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Tom's 2010 in Review: Big Trends

DevOps: Giving a name to what the Usenix LISA crowd has always done: automate the shit out of everything. Sadly, LISA isn't getting any credit, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. I'm starting to think of system administration as divided into two things: customer support and computer support. DevOps is the future of computer support. Customer support is, well, I'm ok with it trending towards being done by non-sysadmin people (i.e. highly technical but not sysadmins). The problem is that most shops are too small to justify seperate teams and therefore most people I talk with do both and can't imagine a world where the two groups seperate or divorce or, well, are about as related as any two departments of the same company that need to collaborate. On the other hand, when I bring this up with people that are at larger companies or companies that are primarily web operations it seems obvious.

The fall-out from Oracle buying Sun: Open source people leaving Oracle in droves. Oracle un-open sourcing products like ZFS. The last open source release of products like ZFS being forked and communities developing around them (in particular, ZFS). I upgraded one of my FreeBSD boxes just to run ZFS and I love love love it. This kind of simplicity and power really is the future. I hope a company sprouts up to drive the open source fork of ZFS and is more successful than the closed-source version. While they are forking it they should pick a new name. Establish a new brand identity (I wonder if the licence permits that?). Anyway... the mass exodus from Oracle seems like doom for Oracle but deep down I feel like it is what Oracle wants. In open source you get fame from submitting code. Sun is full of famous people doing great things, and people becoming famous for the great things they've done. Oracle isn't like that. The only person allowed to be famous at Oracle is the CEO, and he doesn't like to share the spotlight. While (insert list of people here) leaving Oracle looks like doom for [ZFS/Dtrace/insert product here] my guess is that Oracle likes this: the product managers can take over and drive the feature selection... no more messy community-implements-what-it-values shenanigans.

Everyone sues everyone: How many mobile and mobile-related companies can sue each other at the same time before my brain expodes? Non-mobile law suits also seem to be piling up.

Regional is "in": In the last 12 months we've seen two regional sysadmin conferences start up. One has had a successful conference in New Jersey and is planning one for 2011 and the other is up to speed and on track to have a successful first conference in a few months (Cascadia IT Conference (Seattle). LOPSA is behind both of these. (I should plug the new NYC chapter of LOPSA!). Speaking of LOPSA...

LOPSA making a come-back: Three big things happened at LOPSA: the lawsuit was finally settled (thanks to Trey for doing a bang-up job of seeing LOPSA through this), a new president brought in new energy, LOPSA's mentoring program is amazing: both in that it serves the community and has gotten more people to volunteer for LOPSA than in ages. The new LOPSA website is a breath of fresh air. Oh, and all those regional conferences (mentioned above) are awesome.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Site Announcements

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Regarding DevOps vs LISA: Speaking as an outsider - DevOps has always been open to outsiders/non-attendees. LISA on the other hand, if you don't attend (or pay for registration to USENIX/SAGE) you don't have access to the good stuff.

This criticism should take nothing away from LISA, but seems to me to be a fundamental difference between the two.

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