10 of 10 with Duncan Epping

Duncan Epping Interview

With this ping pong of questions and answers, we continue with a new sort of subject on the blog: the interviews. There are 10 questions that will leave us valuable information such as who is the interviewee, his experiences and his point of view about the present, past and future of technology.


Interviewees are mainly writers, bloggers and people related to the technologies discussed in this Blog.


Today, we have the pleasure to know Duncan Epping. Duncan is principal architect at VMware, owner of #1 virtualization blog yellow-bricks.com (on vsphere-land.com) and main author of best seller vSphere Clustering Deepdive.


1- Who are you? What do you do?

My name is Duncan Epping. I am a blogger over at Yellow-Bricks.com, I am the co-author of the vSphere Clustering Deepdive series and various other books and last but not least I am a Principal Architect work for VMware R&D. where I have the opportunity to work

2-When did you see your first Virtual Machine?

That is a long time back... I was working for a different software company back then and some support people were using VMware Workstation to run different versions of linux / operating systems so they could help customers faster/easier. I was amazed, but to be fair didn't understand the full potential at that point and it wasn't until I saw ESX that I realized this is big. But what was even bigger for me was vMotion. ESX was cool, but vMotion was impossible... I had to see it 5 times before i believed it.

3-Can you tell to us the virtualization technology you found most amazing?

vMotion for sure. I mean, moving a virtual machine between hosts without any downtime for your application is something unheard of. It was something that no one felt was even possible and still they pulled it off. It changed the world of IT for ever.

4-If you had to recommend study a specific virtualization subject, what would be?

Personally I love anything related to Storage and Availability. It is also typically the area where a lot of people need help, especially storage is a sensitive subject as many people face storage performance problems. From an availability perspective I definitely think having knowledge about Disaster Recovery and Disaster Avoidance is something that can help you in your career. Most commonly you see storage experts also taking on the DR/DA aspects as they typically go hand-in-hand.


See answer previous question for why :-)

6-What is your point of view about virtualization technologies for the next three years?

From a virtualization perspective I guess (and this is not really a guess but a fact if you ask me) I expect both network virtualization and storage virtualization to really take off. I mean the technology is there, or is about to be release in some cases... now it is a matter of building up experience / trust and start taking datacenters to that next level.

7-What new company got your attention in the last two years?

There are multiple companies that got my attention the last two years. The ones that stand out the most are probably: PernixData (vSphere SSD caching solution), Tintri (Hybrid VM Aware storage system) and Pure Storage (all flash array). Each of them offer something unique if you ask me.

8-Could you recommend three Blogs you usually read?

I guess the two obvious ones are frankdenneman.nl, cormachogan.com. Both write great deepdive material which is always worth reading if you ask me. I very much respect their opinion on a certain feature / product / technology, and always love to read how stuff actually works. Another blog that I very much enjoy is probably less obvious but it is http://derekseaman.com/. Derek is a great guy, highly motivated and very smart and has produced some impressive material. Although it doesn't always align with my focus area I still read everything because he is always insightful!

9-If you didn´t work in IT today, what do you think you would work in?

Besides IT I also had a huge love for sports in general. So potentially I would be working in a gym or something in that space... Or maybe even just professional blogger, that would be nice :-)

10-What can you tell us about your books?

To be honest, I don't have any plans for a next book at this point. There are some ideas I am playing around with but I have not decided if and when I would do those. Writing a book just takes such a massive toll on your family / social life, and after 6 of those projects in the last 4 years I decided after the 5.1 book last year to take it easy. But you know how it goes, things may be different next week :-D

Heel erg bedankt Duncan!

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