Andrew Nelson (@vmnelson) is the 13th VCDX to join Nutanix. Andrew previously was a Staff Systems Engineer II at the Office of the CTO at VMware. During his years at VMware, Andrew developed a reputation as being one of the foremost experts at virtualizing challenging workloads such as high-performance computing (HPC).
“I’ve never accepted the industry truism that bare metal is preferable for workloads such as Hadoop or HPC,” Andrew said. “It’s a question of figuring out the true value that virtualization adds, and then ensuring that variables such as performance are equivalent.”
Like many of the VCDXs – particularly the ones that have come to Nutanix, Andrew is a bit of an iconoclast. Even while at VMware, he spent a lot of time working with KVM.
“It’s all about perspective,” Andrew said. “KVM includes certain capabilities that vSphere lacked which helped me in turn understand the big picture. If you lack perspective, then you’re just an evangelist – someone who can only discuss one side of a technological offering.”
Andrew is a Distributed Systems Specialist reporting to Sandeep Randhawa. Andrew’s responsibilities include assisting customers in understanding both the benefits and best practices of virtualizing challenging workloads.
“We strive to hire, what is well known in the valley as, ‘smart creatives,’” said Sandeep Randhawa. “We are building a team of Specialist (Pre Sales) System Engineers that not only have deep domain knowledge around different hypervisors and the application ecosystems around them, but who also have an exceptional curiosity and the grit to push that expertise to build out enterprise solutions not economically possible with traditional architecture. With talent like Andrew onboard, the possibilities are endless as we go from Act I to Act II and on toward Act III.”
I asked Andrew why he joined Nutanix, and he responded, “I really like Nutanix’s approach to hyperconvergence – a focus on management. I also like that Nutanix is a smaller company where I can have more influence on the work stream and provide feedback that our engineers will utilize as part of their product development.”
Andrew said he is particularly excited to be working with Acropolis. He explained, “Acropolis includes the scale-out and automation capabilities required to ensure that enterprises can now successfully virtualize and manage Big Data, HPC and containers.”
Andrew picked up his VCDX before even joining VMware, when he was the lead virtualization architect for the US Marine Corps. He is planning now to go for his NPX certification, “It will be hard, but will be an opportunity to expand and sharpen my perspective.”