Time to move on to the next chapter

Like the title suggests I am moving on from SimpliVity.  Friday September 12th will be my last day. I have been at SimpliVity for a little over a year and had no intention of leaving. I very much believe in the company, leadership and product. However, I feel this opportunity at EMC in the Office of the CTO (OCTO) is too amazing to pass up. I am extremely happy to join EMC OCTO and look forward to creating forward looking solutions and helping to drive EMC’s field visibility into OCTO. I am very excited to go back to EMC where I have many friends and great relationships.

While it has been hard to leave my SimpliVity family and all of the hard work I have done here, I feel this is a great next step in my journey. It will also be less travel, which of course is always good to spend more time at home. I’d like to thank everyone at SimpliVity for their support even as I leave them. Everyone here has been fantastic and extremely supportive. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking at a new opportunity. I wish them nothing but success in the future.

RIP James Ruddy

Just a quick blog post dedicated to my friend and vSpecialist James Ruddy. As most everyone in the community has heard by now James as involved in a tragic accident earlier this week. My thoughts and best wishes go out to his family and friends.

I would encourage everyone that knew James to donate to his family here.

James always had a smile on his face, its seems in every pic. I hope thats something I can learn from him. Just to enjoy every moment and always to be smiling. I will miss you! RIP friend!

My first VMworld at a startup

As many of you know I decided 1 month ago to leave EMC and join Simplivity. A new startup in the hyper-converged market. As I sit here in the VMworld 2013 Hang Space I wanted to reflect and put into words my first VMworld with a startup.

The first thing that comes to mind is WOW!

Why WOW? Well a few reasons.

1) The response to what we are doing was phenomenal! People are really seeing the value we add and how we are disruptive to the status quo of IT infrastructure.

2) Competitors! Now of course I had dealt with this before, but at a startup that response was really magnified. We had many competitors coming by the booth, some clearly identified themselves, and others well not so much. So I tried to be very polite to everyone, but of course being mindful they were there for competitive intel. At the end of the day we are all technologists that want to learn, and I totally get that. Other times it’s not a genuine as that, but that’s ok. I try to handle it with as much respect and dignity as possible.

3) Community! In my previous role we had a lot of events and parties and people to keep us occupied, but now I was able to be more involved in the great VMware community as a whole. We (SimpliVity) Sponsored #CXIparty and the turnout was great! I had such a great time meeting people that I had met through social media and was able to put a face with the name. Part of my new role is really a grass roots effort in engaging everyone in the community and this was a great start to that mission.

So to summarize in 1 word, it would be WOW! What an amazing week! I will be posting some more thoughts on my first month on this new journey in a future post.

On to the next step in my journey

As many of you may have gathered from my posts on Twitter and Facebook my last day @ EMC is Friday July 26th. This is a decision that was very difficult for me for many reasons. EMC was always a place I wanted to be at, and the journey getting there was hard fought. While at EMC I was able to experience so many amazing things and visit some amazing places. I am very humbled to be apart of an amazing team of people in the vSpecialists and the BRS Integration lab. I learned so many valuable lessons that not only benefited my professional career but also my personal life. Obviously this was made possible by Chad Sakac, Wade O’Harrow and the entire team of vSpecialists. And to Mike Zolla,Chris Horn, Steve Walsh and the entire BRS team.  I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be able to learn from so many great people.

With that being said I found myself with an amazing opportunity to pursue a passion that I first experienced while being at EMC, and that is the disruptive nature of the converged infrastructure. Now many people know me for my love of VMAX, but when I first joined EMC I was apart of the new Vblock movement, before there was even a VCE. The thing that got my attention was how the vision of a converged infrastructure, a single SKU, a single support model, etc really resonated with customer. So now we fast forward to today, and several companies have taken that concept even further and we now have hyper-converged products.

It is with much excitement that I announce I am joining Simplivity as a Solutions Architect in the southwest region. I will be joining an amazing team that has been assembled, a single vision to bring simplicity to our customers through a hyper-converged infrastructure. The opportunity to take my experience that I acquired before and leverage that to help the team at Simplivity was too enticing to pass up.

In future blog posts I will be talking more about the technology aspects of this new product called Omnicube. But for now, I am simply looking forward to diving into the deep end of this new and emerging product. I am very excited to say those of you in the Southwest (TX,OK,LA,AR,NM) will be seeing a lot of me at your local VMUG and other virtualization events. I hope to be at VMworld this year as well but I am still working out the details of that.

I will end this rather lengthy post (for me anyways) by thanking everyone at EMC/VCE/VMware that I have encountered in the past and look forward to our paths crossing again in the future!

Configuring Oracle RMAN Recovery Catalog Backup in Avamar 6.1, a “WTF does that mean?” moment.

So I have been doing a lot of Oracle work lately, and in particular using our backup products (Networker, Avamar, Data Domain) with Oracle features such as FRA (Flash Recovery Area), RMAN, and Recovery Catalog.

I kept running into this issue where in Avamar 6.1 I would try and specify recovery catalog. What I found through an email with engineering really baffles me. Take a look at the screenshot.

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 11.41.55 AM


See where under Recovery Catalog it asks for the details of the catalog?

This part in particular Recovery Catalog Server Name

My interpretation of that was to mean the actual Server of where the recovery catalog resided, because sometimes you may want the Recovery Catalog on a different machine from where the Database is located. Well to my surprise this is actually where you put the SID or the database name of the recovery catalog.

I let my contact in engineering know this is totally confusing and needs to be corrected. Hopefully it will be.

Quick tip on installing and running Redhat’s Openstack Distro

So as I begin my journey into learning about Openstack, i saw recently that RedHat has a Openstack distro. So I deployed a CentOS 6.4 VM in my home lab. I went to the Redhat page here.


I followed the instructions but kept running into this error.


ERROR : Error during puppet run : err: /Stage[main]//Exec[setenforce 0]/returns: change from notrun to 0 failed: setenforce 0 returned 1 instead of one of [0] at /var/tmp/packstack/23da28e64ec9446aac7c440dccc49b89/manifests/

The keypiece of the error is this setenforce 0

In my CentOS 6.4 VM template I have SELinux disabled. Apparently this error is not liking that. So you have to enable SELinux by doing the following.

edit the /etc/selinux/config file and change the following paramater


then you have to REBOOT to make the changes effective.

I was then able to run the

packstack --allinone

and it completed successfully.

EMC World Session: Check out Boosting Oracle Backup with DataDomain

This is a shameless plug for my EMC World session.

I have been asked to present with Caitlin Gordon on Data Domain and Oracle.

We have worked very hard on the content, I even have some VMware related content I was able to sneak in. Here is the session info you can find on the emcworld.com website.

Caitlin and I have worked really hard on trying to make this a very technical session, with very little marketing fluff. If you know me, its that I always want the attendee to walk away with knowledge they can take back to their own environment and make use of.

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 10.42.06 PM


As of today here is the date/time and location.

Monday 11:30AM Palazzo D

Tuesday 10:00AM Palazzo M

Hope to see you there!

VMAX 101 Presentation

After much debate I have decided to post the presentation that I used to give to the vSpecialist and VCE vArchitect newhire classes. This is a little dated, as it is for the original VMAX now called the 20K, and Enginuity 5875 code. I have scrubbed anything that might possibly be NDA. This info is around in various places but I thought it would be nice to post it for the world in an effort to be more transparent about how a VMAX works. Please send me any feedback you have around it.



@codyhosterman has advised me there are a few corrections to be made, I will update this post when I have made the edits to the PPTX. Thanks Cody!