Friday, June 2, 2017

My New Role

Although it is bittersweet, today is my last day at Viacom. I am very lucky to have been afforded the opportunity to come here and work with some amazing talent as well as some cutting edge technology. The culture at Viacom as a whole has been phenomenal. I will look back on my time here fondly. 

Coming to the decision to move on was not an easy one. There were only a few places that I even considered making a move to. They were all technology companies and I was fortunate enough that I was able to pick between a few of them. My decision was obviously based on this short list of companies but how that list came to be is the important part. I wanted to go to a company where I believed in the product. Since I was looking at pre-sales roles, I felt that it was necessary that I could speak about the product with passion and first hand experience. As a customer, I could always tell the difference when someone was trying to hit a quota as opposed to when they believed in the product or service that they were selling.

I'm happy to announce that I'll be joining the team at Zerto as a Systems Engineer covering NYC and Long Island. I've spent the past 3+ years as both a customer and a partner of Zerto and I know firsthand the dramatic improvement it can bring to any environment. Zerto has enabled me to perform DR tests in a matter of minutes whereas the previous products and technologies I've used took days. I've also seen it used successfully for datacenter migrations and ransomware recoveries. Given the recent announcements of bi-directional replication with Microsoft Azure, I only expect that my experiences will get better and be shared by more and more of you. I'm looking to share my experience with you as well. I plan on blogging about the technology and new features in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

vExpert 2017 - Achievement Unlocked!

Hey everyone, I know it's been a while since I last posted here. That is mostly due to a version upgrade to Daddy v2.0. My lovely wife Cara and I welcomed our second son Rocco Xavier Scuola into the world on December 13th and it's been a bit of adjustment for our entire house. My blogging has been directly affected as well but I'm hoping to change that going forward.
One thing that I was able to get done was my vExpert application. You can see the VMTN Blog post on the application process here:

This was my first time applying and I was fortunate enough to be awarded the title of vExpert 2017! 

Award Announcement

I owe A TON of credit to the guys at the NYC VMUG. The leaders of the group are some of the most inspiring, positive, knowledgeable and helpful people that I have met. I'm lucky enough to not only be part of the same group as them but I can call a bunch of them my friends. There are currently 11 vExperts from the NYC VMUG. Each one of them encourages all of the VMUG members to join their ranks. That's what I'm here to do as well.

How did I become a vExpert?

Well, as my buddy Ariel Sanchez (@arielsanchezmor) said, "Overall, I think he just didn't know he was a vExpert, but he has been doing the role for years now!". This filled me with such a sense of pride and accomplishment. What did it mean though? The more I've thought about it since applying, I've realized that it's about being part of the community and embracing others to join you and help evangelize virtualization and VMware. There are so many ways you can go about that. Some people are amazing bloggers (I'm not there yet but I hope to be one day), others are VMUG leaders, others have YouTube channels, some give vBrownBag presentations and there are a number of other ways to get there.

Personally, I try to be active in official VMUG meetings and unofficial meetings such as Whiteboard Sessions, vBeers, Other User Group meetings etc. as well. I've given a presentation on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Fundamentals (HCI Presentation) and I hope to do more presentations this year. I also try to post any and all interesting VMware-related articles that I come across to my Twitter (@NScuola) and LinkedIn (NicholasScuola) accounts. I blog (spookysolutions.com) from time to time as well, and I plan to do that with much more frequency. I'm in the process of building out my home lab and testing a large number of things from vSphere 6.5 to VSAN to NSX to vRA. Stay tuned. My favorite way of participating in the community is just talking shop with other members of the community. This doesn't just have to be during a VMUG meeting. It can be over beers during a conference, at the airport waiting for a flight, in a Slack channel or online forum like Reddit. There are plenty of ways to talk to people. Most of us have similar backgrounds in the industry and have probably gone through some of the same upgrade/install/troubleshooting steps. It's always fun for me to hear about the experiences of others and find ways that I can improve my process or find different ways of accomplishing the same tasks going forward. Every once in awhile I'll even help someone out with some of my own experiences.

What does being named a vExpert mean to me?

Being named a vExpert showed me that my contributions in the virtualization community actually mean something. It also provides access to some of the sharpest minds in the VMware space. I have been able to not only meet some people who's blogs I've followed for years but I've been able to interact with them directly and have meaningful conversations around the technology. It also shows me that anyone could do this. I've named a few of the different avenues you can take to get to a vExpert but the most important thing is that you have to dive in and do it.



Sometimes the hardest part is believing in yourself enough to give it a shot. I'm living proof that the effort pays off. If you have any questions, or would like to pursue the vExpert award yourself, feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to put you on the right path so you can join our ranks. One of the biggest joys of being part of the club is helping others join us.