My Monthly Roundup – February 2021

Second edition of my monthly roundup!

February was still pretty frosty

Customer Engagements

With my role changing recently, I am less involved directly with UK customers but I tend to work with any customers worldwide around discussions on automation or advanced networking and security. I also focus on being a bridge between our customers and our product teams, to ensure feature requests from customers are clearly conveyed to R&D.

I am involved in a lot of conversations around Direct Connect and Transit Gateway and all the various networking architectures possible with VMware Cloud on AWS (these recently released designlets come very handy).

I’ve also been involved with a few customers and partners who are trying our new Fling. More on this below:

Fling: SDDC Import/Export

We released a new Fling that is seeing already a lot of adoptions from customers, partners and colleagues:

I published a blog about it here. I am pretty excited by the response and we are seeing customers already using it. One of the use cases that we see some adoption with is alongside VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery (essentially, as soon as the VMs have been restored to a VMware Cloud environment after a disaster, run the Fling to restore the entire VMC networking configuration).

We have also ran into some bugs (sorry, we’re trying our best here…), which we’ve been quite quick to fix, and Patrick has added a few features (we are already at version 1.3), including the ability to ‘sync’ configuration between 2 sites. That’s very cool. Check out the Fling here.

Fling: Easy Avi

Antoine, Nicolas Bayle and I have made some progress with a Fling called “Easy Deploy for NSX Advanced Load Balancing” (we call it Easy Avi). This is pretty cool and a couple of our customers have seen the demo and really liked it. Essentially, it enables customers to deploy a load-balancer in VMware Cloud in 4 clicks.

The Fling should come out this month. More details coming soon.

vCoders

We worked hard throughout the month to prepare for a series of sessions we ran during the internal VMware conference (Tech Summit). During the session, attendees (who may never have ran scripts or programmed in their career) got the chance to:

  • Practice PowerCLI
  • Practice Terraform with vSphere
  • Run raw API calls with curl

While we know you can’t become a coder overnight, what we had hoped to do during the session, was to plant a seed and give people the idea that coding isn’t that difficult. You just need a mentor, a project or time (ideally, the three of them).

I will talk more about this in the March Roundup.

Presentation and talks

VMware Cloud on AWS Advanced Security

I recorded a session with Michael Schwartzman around some of the new networking and security features of VMware Cloud on AWS. I can’t reveal anything about the features yet but it was super fun to work with Michael. Look out for some new blogs when the new features are released.

Office of the CTO Global Field and Industry Conference

My second OCTO conference (I talked briefly about my first one here) and while it was remote this time, it was terrific and probably even more enjoyable than my first one. Who would have thought? The conference was full of great presentations and I had the chance to present 4 times during the week.

“Build Your First Terraform provider” Session

We ran an internal hacknite session where Antoine and I ran a 90-minute session on Terraform. I spent the first part introducing Terraform and showing how to consume it before Antoine walked through the actual customization of a Terraform provider. This was super fun. We had 90 people at the session (that’s essentially half the members of the Office of the CTO Global Field and Industry).

“Get your First Patent” Session

This was the easiest session of the week for me – I didn’t say much but hosted some clever folks. I had invited an Intellectual Property lawyer, fellow Field Principal Andrea Siviero (who has a patent through VMware) and Rachel Leekin (who has MANY patents from her time at IBM). Obviously I can’t say too much about it but it was fascinating to understand more about the patent process.

Imposter Syndrome Session

That session was called “You belong here” and was submitted with Roberto Canton and Michelle Kaiser). The session was for our first-year CTO Ambassadors who might be intimidated when they first join the program. At short notice, I asked Amanda Blevins (OCTO Chief Technologist) and Joe Baguley (EMEA CTO) to join and share their own personal stories of when they experienced imposter syndrome.

I am very proud of the session (credit goes to Roberto for coming up with the original idea) and we’ve had some lovely feedback from it.

Innovation Pitch

Every year, during the conference, we get to pitch innovative ideas to VMware leaders.

Antoine and I spent a lot of time working on the concept, the prototype and the pitch and we were delighted to win Innovation Pitch of the Year.

I will blog about the idea and the prototype we have built next week.

It turned out that this wasn’t the only award I won that week.

Awards

I was awarded the Challenge and Innovate Award for Q4 FY21 (I posted my thoughts and thanks on Linkedin) from the VMware Cloud Sales Leaders.

Finally (and absurdly), I received a third award that week.

It was an immense honour to be recognized as the Global Field Principal of the Year.

Considering that the ~50 Field Principals are the highest-ranking individual contributors in the Field and some of the brightest folks at VMware, this is not a recognition I will forget.


Just to conclude: you don’t have to share your monthly report with the rest of the world like I do, but consider doing it. At least one person decided it was a good idea 🙂 :

Thanks for reading.

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