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Monthly Archives: December 2011

vExpert Spotlight: Kendrick Coleman

Blog URL: http://www.kendrickcoleman.com
Twitter handle: @KendrickColeman
Current employer: VCE

How did you get into IT?

I've been into computers since I was a kid. I'm 28 so I'm a younger guy on the scene, but I remember playing Wheel of Fortune on 5 1/4" floppy disks on some ancient piece of hardware. Then I got my dads old Pentium with Windows 3.1 and I spent loads and loads of time getting myself into trouble in the old AOL days. I'll leave those days for another time.

When I got to high school, I was still very much into technology and my high school was one of the first ones in the nation to actually offer CCNA prep courses as part of the curriculum. It was a 2 year course (which is way too much time to spend studying for a CCNA) and by the 2nd year, there were only 8 people left in the class. We all went out, took the CCNA and failed. Go figure.

During college I was the resident geek and was known for having the best electronics and sound system in the fraternity house, of course all backed by my custom built rig. I graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2006 with a MIS degree and my first job out of college was doing a bunch of VBA programming within Excel. I did that for about 3 months and knew that coding just wasn't for me. I caught wind of a position as a Systems Admin at a Marketing company in Louisville and I went in for the interview and was offered the job on my ride back to Lexington.

I immediately put in my 2 weeks notice and started my life being in more of a help desk role along with minor server maintenance. After 2 years, I knew I wanted something better so I buckled down, started studying for my CCNA, and got it.

After I received my CCNA, I applied for a position as a Network administrator at a law firm and began my wonderful journey into switch and router configurations. While I was on-boarding, they told me that I am replacing their VMware engineer as well so they sent me to the VMware FastTrack course for version VI3. When I was there, I immediately fell in love with the technology and completed shifted courses on where I wanted to focus my energy. 

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

As I said before, I became a Network Engineer where 50% of my time was focused on VMware. Instead of reading about BPDU's I was learning about NIC design, vMotion, and more. I became completely enthralled with the technology. About that time (2008), twitter started blowing up and I began using it to find experts in fields of Networking, Network Security, and VMware. I began kendrickcoleman.com as a website to just host my resume for potential employers.

Before I knew it, I was using my blog as a documentation strategy for things that you couldn't find with Google. That’s sort of how I use my blog today as well, if I run into a problem or wants to know a certain process and nothing on Google is available, then I write a blog about it. I steer away from writing stuff like "evolution of cloud" or just my thoughts on things because people read my blog for helpful hints, tips, hacks, problem solving, and walkthroughs. Around May of 2009, the law firm started nose diving and cuts were happening.

I began pushing out resumes within hours of me losing my job and people on twitter were re-tweeting to help spread the message to find potential employers. After a couple of hours and a few DMs later, I was interviewing over the phone with IT Managers in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Palm Beach FL who were interested in me. I also received a call the next day from a local company who wanted me to come in for an interview and again I was hired just a few days later. I was lucky to only be out of a job for 4 days.

I came to this company as a Network Engineer and to completely build their VMware project from the ground up. Within 10 months I had 90% of the environment virtualized. They knew I was crazy about virtualization so they agreed to send me to VMworld 2010. I also got hooked up with David Davis at the time and he asked me to co-present. It was an honor and complete awesomeness to be in front of hundreds of people. The session was ranked 3rd at VMworld 2010 and we got invited to present in Copenhagen as well.

This is when I received my VMware vExpert 2010 award. I was very happy to receive this and join an elite group of individuals. About a month passed and my current rockstar boss asked me if I wanted to come interview for this little startup known as Acadia. I flew to Boston and gave a nerve wrecking 30 minute presentation and before I left to fly home, the job as a vArchitect was offered to me and I was ready for the next phase in my journey. I continue to keep up with the blogging and speaking at major events to help evangelize VMware and that's how I get to keep my VMware vExpert status. I think my journey shows you how crazy social media can take you places. 

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

A fellow vExpert and co-worker once told me, "if you are the smartest person at your company, you need to find a new job".  Keep challenging yourself and stretch your limits. I've always said that a great vSphere admin is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none, which holds very true. There are so many moving parts in a vSphere admins life that you can't know everything about a particular subject such as networking or storage.

Knowing the right kind and correct amount will get you where you need to go. Join in the action because social media is the new "it's not what you know, it's who you know". Making yourself credible in the twitterverse and blogosphere can take you much further than you could have imagined 5 years ago. I can attest to that and so can many others. Your name becomes almost like a brand and it becomes recognized. 

vExpert Spotlight: Piergiorgio “PJ” Spagnolatti

Blog URL: http://drakpzone.wordpress.com
Twitter handle: @drakpz
Current Employer: Banca Popolare di Sondrio

How did you get into IT?

I got into IT when I was 12 with the first experience in gaming and developing software on my first pc. It all started there, with a growing passion for all things IT that brought me, in 1995, to my first job in IT. Eventually I found that system administration was a perfect fit for me, and since then… I never stopped 🙂

So, in the last 16 (wow, I’m getting old) years that’s what I’ve been doing: I started setting up the first few Unix servers, and it all grew to a full-fledged Data Center that currently holds hundreds of servers, appliances, network equipment, etc. Having to deal with every single bit of it has been a challenge, but it gave me the chance to get the whole picture, and to grow my knowledge of “IT things” well beyond the expectations I had back in 1995. Let me add, it’s fun!

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

I discovered VMware in early 2000 (yes, that’s VERY early! J ), and after playing a bit with the first “workstation” release, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing: pure magic. The real joy anyway started in 2006, with the first “serious” installations of esx, and the game changer was ESX 3.0. VMotion alone was the killer feature we’ve been always waiting for, and the more we went deep into virtualization, the more was evident that was the way to go. A few servers later, “virtualization first” became the motto in my datacenter, and all the strategy around x86 environments was built around this revolutionary approach. I also self-applied myself the “vBastard” nickname, since I believe so much in virtualization and cloud computing  that I’m using different techniques to “convince” physical-oriented products and companies to go V, even if it requires being a little… evil. It’s my vWay, or the highway 😉

I had the chance to attend four VMworld events so far (best event in the IT industry, IMHO), and during VMworld Europe 2010 I also had the chance to meet some great Italian guys and together we founded the VMUG Italian chapter (VMUG IT). I had the honour to be chosen as the first leader of the VMUG, and since then I put a lot of effort in endorsing meetings, activities, knowledge sharing and all the things that drive our passion for such a revolutionary and cool technology. Our first two meetings in 2011 showed lots of great feedback from VMUG members: all the hard work we’ve been doing to make VMUG IT a reality is really giving us back a tremendous amount of knowledge and community spirit. I’m very proud of what we do and how we do it.

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

I’m totally biased, because I LOVE my job, so I’d just suggest to get into this world and start doing magic. Seriously though, it’s the best job in the world if you have passion for it, if you’re keen to explore new things, to live in the fast lane, and spend countless hours studying new tech, debugging nasty problems, or fixing stuff during long nights.

Are you a vExpert? Do you want your profile published? DM @VMwareCommunity for details.


vExpert Spotlight: Alastair Cooke

Blog URL: http://www.demitasse.co.nz
Twitter handle: @DemitasseNZ
Current employer: Self-employed, contract Trainer and Consultant

How did you get into IT?

I started my IT career supporting a CAD lab, quickly moving from a University to an in-house role and then on to solution provider roles. 

My first big step up was seeing Citrix early and getting certified before leaving New Zealand for a few years in the UK.  Having certification in an emerging technology allowed me to get a better contract position than I would have otherwise found in a new country.

My next big step up was resigning from a salaried job to become self-employed.  This was a huge risk that I took as the main earner in the household, despite having children and a large mortgage.  There are always reasons why now is not the right time to go self-employed. In the end, I chose to take the leap and have faith in my ability to identify coming trends to stay valuable.

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

I was first shown VMware in 2000 and loved the product that is now VMware Workstation.  I remember being told that VMware wanted to run servers in Virtual Machines and saying that nobody would want to do that.  Now my job is to teach people how to use vSphere to run their servers in VMs.

As a VMware Trainer, I meet new students most weeks and I have found that I like talking with people who use VMware products, I have more in common with them that with the other parents at my kid's schools.  I wanted to stay in touch and feel part of a community. One of the ways was to get involved with the local Virtualization Podcast, which for my region is the APAC Virtualisation Podcast.  When Andre, the founding host, was feeling overwhelmed I stepped up to host some episodes. Now that Andre has left the region I run the podcast. 

Of course I also blog when I see or do something that might be useful to others.

In addition this year I have started running vBeers events in New Zealand, this is a great way to meet up with other people who work with VMware products.  Take a look at http://vbeers.org for events in your area and if nobody else has set one up then host your own. I also organised a party before the local vForum event, styled after the VMUnderground parties.  It was another chance to get together and talk and I need to say a big thanks to the major sponsors, Veeam and NetApp who made the whole thing possible.  I'll be doing this again for the Sydney vForum 2012, maybe even a get together of the regional vExperts too.

The vExpert program rewards people that put their own time into helping others, it should be a side effect of your actions, not the reason for them.

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

Right now I am a self-employed VMware trainer. I am contracted to deliver courses for VMware or VATCs, often different courses in different cities each week.  I spend over half my nights away from home and a lot of days travelling.  The travel is hard and the uncertainty of the short 2-5 day contracts (since each course is a separate piece of work) is tough, however I've never been happier in my work.  I get to share my passion for virtualisation with new people every week.

My career has been led by the technologies I find exciting, the things I wanted to play with when I had quiet times at work or when I got home at night.  If you don't want to play with computers when you get home then you probably shouldn't be a self-employed computer guy.

Expect to have to build up skills over time, it won't happen overnight. 

Keep an eye open for the next big technology change; the big opportunities are revolutions not evolutions.  Right now mobile is changing everything, if you saw it coming five years ago then you have the right mind.  I have been using a smartphone for nine years, if I'd spent the first five learning to write mobile applications I would be well placed to be an iPhone appstore millionaire.

Certifications are a good way to establish credibility, but they are a supplement to experience, not a replacement.  Be good at what you do, then certification is much easier to get.

Are you a vExpert? Do you want your profile published? DM @VMwareCommunity for details.

A week in virtualization

At VMworld Europe, we asked attendees to send in questions for Paul Maritz, the CEO of VMware, to answer. He has now published answers to these questions on our EMEA blog. He talks about mobile devices and the cloud, our new collaboration applications Sliderocket and Socialcast, cloud management, AppBlast, and makes some predictions for the year 2012. The Q&A is currently available in English and German. You can read it all on vmwareemeablog.com.

Speaking of VMworld, we have now made all the keynotes and general sessions from the conference available on YouTube. You can watch them on youtube.com/vmwaretv – they are all in the “VMworld 2011 sessions” playlist.

As the year is coming to a close, we all look forward to the new year, and some of us even make predictions. Our very own CTO Steve Herrod has published an article on vmblog.com about what’s next for virtualization in the year 2012. He covers his last year’s predictions and gives himself an A+ for predicting the advance of new devices into the enterprise, and the need for better managing the numerous smartphones, tablets, laptops, and the like.

He then moves on to talk about five new trends he predicts for the new year. One of the biggest developments he points out is the increase in heterogeneity in end-user computing. If you want to read them all head on over to vmblog.com

In time for the holiday season, our vCenter Orchestrator team has released four new plug-ins this week, which should help you achieve all of your 2012 cloud automation resolutions!

The first one is the VMware vCenter Orchestrator SQL Plug-In.  If you have a need to automate operations on database tables and records, you now can do so without actually having to write any SQL statements.

The second is the VMware vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In for vSphere Auto Deploy.  If you are considering a move to a stateless ESXi architecture, this plug-in is for you.

Third is the vCenter Orchestrator Multi-Node Plug-In. If you have a need to deploy several vCO server instances because of your scale or geographical reach, this new plug-in makes it easier to manage several vCO instances from a single point.

And last but not least… the vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In for Microsoft Windows PowerShell lets you leverage your existing PowerShell and PowerCLI scripts and opens up many new capabilities.

Curious? Head on over to blogs.vmware.com/orchestrator for all the juicy details.

vExpert Spotlight: Marcel van den Berg

Blog URL: http://up2v.nl
Twitter handle: @marcelvandenber
Current employer: Conclusion FIT in the Netherlands 

How did you get into IT?
As a young boy, I was always attracted to technique. Took apart many old radios and bikes and sometimes did some repairs. Computers like the MSX, Atari and Commodore 64 were hot when I was young. I bought computer magazines and my first ever modem (1200/75 baud) for the MSX computer. Even built a Bulletin Board System, which looked like the current Text graphics on television. I decided to do an IT course combined with a traineeship on a helpdesk. So I am one of a lot of IT-people who did not do a study in IT. In 1990, I started in my first job as an all-round IT-employee. My job was configuring Ultrix

(Digital’s implementation of Unix), system management and all kind of tasks. Even connected personal computers running MS-DOS to UNIX systems using TCP/IP and NFS so we had a shared volume for pc’s. At that time Novell Netware was a  start-up company and Windows NT did not exist. Via many years’ experience as system engineer at various companies, I decided for a new role as consultant. Initially I was involved in various migration projects. Doing an Exchange migration project, the next project a Microsoft Windows Server migration etc. Whatever I do I like to do it the best and I noticed I had to focus on a certain

solution. That’s how I became a VMware consultant.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?
I first found out about VMware around 5 years ago during a project I did. Soon after I was attending a 4-day VMware course. Before I was doing all sort of projects but since I worked with ESX servers, I decided to focus on ESX as my core competency. Sharing my knowledge and experience has always been natural for me. I like to write articles. So I decided to start sharing my experiences with VMware vSphere by blogging back in February 2009. Soon after

I started publishing about that other hypervisor, storage and third party solutions as well. I am interested in Disaster Recovery solutions so I write about Site Recovery Manager,VirtualSharp ReliableDR and Zerto Virtual Replication.The number of page views per day grew from around 50 in the beginning to around 600 now. There are over 400 blog postings on my site now. I was very happy that I was rewarded the vExpert title by VMware for my work as a blogger.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?
You really need to have a passion for IT. There are so many developments that you will need to spent quite a bit of time (also your own time) on reading blogs and books and practise in your home lab. If you have a 9 to 5 mentality, you will not grow in a role dealing with technique. Be curious to find out how a product works under the hood to fully understand the product. Twitter is nowadays a great pointer to interesting info published on the internet. Share your knowledge and people will share their knowledge with you. Start blogging and this will force you to deep dive into products and learn about them.

Are you a vExpert? Do you want your profile published? DM @VMwareCommunity for details.

vExpert Spotlight: Jonathan Medd

Blog URL: http://jonathanmedd.net
Twitter handle: @jonathanmedd

How did you get into IT?

After completing my degree in Economics and Statistics I was getting bored of those fields having studied them a long time and decided that a future in accountancy was not for me. Having enjoyed some IT modules during my degree, including one titled an ‘Introduction to the Internet using the NCSA Mosaic web browser’, I thought a career in IT might be a good idea.

I started out in a helpdesk / desktop support role which was a good grounding in seeing the user side of IT. After about a year they decided to make me responsible for the Exchange messaging system and I spent most of the next ten years in different jobs internally in organisations and as a consultant, mostly carrying out Active Directory and Exchange migrations.

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

In one of those jobs there was an existing VI3 VMware deployment and the organisation sent me on the ‘Install, Configure, Manage’ course for VI 3.5 which had just come out. It was completely different from anything I had done before and I loved it from day one. Since then I have focused more and more on virtualisation and moved away from the AD and Exchange work I had been doing.

A few months before attending the course I started teaching myself PowerShell as I had a need to automate the Windows environment I was supporting. With no programming background whatsoever I had initially tried VBScript for this purpose, but thankfully someone suggested I use PowerShell instead and I never looked back! This naturally led to using what was then called the VI Toolkit, and now PowerCLI, to automate the work I was doing with VMware.

This gave me a newfound enjoyment from my job and I started blogging about my experiences. I began presenting some of this content at various User Groups in the UK and also started the Get-Scripting Podcast where I was quickly joined by my friend Alan Renouf as co-presenter. That led to my being awarded a Microsoft MVP for PowerShell in 2010.

That same year I was invited by Alan and Luc Dekens to help them co-author the PowerCLI book (VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference: Automating vSphere Administration) which was a major factor in being awarded a vExpert for 2011.

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

You have to enjoy learning, since IT is constantly changing and you need to stay ahead. Volunteer to help out with projects that are outside of your comfort zone; you will inevitably learn something new and may discover a new area that enjoy.

I’d also highly recommend getting involved with the community. Either through the forums, Twitter, User Groups or starting your own blog, you’ll find you constantly learn new things. You’ll also develop good sense of having contributed back to that community.

Are you a vExpert? Do you want your profile published? DM @VMwareCommunity for details.

vExpert Spotlight: Tom Howarth

Blog URL:  http://www.planetvm.net
Twitter handle: @tom_howarth
Current employer: Currently working as a Self-employed consultant focused on VMware.

How did you get into IT?

To be truthful accidentally, I was training to be a Lawyer. And took a part time job in a Construction firms planning department to help with finance. I ended up computerizing their process and installing a Novell 3.12 environment for them.

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

It was 2004 and I was working for a Reseller, a good friend introduced me to this magic fairy dust product called ESX and blew my socks off by performing a vMotion, I still get a buzz over vMotion. I took it to my MD who said “yeah, I seen that, it is just a gimmick and will be dead by the end of the year, we are sticking to what we know”.  I left to go contracting and that company is now defunct.

I immediately started to post on what was then known as the VMTN Community website, at first asking more questions than I answered, but eventually that changed. I became a moderator on that site in 2007 and I started to blog on my site PlanetVM.net in 2008.  I have also contributed to a couple of Virtualisation based tech books.

I am honoured to be a three time awardee of the vExpert award, having been granted it in the inaugural year 2009.

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

 Breaking into IT is hard, especially if you do not have an IT based degree.  For me it was be accident, but when I was made redundant for my first position in 1995 it took me over 2 years to get back in.  It was basically persistence and a willingness to learn in my own time that has got me to where I am now.  There is a very valid adage and that is

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Are you a vExpert? Do you want your profile published? DM @VMwareCommunity for details.

A week in virtualization

Today, you can join in the Beta testing fun for the new customer portal we’ve been working on for the past months. It is called My VMware and is focused on simplifying and streamlining your interactions with us. It will allow you to more easily manage your licenses and support, and it’s coming in the first half of 2012. Read more and join the beta on the VMware Support Insider blog at blogs.vmware.com/kb

vFabric Application Performance Manager is now available, to deliver a new approach to managing applications in the cloud. It is focused on managing the health and performance of applications deployed on virtual and cloud infrastructures, and a result of more than 18 months’ of innovation and development work, combined with know-how from several acquisitions such as B-Hive, Spring Source and Hyperic, to name just a few. Read all about VMware vFabric Application Performance Manager on Rethink IT blog at blogs.vmware.com/rethinkit

The VMware vSphere team has posted a detailed tutorial on the use of the new software FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) adapter. So now, if you have a NIC which supports partial FCoE offload, this adapter will allow you to access LUNs over FCoE without needing a dedicated HBA or third party FCoE drivers. All the details and lots of screen shots are on blogs.vmware.com/vsphere

Our vCloud team has published part Four of the Best Practices series for providers offering vCloud-powered services. This one talks about how to make your cloud safe and secure with VMware vShield. Read it in full on blogs.vmware.com/vcloud

Business-critical Applications blog has shared the second part of their Oracle on vSphere article, talking about deploying 11gr2 RAC using VMFS. Find it at blogs.vmware.com/apps

The Labs team has released a new fling today, called I/O analyzer, which is a virtual appliance that provides a simple and standardized way of measuring storage performance in a vSphere environment. It automates the traditional storage performance analysis cycle, so that you can get your performance diagnosis in hours instead of days. Learn more and download I/O analyzer on labs.vmware.com

Today we had a guest on the weekly Community podcast to talk about the new Global Alliances blog: Gina Bollenback from Alliance Marketing.

Then there is a list of new features in version 5.0 of PowerCLI on that team’s blog at blogs.vmware.com/vipowershell

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

On Facebook, the vCloud team has shared a link to a customer video, showcasing how NYSE Euronext use our solutions to help their clients optimize critical workload. Visit facebook.com/vmwarevcloud to find that link.

VMware Fusion team has linked to a video review of Fusion 4 by Spiked Studio. This two-and-a-half-minute video offers a quick review of what they liked, the stability and ease of moving images into place. Find the link on facebook.com/vmwarefusion

We have five webcasts scheduled at this time, 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: Nashville, Hampton Roads, Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, Phoenix, St. Cloud, Tampa, San Diego, Adelaide, Indianapolis, Romania, New Orleans, Western Pennsylvania, and New Mexico.

A full-day user Summit is starting in an hour in Melbourne, so even if you have to drop everything and drive twice the speed limit to make it, go there. 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.

Also, the Baltimore vBeers is meeting next week on the 14th.

Guest post: VMTN Community and Social Media

I would like to talk about how VMware Community compares with (and complements) other social networks and media. I'm a VMware Community Moderator, but I'm writing this post as a "normal" Community user. I do not consider myself a social media guru, but just a beginner. 

If you want to be precise, the title of this post is not exactly correct, because the Community is just another form of social network. However, there are differences between the Community approach versus the other tools that have become popular over the past few years, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

As you noticed, the latest release of the VMware Community platform, introduced at the beginning of the year, integrates many social channels. Just look at the Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs tabs on the Community home page or check out the “Share This” box on every thread. This may make you think that the world is now revolving around all these new tools, and that our Community forums are going out of fashion. But is this really true?

As I’ve said earlier, the VMTN Community has a different approach to sharing: the biggest difference being that our Community is a collaborative tool with a common objective to provide users help and knowledge. The VMTN community is made by the people for the people of the Community itself; and while the individual people contributing to it can change, new users can join, and some may leave, but the Community will live on as long as people will continue needing help with their problems, and as long as others will continue to share their knowledge and help.

There is something to do for everyone. If you are just starting out, you can be a lurker at first, and begin to contribute as you learn more about VMware technology. If you keep at it long enough, you may reach the status of guru one day. Those who want to get even more involved can become volunteer Community Moderators. You may not know this, but VMTN moderators are elected from the Community.

Other social media frequently use an individualistic approach, in some cases focusing on increasing your own visibility and popularity. Oftentimes this results in some really good contributions, but also in a lot of cross-references, information redundancy, while the information is mostly unstructured.

Some of us can be really active in multiple social networks and provide great contributions to the VMTN Community, such as Duncan Epping and William Lam, to name just two who have an active presence in VMTN forums, as well as on Twitter and their personal blogs.

Another big difference is that each social tool has a certain context for its application and usefulness. Just like in the physical world, there are tools appropriate for some tasks, and at the same time not do very well when used out of context. To give you an example, providing detailed help and support on Twitter may be very hard, but it is perfect for sharing a link to the appropriate discussion thread in the VMTN Community or just encouraging the user to post a question on the forums.

While tweets are not very well threaded, they can reach your audience faster, but whenever you want to have a longer conversation, the threaded discussions on the forums are the better way to go. Where Twitter brings speed and conciseness, the forums bring structure, unlimited characters in a post, and more permanent storage for detailed technical discussions.

As it happens, some VMware related topics are actually very active on Twitter, and a number of interesting posts are made there, such as information about VCAP and VCDX. At the same time, some people are using the Community forums to post content, and then utilize Twitter to share interesting posts; this happens quite a bit in the VCDX area.

Facebook can be used as a single account to login to several different web services and to share content and recommendations with one click. There is a number of Facebook pages maintained by corporations including VMware, but there is only a little overlap with VMTN Community functions such as technical discussions.

YouTube complements the Community forums nicely because you can very simply add a video to a thread, a document or a blog post.

For those of us with a lot to say, VMTN community platform supports blogging, but there are also many blogs that are hosted externally. If you are worried about finding them all, it’s not a problem: most influential blogs post are aggregated on Planet v12n and there are of course good VMware internal blogs, which both are linked from blogs.vmware.com, such as the VMware Storage Blog.

There is a wealth of other social networks out there, which I don’t have the time to cover in this post. In closing I would like to encourage you to share in your comments all the different tools that you use to collaborate with people from around the world who make up the VMware Community.

Andrew’s short bio:

Andrew Mauro is an IT specialist focused on operating systems, networking, storage, security and virtualization. He holds a number of technical certifications and accreditations (such as VCDX and vExpert) and is a VMTN Community moderator. You can find more about Andrew here: http://about.me/amauro

vExpert Spotlight: Andrew Hancock

Blog URL: http://andysworld.org.uk
Twitter handle: @einsteinagogo
Current employer: Cyrus Computer Consultants Ltd (http://www.cyrus-consultants.co.uk/)

How did you get into IT?

In the late 70's in the UK,  I was introduced to a PDP11 minicomputer, by a friend's father that worked in a Research department  for a Welsh University. That got me hooked, during the late 70s, my parent's purchased an EACA Video Genie (TRS-80 clone), I was coding in Assembler and BASIC, the BBC launched the BBC Microcomputer in 1981, which I also had, and completed the newly introduced GCE 'O' Level.

I left university in 1990, and the Electronics Engineering  job never appeared, so I started on the bottom rung of the ladder as a Customer Support Assistant for a Software House, supporting the Leisure and Commercial Marine markets, with personal computers at sea, and in those days it was MSDOS 3.0. My interest was always supporting servers, networks, and larger computer systems. I left that company to join Computer Science Corporation as a Senior Analyst, I later became a Technical Architect @ CSC, creating large scale corporate-wide designs and solutions, a few years later, I decided to setup Cyrus Computer Consultants  Ltd, to provide IT Consultancy in many IT disciplines.

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

Business diversification in 2001. After many years of successfully deploying Citrix solutions, We started to work on server consolidation projects with VMware ESX 1.0 in 2001, we were impressed with VMware's initial Workstation x86 Hypervisor release a few years earlier, but it was not "ripe enough" for the datacentre.

Voluntary contributions to Experts-Exchange.com, led me to being nominated for a vExpert by many of the Experts-Exchange.com members, I had helped in the VMware and Virtualisation zones. Currently overall leader in VMware and Virtualisation zones on Experts-Exchange.com, and Overall leader this year on Experts-Exchange.com. I also write tutorial videos and blogs on my blog about popular VMware issues.

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

Do not be afraid to experiment, gather as much experience as you can, learn from others, ask questions, aptitude and enthusiasm for VMware related products and technology is good. The willingness to learn new technologies.  

If you want to get into IT, email you CV to the HR Department, HR Manager, or Managing Director/CEO and offer to work for FREE! (even if it's on the Service Desk) It can be hard work, but make sure your enjoy and love what you do.

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