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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…

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