Alexander Thoma – @VCDX026 (“The Iron Panelist”) Joins Nutanix

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Alexander Thoma is the 12th VCDX to join Nutanix. Alexander was known as the “iron panelist” during his nine years at VMware because he sat through so many VCDX design panels. He oversaw half of all the world’s VCDXs’ design reviews.

Thoma said that not only is pursuing an NPX certification high on his priority list, but that he hopes to also replicate his “iron panelist” achievement as part of an NPX panel.

“It’s fantastic that a second company in the industry understands the value of a high-level architectural certification,” Thoma said.  “A deep technical understanding, requirements understanding and architectural analysis is required for customer success.”

I questioned Thoma about why an NPX certification is important in light of Nutanix’s “uncompromisingly simple” mantra. He responded, “Well, you certainly don’t need an NPX to install a Nutanix block which is very easy.  But while Nutanix slashes complexity, someone still has to design and implement the overall architecture.”

“Application requirements still have to be analyzed, gathered and put into the right context.  To do that requires NPX-level skills for the more complex enterprise solutions.  An NPX is someone who can drive data collection while keeping the big picture in place – making sure all the components work together.

“It is also increasingly important to have expertise in more than one hypervisor. While the features of hypervisors grow ever more comparable, the management deltas are still far apart. Nutanix gives customers the ability to efficiently utilize whatever hypervisor is best for the use case, for example – perhaps ESX for enterprise applications, Hyper-V for Windows Server and KVM for everything else.”

Thoma is a Sr. Solution & Performance Engineer for Nutanix, reporting to Michael Webster (@VCDXNZ001). Thoma’s responsibilities include developing solutions for business applications such as SAP, Oracle, Exchange, SQL.  He will also help evaluate new releases and will help with alliances tasks, especially with SAP.  Thoma will also be available to help both customers and partners with strategic initiatives.

“The best way to build a winning team, “said Michael Webster, “is to hire the most capable and talented people, and then empower them to be successful. Alexander is recognized around the world as a leading enterprise architect for virtualized and cloud environments, especially with regard to business critical applications including SAP. At Nutanix, we understand the value that expert level architecture skill brings to making our platform simple for our customers to use. We are incredibly fortunate to have Alexander on our team as we continue to expand our R&D and Solutions and Performance expertise in enterprise applications around the globe. ”

Mark Brunstad (@MarkBrunstad), Manager Curriculum Development of Nutanix – Educational Services, was formerly the VCDX Program Manager at VMware. He commented, “I’m really happy to be working with Alexander again because he is such an impact player and his skills will be amplified by this exceptional team. The talent we have is really setting Nutanix apart when it comes to the customer experience we can provide. People are talking –  the sky’s the limit.“

“I joined Nutanix,” Thoma said, “because I wanted to be able to make an impact. That requires being in a company with disruptive technology, and one that is not too large.  At a very large company, it’s hard to quantify your impact.  And, of course, the technology Nutanix provides is very interesting and has a lot of potential.

“With well over 1,000 employees, Nutanix certainly isn’t a start-up any longer, but it still has the dynamics of a smaller company. I can speak with anyone from resolution engineers to the Sr. VP of Marketing. People are open-minded and were soliciting my opinions from the first day on the job.

“I’m really, really excited.  It’s only been 4 days and I’m already totally sure it was the right move.”


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