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The Story of Project Sputnik - Client to cloud solution


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Project Sputnik was born of the idea to create an Ubuntu based laptop targeted specifically at developers. The project, which was made possible by an internal incubation fund, became a real product by the end of 2012.

The deck covers how thanks to the power of the community, this concept went from project to product in a little over 6 months. It also talks about the two key software projects tied to the effort, the Cloud Launcher and the Profile tool. -- Presented at OSCON on 7/24/13

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The Story of Project Sputnik - Client to cloud solution

  1. 1. Connecting the client to the cloud – The Sputnik Story Barton George Director, Developer Programs Michael Cote Director, Software Strategy OSCON July 24, 2013
  2. 2. The Sputnik Journey Thank You!
  3. 3. Developers are a big deal Source: IDC: It Cloud Services At The Crossroads (Stephen Hendrick, Robert Mahowald, Malanie Posey), April 2013, doc #240572 85% of net new software built in 2013 will be built for cloud delivery - IDC
  4. 4. So why don’t more large companies engage with Developers? Large company developer programs
  5. 5. Enter
  6. 6. An awesome but “impractical” idea
  7. 7. An awesome but “impractical” idea Dell Innovation Fund
  8. 8. Project Sputnik goals Gain traction with Developers: key in web, cloud, IT in general • How: Involve developer community to guide product development • How: Work with Canonical, OpsCode and The Frontside • Why: Elevate conversations above infrastructure • Why: Add sizzle to client line, change perceptions • Why: New accounts, additional HW/SW/services
  9. 9. The Concept Phase (will we embarrass ourselves?) • March 15 Approved by Dell incubation team • Apr 6-10 Feedback from select alpha developers • April 16-20 Customer visits to get feedback • April 20- May 7 Getting ready to go public
  10. 10. The Pilot Phase (get feedback and validate) • May 7 Project announced via blog and at UDS Unique visitors to We struck a nerve!
  11. 11. The Pilot Phase (get feedback and validate) • May 7 Project announced via blog; IdeaStorm kicked off 1. Don’t make it more expensive than Windows 2.Make it work with the vanilla image 3.At least 8GB of RAM 4.No Windows Preinstalled 5.No CD/DVD 6.ProSupport
  12. 12. The Pilot Phase (get feedback and validate) • June 20 Touchpad driver written (now in 3.9 kernel) • July 2 Beta program announced (6K+ people) <- Tipping point • July 17 Announced at OSCON: Project to become product in fall
  13. 13. The Launch Phase • Nov 29 Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition launched in US/Can • Feb 18 FHD version, EMEA launch offline • Feb 28 EMEA online availability < 9 Months
  14. 14. Cloud back end • Joyent • OpenStack private • EC2 • Rackspace Profile library on Github • Community assembled language stacks that are configured on the users client via the profile tool (built on chef scripts) • Simulate entire app environment on client in Linux containers then deploy to cloud via cloud launcher Project Sputnik: a client-to-cloud platform for developers Micro cloud Client
  15. 15. How the idea has been received 4 Ways Dell Is Becoming An Open Source Company "The laptop gives Dell credibility in the open source developer community. With that support, Dell can... grow a new sector of the hardware market." — Alex Williams Dell's Sputnik - Git what you want “Dell is on the right track with their profile thinking. To me, this could be a game-changer in the computer manufacturer race." —Mike Hendrickson Dude, Dell’s Building an Open Source Laptop “The opportunity to skip the customization process should be of interest to CIOs, because it will help them eliminate costs and speed up the development process.” - Clint Boulton
  16. 16. How the System has been reviewed Dell's Linux laptop has good hardware, decent toolkit “….the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is a thing of beauty." — Katherine Noyes Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition review – Linux laptop an Ultrabook in all but name It just works: Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Linux Ultrabook review “Dell's substantial investment in making a functional Linux Ultrabook pays off..” - Lee Hutchinson The Dell XPS 13 Developers Edition With Ubuntu "Excellent Ubuntu performance out of the box… Using the laptop was a dream." — John Biggs
  17. 17. How the System has been received
  18. 18. The conversion of Lars (there’s always hope) Sept 4, 2012: Lars when he hears the Sputnik beta program is not offered in Europe • Well the problem with DELL meric[sic], it’s not possible to buy a laptop without Winblows……..Thanks, but I’ll look elsewhere and choose some non merican[sic] nationalist brand next time Sept 11, 2012: My reply • I’m sorry its taken so long to get back to you and I’m sorry you have not had a positive experience in the past … I appreciate your feedback. Jan 29, 2013: Lars checks back in • It's been half a year and nothing has changed. It's still bulls--t laptops ……. These ultrabooks compete with that Fruitcompanys Air books with a almost similar price. So it isn't hard to figure out why nobody is buying DELLs laptops...Honestly, I don't think there will ever be sanity in the marketed products here. ... Over and out, Jan 29, 2013: My reply • Thanks for checking back in. If you hold on for a few more weeks you should have a new offering available in Sweden that hopefully you'll find acceptable :)
  19. 19. The conversion of Lars (there’s always hope) March 13, 2013: Lars replies Thanks! We got the first one in for the company today. Nice! Best regards, Lars
  20. 20. Lessons we’ve learned • Don’t over promise, deliver on what you say you will and explain when you “screw up” • The power of plain speak and transparency • Action is better than non-action but don’t strive for perfection out of the gate • Treat everyone with decency (may need to take a deep breath before responding), don’t write anyone off too soon
  21. 21. What you can do/information • < We need your help! • Joyent cloud offer • or • • Twitter: @barton808, @cote • #ProjectSputnik
  22. 22. Questions?
  23. 23. XPS 13 Developer Edition: Client-to-cloud platform Hardware: XPS 13 laptop • FHD, i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Software • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS • Basic set of tools and utilities • Beta projects: Profile tool & Cloud launcher • • Key Links
  24. 24. Availability North America • U.S., Canada Europe • Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, • Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom Currently working on a strategy for: • Israel, Morocco, Russia, Saudi Arabia, • South Africa, Turkey, UAE