Fudge Sunday - Reflecting and Projecting

by Jay Cuthrell
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This post is a quick stroll through the past 20 years and looking ahead to the future. What happens when an emerging pattern becomes ubiquitous?

Reflecting on 2000 to 2020

Back in 2000, I found myself in Israel for a project. I was in Israel to work with a local team in Tel Aviv that worked closely with a team in Tokyo, Japan that coordinated with a team in Boston back in the US.

Why was I in Tel Aviv?

The answer was simple. We all traveled there from each city that week.

Low latency, high bandwidth, and cloud were years from being a thing.

By 2020, the idea of flying somewhere to collaborate would seem odd.


The Internet will be commercial.


By 2005, I had come to understand just how jarring the LACK of Internet access would come to be in just a few more years. Essentially, this was a time of realization for the coming societal stratification for access to information services.

My first flirtation with political advocacy would take a few more years. However, it was increasingly clear that utilization and the utility of Internet access was far outstripping the categorization of entertainment services.

Bt 2020, the idea of being without Internet would become associated with a “digital detox” for the privileged and a “digital divide” for the economically disadvantaged.


The Internet is only limited by incumbency.


Just before 2010, there were several events that shaped my perception of the Internet once again. I had been involved in telecommunications for just over a decade and the social web was becoming social media.

When I attended SxSW for the first time in 2008 it was a convergence of ideas. Now looking back, my involvement just a few later in the convergence of compute, network, storage, and virtualization to transform how IT was delivered isn’t huge a shock.

By 2020, the concept of social media had become everything from “political discourse” to an “unhealthy obsession” to the greatest business platform for “earned media”.


The Internet experiment becomes social.


Helping build a multi billion dollar run rate business for converged infrastructure and hyperconverged infrastructure by 2015 meant two things. First, it meant that IT consumption patterns were shifting as the decade of post public cloud brought in private cloud and hybrid cloud control planes. Second, the things connecting were going to be less about humans being social and more about machines being social or augmenting their human benefactors.

By 2020, the notion of companies buying servers, storage arrays, and networking it all together in your own datacenter would become either a Luddite era throwback to 2005 or a bold statement that public cloud is not one size fits all.


The Internet is connecting more things than ever.


Getting to 2020 was not so much planned as much as it was a very comfortable ride. Looking back on that time between 2015 and 2020, there was a geometric expansion of topics, specializations, and the pace of innovation was staggering.

By 2020, like the Gartner nexus of forces (social, mobile, cloud, information) had finally converged into a new soup that questioned the lifecycle and viability for each constituent force.


The Internet is changing the meaning of the edge.



Since the dawn of cloud computing, the drumbeat of pundits and pontification has been everything goes to a public cloud. Well, that’s not happened and it has been 15 years.

In fact, within a few more years the concept of cloud computing is no longer necessarily a place but merely a consumption pattern. Further, for every possible kind of workload we’re starting to see stories about data first strategies rationalizing applications.

A wise person once said…

If you must use a horse race metaphor… please don’t but…

“Different horses for different courses”

Many pundits and analysts have pushed 6 R’s strategies as a way to indicate where cloud suitability in application portfolio rationalization takes place.

Well, perhaps there are many more than 6 R’s and not one R alone wins.

Perhaps a superfecta of R’s at the minimum seems more likely instead of assuming everything goes to the public cloud.

  1. Retain
  2. Relegate
  3. Renovate
  4. Resuscitate
  5. Retire
  6. Replatform
  7. Repurchase
  8. Refactor
  9. Rehost
  10. Repatriate
  11. Refinance
  12. Reinvest
  13. Rationalize
  14. Recombine
  15. (etc…)

Oh, and about those Gartner nexus of forces… perhaps…

  1. The Cloud becomes Multiple Clouds then Multicloud
  2. The Social becomes M2M then Human Machine Partnership
  3. The Mobile becomes Terrestrial Ubiquity then Extraterrestrial
  4. The Information becomes Fabric then Fluid

This is getting long. I will go into more detail in the next newsletter. Maybe?


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