How to become EMC Elect

April 6th, 2014 No comments

Or rather…how I became EMC Elect.

EMC-Elect

EMC Elect is a program in its 2nd year to recognize social outreach/evangelization focused on the EMC portfolio — similar to VMware’s vExpert program. More details here.

https://community.emc.com/community/connect/emc_elect/blog/2014/01/14/how-were-the-emc-elect-of-2014-chosen

It is a notably smaller program however by number of members — 750+ vExperts vs. only 80 EMC Elect.

https://community.emc.com/community/connect/emc_elect/blog/2014/01/15/the-emc-elect-of-2014–official-list

I truly was honored to be designated EMC Elect 2014 — wasn’t sure if I’d make it. What’s very cool is that I’m 1 of 3 EMC Elect at Varrow — Jason Nash and Joe Kelly repeated from 2013.

Given that 375 people submitted but only 80 were selected (just over 20%), see below for what I submitted. For all I know, I just barely made it — that wouldn’t surprise me — but was sufficient for this year at least.

I am very fortunate in that my position at Varrow gives me opportunities around many of the items below…but some of them almost anyone could do (EMC World blogging for instance).

Hopefully helpful for someone…maybe you already have similar items you can cite for next year’s application or this provides examples of things you can do this year if aiming for EMC Elect in 2015.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, I’m nominating myself but…

As a TC for Varrow (i.e. pre-sales engineer for EMC’s largest partner in SC/NC), I spend a lot of my day talking about EMC Solutions, architecting them, quality time with MiTrends, explaining the output to customers, etc. I’ve been personally involved in the architecture/training/etc. around 10+ VNX purchases this last year and several VMAX purchase as well (along with a lot of Data Domain + Avamar).

During EMC World 2013, I put up 13 blog posts and got a lot of traffic (publicized via LinkedIn & Twitter) — over 1200 visitors (some posts were password protected with the password only given to EMC employees or partners I could verify).

http://www.thinkmeta.net/2013/05/emc-world-2013-blog-posts-reference/

I also hold EMC TA Specialist certifications for the Unified/VNX and VMAX…brief interview around certification value at EMC World here (happened as I was getting my Proven Professional EMC shirt).

Happy to provide more information if desired — I’d be honored to be considered for EMC Elect in 2014.

Categories: EMC, Varrow Tags:

Whole house audio (mostly) on the cheap

April 6th, 2014 No comments

TLDR version = some existing equipment and about $250 for a whole house music system based on Airplay.

airplay

(Yes, it’s been way too long since I’ve blogged…crazy schedule plus a botched WordPress automatic update pretty much stopped blogging in its tracks for much too long.)

I’m one of those people who always has music on of some kind…pretty varied musical taste but whether playing violin/viola in multiple orchestras growing up or now mostly listening I love music. Given that, we paid extra in our first town home 10+ years ago for the whole house music system along with an AUX jack so I could plug in the newly purchased, quite enormous for the time 40 GB iPod. This one

Fast forward 7 years to kids and a new house, the whole house music system didn’t make sense. Within the last year though, AirPlay speaker prices have dropped dramatically. Audiophile quality? No…but that’s not the point really.

So what’s this made of…

  • Existing Stuff
    • iMac as the media station – 4+ years old, still running well by virtue of an external SSD for OS and applications. Internal 750 GB SATA drive used for 300 GB of music and videos. I’ve ripped our CD’s for years so have 50+ GB of music in MP3 and AAC in iTunes. Main music source for all things Airplay as can send to multiple devices at the same time. Also provides audio for the upstairs play room via builtin speakers.
    • Apple TV – gen 2, connected to Visio TV in the Living Room, provides living room audio. $100 or less if you don’t have one.
    • AirPort Extreme wireless router – gen 2 (802.11 a/b/g/n – 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz), rock solid with 15 devices connected. This could be any solid wireless router though.
    • iPhones/iPads – for this discussion, they’re either music sources or remote controls (Apple’s great Remote app to control the iMac).
  • New Stuff
    • iHome IWS2 Speaker – in my office next to the playroom, nice that it has lots of physical controls/buttons on it, currently $70 on Amazon.
      iHome iWS2 AirPlay Wireless Stereo Speaker System - Silver
    • iHome IW3 – in the dining room for downstairs audio (kitchen is between dining room and living room). Also battery powered so can pick up off the stand and take outside to the front or back yard when kids are playing outside (this is really, really nice). $75 on Amazon.
      iHome iW3 AirPlay Rechargeable Wireless Audio System - Black
    • Philips SoundAvia – in the Master Bedroom, best sound quality and nicest looking but not as many controls (just volume and power). May not be very reliable (some forums report talk about a red light of death which I’ve already experience once and had replaced). Currently $62 on Amazon.
      Philips AD7000W/37 Fidelio SoundAvia Wireless Speaker with AirPlay
    • Airport Express – first generation and used to power current Sony tabletop speakers in the kids room. $25 off eBay.

There you go….I was already fairly bought into the Apple ecosystem but for a relatively small additional cost am quite happy with the results. I did look at Sonos but couldn’t justify the cost for a “nice to have” kind of thing…maybe someday.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Having fun with vExpert to employee ratios

June 1st, 2013 11 comments

As anyone reading this likely knows, the 2013 vExpert list was announced earlier this week (I’m honored to be a member for the second year now).

vExpert 2013 awardees announced

Shortly after, Jeramiah Dooley updated his 2012 vExpert analysis/breakdown for 2013 (I’m hoping this is a yearly tradition).

2013 vExpert Group, By the Numbers

Reading through that got me thinking about vExpert to employee ratios. To be honest, this started with thinking “I bet we have more vExperts per employee than any other company” given we’re just over 100 employees and have 8 vExperts on staff this year….and I was partly right (see below).

Note: I’m not at the same big data analysis level as Jeramiah so what’s below are static numbers….no live updates from the Google Docs source data. The total employees are based on nothing more than Google (although I didn’t take just the first result I found) but I’m happy to update if anyone has better data.

Without further ado, here’s what it looks like…

(Updated March 2014 for accuracy)

Sorted by total vExperts per company – top 10 companies

Company # Employees # vExperts Ratio
VMware 13,000 54 241
EMC 60,000 17 3,529
VCE 1,500 12 125
Varrow 150 10 15
HP 331,000 8 41,375
NetApp 12,000 8 1,500
Veeam 1,000 8 125
Nutanix 212 6 35
Symantec 21,500 5 4,300
Xtravirt 50 8 10

Sorted by vExpert to employee ratio – top 10 companies

Company # Employees # vExperts Ratio
Xtravirt 50 8 6.25
Varrow 105 10 15
Nutanix 212 6 35
Veeam 1,000 8 125
VCE 1,500 12 125
VMware 13,000 54 241
NetApp 12,000 8 1,500
EMC 60,000 17 3,529
Symantec 21,500 5 4,300
Dell 108,000 5 21,600
HP 331,000 8 41,375

The one I like the most…top 7 companies (most total vExperts) sorted by vExpert to employee ratio

Company # Employees # vExperts Ratio
Varrow 105 10 15
Veeam 1,000 8 125
VCE 1,500 12 125
VMware 13,000 54 241
NetApp 12,000 8 1,500
EMC 60,000 17 3,529
HP 331,000 8 41,375

I think we’d all expect VMware to have the most vExperts with other virtualization focused vendors like EMC, VCE, HP, NetApp, etc. to be on this list. BUT….who would expect a relatively small UK consulting group (XtraVirt) to be right up there (kudos to them) much less a US based partner that only does business around the Carolinas (Varrow).

From where I sit, it’s an exciting time to be in this industry and at Varrow.

And…in case anyone is wondering, while there was some internal chatter inside Varrow about vExpert applications, there was no official company push – no bonuses tied to vExpert, no requirements to apply, etc. This is simply what we do and who we are — both individually (speaking for the 8 vExperts at Varrow) and also as a company.

Update March 2014: Varrow is now giving bonuses for various certifications. If you’d like more details, listen to Jason Nash (Varrow CTO) on the Geek Whisperers podcast.

http://geek-whisperers.com/2014/03/the-passion-of-the-cto-episode-37/

Categories: Varrow Tags:

EMC World 2013 – Blog Posts Reference

May 12th, 2013 No comments

Just a wrap-up post given I wrote 10+ blog posts at EMC World 2013 – general sessions, keynotes, breakout sessions, and SE Conference sessions.

Please note that the SE Conference session notes are password protected due to NDA material – please email me (amiller @ varrow . com) or catch me on Twitter or LinkedIn if you need the password (along with some proof that you’re under NDA with EMC).

General Sessions & Keynotes

Breakout Sessions

Great conference overall — especially appreciate the ability to attend the SE Conference as a partner.

If you want higher quality images, check in the shared Evernote notebook (Varrow people) or email me and I’ll send you an Evernote link.

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Protected: EMC World – SE Conference – VNX Futures

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Protected: EMC World – SE Conference – Leading Your Transformation with ESD (VMAX, RecoverPoint, VPLEX)

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Protected: EMC World – SE Conference – Isilon Roadmap

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Protected: EMC World – SE Conference – Hyper-V for the VMware Pro

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Protected: EMC World – SE Conference – Flash: Today and Tomorrow

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EMC World – Session Notes – RecoverPoint: Accelerated Recovery in a Virtual Environment

May 11th, 2013 No comments

Fantastic session….very good content and great demos.

4.0 Features

  • Virtual RPA’s
  • 7x capacity
  • Fan-in 4:1 or 1:4
  • SRM any point in time support with RP
  • New Unisphere looking RP GUI
  • Sync replication over IP
4.0 Themes covering in this session – Virtual RPA, Simplified UI, Any PiT with SRM, REST API, Hyper-V CSV Support, Multi-Site (4:1, 1:4) w/8 kb protected LUNs
 
4.0 Themes not covered in this session – eLicensing Self-Service, 2 PB per cluster, Sync over IP, Customer Upgradeable, Application QoS, 400 MB/s async per application, FIPS 140-2
 
More after the jump…

Read more…

Categories: EMC World Tags:
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