After last week’s VCE announcement – one unexpected piece of fallout was an influx of great people looking for new exciting opportunities. Within Acadia, there will be many types of roles. Within the Solution Support Team, there will be business-development/sales types, “warrior monk” types and “warrior” types. “Warrior monks” work with many customers, but don’t stick with any one – and this means they travel a lot more. “Warriors” works with a smaller set of customers stick with them to ensure a positive outcome. There is no implications of seniority in either model.
We started to jokingly call the role “Warrior monk” and “Warrior” in the early days because it was funny and nerdy in a D&D kind of way, but someone fwded this description and it’s perfect…:
“…the presence, service and dedication of a monk and the absolute skill and precision of a warrior”
Now, I’ll warn people. There are distinct disadvantages to being on my team.
Here’s one of them – the picture below is some of the folks who are my direct managers (each have their respective teams) in the Americas – we were getting together to plan 2010 the night before the VMUG. A lot of nights, it seems like we’re the last ones in the parking lot. It takes passion, commitment, and we do it not because there is someone saying “do this”, but because it just needs to be done. It can make for a difficult work/life balance (not a good thing) – look I’m emailing this @ 4:30am EST. The other thing that makes it hard is that we’re a bit “outside” the normal organizational lines. This sounds great (and is needed to maintain the very fast changes and communication needed), but in practice, extra effort is needed to align with the organizations they support.
On the other hand, there are some upside benefits to being on my team. This is the Altanta lab – we have 6 of these super-labs (and many more smaller ones) around the Americas, and several in europe and APJ as well. The goal here is to have all the latest stuff GA stuff, have pre-release everything of VMware/EMC/Cisco – and get real stick time.
This is a Vblock Type 1, and also a lot of additional rack-mount and blade servers. It hosts VM appliance versions of all of EMC Ionix software, most of EMC’s other software (and heck, some of our “hardware” platforms – this lab has many Celerra VSAs, and several of the UCS blades host virtualized Recoverpoint appliances, which really benefit from Palo’s virtual adapter and depends on vSphere’s VMdirectpath).
It’s constantly in use, and a great source of ongoing learning for the whole team (including our local Atlanta Cisco and VMware brothers/sisters).
We have a ton of both Gen-2 Qlogic and Emulex CNAs filling those Dell 1U rackmounts. Everything is end-to-end 10GbE (with 4 and 8GBps FC as well if we need it). Lots of the 10GbE stuff we showed at VMworld 2009 was done here. Notice the black cabling from the blades and the UCSes (10GbE Twinax), we also are using 10GbE over Cat6a.
Everything has it’s price – the team is filled with “go anywhere, anytime, and get anything needed done” attitude (which I love), and get to play with all sorts of the latest software and hardware toys. But the price for that is a LOT of hard work.
The passion and love for what you do is the only thing that makes the pace sustainable.