How do I get to the next level?

Every week I get an email from someone asking if I can mentor them, if I can help them get to the next level, if I can help them become a VCDX, if I can explain to them what I did to progress my career. I figured I would write an article for those who wonder what I did, this is not a magic formula by any means, following the same path and putting in the same amount of effort is no guarantee for success. There is also that thing called “being at the right place, at the right time” and of course seeing opportunities, grabbing opportunities and taking risks.

First and foremost, I don’t wake up on a Monday morning and all of a sudden know how Virtual SAN or Virtual Volumes (as an example) work. It all comes down to putting in hours. If you can’t be bothered freeing up time, or have a too busy family schedule don’t even bother reading past this point. (Edit: family life is important, when I say “too busy” I refer to not being able to free up time as a result (or excuse for that matter.)) [Read more…]


I know a lot of you guys have home labs and are always looking for that next cool thing. Every once in a while you see something cool floating by on twitter and in this case it was so cool I needed to share it with you guys. Someone posted a picture of his version of “EVO:RACK” leveraging Intel NUC, a small switch and Lego… How awesome is a Lego VSAN EVO:RACK?! Difficult to see indeed in the pics below, but if you look at this picture then you will see how the top of rack switch was included.

Besides the awesome tweet, Nick also shared how he has build his lab in a couple of blog posts which are worth reading for sure!


You wanted VMTN back? VMUG to the rescue!

I’ve written about VMTN in the past and discussed the return of VMTN many times within VMware with various people all the way up to our CTO. Unfortunately due to various reasons it never happened, but fortunately the VMUG organization jumped on to it not too long ago and managed to get it revamped. If you are interested in it then see the blurb below, visit the VMUG website and sign up. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this and how surprised I was that the VMUG team has managed to pull this off in a relatively short time frame. Thanks VMUG!

Source: VMUG – EVALExperience!
VMware and VMUG have partnered with Kivuto Solutions to provide VMUG Advantage Subscribers a customized web portal that provides VMUG Advantage Subscribers with self-service capability to download software and license keys. Licenses to available VMware products are regularly updated and posted to the self-service web portal. The licenses available to VMUG Advantage Subscribers are 365-day evaluation licenses that require a one-time, annual download. Annual product downloads ensure that Subscribers receive the most up-to-date versions of products.

Included products are:

A new 365 entitlement will be offered with the renewal of your yearly VMUG Advantage Subscription. Software is provided to VMUG Advantage Subscribers with no associated entitlement to support services, and users may not purchase such services in association with the EVALExperience licenses.

and that was 2014….

We are nearing the end of 2014 and the start of 2015 so I figured it was the time to look back at what I did in the past 12 months. I have a bunch of stats which may be of interest, but of course also on a more personal level 2014 was a hectic year so lets start with that.

In 2014 from a more personal point of view:

  • Joined the VMware Foundation on a life changing trip to Vietnam. 2 weeks in Vietnam helping the great (and inspiring) folks of Orphan Impact. I was happy that I was able to contribute in some way, and very happy with all the kind readers who decided to donate to Orphan Impact, it really does matter!
  • Was part of the product team that made VMware EVO:RAIL happen. What a journey… Had never been part of a product team, and seeing something growing from just an idea on a whiteboard to a full blown product and seeing it launched is a great experience
  • Was promoted to Chief Technologist. Very honoured and humbled. What an insane journey the last 7 years at VMware, starting in PSO as a senior consultant, who would have thought.
  • Joined the VMware Office of CTO. Long dream to join this team of super heroes.
  • Co-authored “Essential Virtual SAN”, published through VMware Press and went to China for a book signing with a crazy long queue of people waiting.

Needless to say, but 2014 was hectic and life changing in many ways for me. But what about the stats?

  • Published 143 new articles, bringing it to a total of 1810 posts (including this one)
  • My 5 top referrers:
  • Visitors came from 224 countries with the US leading by large (6x more than the UK and India)
  • I had 3 major contributors in terms of comments, thanks John Nicholson / Forbsy and James Hess!
  • My top visited page was the Virtual SAN page
  • My top article was the EVO:RAIL Introduction article, but all VSAN articles score extremely high
  • Visitor traffic grew with 20%

Also from a stats perspective 2014 was a great year. I am hoping 2015 will be even better, and I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year!

Virtualization networking strategies…

I was asked a question on LinkedIn about the different virtualization networking strategies from a host point of view. The question came from someone who recently had 10GbE infrastructure introduced in to his data center and the way the network originally was architected was with 6 x 1 Gbps carved up in three bundles of 2 x 1Gbps. Three types of traffic use their own pair of NICs: Management, vMotion and VM. 10GbE was added to the current infrastructure and the question which came up was: should I use 10GbE while keeping my 1Gbps links for things like management for instance? The classic model has a nice separation of network traffic right?

Well I guess from a visual point of view the classic model is nice as it provides a lot of clarity around which type of traffic uses which NIC and which physical switch port. However in the end you typically still end up leveraging VLANs and on top of the physical separation you also provide a logical separation. This logical separation is the most important part if you ask me. Especially when you leverages Distributed Switches and Network IO Control you can create a great simple architecture which is fairly easy to maintain and implement both from a physical and virtual point of view, yes from a visual perspective it may be bit more complex but I think the flexibility and simplicity that you get in return definitely outweighs that. I definitely would recommend, in almost all cases, to keep it simple. Converge physically, separate logically.