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Monthly Archives: November 2011

A week in virtualization

As of last Wednesday, VMware Fusion 4.1.1 is available for download or via “Check for updates” inside the application itself. The Fusion Team blog links to a useful KB article that Snow Leopard and Leopard users should consult before upgrading. Read more on blogs.vmware.com/teamfusion

Our Fusion team is also driving a three-day cyber-Monday sale and offering Fusion at a 30% discount. The offer is valid until midnight Pacific time today, so go get the special offer link off facebook.com/vmwarefusion

Today is the last day of the three-day cyber-Monday sale on VMware Workstation 8. Until midnight Pacific time today, you can snag your own copy of Workstation at 30% off. With VMware Workstation you can move to the internal cloud, build and test your VMs locally, then drag and drop them to vSphere when you’re ready. Share VMs with your team by running Workstation as a server, connect to vSphere and vCenter to access remote VMs, and more! Go to blogs.vmware.com/workstation for the special offer link.

vSphere team has shared on their blog that Dell’s Multipath Extension Module for EqualLogic now supports vSphere 5. Any ESXi host with the DELL MEM installed will now have an additional Path Selection Policy. VMware ships ESXi with 3 default PSPs, and the DELL MEM makes up the fourth one. Read more about how to use it on blogs.vmware.com/vsphere

For more news, announcements, as well as handy tips and tricks, head on over to blogs.vmware.com

Additionally, you can check out vmware.com/company/news for official news and announcements from our company.

On Twitter, our Academic team has created a few new accounts, to make it easier for everyone to follow all the different things they do in addition to Flings. The Flings now have a separate account, called @vmwflings, and just yesterday they announced a new fling there, called ESX System Organizer, a tool designed to plan a migration from ESX to ESXi.

Labs now live under @vmwlabs, and their most recent tweet is about a Tech Talk on tools for detecting and diagnosing system problems, with a link to a video.

You can of course still follow @vmwacademic for the news from our academic program and @vmwstudentcloud for Student Cloud tweets. If you have never heard of the Student Cloud, it is an application that makes cloud computing easy for colleges, universities, and other schools. It is an easy infrastructure-as-a-service solution for education.

On Facebook, the vCloud team has shared a link to a helpful new blog post by VMware's Massimo Re Ferre, featuring guiding principles on how to engineer custom portals and backend integrations for VMware Service Providers that are adopting vCloud Director. Visit facebook.com/vmwarevcloud to find that link.

VMware View team is asking for user feedback about vCenter Operations for View on their Facebook page. Tell then what matters to you at facebook.com/vmwareview

We have five webcasts scheduled, one about  Network Design and Security for View, another about vFabric SQLFire, and two intros to VMware View 5 in Spanish and Portuguese, as well as one about Security Enhancements for Agencies’ Virtualized Environments. Go to webcasts.vmware.com to read more about them and to register.

The following VMUGs are going to be meeting over the next week: Sydney, Scotland, Orlando, Charlotte, Toronto, Edmonton, and Melbourne.

There will also be a full-day user summit in Brisbane on December 5th, and a full-day user conference in Kansas City on December 6th, which will feature our inimitable host John Troyer. Also the Dutch VMUG is having their full-day conference on the 9th. In case you don’t know what full-day user conferences are, they’re like mini-VMworlds, really, with a full schedule of talks and interesting speakers, as well as opportunities to network and mingle.

vExpert Spotlight: Hal Rottenberg

Blog URL: halr9000.com
Twitter handle: halr9000
How did you get into IT?

I dropped out of college after my first year. School didn't hold my interest, but nothing else did either. I ended up at a mail-order computer hardware shop in sales when one day, their computer guy left. I sort of wound up as the IT guy by default, and went up from there. I soon left that small shop, then went from various contracts during the dotcom days to permanent employment at larger and larger enterprises including HP, IBM, and Home Depot. Each job was a steady progression in pay and responsibilities, starting in helpdesk, and ending up on the system engineering side of the house. 

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

While at IBM, I discovered PowerShell. I was a huge fan, and learned all that I could possibly learn about this new scripting language from Microsoft. Through my participation in that community, I was awarded Microsoft MVP.

I really loved exploring the intersection of PowerShell and non-Microsoft products, most especially by using it to manage my VMware VI3 R&D lab. I was in the right place at the right time when PowerCLI began, and a book deal fell into my lap. After many long, (long) hours, Managing VMware Infrastructure with Windows PowerShell: TFM was published. Getting that book out the door felt great! Not too long afterwards I was welcomed to the inaugural class of 300 vExperts and had the pleasure to be included among this great group ever since. 

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

Well, you have to be passionate about technology, and love to learn. You also need to be a bit of a self-starter. Building a home lab is a great place to start. With a bit of planning, a commodity PC and a free copy of ESXi, you can really get the hang of virtualization. I also found that it helps to specialize some, but not too much!

Being an expert in one thing is great (and often lucrative), but once you understand how to take various pieces of software apart, and use the pieces to solve problems, that's where I think the fun is. And that's really important–having fun at what you do for a living. After all, you'll be spending a lot of time doing it!

vExpert Spotlight: Sohrab Kasraeian Fard

Twitter: @Kasraeian
Blog URL: http://www.kasraeian.com 

How did you get into IT?

It was about two years before school when for the first time I saw “Computers” in my father’s working place. When I was in the 1st year of my high school, I get the chance of playing games on the computer and one year after that I get some lessons about computer and MS DOS.

I can say those event's changed my life completely as I leaved my first university after 2 years of studying “Material Engineering – Ceramic Field” and went to the new university for studying “Computer – IT Field” and later on one of my professors invited me to his company and from then my IT career started. 

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

I started using VMware products “VMware Workstation 6.x” and “VMware Server 1.x” before I'm moving to the new university for studying computer-IT (more than 6 years ago). While I was in university I started using these two products more and more which lead me to help multiple professors to use "VMware Workstation" for their courses and classes. During this process I faced multiple problems which lead me to the "VMware Community" for the first series.

About 2 years ago I started studying for "Microsoft MCITP EA" certificate and for testing multiple scenarios and configuration I managed to build my own "Home Lab" and that was the first time I start using VMware ESXi 3.5 on my devices; running "VMware ESXi 3.5" on the white-boxes in that time got a lot of problems which lead me to the VMware Community (VMTN) again.

As the result of using “VMware ESXi 3.5” I changed my goals and get my VCP4 certificate before my MCITP EA certificate. I got a lot of helps from SMEs, posts and documents inside and outside of VMTN. In that point I started looking for a way to at least answering parts of helps which I received and paying back to the community by sharing information I got and helping others (if it's possible); and this year I got the honor of being awarded as the "vExpert 2011".

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

I think, spending time and money for IT and especially in the matters which person interested on would get its result if good motivation and good goal being exist as well.
Try to be a better and better person in company and among friends and don’t stop putting more and more times on subjects, learning and for sure sharing them and finally never doubt about asking questions.

vExpert Spotlight: Michael Letschin

Blog URL: www.thesolutionsarchitect.net
Twitter handle: @mletschin
Current employer: Convergence Technology Consulting

How did you get into IT?

As a cadet at the Air Force Academy, each cadet squadron has a computer clerk and in my sophomore year, that was my job.  Essentially a help desk tech for the 60+ person squadron for small computer issues.

After transferring to the University of Maryland, I needed a job to pay for school. I found a position working on websites for the university and so began my IT career. After a few strokes of good luck and moving into systems part-time in college and then full-time through my senior year, I had become a systems admin.

After college, I took a position doing small to medium outsourcing and moved through the ranks into IT management. Over the past few years, I have moved into more of a pre-sales/architecture position.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

I began working with VMware back in the 2.0 days when we still had to decide between ESX and GSX.  I had the great fortune of migrating a few companies through some consulting engagements from 2 to 2.5 to 3 to 4 and now have designed a few engagements with vSphere 5.

As for my vExpert time, I feel that has much to do with my time blogging and participating in the weekly VMware Communities Podcast. I began blogging for my company blog and found that there were some topics that were better said outside a corporate umbrella and started thesolutionsarchitect.net. I now continue to blog on virtualization topics for both my corporate blog at convergentech.us as well as on my personal site.

The podcast has been a huge growth point for me and has spawned great friendships and learning chances.  I also had the opportunity to host a daily podcast at VMworld this past year with other vExperts.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

If you are looking to move from being a systems admin to an architect or pre-sales, my best advice would be to learn as much as you can about as many topics you can across the realm of IT.  During your IT career you often come to crossroads to determine how your career will progress, stay technical or become a manager, focus on a single product or be a generalist.

Most architects I know have moved into management at some point and chose to be a generalist but with some specific product set that they are especially good at. The next thing to do would be to learn about the business side of IT. IT decisions are not normally made solely for the technical purpose but normally with a balance of technical and financial costs.  I continued on my education to get an MBA and it gave me invaluable knowledge of business.  You don’t need to go get an MBA, but you should look to expand your knowledge to understand the basics like ROI, capex vs, opex, and cost of capital.

Guest Post: How to write a book or blog (Part 3)

General tips, recommendations and comments:

Go back and answer those questions posed at the beginning of this piece to help determine the best route for getting your book or blog published. Find, develop and refine your voice or writing style including approach, tone and focus. Seek help and advice from others, be mindful of their time and in return, see how you can help them with something. Likewise find a project that is open to having you join in as a collaborator or put your own collaboration together. Do not be afraid to ask others who are already published to participate.

Get your blog up and running if it isn’t already, and use that to help organize your thoughts, then evolve those ideas into an outline for your book. This will be handy when you put a proposal together for a publisher. Leverage your blog or website as a repository and portfolio which can complement your book as well as serve as a quick reference of your other works.

Go to http://storageioblog.com and my main site http://storageio.com to see examples of how things interact and tie back to each other, ranging from articles, tips, and reports, to events and videos among other items.

For a book project, have a plan that includes research, administration, writing, editing, proofing, layout, composition and other production activities along with promotion. Understand your time constraints for doing all these things, factoring in other projects, work, family and time to sleep. When you get writer’s block which you will, having other things to do, such as administrative work, figures or diagrams design, research or editing can be a great way to productively use the time while you can’t write.

Another tip is to maintain a list of ideas and items that end up on the cutting room floor (things that do not make it into the actual product) so you something to go to when you hit a writer’s block moment.

Conduct a make vs. buy decision similar to what you may do in your IT job. That is, you can write it yourself, or you can have it written for you. With my books, I do them the old-fashioned way, which is to write them myself working with a publisher and their publishing service to handle production items. But celebrities and politicians are not the only ones who have ghost writers, as they can be a cost effective way for an executive or a busy professional to trade money for time.

Talk with different publishers to see what they will do for you and how you can work with them, as well as if it is a good fit for both parties. At the beginning of this piece I mentioned questions to ask and one of those is important: Why are you looking to write and publish a book? If the topic is narrow with a small target audience, a traditional or specialty publisher is not a good fit, you may want to look at self-publishing.

If you are sensitive to others editing and rearranging your work, either develop thicker skin or avoid working a formal publisher, as rest assured, their style will differ from yours. However when working with publishers, you can compromise on style and grammar, but make sure that you maintain your voice, tone and editorial objective.

Leverage publishing services for copy editing, proofing, layout, pagination, indexing, glossaries and other pre-press functions. There are many services as well as individuals that can do these tasks for you.

If you are simply looking to become a published book author, you can take shortcuts such as signing up with some of the eBook sites. Some venues will pay you to write what effectively is a long “white paper” that they in turn publish as an eBook with or without somebody sponsoring it.

Regardless of whether you are going to self-publish, ePublish or go with a traditional publisher, your success will depend on what you are willing to do in order to market and promote it.

Needless to say, there are many more things to talk about pertaining to writing a book, creating a blog or producing videos, podcasts etc., however it is time for us to wrap up for now. Feel free to drop me a note with any questions that I can address. Also let me know when you get your blog up and running or your book published.

Cheers,
Gs

[How to write a book or blog, Part 1]
[How to write a book or blog, Part 2


About the author

Greg Schulz is founder of Server and StorageIO, an IT industry advisory consultancy firm, and author of the books Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier, 2004). Learn more atwww.storageio.comwww.storageioblog.com or on twitter @storageio.

 

Guest Post: How to write a book or blog (Part 2)

If a tree falls in a forest and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

You can have the best-produced book, the coolest blog, the slickest video or podcast, however if nobody knows about it, who will read, watch or listen to it? You need to inform people so that they can find it. I cannot count the number of times I hear from people who have written a book and complain about it not selling, or of having a blog with no comments or followers signed up for it.

Even with a good publisher who actively helps to promote your work, ultimately you or someone on your behalf will have to generate interest for it. The number one cause I have seen as to why a book does not sell is tied to lack of effective promotion to the target audience by the author. Of course having something that people want to see or hear about for free, or for a reasonable fee is also important. This ties back to the question of identifying your target audience and your motivation for writing that book, blog, etc.

Know your audience and competition:

Knowing who your audience is also helps to understand and research what other works are out there, so that you can articulate how your creation complements or competes with the existing work, as well as how it differentiates itself.

Do not be discouraged if there are similar works, because this can mean that there is a market for this content, and your opportunity is to convey information or a story in a different way. For example with my newest book Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011) not being the first book out on any of the topics covered in the book per se, I took a different approach of addressing how they interact and converge, as well as management issues and opportunities along with related interdependent themes.

In the blog scenario I ask people if they have statistics enabled such as WordPress or Jetpack stats or awstats or Quantcast among others and if so, what activity do they see. Stats can help to determine what people are reading or looking for, which can help with ideas for future posts.

Part of finding your voice and style is practice and also observing what others are doing, what works and what does not. Keep in mind that what works for some may not work for you, and vice versa. Be yourself, practice, do some posts to try different things out. For example when I started blogging several years ago, I got in the habit of trying to do a post about something at least once every week or two regardless of anybody reading them.

Help others help you

Look for opportunities to do guest blog posts (like this one), interviews or question-and-answer sessions for different outlets. There are many venues that are looking for people to write articles, which will provide exposure for your blog and any other projects. Now of course if your objective is to make as much money as possible, your options may be limited as many publications and venues have cut back on what they pay (assuming they pay), however it never hurts to get some practice and publicity when and where you can.

Here’s a tip for getting traffic for your blog or other project: Ask someone if you can interview them, and publish the interview on your blog. You will be surprised how many people will respond positively to requests, as long as you are mindful of their time. While there are some that charge a fee for spending time talking with you, there are others that do not charge, including me. Time permitting, I’m happy to have a quick conversation with bloggers or future authors.

Usually whenever I am interviewed by a traditional journalist or by a fellow blogger, once their piece appears, I will mention it. In other words, what goes around, comes around. Help others help you. Oh, and if you are going to use or reference to others’ material, make sure you attribute and preserve any applicable copyrights.

[To be continued.]

[How to write a book or blog, Part 1]


About the author

Greg Schulz is founder of Server and StorageIO, an IT industry advisory consultancy firm, and author of the books Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier, 2004). Learn more atwww.storageio.comwww.storageioblog.com or on twitter @storageio.

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 46

Edwin FriesenVMware ThinApp goes CLOUD with it’s newly released version 4.7.0! – VMware ThinApp simplifies application delivery by isolating applications from the underlying operating system and plugging directly into existing virtual and physical desktop management tools and infrastructure. VMware ThinApp encapsulates applications inside a Virtual OS that transparently merges a virtual system environment with the real system environment.

William LamUnattended Deployment of vCloud Director Virtual Appliance – VMware just released vCloud Director 1.5 as a virtual appliance for the first time. This virtual appliance is not meant to be used in a production environment, but to help users easily deploy and evaluate vCloud Director. There is also an updated vCloud Director Evaluators Guide that goes along with the new vCD appliance that was released today which you should also check out.

Eric SloofUnderstanding VMware Horizon Application Manager – VMware Horizon Application Manager is a hosted service that enables organizations to centrally manage the provisioning, access and usage of cloud, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and ThinApp-virtualized Windows applications. This solution enables IT departments to extend on-premises Active Directory identities to the public cloud, simplifying the security of application access.

Kevin KellingWhat Really Is Cloud Computing? (Triple-A Cloud) – What is cloud computing?  Ask a consumer, CIO, and salesman and you’ll likely get widely varying responses.The consumer will typically think of the cloud as a hosted service, such as Apple’s iCloud, or uploading pictures to Photobucket, and scores more of like services (just keep in mind that several such services existed before it became fashionable to slap the “cloud” label on them).

Vladan SegetThe first connection to a desktop pool – The last post of this miniseries will show you the installation of VMware View Client software on my laptop and connection to the first available desktop which we configured in the previous lessons.  I want to say once again, this series of articles is really not a complete how-to guide on VMware View. There are some design trainings from VMware Education or there are also more in-depth VMware View DVD learning course available from TrainSignal.

Guest Post: How to write a book or blog (Part 1)

Have you ever read through various books or viewed different blogs thinking to yourself, heck, I could do that or perhaps even better?

Ok, what is preventing you from writing a book or blog?

If you have started and have not yet published your blog or book, what is the hold up? 

Why do you want to write a book or blog?

Over the years, I have written three formally published books (i.e. via a traditional publisher with and ISBN and a Library of Congress registration), and collaborated on several book projects with others. Additionally, I create content through blogging, podcasts, webinars, videos and interviews, so people often ask me what is involved in writing a book, blog or article. 

My usual response is a question as to why you want to write that book, blog or article?

Do you want to share ideas?

Is your objective to capture and retain what you have learned?

Perhaps it is to seek fame and fortune?

Maybe it is to be able to call yourself a blogger or book author?

Promote your latest creation or company’s technology or service?

Gain recognition amongst your peers or line up that next job or consulting assignment?

Or perhaps it is some combination of the above!

The reason I ask about your motivation is to help formulate my response as to what routes or paths to suggest for your book project. For example I write books to tie different research and experiences together so I can preserve and share them. My books also tie into other activities that I’m involved with, ranging from custom advisory and consulting projects, content generation, speaking at events and seminars—all of which allow me to make a living. 

Similarities to books and blog projects

There are some common things between writing a blog and a book, yet there are also some subtle differences. It makes a difference whether you are going to self publish a book, or if you are going to write a mini-eBook for an aggregator on behalf of someone else, or sign up with one of the many publishers. Likewise for blogging, the differences can include the frequency and scope along with tone of the content being covered.

At the same time, there will be similarities across all your content as to the topics are you discussing, your voice, and the approach to your audience.

Have you noticed that I have not yet said a single thing about actually doing any writing or illustrating? That’s because while production, such as copy edits, layout, graphics and other things are important, similar to programming or systems development, having a good plan up front will streamline things down the line.

In the case of a blog, plan out several posts so that you can do a series, or have things available to post when you can’t think of what to cover. Over the past few years, I have accumulated a long list that keeps growing of things to blog about as well as ideas for possible future books.

Given that a book project from the first draft to being formally published will take about a year, things need to be thought out a bit more as opposed to deciding to blog about something at a given moment. However the two can be tied together, e.g. using a blog to test out ideas and themes, soliciting feedback, and testing ideas in order to refine what will go into your book. Likewise, content on your blog or website can become companion material for your book.

Publishing your book or blog

There are many options for getting your book or blog published: do it yourself, leverage a service, or sign on with a publisher or venue. For example you can use one of the many different blog tools such as WordPress (e.g. wordpress.com and wordpress.org), which can be hosted on WordPress.com or published via a third party venue like mine, or you can host it yourself. There are plenty of other sites and tools for hosting blogs such as Google BlogSpot (e.g.  http://googleblog.blogspot.com/ ), Amazon Author pages (http://www.amazon.com/Greg-Schulz/e/B001K8S4DQ ) and many others.

The tools and venues vary in features and functionality along with support for various plug-ins, add-ons, templates, and other tools, which is why I like WordPress. Some of the plug-ins include statistics, email or print a blog post, mobile device support, interaction with other social media tools including Google+, Facebook, Twitter, in addition to backup and security tools.

Another option instead of setting up and maintaining your own blog is to write and post on behalf of one of the many different venues out there. Some sites even allow you to post your material on both theirs as well as your own site with minimal to no restrictions while others want exclusive or unique content or first right to post. In my case, most of my blog posts will appear on my blog storageioblog.com and then picked up via different syndicators via my full RSS feed (http://storageioblog.com/RSSfull.xml) or via the RSS full archive feed (http://storageioblog.com/RSSfullArchive.xml), with other posts then submitted manually to venues such as VMTN after some period of time. I also have some content that will first appear elsewhere than my main blog that I will then do a wrapper post around.

With books there are similar options in that you can write and produce it yourself including self publishing via different services, sign up with a formal publisher that offloads you from production activities so that you can focus on writing, work with a publishing service in conjunction with a publisher or self publishing service along with other combinations. How do you get a publisher? Simple, go their sites, send them an email, contact their acquisitions editor, get on the reviewer list to get some name recognition, endorsements and recommendations from others.

I almost forgot to mention that since you are reading this in a VMware related venue, you should get in touch with the folks over at VMware Press, which is a partnership between VMware and Pearson. I had a chance to meet with their representatives during the recent VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas and they have some interesting ideas and are looking for new authors as well as reviewers.

Being a reviewer is a great way to get copies of new books and learn more about the process of putting a book together, plus if you have your blog up and running, you will often have new content to discuss.

Now does that mean a publisher will sign you up right away? Probably not. Even if they do want to sign you, there is a long list of questions that I would pose to them that should end up in your contract should you sign with them. It’s a two-way process, so you want to talk with a few different publishers and check them out for fit while they are learning about you. It is kind of like looking for a job. For example what are the terms and conditions, timelines, who is expected to do what and when vs. assumptions of what is covered. Who will own the copyrights, who does the work involved with and covers costs of indexing, page composition, proofing and layouts.

[To be continued.]


About the author

Greg Schulz is founder of Server and StorageIO, an IT industry advisory consultancy firm, and author of the books Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier, 2004). Learn more at www.storageio.com, www.storageioblog.com or on twitter @storageio

 

A week in virtualization

This week we released new versions of ThinApp, Horizon App Manager, and vCloud Connector. ThinApp 4.7 integrates with Horizon 1.2 now, to allow you to easily manage your virtualized applications on Windows. The new capabilities include dynamic entitlements, secure single sign-on, a management interface, and monitoring and reporting. The new vCloud Connector 1.5 will help you transfer workloads between clouds more reliably and efficiently.  Users can now view VMs and templates across multiple clouds and perform basic operations through a new Web-based UI of vcloud.vmware.com.

Read more on blogs.vmware.com

You can also read more about these releases on Facebook. The vCloud team has shared a link to their announcement, which contains a comprehensive list of features and screen shots. Visit facebook.com/vmwarevcloud to find that link.

VMware Horizon has also shared their announcement, as well as other people’s blog posts about the new release on their Facebook page. Find all these links at facebook.com/vmwarehorizon

VMware View has shared a link to a blog post about resource optimization in View 5. The team is also running a 500/250 promotion, in which you can get 25% off the license list price for a 500-pack of View Premier and 18% off the license list price for a 250-pack of View Premier. Promotion ends December 15, so hurry on to facebook.com/vmwareview to get that discount.

Our Fusion team is happy to share the news that Macworld has declared Fusion 4 “fast and stable… about as easy as it gets.” You can find that at facebook.com/vmwarefusion

We have two webcasts scheduled, one about Virtualization – VMware and IBM on the Critical Steps to Successful Cloud Computing, and another is the vSphere 5 QuickStart Series Part 3: Management with VMware vCenter Server Go to webcasts.vmware.com to see them and to register.

The VMware Forum has concluded its tour around the world, but you can still register for on-demand delivery. One last stop is left on the schedule for Vancouver on the 7th of December. Find out more and register.

The following VMUGs are going to be meeting over the next week: Philadelphia, Toledo, Myrtle Beach, Canberra, San Antonio, Darwin, Sydney, Tasmania, and Saskatoon.

There will be a full-day user summit in Brisbane on December 5th, and a full-day user conference in Kansas City on December 6th, which will feature our gracious host John Troyer. Also the Dutch VMUG is having their full-day conference on the 9th.

vExpert Spotlight: Erik Scholten

Blog URL: www.vmguru.nl
Twitter handle: @scholtene & @vmguru_nl
Current employer: Imtech ICT in the Netherlands 

How did you get into IT?

As most people I started using computers for fun. I started as a 12-year-old boy with a MSX, Commodore 64 and later on an Amiga. During high school and college, I got my first experience with PC's, programming and 'professional' networking. After school, I applied for a job at an IT service company and during the next 14 years, I climbed the ladder from Helpdesk Employee, Support Engineer, Systems Engineer, Consultant to Solution Architect. During my career, I've worked with desktops, servers, networking, programming and storage.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

In 2005, I experienced VMware GSX and ESX at a customer site and since then the love never stopped. My first large scale deployment was at a customer site where I migrated the complete back-end to a VMware ESX 2.5 infrastructure. This was the true start of a long and happy VMware relationship. Not long after that, I took my VCP3 exam and soon after the release of vSphere4, I upgraded it to VCP4.

When, in 2008, I needed a new URL and webhoster, I also registered vmguru.nl as a joke. When working with some colleagues/friends on a large VMware implementation we decided to use this URL for a web based knowledge base for our own use. This quickly grew into a public blog with 0,5M visits in 3 year’s time. Because of my efforts on www.vmguru.nl, VMware awarded me the vExpert award in 2009. 

Because of continuing efforts, combined with presentations and other VMware evangelism I also received the vExpert accreditation in 2010 and 2011.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

Most important of all is that you enjoy and love what you do. My recent job change taught me that this is THE most important of all. 

Find a company that can help you grow and enjoy the work that you do. When you find that company, get involved, share, collaborate and constantly push yourself to learn more, achieve more and push the boundaries.

Second, keep up-to-date. The IT landscape is changing rapidly and it is crucial to follow the latest trends in your area of expertise. Reserve time to study and partner with companies like VMware!

And my last point: Try to talk solutions and solve functional issues. One of the pitfalls of a regular IT employee is to take a technical approach when starting with a (new) client or project. Sure, you need to know how technology works, but the key factor is to fit the business objectives and solve functional issues.