Made the plunge, I’m all in!

For the longest time I was very pro-Android, a few years back I decided to make the jump away from the Apple “lock-in” and initially purchased a Samsung Galaxy S3 followed by an upgrade last Black Friday to the Galaxy S4.  Both models provided me with absolutely horrible battery life.  A very good friend of mine acted as a personal technology adviser and lead me to Amazon for the Hyperion 5800mAh extended battery.  This proved to be very beneficial because in my line of work I’m constantly on the road, on conference calls and doing tons of other tasks all from the palm of my hand!  A few other steps were taken to minimize battery drain like disabling WiFi, believe it or not this makes a world of a difference and also disabling background applications and turning off Bluetooth when not in use.  Which for me is a very rare occurrence.  I also used the S4 as my in car GPS through the Waze app (huge huge huge fan of Waze!) – but very often the phone would get super hot and begin to kill off apps like the Waze app to begin to self cool itself.  Very bad when you’re trying to use the app for navigation in a busy city – many swear words were said to the phone when this happened causing me to miss my exit off of the highway and taking me 25 minutes out of the way!

So……what’s next?

Well I’ve had an iPad Air (Just upgraded to Verizon 4G LTE iPad Air 2) and also use a Late 2013 MacBook Pro 15″.  With the introduction of iOS 8 and Yosemite, I simply could not resist the urge to further investigate maybe moving back to the Apple world!  The coolest feature that excited me was the hand-off.  So if I received a call while my MB/iPad was on the same WiFi connection as my iPhone I could answer and move the call back to my iPhone.  Super cool 🙂  Yes, I’m very much so  a geek.  Also, most of my friends and work colleagues use iPhones so I was missing out hugely on the iMessage feature.

After like 5 trips to my local Verizon Wireless store I found the iPhone 6Plus 16GigggggggaByte in stock!  Whoop Whoop, pumped!

I’ve been using this iPhone 6Plus in combination with the newly upgraded iPad Air 2 4G LTE for about a week now and I could not be happier.  The more I use the devices the more I found it’s a match made in heaven.  Like the Hotspot feature.  Whenever you have your iCloud account added to all of your devices (everyone would absolutely already have done this I’m certain) you can hit the little WiFi icon in the menu bar by the clock and turn on the hotspot feature on your iPhone and your MB will automagically under the covers enable the hotspot on the phone and connect.  For me I can use this feature to turn on the hotspot on my iPhone or the iPad since it’s 4G baby!  Way cool.

Now for the most crucial issue I had, the infamous battery.  I could not be more pleased.  Now mind you the phone is about the size of a slice of toast, but I’m OK with it!  Easily I can go an entire day plus without having to even worry about charging.  I do however carry around my Tintri portable USB battery charger just in case.  I’ve used the iPhone 6Plus as my GPS just as I did with the Samsung and it works awesome.

In conclusion I have no complaints, issues or shortcomings.  The phone fits nicely in my pocket as well as in the car windshield mount that I purchased for the S4.

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The next chapter…

Where to begin?  Over the course of my IT Career I’ve served many different roles, starting with Help Desk all the way up to co-running the vSphere Environment of a Fortune 500 Retail Organization to moving to Chicago to be a Pre-Sales Engineer for Veeam.  Through the course of time I’ve gained many real-world IT Experiences.  Two years ago I was presented a very unique opportunity that allowed me to move from the end-user side of the world to the Pre-Sales Engineering side.  With this career move I picked up my entire personal life and hit the ‘pause’ button – I moved just myself (not my family) to Chicago IL and joined the Great Lakes Teeam of Veeam Software.  For me, this was a career “game-changer.”

Now let’s fast forward to present time.  Moving back to Pittsburgh and continuing to work for a superbly fantastic technology leader as well as maintaining the level of success previously achieved was something I longed for.  Opportunities like this don’t come around too frequently, so when they do – you must capitalize.

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I have had the pleasure of working with many of the Tintri Team Members through the course of my Professional IT Career.  Joining team Tintri allows me to accomplish all of my professional as well as personal goals.  “Excited!” — That would be an understatement.

You might ask – Why Tintri?

Virtualization is a game changer, PERIOD!  Over the course of the last 2 years, I’ve met with hundreds of customers.  Pretty much every single one of them said the same thing…’We virtualize as much as possible.’ In that same conversation every single customer had some type of storage issues within the Virtualization Realm.  As you begin to peel back the onion and look at the Environments that today’s IT Squad’s are faced with running, each is being challenged to do more with less.  Providing the ‘light switch’ of IT Services to their Business Consumers is PARAMOUNT!  Without these IT Services every company would fail.

Tintri provides IT Administrators the ability to easily, reliably and quickly scale the Virtualized Environment.  Built on a 100% Flash First Architecture, Tintri ingests all IO into Flash!  Wow, OK – so it’s Hybrid?  Indeed.  The Tintri OS has the ability to track every 8k block and evict the least frequently used to HDD.  To the business I can deliver > ms latency for every single IO!!

A Tintri operates under 3 key pillars:

  1. Storage Intelligence
  2. Infrastructure Insight
  3. VM Control

The entire process of un-boxing, racking, initial setup and migration of VMs is under an hour.  No more LUNs, storage pools, RAID groups – all that stuff that makes Legacy storage not virtualization friendly is dead with a Tintri.  Just like Veeam – Tintri is 100% built from the ground up soley for running VMs.  Everything on a Tintri VMstore is related to VMs and vDisks.  Drilling into the GUI or Tintri Global Center – you can quickly see end-to-end analysis on a per VM or per vDisk level.

There’s so many other cool features that make the life of the Storage and Virtualization Admin Happy, I could go on for quite a while.  The most important piece is: A happy business = A happy IT.

Interested in learning more?!!?  Hit me up @ClintWyckoff on Twitter or cwyckoff@tintri.com – I’d be happy to give you a personal tour!

I’m extremely pumped to begin this journey.  Let’s get to work!

3, 2, 1…Lift Off!??!

In my current situation I am afforded the opportunity to meet with many types and size of environments.  Focusing on the inefficiencies of the legacy data centre and evangelizing the need for Infrastructure Engineers to adopt and recognize the need for the ‘Always on Business’ is a huge focus of mine.  The normal Infrastructure Admin wears many different caps and is pulled in dozens of directions on any given work day, so focusing time and effort around Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity is not always front and center.  One thing I’ve found to be a commonality is that the legacy data centre did not make achieving successful BC/DR easy to accomplish.

One of the easiest ways to achieve a successful DR plan is to plan.  I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘what’s this guy talking about?’  Allow me the opportunity to clarify…

At my previous employer we used to practice DR every year!  That’s not something that every organization can take on…BELIEVE ME!  But with some forethought, communication and planning every organization can be ready to respond to any situation.

  1. First off – you need to identify what’s important.  If our colleagues at Contoso need to declare disaster what would we restore first!??!  Where would we start?  When disaster strikes knowing exactly what order that the applications need to come up is key.  One strategy would be classifying applications by DR Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
  2. Second – How are we going to get the data out of our data centre if it fails?  This is probably this most often over looked component of the DR Plan!!
    1. GET YOUR DATA OFFSITE!!!
      1. 3 – Copies of your data
      2. 2 – Different Types of Media
      3. 1 – OFFSITE
    2. How you achieve the OFFSITE is up to you!  Tapes, External Drive Swapping, Replication to DR site, Public Cloud (Azure, AWS, Rackspace, Google), Colocation.  These are all excellent ways of getting your data off site.
    3. Practice, Practice & Practice!!  Just like your kids practice T-Ball, you should PRACTICE recovering servers, applications and TEST them.

Many of the legacy DR Software Suites make it very difficult to achieve successful DR in the modern data centre.  Products like Veeam were purpose built for virtualization (VMware & Hyper-V), making it extremely easy for the busy Infrastructure Engineer to wear those different caps and be DR ready.

So, as you think about what’s important today – Don’t forget to Keep Calm and Practice…3, 2, 1 – Cheers!

The Maiden Voyage…

Q: What is Microsoft System Center?  Maybe you own it already!??!

Answer: As I travel around and meet with customers and partners I’m exposed to many different types of environments.  One thing I am noticing is the adoption of Microsoft System Center is spreading like wildfire!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

…I worked for a large sporting goods retailer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  During my tenure with the firm IT Service Management became a large focus.  As the years passed our Information Technology Department grew up and thus the shift in focus.  Being a large Microsoft Windows Server shop naturally the focus for us moved towards the legacy Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) Framework.

Many IT shops likely are already using a component or two of the System Center Suite  – It’s made of a couple different pieces of software and they have friendly acronyms…Operations Manager (SCOM), Orchestrator (SCORCH), Service Manager (SCSM), Data Protection Manager (SCDPM), Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and Configuration Manager (SCCM).  The most common component being Configuration Manager (This is the legacy SMS) – SCCM is the piece that’s used for managing end points, patch management, gold image deployment…etc.  I’ve added a poll below to get your thoughts on what components are being used in the field.

The interesting piece of this is that with Windows Server 2012 Microsoft updated the licensing model.  Before end users purchased each component of the System Center Suite ala carte.  Meaning you would purchase licenses of SCOM and SCCM and owned none of the other modules.  With System Center 2012 you now own everything if you own one!  So, when you get System Center you get all of the components of System Center.

In future post(s) we’ll get deeper into each component but for now tell me what you’re using!  Here’s the link to my Veeam Whiteboard Friday where I talked in great depth on the different pieces of System Center as well as did a live demo!