Starting a User Community – what platform to choose?

If your company’s tagline is ‘joint innovation’ and being ‘as close as possible to the customer‘ is your goal, a user community forum seemed to be the very least I had to get in place as head of marketing. Our TrendMiner product is now exactly 1 year in beta going from v0.1 to v0.6 today. In order to make sure v1.0 by the end of the year / early 2016 is top notch, I think it is the perfect time now for the customers to start talking to each other and directly to our engineers / product management.

The best product is not the one you wanted to make, it’s the one your customer wants to use.

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Marketing in Stealth Mode

Three weeks into my new role as Head of Marketing at D Square it’s time to share my first experiences and findings. First of all I have to say that I’m extremely grateful for the experience. In all my previous roles and opportunities I have been mostly on the execution part of marketing strategy. This time it’s on me to build it from the ground up. Continue reading Marketing in Stealth Mode

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A New Challenge

Prologue

Today I started a new challenge. It’s quite fair to say this could count as the start of the IV-th episode of my career. The first episode was a couple of years in the graphical industry as DTP-operator and Project leader in a Signage company. The second episode would be where I entered the IT world, working for VARs (value added reseller) as Systems Engineer, Implementation Consultant and TeamLead. In episode III, I primarily created technical marketing content or represented vendors at events.

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Influencer Marketing for Dummies

What the hell is this new buzzword Influencer Marketing and who is that Influencer here? Haven’t we had enough self-labeled titles? Heck I even call myself a “datacenter specialist” on my LinkedIN profile. What’s a specialist anyway? While I do agree that self-labelling is a weird thing, it’s worth looking at the bigger picture.

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New Awesomeness Feature on my list – from Meraki

I sat through quite an amount of vendor pitches. From time to time it’s the small things that differentiate the company and show you their true culture. I keep a list of these small features that have enjoyed me over all these years and I’m ready to share some of them with you.

Make-A-Wish button

The last feature that has been added to my list is the Merake Make-A-Wish button. I first saw it on their presentation for TechFieldDay at Cisco Live in Milan. It’s basically a button at the bottom right corner of EVERY SINGLE PAGE of the User Interface (UI) where you can request for a feature or UI change. It is:

  • NOT a form
  • NOT a phone call
  • NOT an E-mail
  • Just a button that opens a text box!
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All-Flash is changing your hardware support

A couple of weeks back at Episode 29 of the In Tech We Trust podcast we talked about the the failure rate of flash drives. Apparently, when handled by smart controllers, it is far less likely than we would think. Some DMs with Vaughn Stewart (Chief Evangelist at PureStorage) later we came to the following statement:

The failure rate of flash drives at PureStorage, 2.5 years after GA, is less than 10 in 1000’s of deployed drives.

This is a truly impressive number. It also helps understand why SolidFire announced “an unlimited drive wear guarantee valid for all systems under current support”. (source: The Register)

The Rebuild

Having a failed disk is not necessarily an issue. We have failover mechanisms for that. The problem is the consequenses of rebuild time. First of all there is the risk of double failure since we put extra stress on the disks for rebuilding parity. That’s why we have created double parity solutions (RAID6). Secondly there is a significant performance drop since both the controllers and the disks are ‘busy’ working on that rebuild. This resulted in up to 24/48hr of keeping your fingers crossed.

Does this still apply for all-flash systems? I mean, isn’t a flash drive exponentially faster than a hard disk? Let’s put it to the test, shall we?

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Cisco NBase-T – lipstick on your Cat5e pig

In January of this year I was invited to join the TechFieldDay crew at Cisco Live in Milan. On Monday we got a whole day of Cisco presentations and the rest of the week we had time to spend on the show floor (and a trip to Lake Como!).

The BYOD pipe is just too small

The last presentation for the day was for Peter Jones, principal engineer at Cisco and chairman at the NBase-T alliance. He came to present us MultiGigabit Ethernet (2.5Gbps / 5.0Gbps). My immediate reaction was: who the hell needs a 2.5 and 5.0 GbE standard if we already have 10GbE being rolled out and 40GbE or even 100GbE up and coming?

While 10/40/100GbE are indeed being deployed, this is mainly in the datacenter itself. Interconnects between server clusters or frontned/backend of storage arrays/clusters. But what if we want more than 1GbE to the end-points?

How many of you come into the office and still plug their computer into an RJ45 cable? Most of you will just open their laptop (and tablet and smartphone) and connect straigth to the wireless network, be it the corporate secure Wifi for your laptop or the guest network for your BYO-device. With all these devices connected, our APs can’t keep up with ‘merely’ 1GbE. So we have to scale the bandwidth.

Continue reading Cisco NBase-T – lipstick on your Cat5e pig

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