Eric's Technical Outlet

Learning the hard way so you don't have to

About Me and This Blog


My name is Eric Siron. I am an awardee of the 2017 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award (MVP) in Cloud and Datacenter Management. I currently work with Microsoft infrastructure software and other technologies in the healthcare industry. I’ve been an IT professional since 1998 and have performed most IT-related roles in some form or another. I’m also a former Microsoft Certified Trainer, but have retained my interest and desire to educate and assist others.ESProfile
This blog was originally created as a way for me to share my work with Microsoft’s Hyper-V R2. I have since entered into other agreements (below). This site is currently used only to publish my personal opinions and any non-Hyper-V-related topics that I feel might be useful to someone else.

My Publications

Most of my work is available for free on the Altaro Hyper-V Hub. This is a blog dedicated to Microsoft’s Hyper-V product.

I am the author of Microsoft Hyper-V Cluster Design, available in print and electronic format from many booksellers, including Amazon. The topic of this book is clustering Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 and 2012 R2.

I am a co-author of Hyper-V Security. My chapters are strictly about securing the Hyper-V environment and guests. My co-author, Andrew Syrewicze, wrote the chapters that involve System Center Virtual Machine Manager. This book is also available on Amazon, along with numerous other resellers. Be aware that this is not an introductory work. You can read the details on this post.

I have authored and narrated a video series titled Building and Managing a Virtual Environment with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2. This is a collection of short screencasts that guides you through all the phases of building a Hyper-V cluster. Unlike the book, the series is less about design and theory and more about execution. It’s mostly level 200 material with some level 300.

I have modified the script in CoreConfigurator so that it will work on Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2. I also made a number of other improvements. This product is called CoreFig and is available on Codeplex.

I once wrote a free document that outlined Building or Extending a Hyper-V R2 Cluster, but it’s pretty stale now. I’m leaving it up in case someone finds it useful, but I have published quite a bit of work in the intervening years that dramatically supersede this paper. It’s also on Scribd somewhere.

Partners

I have a standing agreement with Altaro Software to produce material for their blog. I am not currently working with any other web publishers.

How to Contact Me and What to Expect

If you have questions or comments on a particular article, please feel free to use its comment form. I generally publish all non-spam posts. I generally only edit posts to remove personal information, such as e-mail addresses, but I may employ other censoring as I see fit. Any such censoring will not be for the purpose of changing the intent of your message. However, you are under advisement that all posts on this blog become my property and I will handle them according to my best judgment, even if you disagree.

If you need to contact me for another reason, I can be reached through my LinkedIn page. I am also available on Twitter. With a bit of effort, you might be able to discover an e-mail alias. There are no prizes for figuring it out, especially if you’re a spammer. Just because you think that you’re not a spammer doesn’t necessarily mean that I won’t think you’re a spammer. I do not have the time, the interest, or the authority to entertain sales pitches.

I generally reply to non-spam messages within a week. I prioritize polite messages. I am likely to delete rude messages with no response. If you are contacting me for help with a technical issue, be mindful that this is something I am typically compensated for and will be unlikely to perform in-depth troubleshooting with you unless your problem is of interest to me. I generally don’t mind giving little pushes, though, provided that it doesn’t become a regular expectation. If Bing could have solved your problem, I am unlikely to reply at all. If you are inquiring about a technical problem that is outside my expertise (if I haven’t written about it, it’s outside my expertise), I am unlikely to reply at all.

Employment, Writing, Speaking, and Advertising Offers

I may consider employment offers. However, I will not do so indiscriminately. My particular area of expertise and preference is with Microsoft virtualization (Hyper-V). I am also skilled in other Microsoft server technologies. I am currently in a long-term stable position, therefore, I am not willing to consider roles with reduced or radically different responsibilities. For example, do not send me queries regarding three-month contracts and desktop deployments and network engineering.

I can be available for writing engagements, although I have an extremely full schedule and am unlikely to enter into contractual agreements that involve a guaranteed minimum level of material. I will not write on products or subjects that create a conflict of interest for me.

I am available for speaking engagements within the eastern Iowa corridor. Depending on who you are and what you’re trying to do, such as starting up a local community or user group, I might participate at no charge. I will not speak or present on subjects that create a conflict of interest for me.

This site does not partner with advertisers. I may write a solicited review of your product on the grounds that you will compensate me, that your compensation buys my time and access to my opinion but not control over expression of that opinion, and that reviewing your product must not create a conflict of interest for me.

Under no circumstances will I produce material that is intended to disparage any person, product, or company. I will not produce material that is intended in the spirit of, “Buy from us, not from them”. I am a technical professional, not a marketing professional, and I have no interest in getting into a “Which is best?” debate.

Conflict of Interest Statement

My current employer is the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. This is a public medical facility that is part of a state university. The work that I do for the hospital is property of the hospital and I will not publish or share it. Also, the number one priority of this institution is patient safety, so I will not publish or share any information that has any possibility of compromising patient safety, including, but not limited to, patient personal information and configuration of hospital computer systems. I will also not discuss any information regarding hospital contractors or manufacturers that the hospital has purchased products from that is not already publicly available knowledge. In any situation in which patient impact is unclear, I will not disclose information.

Be aware that if you solicit my opinion on your product, you may be unable to participate in bids for contracts at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The policy essentially says that if a hospital employee works with a product prior to the start of the bid process, it could create an unfair competitive advantage for other vendors. I’m not entirely clear on how and when this policy applies but hospital administration always chooses to err on the side of avoiding ethically questionable activity. I would basically say that if you ever want to do business with the hospital, it’s probably best to not try to engage me outside of official hospital channels on anything involving your company’s products.

I will not provide work for any entity that Altaro Software considers to be a competitor. I largely leave the determination to them.

For the duration of my agreement with Altaro Software to produce blog posts, I will not write or publicly share subjective statements about any entity that is a competitor of Altaro Software. I will make a good faith effort to refrain from making objective statements about these organizations and their products as well. This includes product reviews.

My Employment History

This is not considered a resume for employment purposes, but a way for readers to understand the scope and source of the experience that is the source of my writings.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, November 2012-present

Note: I was initially an employee of a contractor of UIHC and transitioned into a direct-hire.

I manage the Hyper-V infrastructure for the hospital. I am also the primary Windows Server administrator for hospital communications systems. I am an adjunct/backup administrator for VMware, Exchange, and Skype for Business (Lync) environments.

Hawkeye Foodservice Distribution Inc. (later acquired by US Foods), June 2010-November 2012

I was the senior server and network administrator. My primary responsibilities were maintaining the Windows Server and Cisco infrastructure for the primary site, 3 MPLS-connected remote facilities, and a fibre-connected secondary facility. I evaluated and deployed a Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 cluster in late 2010. This was later augmented by a Hyper-V Server 2012 cluster, but the project was never finalized due to the US Foods acquisition. The technologies I worked with were Windows Server 2000 through 2008 R2; Exchange 2003, which I migrated to 2010; Microsoft SQL Server 2005 through 2008 R2; IIS in all WS versions, IBM AIX on a p5; IBM OS on an i5, IBM WebSphere and supporting technologies, and a number of line-of-business server applications.

Eldon C. Stutsman, June 2008-May 2010

I was an IT generalist. I was involved in an evaluation of server virtualization software in which we selected VMware vSphere 3.5. This was upgraded to 4.0 before I left. I was the primary administrator in charge of the VMware environment. During the virtualization project, a Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 environment was retired and replaced with Server 2008, Exchange 2007, and SharePoint Services 3.0. The company also used an IBM i5 which I was jointly responsible for.

Planet Discover, August 2007-June 2008

I worked for Planet Discover as a Data Analyst, which mostly meant that I helped to clean and maintain databases.

Iowa Electronics, June 2005-August 2007

Iowa Electronics (named Network Squared when I joined) provided consulting and support services to small businesses (largest client was approximately 50 users). In this role, I served as a sales engineer and an IT generalist. I worked with Novell and Microsoft operating systems. I also worked with SQL, Exchange, IIS, and many other infrastructure technologies. Most clients used multiple line-of-business applications, so I became familiar with a variety of those as well.

Iowa Electronics focused on on legal and insurance agency clientele, so I gained some specialized knowledge of and insights into those environments. Iowa Electronics also provided a service in which client data was backed up to what would now be called a “cloud” environment and offered a Terminal Services solution to host that backed up data in a live environment in the event of a disaster. I left right as that product was really beginning to take off. Iowa Electronics has gone through a number of changes in the intervening years and I believe that it no longer exists.

Applied Systems, December 1999-June 2005

Applied Systems is a provider of line-of-business applications for insurance agencies. Customers range in size from single-user through major entities. When I first started with Applied, I worked as a technician for the communications section of the software. Within a few months, I moved to the team that supported backups and hardware, as Applied Systems sold its product in a turnkey package. I worked with Novell 3 and 4 and Microsoft NT through 2003 server operating systems. In addition to Microsoft server operating systems and a number of third-party backup applications, I also gained experience in Citrix Metaframe, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Microsoft SQL Server. During my time with Applied, I achieved a number of Microsoft certifications and became a Microsoft Certified Trainer. In addition to official curriculum, I also designed and delivered courses relevant to Applied employees that assisted customers.

Elliott Data Systems, 1998-1999

Elliott Data Systems is a company based in Memphis, Tennessee that resells and supports turnkey identification systems as well as most technologies that involve cards, such as embossing and magnetic stripe encoding and reading. My primary responsibilities were to configure, deliver, train, and service systems that produced employee and student badges. I also worked with customer IT staff to integrate these systems into existing databases. This often involved access control systems, such as using a magnetic stripe or proximity sensor in a card, although the sensing technology was provided by other vendors. I began building experience with Novell server operating systems, Novell Groupwise, Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0, and Citrix Winframe while at Elliott, along with a number of other technologies that are now largely defunct or superseded.

Stream International 1998

Stream International provides outsourced call-center support for major technology companies. While I had begun working my way into an IT role at a previous employer, I began my “real” technology career here. I worked with Windows 3.1 through 98 and whatever hardware and software technologies the customers called in about.

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2 responses to “About Me and This Blog

  1. Mike Ziegler January 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Eric,

    Really excellent work. I stumbled upon your blog through an interest in Altaro Backup for Hyper-V, and ended up reading through a grab bag of quality posts for the better part of the morning. Your writing is a nice balance of relatively deep dive technical, and easily consumable. Highest marks (from a fellow Hyper-V advocate, and Iowan), keep up the good work.

    Regards,

    Mike

    Like

  2. Dallas Diyaljee July 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Wow, a blog that I actually enjoy reading!

    Like

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