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.

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