So, years ago, I was working Technical Support for an ISP. This was late 90’s, early 2000’s. I was just out of business school, with a fresh Associates degree in PC Networking under my belt. At the time, computing was at what I perceived as sort of a standstill. Yea, things were progressing, but it was all just redoing the same thing better. Memory was getting cheaper every year, CPU’s were getting faster, storage more affordable, OS’s were being udated to newer better features, but it was all just the same muck. My 486 was replaced with a Pentium 3. My 800mb hard drive was replaced with a 5gb, my 12mb of memory was replaced with 128mb. Rinse, repeat. Every few years you just got a bigger faster version of the exact same thing you already had. OS’s were just packing in gimmicky new features. Nothing truly cool was happening. I was feeling sort of left out. At the time, it looked like all of the new frontier sort of stuff was behind us. The internet was becoming a commodity. Computers were becoming as common as televisions, and it looked like computing was just going to become something akin to telephone service. It works, its expected to be there, and no significant changes would ever happen again. I decided that I’d been born a decade too late to be involved in the really fun stuff. My career was never going to turn into something wild and adventurous.
It probably didn’t help that I was also feeling like I was wasting my abilities. In what I felt was a dead-end job, all of my attempts at getting promoted thwarted. That all eventually worked out, but later in my career. Which all leads up to today. Today I’m where i wanted to be 10 (or even 15) years ago. Maybe its where I am now, maybe its more than that, but it feels like some truly awesome things are happening in technology today, that all depended on that commoditization (is that a word? meh, you get the idea) of the internet, and compute power. Mindsets are changing, software is opening, and awesome things are becoming real. Hybrid cloud, private cloud, open storage, just a few of the cool things I’m getting into in my current position. You could say we’ve come back to where we were in the 70’s. Cloud computing is the same concept as the old mainframe/terminals days, but better. Bring the compute back to the datacenter, condense 100 blade servers into half a dozen high power hypervisors, present your end users with self service tools so the admin (that’s me..) can go have a beer and monitor all the important stuff from his smart phone.
On top of that, we’ve been noticed by RedHat, so we’re getting let in on a number of cool things. Nothing that other customers in our position dont also get, but our relationship with our RedHat reps is such that they go to bat for us, and when we see neat new technology that we think we want to get our hands on, they make it happen. Within reason of course. I’ve been keeping my eyes on things like OpenShift, and OpenStack for about a year now, these are products that, when i heard about them, were nowhere near release ready.
Today, I’m planning on spending my Friday installing RHEL 7 beta (which just opened up to public beta) and Satellite 6 (which is also in beta), both of which promise some truly amazing features. On top of those, I have some personal side-projects involving production OpenShift, and tinkering with OpenStack. And let’s not forget about GlusterFS, a really cool middle-tier storage offering from RedHat (RedHat Storage).
So, here’s to awesome times, and providing really cool technology to the end-user.
I love being a SysAdmin!