13 episodes

Join Justin Brodley and Jonathan Baker on TCP Talks our show where we interview industry leaders, vendors, and technologists about Cloud Computing, Robotics, Finops, and more.

TCP Talks Justin Brodley & Jonathan Baker

    • Technology

Join Justin Brodley and Jonathan Baker on TCP Talks our show where we interview industry leaders, vendors, and technologists about Cloud Computing, Robotics, Finops, and more.

    Solutions Architect To SADA CTO: Miles Ward on how and why the Google Cloud has the edge

    Solutions Architect To SADA CTO: Miles Ward on how and why the Google Cloud has the edge

    In this episode of TCP Talks, Justin Brodley and Jonathan Baker talk with Miles Ward, the founder of the Google Cloud’s Solutions Architecture practice. Currently, Miles leads the cloud strategy and solutions capabilities as the Chief Technology Officer for consulting and IT services company SADA.
    Startups have helped increase the popularity of open source products among enterprise businesses. Changing systems can be a struggle for larger, more traditional companies. But legacy businesses also want to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, which requires shedding clunky, legacy systems. 
    “Those building blocks make it so that companies operate at a certain rate of change. And I know zero companies asking me to slow down their rate of change,” he notes. 
    The evolution of product compatibility is also discussed.  Product sellers need to help customers understand how much of their system fits and how much doesn’t fit in one solution compared to another, Miles says. Customers need to have a clear understanding of what’s involved and how much work it’s going to be.  
    In addition, Miles shares his thoughts on the role of the CTO as well as the benefits of rebranding a product everybody hates.
    Featured Guest
    Name: Miles Ward
    What he does: As CTO of SADA, Miles leads the cloud strategy and solutions capabilities. His remit includes delivering next-generation solutions to challenges in big data and analytics, application migration, infrastructure automation, and cost optimization; and engaging with customers on their most complex and ambitious plans around Google Cloud. 
    Key quote: “There used to be big crunchy legacy impediments to adoption… But it’s 2021 — live in the future, that shit works. Now it’s more about making it easy enough and predictable enough to consume that folks can unlock the business justification.” 
    Where to find him: LinkedIn | Twitter
    Key Takeaways

    Gone are the days when products from different technology providers, like Oracle or SAP, couldn’t work together to solve a customer problem. These days, companies need to make products easy and predictable enough so customers can unlock the business justification straight away.
    For Google Cloud, the next phase of growth will require investment in higher-level relationships with customers. Miles references his experience with current Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian (TK).   
    “TK is super focused about spending the majority of his time face to face with customers,” he says. “He’s not doing it to be a glad-hand, he’s deal making and proposal pushing and thinking through the machinery of how to build higher level relationships.” 
    There’s a huge opportunity to help the “the real world divisions inside of real world businesses”  — not just serve the IT department.
    Miles says, “I think there’s a bunch of cloud providers that are working really hard now to facilitate the plumbing and governance and oversight and security controls and operational management of what is — not a hybrid between their data center, and a cloud — a hybrid between their SaaS fleet and the couple of things they still need to run on their own.”
    Worried about leveraging a Google solution and then having them pull the plug on it? Miles doesn’t think you should be too concerned about deprecation. 
    “I think they have heard this feedback really loud and clear,” he says.  “There’s a whole bunch of people that have made it really obvious that if you’re going to provide these kinds of tools to outside team members, you’re going to have to figure out how to maintain them long term. I think the clearest and easiest path for that is to have the majority of products be built as open source,” Miles adds.

    Resources

    Here’s what was mentioned in the episode

    SADA: consulting and IT services company.
    Google Cloud Pl

    • 57 min
    TCP Talks with Mark Curphey from Open Raven: 4 Steps to get the birds-eye view of cloud data security

    TCP Talks with Mark Curphey from Open Raven: 4 Steps to get the birds-eye view of cloud data security

    Note: This interview is part of a paid sponsorship between Open Raven and The Cloud Pod. 
    In this TCP Talks episode, Justin Brodley and Jonathan Baker talk with Mark Curphey, Chief Product Office and Co-Founder of Open Raven, a fully integrated platform for security and privacy workflows.
    Featured Guest
    Name: Mark Curphey
    What he does: Mark is Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Open Raven.
    Where to find him: LinkedIn | Twitter
    Listen to Mark discuss the Open Raven strategy for protecting your data, the use of serverless workflows to scale to enormous workloads. Protecting your data and ensuring compliance using the Open Policy Agent – and more.
    Key Points
    Discover – Classify – Monitor – Protect
    “The cloud has moved in incredibly fast; security has been moved off to the side and as a result companies don’t know where their data is, breaches are happening constantly, and these are the big things that get companies in the press.”
    Macie
    “Every single customer that we spoke to in the early stages said, a) It doesn’t work b) It’s ridiculously expensive, and c) It’s only on s3 buckets. Well, whilst The Register is always reporting breaches of S3 buckets, my customer data is in RDS! That’s a real piece of the problem for me; sure, it’s popular, but I shouldn’t just be thinking about trying to protect myself from getting on The Register.”
    Part of the challenge is that data is not one thing… I may have a name, I may have an address, I may have a card number. There are all sorts of different parameters, and the data could be stored in multiple ways. So you have the concept of like data adjacency; If I have a CCV number, and expiry date and name associated to it that might be something which is real.
    With Macie, even if you just use the straight matching techniques, you don’t have control over the adjacency thing, so that’s why a lot of the basic trivial cases get completely missed.
    Security at the edge?
    “If you are protecting data in the cloud, you have to wire the tools into the cloud to understand which IAM has access, which routes, which security groups can give you access? That’s the only way to understand the context to protect it. You can’t do it in some sort of edge device.”
     Getting started with Open Raven
    Visit openraven.com to get a 15 day trial. Spin up a SaaS instance and go play.
    “We already think we’re a better choice than Macie, but don’t think that’s the end goal. Come partner with us, work with us on the end goal, because those are things that we love; solving massive, complex, and interesting problems.”
    https://www.openraven.com/thecloudpod

    • 38 min
    Get Your Hands Cloudy with Forrest Brazeal from A Cloud Guru

    Get Your Hands Cloudy with Forrest Brazeal from A Cloud Guru

    In this TCP Talks episode, Justin Brodley and Jonathan Baker talk with Forrest Brazeal, a Senior Manager at A Cloud Guru, a cloud education platform that has attracted more than two million students. A Cloud Guru offers full certification training and technical deep dives for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and more.
    Forrest talks about why companies need to invest in training to reap the benefits of “cloud fluency,” and how A Cloud Guru is contributing to cloud adoption success at Fortune 500 companies. 
    While discussing knowledge gaps, Forrest highlights how important it is to clearly identify which cloud services and knowledge areas you’re going to become certified in to avoid missing important high level areas. 
    “Going through the certification training and prep really helps you to avoid those blind spots that will keep you from speaking effectively to the other teams that you work with,” says Forrest. 
    Featured Guest

    Name: Forrest Brazeal
    What he does: Forrest is a Senior Manager at cloud learning platform A Cloud Guru.
    Key quote: “When I look at people who are going from the data center to the cloud today, they are thinking about the cloud as something that’s going to take undifferentiated heavy lifting away from them.”
    Where to find him: LinkedIn l Twitter | Personal Website

    Key Takeaways

    Be strategic with your cloud certifications. If you’re trying to reach a certain number of certifications, make sure you have a plan or you might end up with gaps in your knowledge. “It’s so easy to do, right?” Forrest says, “as I’m sitting on one team, and I’m touching one technology all the time, I could go two, three, four years and never know anything about networking because all I’m doing is databases, right? Or never know anything about compute, because all I’m doing is storage. Going through the certification training prep really helps you to avoid those blind spots that will keep you from speaking effectively to the other teams that you work with.”  
    College grads beware: Just because you have a Computer Science degree doesn’t mean you’ll just be writing algorithms all day. If you’re looking at a career in programming, the day to day job includes negotiating with people and figuring out what requirements of the business are – not just writing algorithms. Forrest says  “it’s figuring out requirements, and it’s writing the same line of code and then deleting it because it turns out the business requirement changed.” 
    Scaling to zero, where a function can be reduced down to zero replicas when idle and brought back to the required amount of replicas when needed, is one example of how the underlying principles adopted by the serverless community that might have been considered “radical” five or six years ago is now seen as welcome wisdom in the broader cloud community. The term, “serverless,” might be retired eventually, but the fundamental principles will remain and evolve into “cloud native.” 

    Here’s what was mentioned in the episode

    Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing Services
    AWS: Amazon Web Services
    Google Cloud Platform: Cloud Computing Services
    AWS Serverless Hero: Forrest is an AWS Serverless Hero
    AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional: Professional certification for AWS DevOps
    AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: Certification for AWS Solutions Architect 
    Infor: Global software company that builds ERP software cloud products
    Oracle: integrated Cloud Applications and Platform Services
    SAP: Systems in Application Products and Data Processing
    AWS Console: web portal to access and manage the AWS cloud
    Linux Academy: operating system
    Kubernetes: open-source system for containerized applications
    Ace of Clouds: the A Cloud Guru blog for engineers
    Subscribe to The Cloud Pod Podcast

    • 36 min
    TCP-Talks: SAP Cloud Migrations with Protera CTO, Patrick Osterhaus

    TCP-Talks: SAP Cloud Migrations with Protera CTO, Patrick Osterhaus

    Note: This interview is part of a paid sponsorship between Protera and The Cloud Pod. 
    In this TCP Talks episode, Justin Brodley and Jonathan Baker talk with Patrick Osterhaus, CTO and Founder of Protera Technologies, a preeminent provider for SAP and cloud managed services.
    Patrick discusses how the cloud, COVID-19, and work-from-home are influencing SAP and legacy enterprise software packages today, and Protera’s goal to provide the very best SAP services available on the cloud.

    Covering issues around migration to SAP, Patrick takes the opportunity to reflect on Protera’s history, while also addressing corporate IT integration. “We call this the transformation journey-site assessment, specific to each client’s needs, looking beyond SAP to the SAP systems, we use a tool we call [Protera] FlexBridgeSM,” notes Patrick.

    Featured Guest
    Name: Patrick Osterhaus
    What he does: Patrick is CTO and Founder of Protera Technologies.
    Key quote: “The complexity of moving to public cloud is getting those non-cloud native applications into the cloud, and then looking at the transformation of those applications once they’re in the cloud.”
    Where to find him: LinkedIn | Twitter 
    Key Takeaways
    The best way to prepare for cloud migration is what Patrick calls “the journey,” which involves a site assessment of the customer environment and understanding how everything on-premise, or in a hybrid environment, is working together.
    COVID-19 has accelerated migration to the cloud and has forced companies to plan their disaster recovery systems. Patrick says businesses aren’t just thinking about their earpiece systems — the thinking extends to ancillary systems like CRMs and web access systems — “all these systems to be connected and have it fully available in the cloud as a backup.”  He adds, “We’ve seen a natural interest in what is good practice,” which is to have a protection plan for critical SAP applications.
    Working with many compliance-heavy industries, such as financial or military and defense clients, Protera stresses has learned the importance of not only application security, but also the physical security necessary around data centers. He says the discussing the real-world protection of data centers — “who owns the data, how it’s governed, how it’s protected” — is important to raise with the client. 
    Resources
    Here’s what was mentioned in the episode
    SAP: Systems in Application Products and Data Processing
    “What is DevOps?“: An AWS blog post explaining the DevOps model
    Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing Services
    Amazon Redshift: Cloud Computing Services

    Google Cloud Platform: Cloud Computing Services
    DR system: Multi-cloud disaster recovery system
    “What is SAP HANA?”: A Protera blog post
    SAP GUI: Used to initiate a session in a SAP server
    “VDI Solutions“: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
    AWS: Amazon Web Services

    AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK): An open-source development framework to model and provision cloud application resources
    FlexBridgeSM: Protera FlexBridgeSM migration software
    “Infrastructure as Code” (IaC): A Microsoft blog post describing the IaC managing model
    “What is Hybrid Cloud?”: A Microsoft blog post defining what a hybrid cloud is
    “What is the Public Cloud?“: A Microsoft blog post defining the terms of the public cloud
    Top quotes in this episode

    [6:14] “And the big challenge with SAP, in my opinion, is they have such a tremendous customer base that is already running in their own data centers … and the challenges to make that transition. And being that they’re not just the number of customers and the number of SAP systems each of those customers has, but just the tremendous volumes of data. And the dependency that their whole business has on SAP as the lifeblood of the organization, not just as the data itself, which is obvio

    • 38 min
    Cloud Wisdom with Bart Castle

    Cloud Wisdom with Bart Castle

    In this TCP Talks episode, Justin Brodley and Jonathan Baker talk with Bart Castle, an AWS and cloud computing trainer and media personality. Bart works with IT training company CBT Nuggets and also does cloud-migration consulting projects. 
    Bart shares the patterns he seems based on training demand and also advises how to decide which certification to go for next. He discusses the importance of solving business problems that will help achieve the business’ goals while retooling and transforming systems.
    “At this point in my career, every technical conversation that I have is always paired up with a business value conversation,” he notes.
    But how should a data team shift focus to better solve business problems? He suggests looking for patterns. Uncovering patterns can help determine actionable steps to maximize efficiency and enable new business opportunities.
    Bart also discusses cloud computing trends, CloudFormation stacking, hybrid deployments, and containers.
    Featured Guest

    Name: Bart Castle
    What he does: Bart is a cloud computing and AWS expert and technical trainer, as well as a consultant. 
    Key quote: “In the end, we’re still looking for those tools that will bridge gaps. This is why, for me, being an integrations professional and getting what integration means is skill number one across all different arenas. Everywhere you look, it’s an integration problem.” 
    Where to find him: LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube

    Key Takeaways

    When thinking about all the different training options, Bart suggests pursuing the certification that would help you land a specific job or role. If you’re not sure what your next job might be, look at SysOps administration first since it is closest to traditional network help desk operations support roles.
    Based on his training background, Bart sees a rising interest in network automation. Many teams are working with various vendors to address networking and connectivity and to make the transition from command line administration to Python automation. 

    “A lot of what I’m seeing here is the switch from real deep specialty to real broad generalization, and that can be an overwhelming bite to take when you look at how much information there is to consume,” says Bart. 

    Learning how the tools work is the easy part, but you have to dig deeper to make it work for your specific business use case. Bart recommends looking for white papers, as well as case studies and blog posts. Communities (like TCP!) can also point you in the right direction.  

    Bart says, “Once you get those examples of how a piece of input data with the right transformation with this pairing of reporting can solve this problem — now, you’re putting tools in your belt that are going beyond just using the tools, and how to actually solve business problems with them.”
    Here’s what was mentioned in the episode
    CBT Nuggets: provides in-demand training, primarily in IT, project management, and office productivity topics.
    Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3): a cloud object storage service. 
    “What is DevOps?“: an AWS blog explaining the DevOps model.
    “Infrastructure as Code” (IaC): a Microsoft blog describing the IaC managing model.
    Amazon Redshift: a data warehouse that can query data into an AWS S3 data lake.
    Amazon SageMaker: an AWS service that provides developers with the ability to build, train, and deploy machine learning models.
    Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR): an AWS cloud big data platform that allows data processing with open source tools. 
    “What is a data lake?”: an AWS blog.
    Terraform by HashiCorp: an open-source tool that can create and manage IaC.
    “Working with Nested Stacks“: an AWS blog on the practice nested stacks in CloudFormation.
    AWS re:Invent: a three-week virtual conference.
    AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK): an open-source development framework to

    • 49 min
    TCP Talks with Aqua Security’s Liz Rice

    TCP Talks with Aqua Security’s Liz Rice

    In this TCP Talks episode, Justin Brodley and Jonathan Baker chat with Liz Rice, VP of open source engineering for Aqua Security, which provides tools to secure cloud-native deployments. 
    Liz describes Aqua’s evolution over the years: From a provider of container security to its acquisition of CloudSploit and its development of open-source security solutions. Most customers are using cloud native software, and Aqua wants to secure those workloads and engage that community. 
    “As a business, we have to be where the discussions are. Having open-source tools that are genuinely useful gives us a good way to participate in that community,” Liz explains. 
    In addition to her role at Aqua Security, she is the chair on the CloudNative Computing Foundation‘s (CNCF) Technical Oversight Committee. During the conversation, Liz gives an overview of how they handle projects.
    Key Takeaways


    Open source tools offer an entry point into communities. “As a business, we have to be there — we have to be where the discussions are. And having open source tools and solutions that are genuinely useful gives us a good way of participating in that community,” Liz says of the value of Aqua developing open-source tools. The company’s Starboard toolkit for finding risks in Kubernetes workloads and environments is a recent example.
    Liz discusses Starboard’s comparative advantage — it integrates existing Kubernetes tools, not just from Aqua but also from third-parties, into the Kubernetes experience. “You can run Trivy through Starboard and your results are right there next to the workload you’re interested in,” she says. 
    Liz discusses CNCF’s role with Kubernetes and beyond. “Google today contributes tons of time, energy, and engineering hours into Kubernetes. If tomorrow they were to decide they were going to walk away, Kubernetes still exists, and it would do so because of the CNCF and its participants,” she explains. 

    Resources 
    Here’s what was mentioned in the episode


    “Container Security: Fundamental Technology Concepts that Protect Containerized Applications“: Liz Rice’s book.
    Aqua Security: a company that delivered security solutions for applications.

    Cloud Native Computing Foundation: CNCF serves as the vendor-neutral home for many of the fastest-growing open-source projects, including Kubernetes, Prometheus, and Envoy.

    CloudSploit: security scanner for cloud accounts.

    Trivy: vulnerability scanner for container images.

    Starboard: makes security information available across the Kubernetes API in a native way.

    Prometheus: an open-source metrics-based monitoring system.

    Istio: Google’s open-source independent service mesh allows companies to connect, monitor, and secure microservices. 

    Kubecon + CloudNativeCon EU: Virtual Conference for 2020.

    • 33 min

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