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ServerWatch's Top 10 Virtualization Experts You Need to Follow

By Jessica Vartabedian (Send Email)
Posted January 30, 2013

You don't want to waste time sifting through feeds and reading blog posts that are just trying to market to you -- you want to read what really matters. So the editors of ServerWatch selected the top individuals for you to follow when you want to know what's happening in the virtualization space. Our list of experts come from various backgrounds and offer unique points of view. They hail from companies like VMware, EMC, Gartner, Veeam, NetApp, but their viewpoints are not necessarily endorsed by their employer. Without further adieu, take a look at the individuals below and start following them and subscribing to their feeds!

1. Scott Lowe, @scott_lowe, started his IT career over seventeen years ago as a desktop support specialist. Since then he's picked up quite a bit of knowledge and has written four books focusing on VMware vSphere. He is currently working as a CTO for EMC. Lowe often tweets and shares his work: "Progress on building RPMs for OVS on RHEL/CentOS 6.3. Verifying the steps again, blog post coming afterward."

Scott Lowe, Virtualization Expert

2. Duncan Epping, @DuncanYB, has been listed as the #1 blogger by for the past four years and has been listed as a top blogger by other sources as well. Epping is currently employed by VMware, where he focuses on cloud Infrastructure/vSphere architecture and integration as a principal architect.

Epping feels strongly that cloud service providers won't take the place of onsite data centers: "Main reason for this being is that many people / companies still like to be in control of their own environment and potentially need to be from a security / regulations perspective. Many companies have invested in large datacenters (new servers / storage / network) over the last 3 to 5 years to be able to virtualize everything, cloud might be the next step for some but many have just reached the virtualization maturity level they need and it is probably simply a step too far at the moment. It is certain though that the world of IT will once again change in the upcoming years."

He also thinks that one of the biggest management challenges facing data centers is people, "Where in the past every part of the infrastructure could have its isolated team, now more than ever will teams need to work together - cooperate like they have never before - to minimize total cost of ownership and guarantee success of operation flexible / agile environments. This is something that started when virtualization was introduced, but with the software defined datacenter this is even more relevant. All levels of the infrastructure, and as such the teams, will need to be able to communicate with each other and react where needed. This is not a simple task."

Duncan Epping, Virtualization Expert

3. Chad Sakac, @sakacc, has been at EMC for almost ten years; the last seven he has been focusing on Oracle, SQL Server and Exchange and SharePoint. Prior to EMC he worked as a director of systems engineering. Sakac is often complimented on his work in the industry: "RT @storagebod: @sakacc Good post... some very interesting ideas and observations.. <thx, man! Happy holidays!"

Chad Sakac, Virtualization Expert

4. Rick Vanover, @RickVanover, is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software. Vanover has been in the IT industry since 1996 when he started as a LAN administrator. He spent many years contributing to numerous sites such as TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, Virtualization Review Magazine and Redmond magazine.

Vanover thinks if onsite data centers were to go away, the logical replacement would be enhanced network connectivity: "While the larger IT spaces have advanced, I think we still have a long way to go in abstracted connectivity. Because of this, I think there will always be a data center onsite. The hybrid arrangement seems to be the natural choice, though possibly a stopgap until the network element is fully abstracted."

Vanover thinks cost is the biggest management challenge facing data centers. "It isn't exactly a management discussion, because the technologies are there. In regards to the costs, how do we manage and justify the costs? Are elements like User Experience critical enough to justify costs? What about space requirements and operational expenses associated with a data center? These questions don't have blanket answers, meaning that there will always be room for both (the data center and the fully cloud-optimized solution)."

Rick Vanover, Virtualization Expert

5. Chris Wolf, @cswolf, is a research vice president at Gartner and was an analyst and consultant prior to his work at Gartner. His IT career started while he was in the U.S. Marines. Wolf wrote one book, titled, "Virtualization: From the Desktop to the Enterprise." Wolf can be found tweeting about what he thinks would be helpful changes: "VMware really needs to add support in VMware Converter for importing Oracle VM template files."

Chris Wolf, Virtualization Expert

6. Jeff Allen, @JeffSaidSo, has been in the IT industry for 20 years. He first started as workstation support for Coca-Cola, since then he has held a few different roles and is now a consulting engineer at Cisco. Allen is sure to update the Twitterverse on new products: "Details on the upcoming Cisco+FUSION-io products in #CiscoUCS blade servers good stuff!"

Jeff Allen, photo unavailable, Virtualization Expert

7. Vaughn Stewart, @vStewed, is the director for cloud computing and the virtualization evangelist at NetApp. He is an expert on the topic, as he has coauthored a book, is often a speaker at industry conferences, published many technical papers and has a patent pending. Stewart has certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, Sun Microsystems, IBM, and NetApp. He has been recognized by VMware as a vExpert from 2009-2012.

As mentioned, Stewart is often found sharing his expertise; a recent tweet tells us, "Just accepted to Present at @Geek_Day, March 27 & 28 in San Francisco. For more info on the event: #NetApp #gdsf13."

Vaughn Stewart, Virtualization Expert

8. Jason Boche, @jasonboche, is currently a VMware virtualization product specialist at Dell Compellent.

He has multiple certifications and has been recognized as a VMware vSphere expert four times. Boche was also the leader of the Minneapolis VMware User Group for five years. Boche keeps his followers updated on his work in the industry with his information packed tweets: "View agents upgraded to 5.1.2 last night & pools recomposed. View upgrade from 5.1painlessly completed & cooling down. Next up vCloud."

Jason Boche, Virtualization Expert

9. Ruben Spruijt, @rspruijt, has spent the last ten years as a solutions architect at PQR. His focus is on application and desktop delivery, hardware and software Virtualization. He holds multiple certifications and has received several prestigious awards, including the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award.

Spruijt thinks that in 2013, cloud management solutions will be one of the hot topics and a main pillar in creating a dynamic data center. He tells us: "Self-service, automation and orchestration are key functions in a mature IT infrastructure. Building 'IT is a Service' requires both infrastructure and organizational components. For most enterprise customers, making progress in both areas is quite challenging. It's important to proceed quickly and make big steps, because our business customers are demanding services which are flexible, cost-effective, agile and meet their business needs -- not within a couple of months, but now. When the IT organization can't meet the demand for speed, business units will use their own budget to spend and use IT services without any notice to the corporate IT organization.

"In most organizations, 'Shadow IT' is alive and kicking. To solve Shadow IT, the IT organization needs to be the orchestrator and aggregator of IT services, delivering services from both its own private cloud and also the public cloud infrastructure. Cloud management solutions will help by monitoring, analyzing and offering insights into cloud services offered by various cloud service providers. The goal of the IT organization is to serve and protect business consumers at the speed of light. The IT of the past was the 'Gatekeeper' and the IT of the future is the 'Storekeeper.' Are you ready to be the storekeeper?"

Ruben Spruijt, Virtualization Expert

10. Alan Renouf, @alanrenouf, works at VMware as a senior technical marketing architect. Alan has been highly active in the IT world for at least the last fifteen years. Renouf sleeps, breathes and eats networking, as he recently tweeted about catching a bite with Whiptail's Mike Beevor: "Nice to catch up with @MikeBeevor at lunch today, sounds like #WhipTail are doing some cool things in the storage arena."

Alan Renouf, Virtualization Expert

Lastly, don't forget you can always rely on ServerWatch and follow @serverwatch for the latest news. Who do you follow? What blogs do you find interesting? Tweet us or share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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