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 eighth interviewee is Joey Ware.

Dell TechCenter: Can you please explain to folks who are not experts in your area: What is your domain of expertise?

Joey Ware: My main focus has been virtualization, mainly with our private cloud which is a stretched cluster between two campuses at the University of Oklahoma in OKC and Norman which is 20+ miles between sites. I am also currently working on getting our VMware Horizon View projects going in our Shared Services data centers.

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

A: Right now what VMware is doing with the Horizon Suite version 6 is really exciting as it’s finally going to be the competitor that Citrix needs in the application virtualization market.  Also I am excited to see what VMware does with vSAN and how Dell’s VMware vSAN Ready Nodes play in the Server SAN market.

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

A: One of the biggest resources I follow is the #vBrownBag podcast. A lot of the presenters are people in the field like us that are working with customers on projects that they can demo live, even at times they will do a step-by-step install so it’s great to go back and watch to see what mistakes you have made. They started doing an OpenStack night as well as the weekly VMware night. But it doesn’t just have to be VMware, it could be anything to hardware (like the VRTX) to backup software and how it works in the environments.

Q: How do you engage with the IT community?

A: I presented last year on the #vBrownBag podcast over my presentation for VMworld.  I am also the OKC VMUG leader and I try to a meeting every other month because not everyone in Oklahoma can get a VMware resource on-site. I am also on my 2nd year as a vExpert which is based upon things you do in the virtualization community. I highly recommend anyone to apply as it gives you some great rewards to try out in your home lab, or in my case my work lab. I am trying to keep my blog posts going but with 4 kids I have put it on the side burner for when I get a chance to put something up.

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

A: I am really exciting to play with the Dell VRTX as we were lucky to get one in our lab. We have some projects that include our virtualized camera environment to maybe a VDI pod using vSAN to ease off needing to hammer our Dell/Compellent SAN with the IOPS that VDI needs. But I am really liking Compellent. My first SAN was a CX340 and trying to learn how to create the RAID GROUPS and all that was a headache. Compellent really makes it easy. My next future project is going to be working with the Dell VMware vSAN Ready Nodes, can’t wait to see how those play out in the market. The last thing I’d like to see grow is the Project Ophelia/Dell Wyse Cloud Connects. We ordered some test units to play with and maybe find projects for, so we will see how that goes down the road. They make a cheap thin client but I heard the next version won’t need the Cloud Client Manager subscription and there’s an App that can be used for the keyboard and mouse which would play against using an iPad/iPhone connected to an Apple TV. 

Q: Joey, thank you so much!