Friday, February 16, 2018

A glimpse back at the Bitnami All-Hands 2018

Authored by Miranda Carter, Marketing Manager (previously Operations Manager)

On an average day at Bitnami, we work with teammates from over 10 counties and 19 time zones. With all geographical hurdles aside, we are still able to collaborate and share in a company wide culture that is filled with some of the most talented people in the industry.

Once a year, we bring this amazing team together to make our bonds even stronger and our goals even tighter. The Bitnami All-hands is something that each Bitnami employee looks forward to because it provides the extra spark that ignites a year’s worth of passion towards our company goals, and creates memories, pictures, and inside jokes that continuously get brought up in Slack conversations throughout the year.

This year, we started our All-hands with one of my favorite things, the ice breaker, which let’s each of us meet the new faces in the room and kick off the week with a little fun. This year we did an activity called the “egg-breaker”, where each group had to create a structure for their egg that would protect it from a series of tests (like throwing it on the ground...hard). Not one group’s egg survived, so the activity reminded us that we should all stick to packaging apps instead of packaging eggs.

Once we got our giggles out, it was straight to business as we started a series of employee lead session and talks that were curated by internal request that we had gathered from employees a few weeks before. Some of my favorite sessions included:
  • Product,People, and Profit
  • Kubernetes Roadmap 
  • Ecosytem Whiteboarding 
  • Ask the Founders AMA
  • Bitnami Value Awards
One thing that has always amazed me about the Bitnami All-hands is the amount of curiosity that fills the room throughout each presentation. Even during our optional presentations, the room is filled with employees from all different departments and roles, who are truly engaged in whatever the session is about.

The company does a great job of keeping everyone up-to-date on company objectives throughout the year during our bi-monthly demo meetings, but the All-hands is where they take it to the next level. Each executive presents the good, bad, and the ugly of the previous year, and then reveals the 2018 objectives that they expect to hit for the following year for their department.

These type of presentations might sound boring to you, but this is the exact type of content that makes a Bitnami employee want to jump out of their seat to “Make it so”!

After all the presentations were said and done, we hopped on a bus to Sintra, Portugal for a fun (no work) weekend away. We had a blast doing a scavenger hunt at Quinta da Regaleira, exploring the many twists and turns of the Sintra Castle, and had an amazing party with a live band on Saturday night.

Following the weekend away, our engineering team continued the momentum of the All-hands with an engineering sprint and a continuation of round table discussions about what’s next for our projects like Kubeless. They even finished our new website design, have you checked it out yet? 

I’d say this year’s All-Hands was extremely successful, and gave us all the momentum that we needed to kick 2018 off the right way. We’ve got the clear goals and the cross-team commitments it will take to execute! We can’t wait to show you all what we are working on. Stay tuned for some big announcements this week!

If you are interested in joining this amazing team and working with the latest technologies, check out our open roles here!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Meet the Team: Matt Small

The Bitnami team is a diverse group of talented people distributed all over the world. Get to know them better through this series of blog posts.

Matt is the Head of Customer Success, and lives and works in Bend, Oregon. He calls himself a “Cloudie.”

A Brief Bio

I’ve always been fascinated by technology; less so about having to build it myself and more so about figuring out how it solves real challenges for the business. In the past 10 years, cloud computing has become an all-encompassing focus for me--since cloud-years are like dog-years, that’s more like 70 years. I got my head stuck in the clouds during Amazon Web Services’ infancy as an early employee at RightScale, a leading Cloud Management Platform, and I was fortunate in my timing and proximity to cloud computing luminaries. Since then I’ve made it my goal to not just understand the nuts and bolts technology, but to figure out its most transformative uses. I’ve personally helped hundreds of IT organizations with their digital transformation and cloud journeys; assisting them in breaking down cultural barriers, adopting new tools, and managing their infrastructure investments across public and private cloud and container platforms.

The opportunities I’ve had to speak with startups, enterprises, service providers, cloud and software vendors, about the positive and negative impacts that “cloud” has had on their business has left me with a deep understanding of how hard but worthwhile this type of disruptive adoption can be. I have found great personal satisfaction in helping others successfully navigate and manage those disruptions. I’m joining Bitnami to help them establish new foundations for success in the Enterprise with Stacksmith, an opportunity that affords me great personal and professional growth.

I’m also a huge fan of remote working and call the beautiful city of Bend, Oregon my home and office--I call myself a “Cloudie.” To me, cloud computing has forever shifted the landscape of remote work. I’m very happy to be a part of a team with a solid remote culture, that values knowledge and talent wherever in the world it’s found.

Why you joined Bitnami and what excites you about working here?

Initially I was most excited to join the team and work with their founders. I had been following Bitnami for many years as they moved from local installers, to cloud images, to multi-tier orchestration, to containers. I watched Erica and Daniel place certain bets and avoid others in a rapidly changing landscape. They face disruption with eyes wide open, even if that means some disruption to their own business. They never seemed content to rest on their laurels, even if those laurels have helped them build a well-funded and profitable company. I valued the opportunity to work with them and within a comfortable, friendly sister-culture to RightScale.

But now, HOLY CRAP is there a lot more to get excited about at Bitnami!

Stacksmith, my Bitnami baby, is not just a simple tool that builds images for clouds and containers; it’s fundamentally redefining what an “application package” is and should contain--images, services and deployment instructions. It’s next and final step in a DevOps transformation, providing line of business and application owners (Dev) control over their application updates and versioning, while still deferring the best practices and corporate standards for their architecture to IT (Ops). Somehow (hit me up for a demo and I’ll show you) it manages to do this with an accessible approach that resonates with one of Bitnami’s core values, Value Simplicity. It meets people where they are in their cloud maturity and integrates with a broad landscape of popular tooling and practices. Being able to show how impactful this can be in 10 minutes or less is super exciting. Hearing someone tell me we’ve positively changed their entire philosophical outlook on how applications should be packaged and moved through the pipeline in 30 minutes or less is mind-blowing.

After participating in my first Bitnami Global All Hands in Sevilla, Spain, I left that whirlwind week thoroughly impressed with the caliber of people that Bitnami hires. It was clear to me that it was a passion for cloud and container technology and more so the passion to help others succeed with it, that was the thread that bound this, ridiculously smart, highly distributed and multi-cultural team together. Whether it’s implementing tools to help users find a support doc before they knew they needed it or offering to help their new Head of Customer Success figure out how to set up a minikube cluster and use Helm charts, this team is ready to MAKE IT SO.

What are you working on?

Everything Stacksmith! Applications are eating the world and Stacksmith packages them. To find out more, you’re just going to have to talk to me.

What do you like to do for fun?

I enjoy spending time with my wife and two young boys no matter what we’re doing. I love to eat delicious food, though I’m not much of a chef myself. I really like to ski and you can often find me on Mt. Bachelor on the weekends during the wintertime (look in the trees). During the warmer months you may find me enjoying some of Bend’s fine weather on the Deschutes River or a nearby lake and the even finer beer (Bend has the highest number of breweries per capita in the USA).

Interested in working with Bitnami and Matt? Apply for one of our open positions!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

How Replatforming Legacy Applications Fits in with Modern DevOps Practices

Authored by Matt Small, Head of Customer Success

DevOps is a loaded term. Some would tell you that unless you are completely re-architecting your applications and continuously deploying production microservices to your private PaaS 100 times per day, you are not doing “DevOps”. However in essence, DevOps is about creating a culture of cooperation between Developers and the Operations team, and reducing the gap between the development process and any operational issues of software running in production, Technology plays a role: automation tools should be used to accelerate and scale repeatable processes and reduce the frequency and possibilities for human error; monitoring of the application and infrastructure should be leveraged to create a feedback loop; and source control and chat tools form a common foundation for humans and machines to collaborate.

A problem arises when you look at enterprise applications in the datacenter that were not developed with these cultural and technological ideals in mind. These legacy applications are likely foundational to the business, but so is the need to modernize and move forward with cloud and container migrations. Enterprises are led to believe that they will either have to leave these applications behind (either technologically, by leaving them in the datacenter, or culturally by performing a simple lift-and-shift to a commensurate IaaS platform), or undertake costly application re-architecture projects. Fortunately, there is a DevOps Middle Way: replatform those applications by packaging your existing code with cloud native best practices.

Replatforming legacy applications allows you to modernize the infrastructure. Continuing to use your application code on a modern cloud platform means you get the benefits of rapid provisioning and scaling of resources, and op-ex run rates over cap-ex guesses. You can finally get yourself out of the datacenter business.

Unfortunately, replatforming typically requires some level of application code change, so enterprises are left with a lingering questions: what are these “best practices” that we need to adopt to conform to our cloud or container platform of choice, and how do they impact our application code (how and where do I have to change my source code)?

Bitnami is developing a better approach to replatforming that answers these questions. It incorporates our deep experience in packaging applications and deploying hundreds of stacks across all the major public and private cloud and container platforms. This tool understands and interprets the requirements and best practices needed to make the best use of the target platform, allowing you to re-platform your application without having to make underlying code changes and without having any deep knowledge of the platform you are packaging the application for.

Cloud topologies differ from the datacenter, and Bitnami’s tool guides the adoption of crucial capabilities such as persistent volume storage, highly available Database-a-a-Service offerings and secure virtual private cloud networking to ensure applications can be successfully re-platformed. You can readily extend these capabilities to use other cloud-native features and Platform-as-a-Service features as you require--Bitnami places no limitations on what services you use or how, and we don’t abstract you away from the underlying innovations coming from those providers.

Bitnami also packages our best practices on how to run different frameworks in the cloud. For example, one of our reference architectures for Java configures Tomcat to use the JNDI connection pool for MySQL out-of-the box, making your application a lot more resource efficient and less likely to hit connection limits. Of course, everything is customizable so you can implement your own enterprise best practices and application requirements.

This new tool will make it possible to wrap an application written a decade or more ago in a set of scripts that both Dev and Ops can understand, collaborate on, and extend the functionality of. Culturally, you will be adopting an application-centric view of infrastructure. By investing in defining your application explicitly--where the code is, what dependencies it has, and how it’s meant to be started--you are taking one of the most important steps toward modernizing your deployment, a key pillar of DevOps practices.

Taking the first step by using Bitnami to package your code with our cloud- and container-optimized best practices will help you migrate quickly and begin enjoying the benefits of the cloud or container service. Congratulations, you’re now doing operations through development--DevOps!

Let Bitnami empower your successful cloud migration. Our new replatforming tool will be available soon. If you are interested in finding out more, let us know at and we’ll be happy to schedule a demo.