Monday, December 31, 2007

Innovative Minds Do Not Think Alike

The more knowledge you possess the less you think outside the box. Experts in a field can benefit from an outsider's perspective. This is particularly relevant to the gadgets we make and the software we write. A telling sentence from the article: "It’s why engineers design products ultimately useful only to other engineers."

read more | digg story

NetDirector-enabled Scripts Requirements Document

We've been working with some ND users and prosepcts to refine the requirements for running users' own scripts through NetDirector. We'd love to know what you think!


Enable NetDirector users to upload, view, edit and run scripts through NetDirector. This provides the ability to schedule script actions, audit actions, and rollback actions.

  • Create New Script:
    • Text editor in ND to create scripts
    • or Pull scripts from another server
    • or browse local disk
    • Specify script name - this will show icon and script name
  • Assign scripts to servers using the standard ND server tree
  • Allow the ability to schedule the script to run using ND's calendar
  • Script action rollback acheived either through:
    • specifying files to backup before running script and restored through backup
    • and/or add a rollback script to undo the action - can write the rollback script in the editor, pull from another server or browse local disk
  • Need an icon that wil appear in the services pane
  • Future feature
    • workflow - specify multiple scripts in sequence

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Centennial Networking Lab

Recently I've been spending some time over at NC State University's Centennial Campus. Designed to be a cooperative University/Industry park, the campus mixes corporate offices (Red Hat's HQ, for example, and ABB's Raleigh office) with University departments and facilities. There's even a small residential area with some really nice (and expensive) all-brick townhomes.

The reason I've been over there lately is because John Bass, who runs both Centennial Networking Lab and the related Centaur Lab (one facility, two missions), has been gracious enough to let a few of our servers call it home.

Upon entering the lab, you see many things you'd expect to find in such a facility - racks of servers and networking gear humming along, air conditioners, raised floors, neatly threaded CAT5 cables, a roomba. Look closer at the racks, though, and it becomes clear that this is no ordinary data center.

Blue-faced Juniper M20s sit along side Cisco GSRs and Catalyst 6500s, all connected to the rest of the world via deceivingly skinny OC-48 and 192 fiber connections. Want to simulate thousands of Web users accessing your web site from their browsers to see what your limit is? Spirent's gear is up to the task. One and a half racks of Dell servers crunch numbers for the NCSU Physics department, modelling what happens right after a star dies.

If one of the lab's tenants needs to test QoS across MPLS, "We can throw up a quick LSP mesh," John says in a decidedly nonchalant, but also completely modest, way that comes from having done it umpteen times.

The lab serves as the Raleigh, NC site for Internet2, which helps explain the tremendous routing capability and fat, redundant OC-48/192 connections.

You may know John's name from his writings in NetworkWorld Magazine, where he frequently publishes the results of the product bake-offs he performs at CNL. I first got to know John back in 2005 when we wanted to test the scalability of NetDirector. John and his team designed the test, implemented it and, in the process, uncovered several areas for improvement. For my money, John is one of the best data center/networking professionals in the business - he knows his stuff inside and out, honors his commitments, is generous with his knowledge and contacts and is a great guy to boot.

Cheers JB - YTM!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Whitehurst as New Red Hat CEO - A Great Choice

Today, my version of the lyrics from the Beatles song "A Day in the Life " would go a little like this:

"Woke up, got out of bed, jaw hit the floor." Given that the announcement of Szulik stepping down came as a surprise even to many company execs, I guess there's no reason why I should have seen it coming. But, still, WOW! Total shocker.

Reading the reaction from Red Hat watchers has been fascinating, too. Here's a quick rundown.

  • Phil Manchester of El Reg's developer bureau provides a real nice write-up that puts this move in a broader market context. He notes that Whitehurst's appointment can be seen as a big step for open source towards the mainstream, reflecting the shifting "suits to sandals" ratio in open source. I couldn't agree more.
  • CNET's Matt Asay: Asay's first reaction was to throw a conniption, saying, among other weird things, that he'd lost all faith in Red Hat. Then I guess he poured himself a strong one and, an hour and a half later wrote that "he probably overreacted." And in his latest entry on the subject, Asay admits that, because Open Source is an "operations business" (are there any that aren't??), "perhaps - perhaps" Whitehurst is a good choice.
  • ZDNet's Dan Farber with Larry Dignan and David Berlind: These guys note, quite rightly I'd say, that Lou Gerstner, the guy that turned IBM around, was a complete newbie to technology, having previously run RJR, been an exec at Amex, and before that been a partner at McKinsey. One problem with this comparison, though, is that, by most accounts, including the one provided by Red Hat Investor Relations, Red Hat don't need no turning 'round, thank you very much. But, still, IBM's great success as a services business with Gerstner at the helm proves at least that a computer industry outsider can successfully run a computer company. (Note: It is curious that one of the things Whitehurst is praised for is his big role turning around Delta - maybe some people at Red Hat think they *DO* need a turnaround guy...)
To summarize, El Reg gives us a lot of very useful context, Asay kinda loses it then sort of pulls himself together, and ZDNet tells all us open source fanboys to just simmer down - after all, such a move is not unprecedented.

But the title of this entry includes the words "Great Choice," which goes beyond where ZDnet leaves things. Why? Because I think a former old-guard airline COO who had to watch his lunch be eaten by low cost, low price carriers, has precisely the right background to run the leading open source company. He knows what is going to happen to Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, BMC, BEA, etc., etc., because it is exactly what happened to Delta.

So, if you agree with the above, then it answers why Whitehurst, among available airline industry execs, makes sense. But what is it about the airline industry that makes it a particularly good hunting ground for the next Red Hat CEO? The economics of the airline industry are very similar to software and are especially similar to the SaaS model that is coming to dominate the industry. Both are marked by low and declining unitary costs and by high fixed costs. And network effects are prevalent in both. Lastly, Red Hat's customers - not its community of users, contributors and partners, but its paying customers - buy services, not software. Said differently, Red Hat is in the service business. Guess what the biggest service industry in America is? Hospitality, of which Travel represents $703 Billion.

No, Whitehurst is a very good choice for next Red Hat CEO. Hats off.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ubuntu's DIY Server Ads - Love 'em or hate 'em?

If you read the same online journals as I do, then you've no doubt seen the new Ubuntu Server ads. I've seen two so far. The one of the guy in the park popping a tent and this one:

So, I could be wrong, but I think I saw some of the people in these ads in Boston at the recent Ubuntu Developer Summit. If I am correct that these ads were in fact shot at Ubuntu's offices and that these are Canonical employees, then this would mark a pretty big departure from the traditional, professionally-developed and expensive online ads that usually run on web sites like eWeek. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. In fact, there's something very cool and refreshing about the Canonical ads.

But, there's also something amateurish about them. I don't know whether I like them or not. What does the DIYish nature of these ads say about Canonical? About Open Source?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Does My Marketing Suck?

I've long believed that you can tell a lot about a company's fortunes, both present and future, from their marketing campaigns. Case in point: Apple. I'm far from the first person to say that their "Get a Mac" ad campaign is brilliant - both brilliantly conceived and brilliantly executed. But I may be the first person to have recommended to their friends and family that they buy Apple shares upon seeing that campaign. Why? Not just 'cuz it's brilliant. Also because of what it says about their growth strategy - namely through increased desktop and laptop sales at the expense of Microsoft. And anyone familiar with the desktop/laptop market knows that, about a year ago when Apple launched those ads, they had less desktop share than Linux, which is really saying something. So, there was a lot of room to grow - no place but up, really. After posting the biggest gains of any computer maker in the last couple quarters, Apple is up to somewhere between 3 and 5%, depending on which analyst report you look at, and their stock is up 125% since Oct. 2006.

Is it all because of the ad campaign? No, it also has to do with the blockbuster success of the high-volume iPod and iPhone, and the brand affinity these products have engendered. The Get a Mac campaign turned this reinvigorated awareness of and affinity towards the Apple brand into Mac sales - I'll say it again - Brilliant!

Similarly, sometimes you can tell when a company is getting a little bit desperate by their campaigns. Take the following banner ad, for example, which I saw running on SourceForge recently.

I don't know if / why your monitoring software sucks, Hyperic, but I'll be happy to tell you why I think this ad does.

  1. It's WAY too frontal in at least three ways.
    1. Many sysadmins that see this ad will have had some part in selecting/implementing their current monitoring software, and so they will have some degree of personal and professional investment in it. This makes them unlikely to freely admit that it "sucks," let alone take the time to tell you why just so they can get added to some spam list. It reminds me of how a marketing professor in B-School explained why the "...for Dummies" book series was successful but the me-too "...for Complete Idiots" series flopped. People's egos can handle admitting that they're a Dummy on some subjects, his logic went, but to call oneself a Complete Idiot, that's just too harsh.
    2. In my 10+ years experience in b2b technology marketing, rarely have I seen it pay off to go around poking your competition in the eye. As much as I dislike buzzwords, coopetition is the dominant structural environment in IT, and this kind of junk marketing limits a company's opportunity to collaborate with competitors in areas where it makes sense.
    3. Most enterprise customers really don't like to see vendors bashing each other - it comes off as tres gauche.
  2. It's trying too hard to be cool, though I'll admit the magic 8 ball gimmick is clever. Still, this ad's forced effort to connect with sysadmins reminds me a little of the Splunk t-shirts from a while back that read "Taking the SH out of IT" - which were good for a cheap laugh, but ultimately were too crude to be considered professional.
  3. The voice seems off - to the casual glance, which is all most banner ads get, it looks like they're asking me to tell them why Hyperic sucks (we can start with the Miami Dolphinesque color scheme).
  4. It's too obviously self-serving. Why not just save everyone the time and trouble, Hyperic, and tell us why you think everyone else's monitoring software sucks?
  5. Lastly, and related to the previous, what this ad ultimately is telling the market is that Hyperic thinks its monitoring software is far superior to everyone else's, and that, further, the company just can't understand why the rest of the world doesn't see it the same way. Translation: the rest of the world doesn't see it the same way. Which is why this ad comes off as desperate.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sun xVM

I like Sun so much right now I'm thinking of writing a song. OK, never mind. I won't punish you with my lyrical inability. But this is really cool. If there was any doubt in your mind whether Sun is serious about open source, this announcement should clear that up.

Let's go down the list of the hottest technology and where Sun stands on it:
  • OS - Open Source
  • Middleware - Open Source
  • Systems Management - Open Source
  • Virtualization - Open Source
  • File System - Open Source
Yeah boyeeeeeee!!

Update - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 2:39 PM

Check out the eWeek article about Sun's interaction with the OpenDS project. This is really interesting, and maybe I should temper my enthusiasm for Sun's Open Source announcements. Truth be told, my own experience kind of validates the sentiment expressed in the eWeek article that Sun tends to keep an iron grip on project control. The day I saw Sun's xVM announcement, I expressed interest in becoming a member of the project team on the wiki - that was like 2-3 weeks ago - still haven't received a reply.

Update - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 2:40 PM

OK - this is just too wierd. Guess who I just got an email from?
saying: "You (gtewallace) earlier requested the Content Developer role in the openxvm project. Congratulations! The role has been granted."

yummmmmy - this sneaker is tasty!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bush Veto

Well, I warned you that I might let slip a little politics into this blog, and reading the headline just now about Bush's veto of a bill because it was laden with pork and too expensive just tipped me over the edge. Not that I'm for pork, or that the President is necessarily wrong - he's probably right - it probably is laden with pork. But what did he think all the bills were like for the first 6 years of his presidency which he never - I repeat NEVER - saw fit to veto?

It all comes down to party politics. This country doesn't need a third party - we need a third, a fourth and a fifth and a sixth.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What's harder: Parenting or Barca Getting a Win on the Road?

That's my question today.

Barca's record on the road is terrible - zero wins in 6 outings, and today was the latest lame attempt at Getafe, which is a cellar dweller. It's sad to see a team with as much talent as Barca perform so poorly.

They did get a couple bad calls, like the first Yellow card to Toure, which was a total dive. And then when Henry was in on goal and they called offside, but his shot went wide anyway.

Speaking of Yellow cards, I think of that a lot in terms of parenting. Yellow card is a warning, Red card and you're out. Usually it goes in that order - a player gets a Yellow and, usually, they shape up and play nice the rest of the game. If they get a second Yellow, that amounts to a Red, and they're out. Rarely does the ref give a player a straight Red. There are a couple things that will draw it, like going in hard on the keeper when he has the ball, but if it's play out on the pitch, you've got to do something really blatant and dangerous to get a straight red.

So, I sort of gave my daughter a straight Red today - it's hard to know when being firm crosses the line into heavy handedness. Here's the sit. She had just come back from a nice time with her Mom, Grandma and little brother looking at Gingerbread houses, and they'd gone to Krispy Kreme afterwords. And earlier, I took her for ice cream cuz she had done a really good job being a gracious hostess to little girl about 1-2 yrs her junior that lives in our cul de sac.

After they got back, she wanted to go play with that little girl at her house - I said ok and took her down. Her parents said that she was having a friend over to play in a bit, but that Sarah could stay and play for a little bit.

The guy was building a ramp for his dogs from their back deck to their back yard, and he had a long 2X4 leaning on their side fence and coming down into their side yard. Their little girl started to walk up it, which looked pretty dangerous, and her mom told her to stop, and she did. Sarah saw her doing it and started to walk over to te board and I said "don't walk up that board," and what did she do? Of course, she took two steps up the board and then hopped off.

That drew a straight Red. I said, ok, that's it, we're going home. To which my daughter started balling and carrying on. I felt like kind of a jerk, and I immediately started to wonder if I had been too hasty. But, I thought it would be worse to reward her tantrum by letting her stay.

What'cha think?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Captain Underpants

No, this blog hasn't taken a raunchy turn. This is a funny story. My daughter is in Kindergarten at a magnet school in Raleigh, NC. The nice thing about it is that it has a really great curriculum, and she gets 45 minutes of Spanish instruction every day. Which is awesome in its own right, IMO, and its especially cool since I've got friends in Spain and Chile. On the downside, the school's a pretty good hike from the house - about 20 minutes door to door in car. But we just started putting Sarah on an express bus - o Joy!

So, my daughter is a really sweet girl, but, as her teacher put it recently in our parent teacher conference this week, she's a worrier. She gets a little up tight especially when she does new stuff. But it's weird, 'cuz she's really social and adventuresome, but whenever she has to do something new by herself, she gets a little worried.

So, taking the bus was a big leap for her - but she totally loves it now. After her first day when my wife picked her up at the bus stop after school, Sarah says "I heard a bad word." My wife was like "uh oh" so she told her, well, that's ok, that might happen, but if you repeat those words, you won't be able to ride the bus anymore. But she didn't ask her what word it was for fear of finding out. Finally, a couple days later, my wife gets up the courage to ask Sarah what the bad word was that she heard on the bus, to which Sarah said "Captain Underpants." LOL

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Facebook Ads- smart strategy, questionable execution

Zuckerman unveiled Facebook's anticipated ad strategy yesterday. I was pretty skeptical, I have to say, but upon reading about it, it looks like a really smart idea. In a nutshell, the strategy is to allow advertisers to leverage what Facebook is good at, and what makes it popular - namely, relationships and endorsements. So, if you and I are friends in Facebook, and I say I like some product, then this will be treated the same way as if I told my friends that I like some type of music.

My problem with this, though, is not about how smart the idea is, but rather with the execution. Let me explain. The New York Times describes the strategy this way:

"The ads expand what has been one of the most powerful features of Facebook, the news feed, where members see a list of what their friends are doing — photos from their parties, new friends, favorite bands and so on.

Facebook now will give advertisers the ability to create their own profile pages on its system that will let users identify themselves as fans of a product. Each user’s news feed will contain items like “Bobby Smith is now a fan of Toyota Prius.”

Sounds great - but here's my issue - I've been using Facebook for a few months now - granted, I'm no power user and I have a limited number of friends, but I'm a user nonetheless - and I've only once had someone say they're a fan of mine, and I've never seen this so-called news feed, which the Times calls one of Facebook's most powerful features.

So, in the interest of thoroughness, I did what any self-respecting pseudo-journalist would do - I logged into Facebook and looked for the news feed. I couldn't find it. I used the search feature and I looked for something called news feed in all the tabs - no luck.

While performing my search, I was reminded why I don't really like Facebook - the interface sucks! It is so cluttered and confused, it repels me. Compared to the social networking site that I think sets the benchmark - LinkedIn - Facebook is completely amateurish.

Now, you might be thinking that the difference is explained by the target audience and use - LinkedIn is for professionals and for business use, where Facebook is for friends and social use. Two problems with this explanation - businesspeople and friends are all people and we all have basic user interface needs and, two, business is a social activity, so basically I don't buy it.

Bold prediction: I think Facebook is going to get their lunch eaten by the company that knows how to design interfaces and organize information as well as anyone - Google. Wouldn't it be funny if Google just ran up the price tag on Facebook to stick it to Microsoft? Seems to me like Google's own social networking announcement came too quickly on the heels of their supposed loss to Microsoft in the Facebook deal for Facebook to have been anything other than a decoy. Oh, and btw, there's nothing about the good part of Facebook's ad plan that can't be copied. To borrow a term from P&G - I think Google is a PFE (proudly found elsewhere) kind of company...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Linus Torvalds on Open Source: 'A Much Better Way to Do Things'

Linus Torvalds was only 22 in 1991 when he decided to share with friends and colleagues the code of Linux, the new operating system he had created. The University of Helsinki computer science student couldn't have imagined the revolution his decision was about to ignite.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Which OSI license is best for NetDirector?

I need help figuring out which license to move NetDirector to. Right now, it's licensed under a modified MPL with attribution clause. I think I want to keep attribution, which would seem to rule out GPL and limit me to CPAL, or the newly approved MS-PL or MS-RL. You can see these at

But, I also observe that many commercial open source vendors have embraced GPL, both versions 2&3, notably SugarCRM, Zenoss, Red Hat...

Do I need attribution? Bear in mind that, unlike the above-mentioned vendors, I am not VC-backed. I think this makes attribution more important to me - but maybe not.


Update - November 12, 2007

I'm pretty much settled on moving everything that's out there today in the comunity (all the stuff that can be downloaded from SourceForge) to GPLv2. Maybe someday there will be "Enterprise" editions of NetDirector that will have some other license, but I think GPLv2 is the ay to go.

thanks to everyone who chimed in with thoughts - I appreciate it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Daily Affirmation

Remember that skit from SNL, "Daily Affirmation with John Handy" or something like that? I think the comedian is dead now. Well, I need a daily affirmation today. My wife is big into dreams - she even has a book about interpreting dreams.

This morning, she says to me "want to hear about my dream"? I say "sure" (that's the only right answer, of course...)

"I dreamt I was Barrack Obama's girlfriend..."

Feel free to interpret in comments below, but take it easy on me, ok?

Saturday, September 29, 2007


It's been sort of a slow start for the season for Barca. They just didn't play well at all in their first couple outings, and then Ronaldinho got hurt. But in last week's game against Zaragoza, which is a great side, Messi was fantastico. So was my personal favorite, Iniesta. But poor Henry, despite having like 4 really good chances, the Zaragoza keeper was always placed rigt to make the save.

In this week's game against Levante (which I haven't seen yet, but got the news on) Henry scored a hat-trick. One word: Oui!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Go Hybrid!

My sister is a smart cookie, for a Republican ;)

When she says stuff, I listen because she's thought it through, and is usually right. So, when she mentioned that she didn't think the economics of hybrid cars were going to make sense en masse for a long time, it got me thinking.

Being the geek I am, I decided to crunch some numbers to make up my own mind. You'll find it here:

Turns out, my dear sis was right and wrong. According to my analysis, gas would need to cost north of $10 per gallon to justify the price premium for a hybrid. But, the Fed's did something smart (in my view) and provide a tax credit to buyers of hybrid cars. With the credit factored in, with gas at anything above $2.80, you make out better with a hybrid. And, drivers of hybrids of course derive the all-important psychic benefits.

Quote of the day - 8/6/2007

"Servers are computers that process online transactions, host Web sites and run companies."
San Jose Mercury News

I and everyone else in the IT/computer/software business knows what this author means when they say that servers "run companies," but we're not the people who need to have explained to them what a server is. For the readers of this newspaper, if you don't know what a server is, don't go by this half-hearted joke of a definition. Rather, refer to Wikipedia

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Me Talking at BarCampRDU '06

Matt Frye is an excellent videographer. You can tell because I actually sound cogent and clear in this clip he recored at last year's BarCamp RDU...

Thanks Matt. I'll pay you later... ;)

Friday, July 27, 2007

HP Opens Wide for Wares, Part 2 - Neoware

When I saw that HP was acquiring Neoware, I wasn't too surprised, but I also wasn't aware of all the history, either. I knew Neoware was a leading thin client maker, I think number 2 or 3 with such others as Wyse (private), HP, Sun and iGel (private). What I didn't know was that Neoware used to be part of IBM, then they got out of that business. So, in addition to getting the Neoware technology, HP also picks up some formerly true blue accounts.

I wasn't surprised by HP's decision to buy Neoware because I have been saying for some time that Sun was about ten years too early in pronouncing that the Network is the Computer. From the time they made this announcement, it's taken a few things to actually make it become reality, namely ubiquitous broadband, SaaS, Internet APIs, open source, and the continued decrease in the relative price of processing power and storage. Now that each of these things has taken hold, computer users find ourselves in the situation of actually not needing an expensive computer for a great many tasks.

I'm not sure if it was Stephen O'Grady or David Berlind who said it first, but whoever it was, they said it well when they said that more and more, they live in their browser. Meaning, increasingly, the applications they use, such as word processing, blogging, email, research on the Internet, etc., they access via their web browser. I couldn't agree more. Developments like Google Apps and Gears make this all the more true and all the more accessible to more and more people.

Seeing this, HP was smart to jump on Neoware to position themselves as the leading provider of a broad line of Windows and Linux-based thin client solutions.

But I also think that, prior to HP's Neoware buy, broad enterprise adoption of thin clients faced one major obstacle - namely mindshare and marketshare with VARs. Without this, it seems to me, the road to wide scale enterprise adoption of thin clients would be long and slow. HP is very strong in the channel, and will have the capacity to fit their new Neowares right into their VAR go-to-market. Whether they will successfully execute on this is another question. Clearly, the more businesses spend on thin clients, the less they will spend on Pavilions and Presarios, so I would be very surprised if there isn't some internal product group jockeying going on.

I've seen first hand how this sort of political infighting can really screw up a vendor as they try to broaden their channel product line. It's non-trivial. To the extent they do this poorly, I would look for pure-play thin client makers like Wyse and iGel, and also Sun, which isn't a pure play but does have a strong thin client line up, to capitalize. Unfortunately for investors, there aren't any publicly-traded pure play's left. Sun would be the closest, but their Sunray line represents a small percent of the company's business.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

HP Opens Wide for Wares

Yesterday HP picked up Opsware for $1.6 Billion and Neoware for $214 million. Here's my thinking on what the Opsware deal means for other IT automation providers (my company Emu Software included) and for the market in general. I'll write another entry about the Neoware one.

So, HP paid 15 times sales for Opsware, which is at least double the typical premium. Were they just feeling generous? I doubt it. Rather, it was probably a competitive situation. Who else might have also wanted opsware? I'd guess the list might include EMC, IBM, CA, EDS, who knows, maybe Google.

But that's not where the story ends IMHO. Oh no. Consider the impact of this deal on a company like EDS. I read a story today about how EDS competes with behemoths like IBM global services and HP for big IT outsourcing deals, and the EDS sales pitch goes like this. You don't have to get locked-in to one vendor (or fear getting locked-in) and you don't have to pick and choose best of breed from multiple vendors and do the integration yourself (and deal with no "single throat to choke") . Go with us and our EDS Agility Alliance, and get the best of both worlds - EDS serves as point for the service and the other vendors (little companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Sun and Dell) bring their technology expertise. So, what does this have to do with HP buying Opsware, you ask? Well, EDS was probably Opsware's first customer, and may well be its largest. In 2002 Mr. Andreessen sold the ASP part of Loudcloud to EDS for a reported $63.5 million, and EDS turned around and entered into a 3 year deal (since extended) with the part of Loudcloud that Marc kept, which he renamed Opsware. Basically, some smart Sys Admins at Loudcloud needed a way to more efficiently manage their data centers, and so they built Opsware, and Marc decided he'd rather be in the software business than in the application hosting business.

Alright, so, you're EDS, or you're a member of their Agility Alliance, and your sworn enemy is HP. Do you keep relying on HP Opsware for your data center automation? That would seem to me to be a fairly precarious situation. Now, something as central as Data Center Automation is not going to be replaced quickly, but if I'm EDS, I'm actively considering my options right now.

But the fun doesn't stop there. Nortel and Cisco, who I'll remind you compete with HP's Procurve products, both resell Opsware to their enterprise customers. Cisco, for their part, is announing their own Data Center optimization solution, what they're calling Data Center 3.0, this week. According to Chambers, "Because the network is uniquely positioned to be the platform for the data center, we are investing in innovations to help our customers transform their data centers for improved efficiency and increased business productivity."

I wonder if Opsware can contiue to grow its revenue at the same pace as part of HP with all these powerful companies that prevously were freinds are now, at least in part, competitors

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Heartbreak in Barcelona

Football, as the rest of the world calls it, or soccer as the game is known here in the States, is to my mind the most dramatic of the major sports. Every game repeatedly carries fans' emotions up and down, mixing nervous excitement with despair, disbelief with joy.

Today, the Spanish league closed with a finale befitting of Shakespeare. For those that aren't familiar with the history of Spain, during their bitter civil war in the 1930s, Madrid served as the epicenter for Franco and his Nationalists, while Barcelona was a major center for the Republicans. The Nationalists won and Franco and his regime punished the people of Barcelona, Catalonia and other parts of Northern Spain pretty brutally up 'til his death in 1975 and the resumption of democracy in 1978. So, it's not too surprising that one of the fiercest rivalries in all sport is that between Barca, as the more popular of the two teams in Barcelona is known, and Real Madrid. They are also two of the wealthiest teams in football, regularly outdoing all others to sign up the hottest stars.

Speaking of stars, Barca's Ronaldinho has been voted the best player in all football and has led Barca to 3 consecutive Spanish league titles, in '03-04, '04-05 and last year. And Barca led much of this season, too, and looked to be in form to clinch their fourth consecutive title. And despite helping Barca put 5 goals on the board in their last game against Gimnastic, it wasn't enough to give his team the crown. Instead the honor went to Real Madrid with their victory over Mallorca in Madrid.

Mallorca scored first and held the 0-1 lead through the first half in the face of intense pressure from the likes of Beckham, Raul, Robinho, and Sergio Ramos who, parenthetically, looks more like Keanu Reeves than Keanu Reeves. But in the second half, the dam burst as Mallorca's defense cracked. Madrid put 3 goals on the board in relatively quick succession. Their victory meant they captured the league title. My buddy Jordi was in all likelihood at the Barca game, which was played at the same time as the Madrid game. He must have been on an emotional roller coaster as Barca took a commanding lead over their opponent while Mallorca (a fellow Catalan-speaking area of Spain) took and held on to a narrow lead over Madrid. Had Mallroca maintained their 0-1 lead, the title would have been Barca's. But with each Madrid goal, Barca's fourth consecutive title disappeared out of sight.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Parents acting ugly

My 5 yr old daughter is on our neighborhood swim team this year. They had their first meet last week, and I had the distinct pleasure of being an official timer. It was great fun. The team has 5 age groups - 6 and under, 7-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18. These kids are awesome - they screamed their lungs out for their teammates and were always encouraging their pals on the blocks.

It's a shame that some parents' over competitiveness had to pollute the atmosphere.

As the timer of lane 3, our 12-13 yr old girls won the freestyle relay by a good half an arm. But because our team was coming back from a deficit, the other team's place judge contested it, even though every one else, including some of the other team's officials, said we won. Finally, our judges caved (rose above, depending on your perspective) and we split that race's points with the other team. Consequently, instead of the meet ending in a tie, we lost by 5 points.

That judge from the other team knew we had won, he just wanted the points - more specifically, he didn't want us to get all 5 points. To put it bluntly, he cheated. And the unfortunate lesson for the kids is this: you cheat, you win. It's sickening.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Quote of the Day 6/14/07

"Beta" is in the eye of the beholder
David Berlind
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