Top 10 Posts: Looking Back on 2010 and Forward to 2011

I thought it would be a fun exercise to take a look back at the past year, the most popular posts, and take a look forward as well, so here we go!

LAUNCHING BLUE SHIFT

A few years ago I began the habit of reading the Planet v12n blogs every day (there were fewer back then!). I was leading a major effort in 2009 to build a new virtual infrastructure and migrate hundreds of servers to a new data center as a result of an acquisition, so I came across many interesting observations that I felt that I would like to blog about as well, but I just didn’t have the time back then (80+ hour weeks) to consider blogging. Many doubted that we could successfully virtualize and re-IP the complex applications, but we did!

Last summer I finally decided to start a blog and see what I could do as an experiment. I wanted to write technical articles about vSphere and virtualization based on what I had learned and was continuing to learn. In July my daughter was admitted into the hospital for major surgery and while there was much going on, being in a hospital 24/7 for several months still offers a great deal of idle time and one can only read so many books. I began to write articles and slowly started to get a few hits. VMworld was ramping up and I also wrote a post on a new wave of virtualization ROI and also on VMware’s evolution and changing value proposition. Around that time John Troyer added Blue Shift to Planet v12n.

As I started writing more, a big challenge was that I was no longer working with virtualization. An organizational alignment put me into a position where I was no longer involved in all the technical things I used to do like SANs, virtualization and more (the “Project Blue Sphere” project I mentioned earlier has been stalled).  The longer I had this “technical detachment” the more difficult it became to have technical observations to write about. Adding to this I was unable to attend VMworld, access the presentations, and I didn’t have the means to build a home lab either. What would I write about?

I was also pursuing my MBA however (just 2 electives to go!) and I began learning more about cloud computing concepts and the Vblock which really began to inspire me.   The value proposition of cloud computing and the Vblock started to become both more clear and more exciting.   I began with “Let Your Fast Zebras Run Free (with the Vblock)”, posted an introduction to a new Agility series, and then interviewed EMC’s Chad Sakac on the Vblock and value.

TOP 10 POSTS of 2010 (by # of hits)

It took me somewhat by surprise that some of my older posts were the most popular in terms of hits. Here are the 10 most popular posts for the year on Blue Shift:

  1. Why Disk Alignment is important (and how to fix a misaligned VM)
  2. Application Consistent Quiescing on vSphere 4.1
  3. Can your VM be restored? VSS and VMware — Part 2 (updated)
  4. Can your VM be restored? VMware and VSS — Part 1
  5. Stacks, the Vblock and Value — A Chat with EMC’s Chad Sakac
  6. Load Based Teaming in vSphere 4.1
  7. HBA Best Practices with vSphere 4.1
  8. Symantec ApplicationHA: High Availability for Virtualized Applications
  9. VM Backup Reference Architecture – Part 2: Beyond VADP
  10. Speed Up vSphere Client on Windows 7

It’s always interesting to see which posts get the most hits — some of my favorite posts (including “Fazt Zebras” and other posts on vSphere performance didn’t even make the top 30!).  I suspect it has much do with search engines, interests and other factors as well.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2011

My professional and personal goals for the next year are similar in that I’m looking to push myself and be in a position to pursue excellence.

My professional goal is to put myself into a position where I am once again technically engaged with vSphere, storage, cloud, ROIs, business agility and more.  I will seek to position myself such that I am challenged and immersed with cloud, storage and virtualization which should lead to a very interesting year and perhaps even better blog content as well.  I am not sure exactly what form such a change may take but that in essence is my goal.  I’ll be resuming the Agility series and also looking to build an inexpensive home lab (hopefully).

My personal goals are to push myself in every area and explore my capabilities.  This includes starting P90X in January (BRING IT!) so that I can lose the 15 or so pounds I gained in 2010 (most of them from the extended hospital stay).  🙂  Just don’t ask for me to post “before” pictures 🙂

It’s been a very interesting 2010, and virtualization, VDI, cloud computing and Vblocks are poised to make a big impact in 2011 and it should be an exciting and action packed year!

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