Interview with Mark May of VirtualStorageZone

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This is a first for my blog as today I share an interview that I did with Mark May of VirtualStorageZone. One of the perks of my job is getting to meet lots of techies and IT pros. I love talking shop with people out in the field who are getting their hands dirty with the latest technologies, and Mark is an IT pro who is helping to change his organization through the intelligent deployment of technology at an enterprise scale. Mark generously agreed to be interviewed and is a great all-around guy. Mark is also an avid blogger, so be sure to check out his site VirtualStorageZone!

PBenson.Net: Tell us about yourself and your role in the IT profession.

Mark May: I’m currently working as an Enterprise Storage Engineer at a property and casualty insurance provider in Cincinnati.  I also write about storage, virtualization, and infrastructure in general in my blog.

PBenson.Net: How did you start out in IT? What made you decide to pursue IT as a career?

Mark May: In the mid-90s I met a few lifelong friends and together we started a local Internet Service Provider in the Cincinnati area.  At the time it was really just something to do for fun with friends, but it really made my career path clear to me.  I wanted to work in information technology.

PBenson.Net: Which technology has impacted your career the most? What was the impact that it made on your career?

Mark May: This is a tough one.  As someone who has been storage focused for almost two decades I’ve seen a lot of changes! I think the best answer is SSD.  The use of SSD has changed how we think of performance.  From performance tiers and low latency access to All Flash Arrays, SSD has changed how we view storage performance and capacity.

PBenson.Net: What new and emerging technologies are you following? How do you think these technologies will change the IT profession?

Mark May: I think the idea of the fabric data center is key to the new modern data center. As we move forward no longer will we have disaggregated components like servers, network, and storage. What we’re going to see is the integration of these IT elements. I think this goes beyond a converged infrastructure the likes of what VCE has today and into software defined hyper convergence that works with any vendor – both bare metal and virtualization. 

PBenson.Net: What is your advice for someone who is thinking of starting a career in IT?

Mark May: A career in IT isn’t for everyone.  One of the biggest things that will make a person successful is being passionate about learning and growing outside the bounds of your job. We work in an ever changing technology landscape where you have to always be learning to maintain relevance.

PBenson.Net: Bonus Round Question – Who had the better IT staff and why? The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 from the original Star Trek television series, or Voltron: Defender of the Universe the Lion Force team?

Mark May: This is a tough one.  I grew up watching Voltron before going to school when I was a kid, so they hold a high place in my childhood!  However, I think I’d have to go with the original Star Trek crew.  They had Scotty! He took such pride in his work that it really showed someone who loved his job in IT.

Thanks for the great interview Mark! Your advice for people entering the IT profession is spot on. Plus you won the bonus round with your answer! Scotty is the ideal IT professional, because he always delivered a solution that literally kept the Enterprise running! See what I did there? …Yeah, I’ll just stick to the IT profession and leave the comedy to others.

If you are a young IT pro just starting out in your career do yourself a favor and find people like Mark to mentor you. That is it for the first interview ever on PBenson.Net! It was fun to do and there will be more of them in the future. 

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