by Rick Dehlinger, Citrix
Hi – my name is Rick, and I’m an addict.
There! I said it ‘out loud.’ In the real world, this is supposed to be the first step towards recovery, right? Well, what if I don’t want to ‘recover’? If I’m honest with myself, I don’t – I want to spread my addiction far and wide! Does that make me a bad person??!! I’m so conflicted… but not really. Let me explain…
I have an addiction to two very powerful ‘drugs’ – tech gear and learning. When combined with the satisfaction I get from sharing what I learn, the combination is ridiculously intoxicating. Fortunately, my job at Citrix has provided me with a unique opportunity to get ‘high’ over and over, and not Bogart the experience – I call it “Project Silverton“, and it’s backed by a multi-tenant hybrid cloud lab.
For those that may have missed it – I’m back at Citrix after taking an eleven-year hiatus. I didn’t go far – once Citrix is in your blood it never leaves – but I used that time to scratch the entrepreneurial itch, innovate in the ‘cloooouuud’ (drink!) and play the Silicon Valley ‘startup game’ (among other things). I landed back at Citrix in a wonderful, deeply technical role – as a Solution Architect on our Strategic Alliances team. My charter? Build ground breaking solutions with some of our best partners and make a difference for people.
This job gives me access to some enviable fuel for my addictions. I’m currently working with what Citrix calls our platform partners – their names you know, and they make some of the best datacenter gear and software in the world. It also gives me access to the whole portfolio of ground breaking products and technologies that Citrix brings to the table, as well as the brilliant people who create it all.
So – what am I doing with all this access? A couple activities bubble up as something y’all might be interested in – I’m building some super cool stuff, and I’m sharing the love. That’s where Project Silverton comes in.
Like many of you, I learn by doing. In our geeky world, that means building stuff. I’m totally driven by learning, and when I’m surrounded by wicked smart creative people, I relish the magic that happens when brilliant minds come together and create. Where do people like me go to build stuff? Into the lab of course! Since I’m working with state of the art hybrid cloud infrastructure (read – physical things that need a rack, power, and cooling) I immediately started building one.
Now, building a world class lab from scratch, while challenging and rewarding in its own right, is a pain in the proverbial patella. There’s a TON of work that needs to be done before you can start creating in a place like this. Some of it is ridiculously tedious – getting all the hard and soft bits together, tracking down licenses, finding rack space, getting an appropriate network perimeter provisioned, updating firmware for scrounged up gear, and a ton more. The end will certainly justify the means, but maaan – what a lot of work!
Two things hit me while I was building this lab. For starters – I realized how lucky I am. In many of the roles I’ve played in the past I’d have given my right arm for access to this kind of gear and brain power! The other thing that hit me – and those of you who work remotely can probably sympathize – it can get lonely in a lab by yourself! Which brings me back to Project Silverton…
By now you’re probably already seeing where I’m going with this, and/or you’re frustrated by my backstory and ready for me to get to the point. If the latter applies to you in any form, let me end your pain!
What I’ve built here I’m calling the Silverton Hybrid Cloud Lab. It’s an isolated lab with a multi-tenant layer sitting in front of various different physical and virtual ‘toys’ I’ll be bringing in and out. Like a science lab, the Silverton HCL provides all the necessary infrastructure/tools required to build and test solutions using various cutting edge products and technologies relevant in our space. I’ll be periodically inviting smart people into the lab to collaborate on various ‘experiments’ we think will make a difference for you – our community. We’ll be sharing the lessons we learn along the way right here on CUGC, so keep your eyes open!
I’ll be introducing the first round of Hybrid-Cloud ‘scientists’ soon, but in the interim I’ve got an ask for you (the patient reader who’s stuck with me this long): What types of ‘experiments’ would you like to see? How can we make a difference in your world? Feel free to drop questions and comments below, or strike up a conversation (@rickd4real, #SilvertonHCL).
Until next time – cheers!