I don’t really want to do the whole autobiography thing here, but I suppose it makes sense to provide some context on “Allen Ward”. I find it easier to understand what I’m reading when I have some context on the author.
My journey in IT didn’t start in an enterprise class data center. Somehow I always knew that’s where I wanted it to end up. Back in the 80s when I was in high school Computer Science was still a new thing in schools. There wasn’t a lot of opportunity to learn. Most of what I learned in the early days was from my own forays into programming on Atari computers (400, 800, and 600XL) and the occasional Commodore (VIC 20, 64, or PET), although we did get access to Apple computers through the school eventually. Back in those days I knew I wanted to work with computers. I was certain programming was my calling in life. While I still enjoy coding today, I learned that it isn’t how I want to make a living.
After high school I worked my way through a variety of jobs. I gained experience in everything from the Army Reserves and Canadian Tire to a stint with Blockbuster. Mixed in with that was a range of roles in small computer retail stores. I learned skills from Consumer and Corporate Sales through Service and Assembly. Having grown up in Nova Scotia there wasn’t a huge opportunity for advancement in the IT industry. Back in the late 90s I had made my way up to doing Sales and Education and handling all the Service for a growing computer retailer. That’s when things suddenly changed for me.
I have a really good story about how moved from retail in Nova Scotia to IT in London, Ontario. I’m going to save that story for another time though. Suffice it to say that London Life hired me and I moved halfway across Canada. I’ve held a series of roles here that started on the internal Service Desk and graduated through Server Support. That eventually led to specializing in my current niche technology: Storage Technologies.
My Storage experience dates back to around the turn of the millennium working on our early backup and recovery technologies. The deployment of the first Fibre Channel SAN fabrics and centralized arrays soon followed. Since then I focused my time on Storage and working closely with the teams that rely on our infrastructure (and those on which we rely).
I openly admit that the majority of my direct hands on experience in Storage has been with Dell EMC and Brocade hardware and software. I have worked closely with teams from Dell EMC including founding involvement in the original EMC Elect recognition program and the rebooted Dell EMC Elect program which re-launched this year. I’ve been involved with a Customer Council that provides feedback through various parts of the EMC Support organization and I’ve been recognized multiple times over the years for my involvement in the EMC Support Forums and later EMC Community Network. I openly challenge those who claim I’m an “EMC Storage snob” though. I’ve been heavily involved because that’s always been my bread and butter. I’m very interested in the opportunities offered by other vendors and I know that over time my hands-on experience will broaden.
A constant for me over the years is that I love to share my knowledge. I really enjoy taking topics and hopefully making them more understandable. For the past few years I’ve been doing that through my personal blog hosted on the EMC Community Network. As my topics (and hopefully readership) expand I thought this was the right time to launch my own personal site instead of relying on EMC’s platform. And that’s where we are today.
Please be aware that the content on this site represents entirely my own thoughts and opinions. This in no way reflects on my employer or my relationships with various vendors in the industry.