vExpert 2011!

It feels amazing, humbling and a even bit crazy that I’ve been selected to be a vExpert for 2011.  I thought I’d take a minute to recap the experience of the past year and draw some observations from it.


After being a loyal follower of the Planet v12n blog feed for some time, I eventually decided that I would launch my own blog experiment in order to share some ideas from a recent project where we leveraged VMware ESX to move a datacenter.  I taught myself wordpress, came up with a name, and about a year ago today I first began posting on Blue Shift Blog in July of 2010.

At this point I was about as green in both social media and cloud as one could be.  If I was asked to define “cloud” at this time, my definition most likely wouldn’t have extended far beyond a publically hosted service.  I had never used Twitter or Facebook before and created my first accounts on each service for Blue Shift.

After about 2 months and 20 posts, it was suggested to me that I may want to inquire with John Troyer about a few things.  In the process of doing so, John took the time to review my mostly unknown blog and then to my surprise, John took a chance on me and added Blue Shift to the Planet v12n blog feed.

Over the next few months I found myself intrigued with the cloud and the value proposition of converged infrastructure.  One day I was observing a contentious back and forth on Twitter which left me with some questions about competing converged stacks that I didn’t feel were being answered.  I reached out to EMC’s Chad Sakac who graciously agreed for me to ask him a series of questions for a blog interview on converged stacks.  I learned a tremendous amount from that experience and I hope others in the community found it valuable as well.  This prompted me to start my yet unfinished “Agility” series of posts.

At the same time I was watching and participating in more and more conversations about cloud computing.  I’ve learned so much over the past year that I can now engage in discussions with people like “the president of the private cloud” and feel like I’m not completely embarrassing myself.  So many people who I’ve been looking up to for so long, were willing to engage with me in cloud discussions, validate my thoughts and advance the community in general.  I was now having intelligent conversations on topics like cloud computing with individuals that I have the highest respect and admiration for.

This alone was immensely satisfying and rewarding, so imagine my surprise to learn last week that I would be joining many of these same individuals as a VMware vExpert.  After looking up to the “rock stars” of the vExpert community for all this time, it feels crazy and amazing that I would be selected to be in the same group as them.   I don’t want to name any names here for fear of unintentionally leaving some out, but to be recognized by being included in the same group as all the other vExperts is simply a tremendous honor, and I’m so humbled to be included in this group and community.

In summary, the vExpert award almost makes me feel a bit like this


Two things from the above stand out for me.  One is the amazing community that John Troyer and his team have developed over the years.  It’s not just that there is so much amazing talent in the community, but that there’s so many great people who are willing to develop and support the community at large using blogs, twitter, VMTN forums, VMUGs and so much more.  This really is a special and thriving community and I am very proud to be a part of it.

The other thing that stands out for me is opportunity.  Maybe you have some ideas or a fresh perspective you would like to share.  If so, you’re no further behind than I was a year ago.  Make a blog, presentation, or whatever you feel is your strength and start sharing with the community.  There’s always a need for fresh perspectives and there’s so many area in virtualization/cloud to specialize in.  Just jump on in!

At times I was disappointed that my ability to work with VMware products was limited to ESX 3.5 and that I didn’t have more access to some of the great technologies others were writing about, but as my experience shows, this isn’t always necessary — sometimes there’s great value in just discussing concepts and trends.


The 2011 vExpert award is based on contributions made in the 2010 calendar year, and for the past 5 months this blog has been rather quiet.  There’s a few reasons for that slow down including:

  • Bad habit of tweeting things that may be blog worthy
  • The birth of our 3rd child
  • Major post-birth medical complications for my wife
  • Lack of opportunity to work with VMware products

Needless to say my work is cut out for me for vExpert 2012, but many of the above conditions are finally changing, plus there will be a lot of exciting things to talk about in mid July!

In summary I am honored to be a vExpert and I’m very excited about the potential of that program to create even more opportunities for me to contribute to the community.

One more special thanks to John Troyer and the rest of the team at VMware for all they do to develop and promote this great community!

One Response to vExpert 2011!

  1. Congratulations, good news!

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