Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 in review - Transitions, storytelling and more

2016 in review
It's that time of year again, when I sit down to take a short look back as the sun sets on another year.

This year was my eighth year at Red Hat and my fifth year as a Technology Evangelist. While the year started with my focus being on JBoss BRMS & BPM technologies, I transitioned upwards when was approached to take on an expanded role within the Infrastructure Business Group (IBG).

This new role is as a Global Technology Evangelist and allows me to focus on full portfolio solutions, such as Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure and Red Hat Cloud Suite. It also provided a platform to initiate the Red Hat Technical Marketing Manager Practice, a company wide initiative to help all Technology Evangelists to work towards common standards.

I started the year continuing our family adventure of living on the North Carolina coast in a small town called Emerald Isle. This adventure was scheduled for just a year and at then end of our summer there, as all good things must end, we packed up and moved back to the Netherlands.

As I transitioned from application development to a more broad view of the private Cloud portfolio at Red Hat, I have been adjusting the flow of my publishing to reflect the broader view everyone in an organization needs to take. It is not just about the Cloud, the stack, operations and application development as individual islands, but it is a cooperation that needs to be understood. There is no way you can ignore the stack anymore as part of your organizations digital transformation team.

With that in mind, here is my review of my publishing and travels over the last year.

2016 in review
Get started with JBoss BPM...

Writing

Aside from the +100 articles published here, 68 articles were syndicated or featured on other sites that found the content of note. I also continued to work closely with DZone as an MVB as I transitioned from application development to Cloud and private PaaS solutions that support the application development lifecycle.

The transition to solutions also brought with it many new videos and tutorials that can be found online and a brand new Cloud application development demo repository called Red Hat Demo Central where you can now setup your own OpenShift Container Platform private PaaS in just minutes. 

When I departed from my role of supporting BRMS & BPM products as an evangelist, I started a project in Feb 2016 with Manning Publishing to share my knowledge in the form of a book. Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM was born, I started writing and in June the Manning Early Access Program launched.

This year finished out with the book project being my biggest focus, currently with six chapters finished and online. I am writing the seventh chapter and expect to finish this book project early in 2017.

My hobby of writing as a sports journalist for RedSoxLife.com continued, but at a much slower pace due to my book project. I only pushed out one article a month on average, but that will again pick up once I finish up the book.

Travel

The places I went and the people I met again this year are what make the efforts we put into Red Hat technology evangelism worth the time and jet-lag. I wish I would be able to list everyone and every place but that is just not possible. I enjoyed the chats, the beers, the hanging out, the presentations, the workshops, the dinners, lunches and meetings with each and every one of you.

I traveled more this year than any other to date, with 55 flights and 4 serious road trips. This was mostly due to my proximity of being in the US for most of 2016. The road trips included 8 days through the South, a Las Vegas and Grand Canyon drive, East Coast up to DC and a West Coast Highway 101 from San Francisco to Portland.

2016 in review
The sun sets on 2016...
Here are the cities I visited to talk about Red Hat technologies or meet with our partners and customers:

  • Raleigh, NC (5x)
  • Tampa, FL (2x)
  • Boston, MA (9x)
  • Atlanta, GA (2x)
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Austin, TX
  • San Paulo, Brazil
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands (3x)
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • London, UK
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Breda, Netherlands
  • Barcelona, Spain

Thanks to you all

I certainly hope you enjoyed what I was able to bring to you in 2016.

I want to thank you personally for attending any of the webinars, conference sessions, workshops, JUG's, and JBug's were our paths might have crossed or for just taking the time to read a published article.

2017 is going to start with a bang, so join me on this wonderful ride as we explore the amazing things you can achieve with the Red Hat product portfolio... stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday Homework - Red Hat Cloud demo updates

holiday homework red hat cloud demo
As the Christmas holidays have just come and gone, we are all reflecting on the closing out of our year.

Some of us have down time in the form of some well earned year end vacation, while others will have to work this week. Most likely that work week will be a bit slow as we wind down for the New Years celebrations.

Just in time to fill up that void and to provide you with some new toys for your holidays, I have started to update the Red Hat Demo Central collection. The focus now is to use OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) as the private PaaS Cloud platform to then launch your application development experiences.

I have also added a note to the Red Hat CDK easy install demo reflecting my focus on OCP instead of CDK as the base foundation. Over time the CDK references will be removed from the various examples in favor of the OCP demo.

Without further delay, here are the latest updates for you with all products freely available over on Red Hat Developers site.

OpenShift Container Platform Install Demo

If you are looking to develop containerized applications, OCP can help you by providing private PaaS (Cloud) environment you can install locally. It includes the same container development and run-time tools used to create and deploy containers for large data centers.

holiday homework red hat cloud demo
JBoss BPM Suite on OpenShift Container Platform!
This project requires a docker engine, OpenShift command line tools and VirtualBox, but these checks happen when you run the installation and point you to what is missing. It also checks that you have the right versions running too.

App Dev Cloud with JBoss BPM Suite Install Demo

This demo is to install JBoss BPM Suite in the Cloud based on leveraging any Red Hat OpenShift container based platform such as OCP.

It delivers a fully functioning JBoss BPM Suite containerized on OSE.

holiday homework red hat cloud demo
JBoss BRMS on OpenShift Container Platform!

App Dev Cloud with JBoss BRMS Install Demo

This demo is to install JBoss BRMS in the Cloud based on leveraging any Red Hat OpenShift container based platform, such as OCP.

It delivers a fully functioning containerized JBoss BRMS installation.

App Dev Cloud with JBoss Travel Agency Demo

This demo is to install JBoss BPM Travel Agency Demo in the Cloud based on leveraging OCP. It delivers a fully functioning JBoss BPM Travel Agency example containerized on OSE.

holiday homework red hat cloud demo
JBoss Travel Agency on OpenShift Container Platform!
This is an online employee travel booking process project. It contains multiple web services for looking up data for the process and rules to calculate pricing.

Furthermore, there are several tasks that can be activated to evaluate pricing and to review the final booking data before completing the booking.

There will be more coming soon as I work on the updates into the new year, until then, wishing you a great end to 2016 and a Happy New Year for 2017!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Digital Foundations - Accelerate IT (video)

digital foundations
Last week I talked about how you can fix the delivery of your solutions as you build your future using solid digital foundations.

This story is based on the problem that arises over time, that your infrastructure architecture grows into a complex entity that provides unending challenges to your development and operations teams.

As they are trying to deliver on applications and promises made to your customers, they can use a guiding hand with accelerating their existing infrastructure.

The following video illustrates this story in just over two minutes:



If you missed any of the articles in the Digital Foundations, be sure you start with the challenges that CIOs must embrace.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Codemotion Rome 2017 - AppDev in the Cloud, with monkeys

codemotion rome 2017As previously mentioned, I am a fan of the Codemotion conferences and have been lucky enough to speak at several around Europe.

I submitted a few talks to Codemotion Rome from 24-25 March 2017 and just heard back that the talk has been accepted.

Be sure to register for the event online.

Look forward to seeing you there so be sure to put this one on your event calendar for the new year.

AppDev in the Cloud: Not my circus, not my monkeys...

When faced with all the hype around Cloud, most application developers are not really all that excited. Maybe you get that feeling that it isn't your problem, just leave me to my applications. Let me show you why, as an application developer, you can't ignore your Cloud stack anymore.

We will examine your Cloud stack anxieties and provide you with a solutions to ease you into your first private PaaS on your own local machine that you can install in just minutes. Finally you will be given a myriad of examples to take home with you to take control of this circus and own the monkeys!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Digital Foundations - Fixing slow delivery of existing applications

digital foundations
When building anything substantial, such as a house or bridge, you start by laying down a solid foundation.

Nothing changes this aspect of building brick by brick when you move from traditional constructions to application development and architectural design of your supporting infrastructure. Throw in Cloud terminology and you might think that the principles of a solid foundation are a bit flighty, but nothing is further from the truth.

In the previous article, I talked about when managing an organization's journey into their digital future, CIOs are dealing with a lot of challenges. Challenges that they face on the road to digital transformation can be daunting as first glance, but must be embraced to properly navigate the road to success.

Digital foundations

Let's take a look in this article at what a solid foundation based on open technologies looks like and how it can help you to deliver on several themes that support your digital journey:
Now you need to understand the challenge of fixing slow delivery of your existing solutions on the road to building a solid digital foundation for your organization.

Fixing slow delivery

One problem that arise over time is that your infrastructure architecture grows into a complex entity that provides unending challenges to your development and operations teams, trying to deliver on applications and promises made to your customers.

digital foundations
Download this paper today!
These challenges become clear when you evaluate your current infrastructure, holding it up to the light of an idea to continue to evolve towards your digital aspirations. These examinations allow you to quantify your organizations activities into the categories of existing applications (Mode 1) and Cloud applications (Mode 2).

The first is supported by your existing infrastructure where you need to keep the existing applications running while achieving the most for your infrastructure spend. The second is shrouded in uncertainty as you attempt to either set up or transition existing activities towards private Cloud infrastructure. Let's examine the existing Mode 1 applications infrastructure issues first and divide these into a simple illustrated use cases that help with understanding the challenges.

Accelerate service delivery

When looking at the existing infrastructure, a common problem associated with growth over time in an organization is that delivery of applications becomes bogged down in procedural problems.

The head of your operations is processing new developer requests for resources and needs several layers of administrators to quantify these request, such as virtualization administrators, system administrators and security operations. The time it takes to process these requests, for the sake of argument, can take up hours of active work and that gets stretched into days of processing as the request is processed. When human interaction is involved in any process, mistakes will happen, costing more time along the path to delivering the service that was requested.

The solution to accelerate this service delivery lies in being able to identify the parts of this process that can be automated. When looking at the various service requests for resource that come to the head of operations, you identify the ones that are most common. Each of the above mentioned administrators can pre-approve a service that is then put into a catalog of items that can be automatically generated upon requests from your developers.

The time savings is in being able to skip the work, the wait and the process of getting a service delivery request authorized and built. If you look at the previous example of days to get service request delivered, using a pre-defined catalog item can remove most of the time eating steps to deliver and allow you to provide services in just minutes instead of days.

This automation has not only removed active work time and process delays, it also means that the risk of human errors is almost entirely removed from the process of service delivery. It will not work for every service request you get from your development organization, but if you can reduce the number of special deliveries by capturing the most frequent ones, you are going to see results. This will save time, budget and serve your customers in the ways you have been dreaming of for years.

Take charge of your existing infrastructure, eliminate slow delivery and start accelerating your service delivery to your customers today with Open Source Cloud technologies.



To watch this in action, please see the online video story.

The story continues...  next up on building the foundations of digital transformation, I am looking at reducing the complexity of existing infrastructure.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Red Hat North America Partner Conference and Cloud Solutions

red hat north america partner conference
Over the years that I have worked at Red Hat, there have been many events to speak at.

Some of the most interesting have always been the partner conference, hosted around the world in all different regions. They tend to be a technically deeper, you get to hang out with direct users of the technology and gain invaluable networking / feedback from peers in the marketplace.

I have spoken at Red Hat Asian partner conferences and multiple European versions, but never at one of the Red Hat North America partner conferences. I hope to change this for the coming year and have submitted a few things that I think our partners might enjoy.

Discover the foundations for digital transformation
The core of digital transformation is the ability to provide technology solutions in a fast paced world to your customers while satisfying business aspirations. This session takes you on a journey to start laying the foundations of your digital transformation story based on use cases and examples that Red Hat Cloud Suite enables. Join us for this hour of power, where you are given the inspiration to start building your digital foundations. 

Blueprinting your Cloud
The road to your Cloud infrastructure might look bumpy, but with this session you will find out how easy Red Hat can be. We will provide you with the tools that help you to create a blueprint for your Cloud deployments.  This session will give attendees the foundational pieces that helps to shape their future, be that for exiting virtualized workloads or with an eye on delivering applications in a flexible private Cloud architecture that can scale with their business needs.

Roll your own AppDev Cloud Suite experience in just minutes

With Cloud based architectures comes great responsibility. Digital transformation brings new application delivery that is exciting and flexible, but how to get started?  This hands on session will let you experience the fun, excitement and wonder of mode 2 application delivery on your very own Cloud Suite AppDev experience.

Fingers are now crossed as I wait out the submission confirmation process. Hope to see you there!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Red Hat Summit 2017 - Cloud, Containers and AppDev Productivity Submissions

red hat summit 2017
This years Red Hat Summit will be in Boston, MA from May 2-4, 2017. You don't want to miss this as it will not be in the Hynes Center, but down by the waterfront at the new Boston Conference Center.

You can register today online, but more importantly you can submit a session, panel, lighting talk or lab via the Call For Papers until 16th of December 2017.

Below you will find the various talks / labs I have submitted, some solo attempts, others working together with some of the great minds in the industry.

I look forward to seeing you there, be sure to stop by or find me on social media to grab some time to chat. I am always excited to meet fellow enthusiast who are excited about OpenSource technologies, Cloud technologies and of course anything related to Business Process Management.

There is a good chance I might have something exciting around my BPM book project to tell you about at Red Hat Summit, so stay tuned.

Blueprinting your Cloud

The road to your Cloud infrastructure might look bumpy, but with this session you will find out how easy Red Hat can be. We will provide you with the tools that help you to create a blueprint for your Cloud deployments.

This session will give attendees the foundational pieces that helps to shape their future, be that for exiting virtualized workloads or with an eye on delivering applications in a flexible private Cloud architecture that can scale with their business needs.

From planning to proof of concept to the reality of deployed Cloud infrastructure, this hour of power contains the tools to blueprint your Cloud deployments. The Cloud Deployment Planner and Quickstart Cloud Installer are presented as live demonstrations to under pin example Cloud deployment reference architectures and send the attendees home with the ability to create their own Cloud deployments.


If you build it, they will come ... if you show them how

With Cloud based architectures comes great responsibility. Digital transformation brings new application delivery that is exciting and flexible, but how to get started? This hands on lab will let you experience the fun, excitement and wonder of mode 2 application delivery on your very own hybrid-cloud infrastructure. At the end of this lab, attendees will have everything they need to take Cloud Suite AppDev experience home and continue to explore at their own pace on their local machines.

Discover the foundations of digital transformation

The core of digital transformation is the ability to provide technology solutions in a fast paced world to your customers while satisfying business aspirations. Many organizations are following the story line, fighting the good fight, but how can Red Hat and Open Source guide your journey? This session takes you on a journey to start laying the foundations of your digital transformation story based on use cases and examples that you can explore when you return home. Join us for this hour of power, where you are given the inspiration to start building your digital foundations.


3 Steps to Happiness with Cloud in a Box

The reality of starting your digital journey can be daunting to anyone involved with actual application delivery for an organization. The who, what and how are often left to the reader to figure out. No more... this session guides attendees on the path to their very own private Cloud in just three simple steps. But wait, there's more, we take you on a journey where you put a real life application into a container and deploy it on your Cloud. Join us for an hour of power as we deliver the recipe for happiness as you embark on your personal digital journey and start delivering on 'Stuff-as-a-Service' to your customers.

Fingers crosses that some of these submissions get accepted and I will see you on stage or in a lab next year at Red Hat Summit!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Digital Foundations - Challenges CIOs must embrace

digital foundations
When building anything substantial, such as a house or bridge, you start by laying down a solid foundation.

Nothing changes this aspect of building brick by brick when you move from traditional constructions to application development and architectural design of your supporting infrastructure. Throw in Cloud terminology and you might think that the principles of a solid foundation are a bit flighty, but nothing is further from the truth.

When looking to manage an organization's journey into their digital future, CIOs are dealing with a lot of challenges. Challenges that they face on the road to digital transformation can be daunting as first glance, but must be embraced to properly navigate the road to success.

Digital foundations

Let's take a look in this first article at the challenges CIOs must embrace before diving into how to support digital aspirations. After that, I dig deeper into what a solid foundation based on open technologies looks like and how it can help you to deliver on several themes that support your digital journey:
The first step is to examine some of the challenges to be embraced on the road to building a solid digital foundation for your organization.

Challenges to embrace

The challenges faced when building your digital foundations starts with knowing your business environment, understanding the need to become a software company and that your competition is everywhere.
digital foundations
Download this paper today!

All parts of your organization are under pressure, from business to developer to operations. Current delivery of solutions is struggling to keep within budgets, on time and with enough value to compete in your markets.

Businesses are looking to DevOps and the Cloud for solutions to provide better deployment quality, faster release frequencies and more process visibility. The term was coined by Gartner is Bi-modal IT. It describes the approach of two modes of delivery for IT, one focused on agility and speed and the other on stability and accuracy.

The challenges in building this foundation to address Bi-modal IT balance in your organization are split into mode-1 where you find your existing applications facing slow delivery and your current infrastructure has or is becoming too complex to manage. In the mode-2 category, you find cloud native applications struggling to become agile enough to be relevant and cloud infrastructure struggling to find the necessary scalability for your organization.


The story continues...  next up on building the foundations of digital transformation, I am looking at fixing the slow delivery of existing solutions in an organization.

(Originally posted on RHEL Blog here.)

Monday, December 5, 2016

AppDev in the Cloud: How To Run JBoss BRMS in a Container

appdev cloud
Containerized JBoss Business Rules Management System!
I have a series of articles where I explore with you the reasons why application developers can't ignore their stacks anymore, which refers to the Cloud based infrastructures they working in their daily jobs.

This led to my explorations of the possibility to create that Cloud based infrastructure locally as a substitution for the full blown Red Hat Cloud Suite experience.

What would be nice I thought, was to have some form of local private Cloud that was just the same as what you are experiencing at work where full data centers are used to host an organizations Cloud experience.

appdev cloud
First, make sure you have installed the
OpenShift Container Platform.
This led first to an example project that installs Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise (OSE) as an image through the Red Hat Container Development Kit (CDK).

Next, I gave you the JBoss BRMS installation example for use on OSE. This was a perfectly fine way to work, but the ultimate goal is of course to keep up with the latest products that Red Hat provides.

With that in mind I went off looking for a way to provide you with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (OCP), in the same easy to use demo format. The results of that project was presented in a previous article, but that is not the end of this story.

Containerize JBoss Business Rules Management System (BRMS)

Once you have installed OpenShift on your machine, either the Red Hat CDK or OCP, then the next step is to start exploring your application development options with Red Hat JBoss middleware products.

This section will take you through another simple to install example project that gives you a fully operational, fresh out of the box installation of JBoss BRMS. Not only that, it will be a containerized installation that is created on your OpenShift installation!

  1. First ensure you have an OpenShift container based installation, such as one of the following installed first:
    appdev cloud
    Watch the container building live on OpenShift
    Container Platform.
  2. Add products to installs directory.
  3. Run 'init.sh' or 'init.bat' file. 'init.bat' must be run with Administrative privileges:
   # The installation needs to be pointed to a running version
   # of OpenShift, so pass an IP address such as:
   #
   $ ./init.sh 192.168.99.100  # example for OCP.

   $ ./init.sh 10.1.2.2        # example for CDK.
Now log in to JBoss BRMS and start developing containerized rules projects (the address will be generated by the init script).
appdev cloud
The pod shown which is your JBoss BRMS container on
OpenShift Container Platform.
Be sure to give the container time to not only start up, but to start up JBoss EAP with JBoss BRMS. You can check this by finding the deployed pod in the OpenShift console and looking into the logs tab.

That's it, you are now able to start developing business logic and events at your leisure.

Stay tuned for more by watching for updates here or following the projects at Red Hat Demo Central.