Archive for the ‘VDI’ Category

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

December 26th, 2012


What exactly is this whole VMware vExpert Program and what does it mean to me?! I know that’s what you are asking, because you probably did a search of “VMware vExpert” and turned up this VMware vExpert FAQ Page, or some of these great details outlined in the vExpert Directory.

But if you haven’t read those pages, or you want a little context on exactly what the VMware vExpert Program is all about, it is extremely similar to the acclaimed Microsoft MVP Program, the EMC Elect Program, and even the rarely heard of Citrix Technology Professionals Program!  Essentially, this is an award based upon your contributions to society, community, industry.   Going above and beyond simply ‘doing your job’.    That about sums it up!

What makes the VMware vExpert Program so special

The VMware vExpert Community is very much just that, a community of likeminded professionals who come together for the betterment of society as a whole.   It may all sound sort of altruistic but there is no more accurate depiction of the truth than that.    The community is filled with people who work tirelessly to help others, who are seen as and sought after as the experts in the industry, many of which feel they don’t deserve the accolade and others who work so diligently to ensure that their impact on those around them eclipses any benefits that may be derived from the mention.    The vExperts are the authors, bloggers, podcasters, troubleshooters, helpers, friends and family which makes VMware and Virtualization such a prevalent thread it has been transforming the industry ever since its inception.

A few of the benefits ‘granted’ to the members of the vExpert community are

    • Public recognition of the vExpert award with a certificate, gift, permission to display a logo, and inclusion in any public vExpert listing
    • Access to a private vExpert community of your peers
    • Free subscription to conference session materials on
    • Access to exclusive events, beta programs, software licenses, and other exclusive opportunities to participate in activities with VMware. vExperts do not represent VMware and are not required to participate in any activities

But those are just the *published* benefits, here are some of the unpublished yet fully realized by members of the vExpert Community

    • Priority Access to Private Betas
    • Blogger Early Access Programs (Including Deep Dive Webinars with Product Teams)
    • Influencer Day and Product Launch Briefings (Be on the inside track with the analysts and product launch embargoes)
    • Focus Groups with SMB and Partners
    • Special Opportunities presented by Partners such as Tintri, Symantec, EMC, Trainsignal, Tech Field Day, and more!
    • And a particular favorite of many, private vExpert only CTO Party and Briefings with the Office of the CTO and Steve Herrod at VMworld

But it doesn’t stop there.   Some of the extra benefits realized not by all, but by many as the form of opportunities tend to be

    • Special Access to Guest Blogging spots on VMTN and other blogportunities
    • Community Roundtable Podcast speaking opportunities and special guest access
    • VMware Press opportunities to be a Tech Reviewer or Author (They’re always looking for talent, and check the vExpert pool often)
    • Other Press sources opportunities to write and review (Sybex, Video training houses, tech blogs, Windows IT Pro, Speaking Gigs, etc)
    • … The opportunities are seemingly endless!

What exactly are the paths to being a vExpert

Since this is the non-definitive guide after all I can only go on what we know from the 2012 Calendar year which could possibly change.   But instituted as part of this cycle was a growth of the vExpert selection criteria to differing paths of Experts; Evangelist, Customer, Partner.


The Evangelist Path includes book authors, bloggers, tool builders, public speakers, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others with the leverage of a personal public platform to reach many people. Employees of VMware can also apply via the Evangelist path.


The Customer Path is for internal evangelists and community leaders from VMware customer organizations. They have contributed to success stories, customer references, or public interviews and talks, or were active community contributors, such as VMUG leaders.

Partner (VMware Partner Network)

The VPN Path is for employees of our partner companies who lead with passion and by example, who are committed to continuous learning and to making their technical knowledge and expertise available to many. This can take shape of event participation, video, IP generation, as well as public speaking engagements.

What about the selection criteria for the vExpert Program

First let me start out by displaying what are a few caveats and considerations before I get too deeply into selection criteria.

    • The vExpert award is based on contributions during the past calendar year. Activities earlier than the past calendar year are not considered in the awards and should not be entered on the application form.
    • You can use the application form to apply for yourself, and an invitation form to invite others to apply. Everyone is strongly encouraged to apply.
    • The vExpert designation is not a popularity contest. Multiple invitations or recommendations are not considered as a criteria for the award, so please do not ask multiple people to fill in the invitation form for you.
    • The vExpert designation is given to an individual, not to a company. Your contributions could have been a part of your corporate activities, but your individual contribution should be clear and noted in your application.
    • Designation duration is for one year. Existing vExperts are not guaranteed a renewal and are evaluated each year along with other nominees.
      A committee of VMware employees chooses the recipients of the vExpert designation.
    • You must be 18 years old to be eligible for the award.

Now that we have that out of the way, here are some of the types of things they’d look for on the application in years gone past (for what would be the Evangelist path, As details of Customer/Partner and other evolutions for 2013 come about, I’ll be sure to discuss that as it comes…)

Contributions and Activities to materials such as:

  • Blogs (Blog posts you’ve written re:VMware/Virtualization, and contributions you’ve made to other blogs)
  • Other Writing (Newsletters, Books, Whitepapers, Articles, KB Articles, Tutorials, Guides, etc)
  • Multimedia (Podcasts, Videos, Interviews…)
  • Events and Speaking (Organized events, spoke at them, involvement, etc)
  • Online Communities (IT Forums you’ve contributed, participated in and been involved in)
  • Tools and Resources (Tools you’ve created, collected, contributed to, resources and guides you’ve created, collections, etc)
  • VMware Programs (Councils, Partnerships, Betas and other kinds of contributions)
  • Actions and activities having gone above and beyond (self explanatory)

For a little more context and details about what each of these lines might be asking for (this is dated) refer to this link for the 2011 Application

The vExpert Program seems amazing and I work in Virtualization but I’ll wait until next year

This is for all of you out there who have said that, or some similar version of events.   I know who you are, I’ve spoken with you a number of times.   You contribute greatly within the community, internally at a customer, or extensively through the Partner organization.   You’re familiar with the vExpert program but you say ‘eh, I’ll deal with that next year’.   If this were like a certification deciding to take action NEXT month or NEXT quarter wouldn’t be such a big deal, but this isn’t a Certification.    The VMware vExpert Program is a year-long designation based upon your actions for a calendar year.    So what does that mean?   By not being nominated or choosing to self-nominate yourself when the window of nomination opens, you are costing yourself on the opportunity for an additional 365 days.    It’s not to say that ALL those who submit are accepted because they are not, but if you’ve got what it takes and you’re a super star in your own right I cannot for the life of me justify you NOT applying.

Some people like to equate the VMware vExpert to a Certification and will often say “Eh, I’m not changing jobs any time soon, so I don’t see why I should do this”.    Yes, certainly like getting a VCP won’t make much of a different to an admin for life but an active Administrator who becomes a vExpert can gain that insight, that knowledge (and getting license keys for testing and all the worlds access never hurts!)

So if I leave you with nothing, I’d like you to take to heart a few tidbits and action items and I’ll share my own experience here

    • It doesn’t hurt to apply or self-nominate into the program.   If you’re unknown to the populace at large sometimes the first person to knock on that door and shine a light on your accomplishments has to be you, this isn’t about ego (Especially if you’ve accomplished all of the things you share in your contributions)
    • This is first and foremost a community, not a ‘corporate charter designated by a policy driven figurehead with stringent metrics to follow’ So what I mean there is, if things don’t go as fast as you want them to be, it is not as though this is an SLA you are paying for;  But we’re all in this together so lending a helping hand is never discouraged
    • Get involved.   Even if you’re objective is not to one day earn the designation of VMware vExpert.    Our community is only as strong as its weakest link and as we all grow and become educated we continue to prosper together
    • Even if you sit silent on the sidelines, get to  know the vExpert’s in the community and more precisely YOUR community.   These people didn’t become vExperts for nothing, they’re glad to help, spread the tech love and cherish and grow those around them

A few words from a silent cat

I’ve been a vExpert for as long as there has been a program (Technically not the FIRST year because I missed the submission deadline, but I digress) and every single year I sit back and look at the nomination form which asks countless questions about what your contributions were for the previous calendar year. (Submissions are usually a few months into the year, so remembering back to December let alone the previous January can be a chore!)   Every single year I look back and say, “Well, crap I don’t think I did anything, how can I justify or deserve being a vExpert for this year” and then it all starts to settle in.   In past years there’d be a request for your TOP blog posts or TOP cited reference points (limited to 2 or 3) and at first I thought ‘how am I going to find even 1 let alone 3!’ which then turns into “Ooops…. I did 20-30 things in the previous year, how am I going to pare THAT down!”   This is surprisingly a common problem within the vExpert Community of Evangelists.    Before the VMware vExpert program came to be, and long before it had broken out the Evangelist designation….  We were all evangelists in our own right.   It wasn’t our job to do this, we didn’t do this because we were trying to achieve or accomplish some targeted ‘goal’, We saw problems in the world which either needed to be solved or we solved and wanted to share our experiences.   We saw great things happening and wanted to make sure everyone around us was able to benefit.    We don’t do it because we have to, We even don’t exactly do it because we WANT to.   We do it because we are vExperts.   We are Evangelists.    We are community.     I think nothing speaks more truer to that than the VMware vExpert program having doubled year over year of number of members accepted into its ranks, and I know we look forward to that number continuing to grow with other passionate and dedicated individuals like ourselves to make Technology, this Community and the World a better place.

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Posted in Christopher Kusek, Cloud, Community, Ebooks, Education, emc, Evangelist, Geek, Microsoft, VDI, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld, vSphere | Comments (2)

Register today for EMC World – Early Bird Discount Offer ends Feb 28th, 2011!

February 8th, 2011

EMC World 2011 - Las Vegas May 9-12th @ The Venetian

OMG! It is THAT time of year again! Are you going to EMC World?  This is definitely the MUST attend event of the year!  (Seriously, you have no idea :))

However, my first call to action for you guys.. is to try to make sure you’re getting hooked up with the FREEBIES if you know you’re going to be going anyway!

Early Bird Registration Gifts - Receive an Apple iPod nano, an Iomega eGo, or a complimentary Wednesday Evening Customer Appreciation Event Guest Pass.

A basic chart breaking down what you’re looking at when it comes time to register:

Conference Registration Rates and Breakdowns:

Conference Registration Rates Price Valid Starting Valid Through
Early Bird Rate $1,895 USD with gift November 9, 2010 February 28, 2011
Discounted Rate $1,895 USD March 1, 2011 April 11, 2011
Standard Rate $2,195 USD April 12, 2011 May 12, 2011

So I decided to take as best of a dive as I could into what these “Special Gifts” are, just to get an idea of what incentive you have to book early (and often?!)

Early Bird Registration Gifts:

Early Bird Registration Gift Approximate Price Relative Value
8GB iPod Nano $149 This is great if you don’t have an iPod or want another as a gift!
1TB Iomega eGo Portable $159 I’m not certain if this is the correct one but the price is retail about this
Could be very useful if you don’t have or want another drive (these rock)
Event Guest Pass $155 Bringing a spouse? (To vegas?! Seriously?!) Invite them to the event!
If you are not bringing another, this is NOT the gift for you!

Booking your hotel:

Within the Venetian Resort you have the option to select your room to be within the Venetian Tower or the Palazzo Tower. Both towers are equal distance to the conference center. To secure a special conference rate be sure to reference EMC World if you chose to make a phone reservation. All room blocks expire on April 14, 2011.

The VenetianThe Palazzo

The Venetian The Palazzo
Rate: $179.00 + tax
Phone: 866.659.9643 or 702.414.1000
Online Booking
Rate: $179.00 + tax
Phone: 866.659.9643 or 702.414.1000
Online Booking

I cannot emphasize enough because I know a lot of you guys… wait until the day OF the show to book your hotel rooms :)   All Room blocks (at these two hotels) will expire on April 14th, 2011 for this rate.   So just take that to heart when it comes time to book and buy your tickets :)

This is going to be quite the OMG WTF AMAZING EMC World on record, far greater than you can imagine.  And it will ALSO be in Vegas, so if that means a lot to you, further mad crazy times – But in all seriousness, the type of content, the audience, the community, EVERY instance of the value which will come from this event.. this is a MUST attend EMC World.  You think records were broken at our Launch Event on January 18th?  Well, you haven’t seen nothing yet? (Is that grammatically correct?!? :))

What, who, why, Justify to my boss! –


What – (2011 Conference Topics and beyond!)

  • Backup, Recovery and Archiving
    Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
    Cloud Computing
    Content Management and Archiving
    Enterprise Applications and Databases
    Mainframe Platforms
    Partner Solutions
    Security and Compliance
    Storage and IT Management
    Technology Directions and Innovation
    Tiered Storage and Automation
    Virtual Infrastructure
Yes, I know the conference topics have not been announced yet (Or else I would be citing them) But as an insider [ooh!] I know some guys delivering some GREAT sessions this year!  I haven’t planned to slate myself for anything, I’m tied up with other conferences.. and will be busy attending the show instead of presenting [well, and covering the show for the Media] but feel free to come by and talk ;)

Who – (Meet, Greet, Network, Learn)

  • Learn directly from EMC engineers, customers, and partners at 500+ breakout sessions. EMC World’s comprehensive agenda includes keynotes, lectures, live demonstrations, hands-on workshops, and birds-of-a-feather sessions.

Did I mention I’m going to be there?! :) And definitely seek me out and I can hook you up with other like-minded individuals, or others who are either doing what you WANT to do, or have already done it and you can share best practices (No, not marketing fluff, but actual real customers, engineers and beyond, networking seeds networking! :))


Why – (Content, Content, Content)

  • Challenge your expertise with offerings including tutorials, business tracks, technical training, and developer sessions ranging from novice to expert.

Are you a novice looking to seed your knowledge? Excellent.  Are you an expert, guru, ninja, and you find that no one understands you? Go yell at engineers! (That’s what I do ;))   This is the perfect opportunity whether you’re at the top of your game or just getting involved in the industry.   No stone unturned, you will be able to enhance your knowledge, take things to a new level and become an even greater champion than you already are today! (Champions ARE made just by attending EMC World)  Literally, seek me out and I’ll make sure you’re getting the MOST out of your entire experience – I do it at every show I attend. ;)

Justify to my boss – (Whoa, this is in Vegas, my boss won’t approve that!)

I haven’t seen an official write up ‘slick’ on this yet, so I am writing this FOR you.  I’ve had to do this in the past for past events (VMworld, Microsoft TechEd, Past EMC Worlds, TEC, etc)   You go to your management and you scream “I want to learn, I want to educate myself in order to better drive value into the environment, I need to network with my peers, and see the up and coming and be PART of the future instead of waiting for us to eventually get there”.   Yea, but this is what your management sees. “Jim wants to go to Vegas for a week, blah blah blah conference”  

Do you find yourself in this situation?  If so, let me know (And let others know) I’ll try to make sure you have the right resources to help PROVE this out in your environment.  Whether you’re an EMC Customer today, or one in the future; this will be the value of a life time.   If you spent the entire time in sessions never meeting a single person you will gain benefit and an experience which will pay dividends in your home environment; step outside that shell a little bit and all of a sudden you will become a champion unlike that you’ll ever have seen!  

Do not hesitate to educate! I’ll personally call your management if you’d like and help them understand the value (I’ll get whoever your local account team is involved just to make sure I’m not blindsiding them ;))   But seriously, now is the time to SAVE, as well as to LEARN!   Hop to it!


So, good luck, enjoy and lets all meet up in Vegas for what will be an experience of a life time, this is ground breaking in every possible fashion!  

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Posted in emc, Iomega, SAS, SATA, SSD, Storage, Symmetrix, Unified Storage, Unisphere, V-Max, VCE, VDI, Virtualization, VMAX, vmware, VNX, VPLEX, vSphere | Comments (1)

The Virtual Gold Rush – Get your head out of the ground and your career into the clouds

October 8th, 2010

What do Virtualization and the California Gold Rush of the 1850’s have in common?  

Panning for Virtualization

Yea, that’s right.  In those days there were gold-seekers, the “49’ers” who were all seeking out a few pretty little gems, heck! Even some ugly gems would be worth it, right? Dirty gold is STILL gold!    Now, let’s fast forward 160 years to today’s Present.   (Okay, enough of the analogies that GOLD IS WORTH A LOT! You’re right! IT is! ;))  Today, the Gold-seekers.. Those 49’ers (A lot of which happen to reside WITHIN California) are the businesses! The Cloud Providers, the mega-corporations, the EMC’s, Cisco’s and VMware’s of the world, all vying for the GOLD of Virtualization! Human capital!  -  You guys are the gold, and virtualization is the rocket which will enable you to soar!

Where is the proof in this though you might ask?! (Yea, I know I’m gonna give you some proof alright!)

Disclaimer:   The following list is from a ‘point in time’ and is not reflective of ALL of the opportunities which exist.  I contacted numerous companies heavily invested in Virtualization, Cloud and other, and some of those companies requested I do not share their data (So don’t get critical if you think I’m intentionally not mentioning a company) This is for YOUR benefit, which I hope every one of you Virtualization kings take advantage of this! (Even the serfs, paupers, princesses and queens of Virtualization too! – /end disclaimer! :))


Yes, I do work here, but hey, we have some of the best guys in the world! And with that note, we’re still looking to find, recruit and hire the best!  No one leads this champion cause any better than Chad Sakac! Who has gone to the extents to actually publish this More than 200 open positions at EMC, EMC partners and VCE  and the recent UPDATE for this! But let me quote the following from that blog post at its time: (Wow, over 100 positions mentioned!)

  • The EMC vSpecialist team is hiring 97 people.  The right people for this role love technology.   It is ideal if you are technical customer-facing type or a freakishly technical sales type, and want to work at a great Fortune 500 company that is at the center of the virtualization and cloud wave (that being EMC).  The team has a crazy work ethic – you’ll work your buns off, but will be part of something fun.  You will play with EMC, VMware and Cisco technologies, and be exposed right on the bleeding edge wave of a lot of stuff.  
  • The EMC Consulting org is hiring 14 people.  The right people for this role have a world view where you think that it’s less about technology and products, and more about services, people, and transformative projects (oh, and you love technology too).   There are Cloud roles, Virtual Datacenter roles, and Risk and Security roles.
  • The EMC SI/Al team is hiring 9 people.  These are people who are blends of the vSpecialist Sales/Technical type (roll them into one :-), and are focused on EMC partners like Deloitte, Accenture, Wipro, TCS, HCL.
  • Obviously, there is a LOT of opportunity over here at EMC (In fact, feel free to get in touch with me if you’re interested in more insight as well – If you wonder what it’s like working here at EMC, refer to my previous posts on the very subject; Joining EMC and transitioning from “Job” to “Career” tips for new hires and expats! – So good luck and let me know how I can help!

    #Update to include other opportunities which Chad had just posted!  More VMware, Cisco, EMC, and VCE and Partner gigs…

    Search for Careers at EMC here! (click apply now :))


    Whoa! This is Cisco, the networking company! What does this have to do with Virtualization and Cloud?!?!  Yea.. baby, that’s right.  We are ALL fighting for the same resources, the same gold! Everyone everywhere! :)   Cisco has opportunities across the stack with Servers (UCS) Storage networking (MDS and Nexus) Virtualization (Rocking it out with what we said above) and more and beyond!   I did not vet EVERY single entry on the Cisco site (Hey, I’m not the one LOOKING for the job! but these options do quite exist ;)) For what it’s worth, a search of “vmware” and a search of “Cloud” as separate search terms returned results in the 150-200 range.   Wow! That is a lot of jobs with a single keyword.  Maybe there are only 50 or 100 quality jobs let’s say.   – Or put another way.. Wow, there are 50-100 quality jobs at the champion of industry Cisco! 

    Search for Careers at Cisco here!


    You don’t get much closer to Virtualization than this!   I did a general search of all open-req’s returning 683 open positions! When I cut it down to “Support, Technical, Technical Marketing” etc kind of limiting the scope to remove the “HR and Legal” type postings, I still ended up with 105 open positions!   VMware is a rockstar environment to work at and they have a great culture!

    Search for Careers at VMware here!


    If you missed all of the announcements from last year (and continually growing since) Acadia is a joint venture, founded by Cisco and EMC to further capitalize on the investments of VMware and Intel! The venture was established to help partners and customers accelerate the transition to pervasive virtualization and private cloud. – Okay, enough of stealing that stuff from their site..  Nonetheless, this lets you work with a converged-ness of all of these companies and really get to do some COOL stuff, across numerous roles!  (FYI: I know a whole bunch of the recruiters who are now over there… Just saying.. ;))   On a full-purpose search of Acadia I came across 315 open positions (Wow! That’s a damn lot! Lots are home based mobile too?! WTF!? cool! :))

    Oh and hijacked from Chad’s blog;

    VCE is hiring 100 field people and 17 solutions people.   These people are part of Acadia (the EMC/Cisco Joint Venture).   The Acadia mandate is both expanding, but also becoming more focused under Michael Capellas.   VCE has done much well, but people are recognizing certain things (single SKU, single order, ship as a unit) need to happen faster. 

    1. The field folks would support the vSpecialists and the Cisco Datacenter field folks, as well as VCE partners.    The profile of these field folks (both Sales and Technical) are the same core profile as vSpecialists.   In fact, they are planning to call the Technical roles “vArchitects” a nice homage to some of the success we’ve had :-)
    2. The solutions folks would be more happy in the lab than out in the field, but still customer focused.   They will be churning out more solutions on Vblocks, but then a subset of them would be taking the results out into the market via the vArchitects and vSpecialists.

    Search for Careers at Acadia here! (click browse open positions)


    So, when I first started working on this (over a month ago) I reached out to various other champions of industry – My good friends at Dell said the following (at the time) – One guy said there were over 80 positions across the country, but then said check with this other guy! He reported back with “There are 342 Virtualization related positions (sales, marketing, eng and services) worldwide.   Whoa! That’s pretty damn cool!  Obviously your mileage and time may vary.. those numbers may have increased or decreased, but the fact of the matter is.. that’s a damn lot of VIRT specific jobs available in the business (translates into WIN)   So, lest you think your options are limited, they may appear limitless across the stack and businesses!

    Search for Careers at Dell Here! (They are great for locality of reference!)


    Hey now! You’re taking this competitive appreciation a little too far! Err.. Wait, no I’m not! But I am trying to give you an accurate picture… and hey, we’re all friends (except during the close giggle ;))   But yea, I got the hookup from my friends over at HP as well!   And what did they say (at the time, again.. could have gone up or down!) “238 Virtualization positions came up”

    Whoa, whoa, whoa! Another massive stack of Virt roles?! Yea that’s right baby, all across the stack!  Looks like every vendor has a need which needs filling, oh my!

     Search for Careers at HP Here! (Interesting search site.. good luck :))


    I’m not mentioning these guys just because I drive by their corporate headquarters all the time.  No.. They’ve built themselves up from a ‘warehouse’ store of sorts to a fully packaged interactive delivery machine (with open jobs ;)) They only have a handful [relative to the other companies] with req’s around Virtualization, but the opportunities are there!

    Search for Careers at CDW here!


    I want you to know that these guys do not get a mention because they throw amazing parties at events and I practically know (and have known) nearly the entire company since they started.  No…  These guys NEED Virtualization guys, and they are some of the bread and the butter which helps drive this whole Virtualization world! (Cmon, Get your gold here!)

    I cannot say just how many open req’s there are – but talk about opportunities across the entire stack! Sales! Support! Marketing! Technical! There’s no going wrong, and win win win!

    Search for Careers at Veeam here! (And I can always introduce you to the right folks there as well!)


    Hey now! I thought this post was all about VMware! Next thing you know you’re gonna talk about Hyper-V?!? (No.. I’m not… Microsoft’s site is VERY challenging to search through, so they won’t be included, that and they have a trillion jobs so it’s hard to break it down to SPECIFIC to Virtualization ;)) But might I add on a separate note, weekly I get mails from recruiters asking me if I have any candidates (for vendor or for customer side) with Citrix knowledge/expertise/etc.   I imagine a lot of those guys have been…. moving around, causing some rifts of sorts!   So the opportunities are ripe if you love the Citrix stack! (Hey, I’m Metaframe and Winframe certified… and current today too.. so I’m no stranger to Citrix ;))

    Search for Careers at Citrix here!

    Thin Clients (Wyse, 10zig, Pano Logic, nComputing)

    Okay, I’m not going to lie to you.   There aren’t really any Virtualization positions at these top Thin Client type companies (But when you think of Virtualization and VDI… you think of thin clients right? …. You better?;)) But they do have a handful of careers among the group of them (numerous high level jobs too!)  So, don’t disregard the opportunity they provide, just note; they’re not looking for virtualization as much as others, FYI :)   – For ease.. the hot-links in the Thin Clients heading will take you to their respective career pages!


    Okay… I talked to and interviewed these folks at VMworld 2010 (Well, Roger Lund did I think I recorded it, either way!) these guys are a virtualization startup, they are hiring light [as any startup should] but definitely should be someone to watch! And if you’re looking to join a start-up to take the world by storm… Yea, check it out :)

    Search for Careers at HyTrust here!


    Whoa, why are these guys on this list?!?  Hey, I wanted to high-light them…  they definitely fall more into the Cloud Stack which has a strong effect on Virtualization and (blah blah blah, won’t he shut up about Cloud?) Seriously though! You bettah recognize! I hear about Rackspace all of the time from all over, so may as well invest in your career there if you see it fit :)  [It doesn’t hurt that someone I care about tells me how cool they are too, so why not make sure you know too ;)]

    Search for Careers at Rackspace here!


    In the spirit of gold rushes, Apigee the API’s of the Internets is also dealing with it’s own API Gold Rush, so I thought it relevant to include :)  This is something I’ll likely be talking about more in the future and the importance of open API’s as we transcend and interoperate within Clouds and Virtualization – so may as well get the insight first and foremost!

    Search for Careers at Apigee here!


    So my peers, colleagues, friends and beyond, where does this leave us? (Other than at 5am still up from medicine to correct my lung infection I have grin)

    I’m sure you’ll easily go on record saying “Whoa, this is only a few thousand jobs around a very specific [or even broad] technology!”  Yea, that’s exactly what I’m saying.   I chose a HANDFUL of companies who allowed me access to their insight of their own business needs to reflect on the industry respectively.    I am saying those of you who invested in virtualization years ago? It is RIPE to move up and beyond!  And for those of you who only recently started dabbling in virtualization or even still to adopt it and check it out?  The SAME opportunities exist!  

    I figure, there are around 15,000 REALLY good virtualization jobs out there for skill sets at the lowest (and ALWAYS at the highest levels).  However, the sad part is, there aren’t that many skilled candidates out there to pursue these opportunities that do exist, [with or without the drive and passion we all want].  

    We are at an EPIC point here in the industry.  Never before have there been so many necessary roles to fill by these gold-seekers.  Seeking you.   My good friends, Virtualization, Cloud, API’s, even SERVERS are Gold!   Don’t wait until it is too late and “Everyone is doing it”.  Do it now.  Invest in YOU today.   Believe me, you’ll be the winner.     Do not hesitate to contact me directly for additional anecdotal evidence around jobs like these across all companies, expectations, thoughts, perspective and why you should pursue something like this.   I’ve been doing x86 virtualization since the beta-dawn of VMware, and so many other things in those days and since.   Please don’t wait until 10 years from today to invest in your future.

    If you feel a specific company was not represented adequately or you would like to be represented in this list – Do not hesitate to get in touch, and I’ll do whatever I have in my power to introduce the community to your virtual careers :)  Good luck, and Good future my friends.

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    Posted in Apigee, Careers, Cisco, emc, VDI, Virtualization, vmware, Wyse | Comments (8)

    IT Grand Prix Day 1 – Application Virtualization taking KIPP DC by storm!

    June 2nd, 2010

    So here we are kicking off the first official day of the IT Grand Prix in Washington DC!     We were supplied with a USB Key with our puzzle, an Internet connection USB card, and a $500 cash card for our incidentals! Our host David Elfassy gave us a ‘puzzle’ to solve in order to find out which non-profit organization we’re going to be going out to help.    Through deductive reasoning, over-thinking the problem, WAAAY OVER THINKING the problem, and some more deductive reasoning… :) We were able to find the non-profit we would be destined to help!

    Our Journey begins... with USB and Credit cards! Hi! Can you see me.. I can see you through the KIPP DC!

    Welcome to KIPP DC!

    KIPP DC is a network of high-performing, college-preparatory charter schools in Washington D.C., which serve the city’s under-resourced communities. At KIPP DC, there are no shortcuts: outstanding educators, more time in school, a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum, and a strong culture of achievement and support help our students make significant academic gains and continue to excel in high school and college.

    But what does that mean to you and me?  They’re a business just like yours and anyone else’s who suffer many of the same challenges we all do.  And one of those challenges is how to manage the demanding needs of students, faculty and staff, while being able to stay strategic, forward thinking and be proactive instead of merely reacting to the future of computing.    The challenge with Daniel Nerenberg and I on the Red Team were helping them work with, was addressing Application Virtualization.  Our esteemed coopetition fellows Gordon Ryan, Andrew Bettany of the Blue Team are helping with a Windows 7 Deployment strategy and plan.

    What do you get when you combine IT Pro’s, Non-Profits, Coffee and @cxi?
    Application Architecture in a sugar cube! image

    Innovative solutions the likes of which can only be explained with stirrer sticks and sugar packets!    If you know anything about me, you know that I love tactile reference of physical infrastructure, solely for the logic that we have the ability to MOVE objects around (unlike a whiteboard where we end up getting messy… and it’s not nearly as cool and impactful)   I felt it might be useful for a layman’s explanation of what I just said, so in simple terms…  I like to play with stuff you can find around you :)

    The above picture is an architectural breakdown of application virtualization presented to a user use-case environment.   Basically look at it as the sticks are ‘boundaries’ in the first square picture, that physically shows a single ‘machine’ with applications living inside of it, with all of the constraints and conflicts which also happen to live within that environment.    However, in the second picture, you have a breakdown of applications virtualized into separate packages, yet there’s also a model of shared package layers and abstraction… Lots of abstraction! This video helps explain it a little further!

    After our sit down talk and interview with Director of Operations, Edward Han and IT Manager, Adam Roberts we got to work on a plan of how Application Virtualization would help out Kipp DC with their organizational challenges.  

    Hard at work, notice Gordo has the SAME expression in both photos?! :) Chuck Norris loves you and wants to bust up your geekness Daniel Nerenberg hard at work!

    As you can see here, the Blue Team is hard at work.  I’m not sure if they were working on their slides, or checking out some new Chuck Norris statistic, but nonetheless… We all got down to business creating collateral, producing and providing information which would help out those folks and how it would apply (in our case) to what Application Virtualization with App-V could do for them!

    I would be remiss in my duty to not share with you what I shared with them.  Use it in the context of your organization of course (as I will not be sharing the incidentals of their organization here! :))

    Microsoft’s Application Virtualization collateral!

    And here are a few videos produced by the folks on Sequencing and actually deploying using App-V (or Softgrid for you legacy folks like me :))

    Though I’m sure some of you are saying “Hey, what about VMware ThinApp – Why didn’t you talk about that?!”  It’s true.   Our mission was to discuss App-V, fortunately I had Daniel with me who is an MVP in App-V too!  However, so you don’t feel left out, here are a few videos of Deploying VMware ThinApp from start to finish in 20 minutes! – Enjoy! :)

    Following this, we wrapped up for the day, grabbed our (heavy) bags, and headed out to where the Bus would take us to our next destination: Marriott Brooklyn Bridge in New York City!

    Can we fit more into this outlet? I don't think we should try... I'm sure there's a snake down here somewhere! It's getting hot in here!

    However, like the geeks we are… All the way at the back of the bus is… a Power Outlet! … Ooh! Two outlets actually! So the guys had their ‘friendmaker’ power strip multipliers, and we plugged them in, with enough arsenal to run a small business (or even a mid-sized enterprise with the kind of gear we’re sporting! :))   And just so you get a good feel for what we’re looking at here… I’m sitting in the literal hot seat!   See all the cables? Oh wait, what’s that you see? It’s 109.5 DEGREES DOWN THERE?!?!? Yea, it’s pretty hot at my feet :)

    Red Team on the Back of the Bus! 

    I hope you enjoyed Day 1 – This was only the beginning on this whirlwind adventure tour of madness, insanity, education, and Technology! We’re Technology Focused! :)

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    Posted in Charity, Education, Efficiency, Geek, ITGP, Microsoft, Technology, VDI, Virtualization, Windows 7, WTF | Comments (1)

    Post-Mortem 70-693 Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator: Why I said “Wow”

    January 15th, 2010

    Hey guys, it’s been a long while since I’ve done a Post-Mortem on an exam.. I just didn’t feel like it from the last few betas I took – So here you go, with so much interest in the Hyper-V exam here is my post-mortem analysis and not to mention what I felt about it, and why I said “Wow” :)

    Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

    About this Exam

    This exam validates a candidates knowledge of Microsoft virtualization technologies.

    Audience Profile

    Candidates should have one to three years of experience using Microsoft virtualization products, including Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and Remote Desktop Services (RDS), in a Windows Server 2008 R2 infrastructure. Candidates for this exam are IT professionals who have jobs in which managing or deploying virtualization technologies is their main area of responsibility.

    Credit Toward CertificationExam 70-693: Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator: counts as credit toward the following certification(s):

    Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

    So, there is the high level view of the exam as listed at Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator and one of the most useful tools you will find on that page is the “Skills Measured” tab which happens to give you a comprehensive overview of what kind of content there is on the exam – If you follow that list and rule, you will indeed be prepared if you study against the skills measured!  I do want to note, I HIGHLY encourage you to check out the ‘Skills Measured’ from TS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuring – Seriously!  – A slight disclaimer here.. I mistakenly wrote the reference material against last years 70-652 TS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuring – But take it for what it is.. Combine the two ‘skills measured’ from both exams and your chances of passing will increase exponentially!

    Now what may be beneficial is a comprehensive understanding of… competitive pressures? Would you call it that? I have to say, I saw a damn lot of another vendors virtualization product (Some might call it, the largest virtualization product in the industry, not to mention the most deployed)   In the “Installing Hyper-V” section, as seen in Skills Measured, it mentions very briefly a coverage of clustering, storage – shared and otherwise – accounting for 14% of the exam.  To me it honestly felt more like 45% of the exam had some focus on Storage or Clustering.  I haven’t seen that much iSCSI, and FCP touted in a long time! (Take my NFS and CIFS Please! – Oh, yea while not mentioned, you probably want to ensure you’re up on the entire protocol stack, grin :))

    Next, if you look across all 4 Skill areas, you’ll notice SCVMM is included in there.   Yea, there’s a reason for that.   Infact, I’d be surprised if there were any questions which DIDN’T include SCVMM! I say ‘mostly’ in jest, because it makes you wonder ‘Is this Hyper-V, or a purely SCVMM exam?!?” :)

    As far as annoying faults in the tests go, I only found one major syntactical error which I reported, but on the whole the test itself was well formed and the questions were free of Grammatical mistakes.   Now, let’s get into the Wow section.

    Perhaps I was a bit hasty when I said “Wow” about this exam.  Perhaps I should have placed myself more into the category of WTF?!?   So, feel free to see an intermingling of my thoughts on the exam now :)   The questions were well formed, perhaps even a little too well formed.   A number of them looked as though they were struggling to find examples of what WASN’T the right answer, because they were all pretty damn easy to answer in and out!   Am I saying I passed? There’s a pretty good chance, but I place no bets!    If you are NOT up on the competitive landscape as far as where Hyper-V plays in the industry, you better be to take this exam.  I wasn’t sure if I was sitting for the VCP, a minor in Citrix, or if this was infact an actual Microsoft Exam! (Yes, I know it was a Microsoft exam because all of the questions WERE very well formed, and a number of them… were sadly still written to the old adage of ‘Choose the microsoft answer’ ;)

    This exam also included the recent name changes to products, so I commend it’s accuracy!    And the intimate level of focus on VDI – was quite amazing, but sadly I reach a saddening point.

    If I am to fail in this exam under any circumstances? It is because of the number of ‘it depends’ questions they had in there.   What does that mean?   I’m sure providing details about how many interfaces you should have and factual information backing it is PERFECTLY okay, I can sign off on that – No problem, albeit Best Practice and ‘minimal acceptable’ is further subjective.   But when it comes to degrees of scale and how many VM’s I can actually host on a particular server?   Without raw details, a breakdown of workload, and not to mention this isn’t a different vendors solution so the pure economies of scale require me to be EXTREMELY conservative.   I’m not being negative I’m being factual, we all know that – and we know JUST how subjective things are when it comes to VM density.   With that said be very careful, I have no guidance there other than try to find out what the proverbial ‘microsoft answer’ is for what density looks like I’ve always seen it published as ‘not as much as others’ and some of the deployments in the exam outright scared me – And I don’t get scared by technology, I put fear into it’s heart!

    I’m FAIRLY certain I didn’t say anything which violates NDA, since pretty much everything included here is referenced in the Skills Measured page Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator but incase I did… don’t spank me! preferably fix the questions which are wrong (glares in Liberty’s direction ;)) And… Well, have a good time – Use of the technology and understanding these skills are pretty much all you need in order to pass!

    Now on a personal note! I’m going to be running the Boston Marathon in a few months in order to raise money for disabled children and every single dollar helps, so if you can help me in my cause these children and their families will greatly appreciate it!   Even if you can only afford $1 that’s perfectly fine! The more people who contribute the better! – Help sponsor my run in the Boston Marathon on behalf of disabled children! - Help sponsor my run in the Boston Marathon on behalf of disabled children!

    So, thank you all and I hope you find something useful from this post-mortem and truly every $1 helps, and I greatly appreciate it!  Thanks!

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    Posted in Certification, Hyper-V, Microsoft, R2, VDI, Virtualization, vmware, vSphere, Windows Server | Comments (0)

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