Way back in 2012 (remember that year? Yeah, those were the days), I was invited to join a great team at Nexenta Systems. On this team, one of my primary roles was to manage the internal deployment of VMware’s vCloud Director. The use case was pretty typical: carve up resources for Engineering, Sales, Support, Training, etc. for them to each have their own datacenter playground. It was really fun to train, watch and work with each group use the resources to develop their vApp catalogs and see some lightbulbs go on for what’s possible for Infrastructure as a Service: from the Training group developing full on, repeatable, deployable in minutes labs for students running nested instances of both NexentaStor and vSphere to Support spinning up analytics machines to process core dumps or test a process/change set quickly only to destroy them minutes later.
I was also able to advise, affect and document changes in the product in regards to VMware integration (VAAI, best practices, new virtualization friendly defaults, etc.) as well as get my mind blown by some of the smartest engineers I’ve ever met.
But, all good things must come to an end and I felt it was just time to move on. I’ve been wanting to get more hands on in deploying VMware tools to help businesses make better sense of, better decisions about and protect their virtualization infrastructure.
In the midst of this desire came an opportunity from a VAR. I know, I know, going to a VAR has it’s connotations, many of which can be found on Matthew Norwood’s excellent post on VAR Life. I’ve probably read it a couple times now as I’ve weighed this decision and I think I’ll manage to avoid some of the larger issues in the role. Primarily points #1 and #2.
#1 is still true to an extent, but the advantage of deploying “add-on” tools is that it rarely needs down time or maintenance windows, so the vast majority of work should be ‘business hours’. This obviously won’t be true 100% of the time, but enough of the time where it, for me, negates this usual negative.
#2 will be taken care of because I’ll be working for a regional VAR. There shouldn’t be much travel outside of the Minneapolis metro region, so I’ll be able to spend the vast majority of nights in my own bed. My wife is a huge fan of this part :)
So, this Friday will be my last day at Nexenta and I’ll be starting at Nexus, a Stratos Company, later this month as a Sr. Systems Engineer on their Services Delivery team focusing on VMware and related products (why did I sound like Hank Hill in my head there?). As much as I love the product, leaving my team was the hardest part of this decision and am thankful to them and Nexenta for this experience.