it has not come without frustration, joy and satisfaction. My partner and I have received much advice, but there is no advice that over rules common sense and examining the facts.

As a reflection for 2014, I offer these 5 ways to enhance your career for the New Year:

#5 – Clean up your Social Media. Social media is the way people research you.  If you do not have a LinkedIn, you probably don’t want to develop your career. LinkedIn is for you work and Facebook is for your friends; don’t confuse the two. The first thing someone does after you hand them a card is to go to LinkedIn, see where you went to school, where you worked and send you an invitation. Second thing they do is go to Google and see unwanted pictures of you in college (haha… just kidding). The invitation is an extension of their team and (in most cases) you should graciously accept. I would highly suggest having a professional picture taken of yourself for your account. Why? If I was hiring someone as a Project Manager (example), do I want to see a picture of him from 1986? Do I want to see a picture of him with his puppy or him at a Yankees game? No! I want to view his Professional profile. Take this seriously; you can joke around and show your personality later.

#4 – Challenge Yourself. This is near and dear to my heart. You need to review your actions, the results and ask yourself “How can I do this better” and “How can improve the outcome”. I was taught to under-promise and over- deliver. If you are stale in your job and sit around complaining, you only have yourself to blame. There is plenty enough information on the internet to research and build a better mouse trap. I like to continue to challenge myself on a daily basis, which in turn, challenges the people around me. Knowledge is strength and we live in the best country in the world. If other people can come to America and succeed, it is a shame to sit around and complain that you cannot. Challenge yourself to be in better shape, excel at work, home and your relationships. It’s all there, you just need to get motivated and do it!

#3 – Participate. It is amazing to me how many people are arm chair quarterbacks. Here is an example: I am in extensive negotiations with a very large customer for a service contract. This is going on for a few weeks and each call is literally hours. After it is all over, I have three or four people come to me and tell me; you should have done this, you should have said this… really? How about a little participation? You have a voice and can offer advice. Anyone can look after it’s over and point out flaws. Grab the bull and ride it! Jump in and help with the decision. Show you have a brain and can offer something and maybe, you will progress in your life. There are no stupid questions.

#2 – Show patience.  I am not the most understanding of people and am working to be a more patient person. We all want things done quickly, defiantly, with no mistakes, but it often doesn’t happen that way. First thing is to be thoughtful towards my family and friends. They are part of my core and I need them more than they need me. Who wants to be around someone that is demanding and impatient? Second thing, have patience for others around you. I really don’t know what is happening in the lives of people I work with, my customers and perfect strangers, BUT a smile and civility is contagious. I have tried a test that I challenge you to try. Go to a public place, preferably a very busy service place, such as Starbucks. Look at the people in line and see the energy they put into the person on the other side of the counter. Drones! You get out what you put in. Now, smile, ask the person taking your order how they are, if they put any lights up for Christmas, say please and thank you and see how they respond. It never fails to amaze me that they will always smile back and be very receptive. Give a little to get a lot.

#1 – Help someone else. Most of us have had a level of success. I would say it is an earned reward, but there are others that are less fortunate. You can have success at work, make tons of money, have a good looking family, but never help out someone else. That is the responsibility of someone else. Guess who that someone else is? Give someone less fortunate than you your time… Time is a valuable asset. I had great parents that often helped out folks that were less fortunate and they were really alongside them. I mean they were not that better off than the people they were assisting. What little we had, they shared and it was very inspiring as I got older. As a kid, you don’t understand that many people will struggle throughout their life. The people that succumb to asking for help are people that do not have any other choice. They cannot succeed alone. It is very rewarding to volunteer. There are a number of organizations you can work with; Habitat for humanity, your local city, the boy scouts, the girl scouts, and the local church. Hold your hand out and give some time… If you give two days over the course of a year, you will feel so much more in your life. Try it. I guarantee you will be a believer in humanity and be a great example for those around you. Imagine the world if we all offered up this two day challenge?

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This post was written by Gerry Fleming

Don’t Neuter the Net!

October 14, 2014 3:19 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts

neuter_netThe topic of Net Neutrality continues to debate and will be hitting a critical mass. This could be because politicians, movie stars and business leaders have all made public statements, but the fact is the FCC is being driven by carriers to push the agenda. We are talking HUGE money! Carriers can produce billions of dollars by diverting traffic to the “fast lane”.

I have interviewed several people, to find, most are suspicious of the ISP’s intentions of creating these preferred avenues. The only benefit the public sees, seems to stem around the ability to watch “Game of Thrones” on Netflix without any worry of response times. If you look at the growth of the Internet and who transports the information, it is very clear.

I break down the debate as the following:

  1. What devices use the internet? In 2013, 33% of the internet’s traffic is from wireless devices. It is anticipated, this traffic will increase to over 50% by 2018. Wireless Carrier Agenda, huh?
  2. How much traffic is on the Global Internet? Over the last 5 years, the global IP traffic has grown fivefold. It is anticipated traffic will continue to grow three fold through 2018. IP traffic for North America will reach 40 exabytes a month by 2018.
  3. How much traffic does this equate too, really? 2013 produced 51 exabytes of data a month. Take your 1 Terabyte drive in your computer and times that by a million; or to sound cool at a party, an Exabyte is one quintillion bytes. In 1992, Global Internet Traffic was gauged at 100 GB per day. Today, we use 28,875 GB per second.

As the debate heats up and the FCC is trying to put its finger in the dam, the content and carriers are all putting their spin on how this effects all of us. Google’s recent silence is interesting as well. Many articles say they are hedging their bets with Google Fiber. I think bandwidth is the modern day gold rush.

Politicians, such as Hillary Clinton, earlier today, emphasized the importance of Net Neutrality. Maintaining an “open Internet” is a critical, asserted Clinton, going on to outline how the U.S. Department of State “kept trying to spend money to defend those rights” during her tenure as chief of the bureau.

President Obama has also addressed this issue, but not really. He recently spoke in Santa Monica (Silicon Beach) and replied to a question on net neutrality, “I made a commitment very early on that I am unequivocally committed to net neutrality,” Obama said, earning a round of applause from the tech-minded crowd. “I think it is what has unleashed the power of the Internet and we don’t want to lose that or clog up the pipes.”

“Now the FCC is an independent agency,” Obama said. “They came out with some preliminary rules that I think the netroots and a lot of folks in favor of net neutrality were concerned with. My appointee, Tom Wheeler, who knows my position. I can’t—now that he’s there, I can’t just call him up and tell him exactly what to do.”

Bottom line; I cannot see how this would enhance my internet experience. All the costs from the “fast lane” are coming out of someone’s pocket, which usually means it will trickle down to the public. How about this idea? Write better applications that don’t use so much bandwidth? Figure out a way to compress and decompress the data to use the bandwidth more effectively. If the carriers are that worried, throw a little R&D towards a similar technology. Like I mentioned: The Modern Gold Rush is Data.

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This post was written by Gerry Fleming

Does the world need to be smarter?

June 6, 2014 9:00 am Published by - Leave your thoughts

Ultimate VirtualizerI know IBM coined the phrase “Making a smarter planet”, but I question the exposure by these enhancements. I enjoy technology, convenience, and cost reduction as much as the next guy. Here is how I see some key changes over the next 3 years:

Geo-fencing – This is here today. You have you smart phone and you are near a restaurant. You get a message pushed to you advertising, “Need a snack?” This will continue with your home… As you get closer to your home, your home recognizes this, gets ready by turning on the appropriate lights, getting the temperature at the preferred setting, and potentially turns on the oven to pre-heat for your dinner. All you need is the maid form the Jetson’s to have a drink waiting for you. Alternatively, your house is in sleep mode with you not there, saving energy.

Smart Cars – Our Company is full of avid motorsports enthusiasts. This one kind of hurts, but it is also here. It is all over the news; soon, you will not need to drive yourself anywhere. An unmanned vehicle will take you to your destination while you relax, catch up on Game of Thrones, or get prepared for a meeting. Other advantages are for people that are unable to drive; disabled, aged, handicapped. I see this as very exciting to give the freedom of travel to this group of folks. I believe this will actually decrease traffic, because the cars are capable of driving consistent controlled speeds and distances away from fellow cars. Unfortunately, I enjoy driving myself and the thrill of speeding.

Data Centers – All these things have to get their data from somewhere, right? Companies don’t build data centers anymore. The cost is crazy! The pro’s are building data centers that are more of a utility than the utility companies. As an example; the power consumed per square foot has gone up, but the costs for a modern data center has gone down. We use solar power as the primary into batteries, than to a PDU for conditioned power. The heat and air conditioning is manipulated (data centers are no longer freezing), data flow throughout the day is redirected for performance, equipment that is in low use is put into a sleep mode. In a general statement, equipment is manufactured to use less power. SSD’s use little power per IOP, versus a big storage array with spinning disks with the same IOP’s.

It is an exciting time; automation, convenience, big brother and being nicer to our environment, but I wonder at what cost? How will this effect our economy and society?  Which is why I ask, do we really need smarter planet?

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This post was written by Gerry Fleming

David and Goliath

May 28, 2014 4:00 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts
David vs. Goliath

David vs. Goliath

In the last 30 days, Google announced they would be dropping their price for cloud based services. This was the first step I have seen to flex some muscle and see how the market reacts. A few days later, Microsoft and Amazon announced they were discounting their offerings as well. Coincidence? I think not. The battle has begun and for some, it is over.

For a while, everybody and their brother was announcing they had a cloud. The running joke was I could get a burger with a side of Cloud, because everyone was building one. I worked at a reseller that was going to build a cloud and I thought the financial impact would cripple the company. Luckily, the owner got sticker shock and realized he needed to do what he did best; push hardware.

These little Cloud guys are not going to be able to compete with the big boys and it will soon become very, very apparent. The magnitude for the financial model to make a profit is well into the million dollar range. If you account for the environment, hardware, software licensing, network, monitoring, and redundancy; it is a serious venture. Once the financial hammer of the “Enterprise” Cloud companies decide to become competitive, the need for a boutique cloud will be irrelevant. If you are a boutique cloud provider; make sure you offer something valuable to keep your customers.

Definition: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a set of infrastructure capabilities, (such as an operating system, network connectivity, etc.), that are delivered as pay-for-use services that you can use to host applications. The Customer is responsible for monitoring, backups, and upgrades of applications. The benefits of IaaS are the ability to deploy assets into cloud-based storage, which includes Internet-level scaling and the flexibility to access software from anywhere.

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This post was written by Gerry Fleming

I’m always waiting

April 7, 2014 1:01 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts

One of the things I have noticed over the past few years is that I seem to be waiting more and more. My town seems to be getting denser, thus causing lines at the grocery store, gas stations, etc. For those of you that are married, I am sure you can appreciate the title. When thinking of all this time, it seems to be wasteful. My valuable time, just waiting on something or someone else.

In Technology, this is truly the case. I was always waiting for something to complete my project; ordering hardware, software, waiting for the network to be built or configured, security, a VP’s signature (you know who you are)… more waiting! It is amazing I am still sane.

In manufacturing, a product is built when ordered and JIT (just in time). I think of the Cloud with the same mentality. The IT infrastructure build can take 4-6 weeks or more to get to the point where the developer can start porting their code to the new environment. Most organizations fail to plan that far in advance, causing products to be behind schedule, animosity between groups and overall dis-satisfaction. Instead of waiting for the environment to be built, you can provision what you need (JIT). If you only need it temporarily, you can archive it and decommission it. Try doing that with your EMC storage; No take backs, hehe.

Additionally, the DevOps strategy is all about time to market and efficiency. Developers and Operations work as a team, to empower each other and get their project or application completed in a timely manner. No waiting for hardware, software, testing, etc. Provision and get that application out the door. Operations worries about managing the applications not if a hard disk is underperforming or when the next disk shelf is coming. DevOps is about much more than the technical infrastructure shift. Companies are going to need to change their method and move to the DevOps partnership model. Granted, the advance still relies on people, process, and technology for DevOps to be effective. The cloud by itself doesn’t do anything to streamline an organization and it is up to the business leaders to recognize the company culture needs to change to adopt this strategy.

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This post was written by Gerry Fleming

Christmas Gifts for your favorite reseller; Start saving Now!

April 2, 2014 8:42 am Published by - Leave your thoughts

If you have been in the Data/Technology business for a few years, you have probably gone to lunch, attended a lunch and learn and/or  purchased equipment from a reseller (or VAR). Believe it or not, there is a very delicate ecosystem between three parties: the Customer, Manufacturer, and Reseller. There is a distinct responsibility by each party to achieve the end result; the solution.

The Customer – has a business need
The Manufacturer – has done R&D to create a hardware/software product to solve a technical need
The Reseller – Listens to the customer business problem and solves using a manufacturer’s technical product

Seems pretty simple, but as the Public and Hybrid clouds gets better recognition, this dynamic will change. Customers will get over the fact that they do not own their infrastructure and can focus on the business solution. Do you know (or care) where your power at your home comes from? All you know, as a consumer, is you plug in your device and it works.

The new dynamic will still use manufacturers, who will sell to Cloud providers and mega-Enterprise companies. Some companies will still need to own their equipment but this is purely out of regulation requirements, not the need to swap equipment every 3-4 years. Consulting on business issues and which Cloud provider will be the new frontier for your solution.

Look at the financial landscape of the technology industry and see who is investing in building a Cloud to resell to consumers? Most of the big guys, right? Start saving now to buy your favorite reseller a great Christmas gift. They will probably not be around much longer and will appreciate the gesture. If you don’t believe it; remember the guys who sold CSU/DSU’s? Yea, me either.

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This post was written by Gerry Fleming

Got Visio???

March 30, 2014 4:13 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts

This past week we got together with an old business associate to document a customer’s existing IT environment.  Rack elevations and power/cooling calculations.  While the deliverable was absolutely needed as part of a phased move to a new data center it is a good reminder that documentation – while tedious and time consuming – is critical to ensure successful IT operations.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 4.45.41 PM

But with virtualization mainstream, a serious push toward hybrid clouds in flight, and the eventual adoption of DevOps as a standard these documentation efforts take on new meaning.  Less important are the physical diagrams of IT infrastructure, replaced by copious detailed logical diagrams.  These documents – while existing in traditional IT – take on new importance with a cloud focus.  The aggregation of virtualized assets, consumed public/private services, integration points and data flow are not just the domain of application engineers and developers.  To operationalize the cloud ALL parties need an understanding of the relationships between services.

Here is to documentation!

 

 

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This post was written by Chris Ciborowski