An amazing 15 years – here’s to what’s next?

Or…I resigned – what now?

At our best, we are the dreamers, the visionaries for our customers.

tl;dr version (aka Summary)

  • looking for new role (left previous one on good terms – see below for why)
  • highly experienced with datacenter technologies in multiple arenas (storage – EMC, NetApp, virtualization, EUC, networking, security, CI, HCI, on multiple partner technical advisory boards, etc.)
  • 7 years customer background (admin to engineer to architect) – 2 years Helpdesk before that while in college
  • strong presales track record in 8 years with partners/VARs (SE to manager to director)
  • technical while communicating well at multiple org levels (admin to engineer to director to CxO) including public speaking – “a nerd who’s allowed to talk” (see below)
  • passionate learner and lover of technology plus fascinated by the intersection of business & technology – 3x EMC Elect, 5x vExpert, lots of certs to the degree they matter (see LinkedIn for those) – this has helped me respond to market shifts
  • able to start at a strategic/big picture level but appropriately dive into the technical weeds/down the stack
  • Gallups StrengthsFinder results below – Achiever, Responsibility, Analytical, Strategic, Learner
  • always focused on what can be done vs. what can’t be done
  • based out of Greenville, SC – comfortable with what I call medium travel (say ~50%) but not Monday to Friday every week on a plane/in hotels.
  • looking for a role focused on building and creating – given my skillset mix could be (no particular order) field CTO, office of the CTO, practice manager, product manager, technical marketing, evangelist, presales SE and/or overlay, IT Director or CTO – I’m less focused on the title and more focused on where I can make an impact.
  • Contact me via Twitter DM (@andriven) or email (andrew@thinkmeta.net) – I’d love to chat!

Read below for more details… (Long Post Alert – quotes that resonated for me along the way to make it a bit more interesting/less self-centered)

Sidenote: obligatory LinkedIn Profile – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andriven

‘Leadership has little to do with authority – more to do with knowledge and being a servant leader.’ From Scrum.

Why write this?

Simply put, I’d like to cast a wide net in finding possibilities for my next career step using this post, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other means. Usually when job hunting we have to skulk around in the shadows making surreptitious phone calls or sending text messages in the bathroom – I’d bet everyone reading this has been there. Imagine you could publicize your desire for a new role along with a “better than a resume” writeup of where your head is. That’s the goal of this post. I realize I am incredibly blessed to be able to take this approach.

Note: prior to my resignation I’d not read about Kenneth Hui or Keith Townsend taking a similar approach (resigning without a new job in hand + searching publicly). Since then, I have read many of their blog posts and listened to their Geek Whisperer’s podcasts – highly recommended.

‘There is a great humility needed to survive in the tech industry.’ Matt Brender & Brian Gracely on The Geek Whisperers

An Amazing 15 Year Run

7 years as a customer moving from an admin to an engineer to an architect (I owe a lot of my later success to my experiences as a customer – thanks Tom Berg for being an amazing manager who taught me a lot), 8 years on the partner side – 2 years with Data Network Solutions as hybrid presales/postsales focused on virtualization and storage (thanks Bernard and Gary for helping me jump to the partner side), 5 of those years with Varrow in a senior presales role to manager/director during which we saw explosive 5x growth capped by the acquisition of Varrow by Sirius Computer Solutions last year (thanks AJ, Dan, and Jeremiah for taking a chance on me), and finally this last year with Sirius Computer Solutions as “Manager – CI & Storage”.

During my time at Varrow I was honored to be TC (SE) of the Year two years in a row. It’s impossible to properly thank the hundreds of customers I’ve worked with over the last 8 years for the trust they’ve placed in me – from SMB to mid-market to enterprise. It’s truly humbling to have people look to you for expertise + recommendations and not wanting to let them down.

Later addition: I realized I’ve not hit on any technical experience…here’s a smattering.

  • Writing shell scripts in bash to add DNS zones to a custom internal/external BIND DNS setup with ISC DHCP (thanks to O’Reilly for great books and Cricket Liu in particular)
  • Many overnight Novell Netware upgrades – I still shed a tear over eDirectory at times and am still Novell CNA since it never expires.
  • Upgrade a cross-campus Cisco 5500 pair to Cisco 6500 pair with HSRP, multiple protocols (hello IPX!), and many VLANs
  • Hands-on VI3 through vSphere implemetations and then architecture – VCP3 until now
  • Many storage array architectures (pool layout) for both NetApp and EMC arrays
  • If curious about other areas, let me know or look at LinkedIn a bit.

Moving into a presales manager role with 10-15 direct reports and then director was an incredible learning experience and very humbling. Given a team of high performers, my primary goals were around coaching and enabling. Despite moving up the org chart, I sought to remain fairly technical and be more of a player/coach than manager. Reflecting that, I represented Varrow and later Sirius at multiple Partner Technical Advisory Boards/Partner Technical Summits even as recently as this year (along with multiple people on my team – no desire to keep those on my team from advancing). My time at Varrow and later Sirius was very valuable…but also Non-Stop Busy. On balance I thrive on a fast pace and enjoy it.

‘Culture is an echo chamber of the things that we celebrate with leaders having a wider impact radius.’ Chad Sakac on The Geek Whisperers podcast

Stop the world, I’d like to get off (for a little while)

That’s the crux of it – my wife’s family is in Southeast Asia and I had a lot of points and miles. In short it was too tempting to not take a several month sabbatical (leaving Sirius on good terms and working out a several week notice), spend time with family overseas, and visit 7 countries. In 11 weeks we were in Taipei, Seoul, Singapore, Bali, Perth, Hong Kong, Malaysia. Lots of memories and zero regrets….an incredible experience.

I was able to keep up with tech via Slack, my RSS feeds, and even met up with some industry peers while in Singapore (huge thanks to Chad Sakac and Ed Walsh for the intros!). I enjoy this business too much to ignore it for 3 months.

IMG_0746.jpg

View from the Grand Club @ Grand Hyatt Bali – relaxing place to read and ponder.

So what now?

Along with travel and family time, I’ve spent some of the last 3 months expanding myself a bit (see book list below) as well as being somewhat introspective. According to Gallup StrengthFinder, my top 5 strengths are…

  1. Achiever – according to Gallup this is
    • People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
  2. Responsibility – this is….
    • People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
  3. Analytical – this is…
    • People who are especially talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation.
  4. Strategic – this is…
    • People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
  5. Learner – this is…
    • People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

Beyond that, I believe I’m one of the “nerds allowed to speak” as Geek Whisperers calls them whether to customers, internal training/presentations, or larger events. I have some examples there if don’t want to take my word for it though. Where did this come from? Although it’s been a while, I went to Nationals in Extemperaneous speaking in high school as well as competed  in 45+ tournaments of extemp and Lincoln-Douglas (philosophy) debate (6-3-7-3-4-6-3 will always stick with me as well as ‘flowing’ an argument) – incredible opportunities that provided a volume of public speaking and “on your feet critical thinking” experience hard to amass otherwise.

While it might be crazy, I frankly enjoy public speaking despite it requiring serious preparation to do well. As long as we’re discussing greatest fears, I’m ironically writing the first draft of this post at 35,000 feet which hits the top 3 fears there in just a couple sentences.

IMG_1723.jpg

Sunrise at 35,000 feet over Alaska

Books read/Podcasts listened to during my sabbatical (aside from lots of general tech news reading via Feedly/RSS)

Got a recommendation to add to that list? Let me know!

‘Authenticity brings power because it’s hard to combat.’ Chad Sakac on The Geek Whisperers podcast

What kind of role?

As mentioned above, I’m not too set on titles or even where I fall in the org structure. I am comfortable with what I call medium travel (say ~50%) but not Monday to Friday every week on a plane/in hotels.

That could be a wide range from an organizational structure standpoint when I look at manufacturer vs. partner/VAR vs. customer. In no particular order, that might mean field CTO, office of the CTO, practice manager, product manager, technical marketing, evangelist, presales SE and/or overlay, IT Director, or CTO.

What about Sirius?

To be completely upfront, I will be discussing roles with Sirius and may very well return to a position there. I owe Sirius a debt of gratitude as they provided some much appreciated flexibility around my resignation. To be precise, my current status is “unpaid extended leave/sabbatical” albeit without an actual position (my position has been backfilled by a very capable Sirius employee). At the same time, I’m very interested in seeing what possibilities are out there and have been upfront with them about this.

What’s next?

First, thanks for reading this far. If you’d like to chat or know of a role that might be a fit, please don’t hesitate to reach out whether via Twitter DM (@andriven) or email (andrew@thinkmeta.net). If you’d like to chat live, just let me know and I’ll shoot you my phone number.

Thanks!

EMC World 2016 – EMC Elect Meetup with John Roese, EMC CTO

Got here a bit later due to giving feedback to a product manager on MyService360…when I came in, the room was doing introductions and topics were interested in. General topics of interest are around Dell/EMC/VMware, Software Defined Cloud/Storage, NFV – lots of familiar faces in the room.

I’ve sat in several of these sessions (invite only) and John’s perspective is incredible – he’s very candid and often goes off the record when giving background and stories (so I’m leaving out some details below to respect that as I really appreciate his candor).

Starting with NFV discussion – telecom companies can be very “historical”. Tier 1 telecom operators run around $10B/year in CapEx spend and around $40-50B/year in operational spend. Economic models changing due to people pruning off the high revenue sections – total loss of text message revenue which was $10’s of billions of revenue. Couldn’t compete with web scale companies, etc. that can deploy new services far faster than the telco’s…so telco’s said had to adopt agile/hybrid methods to roll out services. Interestingly enough, this looks like the Enterprise shift…but on a much more compressed timeframe.

EMC had to figure out how to engage with people on the revenue-producing side of the business when they’d been working with people on the “cost” side of the business.

Verizon was ready to kick out the whole federation (EMC, VMware, etc.) out at one point. EMC proved to them that they could be relevant – years back Verizon was looking at Cassandra, CoreOS, etc. for a 100 PB infrastructure that was projected to grow at 100 PB per month. EMC showed they could go in, focus on their problems first (using an inside skunkworks team for some custom development), map products to it with some custom adjustment. Turned from being kicked out to being critical in the platform 3 application infrastructure.

Moved EMC Smarts under John Roese from CJ Desai – focusing it on telco’s. EMC is doubling down on Smarts and John really wants input around the product.

Interesting competitive discussion about Huawei – I probably shouldn’t post much of this discussion.😉 Huawei does well in markets that are more commoditized – not as well in markets where there’s a faster pace of innovation. John Roese interviewed about that here – http://www.zdnet.com/article/emc-unfazed-by-compeition-from-huaweis-young-enterprise-biz/

SDS/SDDC/etc. – have to split out the data storage products to follow the way that data is created/consumed….this is a huge shift from 5-10 years ago. In 5-10 years only about 6% of data will land on transactional storage, etc. – but that will be the most valuable data so worth focusing on. If the majority of data in the future will be landing on software defined storage, EMC doesn’t have enough software defined storage stacks….sounds crazy but true.

Discussing VMware & EMC conflicts – back to the “better overlap than gaps” strategy from Tucci which is still correct. John wants to see more strategic alignment – the term “Federation” has disappeared and it’s now “a collection of strategically aligned business”.

Total addressable market for ScaleIO (all spots where ScaleIO could go) is $8B – that’s a big TAM but it’s stratified across 5 very different segments.

Big shift in EMC messaging around cloud this year – moving away from messaging that you approach cloud by buying/selling a bunch of small components/collection of technologies. Rather you buy/sell a whole platform – packaged up and delivered to you ready to provide a cloud experience. Also explicitly excluded one use case – not going to build an at scale public cloud and compete with Google/MS Azure/Amazon. That means long term vCloud Air will move towards well…😉 Original aspiration of vCloud Air was to be the “Amazon for VMware customers” but that has changed. Long term strategy is to disintermediate cloud providers who are racing to the bottom around selling abstracted hardware resources.

Amazon spends around $2B for CapEx per year – Dell+EMC will have a $40-50B CapEx supply chain per year. Will be the biggest purchaser of Intel processors, Intel chipsets, hard drives, SSD’s, etc. – could even have strong enough “most favored nation” pricing that might sell to other cloud providers.

Will likely sell a lot of DSSD to at scale cloud providers.

Microsoft is not interested in Windows – they want to win Azure and cloud applications (Office365, etc.). That does NOT compete with EMC…strongly complementary to what EMC wants to do.

Question from Ed Walsh – what will see in the next year specifically? Answer = 3rd platform converged infrastructure (see Project Neutrino announcement from keynote today). Will see customers that panic when realize they don’t have the right hardware/software stack to run 3rd platform apps…so if EMC can wheel in a rack of infrastructure to handle that will be a huge win.

Cisco & EMC relationship? Gotten a lot better in the last year – several off the record examples there.😉

Awesome perspectives from John – always a valuable session for EMC Elect at conferences and really appreciate Mark Brown coordinating it.

That’s a wrap!

EMC World 2016 – Day 3 Keynote

Got here a bit late due to VCE PTAB on the 5th floor – had to hike down to get a seat in the Analyst section.

Started with a Mission Possible theme – Jeremy Burton in a bowtie, etc.

  • CJ Desai
    • Software Defined strategy has 3 components – 1) ScaleIO, 2) ECS, 3) IsilonSD Edge
    • 1) ScaleIO – 1000’s of nodes, millions of IOPs, Choice of hypervisors and OS, traditional and next-gen apps.
      • Touting StorageReview review of ScaleIO – http://www.storagereview.com/emc_vxrack_node_powered_by_scaleio_review
      • IDC – 505% return on investment, $6.1M business benefits
      • 3x YoY Customer Growth, 25,000+ Users, 345% YoY Growth
    • ECS – 60% lower cost TCO than public cloud competitors
      • Newly added NFS Support, Metadata Search, Data at Rest Encryption
      • User defined metadata – in an IoT scenario can tag data (example = sensor location).
      • 1.4 EB shipped 2015, 15,000+ Users, 133% YoY Growth
    • Isilon SD Edge
      • All OneFS protocols, up to 36 TB scale.
    • ViPR controlled updated – 3.0 available next week.
    • Isilon SDK that leverages platform API available on Github.
  • Now having Siemens and Verizon in a customer walkthrough
    • Larry Rau, Director of Architecture and Infrastructure at Verizon
      • Using Syncplicity
      • Using ECS – ECS gave a compelling TCO over public cloud plus good data control/governance.
    • Frederik Janssen, Director of Global Services at Verizon
      • Wanted to embrace open source – think open source community will create a stronger product in the long term
      • Didn’t look at EMC at first….what changed his mind?
      • Just because like open source doesn’t mean don’t use best of breed products.
  • Video in between with Burton as James Bond getting poisoned.
    • Josh Bernstein – @quityourjoshing – Showing ScaleIO, Mesos, RexRay, RackHD, Rancher – deploying applications quickly
    • Interesting combo of open source + EMC technologies.
  • CJ Desai – Announcing Data Lake 2.0
    • Isilon SD – pull in data at the edge and replicate back to the core via SyncIQ
    • Isilon Cloudpool – can tier from Isilon over to ECS, Azure, Amazon, Virtustream
  • Interview with Jon Landau of Lightstorm entertainment
    • Showing a bit of a backstage version of how Avatar
    • Jon grew up around the movie field – parents made art films.
    • Jim Cameron pushes people to push technology in the service of telling stories.
    • Jim & Jon did things that allowed other people to push further in film-making.
    • The Abyss – first time digital effects ever used in a feature film.
    • Photoshop – developed by John Knoll to do work for The Abyss
    • 1st Avatar film – Weta had 2 PB of storage.
    • Upcoming Avatar film – will be 12 PB of storage
    • Sneak peek – going to stay on Pandora for next movies and explore water, snow, different tribes, etc.
    • Everything Jon does today is digital – illustrates it by letting people see all the EMC equipment they use in their machine room.
    • How do you build Avatar? Sit down and build a world digitally in computers. Instead of turning over to construction people turn it over to digital artists. Jim Cameron holds a virtual camera so he sees the virtual world with the actors in it.
      • Try to give actors a feel for the environment. Had a guy in Hawaii walking his dog and seeing James Cameron filming Sam Worthington with a little camera for some onsite acting site prep and says “Wow…he’s gone downhill.”
  • CJ Desai –
    • Introducing Project Nitro – all flash Isilon architecture with next generation blade architecture
    • Can scale up to a full rack – can scale out to 400 nodes, 1.5 TB/s, 100 Petabytes.
    • Applause during this section.
    • DSSD shipping in March – lot of hardware and software innovation to drive 100 GB/S bandwidth, 144 TB capacity, 100 us latency, 10 Million IOPs
    • Interest in DSSD for 1) Databases & Data Warehouses, 2) Analytics on Hadoop (real time), 3) Custom applications.
    • Quote from Cloudera (fastest Hbase cluster we’ve ever tested).
    • Announcement – DSSD will be available in a rack configuration with (10) Dell servers attached to (2) D5’s
      • 2x IOPS, 2x Capacity, 1/3 Latency
  • Movie showing Bond (Burton) about to get burned by a laser powered by an HP laser jet (jokes about powering revenues via ink sales)
  • Josh Bernstein back on stage to save Bond
    • Showing deploying nodes expanding nodes on site with cloud integration
    • Triggered a “low ink” warning to save him.
  • Burton back on…recap of what have seen so far. We’ve mainly seen storage infrastructure..so what’s above that?
    • Inviting Kit Colbert from VMware and James Waters from Pivotal onstage.
    • Kit talking about companies with mobile apps seeing 30% increase in orders due to easier process to order.
    • Discussing a customer with a hard to operate complex java stack from IBM – making that simpler with CloudFoundry
    • Challenges around going open source internally?
      • Going well but some differences…it’s not a sales rep showing up and presenting something but customers discover things online/at conferences and then engage a vendor.
  • Chad Sakac now on stage – “let’s show technology that doesn’t just save your life but catches the bad guy….it’s all about outcomes”
    • Slower time to market is deadly with cloud native applications.
    • Introducing VxRack System 1000 – Neutrino nodes – meant to be easy way to get started for PaaS and cloud applications
    • Will integrate whole Apache Hadoop ecosystem
    • Native Hybrid Cloud – Turnkey developers platform
      • Creating an engineered platform on top of which can innovate faster.
      • Meant to help bring developers and IT operations teams together – shrink down the speed of innovation.
    • Outcomes, outcomes, outcomes.
    • 3x Faster time to market, 2x boost to developer productivity, 10x improvement operational efficiency
    • Chad is 006.5
    • Doing a demo of the Native Cloud interface along with VxRack Neutrino interface
      • Adding cores to a cloud worked –

That’s a wrap – or I have to head out.🙂

EMC World 2016 – Day 2 Keynote

  • Nina Hargus, 1st Speaker, CMO
    • Opening recap of yesterday’s events.
  • “Leaders of the Modern Data Center” awards to customers – Jeremy Burton on stage with Nina
    • 1st Award – Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
    • Congrats to Sheila Hartness with Wake Baptist Medical Center in NC for winning an EMC Leadership award.
    • Lightstorm (James Cameron/Avatar company).
    • Other winners are Calloway, Verizon
  • Intermission video with Jeremy Burton meeting Guy Churchward – now both of them on stage.
    • No gratuitous promotion of Dell today – on another note, here’s my new Dell XPS laptop which is absolutely fantastic – I can’t even remember my previous laptop.
    • Technical Debt – discussing the debt we have locked up in our current applications. CIO’s not giving more money – have to figure out how to compress technical debt so can build up money to modernize.
  • Fidelma Russo, VP for VMAX
    • Discussing VMAX All Flash
    • 1/2 millisecond response time, 4 million IOPs per second, 150 GB/s throughput
    • Up to 4 PB usable capacity in a single system – largest all flash array on the planet.
    • Discussing architecture for flash – 16 TB cache helps by reducing backend writes – increases endurance of the flash drives.
    • Start with Vbricks and can add more for easy scaling.
    • Data services you’d expect – Compression, vVols, SRDF/A, SRDF/S, SRDF/Metro, D@RE, SnapVX, non-disruptive migrations from 5876 code (free capability), cloud tiering via integration with Cloud Array.
    • Two models – 450 (up to 4 Vbricks/engines) or 850 (up to 8 Vbricks/engines)
    • Two software levels F or FX – F = base software, FX = everything.
      • Much simpler than previous VMAX licensing
  • Jeff Boudreaux, Mr. Mid-range – reviewing Unity (next gen VNX)
    • Unity – simple, modern, flexible, and affordable.
    • SUSE Linux under the covers, HTML5 (no Java)
    • Mention of Docker
    • 3x performance, 1/3 space, 1/2 cost
    • Picture on Twitter of what he calls his family portrait – the models and deployment options of Unity – virtual, physical, Vblock, etc.
    • Jeff was the first presenter on stage with a t-shirt + sport combo – kudos!🙂
    • Now doing a “live” demo – it might be recorded.😉
    • Showing vVol creation and other items – very clean interface and “clickable friendly”
    • Now doing a pretty fun live green screen walkthrough of Unity hardware with both Jeff and Jeremy
    • 3.8 TB drives now, 7.6 TB drives by mid summer, 15 TB drives by end of the year.
  • Now discussing Copy Data Management (CDM) with Beth and Jeremy Burton
    • Using muffins, croissants, and bagels to describe CDM – just your everyday technology preso using breakfast food.😉
    • Demo showing eCDM – Copy Data Management interface. It’s not actual product and not just Powerpoint messaging!
    • Interface looks very nice – can auto-discover copies across multiple EMC storage products.
    • 18% of Guy’s revenue went through Converged Infrastructure
  • Chad Sakac now on stage – President of Converged Infrastructure
    • Build vs. Buy Discussion
    • Believe that there’s never a single answer that can solve everyone’s problem.
    • Going into Racks, Rails, and Blocks discussion.
    • Blocks – Blocks – main word is “trusted”.
      • Giving props to Sheila Hartness with Wake Forest Medical Center
      • Melbourne Airport – Vblock to run entire airport.
      • Railroad example
      • Financial – BNP Paribe running Vblocks for private cloud.
      • Blocks are awesome and available in any size you want as long as that size is “big”. What if want to start small?
    • Rails – VxRail is the answer to that question.
      • Start small and grow to a pretty decent amount – 100 VM’s up to a couple thousand VM’s
      • Review of the hardware – pulling blade to show what’s in it.
      • Walking through VxRail interface with Burton
      • Up to 16 appliances/64 nodes
      • App Store – easy installation of various EMC virtual items – vSphere Data Protection, Recoverpoint for VM,
        • Data Domain Virtual Edition coming in May
      • Now moving into Racks…
    • Racks – rack scale systems.
      • 3 Node Types – Flex (some vSphere, some Linux, some KVM, etc.), SDDC (VMware focused), Neutrino (built for )
    • Enterprise Hybrid Cloud – super quick discussion of advanced VMware capabilities + demo of EHC 3.5
      • EHC 4.0 will allow you to provision an individual virtual machine inside the Virtustream cloud.

I had to triage some items around meeting requests so today was a bit less detailed – hopefully a good flavor of the keynote. Lots of tweets + pictures on Twitter as @andriven

Thanks!

EMC World 2016 – Day 1 Keynote

  • First Speaker – Nina Hargus – Chief Marketing Officer now on stage.
    • Reviewing EMC World overall and general goal.
    • Modernize the Industry, Modernize the Data Center, Modernize the <one more thing>
    • Stats – 500 breakouts, 1000 meet ups, 50+ vLabs, 1,700 Proven Professional Exams
    • Use Twitter hashtag #EMCWorld
    • Reviewing Diamond Sponsors – Cisco, Brocade, Dell
    • Standard yet cool video in between speakers – IT is exciting and loud!
  • Video showing Joe Tucci and Jeremy Goulden discussing Joe coming on stage on a hoverboard. Actor comes out on stage on a hoverboard.
  • Second Speaker – Joe Tucci – not really him on the overboard.😉
    • Video recap of previous EMC worlds.
    • “This is not the end of something great, this is the beginning of something greater.”
    • Shareholders vote and that’s important – but you vote every day with your dollars. You matter most to all of us.
    • There’s times when everything changes in business/industry – this is one of those times.
    • Michael Dell will discuss strategy and then David Goulden will dive down another level.
    • Personal Note – this is the last time Joe will be up here as Chairman and CEO –
    • Joe gets a standing ovation – well deserved.
  • Third Speaker, Michael Dell, CEO of Dell
    • 2001 – 15 years ago – 1st EMC World conference – let’s go back there. $399 first iPod, Intel ships Itanium, 3G networks started.
    • By 2031 200 Billion connected devices – and dealing with/leveraging that data is the challenge of our generation – “next industrial revolution”.
    • Sometimes I wonder if when Skynet takes over we’ll look back at today and laugh.😉
    • “EMC/Dell will provide cloud native infrastructure operated in a devops model.” BUT “Someone still needs to manage today’s IT infrastructure.”
    • Hearing more and more concerns from customers around security – increasing attack surface.
    • EMC & Dell are the leader in 21 Gartner Magic Quadrants
    • EMC is the most successful company in the industry in incubating new technologies, Dell best at scaling things.
    • “No 90 day shot clock anymore.”
    • Top culture focus in both Dell & EMC based on internal surveys is “customer focus”.
    • As family names go, I’m kind of attached to Dell – company post acquisition will be known as Dell Technologies. The sub brands will be…
      • Dell, Dell EMC, VMware, Pivotal, etc.
      • Enterprise technologies will be known as Dell EMC.
    • To compete and succeed every company must become a software company – David Goulden will walk through that.
    • Competitors are shrinking their way to success – that might just be a poke at HP.
    • Tomorrow is the 32nd birthday of Dell – started in the dorm room in TX
    • Has seen a democratization of IT, computing power, internet access.
    • Merger remains on track under original terms and original timeline.
  • 4th Speaker – David Goulden, CEO of EMC II now on stage.
    • Some people might be concerned that the pace of innovation inside EMC has slowed down – I’ll show you that’s not true.
    • 3 Requirements of modern business are Agility, Efficiency & Speed.
    • $2.7 Trillion spend on traditional IT – need to modernize in order to get money to invest in new applications.
    • No way that a single storage platform could meet all the needs of current workloads.
    • EMC declared 2016 the year of All Flash for primary storage and traditional workloads.
    • EMC as All Flash Array Leader with 40% marketshare.
    • Launch of VMAX All Flash earlier this year (also supports FICON).
    • Announcing Unity – midrange array starting at $20k for all flash configurations, $10k for hybrid configs.
    • Lifetime Maintenance protection, 3 year money back guarantee, Lifetime flash endurance protection.
    • Data Domain – announcing Virtual Edition and also archiving to the public cloud.
    • ScaleIO – continuing to develop, scales to thousands of nodes, foundation of VxRack
    • DSSD – 10M IOPs with 100 microsecond latency with 5U form factor.
      • Later this week will announce can cluster (2) DSSD’s and double all specs.
    • Project Nitro – sneak peek on Wednesday.
    • ECS – Global Object Scale storage.
    • That was an insanely fast run through of the EMC storage portfolio.
    • Now into Converged Infrastructure….
      • 36% Market Share – that was built on the back of Vblock but now is a portfolio as well with addition of VxRail and VxRack.
      • Vblock customers happy due to 1) fastest time to deploy and 2) reliable experience through whole lifetime of the Vblock.
      • Showing Traditional to Cloud Native spectrum – Vblock = traditional, VxRack = cloud native, VxRail – in between.
    • Cloud Solutions – two pieces here…
      • Enterprise Hybrid Cloud – walking through benefits. Sirius has the first EHC certified partner lab in the world.
      • Native Hybrid Cloud – will make your developers love you. More details tomorrow.
      • Virtustream – best enterprise cloud app adoption.
        • Announcing today that Pivotal Cloudfoundry is available as as service from Virtustream
        • Announcing Virtustream storage cloud – S3 compatible storage cloud built on ECS storage
        • How different from AWS? Will have strong integration into existing EMC products.
      • EMC Cloud Strategy = Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, Virtustream, Native Hybrid Cloud. #EMCworld #Emcelect
  • Rodney Rogers, Virtustream CEO on stage with David Goulden
    • General Virtustream review – they started with SAP because it was really hard (“800 pound gorilla application” but they’re pushing into other critical apps.
    • Launching Virtusteam blueprints for Oracle and Epic by the end of the year.
    • Virtustream storage cloud – online next week for Americas, EMEA and APJ during the rest of 2016.
    • Data Domain integration, Isilon integration for tiering.
  • Customer Case Study on stage, Coca-Cola
    • Dominic Wheeler, CIO
    • Historically back end IT was seen as more boring by the business – Dominic sees that changing due to cost savings of newer IT, also really appreciate the flexibility/agility that good IT brings to the business.
    • IT will be critical on executing on the business goals over the next 18 months – that’s exciting.
  • Announcing MyService360 –
    • I love that Kevin is
    • Providing visibility into install base and environment.
    • MyService360 – live dashboard into systems.
    • This looks very impressive at first blush.
    • Available today for customers with maintenance contracts.

EMC World – Here we go!

If memory serves, this will be my 5th EMC World (yes, the last 6 years since joining Varrow and now Sirius have been something of a blur).

Each year at EMC World has been a bit different for me. The first two years I was attending as a senior presales engineer and was heavily focused on session attendance – extracting technical knowledge out of the information that was publicly available and spending time with peers in my company + customers. The third year I’d become EMC Elect which made it partly about sessions+peers+customers but also about Elect private briefings/sessions as well as getting to meet a lot of great people (including dueling it out with Dave Henry for the Twitter reach leadership board). Last year EMC World was literally 1 week after the acquisition of Varrow by Sirius – it was the first year I didn’t attend a single breakout session (I did get a lot of live blogs out of the General Sessions) due to Elect sessions + customer events + lots of meetings with EMC executives (a mix of business & technical albeit more slanted towards technical).

This year looks to be more like last year – I’m really looking forward to spending time with my peers from Sirius (especially since I’m now part of a national company with people spread across the country) and other EMC Elect. In general I’ll be at the EMC Elect lounge whenever I have downtime. I plan to attend all the general sessions and do live blogs (being Elect helps there as can sit in the press area🙂. Finally, at last count I had (8) executive meetings/briefings on the calendar along with other Sirius folks. The ones I’m personally most excited about are the VCE Partner Technical Advisory Board and a meeting with Chad Sakac BUT that doesn’t mean the others aren’t looking very worthwhile and appreciate the people who have made time to meet with myself/Sirius.

Like last year, this looks like it will be year with almost zero downtime — “go go go” each day from getting up in the morning until heading to bed.

As I’m typing this on the plane, I’m readying myself for another marathon of a week….here we go!🙂

VMWorld 2015 – Blog Posts Reference

Just a wrap-up post given I wrote 10 blog posts at VMworld 2015 – keynotes, breakout sessions (1 NDA), and various other items. From a traffic perspective, the keynote blogs and the career panels post got the most traffic.

I want to make sure to specifically thank EMC Elect and Mark Browne for the help in providing a VMworld pass.

For what it’s worth, there was also Zerto NDA session which didn’t make it into a blog post. If you’re a Zerto partner under NDA, let me know.

General Sessions & Keynotes

Breakout Sessions

Here’s to VMworld 2015!