Ned in the Cloud LLC – Six Month Check-in

Six Month Check-In: Cruisin’

In May of 2018, I decided to start my own company (Ned in the Cloud LLC), quit my lucrative consulting job, and hang my own shingle for content creation, education, and technical writing. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I actually decided to strike out on my own in September of 2018, it just took me until May of 2019 to do it. I won’t rehash the entire thing now. If you want to hear the whole story, check out my detailed post or this episode of The Full Stack Journey podcast.

So how are things going six months later? In a word. Awesome. That’s all you wanted to know? Sweet, thanks for reading.



OH. You’re still here? Neat! Here’s what’s been going on since my post back in August.

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Microsoft Ignite 2019 – The Great Marketing Shift

The Ennui of Success

In 2018, I attended Microsoft Ignite and one of the things I noticed during the keynote was how stale everything seemed. Satya appeared to not only be lacking in excitement, but also clearly overcompensating by trying to be super excited about boring things. It was painful to watch and I thought perhaps we were witnessing the beginning of the end for Satya’s tenure as the CEO of Microsoft. His mission in many ways had been accomplished. The culture at Microsoft had been irrevocably altered, the product direction and priorities shifted to accommodate our service based economy, and their market cap was set to crest $1 trillion. If Satya was planning to leave on a high note, this would definitely qualify.

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NetApp and the Cloud Conundrum

There are few technology changes that have been as disruptive as the public cloud. All aspects of the tech industry have been impacted in some way, but the hardware industry in particular has seen a major disruption. The advent of cloud hyperscalers has skewed the server, network, and storage markets. Suppliers can have an entire quarter made or ruined by the decision of a single hyperscaler to purchase new gear for a datacenter. By the same token, the cloud hyperscalers now have outsized influence over pricing, and can negotiate heavy discounts by purchasing at massive scale. Add in the fact that enterprise IT is shrinking, and traditional hardware companies are in a bit of a pickle.

Vendors like NetApp need to address the massive shifts in markets by developing fresh products and services that will appeal to enterprise customers in a post-cloud environment. Let’s look at some of the biggest shifts that have occurred due to the prevalence of public cloud.

  • Low friction consumption of services
  • Consumption based spending
  • Capacity on demand
  • Management of hardware and base systems

These shifts are all part of what public cloud offers to the consumer, and it is one reason that organizations have flocked to adopt it. While cost is often cited as a reason to move, the reality is that convenience, scale, and outsourced management are probably the most compelling features. How does a traditional hardware vendor become competitive in a landscape ruled by the new public cloud principles?

That is the cloud conundrum. NetApp has a possible solution.

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I attended Cloud Field Day 6 this September and my favorite presentation hands-down was from There were other strong contenders, but Idit and Christian stole the show with their laser-precise product focus, infectious enthusiasm, and high-quality demonstrations. I overhead someone say that it was a masterclass in how to do a Tech Field Day presentation, which is especially impressive for a first-time presenter. I wrote a post about what I thought of’s various projects before I went to CFD, here are my updated thoughts on their offering and the team behind it.

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Cloud Field Day – First Impressions on Hammerspace

I am currently attending Cloud Field Day 6 in Silicon Valley. We are in the thick of it, just about to start the third day of presentations. Before I wander into the maelstrom of presentations and conversations that will leave my brain feeling like it’s been through a Vitamix, I thought I would jot down some initial thoughts about Hammerspace, one of the presenters from Wednesday.

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