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Author Archives: Gregg Robertson

vExpert Spotlight: José Luis Gómez

Foto-curriName: José Luis Gómez
Blog URL: http://blog.e2h.net
Twitter handle: @pipoe2h
Current employer: NEC Ibérica SLU

How did you get into IT?
I started programming BASIC on my Amstrad when I was 10 years old. Three years later, my parents bought me my first PC with Windows 3.11. This was the jump that fully introduced me in the IT world. I got my first job when i was fourteen years old in an Internet cafe, here I learned about networking, operating systems and policies… also about online gaming such as Counter Strike and Quake 🙂

At that time I studied consumer electronics devices and when it ended I started paracticing everything i had learnt on my company. There I learnt about Microsoft services as AD, DNS, … and Linux/Unix such as Red Hat, Mandrake and SCO. This was the era in which I started with virtualization, specifically with VMware Server.

I was changing jobs where I learned about BSD, virtualization (VMware and Citrix), storage, networking and wintel; I also started as a virtualization instructor. At this last stage, VMware gave me the vEXPERT 2011 award; It also was the year that I attended VMworld in Copenhagen.

Now, I work at NEC as a Systems Engineer in the EMEA Cloud Center of Competence where I deploy DaaS environments, IaaS and SaaS.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2012 vExpert?
I started in an end customer where they had one ESX 2.5.3 cluster with two nodes. I got this job because I had a deep knowledge on Linux. I upgraded the infrastructure to VI3 and began to make new deployments in other customers with vSphere 4.

In 2010 I became certified as a VCP4 (when Spain won the FIFA World Cup :-D) and I started to contribute in the VMTN Communities and wrote virtualization posts on my blog. The contributions helped me to achieved the vEXPERT 2011 award and also the vEXPERT 2012.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?
In this area there exists quite a load of competent people, the continuing development of knowledge is the key to a halfway decent job. This world is very hard and difficult to get into and so if you don't love IT, then this is not your world.

vExpert Spotlight: Hersey Cartwright

HerseycName: Hersey Cartwright
Blog URL: http://www.vhersey.com/
Twitter handle: @herseyc
Current employer : ABNB Federal Credit Union

How did you get into IT?

After serving in the Army as a communications equipment operator I had a job at a telecommunications company doing component level repair of digital pagers (man that was a long time ago). The pager repair techs also provided help desk support to desktop users. Before long I was administering the network infrastructure, servers, and phone system. My interest has continued to grow from there.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2012vExpert?

I have to be honest and say I have not always been a fan of server consolidation/virtualization. I was a "don’t like having all my eggs in one basket" hold out. The technology was interesting but at the time I definitely did not feel it was something I wanted in my production environment. Until the day I saw VMware HA in action. I saw a HA demo where they physically pulled the power on a host and after a few moments VMs began to restart on one of the remaining hosts. Back then that was some pretty impressive stuff and I have been hooked on VMware ever since.

A couple years ago I took and then started assisting with the VMware IT Academy (VITA) classes at Tidewater Community College. I spent a lot of time helping out in the lab, assisting the instructor by offering some examples from my experience, and helping students prepare for their VCP test. I was doing this in exchange for time in the TCC lab to practice and study for my VCAP-DCA. I am now an instructor in the program. I still really enjoy the time I get working with the TCC lab.

Teaching has really been a lot of fun. Not only do I enjoy it but I learn a tremendous amount from teaching others about VMware technologies.

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

I am a huge advocate for VITA at TCC and I think the classes are a great way to get started with VMware. If you are looking to learn more about VMware check with your local community college or technical school to see if they offer the VITA classes. It is a great way to get exposure to the technology. If you are in the Tidewater area of Virginia have a look at the virtualization program offered at TCC. I look forward to seeing you in one of the classes.

The VMware User Community is amazing. There are a ton of really smart folks out there willing to share their knowledge. Blogs, twitter, VMUGs, if you need help just ask are there is always someone willing to help.

vExpert Spotlight: Tony Lux

LuxName:   Tony Lux
Twitter handle:  @tonylux
Current employer:  Boulevard Brewing Co.

How did you get into IT?  

I started out of college with a help desk tech support job and it all went downhill from there.  My degree is in International Business/Japanese Studies and somehow I ended up in IT.  Actually I have always had an interest in technology and one thing led to another and decided it was a good career path. 

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2012 vExpert?  

I installed VMWare at my company 4 years ago and have tried to virtualize everything we can here.  I got involved with the local Kansas City VMUG and became one of the leaders.  Through all the efforts we have done here in Kansas City to put together meetings and bring people together, I was recognized as a vExpert for 2012. 

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

I would say to play a lot with technology and try to get involved somehow.  Pay the time with entry level stuff and eventually if you do a good job, you'll get experience and move up the ladder.  In my case doing IT for a brewery, it takes being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people.  The brewing business is small community and I have learned a lot about it and how to make it work better with good technology.  We push the limits and try to keep everything running with the latest stuff.  I am lucky to have management that understands we have to spend money to keep up. 

vExpert Spotlight: Chris Wahl

MeName: Chris Wahl

Blog URL: http://wahlnetwork.com

Twitter handle: @ChrisWahl

Employer: Ahead


How did you get into IT?

I’ve always known that technology was going to be a major focus in life, ever since picking up a “BASIC Computer Games” coding guide when I was a little kid. I had the usual slew of junior level “jobs” coming through high school (computer lab type gigs), ran a few MUDs and a BSS on my white box 486, and was lucky enough to spend a lot of time at the Computer User Group in college. My big break into IT actually started out from a typing test at a temporary agency where I hammered out 156 WPM. The proctor decided I had cheated somehow, and made me rescore – this time earning 162 WPM. The small office was in awe and quickly found me a "computer centric" position at a transportation company as a clerical worker. From there, I just kept finding technical inefficiencies and improving upon them, people would notice and I eventually ended up doing more IT related activities as the “computer guy”. It wasn't until I graduated college that I got a shiny new Systems Admin role and started a real career path in IT.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2012 vExpert?

Virtual PC was my first introduction to virtualization, and I struck out looking for something a bit more robust. I stumbled upon VMware Workstation 4 in 2004 and was pretty amazed how well it worked, using it for benching applications as a test environment before deploying to the network. I quickly found my way to ESX 3.0 and put it onto a box built from a pile of spare parts. It’s hard to remember now, but the concept of stacking virtual machines on a piece of hardware was absolutely mind blowing back then – all of my servers were multiple roles because hardware budgets were lean (Sometimes resulting in some nasty DC/DHCP/DNS/WINS/File/SUS/IIS servers at remote sites). I put together a business case that was ultimately approved and purchased my first real ESX 3.0 server, cramming all sorts of single purpose role servers on it (amazing!). I decided to make virtualization my focus and have never looked back. The virtualization community was always so fun, positive, and exciting, that I decided I wanted to join in, so I went to VMUG meetings and started posting on the VMTN forums, and eventually fired up a blog to chat about my experiences.

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

Getting your first IT job is hard, it’s a chicken and egg thing where everyone wants 1 – 3 years experience. My advice would be to convert your brain into a sponge and learn anything and everything in sight, be that applications, hardware, design, or networking. Go snag VMware Workstation or a cheap server (or build one) and start up a home lab – my home lab was just VMware Workstation for a very long time. Virtualization is one of the widest disciplines out there, and getting your head and shoulders above other candidates sometimes requires raising eyebrows with knowledge rather than experience, at least for a first time IT job. Also, be active in the community to prove to people that you have passion – go to VMUGs, participate on the VMTN forums, ask questions in social media, get some low level certs (CCENT or CCNA is a great start), and be nice (this never hurts in any situation).

vExpert Spotlight: Wei-Ren Wang

Wei-Ren WangName: Wei-Ren Wang

Blog URL: http://www.weithenn.org

Current employer: Dongfong Technology Co., LTD

How did you get into IT?
I decided to work as a IT engineer when I retired from the military service in June 2002; at that time I didn’t even know what “hard disk partition” is about. In the 10-year IT career, I started from learning the basic Cisco and 3Com networking equipments, and then I became familiar with the operation and integration of Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD, and then I acquired knowledge of the current popular  virtualization technologies: VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?
Although I have some ideas about virtualization technology, but I was uncertain about the features of VMware ESX / ESXi. Fortunately I was sent to aprticipate a vSphere 4.0 training session by the company in May 2010. The VMware ICM four-day training courses changed my perspective to virtualization technologies such as HA / FT vMotion / DRS… and so on. Thus I started focusing on acquire more knowledge on virtual technologies.

In addition to building a VMware vSphere virtulal environment, I also started to compose an article on my personal website that introduces virtualization technology regarding its construction, configuration, and management. With the article, I could contribute to the NetAdmin magazine. I think this gave me the honor of becoming a 2012 vExpert.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?
First I try to continuously watch the market trend, and then I read a lot of books of related technologies. After that, I start from building my own test environments. Try to keep everything you do to the test environment including successful and unsuccessful trials somewhere — in my case, a blog. Over a certain period, you will find yourself fully equipped with knowledge of virtualization technology.

vExpert Spotlight: Lauren Malhoit

LMalhoitName: Lauren Malhoit

Blog URL:  http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/smbit?tag=content;blog-door-river

Twitter handle: @malhoit

Current employer: Iasta


How did you get into IT? 

I’ve always really enjoyed working with computers so I when I went off to college I declared myself as a Computational Mathematics major.  I was the only one in my class.  After graduating I quickly realized I had no idea what kind of IT I wanted to do.  I also realized the world was apparently not just going to throw jobs at me because I had a piece of paper with a confusing major listed on it.  I decided to start working on my MCSE and got a helpdesk job shortly thereafter.  This was followed by two or three more help desk jobs in two or three different cities.  Eventually I completed my MCSE, got a few other certifications, and had at least a little administrator experience.  So I was able to get a job as a network admin.  I’ve been doing some version of systems engineering ever since.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2012 vExpert?

At my first real job as a network administrator my boss had provisioned a few servers as an ESX host, vCenter server, and a VMware license server (back in the day when it had to be a separate server).   I had really only worked with some of the Microsoft virtualization stuff at that point, and only as an end user in certification classes.  The VMware stuff was just amazing to me, like some sort of weird black magic.  At that point we were really only interested in server consolidation, but then we got some View desktops up and more of my day was consumed by administering VMware products.  I got into listening to the podcasts and attending the weekly Communities Roundtable eventually.  Then I got a gig writing blogs for TechRepublic and a lot of my content is about VMware…there’s definitely not a lack of things to write about.  So I applied to become a vExpert and it’s been really great.

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

There isn’t really one path.  I think people happen upon it in different ways.  My college didn’t have a stellar computer science program, so I couldn’t go right into being a systems engineer.  I started in a bad help desk job, moved to some less bad help desk jobs, until I could finally get the hell away from help desk (no offense to those of you who enjoy it).   I would also recommend getting certifications.  I know experience is everything, but you can’t get experience, real life experience, if you can’t get a job and I think that’s where certifications come in.  It also shows that you put an effort in to learning and staying up to date with various technologies and practices.  I would also highly recommend listening, reading, watching, smelling tech news in general…subscribe to blogs, follow people on Twitter, listen to podcasts.  It’s an easy way to stay up to date.

vExpert Spotlight: Eiad AlAqqad

Eiad vExpertName:  Eiad AlAqqad
Blog URL: http://www.VirtualizationTeam.com
Twitter handle: @VirtualizationT
Current employer: VMware Canada

How did you get into IT?
I got my first computer at 6, which was a white MSX computer that fit cartridges. At 8 I was so fascinated with computers and started trying to write simple games code in the basic language that came with the MSX computer which would erase itself upon machine power cycle. As I grew up my fascination with this magical machine grew and I decided to get a deeper understanding of how it works, which got me into computer engineering and in turn dropped me into IT.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2012 vExpert?
I have started my IT Career with IBM partners specializing in System X(IBM x86 Servers) & Storage. As Virtualization was a part of most other platforms in IBM (Main frames, iSeries, pSeries), I felt it was finally the chance to join the Virtualization boat when VMware came with Virtualization that run on System X. It was like bringing equality to the System X team (Wohoo we finally got Virtualization too!) . I have started working on VMware since ESX 2.5 building POCs for customers. When ESX 3.5 came out resources were scarce, so more Virtualization projects start being put on my plate by day. Discovering that resources and knowledge of Virtualization at that time was scarce, I have decided to start my blog VirtualizationTeam.com & encourage other people to share knowledge on it where I succeeded at first, I end up being the only one moving it forward at later stages. Seeing my blog grow was a great encouragement to keep giving, & the vExpert program was just a great booster.

vExpert Spotlight: Gabriel Chapman

IMG_0105Name: Gabriel Chapman

Blog URL: www.gabrielchapman.com

Twitter Handle: @Bacon_Is_King

Current Employer: Emulex


How did you get into IT?

After a 6 year stint in the US Navy as a medic attached to the Marine Corps, I applied for a job doing tech support at a local software company. I had no training or real experience with computers other than what I had taught myself on a 386SX running Windows 3. The hiring manager was an ex-Navy guy and gave me a chance and I was hooked.  From there I steadily worked my way up the ladder from support to network administration and finally into engineering and design.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2012 vExpert?

In 2005 the company I worked for was moving from Novell to Windows and we started using Microsoft Virtual Server. I didn’t like it, and started researching other virtualization platforms, which led me to VMware.  Taking some old hardware, I built our first ESX3.5 boxes and it was off to the races.  I was also responsible for SAN and Storage and saw the synergy between virtualization and storage early on, so I took an interest in how storage and virtualization were dependent. 

I attended my first VMWorld last year and met a lot of great people who were either heavily into blogging or social media in the VMware space, and I noticed how great the community was. That got me interested in blogging about VMware, storage, and technology in general. As someone who was always curious about storage performance and getting better visualization into how various storage systems performed in VMware environments, I did a series of blog posts and presented at my local VMUG on using IO Analyzer and understanding how various IO workloads react in virtualized environments. I’m hoping to present at VMWorld this year on storage performance testing and simulating storage IO workloads within virtual environments.

I recently moved into the sales engineering side with Emulex, and plan to be doing a series of blog posts around leveraging network convergence in VMware environments and upcoming disruptive technologies.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do? To begin with, start following the blogs and twitter feeds of the people who have the job you want. A lot of valuable insight can be gained about what they really do as opposed to what you may think they do. Also reach out and make contact. The best move I ever made was walking up and talking to people whose blogs I followed at VMWorld. Making contact with people in the industry and building up a contact network is an invaluable resource. I’ve made some truly great friends through social media interactions in the VMware community. It’s a great group of people to know, and many of them are more than happy to help someone out. So don’t be shy. 

vExpert Spotlight: Vladan Seget

VladanName: Vladan Seget
Twitter handle:@vladan
Website : www.vladan.fr
Current employer: Self

How did you get into IT in   the   first place,get into working with VMware and becoming a 2012   vExpert
I must tell you more about myself first so you’re able to understand where I’m came from and why I’m tweeting in Czech language sometimes. In fact, I was born in Czech Republic and lived there until I was 23. Then I left to work in Switzerland as a professional Ice Skater. Earlier I was a junior Czech champion. But It was long time ago……While working at Holiday On Ice, I met a French girl and since then (97) we live in France. 

So I’m a half Czech and half French. The IT? Yes, It was always my passion. I started with friend of mine with Atari 800, while studying at Czech university. Then, when I first really got hooked it was VMware Workstation and Virtual PC (from Connectix). Since then I was on the way to really become an IT professional, because my passion had to become my job. I took the decision.

So I started my IT career as an IT administrator at small company, where I did everything. Repairing PCs, Installing and maintaining the network etc. Then with our move to Reunion Island (back in 2004)  I joined a local IT Service company, where I started as a field technician and then with the virtualization taking momentum, we started to deploy ESX 3.5 and then vSphere for local customers.
I needed to bookmark stuff, since there has been new tools to play with, new software to know. ESX configuration, backups, monitoring etc. That’s when ESX Virtualization – www.vladan.fr  was born. (2008). Since then I kept posting articles and one day (2009) an E-mail from John Troyer saying that I’m a vExpert … wow. Already I was impressed with so many people reading my website, and now a direct recognition from VMware. This pushed me to work even harder, and prepare my first VCP, back in 2009. Earlier this year I passed the VCP5 and I was awarded vExpert 2012, fourth time in a row.
What would you tell someone who wanted to get   a job like yours to do?
If an IT and virtualization is your passion, then you have it. If you’re IT administrator and not virtualizing yet, then there is something you’re missing… Virtualization is transforming the way we work in the IT industry. In any level.
What must someone know about this Job?
Learning every day scares you? That’s a necessity. You must learn about new hardware, new configurations, and product updates…..
Nothing is acquired in advance and nothing will fall from the sky by itself. You must first prove something. You know something? Write about it. Prove it. Let people know that you know your stuff. If you don’t have a blog, you can write a guest post on some of the other blogger’s blog first, to brush your writing skills too…

vExpert Spotlight: Rodrigo Gazzaneo

Rodrigo-gazzaneoName: Rodrigo Gazzaneo
Blog URL:  http://www.itweb.com.br/blog/conversas-nas-nuvens
Twitter handle: @vGazza
Current employer : EMC

How did you get into IT?
It is a family thing. My grandfather was a Computer Scientist and Consultant at IBM in the 60s and 70s. Later he started one of the first microcomputing training center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That was my playground as a kid.

My father is an engineer and IT Consultant since the 70s until today. I have always been around computers since my early days.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?
 Passion. If you are passionate about what you do, it will be easy. If you love what you do, you will never have to work.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2012 vExpert?

My first experiences with VMware were around 20003 when I was working with EMC IP storage solutions and wanted to have different environments to demonstrate Windows and Unix/Linux interactions, and all I had was my notebook. It was love at first sight!
I was already playing with virtual machines when the EMC vSpecialists team came up and gave me the opportunity to help bring the IT transformation message. I joined the team on 2010 and since then I have been responsible for the Latin America region. Also, I have had the opportunity to work closer together with my regional VMware peers, VMware Partners and our joint customers. It was been a very rewarding journey.
Latin America is very challenging. It is growing fast and it is a complex geo. VMware technologies make all sense because all organizations need to do more with less.