Thursday, April 30, 2015

I don't have time !!

I don't have time for anything. I am so busy! Well, do you have time for dressing up in the morning? Do you have time for filling up your car's gas tank? Do you have time brushing your teeth in the morning? 

We set the priority and then we will have time. 

Did you read the story about putting big stones in a jar and considering it as filled? In reality, you can again fill the jar with small stones, sand and then water.  However if you fill the jar with water first then you can't put any stones in it.  So identify what is important for you (Big stones & not for others) then fill your jar (time) with those items. 

Tips for increasing productivity: 
  • Identify best time of the day. Certain time of the day, you may have high energy and thinking power! For me it is early morning and late evening after 6 PM!  Do the most important work during that time. 
  • When you get up from bed, don't read your email. Think about what you are planning to achieve on that day. 
  • Plan your next day in the evening. Always check your calendar for next day before leaving office. Make adjustments (Cancel or accept meetings) as needed. 
  • Exercise first thing in the morning. You will have enough energy to do everything during the day. 
  • Spend 30 min per day for strategy. Review your personal and professional goals. What you want to achieve in your life and office? What are your future plans? 
  • When you complain, provide a solution as well. As per vice president of my organization, “We need doctors; Not patients"!!
  • Most of the people don't care about 80% of your work. Identify 20 % that others care and you will be successful. 
  • Can you imagine a perfect personal life? A perfect professional life? If not, try to find and document it. 
  • What you want to do 10 years from now? Create an ideal scenario and work towards it. You need to know where you are going. Then you can identify roads that lead you to the destination. Otherwise, you will be wandering around with no aim in your life.
  • Organizations have mission and vision. Why not for individual? What is my mission and vision of my life? 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I don't know what I don't know ! I need to know what I don't know !

Dealing with computers is easy. You don't need much skill. Google will allow you to solve most of the technical challenges, however people issues are different. You need skills to tackle people issues.

Advice needed?

Nobody needs your advice! You think someone describing their issues for your advice? Wrong! They just need a listener. Instead of providing advice, ask them about the solutions. Ask them about solutions again and again. 

You ask a person to describe people around them or ask them how is life. This will help you to know the persons attitude. I strongly believe that soft/people skills are important compared to technical skills.

How to increase your energy level?

Exercise is a life saver. I used to get tired all the time.  Best medicine for the tiredness/low energy is exercise. Imagine you are tired and almost sleepy, suddenly a tiger approached you. How will you react? Where will you get all the energy to run? "Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands during high stress or exciting situations".  Exercise will increase your Adrenaline level and indirectly increase your energy level.

I don't have time for exercise in the morning. Well do you get time for brushing your tooth? Do you get time for changing your dress in the morning? Do you get time to fill the gas for your car? You determine what is important and you will have time for those items.  Exercise is an important/must item for you.

What exactly you want to do?

Do you know what you want to achieve in your work? Do you know what you want to achieve in your home? Setting short term and long terms goals is very important or thinking about it is good

What bring you happiness?

Did you ever think about listing items that brings you happiness? 

Playing with kids give me happiness. I am happy after coming out of gym with an hour exercise and a bath. I am happy when I am surrounded by my friends and laugh. I am happy when I accomplish something I feel important. I am happy when I am with my close relatives that I care.   

It is important that we identify how to bring joy, happiness and satisfaction to our life and do those items again and again. Discover new items and document it. 

Keep your mouth shut? 

Don't talk when it is not needed and other people are stressed out.  You can achieve success in personal life and professional life by keeping your mouth shut. ! 

Example: I used to call our loudly and vigorously earlier to my family members when we are late for a function or an event. We (as a family) always late for about an hour for any event! 

Later I realized that it is useless to call loudly to family members to get dress up and get ready. All I do now is to get ready earlier and come downstairs and read something. People should realize by them-self about their actions. If we are late because family members are not ready in time then we are late as a family.  So what? I don't want to get stressed because someone in the family is always late. 

Why do you work? 

Are you working for money? Will you stop working if you have "enough" money? What is "enough”? 

I used to think earlier that if I have lot of money then I will stop working! I changed my views. I don't work for money. I work for keeping myself happy and engaged. I am working because I want to accomplish something. I should get a feeling that I helped others. I should be proud of my work. My team members should be proud of working with me. I want to make a difference. I want to get recognized for my work. 

Will you keep counting numbers from 1 to 100 for all day long if someone paying you double/triple salary? I don't think so. I won't do it. We all work because we want satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment by doing the work. 

One of the main reason people leaving from work is they get bored! They think that work is not challenging. Job rotation is one of the solutions. You learn something new. Taking new projects outside your immediate responsibility is another solution. 

People will get old when they stop working. Initially for two years, you may do something that you want to do such as travel etc. Then you will end up in front of TV. Do what you want to do when you work and younger. My father took an early retirement then later regretted it. 

Don't wait for your retirement to do something you want to do. Who knows if you live till you retired? Live today and enjoy life. 

Winning Argument?

Keep an end in mind when you argue with someone. Sometimes you don't know what you want and argue with others. You need to know what you want and what is you can agree. 

Complaining about others 

Stop complaining about life and others. Nothing can be achieved by doing so. Can you live for 24 hours without complaining about anything? Talk about good things instead of complaining about others. 

I hear only complains from some people. All I can say is "stop complaining" or listen about these complains. I am OK to hear complains if other party gets some satisfaction, however I don't have any patients for keep hearing about complaints about me!!  

Fix what you can control. Don't complain about issues that are outside your control. 

It is easy to say that my company's process sucks and upper management is not doing anything about it. My company is full of bureaucracy and nothing works here. The question is what you are going to do about it. Are you doing something within your control to fix these issues? 

Describe your life?

How do you describe yourself?  How do you describe life? hard? Compared to what?!

Elevator speech

Can you describe you and your work in 30 sec? One of the executive that I respect knows all the facts about IT of his company and lot of other general IT facts.  He has his own fact sheet! People take note when someone talks about numbers and percentages.

Today's right is tomorrow's wrong

Our views are keep evolving. When someone says that you are wrong, you may be wrong. How do you know for sure that you are right? Listen and research. You may change your opinion. I always wonder how people are willing to die for certain causes. Can you talk to them about it? Will they change their opinion later? What are these people thinking?

Don't work hard. Work smart. 

Do what is important for your management. (Not what is urgent for company or others).

Always think at least 30 min in a day for strategy. Review your goals. Spend time for planning. We get so busy at work and we never spend time for strategy or identifying important items for us. 

Always prepare for meetings. One of my manger said that attending meeting is easy, however preparing for the meeting is time consuming. I asked him why? He said meeting takes 1 hour however preparing for that meeting takes 4 hours!  This person is amazing in meetings; he knows answers for the topics discussed in the meetings!  You know why. 

Identify what is important for you and urgent for others. You need to spend time on what is important for you. 

How to win a race? 

Can you win a race in a high way? No matter how much speed you are travelling there will be always other cars in front of you. 

So don't try to win race always in life. There will be other people in front of you. You can't be top of all others. Don't try to win over others. Try to collaborate with others. If you are a CTO there will be CIO in front of you. If you are CIO then there will be CEO. If you are a CEO there will be board members in front of you etc. etc. 

Always find new...

Try to find new efficient way of doing what you do. Always look for cheaper, efficient, easier, and best possible way. 

Always look for experience for something new. Example: Try some new food that you didn't try. Try new experience such as fishing in deep sea. Try to travel some where you didn't travel yet. Try to get some new friends. Try to read something new. Try to watch the type of movie (example: comedy or action) that you never watched. Try some new adventure. Try a new exercise.  Try going out lunch with a new person. 

Best days in your life 

Can you imagine the best days in your life? Time during your college/high school days? 

Ask this question to several of your friends. Will any one say that current time is the best time of their life? OK. We don't realize when you are having a good time in your life! Try to enjoy life as it is. No need to seek something new.  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Success as a team

Your team is your success! If you have the right person in your team then you will be successful. So how can you get right person to the team to do the right job/work?

Selection process

I attended one of the interview sessions conducted by an employee. He asked all closed technical questions! IT technical field (example: Java) is an ocean. No one claim that he or she knows all the answers. In fact you don't need to know the answers. All it matters is that if  you have the capability to find answers and do you know the fundamentals. 

It is important that we see if a person 1) can do the job? 2) will he/she fit in to the team 3) have good attitude and motivation to be successful 

Example: No one can succeed without collaboration skills in a corporate world. 

I never answer any interview questions in one word. I am not sure why people answer an open ended question in one word (yes or no) and then keep their mouth shut and expect the interviewer ask more questions! 

Providing examples from the previous job will give credibility for the answers. You can't judge or determine the suitability of a person by talking 30 minutes, however by allowing the candidate to explain their accomplishments and roles from previous jobs will help. 


Delegate the job as much as possible. Don't work on something if you can't deliver within 10 min. My productivity has improved after I started setting up alarm for 10 min in my iPhone for the important tasks.

I have a tendency to lost (try to do multiple things at the same time). Implementing 10 min rule helped me to focus. 

Believe in people. Others can do a better job than you!! Identify a person best suited for the work. Ensure that the person wanted/motivated/interested to do that work. 

Recognize people and Teams

It is amazing how this helps you to achieve your goals. People hate when they feel you take advantage of their work. You can't succeed by taking credit for others work. It is very important to communicate the contributions by other groups or your own team members.

Be happy!

"Success is you get what you want and happiness is about wanting what you get!! " There is no point in complaining about resources or work! Do you think you will be happy by getting more resource, more projects, more money or more responsibilities? 

Take care of yourself. If you are not happy then your team is not happy. 

Networking and communication: 

"Man is a social animal". You must be part of your office social network. Communicate your success and what you do. Some people work very hard. Unless your manger knows about your hard work, that may not reflect on your review. Unless you communicate your team’s success and achievements, others may not know your contributions to the organization.

Establishing good relationship with others will help you to get your job done much easier. There is no winning in an argument in corporate world. You will be a failure if you argue and "win". 

Think about why other person is in your opposite side. Understand the true reason!  

You need pleasant co-workers as well! 

Meaningful work:

Make sure what you make a difference in other people's life. People appreciate when you help others to do their job.  No amount of money will give you happiness or fulfillment if you feel that you are wasting your time and energy on unwanted items. You won't get a choice always; however you can create opportunities for you to do the meaningful work. 

Don't wait for someone to give you the work that you want to do. 

Is your work is challenging? Are you learning anything new ? Always get out of your comfort zone. You are not fit for an IT job, if you are not ready to learn new stuff.

Set the priorities 
We have only limited resources and time and so much to do. There are important task and urgent task.  You need to prioritize the work. 

Identify high value task and ensure you complete those tasks successfully. Ensure that management knows about the completion of these tasks. 

Spend time creating Strategy

Spend 30 minutes per day to strategize your work. Identify the new ideas and proposals.  

You must know the 80/20 rule. You get value on 20 percent of your work. No one care about your 80 percent work.  Your success lies on identifying the 20 percent of work that people care.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

How to be successful in professional and personal life ?

Why do some people more successful than others in their professional and personal life? 

What is the meaning of success ?!  Is it health,wealth,happiness and good family ? How can I describe my success ? How can I quantify my health,wealth,happiness and good family? How much is enough?

I had good friendship with one of the CIO of the company that I worked earlier. He once said the following: 

Your career is like rubber ball, If you drop it, it will bounce back.
Your health is like an iron ball, if you drop it, it won't bounce back.
Your family is like crystal ball, if you drop it, you can't join it.

I felt like he spoke from his experience. So decide your priorities !! 

We all work for others. Every human being in this earth works for serving others. Can you please find one job that don't serve others directly or indirectly? So we live in a society and all we do is to serve others ! 

In order to be successful in your professional like, technical skills are not very important. You must have good people skills. To be successful in your married life, handsome look is not important. You must be a CEO of your house with lots of love.

Continues improvement is very important. Technology keep changing. We can never stop learning. You will be out of your career, if you stop learning. 

Think about maturity that you have now versus at age 20 ! Think about maturity that you will have at age 70 vs now ! Personal development is very important and is a continuous process as you getting old.

What exactly the successful people do ? How can I or you repeat what successful people does and be successful? Nothing can stop you if you do same thing over and over again as successful people do in your domain. Why some doctors are famous ? How come my CTO,CIO or CEO got that position?

Some of the books I read and recommend are listed below:

1) Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill  -

The following sentence from the book makes me to think for  10 min !! (The book listed thirteen steps to success and the seventeen principles of success)

"If time and money were not an issue, what would you do with your life " ?

I am still thinking about it !

Couple of items that interest me from the book :

  • People who are failure in life has good reasons !

  • If I have a ...... (There is nothing called "IF". Accept who you are and work from there) Have courage to accept who you are.

  • Self confidence and courage - Nobody wanted to follow a non-courageous person.

  • Always think about what person X do in difficult situations .  What would a new manager do for my organization if I am replaced ?

  • A man who can't control him self can never control others.
2) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, By Stephen R. Covey

3) How to Win Friends and Influence People, By Dale Carnegie
“Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them.
Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. ‘To know all is to forgive all.’”
“Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems.
A person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people. A boil on one’s neck interests one more than forty earthquakes in Africa. Think of that the next time you start a conversation.”
Really try to see the world as another sees it. - Can you ?
  • "People don't criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be."
  • "As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation,"
  • "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do.
    But it takes character and self-control to be under-standing and
4) No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy


Friday, January 2, 2015

VMware & Cloud

VMware is the market leader in virtualization space. I was reading about different product offering from VMware and it's usage. VMware has many products and some of the product's functionality overlapping each other, however VMware is better than Oracle for product overlapping  !. 

Some of my note are given below for reference.

What is a cloud ? Since you have cloud available, why clutter your brain ? You can store some of the brain memory is external private cloud and access it from your home and outside :) 

I will not try to define cloud, Refer to  National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST)'s cloud definition. A Cloud can be private, hybrid, community or public. A cloud should have On-Demand Self-Service, Broad Network Access, Resource Pooling,Rapid Elasticity and Measured Services. Virtualization is an enabling technology for cloud computing. Cloud has different service models such as IAAS (Infrastructure as a service), PAAS (Platform as a service) and SAAS (Software as a service) 

Software as Service (Saas) means you don't need to install software in your laptop. My question is will it make my laptop lighter :)  

The main product from VMware is Vcloud suite. Vcloud suite has vSphere and VRA ! I don't know why VMware decided to run their products in Windows ? Why are they not using Linux ?

VMware concentrate on the following areas 
1. Compute - vSphere 
2. Network - NSX
3. Storage - Site recovery manager and virtual SAN
4. Automation - VRA and VCO

vCenter is what manages vSphere virtual infrastructure hosts, virtual machines, and virtual resources (CPU, memory, storage, and network). You create software based VMClusters using Vcenter. You can VMotion across different VMClusters. VMWare admin uses Vcenter to manager your entire VMWare infrastructure. Some companies have seperate Vcenter for production and non-production environment for security reasons. You should be able to see and configure multiple datacenter in single Vcenter console. You can view utilization of your hosts (CPU, Memory etc) in Vcenter. 

vCloud Director (VCD) is at a higher level in the cloud infrastructure. vCloud Director (vCD) can traverse multiple virtual infrastructures and further abstracts the virtual infrastructure resources into software-defined storage, networking, security, and availability. vCloud Director manages one or more vCenter instances for your private cloud. It no longer available as a standalone product.

VMware decided to end/EOL VCD ! It is now a part of Vcenter and VRA. It is amazing how many conflicting product VMware has.They are in right direction to kill some of the redundant software that offer same functionality.

Vcloud suite consists of many products. vSphere is a software suite that has many software components like vCenter, ESXi, vSphere client and so on. This is a combination of different products. ESXi is the virtualization server - type 1 hypervisor. All virtual machines or Guest OS are installed on ESXi server. vSphere client is used to access vCenter Server and used for manage ESXi servers.

vRealize Orchestrator (VCO) provide workflow and automation capabilities. If you are using VCO, then you may not need vRealize Automation (formerly vCloud Automation Center). However for VRA is a good software to automate many infrastructure automation. One of the advantages of VRA is, it has capability to connect Vcloud air.

Not sure why VMware renamed vcloud to vRealize ? Is it a good idea to build your own cloud or buy ? The cloud providers like Amazon EC2 is not cheap. It is very expensive. I created an account earlier using my credit card. Created couple of VM's and installed few Middleware software on it. I realized that Amazon was charging my credit card. Some how I noticed it lately ! 

Public cloud is a good idea if you need to ramp up and down your infrastructure unpredictably or need elasticity on your existing data center based on consumer traffic. 

More to follow .......

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Question: What is your most expensive line item for IT?
Answer: Storage!

I was reading about storage this week and sharing some of my notes here:

Only 10 % of data are structured (database). Other 90 % of data are unstructured (Email, Xrays images etc). 

As per the projections by IDC, storage has 300 x growths from 2005 to 2020. 80 % of data never used after 90 days! Most of the data stored in Tapes! Tape is the lowest cost storage medium. Tape storage cost less than $ 0.15/GB however high performance disk cost $5-$10/GB! Disk cost 26 times more than Tape solution!

How to achieve scalability, performance and flexibility for your storage infrastructure?  It is very important that you handle storage infrastructure appropriately. You may have to ensure that the storage infrastructure is optimized to reduce the cost, provision storage without delays and automate all repetitive tasks.

Goals for storage optimization:
  • Remove unused storage
  • Reduce storage costs.
  • Provision storage by on demand (Thin provisioning ? ) 
  • Simplify and automate storage management. 
  • Increase storage capacity
  • Remediating storage, reclaiming storage from an application
  • Creating chargeback reporting on an application (Is this possible ??)
 NetApp,EMC, Borcade, IBM are the major players in storage market.
It is amazing to me that the basic concept of RAID (Redundant array of inexpensive disks) technology hasn't changed since last 25 years. RAID has different levels RAID 0 to RAID 6.  The purpose of the RAID technology is to combine individual drives. LUN (Logical unit number) is created from the RAID set by partitioning the available capacity in to small units. 

High end storage provide Active-Active arrays. Mid range storage provide active - passive arrays. EMC Symmetrix is Active - Active arrays which include Symmetrix Virtual Matrix (VMAX) series. EMC VNX storage is active - passive arrays. 

Before looking ways to optimize storage infrastructure and looking at the emerging technologies, let us identify the fundamental concepts of storage. 
Following are major types of storage:
  • SAN
  • NAS
What is the difference between NAS and SAN? What are the protocol for accessing storage from a computer (to and from) - SCSI or NFS or CIFS? How the storage is connected to a system? - Storage device is directly attached or network attached? What kind of cabling? Ethernet or Fiber optic?

NAS (Network Attached storage) - Single Storage device. Multiple file servers are not needed.  Uses Ethernet or TCP/IP for connections or data transfer. NFS/CIFS (NFS - Network file system, CIFS - Common internet file system) are the main I/O protocol. NFS or CIFS are the network file services.  NAS appears as shared folder for computer. NAS evolved from direct attached storage (DAS). It is not possible to share the file using portable storage ! NAS enable user to share the files over an IP network. NAS can be used by Linux or Microsoft windows. 

NAS device has it's own software and hardware including operating system. It perform I/O much better than normal operating system. Files could be moved across multiple NAS devices without interruptions.   NAS don't need to create a new network (like SAN), it can use existing IP network. 

SAN - Local network of multiple storage devices. It is a high speed network that makes connections between storage devices and servers. Uses FibreChannel for interconnects. SAN is suitable for large enterprises. It can contain high-performance disk arrays. SCSI is the main I/O protocol. SAN appears to computer as its own storage. SAN provide great performance than NAS. Example: EMC Clariion (currently discontinued, replaced by VNX and VNXe storage area network (SAN)

SAN Carries data between servers using Fiber Channel network ( usually 2/4/8 and 16-gigabit per second rates)

SAN has virtualization: 

1) Block level storage virtualization (Aggregate LUNs and enable provisioning of virtual storage) 
2) Virtual SAN (VSAN)

SAN has following components:

  • Drive enclosure - any number of drivers. Usually each drive enclosure will have more than SAN drive enclosure has more than one drive. Expand based demand. Type of drive could be SATA. Fiber channel or Solid state
  • Controllers & Cache - it is a server with its own operating system. That connects Drive.
  • Switch network - Fiber
  • Host bus adapter - Similar to computer network card. Fancy name for "Fiber optic network card"
  • HBA Driver Servers.
 RAID - Redundant array of independent disks. Data virtualization technology that combines multiple disk drive components in to a logical unit.
Connecting storage to Computer:
  • SCSI - Small computer system interface connects printers and scanners to computer. 
  • iSCSI(Internet Small Computer System Interface ) - It is a IP based standard for interconnecting
  • Fibre channel
  •  NFS - Network file system protocol. Allow user to access files from network as though it is on the local disk.It has a server and client. Standard file sharing protocol. Latest NFSV4 .
  •  The Common Internet File System (CIFS) - Standard way that computer users share files across corporate intranets and the Internet.
  • SMB Remote File Protocol (Including SMB 3.0) - Derived from CIFS.
Storage Devices:  
  • DAS - Directly attached storage. Example: USB device or Dell's MD1220
  • RAID, Optical storage or Tape.
 SAN backbones - Network switching platforms.
Example: Brocade DCX 8 GPS
Storage Standards:
  • Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) – Storage industry
  • Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) - the functional interface that applications will use to create, retrieve, update, and delete data elements from the Cloud
Emerging storage technologies:
  • SDS - Software defined storage
  • Pure-Play Cloud Storage: AWS Storage Gateway - Backup local storage to cloud based storage.
  • Open Stack-Based Storage Clouds: Rackspace Cloud Block Storage
  • RRAM Revolution - New technology for RAM and DRAM  
Storage provisioning (Steps).
  • Assign LUNs (Logical Unit Numbers)
  • verify that data storage and data recovery routes
  • create alternate routes in case of a partial failure
  • Manage storage capacity for expansion
  • Test the storage to ensure that users can use it
Storage thin provisioning relies on on-demand allocation of blocks of data versus the traditional method of allocating all the blocks up front. This optimize utilization of storage. 

Automated Storage provisioning (Options)

Use threshold to allocate more storage automatically (or send notification to SAN administrator to allocate more storage)

1. Policy driven storage provisioning
2. Application threshold level provisioning.

Applications available for automating storage - EMC Automated Resource Manager software (ARM) ?  

Virtual Machine (VM) - A Virtual machine a template which consists of  set of files that can be moved and copied. All files that make up a VM is stored in a single directory. 

Vmware ESXi has a cluster file system called  Vitual Machine File system (VMFS) 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

IT Automation

I live in Ashburn, VA. Up to 70% of the world's internet traffic passes through my county (Loudoun) on a daily basis !!

I can see lot of data center around here, however couldn't see any cars parked in those buildings ? Why ? Looks like, a data center need only a security guard !! (security also can be done remotely !)

Automation play a big role in Data center. Any task that is repeatable should be automated.  There are several tools available to create workflow and orchestration of process and tasks. Example: Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 suite, BMC Bladelogic etc.

The first step of any automation is to understand the manual steps that an IT administrator/resource performs to do the repeatable task. You document the steps as run book for that process. Next step is to identify the time savings and business efficiency associated  with automating those tasks.  

The objective of IT automation is to increase speed of IT services delivery and management thereby achieve agility and accelerate application delivery and support. 

Use Self Service portals for achieving IT automation.  Empower end users to obtain IT compute to do their work. Simplify IT and reduce bureaucracy. 

Governance is very important for IT automation. In order to achieve automation, you don't want your company to compromise security, control on the IT infra resources or  IT hardware/software license management and optimization. 

IT Automation is all about people, process and technology. Automation can't be achieved by implementing couple of tools. The business process changes/optimization require to achieve real automation. 

The collaboration and buy-in from different organizations within IT is a must. Automation is about optimizing and making every one's life easier. Resources can concentrate on real IT work instead of doing repetitive boring work such as provisioning and configuring a software using same methodology for multiple customers. It is all about removing manual process and optimizing the process of install, configure, manage and deploy hardware and software. 

IT Automation have three major parts:  All should be managed by software with Self service portals. 

  • Compute - Manage compute infrastructure. Virtualized servers for internal or cloud . Use self-service portals for obtaining, managing and supporting IT infrastructure. N
  • Network - Software based networking. Use Self Service Portals for obtaining, managing and supporting network. 
  • Storage - Software based Storage. Use Self Service Portals for obtaining, managing and supporting storage. 
Some of the commonly used tools are listed below: 


Build Automation 
Apache Ant
Apache Maven

Software configuration management 

Continues integration 


bug reports:


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Agility in Network layer

Most of the companies still using traditional layer 2 architecture for networking. In a network, the hardware switch is a device that redirects data messages at the layer 2 level. It uses MAC address to determine the destinations.  Of course layer 4 and layer 7 is available from CISCO and other companies for web applications configurations. Can we use software instead for hardware for network routing? Why not bring agility in to networking layer? IT has the requirement to scale networking layer rapidly to meet the workload demands. Also will network layer is a single point of failure?
We create HA in Web, app and Database layer, but how about networking layer? Can network layer handles fail over without an admin doing manual work? We can provision hosts/VMs in matter of minutes; however it may take two to three weeks to configure a network layer? Why not bring the agile provisioning capability at network layer? Network virtualization and ability to create virtual networks helps organizations to speed up the development and deployment process.
How to achieve network virtualization with agility along scalability, performance and high resource efficiency?  With current technologies, will it possible to create “Network VMs”? Will Network virtualization solutions such as VMware NSX or CISCO virtual networking products are matured for IT industry? The key questions is - can it deliver agility in network layer along with auto failover, auto provisioning, auto resource utilization and performance.

DNS Server

The primary purpose of DNS server is to map between hostnames and IP address. If we are using DHCP (Dynamic host configuration protocol) then manual configuration of DNS may not be needed. DHCP server will takes care of mapping host names to IP address dynamically. For Linux, refer/etc/hosts file which has  a mapping of host name to IP address. DNS server provide a distributed database with host name, IP address mapping.   Most of the network may not use DHCP as it require static IP address. DNS defines hierarchical name space of hosts and IP addresses.  There are different implementation of DNS available such as BIND, NSD, PowerDNS, Microsoft DNS etc. 


For large organizations, DNS domain divides in to sub domains and run serveral servers for each subdomain.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

What is next after SOA ?

Companies are still in the process of implementing SOA. Some organizations using SOA as an IT strategy that organizes discrete functions contained in enterprise applications in to interoperable, standards-based services.
How successful are they in implementing SOA?
The whole idea about SOA is consumer decoupled from producer, business process decomposed in to  re-usable services and we should be combining re-usable services in to business processes, there  by achieve re- usability, loose coupling, create service in asynchronously with standard service  contract. Also implement discoverability for services that has well defined interface  definitions, use standard data format across organization and use standard Wire and Security protocols.
I don't think many organizations are achieving the above goals! How many organizations can claim achieving IT agility by implementing SOA?
Some people believe that by using SOA software, you achieve SOA for the organization!. You don't need a vendor product for implementing SOA for your organization.
OK. What is next? I have no doubt that IT Industry is moving towards COTS products. Currently nobody write an accounting or a payroll application. We just buy it from off the shelf, however since the business process are not standard across different IT organizations, we still need custom development software/web applications.  
Solution: SAAS - within organization?
The key to success is, how can we create re-usable applications/code base/services that can use within the organization which allow customization based on the business need?.
How can we implement SAAS within the organization without complexity of heavy vendor specific SOA products ? Why can't we use simple JDK/simple containers for writing applications? Use POJO instead of EJBs!.
I was having conversation with my friends (Jaswant and Nathan) this morning about some of these trends - Currently industry is getting matured in IAAS (Infrastructure as a service). We have many cloud providers that provide infrastructure such as Amazon, Rackspace, CSC, Terremark etc. Organizations have VMWare  or open source based hypervisors in-house that enable us to create Virtual images as needed and create/update/move/delete hosts based on the requirements. It is still cheaper (financially) to use an in house data center instead of using external vendor provide data center for long term !.
We have the technology available today to standardize, automate compute resources including Middleware and database complemented by storage and networking capabilities and provide it based on the customer demand.
We can self-provision Hosts, Operating Systems, Middleware, Database and Storage using a Web- based graphical user interface that serves as an IT operations management console for entire IT.
What is missing in this space is an integration layer or workflow based system that authorize and approve the creation of compute resources for the organization for internally or externally hosted data center.
We need a software distribution model in which re-usable applications are hosted internally and made available to departments within IT to use it, customize it, and enhance it based on their requirements. Ideally we should have this from an external vendor (externally hosted). We have few companies in this space such as salesforce, however industry don't have enough on demand computing software delivery models.
Let us work towards implementing a SAAS model within the organization !.