Overheard at the Red Hat Summit: Nyancat and the cloud

Attendees at the 2012 Red Hat Summit brought many different perspectives. Here are a few witty quotes to get you thinking.

BOSTON – Red Hat Summit here this week brought together IT admins who let loose and voiced their concerns on industry-wide trends and technologies.

Here are a few of their comments on hot topics at the event, including cloud computing, data center power consumption and IT staffing.

"Cloud, cloud, cloud ..." Vendors, presenters, attendees

One of the main complaints overheard in the halls after keynotes at the Red Hat Summit centered overwhelmingly on Red Hat's introduction of its new Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and hybrid cloud services.

On one side there were CTOs, such as  Mike Vargo of Chrome River Tech, an expense management software firm based in Los Angeles, who felt all the buzzwords tossed around during keynotes were "clouding what's actually happening" – no pun intended.
 

On the other side were the developers and operations managers who wanted to learn the commands to make cloud work. For these skeptics, Red Hat threw in some highly technical discussions on PaaS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in cloud environments and scalability in the cloud.

"Even at a small scale, people care more about how much energy they're using than perhaps how much data they're using. … Billing is being tied to energy use over data use and with that we start to care a lot more about energy efficiency than just how fast our systems are running." – Jon Masters, principal software engineer, Red Hat

During a talk ostensibly about ARM servers in the data center, Masters spun up a bicycle-powered, 32-core Hewlett-Packard (HP)  Redstone server running Fedora Linux version 17 – a powerful and delightful demonstration for those interested in reducing energy costs. Masters also described the powerful draw of hyperscale computing for data center managers. Reducing energy use leads to less waste heat which in turn drops cooling and ventilation costs. This, he said, will reduce the cost of running data centers.

After the demonstration, attendees tried it out themselves at Fedora’s booth. Whether watching Nyancat on a bicycle-powered ARM server is a good technical demonstration of ARM's capabilities or not, it certainly drew a crowd.

"We are doomed as an industry if we've got no one under 25 years of age. … As long as all of us are on this planet, traditional IT is still going to be super important." – Steve Dietch, VP worldwide cloud, enterprise group, HP

 This quote from a keynote speaker raises another important issue: where are the Millenials in IT?

Dietch asked for a show of hands from those 25 or under and got zero responses. It's not clear whether that's a result of the 8:30 a.m. start time, the lack of 20-somethings being sent to conferences or a deeper issue, but it would help explain the glut of available Linux jobs that go unfilled.

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