New Chapter……Rubrik

It’s been a few years since I posted on this blog but figured this was the best place to share with everyone the next chapter in my career – Rubrik. Before I talk about what I will be doing, allow me to give you a summary of the last 3 years at HVE/UCX.

I left the customer space to join a startup, what startup that was going to be I had no clue! But I networked through VMUG and LinkedIn and landed an interview with a small hardware manufacturer in East Dallas that was making some awesome VDI appliance. I was brought onboard as a Sr. Virtualization Engineer and got to work quickly learning their architecture, message, and value to the customers they serve. With my background in Construction and BIM, I started working with a team to design and build GPU accelerated VDI appliances that rivaled the competition by supporting more users and better performance at a lower price. Sounds too good to be true right? Wrong, we launched a prototype platform and starting working with some known AEC firms and we off to the races.

Like any good business we began marketing this and other products in the AEC space and found a great opportunity in becoming a sponsor with the BILT Conference (formerly Revit Technology Conference). We sponsored the lab experience at the show and were able to showcase our platform with some of the industries best architects and engineers demoing the latest CAD/CAM/BIM software. With this show, I travelled to Portugal, Singapore, Australia, Canada, and across the US four times a year for the shows. I met some amazing people and learned a ton at these shows about how they use and consume technology to build smarter buildings. It was pretty awesome to see them do all of this using our platform. Companies caught on to our solution and once again, we were off to the races.

This momentum carried success for our company, among other great products that we were engineering for customers. We also started generating some great partnerships, one of those being Datrium. We launched our Datrium Ready Node line of VSI and VDI appliances and it has been a wild ride with them.

All of this momentum got the eyes of some investors and in Q1 of 2017 we were acquired by Sphere 3D. I have learned a ton from the teams in San Jose and Toronto and have met some great people all over the world from the new parent organization. These past 3 years have been everything I hoped for and more, meeting great customers, working with great employees. I got a chance to mentor few engineers and witness them attain VMware certifications along the way.

So if all of this is so great why change Brian? Great question.

There have been a few people that have guided me in the direction I wanted to take my career over the years and they all have said the same thing: If you are comfortable, then you aren’t growing and challenging yourself enough. This isn’t to say that I was comfortable or unhappy, I just felt that it was time to be challenged in a different space. I am thankful for the team at UCX/HVE for giving me a chance to be a part of something great, I made great friends and learned a lot from the guys I managed everyday. I am proud of what we accomplished and know they have a bright future ahead.

The industry has shifted since I got into IT almost 12 years ago and the push to Public and Hybrid cloud models is moving quickly. Rubrik is an explosive growth company that is quickly changing the way we address backup, replication, recovery and hybrid disaster recovery. I am excited for the opportunity to be a SE for them and cant wait to get started.

I’ve said this before, but it is my goal to resume posting some content about automation, cloud, dr, and more in the future as I get a little less comfortable in my role at Rubrik.

Stay tuned!

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VCP6-DT Exam Review

It has been quite some time since my last post, ironically my last post being about the announcement of the VCP6-DT exam, well I am back to post my opinion about the exam and the steps that I took to study.

Please note: I am not disclosing any information about questions or answers about the exam, all of the information that I will be describing can be found as part of the Exam Blueprint for this exam.

For the past several months I have been conducting a lot of upgrades to Horizon View 6.X for customers, but what I don’t get a lot of time playing with is the Suite based features that Horizon View now includes like Mirage, Workspace and vCenter Operations Manager for View (now called vRealize for View). Workspace specifically has come a long way from its 1.0 iteration to being a simple deployment model that can be spun up in less than 2 hrs. (Believe me, I’ve done it several times now!) All this being said I narrowed my focus on studying for this exam with some of the areas that I don’t play with a lot on a daily basis.

By default, I followed the Exam Blueprint to a “T” because anything that could be considered a question will be covered in this document. I recommend anyone that has a home lab or access to some additional equipment to build up a full instance of vCenter, Horizon View Desktop, Mirage, Workspace and vRealize for View. There are reviewers guides and documentation that will enable you to simulate production scenarios in your lab, I’ve included some below:

The official exam is the VCPD610, VMware Certified Professional – Desktop. The exam consists of 120 questions with a time limit of 120 minutes, with a pre-exam survey of 10 questions that doesn’t count towards your exam time. The typical License Agreements and Legal blah blah is there as well. Scoring for the exam is weighted on a mathematical formula and you can range from receiving a 100-500 on the exam with a passing score of 300.

I felt that the amount of information that could be tested for this exam was pretty large so I felt the 120 question format was appropriate. I thought that flow of the exam and quality of questions was on par for a VCP level exam. I was quite please with the amount of studying and preparation that I did for this exam. I passed the exam and can now add VMware Certified Professional Desktop to my resume.

VCP6-DT Exam is released!

On December 4th, VMware announced the new VMware Certified Professional – Horizon View 6 Desktop Exam.

VCP-DT

This is very similar to the VCP5-DT exam but with some additional content surrounding the entire Horizon View suite like Mirage and Workspace.

  • creating and administering virtual desktops
  • configuring and administering View, Mirage and the Workspace Portal
  • configuring host networking and storage
  • working with DRS, HA, and other cluster-related vSphere features

Having already passed the VCP5-DT, I am really excited to get to studying the VCP6-DT Exam Blueprint (which you can find here). Below you will find the various paths that are required to be eligible for the exam.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 9.39.10 AM

VMware Learning Zone announced!

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One of the perks of being awarded vExpert 2014 status was the opportunity to beta test some new initiatives from VMware, one of those being the Learning Zone. This is a great tool to watch some quick tip videos ranging from 3-90 minutes videos on the various verticals that VMware has like Datacenter Virtualization, Software Defined Storage and End User Computing.

This learning platform has so much potential from user submitted videos to VMware specific departments showcasing upgrade scenarios, How To’s, performance tweaking and guides for advanced configurations way beyond the Next Next Finish that so many websites have….like mine!

Really excited to be a part of the feedback portion of this platform and look forward to submitting some videos myself!

vExpert 2015 Applications are open!

vExpert

I can’t believe it has already been a year, but I started blogging about 14 months ago and have had an awesome experience with the whole community driven knowledge transfer. Sometimes I don’t get much time to blog but sometimes I do, I’ve always tried to create articles for myself and others that aren’t just filler but for people that run into common, sometimes overlooked, issues.

Corey announced a few days ago that applications are now open for vExpert 2015. You will find the links below if you are a new applicant or a returning vExpert as the fast track process has been improved. As always there are 3 tracks to apply for: Evangelist, Customer and VMware Partner. Some information from this post has been used from Corey’s post on VMTN.

Evangelist Path

The Evangelist Path includes book authors, bloggers, tool builders, public speakers, VMTN contributors, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others with the leverage of a personal public platform to reach many people. Employees of VMware can also apply via the Evangelist path. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public or were in a language other than English.

Customer Path

The Customer Path is for leaders from VMware customer organizations. They have been internal champions in their organizations, or worked with VMware to build success stories, act as customer references, given public interviews, spoken at conferences, or were VMUG leaders. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public.

VPN (VMware Partner Network) Path

The VPN Path is for employees of our partner companies who lead with passion and by example, who are committed to continuous learning through accreditations and certifications and to making their technical knowledge and expertise available to many. This can take shape of event participation, video, IP generation, as well as public speaking engagements. A VMware employee reference is required for VPN Path candidates.

Links!!!

2014 vExperts: Fast Track application: http://bit.ly/1ikZ8hi
New vExperts: 2015 vExpert application: http://bit.ly/LMJqB5

DFW VMUG User Conference is almost here!

DFW VMUG Logo

The year has certainly flown by because we are coming up on the DFW VMware User Group’s Annual User Conference. It is being held at the Irving Convention Center on September 16 from 8-5. Register here and to see a detailed agenda.

We have some great keynote speakers lined up including: Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe), Tommy Trogden (@vTexan) and Damian Karlson (@sixfootdad). There will be a complete download of what was announced at VMworld, VMworld sessions discussing vCAC, NSX, VSAN, Horizon Suite and more! We even have the vBrownBag crew that will be doing a live Q&A during lunch and a vExpert Panel.

Not only will we have some great speakers and session but an entire room filled with vendors like: VMware, Symantec, Veeam, EMC, PernixData, PureStorage, Nutanix, Nimble, Arista, Cisco and many more!

Oh did I mention the swag giveaways….that’s right, Raspberry Pi with vTools, shirts, giveaways, gift cards and more.

Be sure and register, hope to see you there!

A New Chapter in My Career…

careerchange

Today is a new chapter in my career. Yesterday was my last day as Technology Manager for Rogers-O’Brien Construction, over the past 3 years I learned a ton of information about IT, virtualization, management and even some cool construction techniques. It was at RO where I found my passion for virtualization and got the support both inside and outside the company through associations like the AGC IT Group and the DFW VMUG.

I am excited to say that I am going to work for an up and coming converged virtualization hardware platform and services company called HVE Connexions as a Sr. Virtualization Engineer. As many have told me already, I am moving to the dark side! Once I get back from VMworld – San Francisco I will be dedicating more time to my blog, it’s been hard finding time to write articles these past few months, and contributing more articles about VDI, virtualization as a whole and even some new stuff that you might hear about in a few weeks…..I wonder what it could be!

Stay tuned for more!

VMworld 2014 is almost here!

VMworld2014Yes it is that time of year again, the mothership opens its doors and all the vNerds go out to San Francisco and attend sessions, technical panels, demos and meet with vendors. VMworld 2014 – US will be held in San Francisco on August 24-28, click here for link. VMworld 2014 – Europe will be held in Barcelona on October 14-16, click here for link.

With the recent announcement of Horizon 6 and the expected announcement of new versions of vSphere and vCenter, this should be a very exciting VMworld.

If you haven’t already registered, get to it! Be sure to scan Twitter daily for vendor calls for free dinners, parties and other fun things to do while you’re there.

If you have registered, make sure you sign up for sessions and HOL (Hand’s On Labs) before they run out, you can find the schedule builder here.

As for me, I will be limiting myself to 3 sessions a day, I learned what to do and not to do from last year, and will spend plenty of time with current and potential vendors. I am also excited to be attending the vExpert/VCDX party on Tuesday, it should give me an opportunity to see some old faces and meet some new ones that I have been jabbering with on Twitter this year. Here is a breakdown of the sessions I plan on attending, be sure and check out all the great sessions that are lined up for what looks to be a very informative conference.

Sunday

VCAP-DCA Exam

Monday

EUC-1221: VMware Mirage Best Practices & What’s New

SDDC-1176: Ask the Expert Bloggers

Tuesday

NET-1589: Reference Design for SDDC with NSX & vSphere

EUC-1476: What’s New with View and PCoIP in Horizon 6

STO-2754-SPO: New Kids on the Storage Block, File and Share: Lessons in Storage and Virtualization

vExpert/VCDX Reception

Wednesday

INF-1192: Ask the Experts: Design Advice for Small and Midsize Business

NET-2745: vSphere Distributed Switch – Technical Deep Dive

INF-2311: vCenter Server Architecture and Deployment Deep Dive

EUC-2028: VMware Horizon & NVIDIA deliver Flexible, High Performance 3D Desktops

VMworld Party

Thursday

EUC-2035: Horizon 6 Technical Overview

EUC-1323: View Troubleshooting – Looking Under the Hood

Then go home 😦

It may sound strange based on the sessions I’ve signed up for, but many of the people that I work with around the globe on issues, I met at VMworld last year. Some of theses sessions are to help brush up on new technologies or items that I am considering proposing to our company. It should make for a great session list, and I couldn’t be happier that my fellow DFW VMUG member Rick Boyett is presenting a case study on VDI. Good Luck Rick! Wayne, Brad, John, Matt and I will be up front heckling and trying to make you nervous.

There will be plenty of new information surrounding VMworld on Twitter, if you don’t have a handle, get one, follow me and get informed.

See you there!

My date with the VCAP-DCA at VMworld…

After taking a small hiatus from blogging for a bit to deal with some awesome challenges at my day job, I have finally decided it is time for me to start studying for my VCAP-DCA exam. This post will not be about the materials that you can easily Google, or visit my VCAP Study Guide page, instead I will simply say that I have less than 90 days to get ready for my exam, which I scheduled while I’m out in San Francisco for VMworld 2014.

Over the course of the next 90 days, I will start digesting the Exam Blueprint and do some simple/complex walk-throughs of various topics that may or may not be on the exam.

To start with I will use these awesome materials listed below along with the latest version of the Pearson Vue VCAP-DCA study guide. My buddy, Wayne Conrad just picked this book up as he is studying for it as well.

VCAP5-DCA Information

Certification Path

VCAP5-DCA_20130623sm

Exam Blueprint

Autolab

Unofficial Exam Study Guide

vBrownBag Exam Study Guide – Nick Marshall

Mastering vSphere 5

Storage Implementation in vSphere 5

Studying isn’t fun unless you do it with some buddies, so we have been doing a small Google Hangout 2-4/month covering various topics as well, if you are interested check out the DFW VMUG Google+ Community Page for more details.

Check back soon for my first round of articles highlighting the exam blueprint and the books, labs, etc needed to get to studying for this beast of an exam!

vExpert 2014 Results!

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VMware’s vExpert 2014 First Quarter results were released yesterday and the number or recipients has gone up to 754 from 581 last year. It is an honor to be included this year as it was my first year to participate in the vExpert Program. I have nothing but respect for John Troyer and Corey Romero and the VMTN crew for managing this honor.  Congratulations to all those returning and newly minted vExperts. You can find the full list here!

With this recognition, I will remain committed to providing quality posts and information on this blog, continue to serve the VMware community where I can and assist with local efforts regarding virtualization.