In Storage Industry Far Far Away...
A little over 5 weeks ago, I joined NetApp as a Virtualization Solutions Architect. Walking onto the NetApp campus was not without some form of trepidation – you see, I am for all intents and purposes, a recovering EMC’er. I say that laughingly, as I do and will always respect the position that any vendor has in this space where part of their overall corporate strategy is furthering the adoption of virtualization and enabling customers to extend the capabilities of their datacenters through server virtualization technologies (directly or indirectly).
Writer’s Note: Server Virtualization == VMware (to me) – and yes, I know there are other hypervisors.
Growing up on Tatooine
At EMC, I had the privilege to be a vSpecialist focusing on technical marketing and emerging technologies. I guess you could say that my Obi-Wan at the time was Chad Sakac, but ultimately the number of influences there that drove home the virtualization message to me are too many to list here – except for Stephen Spellicy who is and will always be a total vJedi! Prior to that role, I led a software development team at EMC, designing, developing and deploying tools like the File Level Retention Toolkit, the Celerra Storage Replication Adapter for VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM), the EMC SRM Failback Tool, and the NFS Provisioning Plugin for vCenter. Just a lot of really cool stuff working with a lot of really talented people.
So by now, you have to be asking – if it was so great, why did you leave….
Well there are quite a few reasons, some even worthy of their own blog post, others require adult beverages and copious amounts of food. In the end, the job (for me personally) became more about weaving disparate forms of technology into solutions, developed in their own silos and independent of one another, together to address the needs of the virtual datacenter under the banner of “seamlessly integrated”. Put another way, I really wanted to focus on helping the customer solve their business challenges based on an purpose built infrastructure for virtualization, not on one stood up by bolting components together and wrapping a loose bow around them. Customers deserve more than that, successful and scalable virtualization initiatives demand more than that. So that required a professional lifestyle change – it was time to make a trip…
Life in the Dagobah System
Okay, here’s promise that this will be the last Star Wars reference, and that I can understand if you would argue that Chad should have been cast against Yoda , but Yoda was not on the desert planet – so enter Vaughn Stewart.
As a new member of the Virtualization Business Unit, the amount of learning and unlearning I have gone through has been incredible. I have been “wow’ed” at every turn and find myself constantly saying “really?” and accepting the fact that “it just works” is a constant struggle. To that end, I would offer this blog to you, my avid reader, where I will expose what I think many of my fellow NetApp bloggers may take for granted because they are free to think bigger thoughts because the NetApp technology “just works”. Centered on virtualization, it is my intent to blur the lines between strategic virtualization initiatives and the technical efforts necessary to move along the virtualization journey by analyzing the business value and costs associated with the technology and postulating a return on investment based on that value and/or cost. Plus, getting into the weeds to talk about really cool technology that enables a better approach to virtualization.
Stick with me, and I promise you that I will engage with you actively and will do my best to minimize my diatribes and my Star Wars references. I’d welcome your subscription and would like you to follow me on twitter @lilbaker83. Through these mediums, lets work together to create a “virtualutopia” (selfless plug – hehe).
And in the words of my friend Nick: Virtualization does change everything and with NetApp, lets go further and lets get there faster.