Come see me at EMC World!

5729684319_8614b56cd3_bOk, for starters, this is not a desperate cry for attention.  This is a information page for my schedule at EMC World.  I’m going to be all over the place at the show, and I’d love to meet readers of my blog.  So where will I be?  Well to start things off Sunday night, you’ll be able to find me at the Pool party and the Venetian resort.  If you don’t see me by the pool, I may have wondered into the Tao Day club area like last year.

 

During the day, you’ll find me all over the show floor.  I expect to spend a good amount of time hanging out in the bloggers lounge and meeting fellow bloggers.  If I’m not there I’m probably hanging out at the EMC Online booth, walking the show floor, or taking in a break out session or BUZZ Talk.

 

Speaking of Buzz sessions, I’ll be participating in one live on stage on Wednesday Morning @ 10:30 AM PST.  For those of you attending the show, please join me and my fellow support forum legends in the BUZZ area near the entrance to the show.  For those of you playing the home game, do not worry.  A live video  will be available as well as an interactive chat so you can ask us questions.  To add this event to your calendar, click here!

 

If after all this you still can’t find me, try sending me a tweet.  I’ll do my best to keep my phone up and running, but cellular data is spotty at best, so there may be a delay.  I look forward to seeing everyone at the show!

One Year Later…

A little over a year ago I launched www.thulinaround.com.  I had never had a blog before.  The closest I had come were some very lengthy forum posts and a cardomain page (the original facebook for carguys!).  It was a new experience and I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with it.  I started off with my first post, a basic “Hello World” piece that introduced myself.  Trying to figure out what direction I wanted to go with, I wrote about what was going on right then and there.  I explained what a #nerdherd was, I did a video game review, and several posts on my involvement with EMC World 2011.

Analytics_early

Over the course of the first 3 months I had a little less than 500 visits.  That is not bad for a site that relied mostly on word of mouth and twitter traffic and no clear follower base.  It was around this time I decided I wanted to write about technology and my interactions with EMC.  As fate would have it, I was in the right place at the right time for one of my most historic posts.  With the new MAC OS LION beta going out to testers, an incompatibility was discovered between that and the VNX.  With the amount of calls I was getting at work, I was trying everything I could to get the word out asking for people to upgrade.  I worked with Drew Schlussel on a post and I’m told I’ve set a speed record for getting something like this approved by marketing.  This post gave my blog the shot in the arm I needed.  My traffic increased 500% and I was finally on the map as a tech blogger.

 

Analytics_Total

Fast forward to today and I’m very proud with the number of visitors.  I’ve gathered a little over 10,000 visitors and I’m averaging about 50 a day.  My blog does seem to be a real Monday – Friday reader as I get single digit visits on the weekends.  While I still blog on a variety of subjects, my biggest ones seem to be related to the VNX.  Of the 36 blog posts I’ve made, here are my top 4 blog posts so far:

 

  1. configuring-ldap-authentication-for-unisphere-on-the-vnx (2,500 hits – 25% of my total traffic)
  2. are-you-running-mac-os-x-10-7-and-have-a-celerra-it-may-be-time-for-an-upgrade (15% of my total traffic)
  3. understanding-the-emc-vnxcelerra-antivirus-agent-cava-part-1-server_viruschk
  4. understanding-the-emc-vnxcelerra-antivirus-agent-cava-part-2-common-errors

 

Again I want to thank everyone who comes to visit my blog and look forward to my great posts!

I Tech Therefore I Tool Around – Episode 03 – Community

Community pinned on noticeboardA new year, a new installment of #ITTITA!  This time we decided to take a new approach to the podcast.  Instead of picking a technical topic and doing a deep dive, we are going to review the past year.  One of the biggest influences of our year was this theme of “Community” it was everywhere and played a big part in our lives.

 

Community has been a big factor at some of the different conventions I’ve been to this year.  At EMC World we held a virtual #nerdherd and invited the community to interact with us at the convention as well as online via a live video and chat feed.  At the New England VMware User Group meeting a few weeks ago, community was also present with the great conversations as well as user presentations.

 

2012 is also going to be a great year of community.  We started the year by launching the “Ask the Expert” forum on the EMC Community Network.  In the first event of the year on there, Matt partnered up with Henri to tackle the tough questions about VNXe VMware integration.  There was some excellent conversation as well as a storage deep-dive and we had a record number of views on this single thread.

 

All in all I think that 2011 was a great year for me.  I launched my blog, I linked up with some great and knowledgeable people, and I even started a podcastwith one of my best friends.  2012 looks to be an even greater year!

 

Click HEREto subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

Or click HERE (or on the icon) to download the MP3 directly!

The NEVMUG is only 2 days away!

NEVMUG

The New England VMware User Group Winter Warmer is an event I’ve been looking forward to for a while.  I’ve heard a lot of good things from this and the one during the summer over the years.  Unfortunately I’ve never been able to attend one in the past, so this will be my first VMUG ever.

 

So since this is my first VMUG, I’m not quire sure what to expect.  Greg Stuart did an excellent post on what the VMUG is and what to expect from it.  Just like it says in his blog post, I expect to be bombarded with a wealth of knowledge from people who are very passionate about virtualization.  I’m also looking forward to tech demos and hands on labs from the sponsoring vendors that make this event possible.  The event schedule is as follows:

 

  • 08:00 a.m. Registration and Networking
  • 09:00 a.m. What Oracle DBAs need to know about Virtualization
    • Cloud: vCloud Director Deep Dive: Paul Lembo/Chris Colotti
    • Healthcare: ISV Case Study : Scott Carpenter
  • 10:00 a.m. Building Your Cloud Infrastructure with VMware
  • 11:00 a.m. Scott Davis; VMW End User Computing Innovations for 2012
  • 12:00 p.m. Lunch
  • 01:30 p.m. Breakout Session 1
  • 02:00 p.m. Breakout Session 2
  • 03:00 p.m. Breakout Session 3
  • 04:30 p.m. Happy Hour / Giveaways
    • Sponsor Expo is open all day.

 

This looks like a very full day and I expect it to be very busy.  You can register for the event here and keep and eye out for Matt Brender and myself as we may be recording interviews for an “I Tech Therefore I Tool Around” podcast.  See you there!

Introducing EMC Ask The Expert

AskTheExpertLogoA few months ago Mark Browne approached Matt Brender and I with a new idea for the EMC Community Network.  Mark is very big on ECN and if you’ve visited the site, you’ve probably interacted with things Mark has had a hand in.  So Mark pitched us the idea of starting an “Ask the Expert” section on the support forums.  In this space, we would gather a couple of subject matter experts to answer questions on a related topic for about two weeks at a time and maybe follow up with a video recap.

 

Matt and I both thought this was a great idea and over the next few months we helped Mark flesh out the idea in preparation to present to the approving management structure.  With the help of our friend Michael Chelotti, we recorded a teaser video.  This video will be very similar to a video recap idea where we will talk about some of the topics during the discussion.  You can watch our video below:

 

I’m proud to report that this idea was well received and Ask the Expert is a go.  Starting today, we launch our first event!   Matt will be joined by Henri Hamalianen and they will talk about configuring and troubleshooting the VNXe front end connections with VMware.  These two weeks are open for anyone to ask Matt and Henri about using their VNXe in a VMware environment this post on ECN.  I urge everyone to checkout the discussion and get involved.  Keep an eye on the schedule for a discussion on the VNX that may be hosted by yours truly.

I Tech Therefore I Tool Around – Episode 02 – The Home Lab

DSC_0022So our first episode of the “I Tech Therefore I Tool Around” was a smashing success!  Matthew Brender and I had a great time recording and we learned a lot about the process that goes into making a podcast.  The feedback from our listeners was great as well.

 

With that experience and knowledge in hand, we recorded our second podcast.  In this episode, we talk about the why and the how of building a home lab.  I touched upon my home lab during my blog post about the VCP4  Our special guest, Luigi Danakos, talks about his need for a home lab and how he acquired one without spending a dime.  We also touch on several blog posts that inspired our builds.  These are all great resources for building a home lab, so check them out:

 

A slight apology for Luigi as he was still getting over an illness and can be heard coughing every now and then during the recording (I cut out as much as I could).  Be sure to check out Matt’s post on this experience.

 

Click HERE to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

Or click HERE (or on the icon) to download the MP3 directly!

I Tech Therefore I Tool Around – The Podcast

I think the title says it all. If you’ve been paying attention to my twitter feed, it’s no secret that Matt Brender and I have been working on a Podcast. We have always had great banter between the two of us and now we have the chance to share it with the rest of you. In this first episode, we cover the subject of certifications. We debate how worth while it is to get certifications in todays job market and how a resume looks to perspective employers.

This is our first podcast, so the editing might be a little rough, but the content is pure gold.  I had a great time debating with Matt and i think it showes in the content.  I learned a lot about the creative process and planning that goes into a podcast and i hope to put it to good use in future episodes.  Let me know what you think about it in the comments below and be sure to tune into our next podcast where Matt and I talk about home labs.

Matt has also written a blog post on this which can be read here.

Click HERE to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

DOWNLOAD BELOW:
I Tech Therefore I Tool Around – Episode 01

V0dgeball for a Cause

It seems like only a year ago Chad Sakac and Christopher Hoff decided to have a dodge ball competition at the end of VMworld 2010. This year the battle is back and bigger than ever. Not only do they have more teams and a bigger venue, but this year they playing for a good cause and all proceeds will be going to the Wounded Warriors Project.

 

The Wounded Warriors Project is a charity that helps aid veterans that were injured in the line of duty. Having never served myself, I can only imagine what these people went through on the battle field and I think we can all do our part in helping them off the battlefield.

 

If you want to attend the event, you can find more details here. Whether you are attending the event in person or not, I urge you to donate to the cause by clicking this link. While I myself will not be attending this year, I wish all teams the best of luck!

The Google+ Project: Fad, Fame, or Fiction?

It has been less than a week since the Google+ Pilot launched and already people are getting hooked. Blog posts have popped up all over the place comparing this to Facebook, MySpace, and even Google wave. I will be doing none of that since I have never used any of those services.

If you are lucky enough to get into Google+ (and if you did, I hope you have me in your circle), you will notice the “less is more” style of layout. It a very simple 3 column approach. On the left you have your different circles (more on that later) and your chat. On the right you have, contacts you know, suggested contacts, and the ability to start a hangout (again more on these things later). The middle is your stream, and depending on who you are following, it can get a little crazy at times.

Google+ breaks down your connections into circles. As far as I know, you can have as many circles as you want. This allows you to group your friends and coworkers into different sections and restrict your posts. Adding a person to a circle is a simple drag and drop action. With this all setup, I can post something only to my close friends or family, without it going to everyone I know at work with. This provides a great amount of flexibility, and of course you can always post to all your circles or make something public for everyone to see. Like twitter, adding someone to a circle does not require an approval, however if they don’t have you in their circle, you won’t see any of the non-public posts. Also like twitter (or rather tweet deck), tagging someone in a post is as simple as typing a ‘+’ or ‘@’ and then typing out their name.

Photos are handled by Picasa, which should come as no surprise since it’s owned by Google. Depending on how many photos you have in an album, Google+ will arrange them in a nice mosaic as seen in the picture to the side. Photos can be included into posts in your stream and other Google+ members can be tagged as well as leave comments. This all seems like very standard stuff, and it is, but Google’s presentation seems to be very slick and is appealing to me.

The hangout is a way for members of Google+ to communicate through video chat. Hangouts, just like posts, are controlled by circles, so you only invite those you want. The video is all done through flash but the quality isn’t as good as Skype yet. What it does bring to the table is a web based video experience that allows for multiple people to talk together in a group, this feature is something Skype makes you pay for.

The other major section is Sparks. This is a sort of themed subscription area. You can use it to find public posts related to any sort of topic you search for. It will then create a stream filled with posts, stories /articles, YouTube videos, and other things that Google thinks is related to your inquiry. I haven’t played around too much with this feature yet because there aren’t a lot of public posts (this is expected in a limited field trial), but I expect this feature to be used a lot more in the future.

Google has also included an android app for this. This allows you to see your stream, manage your circles, make posts, and upload your photos directly from your phone. A word of warning, when you first install the app, it’s going to ask you to auto publish every photo you take. I suggest you say no to this. The app has the same simple UI that the webpage does, though not as feature rich. Clicking on someone’s name in a post does nothing at this point, where in the web version you can find info about them. I would like to see an iPad app as the mobile web interface is even more lacking.

With all these features, there are still a lot of kinks to be worked out. There seems to be no integration with anything non Google at the moment. I would love to see a post to twitter option, or a WordPress plugin to post to Google+. The task bar at the top will launch a new window when you click on anything outside of Google+ and then another one to go back in. At one point I had 7 windows of Google+ opened because of this. The hangout does not handle widescreen cameras that well. The image of a friend was squished / stretched to match the standard aspect ratio.

So how does one get invited to Google+? It’s simple, you need to know someone. On the first night, Google opened up invites to anyone a member chose. There was a simple button to include an email address. This however disappeared in several hours, but a second method has been discovered. This is detailed in a blog post by Susan Beebe and I have used it to invite several people. If you want me to try and invite you, leave your email address in the comments.

So, if you couldn’t tell, I like the service. I think it still has a way to go, but I’m told that Facebook and others started off small too. It has some great features and has the Google branding to help make it a great competitor. At this point only time will tell weather this is here to stay, or goes the way of Wave.

EMC World 2011 #nerdherd: Lights, Camera, Action!

So EMC World 2011 has come and gone.  Now is the time that we can look back and remember.  For those of you who were unable to make it live (or watch the webcast), a video of our #nerdherd has been posted on the EMC Community Network website.  I want to thank Alan Zenreich for filming and posting the video.  If you are one of the many people who prefer a more static image, EMC’s own David Elmes did most of the photography (including the photos of our meetup you see below).  To see the rest of his work and other’s, check out the EMC World 2011 flickr stream.  Once again, thanks to everyone that made this happen and enjoy the pictures and video.