Chris Wahl

Rubrik Tech Evangelist. Published author, tech writer, double VCDX, PowerShell coder, and Datanauts Show host.

32 articles

Culture

What It Means to Be a VMware vExpert

Being a technical professional often results in no one knowing about the work being done–if things go according to plan. Our focus is on being invisible. We set up complicated servers, hook them all together, and offer up resources for virtual machines and data repositories. And in the end, an application is given a home, where visibility of the world is often abstracted from view. I think this is one reason why engineers like myself like to write about current infrastructure. From bugs to beautiful cabling jobs, we find beauty in our operational expertise. And few programs reward the blogs, podcasts, presentations, and overall evangelism of passionate virtualization professionals the way VMware’s vExpert award does. This is an acknowledgement from VMware given to over 1,200 people who have demonstrated the ability to pass along their knowledge to the community. It’s not easy to come home from a long day of work and fire up your laptop to engage in even more work-centric focus. The amount of contributions and the willingness to discuss various areas of expertise speak highly of these technical professionals and their dedication to performant infrastructure for their business. And while there are a few rewards for becoming a vExpert,…

Product

Using Automation to Validate Applications and Services in Rubrik Backups

The ability to restore files, folders, applications, and entire servers is the ultimate goal of data protection. With that in mind, there are a lot of checks in place to validate that all source data has been correctly stored within the Rubrik Cloud Data Management (CDM) fabric. This includes CRCs to ward against corruption, over-the-wire encryption to prevent tampering, and the use of erasure coding to opportunistically place data across hardware components to avoid single points of failure. In addition, it’s a good idea to validate that a backup can be restored. The best method is to perform a restore of the data to ensure that whatever is required – be it files, folders, applications, or entire servers – can be presented back to the users. Traditionally, this has been clunky. Solutions that offer such workflows are often quite slow to complete and limited in scope. Plus, they operate in a closed-source orchestration engine that is tightly coupled to the solution itself. Wouldn’t it be great if you could perform backup validation using your existing configuration management engines instead? With Rubrik, validating is easy. Because the entire CDM fabric is designed to operate at scale across any on-premises or cloud…

Company

Exploring Cloud Data Management at Tech Field Day 12

It’s not often that I get to present to a room full of amazingly talented colleagues gathered from all around the world. But when I do, it’s typically during one of Gestalt IT’s Field Day presentations. Recently, the Rubrik team sat down in front of a delegation from Tech Field Day 12 to get nerdy and deep dive into various components within the Rubrik Cloud Data Management stack. The goal was to dissect the simplicity that is baked into our enterprise-grade software offering and showcase how it works. If you missed the event, no worries! I’m going to walk you through the topics we covered and share all of the video recordings. As a special bonus, you can view Rubrik’s past appearances at Tech Field Day 10 and Virtualization Field Day 5. I also made sure to include a special slide for our friend Eric Wright over at Turbonomic because of his Tweet: Dear every single tech marketing team: please stop using the phrase "game-changing". Seriously, just stop. — Eric Wright (@discoposse) November 15, 2016 Rubrik Introduction The first segment provided a level set for those who are new to Rubrik, but also discussed what’s new with the latest and…

Culture

Score Snazzy Swag at the vBrownBag End of Year Give Away Extravaganza

One of the spectacular attributes of the virtualization community is the stellar folks who put forth time and energy to help others. A shining example of this is the vBrownBag folks. From hosting technical webinars with industry rockstars to recording presentations at major industry events, the people at vBrownBag provide an excellent resource for technical professionals looking to learn from one another. I remember when I first started tuning into the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) series many years ago and was amazed at how deep the presenter knowledge went. Each year during the holidays, vBrownBag asks vendors throughout the ecosystem to pitch in a few presents for community members to win by signing up for a giveaway contest. Last year, we at Rubrik posted details on how to win one of five copies of the Networking for VMware Administrators book (profits going to Alzheimer’s Association) along with Millennium Falcon LEGO sets. I think it was a fun set of swag for adults and kids to enjoy – or an adult who is a kid at heart. This year, we’re once again contributing to the vBrownBag End of Year Give Away Extravaganza with some snazzy new items! You have until Tuesday, 20th…

Company

Announcing Sponsorship of VMunderground at the 2016 VMworld US

It’s no secret that one of the most valuable things about the VMworld conference is the ability to network with your peers. With so many other folks around who are tackling challenges in the data center, the ability to hear their stories and pick their brain has a high value. Plus, some great friendships can be forged – some of my favorite people are those I met at a previous VMworld! One hallmark of the show is the VMunderground event. It’s a gathering of folks before the chaos begins – a chance to meet and mingle before we are all run ragged with announcements, sessions, keynotes, and other technical delights. I first attended this event when it was held at VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas at the Nine Fine Irishmen. And guess what – it’s back at the same venue! The other snazzy thing about VMunderground? Rubrik is a sponsor! We’re happy to support such a great, community-focused event and have a great amount of appreciation put forth by the team that runs such a high profile and excellently executed event each year. So, make sure to grab a ticket (and if you don’t have one, we’ll have a few…

Company

Pump up the Excitement – VMworld Approaches!

Has it really been a year already? Apparently so, because another gauntlet of VMworld conferences approach and is bristling with energy and excitement. The Rubrik team and I will once again be embarking on an adventure to tour the Las Vegas and Barcelona events, spreading some serious amounts of knowledge, heavy-hitting swag, and a plethora of other surprises. This year, with thanks to our swelling customer base and buzz around making data protection “not suck,” we’ve set the bar to ludicrous speed with a Platinum presence and all the trimmings that goes along with that. I’m stoked! Earlier, I blogged on Wahl Network with an outline of sessions in which I’m excited to present with the likes of Duncan Epping, Kyle Ruddy, Chris Gurley, and Eric Shanks. If you’re interested in learning more about Rubrik CDM, data center automation, PowerShell and PowerCLI scripting, vRealize Automation blueprints, or vRealize Orchestrator workflows – and you’ll be at either of the VMworld events – you’re in for a treat! Stay tuned for even more epic details as we get closer to the VMware event of the year! 🙂

Company

New White Paper – Rubrik and VMware Virtual SAN

One common thread among all application requirements is the need for reliable, performant storage. Today, that comes in a variety of different shapes and sizes – from legacy, dual-controller arrays to software defined storage using distributed, scale-out architectures. All of the choice can be a tad daunting at times, especially when you consider the criticality of workloads that will be writing and reading their data. At Rubrik, we see a vast number of different storage solutions in production for our customer workloads. One of the first questions that crop up is around compatibility – can we provide data protection services for their VMware virtual machines? The simple answer is: sure! As I’ve rambled on about before, abstraction by way of vSphere APIs for Data Protection (VADP) allows our Converged Data Management fabric to largely ignore the underlying storage technology being used to provide data services to an application. While not all of them are fashioned in the same way, specific nuances are handled by the hypervisor directly. But it’s one thing to say that two technologies work together and quite another thing entirely to prove it out. My many years as an engineer and architect have taught me to “trust,…

Culture

An Interview with the Top 5 vBloggers

Each year, Eric Siebert over at vSphere-Land provides a really groovy service to the community in the form of a Top vBlog voting contest. It’s a way for bloggers and podcasters within the virtualization community to gain recognition from peers and readers for sharing their knowledge. This year, I thought it would be interesting to send out a few questions to the Top 5 vBloggers to tickle their brain a bit over what keeps their creative juices flowing. Perhaps their answers to the following three questions will offer some insights to you as you look towards starting or furthering your own writing habits! Q1. The Top vBlog voting is driven by both quality and quantity of your writing content. How do you balance work, life, family, and everything else while still creating posts that meet these criteria? Q2. Where do you derive inspiration to craft content, and how do you then frame it into a coherent post that makes sense to your audience? Essentially – what is your process? Q3. Looking back on all of the posts you’ve written, what is your favorite (or least favorite) article and why? Cormac Hogan @CormacJHogan   A1: I see this as part of my…

Business

PowerShell and RESTful APIs – Making Backup Awesome Again

The virtualization world has long been singing the praises of the “abstract, pool, and automate” goal. Put simply, it meant separating the application from hardware, forming a fabric of resources, and automating the consumption of those resources for applications. The key focus is the application and how it can be made a first class citizen in the data center. However, the automation of tasks has traditionally been slower to enter the world of enterprise infrastructure. I attribute this to vendors using proprietary or closed protocols while also lacking a solid, simple to use, and consumable API that enables a rich ecosystem of task automation. On top of this, administrators and engineers are burdened with keeping the data center operational and don’t have the luxury of codifying a plethora of workflows using handfuls of different programming languages. What’s needed is a easy way to control infrastructure, such as data protection, that actually reduces overhead and grants IT professionals more time to focus on value-add efforts (that are usually more fun, too). Enter PowerShell! It’s a framework that is incredibly simple to learn and consume that can also send and receive data from an API endpoint. Plus, when paired with the Rubrik…

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