Foreword by Paul Strong, CTO, Global Field, VMware

Bridging the gap between R&D, the people who build products, the field, the people who sell solutions that include those products, and customers who consume those solutions, is critical to VMware’s success. They are connected so that each can be effective. Customer intimacy and feedback into R&D drives more relevant innovation and compelling products. A clear channel from R&D and the CTO office to our customers ensures that our customers understand the broad context for VMware’s solutions and are equipped to take the maximum advantage of them. In between is the field, and in the field are the CTO Ambassadors, whose specific mission is to provide that bridge.

Iwan is a great example of a CTO Ambassador—passionate and knowledgeable about technology, committed to our customers’ success, and always going above and beyond. He was elected the CTO Ambassador program in 2014 among 100 ambassadors. The program is run by the VMware Office of the CTO, and the individual CTO Ambassadors are members of a small group of our most experienced and talented customer facing, individual contributor technologists. They are presales Systems Engineers (SEs), Technical Account Managers (TAMs), professional services consultants, architects, and global support services engineers.
The ambassadors are able to articulate VMware strategy and have a keen understanding of the big picture. They typically specialize in certain technology or business areas and are subject matter experts in their chosen fields. These ambassadors help to facilitate an effective collaboration between R&D and our customers so that we can address current customer issues and future needs as effectively as possible.

There are many tangible results of the program, and this book is a good example. Iwan took advantage of the bridge made possible through the program, collaborating with R&D and his peers. I supported his first edition, and it’s my pleasure to write a foreword for this second edition also. This book demonstrates that breadth and depth of knowledge. It covers the overall Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) architecture, which is relevant for everyone interested in virtualization and cloud computing, before diving into a number of performance and capacity management topics, providing the depth and detail needed by engineers and architects.

A non-negotiable requirement to be accepted into the CTO Ambassador program is direct customer relationships. A deep understanding of customers’ requirements and how they expect VMware to be their partner are expected of our Ambassadors. As you read this book, it will be clear to you that it is written from the customers’ viewpoint, and not from the product’s perspective. It looks at what it takes to operationalize performance and capacity management of your SDDC.

I hope that you found the book immensely valuable in your IT transformation.

Paul Strong
Chief Technology Officer
Global Field, VMware