I’m Going to DisneyLand!

No, I haven’t won the World Series (although, if I had it would certainly be worth bragging about considering that I’m not a member of any professional baseball team). I’ll be attending the Nth Generation Symposium as a guest of HPE and as a Tech Field Day delegate.

This is the 19th annual Nth Generation Symposium. The Symposium focuses on technological innovation. HPE is the Grand Sponsor of this year’s event.

And – yes – it is being held at Disneyland! Well, one of the Disney resort hotels, but that still counts as being on the grounds of Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, so just roll with it.

This will be the sixth Tech Field Day I’ve been invited to attend and the second “Exclusive” one. It’s always great to get an invitation to these events.

This will be both my first Nth Generation Symposium as well as my first HPE event. I’m looking forward to getting to see what this event will be like.

Naturally, I’m also looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and the Tech Field Day delegates I haven’t met yet.

As always, the Tech Field Day event will be livestreamed and recorded. You can get more information about Tech Field Day coverage of this event here. When the event is closer, I’ll post info on how you can follow along even if you’re not attending.

Posted in HPE | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mixed Message Monday: Kevin Hart and Kickstart

Mixed Message Mondays are my foray into marketing commentary, focused on marketing attempts that must have seemed like a good idea to someone, but have somehow managed to lose the intended message…

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it feels like Kevin Hart is everywhere lately. He’s doing TV shows, movies, guest appearances, commercials, etc. To that, I say, “Good for you Kevin. Cash in on it while you can.”

But then, I saw a particularly disturbing commercial for Mountain Dew Kickstart.

Continue reading twitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Posted in Marketing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Summary of the Announcements From CommvaultGO 2018

Commvault GO 2018I’m at the CommvaultGO conference, and the new announcements are coming out at a rapid-fire pace. It’s hard enough to keep track of everything while I’m here and can ask questions in real time — I can only imagine how difficult it is trying to keep track if you’re not here.

To make it easier, I’ve summarized the big announcements below. Continue reading twitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Posted in Commvault | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Heading to Commvault GO 2018 with Tech Field Day

It’s been a while (too long, I know…) since I’ve posted anything, but this seemed the perfect excuse to jump back into things.

Commvault GO 2018Next week, I’m heading down to Nashville for the Commvault GO 2018 conference. I’ll be there as part of the Tech Field Day contingent. I’ll be attending as an independent analyst, which means that in addition to the general sessions and access to the exhibition floor, I’ll also get to attend the analyst briefings. I’m looking forward to having some good stuff to write about from this.

Since, until very recently, I’ve been working for a vendor, I haven’t been able to take on this sort of opportunity for the past 18 months or so. I’m excited to be getting back into it.

In addition to the conference itself, I’m really looking forward to seeing the other members of the Tech Field Day group. Can’t wait to see the other eight folks I already know and have come to respect, and I’m looking forward to getting the chance to meet the other five folks I haven’t had the chance to meet yet.

These Tech Field Day events have been a great experience for me. I’ve learned so much from them and made so many lasting connections. If you ever get the opportunity to attend as a delegate and are able to have the timing work, my advice is to dive right in and go for it. You will not regret it. twitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Posted in Commvault | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Unboxing the Tap Wearable Keyboard and Mouse

If you know me, you know my love for gadgets — especially ones the advance my cyborgification, and ones that can be added to my PAN (Personal Area Network). So, it should come as no surprise that no more than ten minutes passed between the moment when I first heard of the Tap wearable keyboard and mouse device and when I had found it on the ‘Net and pre-ordered one.

While waiting for it, someone suggested that this would be a great candidate for an unboxing video. I’ve done one unboxing on this site before, on a very special episode of the GeekFluent MiniCast. Since that was an audio-only unboxing it went over about as well as you might expect it to. Continue reading twitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Posted in Things I Have | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Cisco Names Champions for 2018

At the end of last last week, Cisco sent out the official “Welcome” emails to the folks they’ve named as Cisco Champions for 2018.

What are Cisco Champions exactly? you might ask.

It’s a fair question, I’ll admit. Started in 2014, the Cisco Champion program is a way for Cisco to recognize those members of the IT community — who are not Cisco employees — who are going above and beyond their job descriptions to find ways to contribute to and share knowledge with that IT community.

To quote from Cisco’s website:

Cisco Champions are passionate experts who share their perspectives with the community.

In my experience, that’s exactly who they are. Sometimes I feel like there are people out there who are only interested in joining community programs like this one in order to grab some free swag, but I’ve never gotten that vibe from any of the Cisco Champions I’ve met in person or interacted with online. In general, I find them to be very enthusiastic about the technology we all use and very eager to learn — and help others learn, too. I find that I get energized when I spend time with this community.

Cisco recognizes Champions in the following interest areas:

  • Data Center
  • Collaboration
  • Enterprise Networks
  • Internet of Things
  • Security

With that said, I’m both proud, humbled, and a little nervous to have been named a Cisco Champion for Data Center for my 5th year. Proud because, well, it’s a honor to be selected. Humbled because when I look at the other folks who’ve been selected, I see several folks who I’ve looked up to for a while, and someone has decided that I belong in the same grouping as them. And a little nervous because someone has decided that I belong in the same grouping as these folks — a little concerned about not living up to expectations.

Anyway, thank you Cisco, and congratulations to all the other Cisco Champions, both new and returning! twitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Microsoft Enters Agreement to Purchase Avere Systems

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that it had entered into an agreement to purchase Avere Systems, a maker of software and hardware appliances that can perform filesystem virtualization, file-to-object gateway services, and allow customers to easily connect their onsite storage to public cloud storage.

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’ve been a big fan of the Avere platform. In my reseller days, I was involved in a few deals on solutions and designs involving Avere filers.

If you’re not familiar with Avere, you can read these quick overviews of their cloud gateway capabilities, their virtual filer, and their complete onsite storage solution.

Avere Systems customers include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Hopkins University, and Sony Corporation’s entertainment division. (I’m fairly familiar with how two of those three customers are employing their Avere filers.)

If I were to sum up what the Avere filers provide for customers, it would be that they provide the performance of local (onsite) storage for data that’s stored remotely (offsite). Clients access the Avere systems front-end using either the NFS or SMB protocols. The back-end can connect to multiple storage sources using either NFS, SMB, S3, or some combination. The Avere filers present clients with a single global namespace, meaning the client has no knowledge of where the data’s source actually is. Data can be migrated between sources on the Avere’s back-end with no interruption of service to clients connecting to the front-end.

With the virtual filers, Avere can also allow offsite compute clients in the cloud to access data in a customer’s private onsite data center…

In all, it’s not difficult to see why Microsoft might want to acquire them — especially since they’ve announced their intent to move it into their Azure division. What’s surprising, really, is that no other cloud provider saw Avere as an acquisition target earlier.

If Microsoft is able to incorporate that ability to have cloud computing resources accessing data from private onsite data centers into Azure, it will be a big differentiator for them as no other cloud providers currently offer a similar capability.

At this time, there’s been no news regarding the purchase price. Estimates and specualtion range from $300 Million to $500 Million. If true, compared to the potential Avere’s intellectual property has to add to a cloud service provider, this could turn out to have been quite the bargain for Microsoft.

Today, Avere Systems supports Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform. Obviously we should expect closer integration with Azure in the future, but Microsoft says they’ll continue to support AWS and Google, which I’m sure is welcome news to existing Avere Customers.



Posted in Avere, Azure | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Virtustream MicroVM

Very soon after I joined Virtustream, I quickly realized that one piece of Virtustream technology in particular was something that was causing confusion for customers, prospects, and even employees — especially me as our group’s FNG (you know, the group’s New Guy).

That technology was Virtustream MicroVMTM — often abbreviated as µVMTM. There has been so much confusion about what the MicroVM is — and how it works — that a lot of folks didn’t seem to understand the full benefits that Virtustream MicroVM can provide.

The short version is that MicroVMs are what enables customers to use Virtustream Enterprise Cloud in a true pay-as-you-go consumption model. I’ll get into the longer version in just a little bit. Continue reading twitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Posted in Virtustream | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Most-Read GeekFluent Posts in 2017

Hello, and welcome to 2018.

It’s a new year which means it’s time for a new check-in on how content on this site did during the previous year. Let’s start with the ten most-read posts in 2017. (All statistics used in this post are gathered from the WordPress app.)

Most-Read Posts in 2017:

  1. What’s New in VMware vSphere 6.5 (2016) – 6,958 views
  2. Use Your Windows Laptop as an Isilon Console Terminal (2013) – 1,973 views
  3. What’s New in Isilon OneFS 8.0 (2016) – 1,963 views
  4. Magic Balloon: A Whiteboarding Creativity Game/Exercise (2013) – 1,728 views
  5. Cisco Enters Hyperconverged Market with HyperFlex (2016) – 1,344 views
  6. Job Search Mode: Engaged! (2017) – 1,168 views
  7. Summary of Monday’s Announcements at Dell EMC World 2017 (2017) – 917 views
  8. Pure Storage Announces NVMe DirectFlash and New FlashArray Model (2017) – 881 views
  9. Pure Storage FlashBlade is Now GA (2017) – 838 views
  10. EMC Announces Next-Generation VMAX Storage Array (2014) – 813 views

The first thing I noticed was that only four of the ten most-read posts in 2017 were actually written in 2017. The second thing I noticed was the huge gap between the #1 and #2 spots. The most-viewed post, on vSphere 6.5, actually received 19% of the total views the entire site got during 2017.

Most-Read Posts Written in 2017

I know this list is less “fair” to the more recent posts, but that’s just the way things go.

  1. Job Search Mode: Engaged! – 1,168 views
  2. Summary of Monday’s Announcements at Dell EMC World 2017 – 917 views
  3. Pure Storage Announces NVMe DirectFlash and New FlashArray Model – 881 views
  4. Pure Storage FlashBlade is Now GA – 838 views
  5. Job Search Successful – I’m Headed to the Cloud – 562 views
  6. Things Marketers Need to Just STOP Doing – 354 views
  7. Cisco Announces Champions for 2017 – 338 views
  8. Premise vs. Premises: A Modest Proposal – 307 views
  9. HPE Acquiring SimpliVity for a Bargain Basement Price – 229 views
  10. An Open Letter to Influence Marketers – 222 views

I’ll admit I’m happy that “Job Search” post got top readership. It and the various social media work around it were instrumental in helping me find my current job.

I do wish my “Modest Proposal” had gotten more reads — and that the proposal itself had a far higher adoption rate.

I’m a little sad that the “Open Letter” made it into the top ten. I think the Addendum I wrote to it is actually a far better piece.

The Power of Search

60.7% of all pageviews on this site in 2017, came from search engines. Most folks aren’t necessarily looking for me, but they’re looking for me info on things I’m writing about. They’re doing what I do — running a search and then reading what they’re referred to. Makes me think I might want to look into some SEO at some point.


I seem to be branching out with what I write — both top ten lists this year cover a wider variety of vendors and topics than the lists have in past years.

I wrote more about myself recently. Two of the top posts I wrote this year were about what I was up to.

I pretty much always feel that I’m not creating new content or posting as often as I “should” be. I’m not sure if that will actually ever change, but a good first step might be convincing myself that short posts really are OK. twitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Posted in General | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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.


Posted in VMware | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment