Time for a change: Keep calm and…

Keep calm and join Nutanix.

Keep calm and join Nutanix - Picture by Christian Mohn
Keep calm and join Nutanix – Picture by Christian Mohn
Yep, no sense in beating around the bush. I resigned with EMC, and after wrapping up open topics, I will be starting as the first German systems engineer for Nutanix on June 17th.

I’ve learned incredibly much at EMC. After joining EMC in 2010, I was lucky to be part of a team that has done some incredible things. I feel like the vSpecialist team set a bar on how customer interaction can work, how a team of great individuals can combine in to something much more, and transform the way a company goes about. I learned ways to present information (hopefully in an interesting way), made friends, was able to help customers, worked on several certifications, and always had the feeling that I was still the dumbest guy on the team. I loved the fact that I was able to still ask tough questions internally, without being viewed as “that guy that just sits around nagging”. I’ve got so much to be grateful for, and I am. People like Chad Sakac or Wade O’Harrow who saw some potential in me, or someone like Holger Daube who has been a better boss to me than I could wish for. There are too many to name and thank individually, but thank you to all of you!

But I am moving on. After talking to several people, and discussing, reading things like this, I can’t help but feel that this is a great chance. I can try to set up something new, help define solutions, and get to see what it looks like working in a smaller company, with what I’m expecting to be an even crazier pace.

So, here’s to seeing you on the flip-side, and having fun with something new! πŸ™‚

Certification, General, Virtualization

Life as a vSpecialist

This blog has been lacking updates.

There’s no beating about the bush on that fact. And it’s not because there aren’t any cool new things out there. I have roughly 20 posts in draft, and a lot of cool things happened and have been released in the meantime. Examples would be stuff like the new VNX and VNXe from EMC. I have a take on the NetApp FlexPod, and there were a lot of things that I learned or had to (re)consider after talking to customers, and it’s all good stuff.

And still you haven’t seen any updates here. But why?

Well, truth of the matter is that my new job is great! It’s actually so great that I am constantly busy and that has changed my ability to finish my drafts and/or rough blog posts.

To give you an idea, let me give you an overview of the week. It started having conference calls with colleagues to finish a Vblock draft configuration for a large service provider proof of concept. The afternoon was filled with the preparation for a workshop I gave on EMC’s IONIX Unified Infrastructure Manager, which is basically a management and orchestration tool for the Vblock.

Think of the UIM as a tool that allows you to predefine flexible hardware configurations, and then roll out those configurations. For example, roll out between 1- 4 blades and 20 – 400 GB storage of a certain self defined grade, like a large class that has the fastest blades and only SSD storage. Your admin just needs to decide how many blades he wants to deploy and how much storage he needs. he clicks on the button, and 45 minutes later he has those blades up and running with the amount of storage he selected and a fresh ESX 4 installed without having to run to a storage admin or a network admin, perhaps even multiple times.

So, the day after that I was at a large partner, actually giving that workshop. That went so smooth that we even had a change to finish earlier, and spend time on some different topics that the participants were interested in.

The next two days was spent in a workshop for a large service provider that wants to create a private cloud offering. I had the pleasure to work together in a team of roughly 35 people, including Cisco, VMware, EMC, VCE and customer representatives that were all top at what they do. I was lucky enough to work on a high level architecture for the vSphere and vCloud Director part of it, together with Richard Damoser. This went so well that the first rough draft still needs to be written down in a templatized form, but was able to set a basis for a design and it’s interfaces. Thanks once more for your amazing work Richard!

That being done, I got in my car and drove down to the Cebit, the worlds largest IT convention, to help support my colleagues on booth duty.

Now, add in some conference calls, emails, colleagues calling for support plus the regular stuff that needs to get done, and you have a working week that goes well beyond the regular 40 hours. The week before I even got an email asking me if I could “briefly” fly down to South Africa, which unfortunately wasn’t possible due to my full calendar. This is not a complaint, since I’m having an absolute blast, but it means that stuff like blogging just gets a lower priority.

But, dear readers, I’ll try to improve!

And for now I want to thank you for continuing to read, and I hope that the insight to a weeks worth of work was somewhat interesting. Oh, and while I’m at it, I need to apologize to Steve Chambers for not sending out the presentation he requested. I was just swamped, sorry for that Steve!

Cisco, EMC, General, VMware

It’s all about change and passion

Some of you who read the title of this post will already have a hunch what this is all about. Heraclitus seems to be the person who first stated:

Nothing endures but change.

And I can only agree with that. I remember reading a post from Nick Weaver about an important change in his professional life, and I love this quote:

By taking this position I am intentionally moving myself from the top man on the totem pole to the lowest man on the rung.

And I think that most people who have read Nick’s blog know that this wasn’t entirely the truth, especially when looking what he was able to do until now.

Well, Nick can be assured now. There’s actually on person on the team that is “lower on the rung”. That person would be me.

Time for a change!

I am joining EMC and taking on the role of vSpecialist, or as my new contract says “Technical Consultant VCE”.

I am also going to be leaving my comfort zone and leave a team of people behind that have been great to work with. I have been working at SAP for seven years now, and the choice to leave wasn’t easy. I was lucky enough to have worked with a multitude of technologies in an environment that was high paced and stressful, but very rewarding, and I want to thank all of my colleagues for making the journey interesting! Even so, it’s time for me to make a change.

I was lucky enough to get to know several people who already work in a similar role, and if there’s one thing that distinguishes them in my mind, then it would be the passion they have for their job. This was actually the main reason for me to make the switch to EMC. It’s not about making big bucks, it’s not about being a mindless drone in the Evil Machine Company or drinking the Kool-Aid, it’s about getting a chance to work with people that share a passion and are experts at what they do. It’s about the chance to prove myself and perhaps one day joining their ranks as experts.

So, while I wrap things up here at SAP, if all goes well I will be joining the vSpecialist team on October 1st, and hopefully you will bear with me while I find my way going through this change, and I do hope you drop by every now and then to read some new posts from me.

See you on the other side!