In this interview series we will introduce IT Professionals selected for this year’s Dell TechCenter (DTC) Rockstar Program. This program recognizes independent experts, Dell customers and employees 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 third interviewee is Gina Rosenthal.

Dell TechCenter: What is your domain of expertise?

Gina Rosenthal: I come from a *nix/storage background. Currently I’m in Dell’s Data Protection organization, I’m the product marketing manager for Dell AppAssure backup and recovery software.

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

A: Well, most people will tell you backups are boring, and I guess to an extent that’s true. But restoring data is NOT boring at all! One thing I’m interested in is how underlying systems are changing. Right now I’m trying to wrap my mind around Microsoft CSV (cluster shared volume) and the structure of how reads and writes actually work. It’s really interesting to see this architecture, and to understand how you have to now architect applications and management applications like the one I support.  I think our area of the industry really needs to get back to basics – mostly because the basics are changing!

If you think you can just slap on some backup software, you may have unexpected results if – no when -you have to restore.  Just keeping up with how the underlying architectures are changing is exciting.

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

A: The Dell AppAssure community on the Dell TechCenter is amazing. They moved over to Dell TechCenter from the original AppAssure forums. They have been with the product a while, they ask great questions and help each other. Just great people! We’ll be restarting Backup.U in a couple of weeks as well. We developed the program with independent analyst Greg Schulz (Twitter: @stoageio), and it consists of two live events each month (a webinar and a  Google+ Hangout) as well as additional links and content on one backup topic. We started out talking about the basics of backups, if you want to check out the recordings and collateral go here.  When we pick up the series again (hopefully next month) we’ll be talking about your data protection toolbox – so talking about data footprint reduction, archiving, tiering, replication, and management. It’s a good time, it’s completely vendor neutral – we don’t talk about Dell products at all! We are just trying to get back to basics, and help each other learn about the craft of backups, and trying to keep up with all those changes I talked about earlier.

I’ve been using Twitter to find where to look for detailed tech info on CSV. So I can’t forget about that!

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

A: This is a hard one – there are lots of products in the software portfolio I’d like to know more about. Dell AppAssure is cutting edge in that we are block based backup and recovery. Every time I go to an event I hear more about how some of our software products work – they can do things I would have died to have when I was a sysadmin! And I haven’t had time to dig into how Enstratius helps you manage cloud environments.

Q: Gina, thank you so much!