We are excited to announce that on September 12th, 2014, we will be migrating the CTO blog to a new version of the blogging platform.
Paul Strong

Paul Strong

VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field

Biography

Paul Strong helps lead VMware's Office of the CTO. Paul is a recognized leader within the IT industry and is a regular keynote speaker and author of articles on the subjects of Clouds, IT transformation and business transformation. Before joining VMware, he served as a Distinguished Research Scientist at eBay where he was responsible for eBay's research into large distributed systems and how to manage them. Prior to eBay, Paul architected and developed various software systems, including Sun's Solaris Containers, large scale B2B eCommerce systems, and large, distributed command and control systems. He sat on the board of directors of the Open Grid Forum (OGF), and was chairman of that organization from 2006-2008. Paul also sits on the technology advisory boards of a number of small startups, mature businesses, and government-funded consortia. Paul holds a bachelors degree in Physics from the University of Manchester, in England.

In his role in VMware's Office of the CTO (OCTO), Paul helps lead a global team whose charter is to drive thought leadership and accelerate technology innovation with a focus on business outcomes. VMware's OCTO works in collaboration with VMware customers and partners as well as leading academic institutions on projects designed to solve customer problems while advancing VMware's long-term strategy and product-development roadmaps. The OCTO focuses on encouraging and surfacing breakthrough ideas, and then executes by assembling the right people at the right time to realize the full potential and value of those ideas. OCTO programs and activities include everything from hackathons to long-term incubated technology projects to direct consultancy with product units, partners and customers on new technologies.

Posts by Paul Strong

Paul Strong

Better Together – Containers are a Natural Part of the Software-Defined Data Center

August 25, 2014
By
Better Together – Containers are a Natural Part of the Software-Defined Data Center

Today is the first day of VMworld 2014! There’s a lot to be excited about this year, but for me, it is our work around containers that particularly engages me. And it engages me for two very specific reasons. Firstly, containers are very dear to my heart. I worked on Solaris Containers since their inception in 2000, during my tenure at Sun Microsystems. I’ve been working on these abstractions and constructs, and the technology and business problems they allow us to solve, for a very long time! Secondly, and much more importantly, it reinforces and enables us to execute on VMware’s primary purpose: to enable our customers to deliver and consume their enterprise applications. Our joint collaborations with Docker, Google and Pivotal...

Read more

Paul Strong

Virtual Crystal Ball Gazing

December 12, 2013
By

It’s that time of year again!  Time to start wrapping up the current year, along with the gifts, and begin to think about the next year in earnest.   Such exercises are of course risky, but also fun.  And in truth, this is a useful forcing function.  Maintaining a perspective and driving strategic technology decisions are the stock in trade for CTOs.  So without further ado… When I look back, 2013 has been another exciting and extremely interesting year, both at VMware and in the IT industry.  Long-term technology trends, and the business trends they enable and reflect, are panning out in interesting ways. And disruption is the name of the game.  Disruption in terms of technology and also disruption in business models that...

Read more

Paul Strong

Staying Connected – The VMware CTO Ambassadors

December 5, 2013
By
Staying Connected – The VMware CTO Ambassadors

One challenge facing technology companies is how to enable product architects and engineers to stay connected with their customers. It’s with strong customer connections that these architects and engineers can act as trusted advisors and help guide customers on their technology journey – addressing IT needs today and anticipating future trends and requirements. Staying connected with our customers is a top priority for VMware, and is the purpose of the VMware CTO Ambassadors program, run by our Office of the CTO.  VMware’s CTO Ambassadors are a small group of our most experienced and talented customer-facing technologists, including pre-sales systems engineers, technical account managers, professional services consultants and architects, and global support services engineers.  Not only do our ambassadors use our products, but they also help...

Read more

Paul Strong

It’s All About The Applications

August 26, 2013
By

These are exciting times for those of us with a passion for infrastructure.  The unstoppable tide of virtualization, having covered servers, is now crashing over networking and storage as we continue towards a fully automated data center. With all of these developments in infrastructure, it’s very easy to lose sight of the purpose of that infrastructure – to run applications! But running applications can be challenging.  Why challenging? Well, each application has to be purchased or written, architected, integrated and tested. And if it’s business critical, the application will be tested again and again. Then it needs to be installed, monitored, managed, and regularly archived.  You need to regularly test the backups to make sure they are readable.  Disaster recovery plans are also needed.  And if...

Read more

Paul Strong

IT as a strategic weapon, rather than a necessary evil

November 29, 2012
By
IT as a strategic weapon, rather than a necessary evil

When Joe Baguley joined the VMware Office of the CTO in 2011, we knew he would be fantastic at connecting the VMware R&D organization with its customers and partners in EMEA – to share VMware’s vision and strategy, and to relay customer feedback back to R&D in order to continue to innovate and improve our products. Since then, Joe has helped many of our customers advance on their journey to the cloud and act as a key resource for VMware R&D. I’m pleased to announce that Joe was named one of the UK’s top 50 most influential people in IT by Computer Weekly (a leading technology publication in the UK) last week, joining distinguished CEOs, government ministers, heads of design at Apple and...

Read more

Paul Strong

Software-Defined Datacenters, Clouds & PuppetConf 2012

October 8, 2012
By

Just over a week ago I had the pleasure of speaking at PuppetConf 2012 .  PuppetConf is a great conference focused, somewhat unsurprisingly, around Puppet , a declarative, model driven framework for automating systems and IT management.  The conference brings together a community of pretty hard core systems admins from the DevOps world and beyond.  Automated management is clearly a key ingredient in building software-defined datacenters  and Clouds, and something that we, at VMware, have more than a passing interest in. Preparing for it made me think.  A lot!  I was after a prism of simplicity, if you will.  A way of capturing the Cloud and software-defined datacenter concepts in a simple way, that allowed one to understand...

Read more

Paul Strong

The Millennial Committee & The Consumerization Of Enterprise IT

May 22, 2012
By

I am lucky enough to spend a lot of my time meeting customers, talking to them, listening to them and learning from them.  On a recent trip to Turkey I had the opportunity to chat with a number of CIOs and other technology leaders about the trends shaping enterprise IT today.  Of course you can’t really have such a conversation without mentioning Cloud, but Cloud is only a part of the bigger picture… What has struck me over the last few years is the consumerization of enterprise IT as a whole.  We often think about the adoption of consumer technology within the enterprise, especially smart phones, tablets, and even the x86 architecture itself.   But what we perhaps tend to think less about is...

Read more

Paul Strong

Deciding How or Where To Source/Host Applications

March 8, 2012
By
Deciding How or Where To Source/Host Applications

The previous post is intended as a starting point for a discussion about where the real value, not just the cost, is in IT for organizations.  Ultimately it is the organization that has to decide, but IT can now think about a roadmap for how and where to source IT services, and how it transforms itself into a value center.   The diagram below shows one approach to working out the desired end point for any given application or service.  It requires that a small number of critical questions be answered by the enterprise.   As a prerequisite the organization must be clear about its core mission(s) and how/if it seeks to differentiate itself?   Then for each application or IT service that the...

Read more

Paul Strong

Destination Cloud! Where The Value Lies

February 27, 2012
By

My last post was one in a series that looks at Cloud, both in terms of technology evolution and also in terms of a business model that is highly disruptive.  However I left questions about the road ahead unanswered.  Such questions are almost always addressed in terms of technology adoption roadmaps.  This clearly has great value, but risks missing the purpose of going Cloudy, i.e. to enable organizations to be more productive, efficient and agile; to be more competitive; to focus on their core differentiating value and/or executing on their mission.  What we tend to overlook is a discussion around how to decide which IT services (and thus which business processes) to source where, when, and why.  Defining such a strategic technology roadmap requires...

Read more

Paul Strong

Cloud Changes Everything, Part 5 – The Perfect Storm

October 21, 2010
By

  Timing is everything.  As an industry we have been talking for at least a decade about enabling service driven utilities, and about the organizational and process changes, and automation technologies that will make this real.  We are ten years into a long journey.  But a journey that continues to yield incremental benefits every step of the way, every year.  Now we have reached an inflection point.  At VMworld during Paul Maritz’s keynote a graph was displayed showing one aspect of this inflection point, specifically a graph that shows a year-by-year comparison of the number of physical machines versus virtual machines provisioned.  2009 was the first year in which the number of virtual machines provisioned outstripped the number of physical machines. This is but...

Read more