My Next Chapter: Something Old… Something New

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Some friends recently remarked that I have been usually quiet on my blog and even on social media the past couple of months. However, that is about to change with what I am announcing today.

The TL:DR: As of today, I am a Technical Marketing Engineer at Rubrik.

tmeBefore I get into why I decided to join Rubrik, I want to express my gratitude to Rackspace, who taught me the true meaning of Fanatical Support. They also gave me an opportunity to up skill myself at a time when I was looking to transition beyond enterprise storage and virtualization into cloud computing.

So Why Rubrik?

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I am sure some folks will ask, “Why a backup software company , Ken, when you’ve been so focused in recent years on cloud technologies like OpenStack and Amazon Web Services?” The place to start is with the leadership at Rubrik. During my research process, I was extremely impressed with the founders and intrigued with the mix of enterprise and consumer IT experience among the leadership and engineering team. Speaking with my friends in the IT community, there was unanimous agreement that Rubrik is led by a smart team of folks who not only know how to build a better mousetrap but know how to build a better business.

I was also impressed with Rubrik’s technology and the clean sheet approach they took to not just enterprise backup and recovery but copy and cloud data management. At the same time, they’ve been able to create a solution that sensibly bridges the gap between “legacy” and next generation technologies. You’ll be reading and hearing more from me about Rubrik in the future. For now if you want to learn about Rubrik, I would suggest the following:

I saw an opportunity to bring together the variegated strands of my IT career in a blending of both the old and the new. I started my career in enterprise IT as a backup administrator cutting my teeth on Legato NetWorker for Unix and Cheyenne (eventually acquired by CA) Arcserve for Widows. I was then hired by EMC to work with their ill-fated EMC Data Manager (EDM) backup product before moving on to other business units and eventually other vendors. Though I had the opportunity to work with every type of enterprise storage technologies, such as SAN, NAS, storage management, storage replication etc., I never strayed far from data protection technologies like Veritas NetBackup and Data Domain.

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Eventually, I moved on to work with virtualization technologies like VMware vSphere where storage expertise was still important. And over the past 4 years, I’ve focused on Cloud technologies like OpenStack and AWS and delved into container technologies like Docker and Kubernetes. Although even there, I leveraged my experience in storage by helping others learn technologies like OpenStack Cinder and AWS S3.

Rubrik then seems like perfect fit where I can bring together everything I’ve learned in my career, data protection, enterprise storage, virtualization, cloud, into my new role as a Technical Marketing Engineer. I will have my finger on all these technologies that I enjoy and be a part of so many different IT communities which I’ve come to value.

Speaking of community, a compelling reason for me to choose Rubrik was their commitment to engaging meaningfully with various IT communities and tribes. That begins with building a stellar Technical Marketing team. I’ve never been more excited to join a team than the one we now have at Rubrik with Andrew MillerChris Wahl, Filip Verloy and Rebecca Fitzhugh, who are all not only great technologists but IT community contributors and leaders. And we are just part of a larger stellar Marketing team and outstanding company.

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One thing I have learned over the years is that even the best Technical Marketeers and Evangelists  can only succeed when they are working for an employer who understands the value of community/tribal engagement to the long-term success of their business. This is why I was excited to learn how important engaging with and serving relevant IT communities are to Rubrik. That is clear from the resources Rubrik management has put into building the Technical Marketing team and from my conversations with everyone from Product Management to Marketing to Sales.

What Can You Expect From Me?

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So what will I be doing at Rubrik exactly and what can you expect from me? Well, you can get a general sense by reading my manager Andrew Miller’s blog post on what it means to be a Technical Marketeer. The type of role and the impact that Andrew outlines excites me because it aligns so well with the things I am most passionate about, which is a theme that I’ll talked about before.

More specifically, I will be focused on helping users be successful in their roles as technologists, especially in the area of intelligent data protection and cloud data management. So expect to see and hear from me about how Rubrik can help customers protect and leverage data that are being created in virtualization platforms like VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor and created/stored in cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Beyond educating users about Rubrik, I and the rest of the Technical Marketing team have a mandate to be good IT citizens who are helpful to others by doing our part to come alongside and to help our tribes with grasping new technologies. For example, the things I am passionate to learn about together with my IT brothers and sisters include:

  • Cloud storage technologies
  • Next generation storage technologies
  • Public cloud platforms
  • VMware Cloud on AWS
  • Azure Stack
  • Containers
  • Cloud native architectures
  • Serverless/FaaS

So expect, in the near future, to read from me new blog posts and white papers, to hear me on webinars and podcasts and to see me at meetups, conferences and VMUGs. And when you do see me, please say hello and let me know how I can help you.

I want to thank Rubrik management and the Rubrik folks who interviewed me for their faith in me. Finally, I also want to express my gratitude to a number of trusted advisors from the IT communities I am a part of for their advice and encouragement. They include Howard Marks, John Griffith, Keith Townsend, Massimo Re Ferre’ and Shamail Tahir.

Looking forward to writing this next chapter.

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