Personally 2014 has been an exiting year for me. I have used a lot of my time, gaining new skills and using those skills helping customers implementing solutions. Let me dig a little deeper explaining this and sorry in advance for a rather long article.

Gaining new skills
A little over a year ago, I began studying vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) out of interest, through building a home lab on the vCAC 6.0 beta software. That was a frustrating period; as I did multiple installs and the beta software had lots of bugs. I never got it too work with the first beta build. It got a little better with the second beta version. I actually got it installed and configured and could deploy blueprints. Still the beta version had a lot of bugs, but I began to see the value that vCloud Automation Center could provide to some of my customers. At this time I began talking with some of my customers were I found a good use case for vCAC and slowly a pipeline was being built with some projects.

In the company I worked for, we also set some new goals that all consultants should pursue the advanced VMware certifications. In May 2014 I passed the VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Datacenter Administration exam (VCAP-DCA). This is probably one of the most fun and challenging certification I have ever passed and I can highly recommend it to anyone wanting a higher-level certification than VCP.

In August I then passed the second advanced certification VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Datacenter Design (VCAP-DCD). This was a tough one, but I made it in the first attempt.

In September I participated in a Software Defined Datacenter 5-days training course in Cork, Ireland. This was a particular interesting training course as it was different from the usual install, configure and manage training courses held by training centers. During the 5 days, I learned on how most of the vCloud Suite products integrated with each other with a lot of lab sessions. Thanks to VMware Global Center of Excellence for this excellent training course.

In the last month, I have begun to study and learn VMware NSX, as I believe this will be one of the new huge steps in the virtualization area that customers will move into.

2014 Projects
In my role as architect, my work concludes both presales tasks but also consultancy engagements. One of the first projects in 2014 was about designing a two-datacenter vSphere design with vSphere Metro Storage Cluster based on HP servers and storage (HP 3PAR). This was an interesting and challenging project. I did a number of workshops with the customers to identify all the requirements, constraints and defined assumptions and risks. I delivered a design for the customer that is being built and tested as I write this blog article.

In 2014 I was furthermore involved in implementing 3 vCloud Automation Center solutions, most of them to replace VMware Lab Manager but with a little different use cases. Two of them are used for test and development purposes and the last one was for support engineers that quickly needed to deploy a specific lab to test a customer problem. I was also engaged in presales with another exiting project, where a customer wanted to deploy their own developed software in Datacenters around the world, near the customer extending to a Hybrid Cloud.

During the vCloud Automation Center projects I also spend a lot of work with vCenter Orchestrator. I used this to develop basic workflows, automating tasks needed for the provisioning to run flawless and without interaction.

Awarded VMware vExpert
2014 was also the year that I was recognized with the VMware vExpert award for the first time. I’m very proud to be part of this great group of people. A brief explanation of what this award is about:

“Each of these vExperts has demonstrated significant contributions to the community and a willingness to share their expertise with others. We are blown away by the passion and knowledge in this group, a group that is responsible for much of the virtualization evangelism that is taking place in the world — both publicly in books, blogs, online forums, and VMUGs; and privately inside customers and VMware partners. Congratulations to you all!”

To still be into play for a new vExpert award for 2015, I decided to start a vCAC User Group in Denmark. We held the first meeting in October with 18 participants. I’m looking to plan meetings 3-4 times per year. If your from Denmark and interested in joining our group – feel free to look it up in LinkedIn.

I hope I will be selected in 2015 as well, but have to wait until February 5th where the new batch of vExperts will be announced.

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New job
In the last 15 years I have worked for a smaller consultancy partner in Denmark – called Businessmann A/S. I have been the primary technology responsible for building the VMware business. So it was a huge decision for me to quit my job and accept a new role at Proact Systems A/S in Denmark as Sr. Cloud Architect. However the time had come, where I needed new challenges. I just begun this new journey and looking forward to see what 2015 will bring.

There was a few reasons for this move. First of Proact Systems have a quite interesting go-to-market model including providing hybrid cloud capabilities to their customers. Im now involved in this project building this new cloud in Denmark based on EMC and VMware technologies.

The second reason is that Proact is a multi-national company with office locations in 14 countries. This could potentially benefit with projects around Europe.

What in the pipeline going forward?
To predict what will happen in my journey in 2015 is not easy. I tried last year doing the same, and that plan didn’t work out well. I got some of the way though, but my plan was to do another attempt at VCDX. I still have a wish to achieve a VCDX certification, but I know it will take a lot of work and with a new job and some changes in my personal life, this may be take my hands to full.

I will however continue my focus on the vRealize and vCloud Suite products and I have a wish to study harder to gain knowledge with NSX. I think personally that this will gain even more tension in 2015. I have always strived to be the best at what I put my time into and this will not change. I will also strive to achieve some of the new Cloud certifications from VMware.

Lastly I also started this blog and this time, my plan is to be more active and write more regularly. Hopefully I can live up to that promise and I hope you will follow my work here on this site. Also feel free to reach out to me if needed ☺