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 a three-time and current awardee of the 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. Along with fellow MVP Andy Syrewicze, I founded Project Runspace, an organization that seeks to encourage the systems administrators and architects of tomorrow. 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. I no longer teach courses, 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.

Non-Discrimination Statement

I believe strongly in the value of diversity and inclusiveness. I do not intentionally discriminate against anyone. I acknowledge my privilege and welcome the opportunity to learn from others with experiences and perspectives that are different from my own. I will not tolerate comments that blatantly disrespect any person or group of people.

How to Contact Me and What to Expect

I have very little time to handle correspondence. If you respect my time by following my simple requests on how to contact me, I will respect yours with a polite response. Find the section below that matches your intent.

Sales

My employer has a clearly-defined process for purchasing products and hiring contractors, and my name does not appear at any level of it. Contacting me to try to sell something is a waste of your time and mine. Therefore, I will, this one time only, politely ask you to not contact me for sales-related reasons.

I expect salespeople to research their prospects prior to contacting them. So, if you try to sell to me, either you did not read this and therefore are not willing to put forth even minimal effort to research potential clients, or you did read this and do not respect your clients’ wishes. Either way, I would not want to work with you or anyone that employs you. Furthermore, I will not plumb the organization chart looking for “the person you should be talking to”. I barely have enough time to do my job; I’m certainly not going to take time out to do yours. If you contact me for a sales-related reason, I will be unapologetically impolite. You have been warned.

Follow-Up on an Article

If you have questions or comments on a particular article, please feel free to use its comment form. The comments sections do not serve well for interactively solving technical questions, so find another way to reach me (below) if you have something that needs more than a two or three sentence answer.

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. I pledge that any such censoring will not be for the purpose of changing the intent of your message; if I feel that I would need to remove that much of it, then I will simply delete it. However, you are under advisement that all posts on this blog become my property and I will handle them according to my judgment. If you find that unacceptable, do not post.

Technical Questions, Free Option

I participate on the TechNet Hyper-V forums fairly frequently. I expect that you will address questions to the community and not myself personally. I am only one of several experts that participate.

I participate on Altaro’s Hyper-V Dojo Forums as well. The same rules apply.

I have a presence on Quora, although I do not check that site frequently. The same rules apply.

I occasionally answer questions on the Stack network, usually ServerFault.

Technical Questions, Paid Option

Because I participate in multiple public forums at no charge, I expect to handle technical questions there where my answers can benefit many. If you want my personal assistance, you can reach me on my LinkedIn page. However, I consider all personalized contact to fall under the category of “consultation”. Because the time that I spend consulting takes away from the time that I spend helping the public, I will charge for my time.

Writing Engagements

I already have an extremely full schedule and am unlikely to accept more writing work.

I will not write on any subject that causes a conflict of interest for me (see conflict of interest statement below). I will not write any advertisements or other product promotional material. I might write a review of your product on request at my discretion, with the pre-agreement that you will compensate me for my time and that your compensation pays for access to my time and not control over my opinion, and this agreement will be cemented in a contract.

Contact me via my LinkedIn page if interested.

Speaking Engagements

I am available for speaking engagements. I will not speak or present on subjects that create a conflict of interest for me (see conflict of interest statement below).

I prefer to work 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 am less inclined to work engagements that require travel. If I do accept such an engagement, I will expect compensation for expenses and time.

Contact me via my LinkedIn page if interested.

Employment Opportunities

I may consider employment offers. However, I will not do so indiscriminately. My particular area of expertise and preference lies with Microsoft virtualization (Hyper-V). I am also skilled in other Microsoft server technologies. I currently hold a long-term stable position, and I enjoy the job security and benefits. Therefore, I am unwilling to consider roles with reduced or radically different responsibilities, and I do not have any interest in short-term engagements. For example, do not send me queries regarding three-month contracts and desktop deployments and network engineering. In addition, I cannot relocate, although I can work remotely.

If you believe that I am a potential fit for your organization or a client, please contact me on my LinkedIn page. I generally will not respond to requests that clearly have little or no intersect with my talents, experience, and interests.

Advertising

I do not partner with advertisers on this blog.

All Other Contact

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 mean that I won’t think that you’re not a spammer.

I generally reply to non-spam messages within a week. I prioritize polite messages. I am likely to delete rude messages with no response. Sales contacts are rude (read above).

I expect that you have read through this list prior to contacting me.

Conflict of Interest Statement

My current employer is the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The work that I do for the hospital is property of the hospital and I will not publish or share it except in cases where management feels that it aligns with the hospitals’ teaching mission. 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 not discuss any non-public information regarding the hospital’s contractors or device manufacturers. In any situation in which patient impact is unclear, I will not disclose information.

Be aware that if you solicit my aid or 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 over 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. If you want to do business with the hospital, I recommend that you avoid engaging me outside of official hospital channels on anything involving your company’s products.

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 publish multiple open-source tools on my personal GitHub page. My most popular project rebuilt the Microsoft CoreConfigurator tool into Corefig, which functions on newer systems.

I once wrote a free document that outlined Building or Extending a Hyper-V R2 Cluster, but it’s quite stale now. I’ve left 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.

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.

Project Runspace, 2018-present

Project Runspace is still in its infancy and going through the motions to become a proper organization. I am one of its founders and intend to participate in its day-to-day operations.

Freelance Author, 2011-present

I have written on technical subjects since 2011. My material includes several hundred technical articles and multiple books.

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, including virtual desktop-based VDI.

I maintain the server infrastructure for the real-time location system (RTLS), which includes an infant abduction prevention system, a staff duress system, and asset tracking.

I maintain the server infrastructure for the hospital’s nurse call systems.

I maintain multiple other minor server systems for hospital functions. I am a backup administrator for even more roles.

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. I upgraded that deployment 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 Systems, 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 server 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 handled inbound phone calls on Windows 3.1 through 98 and manufacturer-specific hardware and software technologies.

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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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