Archive for the ‘Evangelist’ Category

I won Best of IT Transformation at EMC World for “Ten ways to reduce cost while modernizing your IT” #EMCElect

July 10th, 2015

I’ll tell you, easily one of my LONGEST subject lines ever! But subject length aside, this is actually pretty awesome!

For those of you who missed this, here’s the low down from a blog post I published last October.  EMC Proven Knowledge Sharing Competition – Join Now! Abstracts Due 12NOV #EMCElect

And for what its worth, my marketing director has done an AWESOME coverage of events here Christopher Kusek earns EMC 2015 Knowledge Sharing Award!

So that got it all started… OMG A CONTEST! Well, not even so much as a contest, as it was a raw and heated COMPETITION! What it’d entail initially was submitting an abstract.   And from the Abstract alone you’d be informed whether you’d even be entitled to be ALLOWED to enter the competition.   In my case, my abstract was accepted, awesome.  But then it came down to, “Hey, it’s time to submit your paper!” Well, so there I was… writing my paper, and write it I did!   One thing in particular which was *very* cool, is the fact that the “Judges” of the papers have no idea who the authors are.  No, it’s not like they’re secluded and don’t stay in touch with industry, quite the opposite… They’re SHIELDED from who the submitters are, any type of information is shielded from them, and instead they’re judging the papers based upon the content and not the character of the authors!

Which ultimately is what brought me to this years 2015 EMC World!   I had been informed that I was a “finalist” which means, I’d be 1st, 2nd, 3rd or one of the Best of Tracks… All very secretive, all I knew was, “I WAS IN” I just didn’t know what position or place!

CK EMC Award

That is when it all fell into place! My name called, giving me the absolute honor of “Best of IT Transformation” it was an absolute blast to all happen at once!   Due to the power of… VideoLinkFail you can skip ahead to 16:45 and get to my part of the video :)  Otherwise watch it all the way through, it gives an interesting take and shares information on the EMC Proven Education Ecosystem!

That wasn’t even the half of it though! When I wasn’t on stage wearing horribly uncomfortably shoes (which looked great mind you!) and receiving an award… LOOK AT THAT THING! ITS 8LBS OF CRYSTAL!

Best of IT Transformation

I was spending the bulk of my time ON CAMERA giving individual interviews or group interviews or this and that!

Christopher Kusek - Best of IT Transformation EMC World 2015

But some of you are saying, “You know what? I don’t give a damn about any of that! Show me the money! err, Paper, I MEAN THE PAPER!”

That’s cool, totally respect that… :) Well, here are some links and copies of the paper!

Because I’m obviously a marketing whore (go me, right! :)) There’s also the Xiologix branded version which I actually like how it is formatted better… (Primarily because… I formatted it to make sure data presents on pages the way I prefer from having written a thing or two here and there!) so here are some links to BOTH versions! <3

Read Xiologix Version: Ten ways to reduce cost while modernizing your IT

Ten Ways to Reduce Cost While Modernizing your IT - Xiologix Version

Read EMC Version: Ten ways to reduce cost while modernizing your IT

To follow-up on updates to this presentation and other information around be sure to check out the updated page at our Xiologix site where we’re keeping it updated and current! Christopher Kusek earns EMC 2015 Knowledge Sharing Award!

Also there is a Presentation version of this paper which has been delivered to standing room only audiences across the Pacific Northwest (also regular sitting rooms of folks :)) So if you’re interested definitely reach out <3 :)

Keep on keeping on!

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Author, Careers, Christopher Kusek, Cloud, emc, EMC Elect, Evangelist, Free, Storage, Technology, vExpert | Comments (0)

Why does the “Industry” predict what happens when it’s the Community who Adopts?

March 19th, 2015

This is a particularly pressing question that has come up recently.  I even put out a post about it in the SolarWinds Thwack community because they’re such a diverse and engaging community I love the feedback they tend to present!

I’ve seen a lot of predictions over the years, whether it is “This is the year of VDI!” (Currently we are on the 7th “year of VDI”)  Or “Big Data is here!” we all know the infinite number of predictions we constantly hear about, I’ve even included one of my own for the coming 2015 from from? ?SingleHop who hit me up at the end of 2014 saying, “Hey, do you have any IT Predictions for 2015?”

Single Hop 2015 IT Predictions

So I get it. You get it.  But are these really predictions intended to become self-fulfilling prophecies or are they mere posturing while YOU the Community. You the CUSTOMERS of the world are the ones determining whether these predictions actually come to fruition.   Now not all Predictions are within our control, like saying the cost of a particular product or solution will be reduced, that is really up to the industry that bears it, that we constantly fight for pricing on and against. 

But let’s talk about some general purpose predictions and it’s really up to you to decide what YOUR adoption is, I’ll provide some color in some places if you’re not familiar with it so as to give you a baseline to discuss.

Software Defined Storage (SDS)

Everybody and their brother is talking about SDS. “Check out our SDS Solution! It’s awesome!” blah blah blah.  So for the moment, let’s take a sober look at what the SDS space looks like.   VSAN is now available as 2.0 in vSphere 6.0.  However prior to it going GA last week, VSAN alone has ~1200 customers.   That’s pretty significant considering their solution has only existed for LESS than a year. (Compared to other similar solutions, the numbers are in the HUNDREDS not Thousands) so the possibilities look potentially bright, albeit at a cost.  

Now what about vVOLs you say. Yea you can say that, is it too early to tell? Yes. Yes it is FAR too early to tell, because vVols have gone GA LAST WEEK and not every vendor has their support integrated for it.  For what it is worth, vSphere 6.0 having just come out still isn’t fully baked and supported by all of your third-party applications, so if you run a pure-play VMware environment only without Veeam, Zerto and every other billion vendor solution out there and at the same moment your SAN also supports vVols, then sure, but for most of you… You’re going to be waiting a little while (At least 60-90 days for full support and adoption)   So for the meantime you’re still looking at vSphere 5.5 and the respective solutions present there, that’s not a BAD thing, it’s just a factual thing you need to be aware of.

Now to play the devils eggvocate on this a moment, If VMware has Let’s say a million customers, and ~1200 of them are running VSAN today. There’s nothing but room for growth, lots and lots and lots and lots and LOTS of growth.   So it’s not like the tides have been turned, the tipping point as it were (I’m sure that’s somehow relevant :)).   It really comes down to you to decide, “Of the Software Defined Storage strategies available in the market place which ones am *I* liking and seeing value to leverage in my organization” You know or blah blah blah. :)

Software Defined Networking (SDN)

Why yes, let us talk about the SDN space for a moment… The number of solutions available aren’t exactly bursting at the seams.  I mean sure, –14- hours ago, Juniper and Mirantis have expanded their partnership to pursue SDN type joint development, but for the whole of the market-place, that doesn’t mean they have a go to market solution we can adopt.   That said, let’s discuss what we CAN adopt.   VMware NSX, Cisco ACI and OpenFlow.   VMware’s NSX is the best player in town, it has the greatest feature-set and capabilities and will give us visibility and insight into East-West traffic which has essentially been masked as a result of the adoption of Virtualization.  Pretty awesome, right? NSX has been around for ~5 years+ now? And they had 400 customers when VMware acquired Nicira back in 2012, and today they have 400 customers.   I don’t see this puppy jumping off the shelf, when something like VSAN which has been 1.0 has 3x as many customers.   Now, I’ve found that VMware sales people will disagree with me, “We see it everywhere, everyone is interested, stop saying that no one is buying NSX”  Okay, show me the money, stop telling me the rhetoric that YOU are being told.  Like I said, it is the BEST player in town, yet when I talk to guys who run some of the large NSX shops… Well, let’s just say I wish that it worked as well as HA, DRS, or vMotion.   So should you adopt an SDN strategy or should you look at one? I’m sure you’ll be the first to tell me that YOU are indeed looking at one, because we can predict all the hell we want, it’s up to you to decide and enact.

Hybrid Cloud

The Cloud the Cloud the Cloud! This is surprisingly one area where I keep hearing about it from YOU and not in reverse.  Customers and friends who have made such claims as, “Yea, I moved ‘x’ services from On-Premises into Azure” or one who said they’ve moved 100% of their server workload into Azure. Yea, Seriously, Wow!  I’m with you, the proof is in the pudding, and want to see how it tastes 3, 6, 9 months and a year out, but the fact that others are doing it is quite a positive testament to the capabilities.   Oh and people are starting to adopt the same in a vCloud Air type of scenario (Yes, I hate it when they keep changing product names on us, I mean give a brother vCloud Air with Retina at least! :))   So while even *I* have predicted that people will start adopting Disaster Recovery as a Service leveraging capabilities like vCloud Air, I’ll let you know how I see that start to play out vs just saying, “Yea I think people will start to do something like that”.   The year is still early and I’ll actually have some interesting Hybrid Cloud stories to share as the year progresses, but for now, you tell me if you’re seeing adoption of YOURSELVES increase :)

Monitoring and Management

This is often the most overlooked, undervalued and most necessary part of every organization.   Companies who produce tools that allow you to manage your environment, watch over your infrastructure and then start to provide intelligence and guidance as opposed to merely sharing information with you can be few and far between.  Some players in this space like Solarwinds have done more than just simply take a temperature of what people are doing and have started to integrate what matters most to you into a single pane (drink!) to allow for better management.   I’m not saying, Hey stop proceeding down your road of deploying Orion, NPM, SRM, Virtualization Manager, and an infinite number of items that provide insight, however Solarwinds themselves have seen a need for integration, thus their release of AppStack to provide that unified point of management.   The Microsoft Fanboys may say, “I can do everything I ever could want with System Center” and it’s cute that you believe that, but the moment you need to do something non-microsoft centric or provide deeper insight into a Virtual, Storage or Network layer… I’m not saying you won’t see anything, I’m just saying… you’ll have blinders on. :)   The monitoring and management landscape is filled with lots of players, many of whom are one-off and many of whom are trying to be the ‘everything for everyone’ ala HP OpenStack (ouch!) so be wary and be aware.  Though how important is correlation engine analytics and deep inspection visibility and insight into your infrastructure into 2015? Is that something you desire or do you feel it merely a myth?

These are just a handful of items which are often predicted about and in particular have predictions for this year.   What are you seeing be the players in this space that you’re looking into? What do you see yourself straight-up adopting?   You’re the trendsetters, we’re just a bunch of random people touting our thoughts. :)

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Big Data, Cloud, Community, Evangelist, Microsoft, Storage, Virtualization | Comments (1)

Why yes I’ll be a Delegate at Virtualization Field Day 4! #VFD4

December 15th, 2014

Virtualization Field Day! #VFD4

Well, we knew this day would come and lo and behold it is finally here.  For those who don’t know Tech Field Day is an event which brings together Independent Industry Thought Leaders with IT Vendors with interesting, innovative or otherwise compelling products to discuss.   The Delegates are bloggers, speakers, writers, podcasters and otherwise those who have a social presence with great influence on the products and companies as perceived by IT Practitioners.

We never knew if I’d ever make it as a Delegate because one of the ‘rules’ since its inception is simply… You cannot be a vendor.   Well, with the exception of the past two years in Afghanistan (couldn’t get away to delegate, so to speak :)) I was as Vendor as you could get with NetApp and EMC.   So finally, It’s here! I’m not only officially a delegate but I’m officially back into the game of an independent thought leader… The kind who likes to take things to the EXTREME to understand them and ensure I’m providing the most accurate picture of whatever I am talking about!

What are the details for Virtualization Tech Field Day 4?!

This ought to be fun.  January 14th through the 16th in Austin, TX we will be going toe to toe with numerous vendors!


I’ll be honest… the capturing of these company images kind of sucks, but it is what it is. At least they’re clickable! <3

But the best part, next to the vendors themselves honestly, has to be the various Delegates. I mean c’mon these are rockstars in their own right and it’s not a companies product which is as valuable as the insight these Delegates offer.

Amit Panchal @AmitPanchal76 Technical IT Manager and blogger at
Amy Manley @WyrdGirl 12 years in IT, vExpert and an automation junkie
Christopher Kusek @cxi CTO at @Xiologix – EVP of Engineering, Technology Evangelist, vExpert, EMC Elect, BDA, CISSP, MCT, Cloud, Ninja, Vegan, Single, Father, Cat, Humorist, Author
Emad Younis @Emad_Younis Emad is a datacenter enthusiast, 2 x vExpert, and blogger @
James Green @JDGreen James is an independent blogger at, a 2014 vExpert, and works as a virtualization consultant in the Midwest.
Jeff Wilson @Agnostic_Node1 Passionate yet disciplined virtualization & storage engineer in the SME market.
Julian Wood @Julian_Wood Julian is a London based enterprise infrasstructure architect and blogger.
Justin Warren @JPWarren Justin is a consultant and freelance journalist who enjoys coding in Python and words that are fun to say, like ‘llama’ and ‘shenanigans’.
Larry Smith @MrLESmithJr 19 yrs. in IT | 11 yrs. VMware virtualization | VMware NSX Nut
Marco Broeken @MBroeken Dutch Virtualization Admirer and DaaS Lover, Blogger at
Matt Simmons @StandaloneSA Small Infrastructure IT Administrator in Academia
Mike Preston @MWPreston 3 x vExpert, blogger @ and typical Canadian eh!


It will be a pretty busy schedule, but we’ll stay on top of it!


And of course a hearty thanks go out to the Event Staff who make this possible, the beautiful Stephen Foskett @SFoskett and the dashing Tom Hollingsworth @NetworkingNerd 

So check it out as I know you will, not to mention the deeply grueling and intensive times I know I’ll be giving the vendors because I’ve been one and I know what it’s like ;) And be sure to check out the numerous blogs coming!

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Blog, Evangelist, Tech Field Day, Virtualization | Comments (2)

One week left to nominate a Non-Profit in the Nutanix DataCenter Makeover! (Closes 21NOV2014)

November 14th, 2014

Nutanix Web-Scale Wish - Non-Profit DataCenter Makeover!

You ever been like, “Man, I wish more organizations would help out non-profits” Well, guess what. Nutanix is. :)

So let’s break it down a bit! in the event that you find yourself too busy to actually click on their site and want the details!

Submission Period (October 15 – November 21, 2014)

  • Anyone can nominate a non-profit to participate! To qualify, the organization must:
    • Be a non-profit, non-partisan organization located in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom
    • Have a currently working datacenter that could benefit from web-scale converged infrastructure
    • Be able to complete and meet Environment Assessment criteria. Read the full terms & conditions

Judging Period (November 21 – December 10, 2014)

  • A panel of community judges will select the top three finalists.

Voting Day (December 10, 2014)

  • Watch the virtual event on December 10th to hear from the three finalists and cast your vote to determine the winner!
  • Voting will be open to the public for 24 hours.

Winner Announced! (December 11, 2014)

  • The Grand Prize winner will receive a Web-Scale Datacenter Makeover, implemented in 48 hours by a Nutanix team!


The Grand Prize Package

  • NX-3350
  • 3 Ultimate Software Licenses
  • 3 Years of Support
  • 2-Day Installation Services
  • One organization will receive a 48-Hour Web-Scale Datacenter Makeover, implemented by a Nutanix team!

Two Finalist Packages

  • NX-1350
  • 3 Ultimate Software Licenses
  • 3 Years of Support

Nominate & Get a T-Shirt!

  • Exclusively for Web-Scale Wish participants

So get out there, with this last week left and sign up, nominate, win a shirt and help out a non-profit! <3

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Contest, Evangelist, Free, Nutanix, Virtualization | Comments (0)

OMG! #vExpert 2015 applications are open until 12DEC2014!!!

November 5th, 2014

VMware #vExpert 2015!!!

So, Corey Romero @vCommunityGuy recently put out this gem of a blog post vExpert 2015 applications are open which if you’re a previous vExpert or you think you’re the next up and coming vExpert, OR if you’d like to nominate someone you think absolutely rocks? Well, This is the post!

To sum up some of the key points from Corey’s post;

  • Applications will be accepted until December 12th at midnight PST
  • Applications received after the December 12th deadline will roll into the next nomination & voting process
  • vExpert 2015 announcement will be on February 5th 2015.

And of course the ever so important links in the event that you don’t click on Corey’s post! :)

If you’re not sure whether you should be vExpert material, or what it really takes to apply… Feel free to check out my post from 2012!

The Non-definitive guide to the VMware vExpert Program, Tips, Tricks, How to become a vExpert!

So existing vExperts, go fill out your Fastrack application, new vExpert hopefuls, go get your application rocking out, and get those nominations in for the lesser known vExpert who don’t realize that they truly are a vExpert…’’

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Evangelist, Virtualization, vmware | Comments (0)

  • Archives