In true personal fashion I am always posting these prediction posts about 2-3 months into the new year. We are well under way for the 2016 year and already kicked off some milestones that I had in my initial plan.

The reason for this post really is to put across what I already have planned and have done from a work perspective as well as some tech industry predictions that I believe will continue to grow, fall or begin this year.

Veeam

V9

January 12th 2016 saw the release of the long awaited Veeam Backup & Replication version 9, along with its monitoring and reporting brethren Veeam ONE version 9 , the much awaited version that was only ever going to be released when ready was finally here and the buzz was like no other, once again I had never been at a vendor before and experienced a product release, and to be honest this wasn’t just a release this was a mammoth version with over 250 features and enhancements added, additional storage integration, tape enhancements, Scale Out Backup Repositories, Granular recovery for a non Microsoft Application in the form of Oracle and much more. But great to be part of that team that was able to position v9 features way back in 2015 and now have that in our hands to hand and show our customers the new features.

Sales Kick Off

At the start of February, we as an EMEA arm of the company and from a field position point of view headed to Vienna, Austria for a few days. This was to be my first Sales Kick Off with any company so wasn’t sure really what to expect. The schedule was packed and we had the first day running through the company messaging and NDA material that I cannot share at this time as it may never see the light of day.

Day Two consisted of a morning of SE training elaborating in some cases on the features and NDA material we were shared with on the first day but also some existing points that as a whole we are seeing in the industry, an also interesting look on the impact of v9 on our support team and quite frankly there has not been that much of a hit which is great news.
Cisco Live

The first conference of 2016 and as I write this post I have not long been back from, I had never been to a Cisco Live in fact I have never been to another conference apart from NetApp Insight so I was unsure what to expect apart from more people, a diverse set of topics, and possibly a lot of networking nerds coming to me on the booth and asking what we did with networks…
Not only was this my first non NetApp conference it also happened to be my first conference that I became ill, luckily only for 12 hours or so but it really took the wind out of my sails that’s for sure, something about being abroad and not being able to just get what you need fast and easy.

All in all though the week was great, lots of booth duty and good conversations there about our alliance play with Cisco see here for more details on that – http://bit.ly/1jrb6fD
I was also able to spend lots of time with fellow colleagues that I do not normally get to spend time with or bend their ears about their thoughts on the industry. All in all a good conference.

NetApp ETL

My next trip I would think for 2016 is going to be the Annual NetApp ETL event, this is the event where all the NetApp A-Team are invited to spend a week in Sunnyvale for exclusive EBC type training, conversations and demos on the future of NetApp.
This will be my 3rd visit to Sunnyvale and the second since representing Veeam Software, with such a great alliance partnership and some key software integration between the two vendors it’s great to be on the team to hear what is coming round the corner. As I am under personal NDA I am unable to share this with my counterparts, however the powers above are clearly talking with each other as they are getting this aspect right. I can only see this growing and growing over the next few years.
My plan this year though as well as hoovering up all the content and futures, I would also like to visit and spend more time in San Francisco, I visited the first year and did a lot of the tourist offerings but there is so much more to do and see there that I need to take the opportunity.

2016 Predictions

Anyway enough about what has already happened this year lets talk about what I believe to be coming in our industry. Just four things in my list and really the top two are not so much technical predictions but I believe a way in which our industry is going and in going this way we are going to free up our important time to do much more advanced things and we are going to see leaps in moving forward within the companies that adopt these methods.

Simplicity

Simplicity is my first prediction, and what I mean by this is by making hardware or software easy to configure and bring up it firstly allows more time to spent on more advanced projects, just because something is simple doesn’t mean its not really complex underneath, look at Veeam as a prime example, our software is so easy to install and configure but underneath there is so much going on to make this fully featured product work and all tech companies have the same thing. Make it simple and they will prosper is my first thought for 2016.

Automation

My second prediction is loosely coined Automation; it really goes hand in hand with the simplicity model as many of those vendors that want to make something simple may have to automate something to get it to that simple state. I believe we will see a lot more around Automation in 2016 from all over the IT industry from an infrastructure point of view we are going to see a lot more automation tools for setup and configuration, migrations and of course backup and replication.
OpenStack or Not

Thirdly I have OpenStack, I have touched on OpenStack a few times in my blogs and hopefully more as the year progresses. Strange prediction this as I don’t know which way this will go, for the last few years though we have had OpenStack on the menu but we have not been consuming, I believe this will change this year either by the bucket load people will start consuming or its going to fall off the menu. In my opinion there is a gap for OpenStack and it will be interesting to see how this one goes this year.

Flash some more

Flash probably the most used word in our industry for 2015, and rightly so, it grew and it grew and now I don’t see a good reason why anybody from an business infrastructure point of view would not have an element of flash in their configuration, maybe some only have flash! My prediction here is that Flash is here and its just storage now, but for those storage vendors that do not have a full flash offering I think they will want to change that in 2016 or they will be left behind. With the like of VMware VSAN now allowing for this Flash based software defined storage I think we have an exciting 12 months coming up.
Exams & Training

Finally, I just want to touch on some of the exams and training I plan to get done in 2016, this is something I have always been quite good at, self development is key in our industry if you have it then that’s a good thing I believe it means you have the capability to discipline yourself to learn new things in a timely manner without being pressured to learn.
The two-year cycle of certifications and expiry dates happens to fall for me this year, NetApp NCIE, VMware VCP and my Microsoft Private Cloud is due to expire. That’s a few exams to tick off throughout the year on its own.
With the release of Veeam v9 I will also be looking to upgrade my VMCE from v8 to v9.
In the back of mind is always the CCNA and CCNP track from Cisco Data Center, it’s a lot of exams and training though to warrant when not all of it is going to be relevant to what I am doing currently at Veeam.
From a training perspective I have again a long list of things I would like to get a better understanding on.
VMware vRealize Automation – The reasons speak for itself, working for Veeam we predominantly are ran on VMware we also have RestFULL API that allows to also integrate with vRealize Automation, given automation as a prediction I believe this to be a good strong place to start.
Following on from that would be Microsoft PowerShell, again that automation is going to be massive this year and you are not going to be doing too much automation through a GUI, to coin a saying recently said by Glenn Sizemore “If your primary mechanism for interacting with your infrastructure is a mouse, you may want to find a new career.”
My other focus area will be on SolidFire and understanding more about their technology and where it fits into the NetApp Data Fabric.
I will also continue my escapades into OpenStack and Containers, I believe learning Containers to be another big thing for 2016 as was learning virtual machines back in the day.

As always feedback is great please reach out to me on twitter. @MichaelCade1

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