I had a chance to speak with Dan Berg, distinguished engineer at IBM. Dan and I discussed open technologies, open enterprise and open tool chains. A whole lot of open there. We also talked about how open technologies will be part of the upcoming IBM InterConnect event. Below is the stream of our conversation and below that is the transcript if you would like to read along.
Alan Shimel: Hi everyone, this is Alan Shimel, Editor and Chief of DevOps.com, and welcome to another DevOps chat. Today, our guest on DevOps chat is Dan Berg of IBM, and we will be talking about DevOps and open technologies. Dan, welcome to DevOps chat.
Dan Berg: Thank you, Alan.
Alan Shimel: So Dan, before we jump into the whole open technologies, open enterprise subject, can you give our listeners just a little bit of background of who you are, what you do and why you’re here today?
Dan Berg: Sure. So as you pointed out, my name is Dan Berg. I do work for IBM. I’m a distinguished engineer, working in our cloud platform organization, which fundamentally means I’m responsible for working with a set of very energetic teams that are building out services in our cloud foundation. So the IBM cloud platform, specifically in IBM Bluemix, things like our container service, log-in and monitoring services, several DevOps based services. So services such as things like we call active deploy that help deploy microservices within a cloud architecture. So I do a lot in that space, helping the teams identify the strategy and the architecture that we’ll use. I’m also very much involved in our DevOps organization within IBM cloud, focusing on both cloud native applications, as well as hybrid cloud applications.
Alan Shimel: That’s fantastic, and Dan, you know, we talk about DevOps, and certainly when we talk about cloud, one could say we’d have no DevOps or no cloud without open source. What do you think about that statement?
Dan Berg: I think that’s a pretty profound statement. Open source is a strong component of cloud strategies.
I think almost all customers are looking at cloud as a direction. I talk to a lot of our customers, and I can’t say any of them that do not have a cloud strategy or at least pursuing a cloud strategy.
And one of the areas that comes up quite often is this notion of being able to have the flexibility of choice. I want to be able to choose my cloud provider and I might want multiple cloud providers.
And the only way to really achieve that is to have an open community and open standards that allow you to develop your workloads, develop your applications in such a way that you can move them from one provider to the next in their run, as you would expect them across multiple providers.
And as I pointed out, you’re not gonna get that unless you’re focusing on a strong open community that is driving open standards.
Alan Shimel: Yeah, you know Dan, so I’m old and I remember when I first got into IT and technology, there was a time where there was tremendous pushback about open sourcing the enterprise.
We’ve all read the books and we’ve listened to Richard Stallman and the book is escaping me now. What’s the great book about open source? Something about the bazaar and the – oh, whatever.
Gosh, I’ll find it but the more important thing is you know we’ve – and what was the pushback?
How can the enterprise rely on open source without support, without vetting and all of that?
And really it’s been companies like IBM and dare I say, even Microsoft now that have kind of helped pave the way for open source into the enterprise. What do you – what’s your thoughts on that?
Dan Berg: Well, so it’s interesting to see how the open source has evolved, how developing in the open has really changed the way in which developers learn, and how they adopt technologies.
You first and foremost look to the open communities as a way to understand new technologies and to join a community in which those technologies are evolving and you’re right.
Enterprises often look at or have in the past looked at open source as, okay, that’s cheap software that people are doing on the side. They’re not part of any company. How can we trust this?
Is it enterprise ready? We’d better not touch it. Right, we’d better develop our own. I think that mentality has changed dramatically for a number of reasons.
One, the communities have become extremely large. I mean look at things like the open stack community or the cloud foundry community, the Docker community.
These communities have established a base set of users and contributors, and have grown substantially over the last several years, and what they’re developing is being developed with an enterprise mindset. I mean it’s not just for kicking the tires or playing around.
We’re developing enterprise grade solutions in the open, and the reason why it’s being done in the open is because with the community around these initiatives, you end up getting more input from various stakeholders and ultimately at the end, you get better solutions that cater to a larger set of stakeholders.
I know within IBM, I mean we’ve been developing in the open for many years. I can remember way back, 15 years ago, working in the open.
While it may be difficult initially, when you’re thinking oh, I’ve got to work with a community of people and get agreement, that is true to some degree.
But what you find is that as more people start working together and collaborating across the globe on a set of technologies, an open set of technologies, it actually picks up pace and you can innovate much faster, because you just have a larger pool of resources and developers working on that code base.
And that’s what we’ve been seeing, and adopting that back into an enterprise and using it has become easier because you’ve got enterprises like IBM, like Microsoft, like others that are contributing to these open communities and ensuring that enterprise requirements are added into those code bases, so that they can be consumed by an enterprise.
So it is shifting. I think more and more, enterprises are adopting open source capabilities because of the innovation and the enterprise grade quality that’s coming out of those communities.
Alan Shimel: Absolutely. By the way, Dan, the book was The Cathedral and the Bazaar.
Dan Berg: Yeah.
Alan Shimel: By Eric Raymond, and I’m sure you read it too. It’s – you know what, at this point, I’m ashamed to tell you. It’s like 15, 20 years old but, whatever, it’s still good.
So Dan, let me pivot a little bit with you and let’s quickly turn. This month we have the IBM interconnect show, which is sort of IBM’s big cloud in mobile and I like to say DevOps event as well.
And the open enterprise and open source is front and center, and rightfully so, in light of what you’ve just told us.
What can you highlight for us a little bit maybe about the open source, open enterprise at Interconnect this year?
Dan Berg: Yeah, so there’s gonna be a number of exciting things. I mean we do really drive the notion of open source and open technologies.
We’ve got a number of exciting sessions and activities that we’re driving within those communities.
The open container initiative, another big one that we’re involved with and discussing the direction that we’re helping to forge in that community to drive where we see containers going.
So that’s Docker based containers and other containers, really driving a stronger community around the container movement. Even around DevOps, the great, great thing that we’ll be showing off there is some of the work that we’ve done with the IBM garage method.
So it’s an open set of processes and practices that we announced late last year, and then moving into this year in the envelope a little bit further, and what we’re doing is associating with the practices, a set of tools.
And these tools are obviously some tools that we provide, services that we provide, but a lot of them are open tools as well that are being developed and made available in the open communities.
But one of the exciting things in this area that we’re driving is something we call the open tool chain, and open tool chains are a set of capabilities that allow organizations to define their best of breed practices and DevOps capabilities in a tool chain.
An integrated set of practices and tools that can be instantiated by other parties.
So we’re pretty excited about that initiative. It’s still early days but we do see the potential there and the flexibility that’s being achieved by bringing together these open technologies into a unified tool chain that drives cloud native deployment and delivery mechanisms.
So we’re very excited; lots going on in these communities and we’re really excited about sharing that information at Interconnect in about two and a half, three weeks.
Alan Shimel: Absolutely, you know, Dan, I think I might have been out with you in San Francisco when they announced the open garage method at – I forgot what conference it was but in any event, it was a DevOps enterprise summit.
Dan Berg: That’s right.
Alan Shimel: As you mentioned.
Dan Berg: That’s right.
Alan Shimel: And you know, to me that was a little different, especially for an IBM in that it wasn’t an open source project. Right, it wasn’t a particular tool.
This was really more of an open methodology with tools tied into it and you talk about a supply chain.
It is a sort of that software supply chain where the software or the app you’re developing, not all of it is going to be open source.
But there are open source components that make it easier for us to develop apps in real time continuously, with continuous delivery and integration, and all of this goodness we see in DevOps.
And to me that was sort of the power of the garage method, right, was this software supply chain, if you will, with open source components, making up a lot of it, wrapped around IBM’s experience and know-how in bringing this together. I think it’s powerful.
Dan Berg: I definitely agree, and as I pointed out it’s still early days but it’s showing the promise. I mean we all know how difficult it is sometimes to piecemeal together your delivery tool chain with the various open source tools as well as third party vendor specific tools.
It can be quite complex and what’s really nice about the open tool chain is it takes some of that complexity out of your way and really helps you focus in on your key initiative, and that is deliver high quality code as quickly as possible.
So I’m really excited about it. It does build upon some of our core technologies, but I’m really excited about how it brings in some of these key open technologies and open communities to drive better DevOps experience overall.
Alan Shimel: Yeah, agreed. You know, Dan, unfortunately we’re coming up on the clock but this is – you know, the whole subject of open source of software supply chains, of the open enterprise.
And how enterprises are incorporating open source components into their supply chain is one that fascinates me and one that I think you’ll see more of on DevOps.com, as well as it sounds like quite a bit of it at Interconnect later this month.
Dan Berg: Absolutely, and if anyone’s gonna be out at Interconnect, definitely look me up. You can find me. I’m doing a number of different sessions, and you can grab me on Twitter at DanCBerg.
Alan Shimel: Yeah, well and they could also look for you on the Interconnect site, Dan and probably search by speaker.
Dan Berg: Absolutely.
Alan Shimel: Just we don’t have any time but which of your talks or sessions are you most looking forward to?
Dan Berg: Oh gosh, there’s a number of sessions but there is one, and I’d have to look. I forget the name but it’s a DevOps panel that I’m looking forward to.
And there’s a number of us on there including myself and Gene Kim are gonna be on the panel. I believe it’s on Tuesday, if I’m not mistaken.
Alan Shimel: I believe that would be my panel.
Dan Berg: I’ll have to look in my —
Alan Shimel: What does DevOps look like in the next five years?
Dan Berg: Ah, that’s right, it’s yours
Alan Shimel: Thanks for the plug, Dan
Dan Berg: Not a problem.
Alan Shimel: I welcome people to come out and check it out. We’re looking forward to a great panel. What a way to end our conversation.
Dan Berg, distinguished engineer for IBM, thank you so much for joining us today on DevOps chat, and I’ll see you later this month at Interconnect.
Dan Berg: Absolutely, looking forward to it.
Alan Shimel: Okay, bye bye. This is Alan Shimel for DevOps.com and we’ll see you on another DevOps chat.