2014 year in review

2014 was huge for me.  I hope it was a great year for you too.  A few highlights:

  • In July, I achieved the CCIE Datacenter certification.  This came after 4 failed attempts on the written exam and one previous failure on the lab exam.  More information on that is here.
  • In November, I finally got a working OpenStack implementation based on Ubuntu 14.04 with the Juno release working in my lab.  I previously had tried to install OpenStack by hand several times and failed.  I’d been successful with RDO and packstack, but that doesn’t really count because that’s just scripting magic.  I had presented at a Utah summit on OpenStack and I am convinced of its viability in the datacenter.  I hope to have a lot more to do with OpenStack in 2015.
  • I finally got around to figuring out AWS.  I had played a little with it before, but I totally immersed myself in it.  I scripted, designed and even took a full week class on it.  I’m amazed by its simplicity and how far ahead it is in front of every near competitor.  Wow.  I also took a look at Digital Ocean and became pretty fluent in creating droplets, scripting, and automating all the things.
  • Docker was a huge wake up call to me to get back into this business.  I saw the benefits of Docker immediately and was hooked.  I started deploying on my MacBook and have since worked on migrating my apps to build on Docker.
  • Application Development was a huge goal of mine this year.  Several apps were updated, including UCS TechSpecs after a big redesign and improving application performance and disk space usage.  The one I’m most excited about is an app I’ve really been working on called Transparent Diet (for now).  This is like an Instagram of Food app that helps people make good decisions with what they eat.  The things I’ve learned by developing this app have been incredible:  Full functioning API, setting up a scalable backend on AWS with ELB, containers, database migration strategies, beta testers, business cases, etc.  Seriously my favorite pastime of 2014.

Predictions for 2015.  (Please note, these are my own opinions)

  • I did nothing to increase my knowledge on VMware.  I actually tried to stay away from it.  Its not that I don’t think it has a future, I think its actually a great company and is still easier to use than anything else.  Here’s the thing: Long term Apps will be SaaS based.  That’s the end game maybe 50 years from now.  We’re already seeing most of it how people can just buy apps as a service (Netflix, Salesforce, etc).  As those migrations are made, apps migrate towards distributed cattle models instead of the pets that VMware is so good at supporting.  As those Apps migrate there won’t be as much use case for the features VMware ESXi provides.  So 2015 will see Hyper-V catch up to ESXi in terms of adoption.  But its not all bad for VMware.  NSX will probably get more traction but so will ACI and so will the basic SDN provided by Neutron in the OpenStack project.  Back to the bad news: VCAC or vRealize will be renamed into another service that people don’t want. vCloud Air will also fail to gain any traction.  More good:  Horizon will gain more traction because 2015 is the year of the virtual desktop.
  • Dinosaur companies that sell hardware will finally wake up and understand how much AWS has disrupted their business.  They’re talking about it and in many meetings I’m in, people (not just my company but others) have no clue as to what AWS can do for a startup.  They know its cheap (in some cases), but they don’t know what’s compelling about it. (Think: application services like RDS, DynamoDB).  AWS is pushing hard to get into the Enterprise.  That’s where they want to get the real money.  But it will be more difficult for them.
  • Backup as a service goes more mainstream and more people start to use DRaaS.  Many already are, but this is the low hanging fruit and a cheap and easy one to offload.
  • Container wars get serious.  Docker and Rocket from CoreOS is the tip of the iceberg.  We’ll see more orchestration tools (Challengers to Kubernetes) and perhaps more packaging APIs.  Container networking solutions will become more mature and there will be a battle in that space as well.
  • Bitcoin doubles in value.  Today its sitting at $316.  In 2015 it will get back to $600

My Goals for 2015

  • I’ll release my application Transparent Diet to the world in March.  It will be free and I hope to get that out to at least 500 people.
  • I will be blogging more about the Transparent Diet architecture as I blog more on cloud services and how to architect applications on AWS.  I also will show how to do parts on another platform.  This other platform will be something like Digital Ocean, OpenStack, or some other public cloud provider.
  • I’ll be working with my kids to develop game applications.  I’d like to teach them how to write real code.  They’ve done code.org and some others, but its time to get serious.  We’re going to build several games with the swift programming language.
  • I hope to contribute more to open source projects.  I helped this past week on an Xcode library I’ve been using.  I’ll be filling my github account with more good things.
  • I look forward to architecting more private cloud solutions

What are your goals?  Predictions?  The nice thing about tech predictions is that none remembers if you were wrong or if you made any predictions at all.  Its a pretty safe thing to say I will most likely be wildly wrong.

Here’s to a great 2015!