PowerCLI - What Will the Future Hold?

This is just a small rant on my part, so forgive me if it comes over the wrong way.

Carter Shanklin left the PowerCLI team about at the end of April 2010. For those of you who do not know, Carter was (and still is) the PowerCLI guru. It was his project for a long time. It has evolved into a great automation tool that I use every single day. I really do not know hat I would do without it.

Since Carter left to move onto SpringSource, I have wondered what will be with this product. I am not saying that PowerCLI  is and was only a one man show (G-d help us all if this was the case), but each product has their PM and the one that "Evangelizes" it to the World.

Since April - I have repeatedly tried to find who is that Evangelist. I have not yet received an answer.

What is the effect of this you may ask? This is how I see it.

  1. From the content catalog from the upcoming VMworld there are only two PowerCLI sessions . None are being given by VMware Employees.

    Automate Application Deployments to vCloud Express
    PowerCLI Is For Administrators

    If I recall the PowerCLI sessions were one of the most popular and requested sessions at last years VMworld.

    Don't get me wrong. I do not know the presenter of the 1st session but the second is being given by Alan Renouf and Luc Dekens, both PowerCLI masters in their own right. So I am sure that they will both be great sessions.
  2. The PowerCLI Community. I cannot remember the last time I saw a VMware employee post an answer / solution to a problem that someone asked. Luc does not really give anyone else a
    chance Smile, but still. There are bug fixes that need to be taken care of, improvements, new things that need to be added.
  3. The PowerCLI Blog - When was the last post ? March 4, 2010! If I were to have taken a 3 month Hiatus - people would lose interest in my blog, and why should this be any different for PowerCLI.
  4. I have had some questions regarding PowerCLI and an upcoming release - which I cannot really go into, but no answers to those questions either.
  5. Thanks to the dedication of all those in the PowerCLI community - and I apologize for for not naming you all - the product keeps running, and evolving. More and more things can be automated, making the lives of us vAdmins a lot easier.

My final request for this post goes to VMware. If you have not already got a replacement for Carter, get one.. Now! If you already have a replacement  - she/he needs to become more public and verbal. More blog posts, more announcements, more participation in the communities. In short Evangelize.

It would be a shame to let this product lose its momentum.

<End Rant>


Carter Shanklin said...

Hi Maish,

I'm glad you love PowerCLI, I love it too and use it all the time. I agree that a product like this needs an evangelist because it's not obvious how it should really be used. We don't have a person like that yet but let's continue to hope for the best on that front. I do want to address a few points.

1) PowerCLI 4.1 is coming out really soon and has some features that are going to blow you away.
2) Before I moved to SpringSource, the dev team and I hashed out a one year feature roadmap. A lot of important stuff will be coming on line. Things like Distributed Switches. Things like better profiling for dealing with large environments. There's a lot of good stuff coming and the team will continue to deliver it.
3) The dev team is on the forum, watching. In fact they all take turns watching the forums and filing bugs on problems that are reported there. So you're not being ignored. I think the level of engagement should be higher and hopefully this will encourage them to be a bit more vocal in the forums. But if you have a problem, if you find a bug, point it out, it won't be ignored.

And let's not overlook the real heroes here, the PowerCLI dev, QA and doc teams. You may not know their names, but they are the reason that PowerCLI makes it so easy to do such hard things. Evangelism is easy when you've got a great product that fills a burning need. They deserve most of the credit.

-- Carter Shanklin

Maish said...

Thanks for the clarification Carter.
I apologize - you are correct - I did forget to mention the Dev, QA and Doc teams. Perhaps I am used to having a prominent PowerCLI figure help out and visible on the Forums.
I am looking forward to the new release.

Duncan said...

I don't get it Maish,

How many PMs do you actually see on twitter or the community forums? Could you name 5? The fact is that Carter is kind of an outcast if you look at it that way. A PM has many responsibilities and being a PM for any product is very demanding and I can personally fully understand that they don't spent hrs per day on Twitter or what ever. There are other ways of getting your community info.

I don't see the impact as much as you see it. Powershell is here to stay and as such PowerCLI is just an extension to your virtual platform and a logical next step. A product like this needs to be jumpstarted but will live on and grow no matter what.