Practice what you preach

When I first joined EMC (Over two months ago! wow…), I have to say I was honestly irritated with the “buy vs build” argument. Yeah VCE and tightly designed systems are awesome and all, but that’s not for me – *I know how to put this stuff together, why do I need you? * As a VMware and storage team manager, that was my job. I bought stuff and put it together and voila! you have servers. Life is good, we have servers! 

BUT, we weren’t fast enough. Procurement delays outstanding, just getting everything put together and ready for our internal customers took time. They had shifting projects and priorities and that certainly made our job tougher. WHY are we beating our heads on this problem that really isn’t ours to solve? As an infrastructure team, your job is to add value to the business not by being a huge drag on projects because you are trying to reinvent the wheel. You need to deliver services that the business needs on time and under budget. Sure you can try and build it yourself, but why?

Before I bought into this, I had to look at what I was doing from a personal IT perspective too. I wrote an article for 2600 back in 2005 (How to Get Out of Google) which detailed what self-hosted apps I was using so I didn’t have to rely on a 3rd party. Funny enough I am still doing the same thing today, but that’s the engineer in me and I don’t rely on them like I used to. But what I’ve learned over the years as having 3 boys and everything else called life, is that I don’t have the time commitment to ensure all those self-hosted apps are patched, let alone tinker or maintain things. I even (shockingly) bought my own Office 365 account just for the sake of OneNote synchronization. But don’t you have a WordPress theme dedicated to note taking you ask? Why yes I do. Do I use it? Nope. Haven’t touched it in years. 

The fact is Microsoft knows what they are doing. They enable me to be better and faster, the small monthly payment is peanuts compared to dealing with other issues like a security breach or just backing up my own stuff. They can do this a million times better than I could so why even try? In the same vein, VCE knows what they are doing- all of the design consideration over thousands of customers is amazing value – they’ve seen things that you can’t even imagine and they know how to deal with it. 

My number one job is to be a husband, dad and engineer in that order. Buying what enables me to do those things faster and better is what it is about. I think this picture from VMWorld sums it up:

So I’ll say it again: Buy what enables you, build what differentiates you. 


June 23, 2016 started my career with EMC as an Enterprise Core SE. I’ve never done anything sales related before in my life unless you count selling candy bars for school fundraisers, but let’s be honest – that doesn’t count at all. What attracted me to EMC was the culture and the sheer innovation in the industry right now. 6 years ago the iPad launched and it rocked the world and it continues to innovate today. Businesses are having to flip their IT departments upside down to engage customers. Some companies have adapted, but many haven’t. For consumers they’ve never known the place IT has in a business, but if your app doesn’t “just work” good luck getting them to look again. Often times we get one shot at this and I’ve been blessed enough to get to help lead the way in IT transformation. Keep in mind I’m transforming myself! I used to be a VMware and Storage Engineer, but now I’m an agent of change to revolutionize the IT industry and I think that’s pretty damn exciting. I’m a proud alumni of the #EMerCion23 class and honored to be part of such a special group of people. So here’s to an amazing journey with EMC! I’ll see you out there!

To Git or Not to Git

tldr; you should probably git

Since I started using git and now GitHub in September, I have to say it is quite life changing. I’ve created a few repositories that I use for some configuration items and I found that it really allows me to tinker with my system and other things much easier. Previously I used to have countless tabs open in gedit/geany and struggle to keep whatever I was breaking in some sort of order. Now I can check out whatever I’m working on, break it, discard the changes and I’m back to a known state or if by some stroke of luck I get expected results, I check it in and commit. While I can’t manage to find the time to read Pro Git – its on the to do list, I’m having a blast learning git the hard way. Also, I should point out that git-cola is really helpful as it allows me to visualize my changes (I love it for repos that are not pushed to GitHub) which is perfect for the way I work.

Code or something like it

I’ve been using PowerShell quite a bit in the past few months for various tasks, such as mass Storage vMotion, snapshot reporting as well as some other tasks and have found it to be invaluable and I learn more every day. It reminds me of AppleScript, but much more useful. Since nearly everything MS related has cmdlets, it is worth learning and sharing. Lately, I’ve been wanting to learn Git for version control so I figured theres no better time to learn. I’ve started a GitHub repository that I plan on using to share my scripts and bits. I’ll most likely move my other “projects” into GitHub too as I continue to learn how to manage it. So without further ado here is the vm-powershell script repository and you can follow me (rabbitofdeath) too!