vExpert 2013!

Posted on May 29, 2013

vexpert_logo_smWhen I first began using ESX 1.5 back in 2004 I did not know anyone who was working with server virtualization. I worked for a small city with about 100 servers and was struggling with the knowledge that so many of our servers were underutilized. I started by virtualizing one server, then another, then another, and before I knew it was running 5 to 7 servers on a single physical host. (this was 2004) Now I know this story is not very different from the one many others have but what I want to get to is that while I was doing great things and working with awesome technology, I felt like a lone wolf. I was so excited about what I was doing and how great things were going but outside of work I had no one to talk to about it. So back in the office I spent time extolling the virtues of VMware ESX Server to developers, application owners, and managers until, over time, server virtualization became standard, and the preferred choice. The benefits of decoupling the OS and applications from hardware introduced so much flexibility. I didn't blog about it - though in retrospect I should have and I know that it would have been a great experience - but I searched up and down for any ESX-related information that I could find. I would learn, much later, that I was an early adopter of what is now commonplace.

What has changed

Over time a community developed around VMware virtualization: a loose collection of server administrators and consultants. I began to feel like a part of this growing community but was a consumer of information and not much of a contributor other than the occasional forum comment thread. I felt a desire to do more, to contribute. I wasn't exactly sure how and was impressed, and somewhat intimidated,  by all the smart people already in the community. So I continued what I was already doing. I moved back to the private sector as a network architect and continued to extoll the virtues of virtualization. At the end of 2011 an opportunity to step up presented itself. One of the local leaders of the Seattle VMware User Group had to step down due to the pressures of an increasingly busy schedule and he needed someone to take over. I asked a few questions to get some information while I built up the courage, then I finally jumped in. 18 months later I can honestly say that it was a great decision. Since then I have held quarterly local user group meetings and two large Seattle VMware User Group regional conferences, each year beating the attendance record of the previous year. I have met great speakers such as Scott Lowe, John Troyer, Irish Spring, Josh Atwell, David Davis, and more importantly I feel a great sense of fulfillment at being a contributor to the community and for giving back for the years I sat back and enjoyed great content.

So here we have it. It is now 9 years after I embarked on my virtualization journey and using the vmkpcidivy command on my ESX 1.5 hosts. The MUI is long gone and I continue to evangelize the benefits of virtualization. I am a member of an awesome community and continue to meet amazingly smart men and women both online and IRL. The past couple of years in particular have shown me that there is so much more out there when you take the steps to actively engage others, ESPECIALLY in real life. Blogs are great and I try to do my part to put information out there, but the people are ultimately those who matter. Last night I learned that I was awarded the vExpert 2013 designation in recognition of my efforts. While recognition is not required it is very much appreciated. I am humbled to be part of a community that includes some of the nicest, best, and brightest people I have had the pleasure of meeting. I would like to thank John Troyer and his team at VMware for his work developing and maintaining this program, and for his outstanding work in helping grow the community. As anyone who has met him can attest to he is a force of nature.

Finally I would like to congratulate ALL vExperts, past, returning, and new! You are all amazing. Please meet the 2013 vExperts on the vExpert 2013 announcement page.

While I congratulate all vExperts I would like to particularly recognize two new Seattle VMware User Group Steering Committee members @jaslanger and @vmpete for making the vExpert 2013 list. I am proud of our local members!


Posted by Peter

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