Category Archives: Chinwag

Chinwag Reloaded with Amy Lewis (@Commsninja)


This week’s chinwaggie is Amy Lewis (@Commsninja). Her day job is with , and she used to work for Cisco. I first met her some years ago when I was speaking at the VMUG at the Research Triangle Park (RTP)  is one of the largest research parks in the world. It is located near Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill in North Carolina. I was out there at the time visiting NetApp, and getting to know the team out there that was focused on VMware integration. There’s a couple of ways you might know Amy. She’s one of the three voices that host the “Geek Whispers” podcast ( She’s also the lady who spearhead Cisco’s “EngineersUnplugged” series of videos – were two techies just talk each other albeit helped by a whiteboard and unicorns. Amy blogs at - and you find her writing about passion for food as much tecnology.



Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Chinwag

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Chinwag Reloaded with Amy Manley (@wyrdgirl)


This week’s chinwaggie is Amy Manley (@wyrdgirl) she blogs at and has particular interest in orchestration and automation. I spoke to on a weekend back in Feb, but just getting round to releasing our chat this week – I like to have a bit of buffer in terms of interviews in case I get busy with stuff related to my day job with the EVO:RAIL team.



Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Chinwag

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Chinwag Reloaded with John Troyer (@jtroyer)


I’m always interested in meeting new comers to our community, and this guy is no exception. His name is John Troyer, and you should really check him out – because I think he’s really on track to become a big name in the future.

Okay, joking aside – of course, everyone knows who John Troyer is – he’s been at the epicentre of all things VMware since forever. Last year, John decided to go it alone and leave VMware to start his own venture – it’s called @TechReckoning. John also runs the @Geek_Whisperers podcast along with his co-hosts Matthew Brender @mjbrender and Amy Lewis @CommsNinja

I caught up with John at his home on coastal California in January. I was over in the Bay Area for the first for my two visits per quarter to keep in touch with colleagues on the EVO:RAIL Team. The light was fading a little as John filled me in on life post-VMware – why he felt the need to move along, and his new project is all about.



Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Chinwag

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Chinwag Reloaded with David Davis (@davidmdavis)



I’ve known David Davis now – wow, thinking back its coming up on a decade. I might have been at the first ever North Carolina User Conference – or perhaps it was VMworld. We’ve kept in touch along the ways – and I think have an affinity based on the fact that we have both at one time or another being instructors. Being an instructor is funny little thing – and it kind of build a bond amongst those who’ve done the job in whatever shape or form. David was at TrainSignal until they were acquired by much larger organization called PluralSight where he is now. He’s still very much focused on VMware technologies from a training perspective.

In this podcast, David looks back on last years highlights, and looks forward to what’s coming next – he also shares with us his take on what will be hot this year…

Click here to listen to the directly on this site…. or alternatively watch the youtube video below:


Posted by on January 30, 2015 in Chinwag

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Chinwag Reloaded with Nick Howell (@datacenterdude)



I’ve known Nick Howell off and on for a few years now. I think we first met face to face at NetApp’s location at RTP, North Carolina. That was back when I was still an independent, freelance instructor – albeit affliated to TechTarget after their acquisition of my old “RTFM Education” site. Nick’s been handy resource for all things NetApp/SRM related, as well being handy touch stone for what’s happening over there in StorageLand. Nick runs the NetApp podcast – here’s some linkage:

I think they used to use TalkShoe like the VMware VMTN Communities Round-table podcast. But they moved away from it because it was unreliable (perhaps there’s message there for us!).

We cover off a couple of topics including:

  • Nick Howell of NetApp talks about vVOLs
  • His views on “Software Defined Storage”
  • NetApp storage in Amazon
  • NetApp Insight Conference and its relationship with the community
  • Engineers Unplugged…


Posted by on January 8, 2015 in Chinwag

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Chinwag Reloaded with Alan Renouf (@alanrenouf)


Alan Renouf blogs at Despite the name, Alan or Al to his friends is most certainly not French. But rumour has it his family go all the way back to 1066 and the Battle of Hastings. I first met Alan via the London VMUG when he used to do workshops in the morning about all things PowerCLI/PowerShell related. Imagine that? Those folks were being “taught” by the guy who would go on to the be Product Manager! Just goes to show the hidden value of VMUGs, you often meet the rising stars of the future there…

I caught up with Alan at the VMware CorpHQ Campus in Palo Alto, CA. I happened to be in town doing one of my monthly catch-ups with the EVO:RAIL team, so it was great to catch-up with Al over lunch. As you might suspect our discussions were very PowerCLI orientated, but we did range around other subjects to including:

  • What have you learned about products now that you manage one? Much jive between your experience as user?
  • PowerActions
  • What’s new in 5.8
  • Why have you stopped blogging (joke!) but serious no blogs between June til Sept – is that life as PM


The links above Alan’ss photo take you to the feeds – iTunes for Video/Audio versions of the blog as well as a generic RSS feed location as well. Please subscribe! The Twitter icon will take you to Scott Lowe’s twitter. Please follow Scott because he only 18K+ followers and could do with the boost! [JOKE!]


Posted by on December 19, 2014 in Chinwag

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Chinwag Reloaded with Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe)


Scott Lowe blogs at We’ve known each for a while – I think we met first at VMworld in Las Vegas. Ever since I’ve been bumping into him at VMworlds, and once unexpectedly at Heathrow Airport. In this episode of the chinwag we talk about the following topics

  • Closing Comments in blogs – Does signal an end of era where bloggers developed an active dialog, and now were broadcasters?
  • Intel Rack-Scale
  • Vagrant. What is it? Yet another scripting language to master or something really game shifting?
  • Open Source  – where do you feel the movement is going. Is it still really for ISPs and uber companies with deep pockets and full time development staff?

The links above Scott’s photo take you to the feeds – iTunes for Video/Audio versions of the blog as well as a generic RSS feed location as well. Please subscribe! The Twitter icon will take you to Scott Lowe’s twitter. Please follow Scott because he only 18K+ followers and could do with the boost! [JOKE!]


Posted by on December 4, 2014 in Chinwag

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Chinwag Reloaded with Chad Sakac (@sakacc)

It’s back! I’m pleased to announce that I’m getting back into the Disc Jockey chair – and The Chingwag is back! With a bang. I’m so stoked to say my first chinwaggie is Chad Sakac of EMC. This is the first time I’ve had him on the show. And its all part of my “Rolling Thunder” Chinwag Relaunch – I will be interviewing the TOP people in our world for the next couple weeks. In the medium term I will reaching out to folks in the community who I know online or meet at VMUGs. So this new version of the podcast will not be a vRockstar only thing.

I’ve building up a library of Chinwags with folks since mid-October – this was recorded just before VMworld EU – 2014


Chad Sakac blogs at’ve known each for a while – met first at VMworld in Las Vegas. That was back when I was getting into SRM, and EMC and NetApp both helped me out with access to storage for the SRM 4.0 book. In this chinwag Chad gives his take on

  • Converged Vs Hyper-Converged
  • EMC’s plans for EVO:RAIL
  • EMC XtremIO upgrading


Posted by on November 21, 2014 in Chinwag

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VMTN Community Roundtable Podcast: #292 – VMware Foundation & VMworld Survival

IMG_3916This week I’ve been working in Palo Alto, CA at Corporate Headquarter. I’m here getting up to speed with all things VMware. Compared to others I’m not uber-busy, but somehow the pre-VMworld stress levels are rubbing off even on me. I thought coming out a week before would help me recover form the jounery, but I didn’t count on a bad layover at Houston, and the pulling a muscle in my neck. So if I’m looking at bit robotic at VMworld this year, its because I’m dosed up pain killers!

Being in Palo Alto meant I was for the first time able to do the VMTN Communities Roundtable Podcast in person with Eric Neilson. I tootled round to his place in Palo Alto and we did the recording from his home office come garage.

This weeks podcast had the folks from the VMware Foundation – Nicola Acutt who is the VP over there, and Jessa Chin who is the groups Sr. Corporate Citizenship Manager. In case you don’t know the VMware Foundation is the charitable arm of VMware, and amongst the many things it does is allow employees who raise money for good causes – and donate them via the Foundation. What VMware then does is match that donation. I used the VMware Foundation to do two donations associated with the EUC book that myself and Barry Coombs wrote a couple of years ago. Anyway, Nicola and Jessa were on the show to tells us all about how for the first time the VMware Foundation will have a booth on the Solution Exchange, and that there will be a fun event on at show that will help raise money for good causes (you get to select the cause). So I implore you – if you are at the event this year – please make your way to the Solution Exchange and do your bit for charity.

The second part of the show is about a VMworld Survival Guide – promoting tips and tricks to get you though the week. There’s a hashtag on Twitter #AdviceForVMworld where folks are offering up their tips. Personally, the last 3 VMworld I’ve gone on the Wagon, and gone dry for the whole event (okay, there might have been one or two small lapses). I’m not really a big drinker myself, and found the long days combined with drink lets me completely shattered. I left my drinking until the Thursday night when the event is over, and I know I can sleep in on the Friday. One other bonus is you get more sense out of me sober, than bellowing fussy opinons in a noisy bar. Second. Protect your voice. If you are speaking or doing booth duty like I am for the first time this year – you need to protect your vocal cords. Thirdly, decompression time. Any conferrence can be a very intense couple of days. I nearly always schedule sometime in late afternoon before dinner or parties – to go back to my room. Take of my shoes. Do/Say nothing. Before showering and going back out again.

Anyway, follow the hashtag for further tips – and enjoy the show! If you like the show please add us to your iTunes or RSS Feed…


Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Chinwag

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Chinwag with Gurusimran Khalsa (@gurusimran)


Gurusimran Khalsa blogs at We’ve known each for a while – met first at VMworld, and then a TechField Day event – and we’ve been chatting on and off via skype for the last couple of weeks – mainly talking about VMUGs, and his ideas for a podcast. In this chinwag we talk around a number of topics including:

  • Cloud – why aren’t more people using it/”Cloud/VM” stall
  • DevOps – Phoenix Project – what does it mean for the average vSphere/vCloud admin? where do you start?
  • Certifications – Are they any value? is it worth it to get advanced certs?

We didn’t get to the topic about VMUGs because:

a.) i talked to much

b.) i kept on digressing

But hey, isn’t that the definition of a chinwag (I mean the digressions, not me talking too much!)


Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Chinwag

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