Virtual Now is a blog hosted by Dan Hersey focused on data center networking, virtualization, and cloud computing.
My Professional Life
I have been working in the technology industry for over fifteen years with experience in systems administration, storage area networks, data network architecture, and server virtualization. I started my career as a lonely systems administrator at a small insurance company in Phoenix. I was the only technical resource at the company which meant I was the Windows admin, Unix (AIX) admin, network admin, PC support, and the local Crystal Reports guru. On top of that I came in on weekends and made sure our 20 year old line feed printer didn’t eat the millions of dollars in insurance checks we printed each week, as it had a habit of doing when left unattended. You don’t know boring until you have to sit and literally watch a printer for 5 hours straight.
I was introduced to the concept of Fibre Channel when our RS/6000 was running low on disk space. I eventually joined a small SAN reseller based out of Phoenix that was involved in some up and coming storage virtualization technologies. The company wasn’t terribly successful but during my tenure Cisco approached us about reselling an iSCSI product from their recent NuSpeed acquisition. After flying up to Minnesota in the middle of a frigid December to get trained on the products I came to the realization that the product was cool but not really enterprise class and more importantly Cisco was trying become relevant in the data center.
Shortly after my trip to Minnesota I joined Andiamo Systems, a Cisco funded startup, and moved to San Jose. This led to nine years working on almost every product Cisco introduced in the data center including the Cisco MDS 9000 family, Cisco UCS, Nexus 2000, Nexus 5000, Nexus 7000, Cisco blade switches, and the Nexus 1000V. After nine great years at Cisco I decided I wanted to spend more time in the virtualization space.
In 2010 I left Cisco to join VCE, a joint venture of VMware, Cisco and EMC. VCE’s charter is to design pre-engineered, pre-build converged infrastructure solutions that customers can deploys in hours, rather than the weeks or months if the customer buys the individual components on their own.
In 2011 I joined Big Switch Networks to help usher in the age of network virtualization and software defined networking (SDN).
My Personal Life
I grew up just outside of Boston, MA and was raised as a typical die hard Boston sports fan. I lived in Silicon Valley for a few years but have spent over 15 years living in my adopted home state of Arizona. I currently reside in Phoenix, with my wife and two children, enjoying the warm summers (ok, it’s hot) and the comfortable winters. I spend my free time with my kids who usually insist on kicking my butt in some overly complicated Xbox game. I built a full size MAME arcade for them in an attempt to show them up Pacman but they now beat me at that, and every other classic arcade game, as well.
To keep myself entertained I put a lot of energy into digital media in the home. I have deployed almost every available Home Theater PC package at some point. My current favorite is Boxee running on Intel Atom PCs which front end my 15TBs of NAS storage. On Sunday’s during football season you will find me either at University of Phoenix Stadium or at home grilling for family, friends and random neighbors. When it is cool enough I try to get in a round or two of golf each week. Despite the fact my father is in his 60′s he still regularly schools me on the course.
My dream is to buy a 44ft catamaran and sail the oceans with my wife, meet new people, experience new cultures, explore foreign lands, and absorb all the beauties of this wonderful planet. Alas, I live in the desert and have never sailed in my life. Not to mention the millions in financing for the boat and a few years of sailing. One day…
Those who know me best usually describe me as very relaxed and even borderline shy… until I have something to say. And I have a lot to say on the subjects of data center networking, virtualization, and cloud computing. With that in mind I’m a big advocate for the open exchange of ideas, within the limits of all these NDAs we are bound by. If you would like to exchange ideas, discuss the technology of the day, share your opinion or hear mine please feel free to reach out to me. I’m conveniently located on LinkedIn (where you can contact me via e-mail), Twitter, Google+, and of course here at VirtualNow.net
I currently work at Big Switch Networks, a Silicon Valley startup focused on software defined networking (SDN). As such it is important to note that the views expressed in this blog are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views Big Switch Networks.