Returning to the Mothership

Just a quick post to discuss my, as of tomorrow, new role as a:

Staff Solutions Architect at VMware!

This was quite a tricky decision, and one I did not take lightly, as everyone at Ahead has my utmost respect and appreciation. I move towards this new opportunity with a heavy heart, and a grateful mind.

My time at Ahead as a Senior Solutions Architect was spent consulting with some of the most brilliant executives and technical resources of the Fortune 500, as well as SMB and Commercial space rockstars that kept me on the cutting edge of current technologies. It also involved quite a bit of travel, as it seems that VP’s and CXO’s don’t fly to you. Imagine my surprise!

It was difficult to predict the amount of travel, and that it would impact my family life, when I had my first child two years ago in March. Coming home from a project, and realizing that my son had learned new words was heartbreaking. I’m sure I won’t care with child #2, but I digress. (kidding!)

My desire to maintain expertise, and also to stay close to home led me back to VMware by pure chance, as a position opened up for the Central region just as I had moved to Ypsilanti with my family. Serendipitous, is a word. While I spent many hours in contemplation, ultimately I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. A happy family life, plus career excellence are not mutually exclusive in my mind, and I am lucky to be offered such a prestigious position with a great team, in a place where I happen to live. A huge thank you to everyone, past and present, that helped me get to where I am, and will be in the future!

I will keep updating as things progress, and I look forward to seeing everyone at VMUGs, VMworld, and vBeers still as usual – Cheers!

Amazon IoT Buttons and Lambda, or “How I made my life easier, with the push of a button”

Quick post for a neat little project I whipped up in no time today: a “get me my stuff” button thanks to a Amazon IoT button and Lambda functions, or serverless compute for the cool kids out there.

Let’s start with “The Internet of Things” -this is a very generic term to describe the modern day ability of wireless connectivity being applied to “things”. Refrigerators, toasters, cars, washer/dryers, alarm clocks, and even clicky-buttons that can order you Tide, amongst other things. Basically:

Amazon made IoT buttons available in March of 2015, and one of my coworkers had waaaay too much fun with harassing another fellow coworker via an IoT button and Slack integration. No really, the  insult generator is probably one of my favorite hacked together pieces of “hilarity ensues” and made my first few weeks at Ahead even better.

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Rubrik 4.0 “Alta” release – New Native Support, Core Expansion and More!

Rubrik just recently released announcements of their 4.0 product, entitled “Alta” and as the name alludes – Rubrik has set its sights high with this huge product drop! Building upon their high-performing, quick-ingest backup solution, the 3.2 release saw enhancements for Azure and Amazon as cloud cluster backup targets. This new 4.0 release expands to include new integrations with Microsoft Hyper-V and Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV), adopts deeper integration with SQL and Oracle RMAN  (say whaaaaat?), and exposes Cloud Instantiation – a new feature to further drive Rubrik’s Amazon integration into the stratosphere. Let’s dive in!

Alta is a ski area that is awesome. It also means “high” in spanish…

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Communicate Change? I Can’t Complain!

Jon Hildebrand recently made a brilliant vBrownbag presentation about DevOps Culture, and how behavioral and organizational shift can be more important than the actual tech involved. I highly agree, and wanted to expand upon the concept to a more broad topic that we normally fail to address in business: communicating change.

"I'll be right over!"
“Mom’s making meatloaf!”

The rules of business are these: you make a product or service and sell to your customer. You keep up with the demand and the changing times, and expand and grow your business where possible. All the while you communicate via marketing: “Hey! vMikeB is opening a new store in your area!” or “vMikeB is offering a new widget, this time with BBQ sauce!” This chain of communication keeps your customers engaged, informed, and focused on your narrative, and in turn your product or service.

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The “why” of HCI

Helping businesses solve problems and make well informed decisions has been my job for the better part of the last decade. While I find this ultimately enjoyable, there still remains quite a bit of misinformation in the field: just a few months ago a customer informed me that “virtualization just isn’t ready for production environments.” – this, after almost 20 years of x86 virtualization!

OMG Becky…

Hearing comments like this made me want to help dispel some of the FUD out there, clear the fog of war and get things straight. So let’s start with a technology du jour: Hyperconverged Infrastructure.

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