New title and role and more blogging

Many are aware at this point that I transitioned to a new role at EMC in the last few months. This month I round out the end of my third year at EMC. It has been a blast as I have had the awesome opportunity to work beside the best sales and engineering force on the planet. Everyone is always willing to lend a hand, share their experiences, and teach new things not to mention the education that EMC provides is way beyond what I had at any other job.

So, the new gig. It was time for a change. I made the decision to explore options within EMC to grow my career, peer network, and expertise. Among the options was the chance to start a new role as an Advanced Software Division Specialist for our MidMarket Division. The new buzzword these days is Software-Defined ‘Everything’ (data center, storage, networking). The Advanced Software Division is defining Software Defined Storage at EMC. My thinking was, hey, the industry is changing rapidly and moving to this whole Software Defined strategy so what better place for me to be than right at the front of it helping to pave the way at EMC…?? Bam, done.

Software consulting is not new to me but I have spent the last few years advising customers on primarily hardware storage platforms.  But wait, nowadays storage is just a bunch of software intellectual property executing on commodity x86 hardware platforms, right?  “What is ASD at EMC?” everyone asks.  The Advanced Software Division is comprised of everything SDDC at EMC including the new and exciting ViPR Software Defined Storage and the Storage Resource Management Suite for cloud monitoring and reporting, plus UIM, SAS, and more.  Uh, you didn’t think I was going to miss this opportunity to shamelessly plug my new tech, did you?

Finally, as a technical expert in this area, you should expect to see way more blogging and sharing of these technologies and related SDDC tech like Puppet Labs (go Portland!), OpenStack, Amazon AWS, and maybe a post or two about my somewhat-new 11 month old son or geek personal tech!  Looking forward to hearing from you for things you want to read or learn about now that I am “Keen on SDDC.”  First question – corny title?  Now go follow me on twitter dangit!  The first three new followers who mention this post get a starbucks gift card and you better be a human and not some annoying spammer!

Happy Holidays!  See you next year.



Slay that evil-doer on your sick computer

I have recently had a couple friends and family ask me to help them remove a virus or malware that is destroying their computer, creating conflict in their lives, and abusing their pets. Stop pet abuse now by following my quick recommendation below. Honestly, I realize I am THE computer guy in many people’s lives but in reality my expertise is in enterprise datacenter systems – not home or desktop troubleshooting. The last time I fixed a user’s desktop issue for money was quite a while ago but I certainly know enough about security and can recommend what I would do if I got nailed with a nasty infection (on my computer).

That being said and before I go any further, please upgrade or buy a new computer with Windows 7 and get rid of Windows XP or – God forbid you are still running it – Windows 2000. Windows 7 does a fantastic job of protecting you from junk on the web. Stop clicking on the website advertisements that tell you that you have a problem that they can fix. It’s called social engineering and they are just tricking you! Ask someone who knows what they are doing if you are unsure. More and more hackers and other evil people on the internet are trying to steal information about you. Yes, that includes your credit cards, your identity, and your passwords. Lastly, backup your important pictures, music, documents and whatever else is important to you using a service like Mozy or Carbonite. They are around $50/yr and are invaluable for that time when you disregard everything I or someone else tells you and you click on that nasty message that instantly causes your computer to meltdown.

Do understand that there are soooo many ways to deal with this and this may not fix your specific problem. It is in no way a complete solution. You may need to go to extreme measures like taking your computer to a brilliant computer repairman. Yes, they cost money but think about what you paid the last time you had your car worked on and the bill from the computer guy will likely not be so bad. Don’t get me wrong. I will do everything I can to help since I absolutely hate hearing about people being taken advantage of and all of the crap that’s on the web but beware – you owe me! 😉

Use at your own risk. I am not responsible for any harm you cause to your computer, data, or your head from bashing it into the wall.

Phew… on to the brief recommendation for ridding your computer of that mischievous demon.

Click Start -> Run.

Type msconfig and click OK. (occasionally msconfig32)

Disable any suspicious looking items from the startup tab by unchecking them. Items that have funky symbols or characters such as Afe$@521#$@ may be malware that starts with your computer. Alternatively, you can click Disable All to prevent all items from starting but beware that this will stop some programs that are required for proper use of devices and normal operation.

Click OK and restart when prompted. Install antivirus software if one is not already present. AVG’s free product works great and now Microsoft has their own free antivirus offering.

Run a complete scan and cross your fingers! It may be necessary to boot to safe mode by pressing F8 repeatedly after turning on your computer (actually just before the “starting windows” message). Choose safe mode and then try running the AV (antivirus, duh) from there.

Re-enable items in the msconfig window from the first step. You can always google program names to see what their purpose is on your computer.

If you have a question, do everyone else a favor and post it in the comments. There are no such things as stupid questions, just stupid people and they might be wondering the same thing as you!

Snowboarder learning to telemark ski

Many of you may have thought you never see me ski, not to mention tele, due to my love of snowboarding. Since I always enjoy learning something new, I decided to give tele skiing a try. Here are some pictures of the first day of me learning to Telemark ski after about 7 years or so of snowboarding. (scroll down for day 2)

Telemark Skiing Day 1
4 photos
yup, this is how it all started.

yup, this is how it all started.
Run number 2 down buttercup - yes the wussiest hill on Hood.  I assure you that the last few runs I did this day were much more graceful.

Run number 2 down buttercup – yes the wussiest hill on Hood. I assure you that the last few runs I did this day were much more graceful.

And some videos from the second day:

Staying positive in a down economy

Everyone would probably agree that the economy shake-up is putting many people – and companies – all around the world in a difficult situation.  Professionals who one day feel their jobs are bullet proof and secure are facing the hard fact that we are in an unpredictable time.  Sure things seem to be looking up after an economically challenging 2009 but we are still faced with some very staggering statistics:

"In December, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.3 million, and the
unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, were unchanged. At the start of the re-
cession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.7 million,
and the unemployment rate was 5.0 percent."
Employment Situation Summary of December 2009 published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

I’m actually feeling quite positive about the responses I’ve received in a very short amount of time and feel that this is an excellent chance shift into something bigger and better.  With Virtualization present in nearly every top 10 prediction for 2010 from the likes of IDC, Gartner, and Forrester, I’m hopeful that this will be a tremendous year for growth to anyone in this space.

Currently seeking a demanding, fast-paced opportunity

Conquering Mountains - small

As a new addition to the not-so-thrilled-to-be-unemployed (due to downsizing) group, I am scouring the earth for the next big thing in my life. I’ve been blessed with many positions throughout the years that exposed me to lots of new experiences and contacts in the technology industry.

Anyone out there looking for a bright, master problem solver who is up for any challenge?  My most recent position put me in charge of technical services for a small software company – Tranxition Corp. – that was deeply involved in the user virtualization and migration space.  This adventure entailed different aspects in technical marketing and sales, critical business planning, partnership development, competitive research, technical assistance with proof-of-concepts plus more.  We all wore many hats in order to tackle the demands of the rapidly changing industry that is virtualization.

I had the wonderful opportunity to present at BriForum – a yearly gathering started by Brian Madden – where industry experts get together to discuss the future of desktop, application, and server virtualization.  Just as exciting was my experience as an exhibitor at VMworld 2009.  As you can see from my one and only post about VMworld on this site, I was extremely busy at all times meeting new customers, interacting with other exhibitors and partners, and demoing our new software.

Visit my contact page where you can find multiple ways to connect.  Even if not for a career opportunity, I would enjoy networking with new people.

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VMworld – behind the scenes

This is the first time I will be attending VMworld as an exhibitor so I thought I would make my best attempt at blogging about the experience.  My past includes many large conference attendances but all from the attendee/consultant’s perspective.  It’s great to see these shows and absorb as much knowledge as possible in a short period of time.  This week will be different as I attempt to listen closely to customers, curious attendees, industry colleagues, and others in order to gain insight into what people feel is the direction of User Virtualization – and virtualization in general.  My hope is to reveal the other side of the show as I experience it this week.

To start let me tell you how exciting it was to walk into the exhibitor hall on Friday in the AM (first move-in day) and to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to setup an event like this.  Lifts, moving crews, servers, loud machinery and then… silence.  It was break time around 10:15am and literally the Freeman (union workers providing labor) halted everything they were doing and vacated the massive exhibitor hall.  That brings up another point.  I needed to carry in some gear for our demos and was directed to the office of the Freeman when I asked if there was a cart that I could borrow.  They told me that if I could carry the gear in unassisted – no cart or helpers – then I was free to do so.  However, if a cart was necessary I would be required to “hire” the Freeman.  Now I can understand there may be liability issues if they were to turn over the keys to one of their fork lifts and drove over another company’s exhibit equipment but come on, I have to pay for labor just to carry in some basic equipment?!

As it turned out I was able to lug  in everything with the assistance of my girlfriend Meredith – she was free except for the dinner later that night.  Check out a couple quick shots I took of the beginning phase of the exhibitor hall setup.

Behind the scenes at VMworld

Behind the scenes at VMworld

Another shot from the exhibitor floor

Another shot from the exhibitor floor

Tranxition's Booth

Tranxition's Booth

You must try the sourdough bread that they whip up at Boulin

I know this is unrelated to VMworld but I felt everyone should know about the amazing sourdough bread at Boundin. Had a fantastic dinner at Bistro Boudin and needed to share this photo of turtle shaped bread.

I’m looking forward to a fantastic week in San Francisco with other geeks who are as ecstatic about virtualization as I am.  Swing by Tranxition’s booth in the New Innovator area and say hello.