Top Virtualization Blogs 2017 Nominations Open


Eric Siebert has opened his nominations for this year’s top blogs. He has, again, included a Female Bloggers category, as he did last year. Unfortunately, last year there were hardly any entrants (two to be precise; me and Melissa aka vMiss) and so Eric cancelled the category, as explained in this tweet:

The cancellation of the category led to some rather harsh commentary, in my opinion. The comment in Gina’s post – “Besides the fact that he could only think of two lady bloggers to include in his annual list, this statement: We need to cultivate more female bloggers just rubbed me the wrong way” – is incorrect in my view. Eric could think of many more than two I’m sure, and his comment was most sincere and meant in a very supportive way, but if you don’t nominate your blog won’t be listed – simples!

Therefore, I hope this year there will be no such discussions and that all the vLadies out there will submit nominations for their blogs.

As with anything like this, you have to ‘be in it to win it’. So, if you have a blog, whatever your gender, then please nominate yourself, here are the categories:

  • Favorite New Blog– Blog must have been started in 2016
  • Favorite Storage Blog– Must have greater than 50% posts as storage related
  • Favorite Independent Blogger– Must not work for VMware or a Technology Partner (i.e. EMC, Dell, IBM, Unitrends, etc.), basically this means customers, resellers and integrators only.
  • Favorite Scripting/Automation Blog– Must have greater than 50% posts as scripting/automation related
  • Favorite Non-English Blog– Must be primarily published in a non-English language
  • Favorite Podcast– Easy one, you must have a podcast
  • Favorite Female Blogger– Special recognition for women in tech, must be a female blogger
  • Favorite News/Information Site– Any site that primarily publishes news and information and is not really a blog

Good luck!





Well, that was the week (and a bit) that was!

There are 5 things that occurred in the past 10 days that have really shocked and, in some instances, saddened me.

  • Nutanix “wheel” debacle
  • Brexit outcome
  • Euro championship outcome
  • Top vBlog 2016
  • Rumours of Nutanix’s acquisition of PernixData

Let’s start with the 2nd one; I don’t ever discuss politics or religion on social media and, frankly, the EU referendum wasn’t about polictics, albeit the politicians did a fab job of completely effing it up! Demonstrating, along the way, that they’re all lying toe rags. I won’t delve deeper into my personal thoughts as I think my tweet summed up my thoughts!

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Status: Sad. Right, that’s that one out of the way.

The 1st one; this is the second time Nutanix has been accused of being sexist.

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The first time was 2 years ago with their competitive marketing campaign, nixvblock,that contained a series of videos of “Vicky Block” demonstrating some eclectic dress sense and mental issues. This was the first time Nutanix fielded a woman to post a blog to apologize, however, this post seems to have disappeared from their website, albeit Laura is no longer with Nutanix.

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Frankly, the outcome of both situations elevated Nutanix’s visibility, Howard Ting apologized on twitter and Julie O’Brien appeared on The Current Status podcast, so all will blow over. My view, in general, is men are wired – emotionally – different to women, we should all be seen as people in tech, a homogenous tech world wouldn’t be much fun and times change, we need to move with the times.

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Status: Sad.

The 3rd one; What a bunch of wankers! When we really need our boys to step up and lift the nation after the turmoil of BREXIT, they proved they’re an over paid bunch of individuals who cannot play as a team. Nuff said. Status: Sad.

The 4th point; I am so incredibly chuffed to have my Rimmergram blog even listed on Eric Siebert’s Top vBlog list. To have been voted 181 and received 29 votes is just thrilling, I am ecstatic beyond belief. Thank you to all that voted for my blog. STATUS: Shocked but in a good way!

Finally, number 5. The El Reg post is, at time of posting, just a conjecture. However, I have been informed PernixData no longer requires my services. This makes me truly sad, I’ve loved working with the team, totally believe in the technology and have met some awesome people as part of my role and have thoroughly enjoyed managing the PernixPro program over the past few months. I am sure the real facts and details will emerge during the coming days/weeks of the future of the company. STATUS: definitely both shocked and sad.

So, what a turbulent week, I’m pleased it’s Saturday – off to ride the horse now!

One situation – many different views!

In my role, I straddle many of the marketing disciplines and whilst my main skills are in channel and communications, I have an affinity with the technical community – hence, why I love my role as a VMUG leader and most of the tweeps I follow are technical.  Due to my job role and role in the community, I like to think I can see both (or all) sides of a situation.

Recently there has been much discussion over the VMware/EMC/Nutanix twitter dialogue and the resulting coverage on CRN and while I can see all sides of the story, the bottom line is you may preface your tweets, or your blogs, as “are my own, not my employers’, but if you’re tweeting “on duty” then you are a representative of your company and must ALWAYS be mindful of what you say, write or tweet.  In fact, even in your own personal time you are still susceptible to being a company representative.

When I worked at VMware and was asked by a customer “Which partner should I buy ESX from?” I’d always point them to the partner page and say “it’s up to you.”  I understand that in certain situations you can provide guidance, but in today’s social media world, sometimes you do need to keep your thoughts to yourself……

I remember a few years ago a very popular blogger questioned Gartner in a post, but, if I recall correctly, it wasn’t aggressive just challenging.  His employer was immediately approached by Gartner and the outcome was the employer requested the blogger to take the post down.  There was uproar – rightly so – in the industry and community – this was over stepping the employer’s mark.  The blogger took his whole blog down for a while but am glad to say the situation fizzled out and his blog was up and running not long after – but with the Gartner post removed 🙁

To me, this highlighted that while you are an employee of a company, no matter what you say or do, you are viewed as a representative of your company and they expect you to act accordingly – whether you agree with them or not!  Frankly, this is why I love being an independent consultant !

I’d like to refer to a recent Geek-whisperers podcast, where Amy, John and Matt discuss PR not understanding social.  They billed this as  “our most confrontational podcast yet.”  PR/Corporate Communications’ role is sometimes like herding cats – they are responsible for the company’s communications and, sometimes, the social ‘fanatics’ make their job quite difficult.  So, being on both sides of this fence, I can see both view but, for a change, I do not agree with Geek-Whispers as I believe anyone in PR/Corp Comms will think THEY have to train the social engagers, not the other way around 🙂

Back to the VMware/EMC/Nutanix twitter discussion.  There were comments from the community in blog posts and on twitter that the journalist had ‘sensationalized’ the situation.  I don’t agree with that view either.  To me, he was ‘just doing his job’ and, while many times in a face-to-face situation some peeps are quite introverted, on twitter or in blog posts they are way more vociferous and animated!  Sometimes, this can lead to CLMs (career limiting moves), so do beware dear reader!





I get asked by some of my clients about how to engage on social media and what guidelines should be put in place, what training is required, etc.  My ‘recipe” for successful social engagement is simple:

1 part positivity

1 part passion

1 part honesty

1 part knowledge

Add a dash of humility

Blend together and at all times remember: if you represent a company, you have to be “on message” and if you’re not sure what the message is, or you have any doubt in your mind, don’t tweet it, blog it, or say it!

VMworld – Defy Convention – in a Convention Centre!

I find this year’s ‘theme’ slightly paradoxical; we’ll be stuck in a convention centre for 4 days defying convention – yay right!

But, seriously, I’m looking forward to this 10th VMworld maybe more than any other prior event.  I was lucky enough to attend the very first VMworld 2004 in San Diego and be part of the global VMware marketing team that organised it.  I didn’t attend VMworld 2005 in Las Vegas, but since then have been at every US and EMEA VMworld, other than Copenhagen in 2011.  The content, the sponsors, the parties, they’ve all grown and morphed into an incredible yearly ‘pilgrimage’.

There’s been many blog posts about recommended sessions, advice for first-time attendees and which parties to attend, all of which are great reads.  For me, this year is about going as a VMUG Leader and SoMe attendee.  In all previous attendances I’ve been with a client and always worked the Solutions Exchange.  I will be in the Solutions Exchange this year at certain times on the VMUG booth (#1721), encouraging attendees to join the VMUG community and to meet with many existing members.

I’m looking forward to the vBrownbag TechTalks, hanging in the community area in the Hang Space and also to the vExpert daily podcast hosted by Michael Letschin.  It’ll be great to chat face-to-face with many of the tweeps I converse with in Twittersphere and the Hang Space will be the place to catch up with them all.

A track that is close to my heart is the Women of Purpose agenda.  Three dedicated VMware employees – JJ DiGeronimo, Sonal Patel and Kristin Heisner – host the main event, which is a two hour session on Monday 26th at the Marriott, where they bring together a number of female executives from some of VMware’s customers.  The agenda is always engaging and informative, so I’m very much looking forward to this part of my itinerary.

Other ‘women of purpose’ I’m looking forward to seeing again at VMworld are my good friends Susan Gudenkauf, Liselotte Foverskov and Lauren Malhoit, as well as Amy Lewis, Gina Minks and meeting Kasia Lorenc for the first time.

The community awesomeness will start for me on Saturday 24th when Susan and I will continue our VMworld ‘bubbles’ tradition and then head over to vBeers Tweetup at the Chieftan organised by the wonderful Simon Seagrave.

So I’ll be defying convention by continuing to immerse myself in the VMware community, looking forward to seeing many of you in a few weeks!

AdaptingIT Podcast – Women in Tech


When Lauren Malhoit asked me to provide input into a new podcast idea she had around women in tech, I thought it was a great idea.  After a few discussions with her and Mike Laverick, Lauren launched her podcast at the beginning of this year.  During one of our chats, we were discussing what the podcast should be called.  We bandied many names around, some sensible, some not so sensible.  I can’t even recall now who suggested Women with Dongles (probably me, am good at bringing the level of the conversation down to gutter level LOL), but obviously that one wasn’t going to fly 🙂  However, I said to Lauren if she interviewed me, that should be the name of my podcast.

Well, I’m proud to say Lauren DID interview me, and the podcast was published yesterday and I’m delighted that she has named the podcast “Women with Dongles”.  There is absolutely no relevance in our discussions to dongles, but the title just makes me giggle. We chat about how I got into IT, specifically virtualization, VMUG leadership, the community and much more. I hope you enjoy our discussions and I hope that this podcast will be interesting to both guys and gals, but more importantly inspire more women to get into technology.  It’s an awesome sector and one that can bring a huge amount of job satisfaction and, in my experience, can develop long-term friendships.