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Jay Cuthrell

Cisco Live 2017

Posted by Jay Cuthrell Jun 30, 2017

I just got back from an amazing Cisco Live 2017 in my former base of operations... Las Vegas!


It was great to see my Cisco peers that have been part of the near decade long partnership with Dell EMC.


Hearing multiple customer stories about VxBlock and Vscale was amazing.


Be sure to check out the Dell EMC and Cisco Joint Innovations Driving IT Transformation talk given by-Jonathan Siegal



Also, be sure to check out these video updates from Trey Layton of Dell EMC and Yousuf Khan of Cisco

Six years! Six weeks! That’s right. I’ve been at VCE for six years as of this update and that means I’ve been at Dell EMC for six weeks. To understand the nuance of VCE it is important to think about the history of VCE and just how far we have come… and where we are going as Dell EMC.

(read more...)

source: My Sixth Year at VCE and My Sixth Week at Dell EMC – Jay Cuthrell's Home Page

Early in my career timeline of the mid 1990s, I was part of a department within a larger division of an even larger super division of a staggeringly larger multinational company. Oddly enough, that company no longer exists today.



"Have you seen my stapler?"


One memory of that company stays with me to this day. I reflect upon this memory when the nearly frictionless activity of "social sharing" takes place today.




Back in those days, the team of individual contributors I worked with would receive magazine articles that were ripped from the bindings and stapled together with a sign off sheet. The expectation was that you would read these magazine articles -- while avoiding the sharp staple -- and sign next to your name to indicate you had read for comprehension.


The next step was to pass along the article to the next person and so on and so forth until the entire sign off sheet was filled. Articles were kept in a wicker basket for easy sorting. This blog post will share two concepts: Maps and the Reverse Salient. If you like these two concepts, please sign your name in the comments section and share with a colleague.



"Get yourself a new map"


Perhaps you've heard a phrase or saying regarding "conscious choice" and "decisive action".

Perhaps, in the days before maps were built into your mobile phone you found yourself going somewhere and wondered why you didn't bring a map.

Set aside 20 minutes to watch this OSCON presentation on mapping embedded below. Don't worry. There are no ponytails, no neck beards, no flip flops... Just a solid introduction to mapping with a healthy dose of style and humor. The speaker, Simon Wardley, was a key advisor at CloudScaling which was acquired EMC and lives on as VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes.




Now, before you get too wrapped up in the deeper meaning and quest for creation of "a map" or "the map" just be mindful of the concept of a plurality of possible "maps".





The Reverse Salient


Below is a link to an external long form blog post. Each time I think that blogs have reached their peak I come across a new post somewhere that stands out or makes me think differently. For the post below, three closely located lines stuck out for me:




  1. "Stop considering the technology a feature."
  2. "But if you use ICT in your product, it needs to be seamless."
  3. "Your users shouldn't need an instruction manual."


Granted, that last quote is always the true measure of any great design. Now, consider the reference to systems and the curiously persistent bulges in companies where traditional IT being transformed -- this is a timely thought exercise:

Articulate where you will be impactful and opinionated in driving IT towards the deployment age and overcoming the reverse salient... and creating a new map.

If you are reading this update, you are probably getting a keyword hit.


I've been thinking out loud on a few other internal blogs. One of those threads involved the buzz word soup / bingo of DevOps.


Below are roughly grouped DevOps keywords (not exhaustive!!!) that could be considered to be associated with references to composite applications (composed):



  •   Application Languages: Django, R, Ruby (on Rails), Scala, Go, PHP, Node.js


  •   Supervisory, Monitoring, Alerting, and Rendering Toolkits (SMARTs): LLDP 802.1ab, Monit, runit, capistrano, statsd, logstash, sysdig, Kibana, Supervisor, god, Blue Pill, bcfg2, graylog, iperf, Upstart, systemd, Nagios, Cacti, Icinga, Graphite, Ganglia, Sensu Core, snort, tripwire, Rancher


  •   Virtual Machine and Minimal Application Environments: KVM, Vagrant, Cobbler, Fully Automatic Installation (FAI), Docker, LXC, Garden, rkt, kubernetes, CoreOS, NixOS, Razor/Hanlon, xCat, RackHD


  •   Configuration Managers and Test Build Environments: Puppet, MCollective, Chef , Foreman, Ansible, CFEngine, StackStorm, SaltStack, RANCID, Ubuntu Juju, Solano , Jenkins, Gerrit, Maven, Ant, Gradle


  •   AMQP and Queue Environments: Apache ActiveMQ, RabbitMQ, memcached, squid


  •   Java Application Servers and Web Presentation Layers: Liberty Profile, JBoss, Tomcat / tc server, Jetty, Glassfish, Websphere, Weblogic, Apache Webserver, nginx, Lighttpd, HAproxy, Tornado, Varnish


  •   Open Source Relational, NoSQL Databases, and Key Value Stores: SQLite, Hive, DataStax, Percona, Riak, MySQL, XAP, AllegroGraph, Apache Drill, MariaDB, CouchDB, FlockDB, Gemfire, Neo4j, Solr, Elastic Search, Cassandra, HBase, PostgreSQL, OpenLDAP, TimesTen, MongoDB, Cassandra, Redis


A great infographic was recently suggested as well:


What would you add?





Jay Cuthrell, Director, Global Office of the CTO

EMC Converged Platforms Division (VCE)

Twitter: @JayCuthrell GitHub:

Trey Layton at Cisco Live US 2013

During the Partner Super Session at Cisco Live US 2013, Trey Layton, VP and CTO of VCE took the stage to share his insights on the march towards convergence from the data center, parachuting in with a Cisco switch on his back for vsat satcom projects, to big data, to next generation apps, and more. The Partner Super Session was also streamed live and the Q&A session was available via the Cisco Live 365 Mobile App.

As expected, the Partner Super Session covered a range of topics. The Q&A also reflected these topics and more then continued the conversation even after the Partner Super Session concluded. Below are key excerpts from the Partner Super Session Q&A. The full list of Q&A is available from the Cisco Live Mobile App.

Q: Can you repeat the value proposition for VCE? I caught 48 hours for implementation, what was the first part?

A: VCE Vblock Systems arrive within 30-45 days and are commissioned for use in under 48 hours. Roll it in. Power it. Network it. Log into vCenter :-)  #GAMEON

Q: Partner enablement plans into the sp market where cisco does not utilize a partner model?

A: VCE is committed to growing the partner ecosystem. VCE will explore all adjacencies in the channel to support traditionally SP oriented markets as well as emerging SP models. For more information visit

Q: What is the difference between Vblock and VSPEX?

A: Vblock Systems are manufactured pre-engineered, pre-validated, and pre-tested converged infrastructure solutions that utilize Vision Intelligent Operations software from VCE. Vblock Systems are lifecycle planned units of workload capability delivered in a deterministic form factor of power, weight, cooling, and geometry. VSPEX is a reference architecture that is published by EMC.

Q: While there is a lot of interest in M2M; the short-term value seems to be more from the SP perspective.  With individual products Nest and wireless light bulbs, etc….do you see most of the value of M2M coming from ECO-Systems they provide that we would need to consent too.  2) in tying in with the point on monitoring the willingness to allow/share this information

A: Indeed. If one considers software defined radio and a proliferation of remote sensing and telemetry systems there will still need to be a way to isolate the trends and relevant (action related) portions of the growing corpus M2M will represent. A new paradigm of software design will be required to anticipate and operate at this data scale. Specifically, I would look at Pivotal as one such example of the next-generation frameworks to draw or map feedback loops that improve conditions. If technology is the response to a perceived need and if science is that which explains and predicts, there will be several technology moments as we favor a paradigm shift to usher in a science in the areas of M2M. In short, everything relating to the infrastructure will have to simplify greatly. The developers of tomorrow will demand whim based infrastructure to capture and channel the deluge of information M2M represents and to package that for human benefit on a global, regional, local, and personal aspect.

Q: what are the skills that network engineers will need to focus on to become gurus of the programmable network?

A: Adopt a mentality of continuous deployment — even if it is a long term goal that requires off hours education due to the posture of your current environment. It’s going to be an increasingly portmanteau world. Scripting awareness is a good start with an emphasis on understanding how to quickly use published APIs of any variety as a generalist. Also consider a start with a regimen of courses (most freely available btw) on agile methods, devops, and explore any interviews or internships within teams and companies compelled by new mandates to be increasingly agile operators for all things IT related and business aligned. Generalists are going to find their own niche but for the next few years there will be a demand for applying business aligned goals to the outcomes achieved through increasingly programmatic approaches.

Q: How many Vblock Systems can fit on the head of a unicorn horn?

A: 42 ;-)

Jay Cuthrell

Just a quick update...

Posted by Jay Cuthrell Mar 20, 2013

I've relocated to San Francisco as of late 2012 to help grow the VCE West Coast offices and VCE APJC theatre as part of VCE's overall global expansion... To say things have been busy is a bit of a euphemism! Here's the view from the new VCE West Coast offices across the street from EMC campus in Santa Clara.


Jay Cuthrell

My Second Year at VCE

Posted by Jay Cuthrell Oct 20, 2012

The #VCE baseball caps are going like hotcakes at #emcforum

You are witnessing the transformation of an entire industry.
Pay attention. It will be faster than you think.

— VCE Deal Desk Mission Control Room

Two years ago this week was my first day at VCE. The past year at VCE started off with a review of my first year at VCE. To keep things consistent I’ll follow a similar format for this anniversary post.


Grow and go


My role has shifted more than a few times within VCE. Those shifts were ones I could see happening as VCE grew and I went into my second year knowing travel might be a bit more intense. Sure enough, my travel has been wide and often but this year really stepped up on the international front.


Looking back on the past 12 months I’ve traveled all over the US to meet with customers. In addition, I’ve visited Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Germany is right around the corner. Before 2012 is over I’ll likely visit even more countries where customers have realized the benefits of Vblock Systems.


While the travel have been exciting for me, seeing the success of VCE in terms of our customers, partners, and investors has been incredibly rewarding. Knowing folks that have been with VCE going back to Acadia and pre-Acadia days gives me a new sense of respect for their strength of will and their ability to see to this rocket ship soar. Each time I have a chance to meet new hires it reminds me where I started in this mix and I’m right back at a small meeting in Boston getting fitted for my new space suit.


Last month I spent a day at the VCE office in RTP. The building was familiar to me when I visited it the first time a few months ago. One of the things that really stood out was the pair programming / extreme programming rooms. Those are going to be popular. I’m also delighted at the amount of meeting space and all the touch down spots for folks like me. It’s been several years since I had an office with a door and I don’t miss it.



Back Off! My other computer is a Vblock!I get a few recurring questions from time to time. ;-) When I look back in my sent folder or listen to some of my WebEx recordings I find myself answering these same questions with some degree of expansion on the theme and quite often a refinement on wording.


In fact, much like the continuous integration approach to converged infrastructure we take at VCE -- my answers are getting better. Then again, I've been accused of explaining how to build a clock when asked what time it is.


So here are three of the regular questions I get and here are the respective answers that I draw upon depending on the audience and their proclivity for staying awake. ;-)



What should the industry know about VCE that it might not know already?



First and foremost, VCE is a tremendous success for our investors and is experiencing explosive growth in terms of customers, partners, and the talent pool we've attracted.


To understand this success is to understand why VCE exists. VCE seeks to eliminate challenges that consume today’s data center resources by delivering the world's best VMware experience on the world's most advanced converged infrastructure product: Vblock Systems. VCE defined the converged infrastructure movement and is extending its lead just as other vendors that compete with our investors initiate efforts in this market. VCE customers depend upon VCE to efficiently run agile data centers that provide a competitive advantage along with VCE investor and VCE Partner technologies and solutions.


What value is VCE providing to Service Providers today and what is VCE's ongoing strategy?



VCE Vblock Systems provide secure and predictable performance through pre-engineered, modular infrastructure that enables standardized processes and operations that make it permissible for a Service Provider (SP) to standardize on a converged infrastructure product that is adaptable and proportional to their own customer requirements.


Vblock represents a product driven by the demand to have a trust and SLA as guiding principles so that the SP can achieve the fastest time to market while maintaining customer expectations with predictable and quickly repeatable scaling patterns. VCE is focused on SP solutions that address not only the unique internal IT requirements of the SP but also the consistent demand for revenue generating offerings and the infrastructure that supports those offerings. VCE is committed to promoting ever increasingly agile delivery with the SP environment by supporting the next generation of use cases and scenarios that Enterprise IT will demand in the coming years. VCE will accomplish this through continued innovation and refinement of our own VCE developed IP in addition to the judicious use and application of technology innovations from our investors and partners.


What is VCE's position and opinion on reference architecture within SP environments and more generally in the market today?



VCE believes that there are three paths to converged infrastructure.


First, there is a BYO piece parts approach where a customer can literally pick and choose each element that comprise a point in time converged infrastructure or create an amalgam of technologies that they can stitch together on their data center floor. For best of breed in these component choices there are obvious benefits to using EMC and Cisco for storage, compute, and network needs for VMware environments. The customer then tunes and refines this on their own or with the help of trusted partner as an iterative process doing their own regression testing across patches, move/add/change, and compliance both physically and logically.


Second, there is the reference architecture approach such as EMC VSPEX where a more refined list of those elements are brought together with guidance from a major product supplier for a scenario or scaling pattern that worked at least once for one variety of workload or use case scenario. This reference architecture can then be extrapolated or interpolated so that a sized anticipated workload can reside on the assembled parts. The physical parts are then delivered by a channel and paired with professional services that provide for an on site logical build followed by ongoing contracted services or customer created regression testing across patches, move/add/change, and compliance both physically and logically.


Third, and I should add that VCE has very strong opinions here, is Vblock. Vblock is a manufactured converged infrastructure product paired with ongoing pre-engineering and ongoing support from VCE as it applies to the lifecyle of the investment. It is also important to understand the mission criticial workload characterizations as well as mixed workload characterizations that VCE applies to Vblock with a focus on solutions. Vblock represents the fastest return on invested capital for the Enterprise IT buyer seeking a converged infrastructure. For the SP, Vblock represents a just-in-time approach to entertaining and winning deals while maintaining SLA with unparalleled investment protection and product efficacy though the Vblock product lifecycle. Long term, VCE sees Vblock as the future and VCE customers are realizing this future today.


In fact, you can see and hear a similar complimentary point of view shared by Cisco's Senior Director Shashi Kiran and EMC's VP Partner Solutions Parmeet Chaddha as well as a summary by me at the end on YouTube.



Jay Cuthrell

Building the Vblock

Posted by Jay Cuthrell Apr 5, 2012


See how VCE builds and delivers the market-leading Vblock Infrastructure Platform. Watch how VCE takes many components and builds the Vblock platform into a fully integrated piece of converged infrastructure ready for delivery to the customer's doorstep.



That's a nice shirt

You have a friend in VCE


Hi! I'm Jay Cuthrell.


Okay, the title is the last time I'll refer to myself in the third person.


You've perhaps seen me at events or seen my content in other places or on my public blog or Twitter, etc... and that's been great.


Now I'm hoping to be around these parts a bit more now in my new (slightly more formalized) role as Evangelist for strategic sales in Global Service Providers (SP) and Systems Integrators (SI). This is my sixth or seventh title within VCE but it's always been a part of my day to day duties. I'm still as passionate as ever about helping companies realize the dream of ubiquitous workload substrates in their datacenters: Vblock Infrastructure Platforms.


So what's new?


For 2012 (and frankly right now!) the following areas are where I'll focus for the Vblock ecosystem purchasing world of our customers:


  • VCE Strategic Accounts
  • VCE Executive Briefing Center (EBC), Cisco EBC, EMC EBC, VMware EBC, and VCE Technology Alliance Partner EBC
  • VCE Customer Advisory Board
  • Speaking and representing VCE for SP/SI events with VCE Marketing
  • Champion for SP/SI specific initiatives





Jay "that guy in VCE" Cuthrell




Jay Cuthrell - Evangelist and Lead Principal vArchitect

Systems Integrators and Service Provider Sales



Twitter: @qthrul Blog:

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