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Evangelist or Missionary: Which one are you?

In my last blog post, I mused on why we don’t drink bourbon in the office anymore – like JR Ewing of Dallas used to – and why his habits and business dealings made him such a compelling (if sometimes evil) character, and even a guide for certain positive business behaviors.

Today, I want to talk about Technical Evangelists and Missionaries. “Technical Evangelist” is a role aspired to by a lot of people in Startupland, or in the IT industry at large. Guy Kawasaki from Apple made this into a glamor position in the industry a few years ago. After all, it’s fun to get out there and talk about the cool new stuff we are creating in this tech world and how customers should want to hear about it –  and, of course, how great and smart we all are.

Really, what does the Evangelist (any kind, technical or religious) actually do? The Evangelist says he is going to speak on a subject and people will go to where he will be, because they want to hear what he has to say. They may agree with him, they may disagree with him. They may love him or hate him, or what he says and stands for. They may give him their money, or snap the TV off. (Check out any number of religious televangelists and see if you don’t agree.) But the point is, people will go and listen to the Evangelist because they are interested in hearing what he has to say, period. Continue reading

Watch out for an Exploding Market!

I heard a sad, but true story recently from one of our reseller partners. It’s one that has been told thousands of times over the last few years, but one that is also being relegated to the antiquities of IT lore. The partner told of a $160,000 virtualization deal that went sour because the end customer decided virtualization was simply too complex to learn and implement in his limited time frame. Continue reading

Limit the Buzzwords, Please!

Virtualization, cloud, SaaS, IaaS, software-defined datacenter, follow-the-sun computing, big data, VDI, etc.  As a 15+ years industry veteran of startups and small and medium-sized companies (I know, I know, I’m a young pup to some of you), I must admit that I have used these buzzwords.

As a Sales and Systems Engineer and Manager, and Director of Sales/Systems Engineers, I know these topics have defined conversations at customers in the Fortune 1000 – and beyond. Companies such as Salesforce, Facebook, Sony, and Texas Instruments have leveraged myself or my peers at previous companies that I have worked for (such as VMware) to explain how they will affect internal processes. These concepts are transforming IT as we know it and their discussions dramatically impact a mature business.

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Under the Hood – HC³ Ease of Use Design Goals

In the first “Under the Hood” series of posts, I introduced the high level design goal for HC³ and talked about the high availability benefits.

Our HC³ products were specifically designed to lower cost and complexity for IT administrators within small- to medium-sized organizations who need to run their applications in a highly available manner.

But high availability can be provided many other ways if you are willing to spend the money, integrate pieces together and have the human resources and skills to set it up and manage it.  So what does HC³ do differently?

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Why Don’t We Drink Bourbon in the Office Like J.R. Ewing Did?

Larry Hagman, also known as J.R. Ewing on the 1980’s primetime television show Dallas, passed away recently. J.R. was one of the great, original characters on a groundbreaking show – the real, original primetime soap opera. Dallas was the story of a Texas oil wildcatting family and J.R. was the ruthless tycoon.  If you’ve never seen it, go get it on DVD or on demand.

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The Twelve Networking Truths

It started as an April Fool’s joke in 1996 when Ross Callon drafted RFC 1925 “The Twelve Networking Truths.” The purpose of this RFC was to “provide information about the fundamental truths underlying all networks.” Though this started as a joke, it has some real nuggets of wisdom that apply as much today as when it was originally written. I’m also posting this as a video blog over the coming weeks where I will also be going into a few of these truths in more depth as they apply to our overall industry. (My first detailed video blog post will be related to truth No. 5.) As a reference, I’ve posted the 12 networking truths below. They can also be found here: (http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1925). Continue reading

Under the Hood – HC³ Availability Design Goals

In this “Under the Hood” series of posts, I will walk through some of the key aspects of how HC³ works and how it uniquely addresses unmet needs in the market.  But before we roll up our sleeves, let’s begin by defining what we set out to achieve.

Our HC³ products were specifically designed to lower cost and complexity for IT administrators within small- to medium-sized organizations who need to run their applications in a highly available manner. Continue reading

Why does Scale focus on midsize companies?

I can remember spending time as a kid with my dad at work.  He was the “Manager of Information Systems” (what we now call an IT guy)  for an industrial construction company.  The server room was loud, had a raised floor, a towering multi-head line printer that shook the room, and a massive IBM mainframe. There were dumb terminals built into the tabletops that ran the perimeter of the room and a punch card machine in a small separate room that overlooked the whole thing.

And there were people. Quite a few people doing data entry and managing the system and changing the reel-to-reel tapes.  It definitely had the look of a pretty significant operation.

Over time, I saw that mainframe supplemented and then replaced by PC servers.  The data entry people were replaced with software and automation. Before you knew it, remote construction sites needed modem-based access into the systems at the headquarters.

But this was a midsize company, and then, budgets were limited – just as they are now. Remote access was provided via programs like PC Anywhere coupled with consumer-type BBS software. Integration and migration of data between systems was done with homespun scripts backed by hours of me watching dad on the couch, debugging source code printed on green-lined paper. Continue reading

Scale Computing Closes $12 Million in Funding; Reports Record Q3 Results

Scale Computing, the leading provider of seamlessly integrated IT infrastructure for small to medium-sized organizations, today announced it has closed $12 million in Series D funding, led by Heron Capital Venture Fund. Reservoir Venture Partners also contributed to this round as a new investor to Scale, joining existing investors who also contributed to Series D, including: Allos Ventures, CID Equity Capital, Spring Mill Venture Fund, Northgate Capital, Benchmark Capital Partners and Scale Venture Partners. Funding will be used to further accelerate the growth of HC3 (Scale’s new ‘datacenter-in-a-box’ product), continued product development and the launch of a new partner program later this year.

“Scale Computing is at the forefront of virtualization hyperconvergence,” said Bill Gurley, partner at Benchmark Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm in Menlo Park, CA. “Scale is able to remove both the complexity and cost of CPU/storage virtualization with their HC3 product. The hypervisor isn’t merely commoditized — it elegantly disappears inside the intuitively simple interface.”

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Scale Computing Launches New HC3 Product at VMworld 2012

“After five years in the scale-out storage business, we’re expanding our role in the datacenter with HC3,” said Jeff Ready, CEO of Scale Computing. “This was our vision for Scale Computing from the very beginning. From our roots as midmarket IT guys ourselves, we understand the frustrations of complexity, management and costs associated with a virtualization deployment – and why less than one-third of these 1.5 million midmarket companies have virtualized. HC3 removes all of the complexity of managing a virtualized environment, eases the challenges of working with multiple vendors, and enables IT departments to actually focus their time on the applications making their companies profitable. We built our company, our culture, and HC3 specifically to solve the problems these customers have.”