The Case for Managed Services

As veteran of the IT industry, I fall inline with the 10,000 hour rule in reference to Linux/Unix Systems Administration. Needless to say, as a wrangler of *nix based operating systems, most people would consider me an expert; although, I rarely feel that way. However, as of recent I’ve been doing a lot of work on Big Data platforms, including Hadoop, Elastic Search, MongoDB, and using tools such as Storm and Impala. While the install of these platforms is trivial, I can unequivocally say that the tuning is not. This brings me to the point, The Case for Managed Services. I’m fortunate enough to be working with some very sharp guys in the Big Data industry right now, the folks over at InfoChimps. They have developed a Big Data managed service platform that is, in my opinion, unrivaled in the industry. This is the type of platform that it would take months, possibly years, and a team of systems engineers and developers to perfect; and that is the argument I make.

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How to Choose an SPI (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) Service Provider. Part Three

Welcome to the third and final part of my this blog series about choosing an SPI provider. During the previous two posts, one and two, I’ve discussed a number of issues and attributes you should consider before selecting an SPI provider. In this last piece, I’m going to give some recommendations based on my experience, references from people I trust, and what I see in the industry. I’m going to start from the bottom up, so let’s talk IaaS.

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Why You Should Be Involved in the Technical Hiring Process

I’ve been staying busy these days doing a lot of consulting relating to DevOps, Big Data, and Data Science. Part of the services I’ve been offering is assistance in locating qualified candidates for positions in DevOps environments. One thing that I’ve noticed over the last seven months of consulting is that most companies have no idea how to screen and vet a technical candidate; this is mostly because of the fact that you have human resources personnel trying to locate someone for a highly technical position. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for human resources personnel, but it’s not in the technical hiring process. No matter how long they’ve been a recruiter, unless they’ve worked in the field, it’s unlikely they will have the chops to vet a technology professional.

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How to choose an SPI (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) service provider, Part One

Welcome to part one of a three part blog series about choosing an SPI provider. Be sure to check back to read part two and part three. In part one, I will be addressing aspects of an SPI provider to take into consideration when choosing one to partner with. In part two, I will delve deeper into a couple of these aspects, as well as giving some recommendations for SPI providers that I believe deliver great value while maintaining performance.

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DevOpsDays ATL Rehash

I just returned from a short excursion to the ATL for DevOpsDays Atlanta, and I must say, I never get tired of being around the people in the DevOps community. DevOpsDays are great opportunities for anyone looking to become part of the DevOps community or bring DevOps to their organization. I was fortunate enough to be selected as a speaker at the conference, and spoke about something extremely important to me. You can view my talk, Don’t Fear the DevOps, here:

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Operational Intelligence: What Does It Really Mean? And Does Your Log Wear A Stash?

One of the things I try to do here on my blog is cut through the red tape, BS, smoke and mirrors, or whatever other obstacle you may encounter when trying to learn about the ongoing gibberish, er, I mean lingo, in today’s IT world. As you may have read in my previous blog, I was talking about DevOps, what it is, and what it is not. In this post, I’m going to focus on another tech-world buzz word: Operational Intelligence, or OpIntel, as I refer to it.

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What Is DevOps?

Everywhere we go, no matter what we do, we constantly here buzzwords; so much so that we’ve created the incredible pastime of BuzzWord Bingo. Unfortunately, this practice seems to be rampant in the tech industry. We’ve all been in those meetings with the new VP of Something That Never Actually Existed Before But Does Now So The CEO Can Give His Best Buddy a Job; that would be one hell of a business card, but I digress. Nonetheless, these meetings all start the same, “Hello, I’m Bob Brown-Noser, and I’m the new VP of Something Ridiculous and Completely Pointless, and I’m here to help you create the next-big-thing, to usher our product into a cutting-edge Web 2.0 platform, to create a synergy of sustainability and empowerment, to harness the technologies of cloud computing and big data, and to facilitate the convergence of disruptive technologies into a next-generation company.” Blah, blah, blah, blah, so on and so forth………….

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No Perfect Candidate

A few months ago, I interviewed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for a joint project they were doing with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. If offered this position, it was going to be a significant reduction in salary for me, about fifty thousand dollars per year, but I was willing and motivated to take the position because of the mission. This project was a big data initiative to identify veterans at risk for suicide and prevent tragedy before it strikes. Given the mission statement and the environment, I felt that this opportunity was a near perfect fit for me. It was almost like I had written the job description for myself.

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