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Archive for June, 2012

PaaS requires new dictionary definition

Posted by Igor Moochnick on 06/21/2012

There is a big range of opinions on what PaaS means. Last week during the CloudExpo 2012, one of the representatives of the AT&T booth told me that they offer PaaS when I’ve mentioned that I’m an architect and a developer working to provide a cloud abstraction fabric. When I’ve asked him to elaborate, he explained that they provide a way to people to create some forms and workflows to collect customers’ data and aggregate it. When I’ve asked him about what development environment they support he looked at me like I was an idiot and said: “this is the whole beauty of it – no development or coding is required but if I need something extra, their smart support team will build it for me”. The explanation of their features reminded me of the Google Docs.

At this moment I felt I was talking to an alien from "Man in Black". I challenge the guy on the fact that their offering can’t be possibly called PaaS and that it’s closer rather to SaaS. The guy killed me with one simple statement: "we provide you a PLATFORM to build your forms, hence we provide a PLATFORM-as-a-Service".

This conversation represents a similar trend we had a couple of years ago when every vendor who was selling some type of virtualization was claiming an IaaS and cloud affiliation. This is exactly what is causing a huge confusion for the consumers and customers with what the cloud is and means, what it is for and what it can deliver.

I feel that there is a need for a good new dictionary definition that can coin and explain all the cloud-related taxonomy and can either clearly identify the boundaries between the realms or bring the new definitions to all these overlapping gray areas.

In my dictionary: PaaS is a realm for the developers only (no offense for the rest of the world). In this context I mean that PaaS is a systems that exposes a defined set of APIs for anyone who is willing to code new behavior and orchestrate new service and application on top of it. Only in this case it can be called platform.

I do agree that the word “platform” has a wider meaning but I’m looking to create a clear distinction in our verbal communications so we, between ourselves, will know what we’re talking about.

Posted in Cloud, Thoughts | Leave a Comment »

Hybrid cloud experiencing explosion rate

Posted by Igor Moochnick on 06/20/2012

During the “State of the Clouds” presentation (at the RightScale 2012 conference) I’ve noticed an interesting slide that indirectly proves my point that I was stressing for the last 2 years – the enterprise customers are not yet ready to start using public clouds for their production needs, but they entertain the idea of the hybrid solutions. The slide doesn’t say anything specifically about the type of the customers, enterprise or not, but shows the trend in the market which reflects the mind-set shift.

Take a look of the scale and the speed of the Hybrid Cloud adoption:


Posted in Cloud, Thoughts | Leave a Comment »

Azure-related source repositories

Posted by Igor Moochnick on 06/19/2012

Microsoft has started opening more and more of the internal source code. Here are a couple of starting points:

Posted in Azure, Cloud | Leave a Comment »

Trying to embed Gist in Windows Live Writer

Posted by Igor Moochnick on 06/17/2012

You need to put the following line in the “source” page of your post:

[gist https://gist.github.com/2944955%5D

Here is my test Gist:


Here you can find in-depth explanation how to do this: http://en.support.wordpress.com/gist/

Posted in Training | Leave a Comment »

CloudExpo in retrospective

Posted by Igor Moochnick on 06/17/2012

The visit to NewYork was a success from so many angles. Apparently I did a very bad homework but, accidentally and to my surprise, I hit New York’s Javits Center at a great point of time – at the same time there was a whole cluster of cloud-related events going on in parallel and I was able to get into a bunch of them:

My main goal was to visit CloudExpo and to network. I was looking to establish new connections and partnerships. CloudExpo, for me, was both a great success and a great disappointment.

It was disappointing to me as an architect because I didn’t learn anything new. I didn’t account for it to be a trade show in its purest meaning. Most of the sessions were presented by sales and marketing people and were targeted for clueless crowd that, as they thought, never heard about the cloud and was ready to eat any BS that was fed to it. This leads me to ask the CloudExpo organizers (and I got the same feedback from many attendees): please put names of the vendors and presenters’ titles on the Sessions schedule. This will greatly help attendees to make decisions on what sessions to visit.

The success of the CloudExpo concentrated in a bunch of great discussions I had with a couple of smart people and potential partners. Everyone was excited to hear about our BlueMetal ideas on the cloud PaaS abstractions.

One of the biggest ups and downs for me was a session from NetAxiom. The presenter, Sandy Zylka (VP Products & Technology), was speaking in a soft voice of a night time story teller that you use with your kinds when they fall asleep and you want to convince them to finally close their eyes at the end of the story.

  • When she said that now is the time to change the Cloud development paradigm – I felt enjoyment and excitement.
  • When she pointed out the current issues in the Cloud development and scaling – I felt I was flying.
  • But when she started mentioning some magic things that promise us automatic distribution of the program methods, automatic scaling across multiple machines and nodes – I started to feel dizziness and got a strong sense of DejaVu: we’ve been there. It was called RPC.
  • When the speaker mentioned that all of the current development methodologies are not valid anymore and we need to forget about coding functions and prescriptions for compilers – I started to feel really sick.
  • But when she said that it’s time to do development in graphical format which will produce some XML-like metadata instructions for the system that will ingest it and will figure out auto-magically what to do with all this – I vomited inside my mouth.

Our industry has experienced such disease in the form of UML code generation and COBOL that was promising business people to "describe" stuff without a need for developers (and then developers needed to fix and maintain all this crap).

5 minutes into the presentation and during the single slide, I felt as an institutionalized patient with a drooling moth that was fed by a spoon by a nurse. I couldn’t stand a single word more and left the session. I didn’t come to hear about unicorns pooping the rainbows.

Posted in Cloud, Thoughts | Leave a Comment »

Redis starting points

Posted by Igor Moochnick on 06/13/2012

If you’re interested I starting using Redis, here are a couple of start points:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Tips for building Large-Scale rich Web sites and applications

Posted by Igor Moochnick on 06/09/2012

When you’re building a workflow-rich web site or application, you’re in a danger to get buried under piles of entangled JavaScript code, web pages, styles and other related artifacts.

It’s better to follow the best practices from the beginning to reduce the weight of the complexity and enable easy extensibility of your code. Here are a couple of links that may put you on a good path:

Here is an entry list of frameworks to know about:

I’m not afraid to admit that I’m not a web designer and I struggle with building good-looking sites, but there are a couple of tricks that I use to make sure that I’m not stuck:

Tips for VisualStudio–devoted crowd:


Here are a couple of more helpful ones:

  • async.js – Async utilities for node and the browser

Posted in Architect, Javascript | 4 Comments »

Turn your management upside down – the upside-down pyramid style

Posted by Igor Moochnick on 06/02/2012

Just read an amazing piece from Joel Spolsky where he describes his own unique style of management. I could agree more. It’s the best description I ever heard about how to make successful teams:

“Stop thinking of the management team at the top of the organization. Start thinking of the software developers, the designers, the product managers, and the front line sales people as the top of the organization”

It is so true – when you hire smart people, let them do what you’ve hired them for. Self-organizing teams, that we’ve all learned about from the Agile practice, can work ONLY when you hire smart people. If your teams are not successful and not self-organizing – check the root cause: are you sure you hired the right smart people?

Organizations can scale successfully and move forward ONLY when the sub-pieces of the organization can be self-directing. The management exists ONLY to provide general message, coordination and support for the employees (removing impediments).

Posted in Agile, Thoughts | Leave a Comment »

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