It is hard to believe this Fall will be my 7th year at VMware! Looking back, it has absolutely been an amazing ride.
For the past six years, I have been very fortunate to have been part of an amazing team of solutions architects working within R&D as part of the Integrated Systems Business Unit (ISBU) at VMware. In the early days, we were known as the Integration Engineering team, most well known for designing, operating and running the original VMware Hands on Lab at VMworld which used to also include on-premises hardware! This team also served as Customer internally for a number of VMware products. In addition, this team also ran the customer on-site Alphas and Betas for vSphere. I still remember building the very first vPod for what eventually became vSphere 6.0 🙂
Over the years, the team had built up a wealth of knowledge in how to build, run and operate the VMware SDDC at scale. A large part of the team had came from either the field or from a customer with past alumnis including Duncan Epping, Cormac Hogan & Paudie O'Riordan to name a few. We wanted to bring these learnings and best practices to our customers and the VMware Validated Design (VVD) was born. What customers most appreciate about the VVDs is not just the Day 0 guidance, but also the prescriptive Day 2 operational guidance (patching/upgrading, maintenance window scheduling, monitoring, disaster recovery, etc) which is not something VMware had historically provided. Customers can then consume the VVD in several ways: build it yourself (DIY), PSO engagement including Automation or through VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) which codifies the VVD into an integrated hardware/software offering. I am very proud of what the team has built over the years, it was not an easy road and not compromising on our design principles has paid dividends as we continue see the VVD adoption accelerating in our customers environments as the fastest way to deliver a VMware SDDC.
For the last couple of years, I had also been driving an internal project within ISBU called the Enterprise Readiness Initiative (ERi). This effort is focused on ensuring that we have a consistent set of capabilities across Lifecycle, Certificate & Configuration Management for the VMware SDDC. These capabilities must also be exposed programmatically for our customers and partners to consume. One example is the recent Install/Upgrade vCenter REST APIs that was made available as part of the vSphere 6.7 release. There is still plenty more work to be done including other ERi workstreams, but the team has made some great progress and hopefully you will be seeing more of the results in the near future.
As you can see, there is no shortage of oppournitites at VMware and being able to work with so many talented and passionate colleague to help solve our customer challenges is what I wake up every day for. I wanted to take a moment and thank one of the best managers I have had the pleasure of reporting to, Phil Weiss. Not only has he been very supportive of my career development, but has also been a mentor to me over the years and I have learned a tremendous amount from him and about myself. Phil is also occasionally involved when I get called into the lawyers office 😉 I also wanted to extend my thanks to both John Gilmartin (ISBU GM) and Jayanta Dey (ISBU VP of Engineering) who were both extremely supportive of my decision to move on.