Why do cloud migrations fail?

Image result for tipping pointAs I look out over the past five years I see a lot of US Government agencies and companies that have started, and now are struggling with cloud migrations. Many of them started an on-line email or email/collaboration migration and based on that success leapt into moving workloads from the on-promise world to cloud solutions.

The migrations failed.

Why? Well the why is complex. It is not from lack of trying. It is not failure in the traditional sense of the world, full stop, don’t pass go, do not collect 200 dollars. More it is a failure of attrition. Ambition launches projects. Reality modifies scope and wanders into your project on little cat’s feet that bring with them the dreaded SCOPE CREEP. The whittling of resolve into a new image, failure.

That new stick, much smaller than the old stick forces organizations to take a hard look at the what and how of their migration. Why, was it so easy to migrate to email and collaborative services in this cloud but moving applications has bogged down?

The easy answer is the problem of ambition. Biting off more than the organization can chew resulting in the failure of ambition. I’ve seen it so many times. Of course, the cloud service providers hop in and say well look at blank company. They are 100% cloud. Or they moved everything in two weeks. Or they started out in the cloud and never looked back.

Yes, there are great success stories. There are great triumphs of migrations that rising above the chasm of despair, became (wait for it) Leg (continue waiting for it) endary. They, the organizations that successfully rose out of their pupa stage to blossom as butterflies in the cloud are great stories.

So, the organization, sitting the dark rooms where planning happens. Decides they too can reach the lofty stage. They too can be the company that others say I wish I was like them. So, they create migration rates. The create massive plans.

The migration fails.

Not completely no, the days of failed migrations that are thrown away are over. It is not the failure of the migration it is the rate of that migration. Now given that things were different you could effectively create manageable migration to the cloud. You could do so in a straight forward manner.

Failure is the little death that eats at your project. It is not complete dead stop and go no further rather it is the gradual failure to attain the goals of the project that kill you. The stress of not meeting the daily, weekly and monthly goals.

I have seen could transformation frameworks. I have heard the pitches from the three big cloud vendors. I have talked to virtually every single migration company that does cloud workload migrations. They all have the silver bottle. Yet some ten years into this cloud process, we still find more companies not wholly in the cloud, than in the cloud. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book the tipping point he describes that moment when something has reached the maximum amount of performance to finish strong. The moment when the glass, tipped past vertical, starts spilling water.

Image result for tipping pointWe have reached that point for business value of cloud. But there are still many companies and government agencies that have not committed a full migration yet. The point of failure remains that ambition. We are going to move 1000 applications to the cloud.

Really. We are. You can write that in stone, just be prepared to break the stone. Oh, yeah and the thousand apps we are moving have to be done by Tuesday.


Glad I am not at the bottom of this hill.

My 2016 Top Ten Gadget List!!!!!

IMG_0158One of the things that I geek about is weather. In part because of the impact weather has on us. In part because I love being out on my boat, so weather determines the quality of the boating experience overall. That is why I have over the years reviewed many different weather stations. Including the one I did just a few days ago, about the Bloomsky. I just uploaded yesterday’s sunny Time Lapse to YouTube, from the Bloomsky, really cool video. You can find it here.

The coolest thing in watching the Time-lapse is watching, with the sun out, watching the temperature declines as the low-pressure cell moves in. That also points out why to have a weather station at your home, the NWS reading for Germantown at 5 pm was 52 degrees. It was 44 and cold where we were. It takes time for large masses of pavement to cool down.

I decided based on the number of reviews I’ve done recently, plus the three geek Christmas lists I’ve done (and frankly the response to them has been overwhelming) that I am going to do a top ten 2016 Christmas gadgets list. This represents devices I own, use and/or reviewed (I don’t review everything) based on the past 12 months! These are not ranked in any order other than listing the 10 items and the order I decided to list them in!

1. Bloomsky– yes, the most recent item definitely makes the list. Just the weather time-lapse video alone is worth the cost of the unit. I cannot wait for the first snow storm!!!

PB0900042. Flashforge Dreamer – the is bar none the best 3d printer I’ve owned (I’ve had 3 others). Software is easy to use. Printer does a good job with the print jobs and the overall quality is amazing.

3. iPhone 7 plus – the phone looks high tech. The 256 of storage (double the previous most for iPhones) is beyond amazing. Fast, response the only knock I have is a user error issue that caused my phone to drain its battery far too fast, but I fixed that by reducing the user error issue.

4. Microsoft Hololens – what can I say this device is beyond amazing. I actually wear it when on conference calls because I can mute the phone and look things up fast with Cortana!

5. 3doodler pro – the pen that launched an empire! You can use the new version to draw in plastic, wood, metal and other materials. Whatever you imagine suddenly visible in all three dimensions – draw in 3d!

6. OpenROV – I recently sold my old version (waiting for the new version) great device for diving underwater and seeing what is below you, without getting wet!

7. DJ Phantom 3 (or the new 4 as well) great aerial drones. Where OpenROV sends the drone down into the water, Phantom goes up into the sky. I love the video I posted on YouTube where you can clearly see the shaking as the hawk dives at the device in mid-air.

8. Bubl 360-degree camera. I love my Bubl, first the software on my iPhone is awesome. Secondly the ability to create 360-degree video – amazing!

9. Prynt – a device that slides over your iPhone (as long as you have the smaller iPhone) or allows you to use a pass through lightening cable to print pictures right from your phone to the printer. They are the really cool Zync paper printers so you can print stickers and other cool pictures right from your phone. Plus, it has a battery so you can print on the fly!

10. Spike from Ike – I recently had to do a lot of measurements and I didn’t have a lot of time to do the measurements, but Spike from Ike solved that problem. A crowd funded laser measurement tool, it attaches to your cellular phone and allows you to quickly determine the size of any space. Just a great tool!

That is my top ten list for 2016. They are not in any particular order and I do heartily recommend all of the devices. I use each of them nearly every day! They are great tools to add to your home, gadget and of course geek tool belt!


Cubs Win, Cubs Win!

A why do I do technology reviews…

I got a great email yesterday asking me why I write the reviews I write. Also a comment on the name I have for my reviews that really was quite insightful!https://docandersen.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/some-of-the-why-behind-my-reviews-and-my-love-of-technology/My reviews are born of my love of Technology. That loves comes from my father, NASA and also my personal quest to replace the circular slide rule my father gave me in 1974. Also to achieve the technology goals of writers like Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke. That all are equal in the eyes of technology. I write reviews not only of technology i use, but of technology I think will help and benefit people.I believe the world is within reach. That with technologies help I can do anything. I have shared this picture, HoloMe many times. It represents the value of technology to me. The Hololens is one of the new products from Microsoft that represents a new game. A new path. The device is without a doubt one of the most useable devices I’ve played with in the past year. Yes, the Sony VR, and the Oculus Rift are amazing VR products. But Microsoft’s Hololens is gateway to VR/AR but also to personal productivity.My simple answer to why reviews? I want to help other people see the value around them!

Source: A why do I do technology reviews…

Some of the why behind my reviews and my love of technology…

IMG_0158I got an interesting comment yesterday to my Bloomsky weather station review. The first question was easily dispatched and I sent the person an email with my explanation. The easy answer why a home weather station is as follows.

1. The NWS tends to place sensors in large metropolitan areas. It is always 4 or more degrees hotter in DC than it is in Germantown Maryland.

2. The NWS sensor in Germantown is actually in the middle of a fairly large area of buildings, and is on average 2-5 degrees warmer than the more suburban area I live in.

3. Because of the first two knowing the temperature actually outside my house, important!

The second question asked is a little harder. Why am I such a gadget person? Well not just gadgets but what got me started in the world of technology. I began my career as a school teacher many years ago. At the time I entered education two things were happening. I had grown up in the house of one of the most unique educators in the country. I also grew up in the age of the birth of personal computers. Those two things combined to give me a view both on my future profession, education as well as life in general. Test it using the scientific models I was raised with. Explore it using the reality of what is possible with technology.

IMG_0363But beyond my father there were other people who influenced me. There were two other huge impacts on my life that led me to both portability and technology. The first was my love (also sparked by my father) of NASA. He and I watched the moon walk live. Staying up until 2 am to see Neil Armstrong first step foot on the dusty surface of the moon. NASA enthralled me, drove me and interested me. There is little in my current job you can point to, that doesn’t come from NASA’s direction in the 1960’s and 1970’s. From computing power, computing size, graphics and storage much of that was driven by the quest to land a person on the moon and return them safely.

Another influence in my personal gadget quest was living overseas. As a young man in the US I had access to television (yes there were 5 stations we didn’t have cable in the house until 1971). But I could watch different stations and different shows. When we lived in Thailand there was no television in our apartment. I loved to read anyway. But now reading was everything. I was introduced to the ever-growing world of fantasy, via The Lord of the Rings. But I was also introduced to the works of Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and others. Those two come to mind because my love of technology was further expanded in reading their works. Arthur C Clarke was someone I read everything he wrote and the gadgets and items he talked about in his fiction were things I thought would be incredible to have.

You see who I was to be, was shaped by who I was. Growing up exposed to the scientific model developed by my father (the Inquiry Method), exposure to NASA and the amazing feats of space travel the organizations has and continues to perform. Plus, the open door created by Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke. A door that led me beyond what was possible to the dream of the possible.

IMG_0386All of that making me extremely interested in new Technology and the impact of that on the world around me. That my view of the world is less colored by people than technology. I believe that technology has made our world a better place. I believe technology will continue to show us a path that continues to help us grow as human beings. Technology doesn’t care what you believe, what you are wearing, who you talk to or for that matter where you live. Technology is truly agnostic. Holding no belief better. Holding no place better. Holding no one person better than another. All of them are equal in the eyes of technology.

As a person, I believe that as well. I believe in the equality of all via technology. I believe not in the dysphoria of tomorrow. I believe in a brighter future where technology shows us how we can all “just get along” to quote Rodney King. To quote the other King, the Doctor, I have dream. That someday people will be connected. That someday we will cherish the contents of children’s minds and make education the priority globally. A world where all doors are open and all people taught how to pass through the doors equally!



Just another shameless IoT review Bloomsky weather!

IMG_0157In the best sense of customer service, I have to acknowledge that I am a massive weather geek. Probably well beyond what would be considered normal for weather aficionado. Well into the geeky overkill range.

That said, a new weather station has appeared. I have XM weather for my car. It is great and I love getting weather warnings on the information screen of my car. But this new weather station is different and frankly amazing.

It is just another shameless review, Bloomsky! When I read the original Kickstarter campaign for Bloomsky I was interested. A weather station that had solar power (I still have to from time to change the batteries in one of my weather stations. It tells me the batteries are low, but I still physically have to change them so solar is nice). But let’s also not just have a weather station. Let’s add a time lapse camera to the system.

Temperature – check. Barometric pressure – check. View of the sky during the daylight hours – check. So, as you see from the images I was playing with the camera position (still not done) yesterday. I took a few pictures including one of the predawn sky this morning (the last day of November 2016).

First off weather stations are as much about location and use as any IoT device. In the case of weather stations the win or lose is the software. I love my Davis Weather station but the software is at best hard to use and configure. NetATMO is awesome (still have to change the batteries) but the software is amazing.

IMG_0158When I backed Bloomsky I figured it would be in the middle. Decent hardware and decent software. I can honestly say I was doubly wrong. The hardware is awesome, well designed and very flexible. I mounted it off the back deck of my house. Partially because I wanted to verify the readings against the other two weather stations. Partially because I am lazy and that was the easiest location to mount it.

Hardware – amazing – even easier to set-up the hardware for the Bloomsky than my previous favorite in the easy set-up space NetATMO. The Davis was the hardest to set-up but provides you with the most information. NetATMO was the next hardest to set-up and has a number of standalone sensors. Bloomsky has the easiest set-up and also the most interesting software. Plus, you get pictures taken of the sky throughout the day.

(the distortion is from rain drops – really cool effect)!

I am sharing those pictures with you, they come from the backyard of my house. Actually, from the corner of the deck off the upper level of the hosue. I am really impressed with the software. I love being able to send pictures of right now, to myself. Yesterday was the first day in IMG_0159November this year when it actually measurably rained so that was interesting to see. I can’t wait to see the time lapse photos of an entire day. I have the unit pointing in the direction of the sunrise and sunset. Although sunset will be behind our house so it won’t be quite as cool.

Overall this is a great first, second or third weather station. It adds the ability to have time lapse day time sky photos. It includes a solar power cell so you don’t have to change the batteries. It shuts its camera down at night to concessive power. I have a telescope with a camera attachment for night time pictures anyway!

Oh yeah, and the unit looks cool. It is fun playing with Camera angles and seeing what you see!


I am a weather geek

The long saga of my home office mess…

my officeOver the years my office has been more messy than clean. It is not that I don’t want a clean office, it’s that I don’t often have the time. Or worse I get a new gadget and keep the old one, with double cables in the same physical space it is harder to keep things clean. Lately, because in our hosue my office is in the basement, I have been spreading further and further into the basement. I put the ping pong cover on the pool table, and have now filled that with various project materials. I have filled the utility room with other project materials.

(the picture is of the back half of my office).

It is a process of splurging as my wife calls it. The expanding technology beyond the walls of my home office. Not, by the way that my home office isn’t also a mess. The advantage of VR/AR using Hololens and Oculus, is the office I see isn’t the office I have. The one in my Virtual World is clean. Spotless in fact. Virtual papers are stored. So, are actual papers in my office. When I don’t need paper work anymore I shred it. Shredded paper is an awesome fire starter!

devices_788539The reality of the problem isn’t paper. Its cables. I have a number of cables running around my office. From various devices that do best on an Ethernet connection to the many things I keep because they remind me of something or someone. In the corner of my office I have a desk my wife bought me many years ago, it is a corner computer desk and I love it. Next to that desk is the desk my father gave me in Cincinnati Ohio. Dad didn’t live in Cincinnati, I did. But the desk he gave me all those years ago, was the desk he taught me to read at. A principles desk in fact. I love the desk. It is in awesome shape still even though it has moved from Bloomington Indiana to Kirksville Indiana. From Kirksville to Cincinnati Ohio (Western Hills) Western Hills Ohio to Mt. Airy Ohio. Mt. Airy Ohio to Greenwood. Greenwood to Gaithersburg and its current last move from Gaithersburg to Germantown. It is a well-traveled desk full of memories.

On the walls are a variety of things given to me, and decorations. The problem with the office I think today is the reality of a long career, lots of stuff and really no place to store all of it. I slowly expand out into the rest of the basement. I am not allowed to have my stuff upstairs where other people could actually see it. So, I fill the basement. On occasion, I emerge from the basement with an object created on the 3d printer, the object is allowed to stay upstairs. I am not.

Over the years, I have tried various methods for keeping my office clean. What I end up with is neat storage bins, crammed full of miscellaneous things. You never know when you will be a USB to Serial port adapter again. Even though serial ports have gone the way of dinosaurs. Slow and not really relevant in the modern computer. I do still have a floppy disk, but that is more to demonstrate the capabilities rather than to actually use it.

I have made a decision three years ago, that I would digitize all the analog data sources I have such as pictures, video and film. I am converting all of them into digital media files and getting rid of the analog source (except for my grandfather’s film, that I am keeping).

We have converted all of my father’s slides and all of the family pictures to digital. I can on a 250-gig drive carry all my family’s pictures with me. Plus, with cloud storage, I now have the pictures in 4 places instead of one. That reduces the risk of fire and other damage. It increases the risk of someone stealing the pictures, but I am a horrible photographer so if someone steals all my pictures I would laugh. They would be sorely disappointed wandering through the 120,000 plus pictures looking for gold and finding the stuff left after the farmer cleans out the chaff. Not much data there, not much information there except for the occasion blurry whiteboard image of something drawn for a customer that ultimately without the context of the meeting is useless. I don’t save whiteboards like that anymore so they are also well out of date.

The path to a clean office lies in the digital world. I hope. Otherwise I am never going to get my office clean.


Living in a virtual world, because its clean!

So I read this horrible study today…

Image result for iphone vs androidI read a study today that ticked me off. I’ve seen studies like this one before and they annoy me but this one was wrong day, wrong time. The reality of smart phones and their users. A recent study released in the U.K. talks about the difference between iPhone and Android users. The bias of the study was pretty evident and the missing pieces in the study were wide enough to drive a truck through. Smart phone users should be classified first, then from there evaluate the impact of the device on the person.

The first type of smart phone user is the evolutionary smart phone user. They started with the Pocket PC phones of the 2000’s and either moved to Windows Phones, or left the devices and went to either Android or iPhone (or both). This user may have two distinct characteristics that changes how they operate and include a smart phone in their lives. They may be the cutting-edge person, the technologist who loves technology for technologies sake. Or they may be an innovator who sees value in the new platform. Either way their evaluation and use of smart phones is very different.

Next you have the person who didn’t use a smart phone until 2008. They jumped on the iPhone or Android platform with its release. They are interested in applications and didn’t experience the high cost of software on the Pocket PC platform, they are used to 99 cent applications. They use their smart phone as a personal extension taking lots of pictures and sharing on social media. They are neither young or old (I know people in both categories that are well in this category of user).

Finally, you have the platform lovers. Their bias is for the platform. You know them (I’ve been one since switching off the windows phone platform to the android platform first (and then realizing what a pain it was moving to the iPhone). I know the windows phone platform is dying. I am not a huge android fan but I do have an android tablet. I use it frequently because it has a couple of applications that I find really cool. But for the most part I am an iPhone user.

There is no easy classification for smart phone users. Mostly because the way people consider and use phones is vastly different. My favorite line was my mother at dinner with my family while visiting us asked a question. Everyone at the table grabbed their phones to get her the answer. That is the modern smart phone world. The relevance of platforms today is that there are two. As a cutting-edge technologist, I can honestly say that I can do the same things with Android devices that I can with iOS devices. I cannot do as many of the things with the Windows Phone platform devices, but that is because that is a dying platform.

Image result for iphone vs androidThe difference between the devices? Frankly it comes down to what you need from a phone. Android devices (I had one for nearly a year as my only phone) are excellent quality and deliver great service. The recent battery issues could happen to any smart phone. The more battery (and everyone wants longer battery life in their smart phone) you have the greater the risk can be. There are design things that can be done that will alleviate some of the risk but for the most part batteries get warm. Some of the devices have really high end cameras (although they are not the optimal camera form so using them as your only camera is well, not the best idea). Some of them have amazing audio that is awesome. The end game is they are smart phones.

I interact with the world via my smart device. But I view the world through the lens I’ve created over the years. My smart phone is an extension of who and what I do. It is not me. My choice of smart phone is more focused on what I need the device for. For nearly 10 years I was on the cutting edge of phone technology pushing the edges of capabilities. Seeking more than was there often and pushing the hardware to its limits. Now, I want to be able to sit back and rely on my phone. It is a tool I use frequently but I no longer push the edge. I add devices that push the edge, but I can upon their failure remove them from my device and be back to fully operating.

The post that offended me talked about and labeled phone users in a way that I found demeaning and at best erroneous. The bias of the observer modifying not only the observation but also the decision and actions that were produced. It bothered me, this study that was released. I don’t really care either way in the end. It just makes me frustrated that people spend time building a case based on bias. Without a proper classification system, the phone user is not representative of more than one person. So, building and extrapolating beyond that is simply wrong.

I guess it bugged me more than I realized.


Reformed Windows Phone user…