I’ve joined @SolidFire

I am excited to share that I have joined the team at SolidFire as a Systems Engineer. For those unfamiliar, SolidFire is the market leader in all-flash primary storage systems built for next generation data centers and cloud service providers.


I look forward to working with an All-star team of colleagues, many of whom I’ve been fortunate enough to count among my friends and collaborators in various roles over the years.

In fact, knowing so many people who already work at SolidFire, I find it difficult to choose only a few to name to mention. So rather than attempting to do that, I’ll include a reference to @Mike_Colson, who announced last week that he too is joining the team. Mike followed up with a great post about Why SolidFire? on his blog. I share many of Mike’s views expressed in the post and rather than repeat them, I’ll let you go read them.

I will add that personally I believe what makes the solution exciting is that scalability is driven through the power of automation and open integration points for multiple platforms. Vendors’ ability to distinguish themselves today is by continued innovation and API exposure. In essence, revealing bits of their own secret sauce, such as the ability to provide hooks that can leverage underlying features where available and appropriate. Both HW and SW vendors began down this path with VAAI and VASA for Automated Storage Tiering, Storage DRS, I/O Control and additional capabilities are here now with VVOLs such as VM level of granularity and Quality of Service. Abstraction and granular control allow administrators to more easily manage environments with heterogeneous application demands without spreading their already divergent skill sets too thin. Additional abstraction of the storage layer also provides the options to assign and guarantee resources to meet specific needs without adding complexity or increasing storage management touch-points. </COMMERCIAL>

Looking ahead, this new role promises opportunity to continue to grow and learn.  I am especially eager to gain an even greater perspective on the demands of multi-tenant infrastructure technologies in use within many large Enterprise customers and dive deeper into integration points with VMware as well as OpenStack, and CloudStack.


When I left my previous position to join Dell I wrote about that here. In fact a good friend and now my colleague at SolidFire, Gabriel Chapman and I somewhat coordinated our individual career path announcements and you know that Gabe surely played a key role in bringing me over to the SolidFire family. Thanks man!

Here, I would be remiss if I did not also thank my colleagues at Dell and especially each of my direct teammates in the CCC and vWorkspace group for the experience working together. I’m certain we’ll continue to cross paths.

So, whether you’re one of my new or former colleagues or a member of this great Community, please reach out and say hello! I’m excited to begin this new chapter. I’ll be spending some time in Boulder, Colorado over the next couple weeks, so don’t be a stranger if you’re in the area.

Future posts are coming in which I’ll share a bit more about #vSensei but I want to mention here that I have been working with Cody over the past few months and am really happy about the results. More on that later. For now I’ll close with  Fake Grimlock: BE ON FIRE!


I’m changing jobs. Leaving @ProximalData after 2.5 years. More news to come

TL;DR I’m changing jobs. Leaving @ProximalData after 2.5 years. More news to come.

It seems not that long ago I left my previous position with a local university to join Proximal Data. Startup time is like dog years! 2 and 1/2  years, 37 generally available releases across 3 hypervisor platforms, early WebEx sessions, late WebEx sessions, pages and pages of tech docs and emails, along with many long hard hours and a whole bunch of learning later, I’m taking another leap. I’ll share where I’m heading in another post. It’s a role that I’ve been steering my career toward and I feel the time is right for this opportunity. In making my decision I consulted more than just my own heart, my head and my wife… though those are obviously high up in my decision tree. I also have to thank several members of this community for sharing their own experience and insight with me, whether directly via late night phone calls, dms, sms or indirectly via blog posts, podcasts, etc. These include my fellow vBrownbag crew, VMUG co-leaders and current or past employees of my future employer, as well as others who have ‘moved around‘ lately. For others considering making a move, I recommend in addition to feeling out your own network, check out  @JoshAtwell‘s blog posts on the subject at vTesseract.com and Gabriel Chapman @Bacon_Is_King ‘s blog posts, including #SNLDD #7: ‘When is it Time to Jump Ship?‘. I have to thank my team at Proximal Data for bringing me on for my first startup rodeo. I’d do it again in a heartbeat! It was everything and nothing like I’d imagined, all at the same time. Being lead by industry veterans who effectively married the best parts of being a startup with the lessons learned while at large corporations has shaped the lens I view future opportunities though. Working side by side with a senior team of incredibly capable engineers, not being a developer myself, was as challenging as it was inspiring. I am glad they believe in me as much as I have in them. I’ve strengthened my own capability to learn and grow and acquire a number of the skills that I will continue to build my career upon. This is a very amicable parting and I’ve discussed it at length with our CEO, our VP and my colleagues. I wish the company and my coworkers the very best!