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Summer Vacation 2013

For our vacation this year, my wife and I booked off some time in late July and early August to line up with a family party that’s always held on the Canadian civic holiday long weekend in August.

A few weeks later, my boss sent me a message asking if I would be available to deliver training in Cork, Ireland in July, right in the middle of my scheduled vacation. Being one of only a few people qualified to deliver this training, there was a possibility that it would have to be cancelled if I was unavailable, so after looking into the timing and discussing with management, my wife and I decided that there was no reason we couldn’t go to Ireland for our vacation since we hadn’t made other plans.

We decided to fly into Dublin and spend a week there prior to the training, then travel down to Cork by train, I could run the class (along with one of my teammates — this training is always run as a tag team) and we could fly home from there.

I have to say, I truly appreciate EMC’s flexibility when it comes to allowing employees travelling for business to extend their stay to accommodate a vacation.

As it turns out, my boss (now my boss’s boss, if we’re going to nitpick) will be my “partner in crime” for this training. He is also planning to bring his wife for some vacation time before the training so I find myself in the curious position of looking forward to spending some vacation time with my boss.

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Ask the Expert, Visit the World

Some months ago, I watched with (I must admit) a tinge of envy as my good friend Matthew Brender ran an “Ask the Expert” session the EMC Community Forums about VNXe Front-End Networks with VMware. A week or two after his own session had wrapped up, he approached me about getting involved with Ask the Expert and I jumped at the chance. After being briefed by Mark Browne, Matt, and Sean Thulin (and a quick consultation with my boss who was incredibly enthusiastic about the idea), we set up a session about Avamar on the EMC Community Forums. Since my Avamar specialty is distinctly server-side, I decided to make the topic of the session Avamar Server Management Best Practices.

Probably the last thing I anticipated when I agreed to run the session was an invitation to EMC World so you can imagine how surprised and flattered I was when I received an invitation to join the other Ask the Expert contributors in Las Vegas for live Ask the Expert events. If you will be at EMC World, please stop by the Ask the Expert booth and say hello! I plan to be in the booth daily for a couple of hours right after breakfast. Sadly, I will not be bringing my dragon hat (it’s been de-fanged) but you should be able to pick me out.

I will also be reporting in periodically from EMC World itself with anything interesting I pick up during the events and keynotes. I’ll be focusing my time outside Ask the Expert on Backup and Recovery (I do work for Avamar Engineering, after all). I plan to update daily while I’m at the conference so if you’re interested in BRS topics from an engineering perspective, please stay tuned!

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