Screaming in the Cloud
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How to Conduct 470 Interviews in 365 Days with Stuart Miniman
Episode Summary
Stuart Miniman is a senior analyst, co-host of theCUBE, and general manager of content at SiliconANGLE and theCUBE, an online media company based in Palo Alto, with offices in Massachusetts, too. He’s also a principal research contributor at Wikibon and an advisor at TechReckoning, an independent community of enterprise technology professionals. Prior to these roles, Stuart worked as a technologist in the corporate CTO office at Dell EMC and an account executive at Lucent Technologies.

Join Corey and Stu as they discuss theCUBE and what Stu’s role is there, how the company was forced to transition from physical events to online interviews due to COVID-19, what Stu looks for when he books guests, why technology practitioners shouldn’t always be mesmerized by the latest shiny thing, how Stu ended up becoming an analyst in the first place, how lots of companies don’t actually use phrases like “hybrid cloud” and “multi-cloud” to talk about their own infrastructure, the top reason companies run Kubernetes, Stu’s secrets for conducting great interviews, how there’s always more stuff to pay attention to in tech than anyone can keep up with, and more.
Episode Show Notes and Transcript
About Stuart MinimanStuart Miniman has been an analyst and co-host of the online video interview program theCUBE for a decade. Stu's background is in networking and virtualization, he focuses on cloud and disruptive technologies. Stu has interviewed thousands of guests on theCUBE and written on wide variety of enterprise technology topics. His past positions, including sales, product management and strategic planning provides him with perspective on how to focus on the needs of customers. Stuart's previous employers include EMC (with a primary focus on storage networking and virtualization), Lucent Technologies (now Avaya) and American Power Conversion. Stuart holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Bryant University.



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Transcript

Announcer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Cloud Economist Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.



Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by Catchpoint. Look, 80 percent of performance and availability issues don’t occur within your application code in your data center itself. It occurs well outside those boundaries, so it’s difficult to understand what’s actually happening. What Catchpoint does is makes it easier for enterprises to detect, identify, and of course, validate how reachable their application is, and of course, how happy their users are. It helps you get visibility into reachability, availability, performance, reliability, and of course, absorbency, because we’ll throw that one in, too. And it’s used by a bunch of interesting companies you may have heard of, like, you know, Google, Verizon, Oracle—but don’t hold that against them—and many more. To learn more, visit www.catchpoint.com, and tell them Corey sent you; wait for the wince.



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Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. I'm joined this week by Stu Miniman, who is a senior analyst and co-host of the online video interview program, theCUBE. Stu, welcome to the show.



Stu: Thanks, Corey, great to talk with you.



Corey: It's always great to talk with me. Can you answer something for me that took, basically, me hosting the show to really finally grasp fully? What is theCUBE?



Stu: Well, Corey, you know, most people out there are probably a little brighter than you, so they understand who we are, what we do. So, we are an independent media company. Our primary medium is video, and the way that we did things before 2020 was, I'd say, 80 percent at shows. So, big shows, little shows, the conferences, the ones that we all went to, collected swag, saw our peers, loved the hallway track. That's where theCUBE went. 



So, shows like AWS re:Invent, VMworld, many other shows out there. Last year in 2019, we did about 100 physical events. Plus, we also have studios on the East Coast and West Coast and, order magnitude, we've done thousands of interviews. I personally have done a couple thousand interviews in 2019. I think I did, like, 470 interviews out of the about 2,000 that we did as a team. 



So, we are part of SiliconANGLE Media, which is the umbrella brand, and that came between two companies that merged. One was a research analyst firm, Wikibon, which is where I had started about 10 years ago, and the other one is SiliconANGLE, which is an online Silicon Valley-based media company, which also still exists. So, we have those three pieces: there’s an analyst firm, there's a journalist team, and there's the video program, which is theCUBE. And, Corey, what’s tough is ‘theCUBE’ is a rather generic name and we are not in a box-like structure, so sometimes it's a little confusing on theCUBE. But we're an online video program.



Corey: I just figured you were a bunch of squares.



Stu: [laughs]. Very cute, Corey.



Corey: Thank you, I do my best. So, you had me on as a host a few times over the past couple of years. First, you had me on as a guest, which at some point is, “Hey, Corey, do you want to opine on this thing that we think a lot about,”—but in actuality, I don’t—“and get your picture, and face, and voice on a live videocast from a variety of different conferences?” And I am in love with the sound of my own voice, so of course, I'm going to say yes to something like that. And that was on me. I accept that. But you kept inviting me back and eventually let me host, and that, in turn, was on you.



Stu: Yeah well, Corey, one of the things I love doing is working on our programs. So, I have a few different titles, wear a bunch of different hats, and one of them right now is on the general manager of content. So, number one is I’ve always focused on putting on really good content. So, I'm as deep in the community as I can be, the technologies I know, the communities I know, the social media circles where I am, so I'm always looking for good guests, whether that is the founder of a cool new startup, some people in the industry—call it thought leaders if you will, sometimes—out there. And then I also like people with a good sense of humor, and that can dig into the topic. 



So, I like to pull some of those in to guest host, and had you on as a guest a couple of times, and you did pretty well with it. And if I remember right, you said that the first time I interviewed you was really the first time that you’d done videos. So, that was surprising to me; you picked it up really well, and you obviously talk—



Corey: Well, thank you. I have a face for radio.



Stu: [laughs]. Corey, I've been doing this 10 years, I don't have much in the way of [air]. I'm a technologist by training; sitting in front of a video camera and having people watch me was one of the last things I thought I'd be doing. But I try to forget that there's all these people online watching, and dig into the conversations and enjoy it. 



And I've always enjoyed talking with you on an off-camera about these things, so it made perfect sense to pull you into some areas where you're well known, like have you on at the end of AWS Summit, as well as some areas where you were poking fun at, like the Kubernetes community and it was lots of fun to do that show with you.



Corey: Oh, KubeCon was fantastic. It was a couple of days of, effectively, back-to-back-to-back interviews with a whole bunch of people. And it was fun because it helped me get away with some of my nervousness because on podcasts like this, if I say something stupid, we can cut that out and I can repeat what I said. Live video doesn't work that way, so I had some nerves. But the nervousness at being on video was completely swept away and buried because of the show we were at. And instead, I was focusing more on not being too insulting towards the nonsense that is known as Kubernetes to the people who built Kubernetes. And I think I pulled that off because no one actually mailed me poop afterwards.



Stu: Obviously, there was a little concern. You have poked quite a bit at the idea of multi-cloud, you have been insulting of some of the things there. But yeah, I mean, Corey, there were a couple of the analysis segments, I said, “Please go full Corey on it. Let's have this discussion. Let's go out in the open.”



It's still something that I've seen you do plenty. And I try to help people understand what is good about these technologies, what are the challenges about these technologies. Just because it's something that Google built doesn't mean that your team of five people are going to fall in love with it. So, absolutely you need to have an understanding of there. With my job as an analyst, I try to share information and get to the heart of things, and it's interesting space to look at, absolutely. 



Definitely Kubernetes, boy, you look at some of the developer tooling out there, it is complex. And I feel for the teams that have to sort some of these things out, while constantly learning technologies and answer to whatever management is pushing down at them.



Corey: It's always fun talking to you about these things because you folks also take these small little clips from videos and put them out to promote various shows you were at. And one of them was, I think, me saying at the Google show that, “I’m not saying that Google is focused more on what they're building than what they're shipping, but even their conference is called ‘Next.’” and that, in turn, wound up generating a fair bit of traffic. And it's always interesting, when I wind up pulling out the list of things that seem to do super well, I always come in a strong second place because invariably, I wind up at the same shows where Abby Fuller is on, and she not only has a personality but also has something intelligent to say about technology. Whereas, again, I have a personality. So, she always does way better. I come in, usually second to her. But across the board, it's always been really useful just to see a combination of fun engaging dialogue on theCUBE, but also some hard-hitting analysis, that you wouldn't expect coming from a particular vendor’s show, you're not always particularly gentle; it's not paid access, which I'm envious of, to be perfectly honest, people generally don't invite me to things so I can make fun of them. At least not more than once.



Stu: I thought that is what you do, Corey, for quite a bit. But look, our team here, one of our earliest clients called us the ESPN attack, and that's the way we think of it. If you take your favorite sports team, there are the local stations that cover the team, and they tend to be a little bit biased. And then at its core form, what the ESPNs of the world did is, “I want to cover the sport, but I will poke at—here's the good things and here's the bad things about that team.” And if we're doing our best selves, that's what we are doing. 



So, I am a fan of new technologies, helping people be more efficient and take advantage of these new things, but it does not mean that we should get too excited about the next shiny thing. And I am not based in Silicon Valley, so I try to have a balance of understanding the potential of new things as well as understanding the reality of what it takes to roll these out. And I've been in the industry long enough now that I feel I have a little bit of balance on that. But yeah, it's looking at these technologies; it's looking at all of these vendors, and everything that they're saying, but one of my favorite things, really, is talking to those practitioners: the people that don't care about what your slides say they care about what their business does out the various solutions help them do their job and make their businesses more successful.



Corey: So, one of the things that I've always found fascinating about you in that—far more so than I do, even here on a relatively agnostic show, I do have a bias towards the things that I work on, day-to-day. Given that your day-to-day involves going to a whole bunch of different events—you know, back before the dark times—and having conversations with basically everyone, you have a much better bird's eye view on this entire ecosystem than I do, just due to the nature of my own biases. So, as an analyst, what are you really seeing? Let's start, I guess, with the ever-popular topic of multi-cloud. Where do you see it?



Stu: So, it's an interesting thing. I've actually done podcasts talking about the quote, “analyst role,” because, Corey, when I came into this role, analyst was not something that I strive to be, and what I always—



Corey: No, analyst is something that happens to you.



Stu: [laughs]. Yeah. It is, what is your background? Why should I listen to what you're saying? When I turn on the television shows where they have people opining about it, you know, here in 2020, everybody is both an epidemiologist and a constitutional scholar, where most of the people talking are neither of those things. 



So, my background is I have lived in technology. I’ve spent most of my career living on the vendor side, but even when I did, I actually never personally had a marketing role. I've lived in engineering, I actually did a stint in sales early in my career, and my job usually was to be, hopefully, the best part of consulting that you do there, it’s to help understand what you're doing, help you understand how the technologies fit. If it was a product that I was attached to, that was great, and if it's not well, we move our separate ways, and we go on from there.



So, coming to today's analysts’ world: multi-cloud. I think back to when the first cloud stuff happened. At that time, Corey, I was working for EMC. So, EMC storage company: most people consider storage kind of boring. I was sitting down the row from the guy that came up with the term—the first time I've seen it—private cloud and had arguments with him for months as to how private cloud wasn't really cloud, you know, I was having conversations online with the clouderati about how Amazon was going to take over the world. But back then, we came up with—when private cloud came out, there were these terms of hybrid cloud and multi-cloud, and the words made sense but if you look back a decade of what we were talking about versus where we are today, boy, a lot has changed.



So, in the last couple of years, I've looked at hybrid cloud, we’ve looked at multi-cloud, we’ve talked with the vendors and the customers. Thing one is when I talk to customers, Corey, they don't use those words. [laughs]. They might use cloud as a word, and they come up with a cloud strategy, but their deployment mechanism as to whether it is hybrid or multi, they don't really think about that. They have their data, they have their applications, they have their infrastructure, and they have the services that they use, and they kind of find themselves in a solution. 



You talk from a multi-cloud standpoint, they usually have that. And it was a—one group, I had this really cool thing I wanted to use from one vendor, one other group we might have acquired, and they were using this other technology, and oh, yeah, are they using Amazon? Of course, they're using Amazon across these environments. So, unfortunately, like you said, you just become an analyst. Well, most customers kind of wake up one day and say, “Oh, I have multi-cloud.” 



The definition I put in place is if multi-cloud is to be successful and a real thing, multi-cloud should be more valuable to the customer than the sum of its parts alone. And for the most part, I don't think there are many people that are there today. It is more a composite cloud, or I have pieces, or I basically recreated the multi-vendor world in today's multi-cloud environment.




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Corey: One of the biggest problems that I've seen has been that people always have these different definition in terms around what something means. You have companies that have a hybrid strategy; well, what that really meant, from my perspective, is that they had a data center, they were going to move at the cloud, they got halfway through because they were sold on a beautiful vision that didn't actually come to pass, and realized that, wow, some of these workloads are super hard to move, if ever, so we're going to give up, plant a flag, declare victory. And, “Yay, we're hybrid cloud now.” On some level, it feels like multi-cloud is aimed at that. In other cases, we see, “We're multi-cloud because one of our divisions is on Azure, and the other division is on GCP.” And those things all work for me. What doesn't work and has always driven me nuts has been this idea that I'm going to set out on day one to build something brand new—greenfield—and I want it to run seamlessly on every cloud provider. And I've yet to see something like that become successful. Am I just missing something?



Stu: Yeah, no. Corey, that's a fundamental question that we have about this whole Kubernetes space. So, I’ll relay what I've heard from customers. If I talk to a typical customer that running Kubernetes, one of the top reasons that they want it is that flexibility. 



Say, the typical customer that's running Kubernetes, they're on AWS. And you say to them, “Well, are you looking to run on other clouds?” And they say, “Well if I have to, I want to know that it's not going to be too hard for me to do that.” I think of it more like I want the eject lever in case the plane is going down. So, if Amazon gets difficult on pricing if there's something else I need, but I think we're mostly beyond the, “Oh hey, I'm going to wake up every day, and let me just look at what the pricing is out there, what services are out there, and I'll just move things around the cloud.” Data gravity is very difficult, skill sets are not necessarily transferable, and even if you're using a handful of services from one cloud, going to another cloud, it requires some translation to go from it. 



So, even using Kubernetes, I've talked to customers that have moved from a cloud to another cloud leveraging Kubernetes and can be done, but it is not trivial, it's not something like flipping a switch, it's not like the old days of [Emotion]. So, you're right, multi-cloud, the question I have is what are you solving for? If you want to have this layer there so that you can, if needed, make a change, I understand that. You have said are we, therefore, go to end with least-common-denominator cloud? I don't know that that's necessarily the case. You can still leverage services from a cloud, knowing that if you need to make a change that it's going to require changing, might not get all of the functionality. So, Corey, I understand some of the concerns and points you have about multi-cloud. The reality is most customers today are ending up with more than one cloud, and I don't see that changing.



Corey: Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. This gets into that same issue of people using different terms to mean different things. Where, for example, right now, I have all of my company email on GSuite, for a variety of reasons, not least of which being Google is freakin excellent at it. I use GitHub—or GifHub, depending upon pronunciation because, let's not get ourselves, I'm not ridiculous—and I use AWS for a lot of my serverless things because, well, they were sort of the first to market with one of the best offerings that integrates with everything else I do. 



Now, each of those is a very different workload, so I wouldn't consider myself multi-cloud in the sense that some vendors do, but others will look at that and say, “No, you definitely are multi-cloud.” But then I see statistics that talk around things like that being used to prop up these, “Oh, we're going to give you a single dashboard into all of your different cloud providers. Look at what percentage of companies are using multi-cloud. It's 90-something percent.” I don't need my AWS spend, or status, or metrics on the same dashboard as I use to admin GSuite email. That is ludicrous.



Stu: Yeah. So, if I can tease out [unintelligible], Corey, there's one thing—number one is, I think we tend to—you know, I gave you the disclaimer, my background is infrastructure, and we tend to look from the, “What is the platform that I'm building on and what am I doing?” Well, if I flip this and say, “What applications am I using?” Well, if I'm using lots of different SaaS services, I don't even think about what cloud most of them are running. We've got Salesforce, we're using GitHub, there's lots of different places they could live, and if that vendor makes a change, it shouldn't impact what I'm doing. 



Number two, there's a difference between saying, “I have a bunch of clouds that I'm using,” versus, “I have a good strategy on multi-cloud.” And then you bring up a really important one is, “What do I want to manage across these environments?” So, one of the things I said we're looking at is, what's the difference between multi-vendor of a decade ago and multi-cloud today? Corey, you've been around long enough. Remember, multi-vendor management, and does it give you cold sweats just thinking about the companies that came and went and tried to solve that problem? And it never worked well. So—



Corey: Oh, yeah. We wound up in a world full of finger-pointing, as vendors would each blame each other, and you wound up effectively having to go and yell at people on a consistent basis, just to get even the most baseline of errors debugged?



Stu: Yeah. When I think about, if you could get a tool that manages whatever device or software you're using, alone that was usually the good thing. Let alone, managing and changing everything on the way. So, management is obviously a big concern. Something I've been watching in the last year is all of these Kubernetes, multi-cluster managers, everything from what Google does with Anthos, and Azure Arc, Tanzu from VMware, and many others that are driving at this space. 



And I've been trying to dig in and understand whether we are going to repeat the sins of the past, or if we’ve learned from these, and will they truly be valuable? Because of my background and networking, when I talk to my peers there, the joke always one is, if you want a single pane of glass, we know that that pane is spelled P-A-I-N.



Corey: Oh, yes. A single control pane of glass is also something that people have always been talking about. You see this, too, with companies asking for, “Oh, I want a developer dashboard where I can go ahead and see just the things I care about, and not have all the extra cruft, and do the things that are currently difficult and annoying, and do that in a super streamlined way.” People want them even for single providers, and it's virtually impossible to come up with something that works outside of one company's use cases, let alone something that will do that, and then span multiple cloud providers. It's always a question of trade-offs, and people don't value good user experience the way that they claim they do when it comes down to write checks.



Stu: Yeah, Corey, and you bring up a good point. You talk about the developer world and the traditional enterprise world, it is still early days of those coming together. I've spent a bunch of time over the last few years really trying to understand those community needs more. We've been expanding our coverage in this space. You saw serverlessconf. 



Last year I was at AnsibleFest. My line I've used many times is, “Yes, I do have a closet full of hoodies that I’ve gotten at all these shows, but I don't try to fool anybody. I am not a developer.” But I believe I understand enough of those communities; I've read enough, I’ve talked to enough people, and taking what they are doing and driving in a company is something that big companies are still trying to get in line with and help move forward because really the objective of the day is for companies to be able to move fast and be more agile, and therefore they must work closer with their developer [unintelligible].



Corey: Absolutely. One of the biggest challenges that I'm seeing when I talk to people about this is the—I guess, how do you distill and consume all of the information that's being firehosed at you? You mentioned that you did—what was it—how many interviews last year?



Stu: About 470.



Corey: About 470. Each one of those more or less with a different company. We'll round it and say 450 different companies talking about things at a bunch of different events. And of course, theCUBE is larger than just you, unless you eat, sleep, and basically die in airplanes. And having met several of your team, I can attest the fact that node is not just you; sorry, to burst your magic bubble on that. 



But how do you consume all of the different stories, all of the different narratives where everyone's vying for attention? It feels like it is a full-time job, and then some, to keep up with all of the products in this space and then come out with something that works for your use case, without, ideally, selling your soul to a particular vendor.



Stu: Absolutely, Corey. That is super difficult. Number one is trying to have a general understanding of some topics, let alone a little bit of depth. Absolutely, I am definitely broader than I am deeper on most technologies. There are certain ones that I've got plenty of background and history on, but there's many things that I'm learning about it through doing the interviews. And that kind of journey, I find there's usually a good appetite for. 



So, yes, there's people that are trying to learn the 300 or 400 level on it, but there are way more people that can always use that 101 guide. From interviewing a person or company for the tenth or twelfth time, I'm usually going to be quite a bit deeper than the first time I'm learning about some wonderful cloud-native, networking, long-distance solution. But there is work that I do to get ready for it. You're absolutely right that it can be complete, overwhelming firehose of information at many shows. Especially, you know, take something like the Amazon ecosystem. 



What was really just eye-opening to me is you get access to some of the smartest people in the industry. When I talked to James Hamilton, I talked with Adrian Cockcroft at the Amazon show, and you ask them a question about something at that show, and they're like, “I have no idea what that is.” And you're like, “Oh, good. If these people, other than Andy Jassy maybe, has visibility into everything and knows enough about it, and probably one or two, and you know way more about these things than the average bear, too.”



Corey: Well, I ran into the same problem. I long ago figured out the only way to credibility is exactly what you just said. Is to be one of those senior people who, when you're asked about something you're not familiar with, don't fake it because it becomes super obvious and doesn't look good. Now, on some level, you have to do the work. If someone asked me what my thoughts are about Kubernetes. And my response is, “What's that?” In 2020, that's not a great look for me keeping up with the entire ebb and flow of the ecosystem around us. 



Instead, I have to do at least a baseline level of work. But when someone comes up with something that I haven't heard of, I find that saying, “Oh, what is that?” is the right answer. And honestly, only a complete jerk or someone with something to hide is going to pull a, “You haven't heard of Dingus X? Oh, you must be an idiot.” That's never true. There's always more stuff to pay attention to than any of us can keep up with. 



What I look for when I'm having these conversations with different folks—and I imagine you, too, given the sheer volume of them—is recurring themes. The first time you hear about Istio, or Envoy, or one of the other various service mesh, you can dismiss it. But once you start hearing the terms again and again and again, you realize at some point, “Okay, there's something here, and I need to do a dive into what that might be.” At least that's how I operate. Is that similar to you?



Stu: It is similar, Corey, and it is challenging because since last year I did about 25 shows. There's certain shows that I've done for years, and therefore don't need to do a ton of prep, and there's others where—Kubernetes one, I think, for example, but there's a couple of hundred vendors there, and there are so many open-source projects that there's no way you're going to keep up on it. So, there's the areas where I spend more time on it, there's areas where I understand I'm going to stay pretty high level on [a thing]. I'm not going to become a Java expert out there. It's just not my thing, and there are other analysts out there that are always going to know more about it. So, I really liked what I heard at, like, the Microsoft show last year is I really want to be somebody that is in a constant state of learning because we don't like people that think that they are know-it-alls. I know enough in my career to know that I know nothing.



Corey: So, as you look across the ecosystem, I mean, obviously we're now in a surprise pandemic for the year, at least, where suddenly people aren't doing conferences and even once we start to see the restrictions relax, it feels like there are very few conferences that are worth risking death to attend. So, I don't imagine that it's going to go back to normal for another year or two. Are you seeing the narratives change as people are moving towards webinars, webcasts, on-demand events, difference in conversations where people are maybe emboldened, now that they're having a conversation when they're not standing close enough to get slapped by someone, or is it more or less returning to a business as usual story?



Stu: It's still pretty early, Corey. So, one of the challenges right now is every week, the narrative changes, some. So, I've seen some large companies that really put a freeze on things, they focused on essential businesses, they're helping their customers, everybody in IT, I'm sure, helps out some essential businesses, whether that be medical specifically, or all of the underlying infrastructure pieces that go. Some companies are relatively fast returning to business as usual. They're doing the product launches, they're beating the drum how they're the best thing ever, and ended up leader in some analyst’s report. So, you're slowly seeing a little bit of change for some, but not necessarily for others.



Corey: For the record, I do want to point out that we're recording this on April 27th, which is—I have a bit of a backlog, so it'll be a bit before the show airs. And given how quickly that whole chain of events is unfolding, I want to make sure that people aren't sitting there listening. “Wow, they didn't talk about the giant meteor at all.” Yeah, exactly. We never know what each one of these progressively worse-feeling weeks is going to have in store. So, as of right now, that is the state of things.



Stu: Yeah.



Corey: Three months from now, when you say these are early days, I just want to make sure people aren't blaming you, but rather my slow-ass production process.



Stu: Yeah, Corey. Thank you for making that disclaimer. That's a really good point. It is really hard to believe that, yeah, as you said we're sitting here at the end of April, two months ago, I was on a family trip outside the country. The joke we have is that there used to be the line, “I’m disappointed how much changed in the year but amazed what happened a decade.” And boy, March 2020 was an insane decade. And we'll all remember that month, to be sure.



Corey: Oh, yeah. Like, to peek behind the scenes a bit of this podcast, I wound up with at one point having a one more week ready to go and nothing else, and my podcast production team was screaming at me. So, I sort of overshot and now have a bunch of items in the hopper. That usually all well and good because we talk about broader themes. We're not talking about last week's news on this podcast, but an awful lot of these were recorded before shelter in place and social distancing. So, relistening to some of these things, we sound like ridiculous Pollyanna types, where it's, “Oh, yeah, we're looking forward to a great conference season.” Yeah, not so much as it turns out.



Stu: Oh, yeah. Trust me, Corey. We had a product launch we did and got lots of people online. “Why do you have two people sitting next to each other?” It's like, “Because it was recorded three weeks ago.” 



And absolutely, we're doing 100 percent of our interviews remote right now, watching and listening to all the governors talk about when social distancing will be changed. But I'm not ready to make any statements about what the long term viability of conferences are for 2021. You know, sitting here at the end of April, yeah, I wouldn't be shocked if I'm not at a conference in 2020 and, as somebody that goes to a lot of them, boy, we're watching at the ripple effects of this.



Corey: Absolutely. And these things are moving super quickly. Now, it's one of those great—I always tend to avoid video because one, it's expensive and difficult to get right, and I don't believe in doing things in a crappy, mediocre way if I can avoid them, so whenever I did video, it was always, “Oh, great. I'll have a team of people who actually know what they're doing, and I stand here and look great.” Now I'm forced to learn how all of these things work, and, whew, there's a lot that goes into it. It definitely makes me rethink my choice not to participate in A.V. club back in school.



Stu: [laughs]. Absolutely. But Corey one other thing, you talked about change here. How much will the current global situation stop certain projects, or accelerate certain projects? I’ve seen certain parts of the world that might have been a little bit slow on adoption of public cloud, and now they're saying, “Well, hey, I can't go touch my gear, really, we need to spin these things up in the Cloud.” 



I'm curious to hear the operators of the hyperscalers what's really going on inside there. Here in the US, we hear what happened in some of the large meat-producing companies; there's concerns about the supply chain. I haven't heard much about—you think about how many servers the Amazons, Googles, and Microsofts of the world spin up on an average week, and they still seem to be clicking on all cylinders, and moving forward.



Corey: Yeah, it really is interesting, on some level you feel for some of the product and service teams are expecting a big reveal at various events and looking forward to getting out and telling these stories, and now it's, “Nope, nope, nope, just kidding. You get a blog post.” That does definitely sting, but on the other hand, it feels like if you go down the list of all the inconveniences this situations having for everyone, that is so far down the list, it's almost not worth mentioning about, except it really does reflect the culmination of 18 months of work for a lot of people.



Stu: Yeah, I guess my point was that the person that's still expected to open up the new data center and keep capacity growing because the Cloud is always auto-scaling, and all of these new companies that meet online are concerned less about that new feature, but we're about, “Wait are we going to have some outage in the Cloud that’s going to be related to COVID-19?”



Corey: Wh0o, boy. Yeah, or failure to invest appropriately a few years ago. For example, we saw the Azure capacity constraints. I looked through Microsoft's old security filings and identified risk factors I never saw, “People might take us seriously when we say we have a hyperscale cloud and try to use it that way,” as being identified as a risk, but here we are. On the plus side, they do get to say they have the most regions. On the other side, it looks like each region is a couple of racks in some random data center, and oops, it's full.



Stu: Wait, I can't have a cluster with a single node, Corey? Is that what you're saying?



Corey: Well, that’s what virtualization is for.



Stu: [laughs]. Fair enough.



Corey: So, if people want to learn more about who you are, what you do, and the various other things you have to say—some brilliant, some insipid—where can they find you?



Stu: All right, Corey. First of all, the Twitter is still a good place. It has not completely imploded in 2020, at the recording of this interview. I think Corey, do I have the best Twitter handle of any guest you have? Because it's just S-T-U, my name?



Corey: Well, that is a terrific Twitter handle, but if, and only if your name is in fact, Stu. Otherwise, it really doesn't fit.



Stu: Yeah, it was funny, I actually—one of the only times I’ve really trended on Twitter with, I think I had 10,000 likes, and all these responses, the person that owns @stuart and myself had a Twitter conversation, and it seems both of us would have originally preferred to have the other handle, just something about the way Twitter handled it, and the like. So, that was a funny one. So, Stu is my Twitter handle. theCUBE.net is the website for where we do everything with the video. And if you hit one of those sites, you can find much more about me. My bio is [unintelligible].



Corey: Excellent, Stu, thanks again for taking the time to speak with me. I appreciate it. I'm sorry, we couldn't do it in front of a camera like we normally do.



Stu: Yeah, Corey, hope to see you again in person in the not too distant future. And yeah, please stay safe.



Corey: Stu Miniman, senior analyst and host of theCUBE. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on Apple Podcasts, and if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on Apple Podcasts and a ten- to fifteen-minute video of you debating exactly what I got wrong.



Announcer: This has been this week’s episode of Screaming in the Cloud. You can also find more Corey at ScreamingintheCloud.com, or wherever fine snark is sold.



This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.
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