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Turbonomic Blog

Deep Roots and Fresh Starts

Posted by Bobby Allen on Jan 20, 2021 8:30:00 AM
Bobby Allen
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You may be here because you want to find out more about Turbonomic or why I recently joined the firm as VP of Strategic Alliances. Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year. I’m about 6 weeks in since joining December 1st and things are going very well. I’m learning a lot and still very excited about the opportunity. For many people, the New Year can mean setting new career goals or even making changes to your career path. Let me share a few thoughts about why I landed at Turbonomic - I hope this is helpful as you evaluate what your next move may look like. 

Leveraging Deep Roots

I really enjoy cloud computing. I entered the world of cloud computing startups in 2012 and haven’t looked back. My pitstops since then have included an acquisition, being the “face” of a company, evangelizing new solutions and becoming a CTO. The most recent step in my journey required making the decision to go from being a big fish in a small pond to a medium fish in a larger pond. Joining Turbonomic provides me with an opportunity to grow different relationships and to apply much of what I’ve learned talking to executives the past 9 years. I also appreciate the fact that Turbonomic supports my desire to have a voice in the tech community, mentor tech professionals and pursue my outside non-profit interests. I didn’t have to leave any of who I am behind to step into this new role.  

Making a transition in a pandemic gave me a unique opportunity to wrestle with what I wanted to do next. Should I stay where I’m comfortable in light of all the other uncertainty in my life or embrace total change head on? I decided on a hybrid approach. It made sense to build on the deep roots I have in cloud computing but with a different twist that would present new challenges. Pondering a new role in a pandemic also helped me focus on the most important part of the equation – people. How can I do what I enjoy and make a difference for people who are stuck? Let me explain.

Solving the Right Problem

I used to believe that the biggest challenge was the delta between information and insight. I now realize the real issue is the gap between intent and execution. We think the problem is that folks don’t know what to do. But I would argue that even if they know what to do, they don’t have time to put it into action. There are too many choices and not enough time to evaluate. Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Absolutely. I believe that's the state that many customers find themselves in as they attempt to navigate all the options in the market. Which VMs should I choose? Or is it no VMs and all containers? What about if I have VMs, containers and PaaS? And what do I do when the providers refresh the options again later this month? I've said before that the options cloud providers have today feels a bit like CaaS - Confusion as a Service. Part of it also boils down to the fact that we're struggling with the same thought in tech and in life. How do I evaluate better vs. different? It’s difficult to figure out the right move when everything seems to be changing. I believe Turbonomic helps solve this exact problem. If nothing else, this past year has taught us that we need to have a plan for change because we know that our plans will change.

Providing Customers With a Unique Solution

In a world of overwhelming options, how you choose is more important than what you choose. Most of us are overwhelmed because we're focusing on a choice, not a plan. Turbonomic isn't a choice - it's the way you choose. Without a plan, we're one more option away from being overwhelmed or starting over again prematurely. 

Human nature shows that we tend to focus on cure, not prevention.  But what if prevention didn’t require any effort on my part? What if there was a way to automatically bridge the gap between intent and execution? What if there was a way to automate innovation? Those are some of the things that excite me about Turbonomic. I believe cloud computing is at an inflection point where there are too many valid options to decide manually. We need assistance. Our definition of success has to move from getting to cloud to leveraging cloud effectively. Part of the problem is that we’re confusing self-service with self-help. It’s one thing to consider whether you can do something on your own – but it’s another thing to determine if you can be effective on your own. 

Turbonomic is here to help customers effectively manage the resources their applications need. Applications will no longer have too much or too little. And when the needs of those apps change, Turbonomic’s software can automatically make adjustments to keep things running smoothly. The focus is ensuring performance of applications by effectively managing resources. The outcomes of that focus mean that your people, your “pocketbook" and the planet are better off:

  1. Your people are freed up to focus on driving the business forward instead of manual firefighting. Software is automatically resizing or realigning resources that prevent problems before they start.
  2. Effectively managing resources means that we eliminated waste and likely saved money. Underutilized VMs, zombie containers, and orphaned volumes are automatically handled.
  3. Effectively managing tech resources reduces impact on our natural resources. Think about the possibility of reducing tickets, reducing waste, and reducing your carbon footprint all while ensuring your applications have the resources they need to run effectively for your customers.  In simple terms, we say it’s possible to Run Well and Be Green (in the words of our cloud CTO Mor Cohen-Tal). 

Remember why we do this

I believe that technology is the easy part of tech. Behavior is the hard part. People are the best part. Humility is the worst part. We are absolutely looking to technology to help us solve some hard problems. But it’s important to dig into what kind of hard we’re talking about. Is this hard because I haven’t had time to think it through or because I don’t have time to get it done? Could more of my time be spent thinking if less of my time was doing? Let’s use technology responsibly to help move people from intent to execution and leverage automated innovation to bring order to the myriad of cloud options that feel like Confusion as a Service. The “soul” of tech should always come back to people. Something always gets lost when we forget that. Take a look at Turbonomic - or take a fresh look if it’s been a while. Let’s free up our minds to focus on the next round of opportunities.

Be Part of the Conversation

I recently chatted with Keith Townsend, The CTO Advisor, to discuss my move to Turbonomic in more depth. If you’re interested in joining the conversation, you can follow me on Twitter at @ballen_clt.

Thanks for listening.

Topics: AWS

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