Month: June 2014

A place called Change

Change is a scary place to tread for many reasons.  Doubt is a close and ever-present climate and the clouds overhead are filled with nothing but droplets of potential disaster.  The grass is a darker ominous hue and the ground is filled with cracks of famine.

Not only is the weather somewhat inclement but beware the monsters waiting to unsheathe their claws and reveal their teeth to keep you in check.

Change is not a nice place to be.

By far the most evil inhabitant of this world is the ever present lizard.  He stalks you wherever you tread, sitting on your shoulder tapping into your fears, telling you where is safe, where is best, where is easy.  Turn around and it’ll be better.  There, there.  Don’t worry.  The lizard will make it all better.  No more Change, no more fear and isn’t that grass green where you were anyway?

The lizard in question doesn’t walk next to you, it’s carried with you on every journey in every step.  It’s a personification certainly but it’s actually part of every one of us.  You see the lizard is you, more specifically it’s your Lizard Brain.  This concept has been around for a while but no-one has done a better job of explaining it than the writer, CEO, marketing God and amazing story teller Seth Godin.  In a brilliant book I read a few years ago called Linchpin, he describes the Lizard Brain as the part left by early man that wants to save us and keep us away from what it decides is harmful.  This could be the sabre tooth tiger, it could be the berry we shouldn’t taste or the unknown over the hill we definitely, completely, unquestionably should never look beyond.

The Lizard Brain crops up in modern times just as much as it did when your scruffy looking caveman ancestor was running away from that tiger or towards that cavewoman who looked like Raquel Welch.  If you want to do anything in the slightest bit different you can hear it saying “don’t do it.”  “Think about what you will lose and what will go wrong.”  “Everyone will laugh at you.”

Some people will be controlled by this from the day they’re born to the moment they die and I have no doubt they’ll live a happy life, after all their Lizard Brain is kept quiet.

Everyone says that IT is a permanent resident of Change and in some ways that’s true but I’m quickly seeing that many people are clinging to old ways because it’s easy and comfortable.  It’s how we’ve always done it and besides can’t you hear the Lizard Brain screaming at me?  I literally cannot hear myself think!

For me, I don’t like being shouted at and over the last few years I’ve learned to identify and fight back, sometimes just to show I can do it (try not scratching an itch if you want to test yourself – it’s very hard), but most recently because I have a firm belief that I want to do something different for the betterment of myself and those around me.  My Lizard Brain told me I shouldn’t change job, that there was too much to fear and lose and right up to the day I started he was getting louder and louder.  But I stopped listening.  I’ve learned to control him and focus on the possibilities of what is over that hill.  It can be a beautiful place with none of the clouds you heard about and those monsters are actually new friends who feel the same way and want to embrace change too because they also see the limitless benefits it can bring.

Take the example of Nutanix and the traditional SAN.  One is the way you’ve always done it so why not just repeat the process and be comfortable?  Buy another SAN.  Go ahead.  Don’t change.  But there are so many positives and wonderful things to be had from trying something different, especially when it comes to what we at Nutanix are passionate about with concepts like WebScale and a running your world on a true Hyper-Converged platform.  Maybe all you need to do is learn to turn that little sod into a nice wallet skin once in a while.

Whatever you do, even if that’s not approaching IT problems like SANs and choosing a Nutanix solution, even if it’s just identifying that he’s there trying to stop you achieving what you want, try to embrace change because it’s the best thing I’ve learned to live with and I’m very happy being a disruptor rather than the puppet of my own Lizard Brain.

A very transparent place

I joined Nutanix earlier this week and like any savvy potential employee, I did a bit of reading and research before I signed up for the ride.  Part of the attraction to someone like me, who’s lived and breathed the corporate life for the last thirteen and a bit years, is the open attitude everyone here displays toward sharing and being as open as possible with both the business and the technology.

The Nutanix culture embraces ideas and encourages transparent thought not only internally, but also with customers, partners and the wider community.  For evidence, you need look no further than the excellent blog of Mr Leibovici, the surprisingly open and informative Nutanix Bible, or what I first read, SDS for Dummies (they must have known I was coming).

We’re not the only people to provide insight into our most prized innards though.  Nutanix’s legacy stems from Google which is a very transparent company – even publishing papers on their foundation file system, GFS.  Here let me Google that for you and you’ll see just how much information is freely available to you.  Google knows that sharing ideas, even with competitors, makes them stronger.

Another obviously transparent company is the American electric car manufacturer, Tesla.  A few days ago, CEO Elon Musk pledged to donate all their patents to the industry.  To many this was rather surprising since, well, surely that’s their business and their future, right?  Why would anyone in their right mind do something so crazy, so…selfless?  The answer is that Musk understands that really gaining traction in an emerging market requires that others follow Tesla’s lead.

Bob Metcalfe, who co-invented ethernet, explains this principle with ‘Metcalfe’s Law’: “The value of a network increases with the square of the number of nodes on the network.”  What this means in plain English is that as more people use a network, its value to the users increases exponentially. This idea also applies to new industries such as cloud providers, electric car manufactures, and web-scale converged infrastructure providers. Perhaps sooner rather than later, it becomes the way everyone does it. Offering up a better way of doing business is, to me, where the real excitement comes. That’s where I think Nutanix is leading and that’s one of the reasons why I joined.

Nutanix believes that seeing the world from the virtual machine outwards, through a converged software defined solution, leads to huge benefits.  Web-scale is something we eat, breath and sleep – but it’s not a single feature that just popped up out of nowhere.  Web-scale was born out of looking at the problem, data centres and storage, from a different angle and consequently seeing a way of doing things better.  The Googles, Facebooks and Amazons of the world have already done this effectively; we’re really just porting their infrastructure concept into the private data centre.  But the shared idea is what carries this change into the wild and that’s where it can make the most difference.

 

(Special thanks to Steve Kaplan for proof reading this to ensure any Noobisms were addresssed)

 

A welcome from the Nutanix Noob

hello

Hello there!  I’m David and I recently started a new job at Nutanix as a senior systems engineer – three days ago in fact.  After nearly fourteen years working for Citrix across a couple of roles I took the step of moving into a radically new and innovative world of hyper-convergenced infrastructure and there are some very exciting times ahead.

The purpose of this site is to share some of my thoughts and ideas about Nutanix and the ecosystem we work in and also take you through what it’s like to work for and with Nutanix from the ground up.  When I learn something, so will you.  When I cause something to burst into flames, you’ll be the first to read about it.

None of this will be official Nutanix opinion unless I say otherwise so while I do work for them and already love their, I mean our, technology I’ll try to stay as open and impartial as I can.

The site will be updated and made to look a bit more appealing as soon as I have time.

Thanks,

 

David

(The Nutanix Noob)

© 2017 Nutanix Noob

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑