Let me first say. No, I did not pick Tintri because of all those vExpert shirts. I selected them because they have a fantastic storage platform. They are so easy to use!
I spent months going through a lot of the newer storage platforms. The enterprise space I work in now has been with a couple of the big block vendors for years and have spent a ton in maintenance fees every year with little in the way of array features we can use when it comes to virtualization. Yes, we went from fiber to an IP storage fabric. I was looking for something purpose built for virtualization. Something so simple to setup and manage that I could get a junior admin to run it without having them attend a complex storage course. The array really does only take 10 minutes to setup. Should I be more impressed with the array if it takes a team of consultants days to setup? No way! Does it mean that the features Tintri provides is limited because it does not require a team of storage admins to manage the array? I found VMstore very feature rich when used for virtualization. I’m not dogging the big block vendors, each one is multi-purpose for different types of workloads in the physical and virtual world. With the introduction of VVOLs, the block vendors will be easier to use when it comes to leveraging storage. We will soon see if any of the big boys on the block will provide code upgrades to existing gen 1 arrays for VVOLs.
As technology progresses, innovation should include ease of use. Tintri got it right with the VMstore product. Tintri Global Center is a virtual appliance used to manage all of the VMstore arrays. Global center has a very clean look and feel for troubleshooting performance. My only gripe about Global center is that it does not have ldap integration for user logins. Tintri also has a vRealize Operations management pack for VMware vRealize Suite you can use if you do not want to dig around Global Center.
I see other storage vendors catching up to Tintri, but I can’t wait a few years for the big block guys. The amount of storage I get in such a small footprint in my racks is amazing! Always take a cautious approach when selecting a storage vendor. Keep in mind: What kind of vendor lock in will I be stuck with based on features used? What does it take to upgrade the array firmware? (I already did this one, it’s non-disruptive and nondestructive). And, How will I move data if I upgrade or want to get off of the array?
I don’t want to get in to all of the performance gains and use case statistics. This can be different for everyone based on your environment. Doing a POV (proof of value) is a very easy process. Just get in touch with your local Tintri rep or VAR.
I realize this post is not overly technical, but in follow on posts I will do some lab work on building Citrix environments on Tintri.
Yes, getting all the free stuff is pretty cool. But being involved in the community is what it is all about for me. Sharing knowledge helps everyone. It is more than sending a couple of tweets or making a few blog posts throughout the year. Sometimes I may run across an issue that at least one other person out there has seen before. When you blog about it, that may just save the weekend! Experiences with new products can be invaluable when looking at something for your company. I have had more traffic from people looking at my posts on Dell products and VMware than anything else. And no, I do not work for Dell or VMware. I would like to think that a few things I have blogged about have been used in deployments. Getting involved in VMUG and chatting with others is a big part as well.
I do not receive anything from my current employer in the enterprise space for participating in the program. I mention it, but it really does not mean much in the enterprise space. I really don’t expect anything from my current employer either. At most, I get to attend VMworld every year. I really love the post from HANS DE LEENHEER “So now your a vExpert“. It is good advice on how to use the vExpert title where you work.
Do I consider myself an “expert” in all VMware products? No way, I still need to wrap my head around NSX. But I have worked with VMware since the early days of the product. I feel that I have a good grasp on where the company started and where they are today. Virtualization is such a large part of the IT landscape today. Not getting involved may just leave you in the dust with the windows 2003 era.
The most valuable part for me in the vExpert program is the PluralSight training. I use this all the time and it is the greatest training platform out there. I share my experiences with this training with everyone and encourage everyone to look in to it.
I am honored to be on the list again this year for the third time. I have applied every year since it started. I would be interested in seeing how many vExperts apply themselves. Early in the program I heard others say “I’m not going to nominate myself, I think someone else should do that”. If you are a passionate IT guru in the enterprise space, I do not see that there would be an opportunity to have others nominate you. Unless you are a superstar in the consulting space, book author or a VMUG leader, I think everyone else must be doing a self nomination. If you do not take the effort to apply, you may be missing out on taking part in a great program. It is up to the VMware Social Media & Community Team to nominate the winners. The criteria to be selected: “The VMware vExpert Award is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. vExperts are book authors, bloggers, VMUG leaders, tool builders, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others. These vExperts have gone above and beyond their day jobs to share their technical expertise and communicate the value of VMware and virtualization to their colleagues and community.”.
Why do I participate in the VMware vExpert program? I believe in the technology. The better we understand virtualization and how we use the technology will determine the future of business.