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Chris Miller is the principal architect for AdvizeX in Columbus OH. He runs the NSX program from a technical and marketing perspective, including Chris Miller-AdvizeXenterprise pre-sales support and go-to-market strategies.

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I started my career as a traditional Cisco networking guy. I spent 10 to 15 years as a network architect. But I’d been tracking what was going on in the community, with Open Flow and some of the other technologies. When I saw what VMware was doing, it got me pretty excited. I thought, ’It’s pretty revolutionary what’s going on here.’ I immediately jumped on the opportunity to take part in NSX.

In terms of enterprise customers, we weren’t initially seeing a lot of adoption in the market. Then VMware announced the Nicira acquisition, and Cisco announced what they were going to do with ACI, and heads started turning. I realized, you know, here are two of our largest partners putting their investment dollars behind this technology. And then, when I saw what NSX could do, and the benefits it could bring, it was very clear to me that this was the next wave.

What excites me most about network virtualization is that you essentially don’t have to worry about change control as much anymore. Now I can start building my services application to application. Everything is independent. I don’t have to get on the phone with folks and explain everything that I’m doing for every little change. It’s amazing. I am also excited about what this does for the private cloud. I think that the pieces that we’re missing for private cloud are primarily network and storage. We’ve had the compute for some time. This gives us a way to extract the networking pieces with NSX and the storage pieces with VMware. Now we can be hardware independent. Companies have been trying to look like Google and act like Google for years now; I think this is the technology that will finally enable them to do it.  So that is what is exciting, there is a there’s a whole new set of things for us to work on now – like private cloud.

Despite all this possibility, there are still people who aren’t convinced this is going to happen. Whether we like it or not, the industry’s changing. Networking’s changing. Even if you never did any network virtualization, you’re going to have to figure out how to integrate with the cloud—and a key component of that is the network. So us networking guys are going to have to change our skill sets, and we’re going to have to start thinking from a more converged perspective, from a cloud unintelligible perspective. By pursuing the advanced certification, you’re tooling up to understand that, and to be able to deal with what’s coming. So, to anyone who says he or she doesn’t really need to know about network virtualization, I’d say, “Ask mainframe guys how they feel about not needing to know S86.” It’s the same concept.

And getting certified now will have it’s advantages. Look at the CCIE, for example. Companies are seeking the low numbers, right? People will put ‘CCIE-50’ on their resumes. There’s a lot of prestige around that. Five years out, it’s going to be the same for VCDX-NV. So I’d say, if you can get in early, you’re getting in on a cutting-edge new technology; you’re getting a highly sought-after, well-respected certification before anybody else. Worst-case scenario? It builds your resume. Best case? It helps you tool up for the future. You’re either going to adopt, or you’re going to get left behind.