And so it begins…

How to start a blog….quite the question. After a bit of thought, I thought I’d just dive in….a bit about me, the title, what I hope to blog about, and then maybe some randomness.

A bit about me…

Suffice it to say you can hit LinkedIn if you’re really curious….I’m an engineer who started out as a customer for 7 years (virtualization, storage, networking, systems-Netware, Linux, Windows, web architecture, java application servers), moved to a reseller a couple years ago, and have just started with Varrow this week (where blogging is encouraged incidentally). I love building things….just preferably virtually (lots of lawn mowing, electrical and plumbing work in my background….enough to realize that while I like building physically I like building virtually more – I can still tell 14/2 vs. 12/2 wire by feel though).

I am a Christian. I’m very happily married to my beautiful wife and we have one year old twins. They’re a lot of fun right now….the joy of a child’s laugh. Nuff said (as I could say tons more so I might as well stop here).

So why Think Meta?

Two things really.

First, I’ve seen IT as a series of layers for a long time. Take DNS — we go from MAC addresses (who wants to type those in by hand?) to IP #’s (a bit better but still tedious and not sufficient for regular people) to DNS names or URL’s (now we’re at a fairly comfortable human level for retention/regular reference) to search engines (i.e. why remember a URL when you can set google.com as your home page and put in a search term aka keyword). Whether I look at storage (I almost see storage as simply another form of virtualization frankly), virtualization, networking, security, or almost any other IT area (even ITIL), I see layers of abstraction everywhere. At each layer of abstraction we add some complexity (yes, I’ll be having CapEx. vs OpEx discussion) but also (hopefully) add functionality. Over time, the whole “additional complexity vs. additional benefit” equation can shift — we bring in new products that overlap, certain business needs change, new employees come/old employees leave. If we’re not fully aware of the layers and the original reasons for implementing them as well as the tradeoffs intentionally accepted during previous designs, we can get left with serious cruft in our IT infrastructure (as well as not fully exploit the products we do have). This does ultimately come back to aligning the IT products/services/personnel with the needs of the business. Much more to come there…

Second….well….the domain was available.

A bit about what I hope to blog…

In brief, whatever I’m doing or reading at the time that I think is interesting. In the near future, I anticipate that being…

  • Storage — I have a strong storage background but it’s been primarily focused around NetApp (NCDA, NCIE, lots of implementation) and secondarily around EMC and Compellent. As Varrow is focused on EMC as a partner, I’m currently working through my EMC SE accreditations and will be starting on my TA certification soon. I kind of see this as a “journey to learning a new storage line” — I’m comfortable with a ton of storage concepts but this will be a whole new knowledge set for me (one I’m looking forward to fully learning). There are already some things I’m really interested in (Unisphere, FAST + FASTCache, V-Plex, V-Max) and I’m sure there will be more to come.
  • Virtualization — I’ve done a lot with server virtualization (VCP and lots of implementation) and desktop virtualization (primarily around VMware View) and am looking forward to continuing to explore these areas in greater depth.
  • Networking — mainly Nexus fabric but possibly even more conceptual stuff.
  • UCS — I’ll just put this in its own category. UCS is one of the things I’m really looking forward to exploring in my position at Varrow. I didn’t previously have access to UCS gear but had already been looking at it as a game-changer in the highly commoditized server marketplace.
  • Intersection of business and IT — for a while, I was more a pure technologist but in the last several years I’ve become much more business focused. I’m still heavily technical (and hope to stay that way) but where I’ve seen IT have the most impact is when business and IT get aligned (buzzwords I know but actually true sometimes).

Of course, I reserve the right to expand those categories at any time. 😉

Randomness

I’ll freely admit that I take Scott Lowe, Chad Sakac, Aaron Delp and a host of others as my general blogging inspirations (although I’m giving short shrift to the 100 or so other virtualization and storage RSS feeds I track in NetNewsWire).

And I’ll close with a quote that opens a book most self-respecting geeks should know so seemed appropriate to use to end my first blog post…10 points to anyone who knows it without Google.

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”

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