The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous.

As I was meeting with a customer recently, we got onto the topic of workload portability. It was interesting, we were discussing the various cloud providers, AWS, Azure, and VMware’s vCloud Air, primarily, and how could they, a VMware shop, move workloads in and out of various cloud providers.

Most industry analysts, and those of us on the front lines trying to make this all work, or help our customers make it work, will agree that we are in a transition phase. Many people smarter than I have talked at length about how virtualization and infrastructure as a service is a bridge to get us to a new way of application development and delivery, one where all applications are delivered from the cloud, and where development is constant and iterative. Imagine patch Tuesday every hour every day…

So how do we get there? Well if virtualization is simply a bridge, that begs the question of portability of workloads, virtual machines in this case. Looking at the problem objectively, we have started down that path previously with the Open Virtualization Format (OVF), but that requires a powered off Virtual Machine which is then exported, copied, and then imported to the new system which creates the proper format as part of the import process. But why can’t we just live migrate workloads without downtime between disparate hypervisors and clouds?

From my perspective the answer is simple, it is coming, it has to, but the vendors will hold out as long as they can. For some companies, the hypervisor battle is still waging. I think it is safe to say we are seeing the commoditization of the hypervisor. As we look at VMware’s products, they are moving from being a hypervisor company, again nothing insider here, just review the expansion into cloud management, network and storage virtualization, application delivery, and so much more, but more and more they are able to manage other vendors hypervisors. We are seeing more focus on “Cloud Management Platforms”, and everyone wants to manage any hypervisor. It has to follow then that some standards emerge around the hypervisor, virtual hard drives, the whole stack so we can start moving within our own datacenters.

This does seem counter intuitive, but if we put this into perspective, there is very little advantage in consolidation at this point. Most companies are as consolidated as they will get, we are now just working to get many of them to the final 10% or so. It is rare to find a company who is not virtualizing production workloads now, so now we need to look at what is next. Standards must prevail as they have in the physical compute, network, and storage platforms. This doesn’t negate the value of the hypervisor, but it does provide for choice, and differentiation around features and support.

I don’t suspect we will see this happen anytime soon, but it begs the question of why not? It would seem to be the logical progression.

The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous.

Bow Ties are cool!

Now that I am past my first 90 days here at VMware, I consider myself something of an authority on absolutely nothing. Thus I feel it incumbent on me to post a semi serious post about life, liberty, and the pursuit of virtualizaiton.

Since coming here I get the question at least once a month about how to get hired at VMware. The truth is there is no secret formula, no one trick that will get you an interview, or past the interview. The truth is that you just have to stand out and bring something unique to our growing team. I have seen many of my friends go through interviews, some get hired, and some not make it. It is not that they aren’t good enough, but there has to be something which sets those who make it apart from those who don’t. What follows may or may not make sense, be true, or be helpful, but it is my attempt to shed some light into what it takes to be a part of our team and a part of changing the technology world.

Flexible

Working at a company growing as quickly and disrupting the technology world the way VMware has requires flexibility. Being amenable to change on a moments notice is a requirement here. Every day we wake up and have a new requirement, a new idea, a new challenge. No day is ever dull or the same as the last, and just when you think you have it figured out, there is a new strategy, or a new solution for our customers.

Humble

This one caught me by surprise too. The best people at VMware are the most humble. They are the types who are willing to sweep the floors, talk to the new hire class about how great VMware is, or talk to our largest customers about how we are taking responsibility for something that may not have gone as well as we thought it would. Being here means remembering that it has nothing to do with me, it is all about the cool technology and the team. Imagine walking around the Palo Alto campus and bumping into the guy that literally wrote the book on VMware storage or networking, and talking to them as a team member.

Curious

Everyone I meet here, well almost everyone, has a love for learning. Since joining the team, I have spent most of my time asking questions, reading, studying our roadmaps, and debating strategy, technology, and ideas with some incredibly smart people. I have found that most of the people here want to know what others think, they are well read, and generally trying to absorb as much information as they can. It is hard to be around and not get motivated to read the latest white papers, learn a new programming language, or grab someone who has been here a while and ask them questions.

Being Awesome

We are a team of winners. That isn’t me being prideful or putting anyone down, we just love to win. We love bringing amazing ideas to life, everyone on the team, at least everyone I have met so far, is all about teamwork. That being said, we all work for a greater good, we are executing on a vision, not for ourselves, but to make our little section of the world a better place. Nowhere is this more evident than in the commitment to giving back. We are encouraged to volunteer, not because it makes the company look good, but because it is part of the culture. We are encouraged to be involved in things we believe in and to make a positive difference wherever we are.

Where do I sign up?

So really the best way to join us is to be involved in the community. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my current manager began to screen me at the VMUG User Conference. Since moving to Portland, I have done my best to get involved in the local tech community and help out where I can. I have volunteered to speak at the conferences, work the booth for my employer, evangelize the various user groups, and just show up to support friends. Get your name out there as someone who is willing to do what ever is needed. Be active, be sincere, and be present. VMware is a great place to work, but only because we have an awesome community, awesome partners, and awesome users. Whether you want to work at VMware, or just be involved, this is an amazing place. Get out there and be involved in the community. The Portland VMUG Conference is November 4th this year at the Oregon Convention Center. Come by and check it out, learn more, and find a way to pitch in. We are all about community, and that is the best way to find out about working here.

Bow Ties are cool!