Posts Tagged ‘vExpert’

500 Days in Afghanistan, a #vExpert retrospective from an #EMCElect

June 30th, 2014

Wow, so here we are… 500 days, it feels like just yesterday I was getting here. Okay, I’m only kidding, every day feels like every day before it, and every day after it.   So let’s take a moment to roll back the clock and see what kinds of things have happened and perhaps some various accomplishments out here! (Like how I rocked that title like a branding whore? ;))

Personal Accomplishments

  • Published two books
  • Completed a massive slew of Certifications including (But not limited to)
    • Cisco
      • CCNA (Routing and Switching, Security and Data Center)
      • CCNP Data Center
      • CCIE Data Center (Written… Can’t exactly take the lab out here can I :))
    • Brocade
    • VMware
      • VCP 5.0
      • VCP 5.5 (Beta and then the “Pass”)
      • Yet, due to the ‘class’ requirement I’m technically still NOT a VCP, yay right? :)
  • Finished 92 credit hours in a Bachelors of IT Security degree program (in a month) before I had to take time away to tackle other matters
  • EMC Elect for 2013 and 2014
  • VMware vExpert for 2013 and 2014
  • Avoided death by mortar, rocket, small arms fire, IED and any number of other VERY real threats for 500 days! (Woohoo!)

As you can tell that is quite a slew of personal things to accomplish (And I’m only scratching the surface), there are more things on the horizon some of which I honestly am not sure what else I want to pursue and other things which I’m always actively working on whether publicly or in secret to share later!

Professional Accomplishments

When it comes to what I do professionally I have to be a little obfuscated or in some cases I cannot even share any details due to the sensitive nature of the mission but there are some things which I can disclose and albeit a small list I’ll try to here (Essentially taken from my resume as it’s pre-scrubbed)

  • Afghanistan Senior Technical Director responsible for Operations, Management, Engineering, Implementation and Support of the US Operational Forces in CJOA-A mission command
  • Provide leadership and direction for team of 100+ engineers and architects geographically distributed across 30 Forward Operating Bases throughout Afghanistan
  • Subject Matter Expert for Virtualization, Storage, Data Center and Networking, lead coordinating efforts for the Dec 2014 US Troop draw down and architect of the sustaining architecture for post 2014 mission
  • Direct oversight and operations of enterprise infrastructure supporting over 100,000 users
  • Define policy, procedure and operational requirements to sustain OEF mission

This is equally a pretty awesome set of accomplishments, something I didn’t include in the bulleted list but I am particularly proud of, the fact that we have maintained 100% uptime. Yea you heard it, 100%, not five 9’s or three 9’s or one 8 and three 2’s, but 100%.  I do not include as part of that as scheduled outages where we were intentionally taking something down for maintenance nor do I include when we have a catastrophic site failure which is out of my control (Let’s say a generator gets hit with a rocket, or HVAC goes offline because its 140 degrees out, or someone decides to sever the network link) Yea, those aren’t included as a cause of downtime because there’s nothing we can functionally do about it, but operationally, configurationally, all of that, we’re talking about 100% baby! I’m sure if we owned the Network and Data center layers we’d keep their numbers higher, but logistically out of my control!

What is next on the horizon

Well, the question of what is next can be a difficult one to exactly predict, I mean there are certain levels of uncertainty and unknown but there are some things which are absolutely certain.

  • I’ll be attending VMworld in San Francisco this coming August
    • Will I be throwing a #CXIParty? A question I get asked often… well, … Maybe. You tell me, the logistical effort can be a pain to do from afar…
  • I will be going on R&R to spend time with my awesome family who will be living in (after having moved) to Nashville!
  • I will be spending (another) Birthday here in Bagram, Afghanistan. Oh the greatest place on earth to spend your birthday. Seriously. Not. :)
  • I will be talking to folks at VMworld (and as I currently am) plotting and planning for the next stage of my adventure when I am done with my mission here and ready to invest my time elsewhere.   I keep getting solicited and unsolicited offers from folks, keep it coming… I’ll find the right place to land my feet and make an epic impact like I have here (and everywhere else I’ve been)
  • Will I continue to be here in Afghanistan following November to see the final stage of the draw-down through and beyond into the Resolute Support Mission? That is really answered by the viability of finding where the ‘next stage of my adventure’ will take me. So that’s an unknown.
  • Will I keep being awesome? Definitely. You should too. :)

So there you go, a look back and a brief look forward.  See ya’ll at VMworld! <3

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Posted in Afghanistan, Brocade, Certification, Cisco, EMC Elect, Storage, vExpert, vmware, VMworld | Comments (0)

Are you #vExpert 2014 material?! Nominations open until March 6th 2014!!!

February 12th, 2014

On the one hand it is that time of the year again. On the other hand OMG the changes to the #vExpert Program this year are well worth mentioning!!!


All of the scoop and the details can be found here at the official VMware Blog; vExpert 2014 applications are open

And not only is the program proceeding as it had in the past, with the various details I’ve shared in a previous blog post; The Non-definitive guide to the VMware vExpert Program, Tips, Tricks, How to become a vExpert!   But also taking a page out of the Microsoft MVP Programs book, the vExpert program has changed to support quarterly nominations instead of yearly!

The second change is quarterly nominations into the 2014 vExpert program. We will leave the application open year round and at the end of each quarter we will begin the voting process for new vExperts from the previous quarter. So even if you are not picked to become a vExpert 2014 right away, we will allow for quarterly voting and nominations.

Pretty awesome, right?!?

So what does this mean?!? The first question you have to ask yourself is; Are you vExpert material.  Also along the same token you have to ask “Do I know someone who is vExpert material and I’d like to nominate”   The vExpert Program is still broken down into paths of Evangelist, Customer and Partner so the options are multiple and valuable.   When it comes to providing feedback and being supportive of the community refer to my guide mentioned above for ways to contribute and just continue being awesome!

For those of you applying to be a vExpert this year, good luck and best to you!

VMware vExpert 2014

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Posted in Virtualization, vmware | Comments (0)

#EMCElect 2014 – EMC’s Value and Appreciation Program for Community Contributors

January 24th, 2014

If you haven’t heard of or about EMC Elect by now, let this be a reminder!  For those unaware, EMC Elect is the EMC Equivalent to the Microsoft MVP Program, or the VMware vExpert Program.    It is with great honor I accept this reward two years in a row since its inception.

Look for more continued and contributions to the community this coming year involving Virtualization and EMC as well.  I’ve included some links below from various other members of the EMC Community and with more details on EMC Elect!   Good luck all and have an awesome 2014!!!

#EMCElect 2014

The EMC Elect of 2014 – Official List

How were the EMC Elect of 2014 chosen?

EMC Elect 2014 Honorees Announced

Welcoming the EMC Elect of 2014

EMC Elect for 2014 Announced

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Posted in emc, EMC Elect, Virtualization, vmware | Comments (0)

I am honored to be your #vExpert of the Season 2013!

June 1st, 2013

Well, here we are… vExpert nominations have been submitted, the data reviewed and the decisions unveiled as to whom represents the 2013 year of #vExperts and I am humbled and honored to be allowed to continue as a part of this absolutely awesome club.

To get a good feel for who are some of the members of this crazy and wild community that we’re a part of you can see the official list here;
vExpert 2013 Awardees announced

Oh and my fellow #vExperts be sure to take advantage of these folks who support our ability to continue to support the community!
Tintri free polo shirts for #vExperts with your Twitter handle on them!

2013 vExperts, come get a free one-year subscription to TrainSignal!

But enough with the lovefest for us, right?! Albeit… if you’re a new vExpert this year be sure you come say hi, introduce yourself within the community and amongst ourselves!

Some of you may ask the question, “With all this talk about vExperts, how do I become one too?!?!”
The Non-definitive guide to the VMware vExpert Program, Tips, Tricks, How to become a vExpert!

Last year I published this accord to give you a glimpse into the vExpert life, and even some tips on how to make this a reality. Well, with nominations over, and those aligned to 2013 chosen there’s no better time than the present to start fulfilling your destiny to ensure that when this time comes around again in 2014 you too will be on that list. The thing is, being a vExpert isn’t something arbitrary and it doesn’t come lightly. A lot of us eat, sleep and breathe Virtualization. Not because we’re paid to, but because it is a PART of us. It’s important to know that if you should so choose a future like this for yourself… there may be some responsibility resting upon your shoulders… That’s all I’m saying. :)

I congratulate my fellow vExperts and yes for those of you who have been asking, I WILL be attending VMworld 2013 in San Francisco this year, all of my flights have been booked to take me away from this beautiful desert warzone I’ve been spending my time in so I can enjoy my time with all of you and my family for a few weeks! And yes, this does mean there will be #CXIDinners as well! More details on that to come!

Congratulations all of you, this year just got even more interesting!



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Posted in Certification, vmware, vSphere | Comments (0)

Welcome to #EMCElect, What it is, Who they are, Why you care?!

January 15th, 2013

Well, the fateful day has arrived, and that day is good! Welcome one and all of the #EMCElect ! ! !

I guess we start off a bit in reference to the title of this blog post, oh my! You may be sitting here wondering what this MVP/vExpert-like program is about!

What exactly IS EMC Elect?

I find this can be readily answered by looking at the EMC Elect Charter – which I know all of you will immediately click and find out all about it! And… because you won’t, here is the straight scoop on it!

The team at EMC has designed a program to span the gap between brand loyalty and brand advocacy.

EMC Elect is a community-driven recognition designed to award investment and engagement of individual contributors with the EMC brand. The resulting status symbol will be held with high regard as an industry standard representing thought leadership in the fields of data center management, cloud computing and big data.

Members will be determined by peer nomination for their holistic social engagement for the previous calendar year.

Rewards for participating EMC Elect will receive unprecedented connection into product teams through dedicated liaisons.

EMC Business Units, by participating, receive a low-latency, trusted connection into the highest value influencers in our social ecosystem.

Alright, so that says a whole bunch of stuff, but what does it really mean?  These are like the brand champions, the evangelists… Often times, honestly… the same people you often ASSOCIATE with EMC whether they work there or not.   Take @mrdenny Denny Cherry, He is a rockstar in his own right and when I think of SQL and SQL books I think of him, but he also knows a boatload about EMC Products and isn’t shy about keeping it honest when it comes to the good, the bad and the respective ugly.    And you think about @sixfootdad Damian Karlson, while he works for EMC Consulting he is holistically focused on the whole of the Virtualization and Cloud communities, yet he doesn’t have the wool over his eyes when it comes to knowing the value-add and the EMC Portfolio, and he exemplifies that in his writing, his community and otherwise involvement… So these are just a few examples of the many!

Who exactly ARE the EMC Elect?!?!

It was announced just last night, this handy link which takes you to the 75 members who are now the EMC Elect 2013!

For those of you active in Storage, Cloud, Virtualization, EMC Specific technologies, and the like… You’re bound to recognize quite a number of those names; Off the top of my head and just glancing at the list the likes of…

Matthew Yeager, Erin Banks, Jase McCarty, Mark Twomey, Matt Cowger, Jason Nash, Simon Seagrave, Preston De Guise, and Rob Markovic are a few which just happen to jump out.   In all actuality I recognize most of the people on the list (yay me, right?)  Yes I am also on the list, but I digresssssssss! :)

What matters by exactly who they are will really shine forth in this little diatribe I like to call…

Err, so this is the EMC Elect, huh? HUH?!  So… Why should I CARE?!?

That’s right.  Why should you care? Great question, great point indeed!

If you do happen to know and recognize one or more of those names and you’re involved in this industry something rather common will start to shine through for those individuals… They tend to be very active, vocal and share with the community.  You’ve probably read a blog of theirs, seen a video, read a whitepaper they wrote, watched one of their presentations, been to one of their parties! ;)   Thus whether you realize it or not, they’ve had some kind of impact on your life, directly or indirectly and this takes it up a notch.     In this first year of kicking off the EMC Elect there were a total of 270 Nominations, 124 finalists and in the end… the directory shows 75 total members of this first year of EMC Elect.   I did some rough math on comments that it looked like a lot of EMC People are on the list, and I show around 8% of the total list are EMC Employees (my math may be wrong, as it’s just on spec and names I recognize, but not too horrible, considering how many of these people go above and beyond in their personal lives as well as professional!)

So in the end… why you really should care is… you’re bound to start to hear even more, useful, fruitful and quite amazing material and content coming from some of these gems of industry, and not just from the standard internal only folks… If this program is everything we can hope and dream it to be… we might find out about things, oh.. I don’t know, maybe BEFORE Chris Mellor from the register announces it to us a week before it comes out or something :)

Good luck, Good blogging, and OMFG have an AWESOME 2013! I know I will! :)

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Posted in Education, emc, Evangelist, Technology | Comments (0)

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