Supermarket Circulars in Vegas

The IBM Rational user conference formerly known as Innovate was folded into a new IBM conference this year called InterConnect. During the last week of February customers and IBMers descended upon Las Vegas. We weren’t there to talk about connecting hi-fi components, like turntables to amplifiers (those sorts of interconnects, remember?), but about software and hardware and business and all the sorts of things IBM is into.

This was your author’s first Las Vegas experience. Way back when, Las Vegas was a thing to study and consider in the abstract, the “architecture of disruption.” Needless to say, nothing quite prepared for the thing itself. Navigating the conference hotels and weaving through the Vegas strip was like trying to play Twister on a constantly changing supermarket circular. (Yeah, I know that makes no sense, but it illustrates my point.)

This year I spoke on Performance, Monitoring, and Capacity Planning for the Rational CLM Solution. The discussion highlighted performance updates delivered to the CLM products across the last few releases, and then moved on to a topic which I’ve been talking about in various contexts for quite some time. Customers use products and they want to be happy. If they use the products, that generally means that there will be a gradually increasing population with a gradually increasing amount of assets. As usage increases, capacity can dwindle, and sometimes performance suffers as a result. To address capacity planning, you must understand current usage and behavior which requires monitoring the system at hand. In essence, ensuring a top-quality performance experience requires monitoring.

There was a detour to talk about our CLM Sizing Strategy which I’ve pointed to here before and which took a long time to document (primarily because it contains a well-researched list of caveats and details on why sizing can be so difficult), but I’m pleased how it finally came together.

Discussing product improvements and fixes is important, as it shows our commitment to releasing excellent products and when we don’t get it quite right the first time, our ability to react and improve. We’re also encouraging customers tackle performance in a proactive way, by understanding existing system behavior and noting how a complex system changes over time.

See you next year? Well, more on that fairly soon. I admit there’s a certain sense of satisfaction to having “survived” Vegas’ absurd scale, disorienting patterns, and intentional obfuscation. Yeah, I’ll try it again if asked.