Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Declaration for 2015

No technology here, just cactus from the US Botanic Gardens in Washington, D.C.
I'm not making any predictions for 2015, or any year for that matter. Predictions are funny things, after all. Instead of a prediction that's based on sophomoric analyses of recent events and infused with the subconscious biases we all hold, I submit to you, dear readers, a declaration:
I'm losing interest in blogging about technology.
I don't mean that in any profound sense. It's not meant to be a statement on technology, or a passive-aggressive swipe at the pace of innovation across the various niches I've taken an interest in.

Instead, it's an acknowledgement that I've spent two years worrying about blogger stats, pageviews, Twitter interactions, LinkedIn connections, community designations, and certifications. And as I sit at my laptop, squinting at two years of blogging and social networking activities in my rear-view, I'm forced to ask myself what it's all for.1

For certain, I've benefited both professionally and personally (where personally, in this case, is a synonym for financially) as a direct result of this blog. I've met many wicked smart people, attended some amazing events, and have developed my writing in the process.

But I've also started to fall into the routine of posting once a week, even when I don't really have any technical information worth sharing. And I find that I'm posting because... well... that's what you do. And as the market for virtualization-centric blogs reaches saturation, I doubt that the world needs yet another VMware blog.

Exhibit A
So for 2015, I'm going to eschew the self-imposed limitations on what I post about. Creative non-fiction2 and photography will appear alongside whatever technical information I'm interested in sharing. And if I want to include a photograph of the chaotic congeries of knock-off Legos (see Exhibit A), then I will.

And I'm taking a break from the pursuit and collection of the various community designations. I'm no longer able to devote the time and effort required to truly participate in these groups, and to maintain these titles without contributing is disingenuous.

So that's what you can expect from this blog in 2015. Not a prediction, mind you. A declaration.

1 It's at this point where I'm tempted to go into stereotypical geek mode and tell you that I created a spreadsheet to capture the positive and negative results of these activities. But I'm tired of that trope as well, and you'll find no spreadsheet references in this post.

2 And it's at this point I should explain that I've been on a serious DFW bender lately, so footnotes will play a prominent role in upcoming posts.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fun with vCloud Air's VPC OnDemand Program!

I think I'll call it vClair.
I've been an AWS / EC2 customer for about two years now. My relationship with them started with a "free trial" for the elastic computing cloud service that earned me some meaningless points on CloudCred. But I neglected to cancel my account after the free trial expired, and I've been paying about $50 a month ever since for a m3.medium Linux instance that does nothing more than host a private Minecraft server for my boys.

You'll immediately point out that $50 a month for a Minecraft server is insane, especially when Minecraft Realms is only $13 a month. You're right. But I also get a sandbox to mess around with, and an excuse to play with the AWS console. So for the time being, $50 a month is a reasonable price to pay.

But when VMware contacted me to offer me access to the vCloud Air VPC OnDemand program, I immediately thought about migrating my Minecraft server as a test case. Because, in the eyes of my boys, there is no workload as critical as a Minecraft server. Plus it's an excuse to learn how VMware's cloud offering compares with Amazon's.

I'll share with you, dear readers, what I learn about vCloud Air's VPC OnDemand offering in the next few weeks. Specifically, I'm interested in seeing how easy it is to not just import VMs into the VPC, but how easy it is to export those VMs. VMware likes to refer, pejoratively, to AWS as Hotel California (I don't need to sing / explain that, do I?). Let's see if vCloud Air's off-ramp is as easy to navigate as its on-ramp. Because no one wants to be locked into a solution.