In this interview series we will introduce IT Professionals selected for this year’s Dell TechCenter (DTC) Rockstar Program. This program recognizes independent experts and enthusiasts for their significant positive impact on Dell TechCenter, Blogs and Social Media when discussing Dell. You can find a list of all our Rockstars here. Our first interviewee is Andrea Mauro.

Dell TechCenter: Andrea, what is your domain of expertise?

Andrea Mauro: I mainly focus on virtualization and related topics, including storage and networking. I am also a VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member as well as a VMware vExpert 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. Some of my certifications are: VCP-DV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD, VCDX, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA.

Q: What are the most exciting trends in your area?

A: The virtualization community pays a lot of attention to the "Software Defined" aspects. And for sure one of the coolest topics of this year is the Software Defined Storage and all storage aspects related to virtualization.

Q: Can you point us to resources you find particularly valuable?

A: It’s good to start with each vendor. As for content around multi-vendor or generic approach it’s little more complicated to find useful resources and in those cases you can find several blogs. A good set of virtualization and storage blogs are PlanetV12n and vLaunchPad. There are also several good resources on Dell TechCenter on virtualization and storage. Usually you can find some amazing information in the Wiki, like (just as an example) this great EqualLogic resource.

Q: How do you engage with the IT community?

A: I usually work on multiple threads and approaches: blog post are good for sharing experience or my thoughts on certain topics, but also to recap or just capture some information. Communities, discussions, events are a great opportunity to exchange and share information and to learn more.

Q: What are the most cutting edge Dell products – and why?

A: Dell Fluid Cache was an interesting announcement during the last Dell Enterprise Forum and it could potentially bring some changes in storage world. There is already software available in the marketplace for implementing a good host side cache, but only few offer a real write back support. With Dell entering the stage it will become more interesting to see how this area will evolve. Of course this would become the best complementary part for the Compellent Storage Center, but it will be interesting to see if Dell Fluid Cache will also adapt for other storage solutions.

Q: Andrea, thank you so much!

Andrea Mauro’s Twitter handle and Blog.