Welcome to The Long View—where we peruse the news of the week and strip it to the essentials. Let’s work out what really matters.
This week: More than 100,000 tech workers leave Russia, Perforce buys Puppet, and Intel moves faster than planned.
1. Dev Flight from Russia
First up this week: Huge numbers of technology workers have fled Putin’s Russia. As many as 170,000 have left or are about to, according to some estimates.
Analysis: Russian DevOps is DOA
And who can blame them, when quasi-military police patrol the streets, ready to “disappear” anyone who so much as dares hold up a blank sign? The war in Ukraine has catalyzed a huge brain drain. What has for many years been a constant trickle is now a flood.
Cade Metz, Adam Satariano and Anton Troianovski: Russian Tech Industry Faces ‘Brain Drain’ as Workers Flee
In early March … Konstantin Siniushin, a venture capitalist in Riga, Latvia, helped charter two planes out of Russia to help people flee. … The planes moved about 300 software developers, entrepreneurs and other technology specialists out of the country.
By March 22, a Russian tech industry trade group estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 tech workers had left the country and that an additional 70,000 to 100,000 would soon follow. They are part of a much larger exodus [which] will fundamentally change the Russian tech industry. … It is losing many of the bright young minds building companies for the future.
[But] many will remain in Russia, working for state-affiliated companies. But they will face other obstacles.
They may have to rebuild many of the fundamental tools needed to construct modern software and internet services. Crucial computer hardware may become harder to find as sanctions limit availability.
It’s not a huge surprise to rsilvergun:
Yeah, anyone who can is going to get out of Dodge. Not just tech workers but doctors and nurses and engineers. The entire Russian economy is about to go full North Korea.
Meanwhile the price of [natural] gas globally will drop as Europe gets off the stuff. All this so Vlad could have a midlife crisis.
But where will they live? Kevin Rothrock notes a catch-22:
Airbnb is … refusing service to anyone who has verified their identity using Russian documents, regardless of where they live now. This could be a major problem for people fleeing Russia. … Airbnb spox deny this policy [but] Airbnb has actually banned transactions in rubles, regardless of location.
To sum up: Being Russian/Belarusian is okay so long as you’re outside Russia/Belarus, but rubles aren’t.
2. Puppet Swallowed by Perforce
Puppet has given up on its plan to go public. Instead of an IPO later this year, it’ll be acquired by Perforce.
Analysis: IaC IPO no-go
I guess competing with infrastructure-as-code behemoths like Terraform and Ansible was simply too much. Translating the MBA babble, it sounds like the company simply ran out of runway.
Thomas Claburn: Perforce now pulls Puppet’s strings
Perforce, a Minnesota-based maker of DevOps software, on Monday announced the acquisition of Puppet, an Oregon-based maker of configuration management tools. Puppet had been planning to go public in 2021, [so] ending up within the embrace of Perforce looks like Plan B.
The acquisition of Puppet leaves only a few stand-alone makers of configuration management software, like CFEngine, still operating. Ansible was acquired by Red Hat … Chef was acquired by Progress … and Saltstack was acquired by VMware. … HashiCorp, meanwhile, with its Terraform and Vagrant configuration management tools, managed to go public.
Mark Ties, CEO of Perforce, described the tie-up as a way to expand Perforce’s products by offering new capabilities to DevOps teams: “With Puppet, we will be providing our customers with access to a product portfolio that enables them to drive innovation on a global scale.”
Less of the vacuous corporate babble, please. Here’s Puppet CEO Yvonne Wassenaar:
Effective delivery required Puppet to stay ahead of rising trends that impact infrastructure and operations teams, and the larger DevOps market in general. … Staying on top required that Puppet move into new areas to extend our value proposition across increasingly hybrid environments while delivering more prescriptive business value to customers in adjacent areas.
Customers must move to the cloud at a dizzying pace and they are drowning in a sea of DevOps tools. … Perforce’s mission is to help technology teams solve the hardest problems in DevOps. [It] is a trusted DevOps leader delivering digital creation & planning, developer productivity tools, and automated testing & quality.
The missing link? Puppet’s sweet spot: Infrastructure as code.
Could someone be a bit more succinct? yuppie_scum shrugs and gives it the old college try:
Is Puppet much of a power anymore? Everyone switched to Chef, then Ansible.
3. Intel ‘18 Angstrom’ Process is Ahead of Schedule
The Intel “18A” process node—roughly 4nm before the marketroids got control of the naming—is now due in late 2024. Intel has expanded its fabrication plant in Oregon to accommodate the new lines.
Analysis: Faster, cooler chips sooner
So expect significantly faster single-thread performance in 2025, using less power and generating less waste heat. But, when it comes to horizontally scaled workloads, will it be able to match ARM in the data center?
Stephen Shankland: Intel Says It’ll Deliver 2025 Chip Tech a Half Year Early
After years of trouble and delay, Intel’s chipmaking business finally has some good news. … The most advanced manufacturing process the company has committed to will arrive … six months earlier than planned.
Intel detailed the advancement along with the announcement that it’s opened its latest … fab, devoted to developing its next-gen manufacturing processes. [The] news bodes well not just for Intel’s 2024 chips, but also for Intel’s business using the steps on the way.
[CEO Pat] Gelsinger had hinted earlier that its chip manufacturing improvements were on or ahead of schedule, and he showed off an 18A wafer with test chips in February. … Intel has taken several measures to ensure it doesn’t repeat mistakes made adopting its last two manufacturing processes. … For one thing, it’s spending more money on test wafers.
What does this mean for DevOps? Here’s an optimistic mikeiver1:
Apple bet on ARM to increase profits and because controlling the processor, the OS, and some of the applications allowed for a notable boost in performance and an increase in battery life. Cray and HP bet on AMD for the big performance boost over Intel this time around.
But energy usage has never been a Intel strong suit, and AMD is worse. But they are in the data centers and gonna stay there. … Intel has been faltering for a good time now and with some luck they’ll find their footing and produce a proper challenge to AMD in the next processors or those after. We win either way.
But Blastdoor has heard it all before:
I’m not ready to believe in Intel’s magic unicorns until I see a regular unicorn in real life. Let’s see chips fabbed on the [“Intel 4”] process—formerly known as 7nm—manufactured in quantity and sold in products people want to buy.