Software-defined Datacenter, Community-defined Success

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.

Cesar Chavez

I walked away from VMworld 2012 this last week with one major idea floating around my head:

Community is king. 

Pat said it best in his first VMworld presentation as CEO: “it’s not possible without you.” And he was talking to you. Specifically you. Why? Because VMware’s success depends on it; depends on us.

We see it in investments.

There’s massive work happening from VMware proper in the realm of community. The vExperts program has never been bigger. The company is integrating Badgeville into the community user experience. The VMUGs have never been more front and center at VMworld – even Steve Herrod had a shirt on under his suit.

Rumor has it that the mean green poking from Steve’s shirt is this year’s VMUG member one.

VMware was front and center at VMworld of course, but it goes beyond just their initiatives.

You saw it all over the show floor.

One booth I went to without any desire for anything in return was GitHub. It’s incredible to see how something as unsexy as a source code repository has transformed into a social oasis of peer collaboration. I walked up to the two representatives set in the far off “small investors” area and said it candidly: What you do is incredible and will, if not already has, changed the world.

Nerds unite

The message solidified as I walked over to Service Mesh. After being sold on the technical deep dive on how this software could redesign compliance in a heterogenous cloud infrastructure, I had but one question: how will you fostering community collaboration?

The point went off in that team’s head like a lightbulb. They saw what I saw: the major hurdle for adoption is not technological, but social.  Adoption is a function of people and their ability to utilize new tools together to the better of each other.

I can’t say it enough.

Technological shifts are about people.

Once that clicks, you can see a theme happening everywhere you look.

My mothership of EMC is boldly demanding the recognition of this fact all over the show.

You hear it in podcasts as well.

Chuck Hollis was recently on the Cloud Insiders talking about just this need for thought leadership. When asked what the CTO of Marketing does for work, his response hit home: “I’m a student of change.” 

Chuck goes on to discuss what really inspires change in the industry: user acceptance. Think about that – with all the technology, all the time spent differentiating one platform from another, the heart of whether a technological revolution sets place or not still relies on one thing: people. More specifically, us.

That’s the serious food for thought I’m left with today. People change technology. Community expedites change in people. When it comes down to it, community is king. 

Change is coming. And I want to be part of it.

And I know we’ll get there together.

 

#!/usr/bin/nerdherd

For those still salivating for more on the software part of this story, Mike Laverick did a fantastic job at breaking down the idiosyncrasies of Software-defined Datacenters. For more of the keynote announcements, check out PlantetV12n here.