I had the honor last week of chatting with William Hurley, CTO of Qlusters, the open source data management outfit.
The headline was that its openQRM project would deliver plug-in support for all the major virtualization projects -- Xen, VMWare, QEMU, VServer -- whatever.
For enterprises this is good news. It makes it easier to use virtualization, and gives them a choice among schemes. It's also good for openQRM. It expands their market, and should bring more enterprises (and programmers) in to help out.
"Someone said I'm out to commoditize system management," he said. "Maybe that needs to happen. It's made the market bigger, and given more people more access to technology. But to me it's all about user-driven innovation.
"You want to boot Windows? You can use VMWare or QRM. I'm not the virtualization tool creator. I'm a system management platform. I can manage whatever you have."
After we got the PR out of the way, however, Hurley addressed something I've been thinking about a lot. That is, the instinct of programmers to rest on their laurels, and to move incrementally rather than take big risks.
That's a big mistake, he said. "Over time three rules of business still apply - better, faster, cheaper. If you are a programmer, read Dan Pink's book, A Whole New Mind. It has all the rebuttal you need. He says we moved from an industrial age to to one of knowledge workers, and we're moving into a conceptual age. He gives great examples."
"What developers need to realize is you can't sit on your laurels. If you just write the same thing you'll be commoditized.
"The goal should be to eliminate complexity. If you're part of the complexity you get eliminated."
Are you part of the complexity? Hurley says Qlusters isn't.