Steve Ballmer gets Cloud

Steve Ballmer wants devops

Devops? What’s devops? See these articles:


Filed under Cloud Computing, DevOps, Everything, IT Systems Mgmt, Microsoft, People

3 Responses to Steve Ballmer gets Cloud

  1. Hmmmm. I think he’s singing “Puttin on the Riiiiitzz!”

  2. Stu

    I’m a devops proponent, though I have big concerns.

    The first is that I will never forget the above images when I next use Puppet or Chef. Curse you.

    Second, in many corners, as Andi Mann says, I suspect the interpretation will be (wrongly) DEVops, i.e. the developers are doing the ops. That’s partly due to startup culture, partly due to a long standing power struggle, and also partly due to a recent trend where frameworks & platforms weren’t designed with appropriate instrumentation and management interfaces from the start (early J2EE comes to mind!).

    So, I sometimes think that I’ve seen this movie before, and it doesn’t end well for either side. Looking at many of the cloud management on-ramps out there, they seem to me designed more for developers than for ops, IMO. This is fine, because dev are often the ones trying new technologies, many ops departments aren’t quite so proactive, though there are exceptions. But it can be taken to an extreme conclusion that “the future lies more with developers then with sysadmins” and thus sysadmins need to become developers.

    There are completely different value systems at play when you’re preserving vs. creating. More collaboration, understanding, and goal alignment == good, though very hard to do except in a greenfield situation . But taking it too far, assuming you can combine the cultures and value systems seems unrealistic.

    Third, some historical perspective …

    1. In the Oracle DBA community, back in 2002-2004 IIRC, there was a similar push among a (smaller set) of bloggers & authors, like Tom Kyte (from, Jonathan Lewis, etc. — they called it alternately a “developer DBA” or “scientific DBA”, basically a bridge between the developers who typically abuse or try to abstract the database, and the DBAs responsible for its care, feeding, and performance.

    In retrospect, I’m not sure the results were successful. Clearly, there still aren’t many “developer DBAs” out there, there’s still a divide between dev & DBAs, though OTOH they definitely had a positive impact by growing the number of competent “dev DBAs” out there (they inspired me to detour into Oracle DBA land for a few years). Most developers still don’t respect the database and still want to make it their own (witness the move to persistence engines like key/value stores and away from DBMS’ with dedicated DBA staff)….

    2. One of the reasons many technologies, processes, and techniques have a tough time in the marketplace aren’t due to the enterprise being stupid and “on death’s door”. It was due to underestimating the difficulty to change cultures, and the power of entrenched interests, fear, and risk, plus overestimating the benefits or applicability of your new technology, process, or technique.

    This is the history of Lean or Agile in general, but also BPM, SOA, object-orientation, artificial intelligence, commercial UNIX, and traditionally, ASPs (which we now call SaaS). For any change that makes economic sense, there is nothing “inevitable” about when it will happen — a myriad things can go wrong delay the revolution by a decade.

    There are exceptions to this — The Web, Java, PCs, RDBMS’, Search … though arguably all of these were waves that were built on the backs of past failed/”modestly successful” waves.

    My point here is, “beware hubris”. Not that I’ve seen any of that in the cloud world….

  3. This is helping me crystallize a recent project and thoughts in this area. Especially around PowerShell in the enterprise.

    Thanks for posting.