VMware Names First vExpert Cloud Recipients

On Friday, VMware announced the recipients of their first-ever vExpert Cloud designation. This will be called “vExpert Cloud 2017”.

This is the third specialization added to the long-running vExpert program, after vExpert VSAN and vExpert NSX. Already holding a current vExpert designation is a prerequisite for any of the specialty vExpert programs.

What is a vExpert? Well, in VMware’s own words, they are people who have:

demonstrated significant contributions to the community and a willingness to share their expertise with others. Contributing is not always blogging or Twitter as there are many public speakers, book authors, scriptwriters, VMUG leaders, VMTN community moderators and internal champions

I am very proud to have my name included on this first-ever list of vExpert Cloud recipients. I am humbled and a bit nervous to have my name included on this first-ever list of vExpert Cloud recipients… I feel like I’ve been given something that I now have to earn and live up to.

You can see the full list of 134 VMware vExpert Cloud 2017 designees here.

 

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Aparavi Emerges From Stealth with an SaaS Solution for a Multi-Cloud World

Yesterday, Aparavi, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) start-up company, emerged from stealth with a SaaS offering for managing long-term data retention in a multi-cloud world.

The company says their name is derived from the Latin word apparare which means “to prepare”. Now, I’ve never had any formal training in Latin, but my own research suggests that apparare is actually a noun that is more accurately translated as “preparations”, so it’s still in the neighborhood they were shooting for. (There are some readers asking themselves right now: “Was that bit of nit-picking really necessary?” To them, I answer, “You haven’t known me very long, have you?”)

Whether you view it as preparing or making preparations, the name is a fitting one. Aparavi’s software offers a solution to make managing long-term retention of data across multiple clouds simple. Continue reading

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Zadara Storage Offers Hurricane Relief to Business Hit by Harvey, Irma, or Maria

Zadara Storage, a Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) start-up company, is offering disaster relief to businesses affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria. The relief Zadara is offering comes in the form of up to 1PB of free data storage for six months. This storage can be installed on-site, in the Cloud, or as a hybrid model.

(I’m so pleased to be writing about some good news related to the hurricanes that have caused so much destruction in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.)

How do businesses qualify for their six months of free storage?

  • Be a business that operates in the hurricane-affected areas and lost storage
  • Be a business that operates elsewhere, but lost storage in a data center or at a colocation site in the hurricane affected areas

If your business meets either of these two conditions, you can apply for your free storage here.

I know what you’re thinking — What’s the catch? There is none. If your company qualifies, Zadara will either ship storage — to your site or to your colocation data center — or provide you with access to cloud-based storage in Zadara’s data centers. When the six months is up, you can choose to sign up for Zadara’s Storage-as-a-Service, or you can return the storage to them, no questions asked.

I spoke with Zadara’s CEO and co-founder, Nelson Nahum, last week. He told me that as he was watching news coverage of the hurricane disasters, he and other members of the company’s management team found themselves inspired by things people were doing to help each other: sharing food and resources, working together to rescue people who were trapped, opening their homes to shelter strangers who lost their homes to the storm. Seeing this caused the management team to ask themselves and each other what they could do to help. The answer was: up to 1PB of Storage-as-a-Service for six months, either on-site or in the Cloud, for free, no strings attached.

Zadara’s Storage-as-a-Service supports multiple data types (block, file, and object), providing access via multiple storage protocols (FC, iSCSI, iSER, NFS, SMB, S3, and Swift). (I’ll do a follow-up blog post later to take a closer look at how they accomplish this.)

So, if you’re with a business that could use a hand getting back on its feet following the triple-whammy of hurricanes — or know someone in that situation — go here to have the business apply.

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Amazon Adds Per-Second Billing for Some EC2 Instances

Amazon’s per-second billing is now available for some types of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances. Announced back in September, this billing model change went into effect on 2 October.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) first launched their EC2 service in 2006. The success of AWS and cloud computing in general proves that there are uses for leasing a virtual server for an hour at a time.

Recently, some AWS competitors have moved from per-hour to per-minute billing. This move by AWS seems like an attempt to leapfrog past their competitors by offering billing that’s even more granular. In this post, I’ll look into some of the details of this billing change. Continue reading

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My Schedule at VMworld US 2017

After having had to miss out on VMworld last year, I’m pleased to announce my triumphant return to the event. Or at least my return.

VMworld has always been, in my opinion, one of the best yearly events, not just in terms of the technical content and knowledge to be gained, but also because of the size and strength of the community that attends.

So, in that spirit, in the hopes of being able to reconnect with old friends, have in-person meetings with people I’ve only none online, and in making new friends and community connections, here are the places where you’ll most likely be able to find me during the event. Continue reading

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Cisco Announces Intention to Acquire Springpath

SpringPathOn Monday, Cisco ended over a year of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) speculation and announced their intent to acquire Springpath.

In this case, instead of Cisco the networking company, we’re looking at Cisco the manufacturer of the Unified Computing System (UCS) compute platform. Springpath makes hyperconvergence software. Cisco has been running that software — rebranded as the Cisco HX Data Platform — on their UCS servers and offering that bundle as their HyperFlex HCI solution. You may remember that I wrote about HyperFlex when it first launched back in March of 2016.

I’ve been a fan of the UCS platform since its launch, and I’ve been a fan of Springpath since they came out of stealth.  HyperFlex has always looked like a great HCI solution to me, and I’ve been surprised it hasn’t taken off more than it has.

Cisco’s been making an overall change to put more emphasis on software and its value-add, and the Springpath acquisition obviously fits well with that shift. The Springpath team will be joining Cisco’s Computing Systems Product Group.

At the price — $320Million in cash — it’s a bargain for Cisco even if they’re only acquiring Springpath to ensure exclusive access to the intellectual property, or ongoing support for HyperFlex. The acquisition is expected to close in Q1 of 2018, pending regulatory review.

Cisco Press Release

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Panel Discussion of Abandonware (in an IoT Context)

During the past couple years, the good folks over at Gestalt IT have been working to find more ways to make sure that the Tech Field Day delegates feel that their time has been valued and put to good use. One of the ways they’ve been doing that is to use some of the down time to record podcasts.

At one of the Storage Field Days I attended, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to sit on a podcast panel to discuss “abandonware” — especially in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT).

What’s abandonware? It’s what happens when you have a networked device that still works, but is no longer supported by its manufacturer — or worse, whose manufacturer has gone out of business. Lack of support for the device means no more software updates, which means no security patches. Unpatched devices on your network leave your network vulnerable. Continue reading

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Turbonomic Announces Version 5.9, Adds Support for Hybrid Cloud

Today Turbonomic announced  a new release of their autonomic management suite, version 5.9. The new version adds new capabilities, expanding their automated management into hybrid cloud environments, as well as a number of performance enhancements.

With this release, Turbonomic is furthering their mission: to enable their customers to automate and control any workload, on any infrastructure, any time, and any place.

What’s New in 5.9

I’ll summarize what I see as the key new things Turbonomic has added in version 5.9. Continue reading

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Voting for Top vBlog 2017 is Open — Closes 30 June

It’s that time of year again when you’re seeing lots of “Vote for Me!” blog posts and tweets. This is not one of those posts.

Yes, once again, Eric Seibert is running voting for the Top vBlog of 2017 on his really great blog vSphere-Land(If it’s not already in whatever you’ve moved to since Google Reader went away, take a moment to add it now. I’ll wait.) Again this year, Turbonomic is helping to sponsor the voting.

So, no, I’m not going to ask you to rush over there and vote for me. I am, however going to ask you to go there sometime before voting closes on 30 June 2017 and vote for the blogs (you can choose 12 of them) that you find to be:

  • The most helpful
  • The most informative
  • The best

In the Big Scheme of ThingsTM, does being voted on of the Top vBlogs of 2017 really matter? No. No, it doesn’t.

However, I know that your favorite bloggers will definitely appreciate seeing their blog rise up a little higher in the rankings. I know that a lot of folks out there put a lot of time and effort into their postings — almost all of it during their “free” time — and almost all of them aren’t making any money off of their blogs. (Full Disclosure: From sponsorship, this blog earned slightly more than enough money to cover my hosting fees in 2016, netting approximately $16 USD for the entire year.

So thank them by taking the time to vote for the folks you read and are informed by, whoever they are — I know they’ll appreciate it. (Don’t get me wrong — if you’re having trouble thinking of who to give your 12th vote to, I’ll happily take it, but it won’t bother me in the least if you don’t vote for me at all, as long as you took the time to vote for folks you believe deserve the recognition.)

You can read up on the voting and cast your vote here.

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Job Search Successful — I’m Headed to the Cloud

First things first: I want to thank everyone who has followed along and supported me during the recent job search. It’s meant a lot to me to know that I was never really alone during it.

A special thank you to all of you who contacted me and acted as “connectors”, connecting me to people, companies, and job opportunities.

During the search, a few people asked me why I kept mentioning my job search on social media. My answer was always the same — every time I mention the job search, someone new contacts me with ideas, suggestions, or to help connect me to a job opportunity I was previously unaware of. In fact, a tweet about my job search is directly responsible for connecting me to my new job. I’ll do a future blog post with more details about how social media helped my job search.

But, none of that is what you came here to read at the moment. You came here to hear about:

My New Job

I’m very happy to announce that, starting today, I’m joining the team at Virtustream.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, Virtustream is a cloud provider. (And one of the Dell Technologies companies.) Their offerings are designed for enterprises and global IT organizations. While they’re not a “household name” like the “Big Three” in cloud (AWS, Azure, and Google) are, I think Virtustream’s in a great place to get there because of the things that make them different than the Big Three.

The main difference I see is that using any of the Big Three is essentially a do-it-yourself experience. While you can do it all yourself with Virtustream, they also offer a full suite of managed services to choose from. Additionally, they also have offerings specifically built for Enterprises, for Federal, and for Healthcare.

What Will I Be Doing?

In the job posting, the official job title was listed as:

Senior Consultant: Technical Product Marketing

But, yeah, that doesn’t really tell you much about what I’ll actually be doing.

I’ll be in an individual contributor role, working with almost every team within Virtustream to create technical content, both for internal and external use. This will include articles, presentations, white papers, trainings, videos, whiteboards, demos, blog posts, and, well, pretty much any other format that folks would find as an effective way to consume information.

The job looks to be the perfect mix of “everybody already has a good idea of what they need from me” and “go forth to create and define this role for yourself”.

As a big plus, I’ll be getting to work with several folks I’ve known for years now who have not only earned my professional respect, but who I also actually like a lot.

So I’ll still be working with storage and virtualization, but I’ll also be moving that work deeper into the Cloud than I have in the past. Definitely looking forward to it.

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