IT Predictions for 2011

Last year, Nathan Burke, who runs Aprigo (and creator of the NINJA data visualization tool), asked me to come up with a couple of predictions for 2010. Here’s what I said:

Large shops are going to take advantage of ever-increasingly-virtualized hardware-cum-software and increase the complexity of their internal clouds. Small shops are going to continue to wonder why the cloud is a big deal, and they’ll keep dabbling in small-scale virtualization. Startups are going to wonder why anyone ever thought paying for hardware was a good idea.

Before the end of the year, we’re going to start expanded IaaS where a provider not only offers virtualized service infrastructures, but also thin-client based virtualized desktops delivered via VPN, essentially making the clients’ networks themselves virtual within the provider’s cloud.

Oh, and flying cars.

My first prediction was obviously a safe bet. The results? Yes, virtualization has continued to grow unabated, and pretty much along the path that I (and everyone else) anticipated.

With the second one, I sort of went out on a limb. All of the pieces are there to put together services like the one I described, and an entire solution may exist, I just don’t know of it.

And flying cars? Well, technically, but neither I (nor probably you) know someone with one.

This year, Nathan asked me me to chime in on what I thought the next year would hold. I haven’t had a ton of time, but I managed to get a couple more predictions together.

You can check out the blog entry, or just watch the slideshow below:

PICC 10 Call for Participation

PICC just released our Call for Participation press release!

If you’re anywhere remotely in the north-east US and interested in contributing to the conference, please consider sending a paragraph or two with the idea to [email protected]. We’d love to have you come to the conference and present your ideas to our attendees.

Professional IT Community Conference – Call for Participation

New Brunswick, NJ, December 7, 2010 – The New Jersey Chapter of the League of Professional System Administrators has announced the Call for Participation for the 2011 Professional IT Community Conference (PICC).

This is the second year for the conference, which caters to system administrations in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York region. Last year’s conference was attended by over eighty administrators representing an array of organizations.

The backbone of any conference is its technical program, and the PICC organizers are announcing that the conference’s Call for Participation is open. This is an open invitation to all interested parties to email an overview of content that they are interested in presenting at the conference to the address [email protected] before the deadline of January 28th, 2011.

The conference program committee encourages interested people to submit proposals for experience reports, posters, panels, and papers. In order to be considered, the email should contain 2-3 paragraphs describing the content, format, and length of the proposed presentation (either short, at 30 minutes, or long, at 60 minutes).

PICC Chair Matt Simmons spoke about the increased availability of lengths and formats, saying, “This is a community conference, and we’re trying to encourage more members of the community to
participate. By being open to presentations of varying time and content, we’re really hoping to get a wide array of people presenting for the first time. We want to know what people are doing, and to learn from their failures and successes. Only by sharing our experiences can we all learn from each other.”

Brian K Jones, co-author of “Linux Server Hacks, Volume 2” recalled participating in last year’s conference, remarking, “As rewarding as it is to participate in any conference, being able to do it in front of your local community makes it that much better. It’s always fun to present technical information, and I’m looking forward to the coming conference in April.”

The conference itself will take place from Friday, April 29th to Saturday, April 30th, and more information can be found online on the conference homepage,

Matt Simmons
PICC Conference Chair
Email: [email protected]

And so the end-of-the-year rush begins

The past couple of weeks have been crazy. I spent an entire week in Ohio working remotely, then early this week I got caught in a blizzard in Maryland. I escaped, but now that I’m back and I know what needs to be done in the next two weeks, I think I might take my chances with the blizzard…

This whole overarching project of revamping my production installation, adding storage, relocating into multiple racks, and so forth is still going on, and because we’ve actually got a QA process now, it’s going much slower than it would have (and I’ll talk a lot more in-depth about the QA process in a later blog post). Going at a slow and deliberate pace is great for reliability…the problem is that the underlying issues are piling up with us not having migrated yet.

The number one problem is disk space. My SAN storage at my primary site is nearly full. I don’t have a ton of it anyway, but what I do have there is just about through, and I’m out of rabbits to pull out of hats.

Because of this, we’re accelerating the parts of the process that are needed to get the hardware moved and into the new racks, and the additional storage array installed. Which is great! I’d love to do it the 2nd weekend in January…but I can’t. A critical member of the operations staff is leaving for a few weeks on the 7th and I have serious doubts about the volume of data to hold until he gets back…so we’ve got to do it before the 7th.

That leaves three weekends. There’s this coming one, and there’s no way that, even accelerated, anyone feels comfortable doing it that soon. There’s Christmas, but I’m not spending the entirety of Christmas Day away from my wife. That leaves New Years Day. Awesome.

I’ll write more about it as I get a chance.