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vExpert Spotlight: Stephen Beaver

Twitter Handle: sbeaver
Blog URL:  www.virtualizationpractice.com
Current Employer: NDS Technologies, Israel

How did you get into IT in the first place?

I actually went to school for Audio Engineering and always thought I be working in a studio.  I never really found the studio work I was after and was doing a lot of live sound work for concerts and corporate events.  I was offered a job with a touring sound company about the same time that I met Tracy, who later becomes my better half. A friend of mine sat me down one day and said, “You know if you start working on your MCSE, within five years you should make x.  I followed his advice, studied my but off, and started my IT career.  I worked as a consultant through most of my career and have worked in just about every industry in one way or another.

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

When I started a new position after 9/11, I was tasked to evaluate this new product called VMware ESX 1.5.  I worked for a company with a lot of satellite offices and very little space for growth.  I did my first production deployment when VMware ESX 2.0 was released and have been hooked on the technology with a passion ever since.  In the early days, sometimes your only limitation was your own creativity and I had the opportunity to create some cool solution that ended up being added one way or another to the base product over time.  Before the Virtual Center release, I created my own version of High Availability using the API’s presented.  I created my own method of Single-Sign-On for the ESX server itself with a LDAP search script that would add or remove users based on an Active Directory Group membership.  I established a rock solid, completely hands off, scripted build process. 

I was very active on the VMTN community forums and was one of the very first Community Moderators.  I founded and started multiple VMware User Groups in a few different cities of the years and from my participation on the Community Forums I was invited to be a Technical Editor for “The ESX Server Advanced Design Guide” and from there Coauthored a couple of my own books, “Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration”, “VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center” and was a contributing author for “How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server” and “Mastering vSphere 4”.

I am very humbled and honored for this to be my third year as a vExpert. It has been an incredible ride, since I got started in virtualization, and I am really looking forward to what lies ahead

Virtualization is a journey, not a project.

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

Get involved!!  Help others on the community forums, join the users groups and meet as many people as you can. Blogging is a great way to share ideas techniques and gotchas.  To stay on top your craft, you have to spend a great deal of time reading and keeping up with what is going on in the industry.  Enjoy what you do and to really fully understand the technology, step away from the GUI and embrace the command line.

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