November 2

SMBwag with John White



In the fourth podcast in my SMB series I chatted with John White. I first came across John via the Spiceworks website which is very popular discussion board/forum amongst the SMB/SME community. He was on of my first commenter’s on an Spiceworks Article of mine where I spoke about the role of disaster recovery technologies and the SMB. John White is a long term SMB customer of VMware’s and in this podcast we talk about the options for “doing virtual DR” – and who VMware is doing its bit for SMB-democracy by “waterfalling” and innovating new features that previously were the preserve of the Enterprise. John works for distributor in South-West of the US who’s main product is petfood and are based in Orange County, California. His first exposure to VMware was (like many) VMware Workstation, but he’s since moved on to embrace vSphere and its complimentary technologies.

Of course right now the affect of catastrophic events on physical and virtual infrastructures is on everyone’s mind – what with Hurricane Sandy causing untold damage to the US. Our conversation was recorded some weeks ago before the events of recent hours took place. But it’s a timely reminder of how in relatively small space of time events can over take our actions, unless of course some preparedness has been made already. That to me is very important even if your a SMB/SME. The challenges that DR planning generate for small-business are no less significant. Think of it this way. If you own that business it’s your livelihood, then you have probably sweated a lot of blood and tears to make it the success it is today – sure there’s a financial investment there, but also an emotional one too. That’s why I’ve always regarded DR planning much like an insurance policy. The premiums you pay to protect your house, your home or your business are waste of money – until of course, something awful happens and you have claim on them. So for a relatively small amount of money spent, more treasure can be saved.

Anyway, I would like to send my personal best wishes to all those who have been effected especially my many friends in the great city of New York. Like London you’ve had your dark hours before – and you shall rise again. In the meantime lets spare a thought to those countries who how lack the neccessary resources to defend themselves from the elements or fund the clear up the mess afterwards which is usually the case. For my fellow collegues I would recommend the corporate donation systems we have in place by the VMware Foundation. For everyone else there is always the

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September 23

SMBwag – With Wayne Sayers (Telius)


This third “SMB/SME” focused podcast is with Wayne Sayers of Telius. He is the Channel Director for Telius Ltd and brings a wealth of experience to his role of technical and customer support for their channel partners. Wayne started his career training at IBM research laboratories as a computer engineer, he progressed through innovative WAN terminal implementations. Designing and developing hard disk subsystems for the Apple II PC and Macintosh, he then became involved with pioneering fibre optic technologies in the eighties. More recently he has turned his attention to virtualising his many existing systems and promoting these skills to our channel partners. As an early adopter of what was later to become known as ‘Open Source’, Wayne has maintained his interest in design and continued with application development and business analysis, system design and development of the programming systems for administrative suites, ERP and CRM Systems. He continues to sell and support these systems to date; specialising in providing business development, systems and support for the small to medium business [SMB] market. Wayne’s avid interest in sport and continued interest in pioneering design has led him to design and develop his own tennis club’s administrative and booking systems which he sells into many clubs and sports centres; Telius encourages it’s team to remain interested and hands on so that it remembers what its partners’ challenges are.
I first came across Wayne viaSteve Palmer former student of mine and now one of the directors  of Telius, and I was particularly taken by their approach. It involves supplying a pre-packaged office-in-a-box solution that brings together hardware, software, telephony and VMware into a single stack. The joke I made was this is like an SMB version of VCE’s “vBlock”. I went to so far as to invent a catchy name – SMBlock to describe it!
In the previous SMBwag’s where I spoke to Raymond Overman and Stu McHugh – I was very much focused on the sysadmin perspective of virtualization. But I thought it would be interesting in this episode to take a look at it from a different perspective. That of the Service Providers who produce solutions designed for the SMB/SME in mind. My theory was that these guys see many, many different types of SMB/SME customers working in vastly different industries and sectors – and that from this position they maybe well able to talk about trends within the SMB Community.
Clearly, this solution is designed for SMB/SME at the smallest level where only 3 physical ESX host are needed to virtualize the entire infrastructure. With the removal of vRAM licensing I wouldn’t be surprised to see more smaller businesses scaling up their solutions to accommodate ever increasing numbers of virtual machines…
Telius are looking for channel partners who want to add virtualisation to their product portfolio with the assistance of a dedicated virtualization team. If that resonates with you then check out
This was my list of questions for Wayne – but we didn’t stick religiously to the script – and roamed around the topic quite a bit!
Q1. Wayne, Tell us what in nutshell does “Telius” do and what is it that your offering
Q2. What made you select vSphere as the platform – what did it allow you to offer beyond just virtual machines?
Q3. There is definitive a pent-up demand in the SMB market for virtualization – what are you customers wanting to achieve with the technology?
Q4. You clearly love what VMware vSphere does for you – but is there a feature or function that would make your life or customers lives easier?
You can watch our QA on YouTube below, or you can subscribe (via ITunes or RSS XML) or down the native MP3 or M4V files here:

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