Everyone in the US does not have good internet options!

This topic may come to a surprise to many or maybe not. I apologize to my regular readers as this is a bit off topic. We live about an hour or so outside of Chicago and about 8 miles past the last major suburb. This is not the end of the world, or well maybe it is for technology and communication companies. But for our family, it makes sense because we like the space that crowded neighborhoods cannot provide. I can ride motocross in the backyard, shoot guns and archery, the wife has plenty of space to garden and I don’t have 5 neighbors staring at me while I grill hamburgers. But for these luxuries I live in the 1990’s when it comes to internet service.

The need for better internet with faster speeds and no bandwidth limits is only getting greater each year if not faster. I have not been able to watch a Youtube video without it buffering for 10 years. If we get a new game for PS4 or Xbox One and it requires an update of 1-2gb or more this might force us to wait days before playing. Oh and all this with the console companies wanting to get rid of physical media and go only to downloading games. Using streaming TV and movie services is also extremely difficult.

Sure I’ve tried every possible solution that might exist and so has all of the other people that suffer from these same problems. But the telco, cellular and cable companies do not care about what I would call the “Reverse 1%” when it comes to internet options. There are several cellular companies that provide decent 4G LTE service in our area but to get enough bandwidth to make it usable on a monthly basis would cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

We were customers of a new service called Karma and they offered 4G LTE server with a 5Mb cap but unlimited bandwidth per month. Well that only lasted a few months before the idiots running things over there decided to change things. You can read about it here. They took what was a pretty good option that made it unusable for the people that really needed it. It was good enough that we even paid for two accounts there, one of which was a Christmas gift for our kids. The gift of sort of usable internet, it’s what every kid wants as a present in 2015. This Karma screw up and years of pain is what motivated me to write this.

There is a business opportunity here for someone and they are ignoring it. Back in the early DirecTV days they were not allowed to sell satellite TV service into areas that you could get cable in, until the laws changed. Companies like Verizon, ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile ext. could do the reverse of this. Offer a 4G LTE service with unlimited bandwidth to people in areas that have no or only terrible internet options for a reasonable rate. This does not seem like rocket science, and you don’t have to offer it en masse to others that have good options already. I don’t expect 1Gb internet for $10 a month, but would be willing to pay $150 for unlimited 4G LTE without speed limits.

Sure we could move and after this long it’s something that we are considering. But to find another area that we like that also has good internet will require some time and effort. This problem won’t go away for everyone else because not everyone can or is willing to move. So common man, let’s get this fixed. It’s 2016 and everyone should be able to binge watch their favorite show from Netflix.

bush-hates

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Who would be on your dinner invitation list?

This is not my typical post that I would write on here but it was something that I’ve thought about at different times and wanted to write something down. The question is if you could host a small dinner party who would you invite? Let’s keep the dinner small and limit the number of guests to three, but we are holding a number of dinner parties that will be focused on different topics to keep the conversation focused. It does not matter if the guests are living or deceased, this is a wish list.

I think this idea comes from weird interview questions that people get asked sometimes, but I think about this when I see or read about someone that I think that it would be cool to sit down and talk with. So I’m going to put down a few lists of my own and encourage others to do the same in comments, would be interesting to see who others might have on their lists.

Sports

There could be a million people that fall in the sports category that it might be cool to meet. I’m focused more about sitting down and talking sports and life for a few hours that shaking hands and getting an autograph from Michael Jordan.

  1. Herman (Herm) Edwards – Herm is a past football player and coach and now an ESPN analyst. I think he is just an interesting guy, I like his no bullshit approach to sports and life. He talks about taking ownership of your actions and hist famous “you play to win” rant.
  2. Chris Carter – Like Herm, Chris also works for ESPN and is a former player for one of my favorite teams the Minnesota Vikings. He is not without his issues on past substance abuse, but he cleaned himself up and turned into one of the best receivers of all time. He also has a no BS take on things.
  3. Joe Maddon – He is the recent coach of the Chicago Cubs that seem to be taking the next step under his leadership. In the past he coached the small market Tampa team to two world series. Joe is a damn smart baseball man and seems to have endless methods to keeping his players interested and motivated is a great skill. He is also typically a great interview when I’ve heard people get enough time from him.

 

Music

Here I don’t care about one hit wonders and pop sensations, was looking for interesting people. This might have been one of the harder categories for me as there are a number of different people and it was hard to narrow down.

  1. Stevie Ray Vaughan – For me probably my favorite music artist and hands down one of the best guitar players ever. That statement can be debated forever by many, but that’s how I feel. He was taken from the world too early and I would have loved the opportunity to see him live. He just seemed like a cool cat that had no agenda and just wanted to play guitar and entertain people. He broke down barriers and blew people’s minds, what else is there to say.
  2. Johnny Cash – I don’t like all of his music as he went through different periods in his career. He also was a son of a bitch to many people that knew him, but he was a great talent and is still very interesting.
  3. Metallica – I was not sure about my third choice but the guys from Metallica are sure to not disappoint. I’ve always been a big fan of the music, but their fight against Napster and music streaming services would sure to drum up some good conversation at the dinner table.

 

Technology

There have been a few great front men that have led companies that created cool things in history, these people come to mind first. But this category could include inventors of things and really anything tech related.

  1. Steve Jobs – This choice is probably very predictable, but I think it would be interesting to get a few unfiltered hours from the evil genius. He was very driven and did things a different way than others and while people were scared of him or hated him, he lead an organization that created some of the coolest gadgets in history.
  2. Elon Musk – Much like Steve he is considered to be a bit of an evil genius, only time will tell on if he is just evil or a genius. I think that he is either a really great idea man or just good at cultivating and finding other people’s ideas, but I’m sure it would make for an interesting conversation.
  3. Kevin Mitnick – I don’t care much about hacking, but his use of social engineering and just the creative thoughts it took for his approaches is interesting.

 

Politics

I’m not a big politics person, but I do like history so that is probably why my choices are all from the past.

  1. John F Kennedy – Not being a big politics person JFK is one of the few people that sparks any interest.
  2. Teddy Roosevelt – He has some ties to South Dakota my home state along with being an interesting story puts him on my list.
  3. Winston Churchill – He lived and ruled through some very interesting events and points in time.

 

Don’t be shy now, go ahead and share your list in the comments with others. If you have ideas for other categories go ahead and make those up also.

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Hows the food on the vendor side, time for a change

I was unsure on whether I would even write one of these posts, but in the end landed on yes. Much like I did about 5 years ago I have decided to make a career change and shake things up. I felt like I needed to try something new and challenge myself. I had spent the last 4.5 years working for a great partner based out of Chicago called Ahead. During my time at Ahead I have grown tremendously both personally and technically. In this stop of my career path I was able to polish my presentation and architecture skills and work with some great customers and coworkers. The time was excellent and I would have changed very little about it, but in the end I was too comfortable and felt a new challenge was needed.

Having never worked for a vendor on the product side I felt this was something that I really wanted to try. During my time at Ahead I was able to work closely with the team at CloudPhysics on adding functionality to their product that allowed me to get a feel on what working for a startup vendor might be like. To say the least, I was hooked and this only help to escalate my time frame for finding the right vendor. As I talked to different people that I know and prospective vendors I set a question that I needed to be able to answer yes to without any hesitation to really consider a prospective vendor.

Can I wake up every morning and be truly happy and excited to talk about and support the product that I would be supporting?

I found that this question was harder to answer yes to than I expected. This question had to be answered first before any talk about the role, benefits and salary. Without answering yes to this the other questions would all be meaningless. In the end the list of vendors that I would be able to answer yes to was very short.

Enough with my ramblings, I have accepted the role of Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and will be starting on the 12th. This choice has mostly been met with positive feedback from those that I was able to discuss with in advance. They saw that this would be a good move for me and left politics out of it, there were a few jokes about geez isn’t another VCDX going to Nutanix a cliche.

There were a number of things that drew me to Nutanix and the process was a very long one that I only gained more respect for the company as the process had its ups and downs. First as a product I was very interested about two years ago when I got my first chance to get some hands on with the product. This allowed me to get the full experience, before this I was exposed to some of my customers that had already deployed Nutanix and spoke highly about the product. Secondly I was very impressed at the rate that Nutanix was innovating and moving their product forward. There was a constant and face pace of new features and performance improvements and this kept my attention.

The senior and mid-level leadership that I was exposed to during the process and through other avenues was very impressive. They communicated their vision and always handled themselves professionally even when things looked like they would not work out. Some of these same people have been labeled incorrectly due to their interaction publicly when battling with competitors, but how they handled our interactions and more importantly how they have worked with other employees that have been there for years is what really mattered.

The fact that Nutanix already has a large number of other VCDX’s employed already had no positive effect, in reality it probably caused me to look at them more closely. While I highly respect the VCDX certification, I tend to look at the quality of the people and talent over a certification label. Also the fact that me having my VCDX never came up in our discussions along the way was also a positive, I never felt like Nutanix was trying to collect numbers for some artificial reason.

Beyond all of this it was some sage advice that my loving wife offered me that really got the ball moving. She had heard discussion over the past year and had noticed that when I worked on projects or assisted with sales campaigns that involved Nutanix that my excitement was elevated. This along with paying close attention to the recruitment and interview phase she knew it was the right place for me to go new. Also leaving one day to pick the kids up from school she noticed that she was wearing a Nutanix hoodie, carrying a travel mug and phone charger all with the Nutanix brand made the statement that hell I already advertise enough for them you should just work for them.

I can say that I’m very excited to take on the new challenge of tech marketing and learning everything that I can about the inner workings of the Nutanix platform and helping the team reach its full potential. I don’t expect the content that I write about to change much here, but the product reviews that I’ve done on DataCenterZombie.com will be affected by this move to a vendor. I will probably be looking for other types of content to write about there that does not conflict with my day job.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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The differences in communities

I’ve noticed something over time and was having a conversation with my wife and this thought came to mind. Last year I decided to purchase my first dirt bike, I really have not ridden once since I was a teenager. But after watching my son ride his for the last couple of years, it seemed like it was time for me to jump in. I did not want to miss out on the fun any longer and riding together would be a great way to spend more time together.

Both of our bikes were purchased used, so there was been some minor fixes that we have been working on. I’m a bit geeky and do not have much of a mechanical background, so we like to do research on the internet before starting a project. If the project is too big or complex we might just take it to a local shop.

 

Motorcycle Community

What myself and my wife noticed is that the motorcycle community is a bit unique. In researching different topics and asking for advice we were amazed at how helpful people are. There is a bit of a brotherhood amongst the motorcycle community, whether online or in person. I’ve always noticed that bikers always wave to each other when riding on the streets, they don’t know each other but they respect each other. They don’t ignore a guy riding a BMW bike with a suit and tie on versus a hardcore biker dude with a Harley. They all wave, no judgments.

We also noticed that web pages with comments and forums focused on dirt bikes had a very similar brotherhood. People would ask questions on how to fix something or modify something and they were not attacked for their choices and called stupid. No one was saying why are you doing it like that your an idiot. They just helped, people offered suggestions gave helpful feedback. This behavior was observed across all types of sites, was not isolated to a single forum.

I had recently had pulled my bike out of the garage and was giving it a check over before getting it ready for the spring riding season. Checking the fluids and other routine maintenance and then was working on getting it started the first time. It was not cooperating, I was probably out there for an hour and totally frustrated. Up the driveway came a new neighbor that had moved in over the winter. We had not had a chance to meet him, he was a fellow dirt biker and offered some tips. Within a few minutes, it was running and I could have not been happier.

 

Tech Community

Now let’s have a look at the tech community. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of very nice people that are more than willing to help others, especially in the VMware community. But there always seems to be a small group of people that will instantly jump into flame or attack mode, just because they think that some is taking the wrong approach or choosing a product that they don’t like.

Not everyone approaches problems in the same way, they are not looking to be attacked because they are looking for advice. People seek out others online to try and learn from their experiences or get help on how to approach or fix something. Many times you are not the first person to have a specific issue, and there are plenty of helpful people that answer posts on forums and write helpful blog posts. But in the tech community and others there is a healthy amount of people that want to do nothing else but jump in and cause trouble. They attack people for their methods and choices without offering anything helpful to the conversation.

 

So why?

I’ve often wondered why people exhibit this type of behavior? There are probably a lot of different reasons. Is it that the motorcycle community is just more confident in themselves? They don’t need to try and prove they are smarter than the next person? Do they have no interest in being an internet tough guy that hides behind his keyboard and feels superior? I have no idea why.

I’m pretty sure that we also don’t see executives from Honda writing biased blog posts against Kawasaki or attacking each other on Twitter. They are both focused on building an excellent product and taking care of their customers. Having a war with your competitors does nothing positive for your customers. It does not affect their buying decision in a positive way, it makes you look petty or rude.

So the next time that you are about to jump on someone for something online, maybe take a deep breath and think about what they are really asking for. You have a few choices, you can be a mature person and just keep your thoughts to yourself or you could offer something positive or helpful to the conversation. There is nothing to be gained by attacking others.

Don’t read too much into this blog post, it was not inspired by any recent trash talking or blog posts. Just a few thoughts I had on this recently, hopefully I don’t get too attacked in the comments :)

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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PernixData FVP review at Data Center Zombie

If you looking for a great review and some performance data on PernixData head on over to the review that I wrote at Data Center Zombie. Ya I wrote it so I think its great, but not like I was gonna say it was bad.

I put PernixData through the paces for some performance tests and reporting. Also how is it to install and use for the admin crowd. Anyways you are probably dying to read it by now so head on over and give it read here.

pernixreview

 

If you have any experience with PernixData drop a note in the comments I would and other also are always looking for real feedback.

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Lets stop the technology snake oil

I’ve read at least a few blog posts over the last six months or so that have just made me scratch my head. People talking up technology that does not even exist or clearly have never touched it themselves. I think as bloggers and technology people we have a duty to customers and others to paint the whole picture.

I’m not sure if people are being paid for things like this and not disclosing them properly or what might be the case. But more and more I see bloggers getting briefings on a technology and taking that hour long call and powerpoint presentation and writing a glowing blog post or review. People your words carry weight and many are respected influencers in the community. I’m sure that you would not tell a friend that the new Ford focus was awesome because you watched a TV show about it.

Personally I take anything a vendor tells me with a grain of salt until I get some personal experience with the product. Performance reports are nothing but pretty lights until it passes my tests or has performed in my customers environments. If you do take performance details provided by a vendor or a paid 3rd party, I think you should clearly explain that you did not test these and they are vendor provided numbers. Many of these numbers are done with marketing in mind, a storage vendor wants to claim big numbers so they do 100% of 4K reads.

I will not write something that does not explain where the information came from. If it was from a briefing I think that should be disclosed, if I do performance tests you will see how it was tested and the results. Full disclosure is the way to live, I’ve seen this talked about before with blogging. This is what lead me to start a new blog that I will not shill here.

I know there are always new products and vendors coming out that sound awesome. Just make sure you are painting the right picture at the moment with the facts that you have. Your readers will respect that.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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