For myself 2014 has been a great year, we introduced our first baby into the world. Jack was born in April of this year and since then it’s been the best experience of my life so far. Having your first born really puts things into perspective, it’s no longer just about yourself anymore. I for one massively underestimated having a baby was going to change my life so much, if you did read the prediction post from last year  you will see what i mean, at the time of writing my own personal goals and objectives i was completely not thinking that we had our first baby on the way and this would change the circumstances and also the focus around time and effort elsewhere.

The real reason for this post is to look over the predictions i made last year but also look over the objectives i made and how i approached them.

The flash scene in 2014 was something that kicked on a little further in my opinion. We saw many of the new start-ups grow but we also saw most of the big storage vendors take up flash offerings, this in itself proves that flash is moving forward and a becoming of something.

Personally it was only the array based Flash that i had any exposure to last year and not so much on the server side. I believe 2015 will see the two grow further and we will be seeing a lot more flash.

Clustered OnTap
Are we there yet? From a feature parity point of view, yes we are. With the latest release of 8.3 back in late November we now have Metrocluster amongst other new features, but i believe it was Metrocluster that was holding back many of the EMEA customers from moving to Clustered Ontap.

In my prediction at the start of 2014 i said it was a case of people not being skilled up, this has slowly changed throughout the year and our company have completed more Clustered Ontap installations that 7Mode installations but i am not sure of the figures they won’t be far apart that’s for sure.

I am hopeful that this traction in 2015 will continue to grow and there will be no real reason to use 7mode unless there is an extreme scenario that requires to do so.

Hybrid Cloud Adoption
As i stated in my Prediction post for 2014 i mentioned that “cloud has been around for years and years… it is in fact just infrastructure located in your business premises or in a remote datacentre”

The above has not changed at all its still the case but what my prediction was, was to be able to move from that on premise infrastructure to a public managed cloud and back again without the weeks or month wait. it needs to be seamless and allow for that burst workload, or DR as a Service etc. etc.

Although i don’t believe we are full there it’s happening that’s for sure, with the likes of Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, there is not a day this year when i have not seen one of those two offerings mentioned.

From my point of view this is a real talking point within meetings now from a NetApp stance, with the addition of CloudOnTap on Amazon Web Services, which is an instance of the clustered ontap operating system running in the AWS environment allowing you to replicate to and from a physical NetApp storage system, the possibilities to now bridge that gap between on prem and public is there.

There really is a whole blog post we can go into though around hybrid cloud and offerings that are here today. I believe 2015 is only going to extend the capabilities and what we can achieve by utilising both in house hardware and public infrastructure.

On a side note to this one thing i started using this year was “onedrive/skydrive” as a cloud based backup/documents repository, i had been using DropBox for a while but purely for a P2P file share and never for backup purposes (purely because of the space provided by DropBox) whereas the Microsoft offering for no cost gives you heaps of space to store everything.

Personal Goals and Objectives
As i mentioned in the opening paragraph having a baby really does change your life! And because of that it’s my excuse for not completing the huge list of exams i set out to contend with at the beginning of the year.

But let’s talk about what i have managed, I did sit the NCIE – 504 exam in early 2014 and got a 71% mark and i believe the pass mark is actually 73% or 75%, because my NCIE – 502 expired at the end of Feb 2014 i just retook this exam getting a cool 90% to give me 2 years to complete the 504 exam which is booked for the first week in Jan 2015.

I also sat the opening Cisco CCNA DC exam (640-911) this was my first Cisco exam and there being no “back” button really threw me. Although that’s not an excuse i should know the content and i didn’t. Another close score but not close enough.

One thing i did find though was i had a lot going on this year and exams need time. The study time cannot be rushed or crammed and this is what i was doing with both of the above exams. I decided that i wouldn’t attempt any other exams and i would work through them in 2015 in a more controlled approach, as i said there is no point in rushing them and only learning content for an exam for it to be evicted again for the next exam.

Having said the above everyone that had done a VMware VCP received an expiry date for their Certification and if you took VCP5 when it first came out then you will have had until the 10th March 2015 to complete an exam again. This said there was an online VCP5-DCV Delta exam that you were able to take at home to renew your certification, so i spent a few days prepping for this exam and then booked (you then have 24 hours to complete) this was my cramming period, although open book you actually still need to know the content with 65 questions and 75 minutes to complete you had little over 1 minute for each question. I have written about the material i read and how i went about approaching the exam –

having passed the update exam for the VCP and also renewing my NCIE back in early 2014 these were the only two exams i managed to pass in 2014. Leaving the list for 2015 ever growing.

Please check out my post regarding 2015 it’s going to be a great year.

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