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The State of Cloud 2016: The whirlwind of creative destruction

The State of Cloud 2016: The whirlwind of creative destruction

My presentation from Structure 2016, presented on November 9, 2016. Video: https://vimeo.com/190937358

Bryan Cantrill

November 09, 2016
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  1. The State of Cloud 2016
    The whirlwind of creative destruction
    CTO
    [email protected]
    Bryan Cantrill
    @bcantrill

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  2. First, the state of the Union
    • Shocking just about everyone, Donald Trump has just won
    the 2016 US Presidential election
    • Donald Trump himself is an ignorant, petty man who has
    shown little aptitude for or interest in governing
    • There is clearly something much larger going on here…

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  3. Disruption
    • In technology, we frequently speak of disruption when an
    innovation yields a revolutionary leap in economics
    • These innovations are the winds of Joseph Schumpeter’s
    “perennial gale of creative destruction”
    • Disruptive innovation is the lifeblood of the technology
    industry: we don’t merely thrive on it, we actively seek it out

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  4. Disruption
    • e.g., cloud computing is a canonical disrupting innovation,
    effecting an orders of magnitude improvement in price:

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  5. Disruption
    • e.g., cloud computing is a canonical disrupting innovation,
    effecting an orders of magnitude improvement in price:
    — Marc Andreesen, “Why Software Is Eating The World” (2011)

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  6. Disruption
    • Historically, technological disruption was confined to
    technology companies — but Andreesen saw this changing:
    — Marc Andreesen, “Why Software Is Eating The World” (2011)

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  7. Disruption
    • Andreesen’s prophesy has started to be realized: software is
    emphatically eating the world — often by “new world-beating
    Silicon Valley companies”
    • …but last night we were reminded of a darker side to this
    disruption: that people themselves feel devoured
    • This is the “two Americas”: one that is exciting and full of
    promise — the other in which a romanticized past seems
    vastly preferable to a grim and scary future

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  8. The politics of disruption
    • Last night, we learned that disruption isn’t only for economics:
    democracy affords a kind of political disruption
    • While we shouldn’t oversimplify what happened, it’s clear that
    fear of economic dislocation is playing a significant role
    • It is destruction without creativity
    • But wait, it’s going to get worse…

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  9. Deeper disruption
    • Software has already disrupted retail, personal transportation
    • Disruptive innovation is coming to industries that employ
    many millions of people:
    • Truck transportation
    • Healthcare
    • Education
    • Demagoguery notwithstanding, elections won’t stop this:
    these innovations are economic, not political

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  10. So… cloud computing?!
    • Software is the disruptive force that’s driving cloud computing
    • Cloud is the gullet through which software is eating the world
    • But cloud is not new — it’s a decade old! — and in fact it is
    old enough to itself be disrupted…

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  11. Cloud disrupting itself
    • The cloud used to be merely “infrastructure” — VMs
    • But the “virtual machine” is exactly that: a virtual personal
    computer (!!) that is a vestigial abstraction
    • The rise of containers — and more recently, container
    orchestration — has led to a disruption within a disruption
    • Cloud computing is no longer infrastructure: it is about
    delivering application logic — disruption! — faster

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  12. Aside: The Jevons paradox
    • The Jevons paradox seems very likely to hold for containers:
    greater efficiency will result in a net increase in consumption!
    • Efficiency gains from containers are developer velocity...
    • ...but requiring containers to be scheduled in VMs induces
    operational inefficiencies: every operator must now think like
    a cloud operator — maximizing density within fixed-cost VMs
    • Greater consumption + operational inefficiencies threaten to
    slow the container revolution — or make it explosive in terms
    of cost

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  13. Disrupting the cloud: Container-native
    • To realize the full economic promise of the container
    revolution, we need container-native infrastructure
    • The benefits of that infrastructure should accrue to the user,
    not to the infrastructure provider
    • Moore’s Law will continue to hold — and it turns out, a 2U
    server with 512GB of DRAM can do a hell of a lot of work…

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  14. Disrupting the cloud: Public and on-prem
    • Death of on-prem computing is greatly exaggerated!
    • There are three key determinants for public v. on-premises:
    • Economics: Rent vs. buy; OPEX vs. CAPEX
    • Risk Management: Security/compliance — and also risk
    factors associated with operator-as-threat
    • Latency: The speed of light is a constant!
    • Economics dominates: “private cloud” efforts that do not
    deliver public cloud economics are doomed to (continue to)

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  15. Disrupting the cloud: Open source
    • Open source has thoroughly disrupted the traditional, shrink-
    wrapped proprietary software industry…
    • …but public cloud services have become the new proprietary!
    • This has generated a new generation of lock-in that — like its
    forebear from a decade prior — is ripe for disruption…
    • Especially when taken with the economics of on-prem
    computing, open source will become a constraint

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  16. A (personal) sign of these disruptions…

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  17. Wait, Samsung?!
    • Samsung buying Joyent may have been surprising — but we
    live in a world in which the leaders of computing are a search
    engine and an online bookstore
    • Samsung is a consumer electronics company with an
    incomprehensibly large footprint…
    • …but they view their future as software
    • At Samsung’s scale (and, in some markets, thin margins), it
    makes no sense to be a public cloud customer!
    • We believe that Samsung is only ahead of the curve..

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  18. Returning to the broader disruption
    • Computing is accustomed to a pace of disruption that
    exceeds the pace of generations…
    • …but this disruption is now engulfing the broader economy
    • It’s accelerating — we cannot put the genie back in the bottle!
    • We ignore the human toll of this change at our own peril
    • Computational thinking is literacy…
    • And we as a society have an acute literacy problem!

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  19. Looking forward
    • Disruption — economic disruption and political disruption — is
    terrifying to the marrow
    • The fear that is felt this morning by one America is one that
    the other America has felt for a generation
    • But we must not despair: human ingenuity — that of both
    Americas — must not be underestimated!
    • This is the beginning of a long conversation: how do we cope
    with the pace of the change that we are inflicting?

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