The Next Chapter…

I was going to do a long, planned-out post about my new job and what it means and why I’m doing it and blah, blah, blah… Maybe that’s why I don’t blog more – I get bogged down in the details, in getting everything “just so”.

I left Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) this past week for a number of reasons. Most importantly, I wanted to get back to a consultant’s role. You’re never as sharp as when you are in front of customers – especially smart ones. And while I had the opportunity to architect many solutions at CHI (and successfully defended one for my VCDX certification), they were all pretty much the same because we had standards – EMC fibre channel for storage, HP blades (though more Cisco UCS lately) for compute, and a mix of standard and distributed virtual switches backed by Cisco Nexus 5000-line switches. The most interesting aspects of design at CHI lately were in determining what we should have the customer pay for in the shared infrastructure – more storage? Licensing? New blades? Challenging, yes – but not in the way that I wanted.

So I’m returning to my consulting roots and joining MSN Communications. They’re a local (Englewood, CO) partner with VMware, Cisco, EMC, and VCE. My exact role seems a little up in the air, but I think I’ll be enjoying a mix of pre-sales engagements, solutions architecture, and implementation. Most importantly, it will allow me to grow in areas where I know that I’m weak(er) – storage and networking. I didn’t get the opportunity to “do” storage and networking at CHI because of the silos that exist. Storage and networking were separate teams. I wanted a role that would help me to round out my datacenter skills, and MSN is a great fit! I start tomorrow – and I’m excited!!

I’ll always have a spot in my heart for CHI – it was where I met Mr. VCDX #51 Tom Ralph, who inspired me to pursue the certification myself. It’s also where I worked for the greatest boss I have ever had (Paula Dick). I made some great friendships there and learned a lot about working in a huge environment (60,000-plus employees). But now it’s time for the next chapter.
I’m hopeful that being a consultant again will provide me with more opportunities to blog. I really want to “give back” / “pay it forward” but never really found the opportunity or inspiration at CHI. I also think that I need to understand that no post is too small… if it helps just one person, then it’s worth it, right?

On to tomorrow, then…




I’m a VMware and Microsoft solutions engineer/architect/admin for a large national healthcare system.  I do a lot of work with vSphere, SRM, View, Microsoft products, HP servers and blade systems, and recently Cisco UCS and vBlock from VCE.  In a former role as a consultant I did a lot of work with Citrix, VMware, networking, and security solutions.

So what’s this blog about?  Do we really need another virtualization/VMware/technology blog?

VMware as a company and the VMware user community as a whole both have a substantial social media presence – twitter, facebook, YouTube – and a large subset of that community are also bloggers.  I have learned a *LOT* from this community over the years, and they have all helped in my efforts to pass the VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) exams – datacenter administration (DCA) and datacenter design (DCD).  I’ll be adding those links in my blogroll, but chances are you already know about them.

That space is pretty much covered.

I was talking to John Troyer (twitter: @jtroyer), social media guru at VMware, at VMworld last month about starting a blog and he suggested that the healthcare IT/VMware space isn’t being covered from a blog perspective.  I’ve been wanting to start a blog to (1) exercise my writing muscle (2) pay it forward to the next generation of IT professionals and (3) document forever some of my lessons, findings, tidbits, etc.

So here we go…I’m jumping in.  I’m starting.

I think that this blog will be a mashup of my life right now – healthcare IT professional, information technology management graduate student, VMware zealot, and all-around technology nut.

I don’t know exactly where this will go, but I hope you’ll follow along and provide suggestions/criticisms/praise as I try to find my way in the blogosphere.