Life at VMware, Two Weeks In

Today marks my “two week anniversary” in my new role at VMware. So far, it’s been everything that I thought it would be—exciting, but also challenging.

My entire first week was taken up by new hire onboarding and some training on Nicira’s Network Virtualization Platform (NVP). I was pleased to find that the time and effort I’d spent familiarizing myself with OpenFlow and Open vSwitch (OVS) proved quite useful in hitting the ground running with NVP. There is still much to learn, naturally, but I feel like I have a good foundation upon which I can build.

I was also fortunate during my first week to have the opportunity to jump right into some important projects. Some of them I can’t discuss right now (naturally), but I can mention the joint session proposal I helped create for the April OpenStack Summit. It’s a joint presentation with VMware (me) and Canonical (James Page) talking about the improved vSphere support in OpenStack (including a demo!). Hopefully the session will get selected, but it looks like I’ll be at the OpenStack Summit in April either way. That’s pretty exciting.

I spent the majority of my second week getting settled into new procedures, new process, and new tools. It’s no secret that VMware uses Socialcast internally, and I’m still wrestling with if/how to take advantage of such a tool. Other than that, it’s just a matter of becoming familiar with the tools and where they are located.

One key takeaway so far is that I need to deepen my networking knowledge. It’s clear that I really need to dig into a few key areas, like leaf/spine and L3 ECMP network designs. I’ve already started applying some of the techniques I’ve discussed in my presentations—grammar (terminology), logic (how), rhetoric (why)—to these topics, but the real challenge is finding good information sources. I have some incredible coworkers, but I can’t rely too heavily on them; they have work to get done too. If anyone has any ideas for good resources on these topics, I’m open to any and all suggestions.

That’s it for me, two weeks into my new role at VMware. I’m looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead (there are a few big ones), but also to the opportunities (there a few big ones). Feel free to share your comments below; courteous comments are always accepted.

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  1. Marc Abel’s avatar

    Please let me know what good information you find on ECMP. I know how routing protocols do ECMP natively but these new Clos designs seem to be of a much larger magnitude. How do you do 32 path ECMP? I can’t seem to find any answers, starting to think it is vendor FUD.