so first of all apologies if someone has already come with the vTalk name, I’m not very original today and that’s the only thing which came to my mind 🙂 I would like to interview prominent members of the VMware Community worldwide, and due to geographic vicinity I will start the series with my friend and fellow VMware vExpert Karel Novak. We haven’t had a chance to sit for a beer, but the communication was intense as always!
Hello Karel! You’re the first Czech to have been nominated a vExpert in 2012, and once again this year in 2013, congratulations! How did you get into IT, and later into virtualization?
I’m very grateful to Mr. Petr Havlik to have started in IT. He first showed me the Commodore C64 and like every boy I fell in love with games and keyboard hitting 🙂 I was 6 years old then, already around 10 years old I knew I would work with computers and I didn’t change my mind. There weren’t much schools providing IT related education but I found one (ISSP Brno Purkynova) where I started studying IT. Once this was done, I just had to look for work and I started at Alliance Unichem CZ (nowadays Alliance Healthcare s.r.o.) which is a wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical products, where Mr. Vladimir Bruha gave his chance to a young rookie. I hope that after already twelve years (!) of collaboration he doesn’t regrets his decision to hire me 🙂 I first got in touch with VMware technologies in 2007 and I fell in love very quickly with VMware ESX 3.0.1 and VMware Workstation. Since then I’m very enthusiastic about VMware and their new and improved technologies still keep me excited mainly due to their real functionality and benefits for companies.
Do you work only in Czech Republic or abroad as well?
Yes, here and there within the larger family formed by Alliance Healthcare and Alliance Boots, I’ve already helped colleagues abroad in Germany and in the United Kingdom with problems and VMware infrastructure design.
How do you perceive the adoption of virtualization in the Czech Republic? What about Cloud, VDI and SDDC?
I think that in the beginning there was a real fear from management about virtualizing production systems, I’ve experienced it myself and I had to deal with a slower adoption pace until my manager started to trust me. But overall, I feel that with vSphere 4 virtualization quickly gained pace in the Czech Republic. Nowadays it’s hard to find a company that hasn’t virtualized yet or who isn’t in the process of virtualizing their server infrastructure. It’s true that desktop virtualization isn’t easy to implement in the Czech Republic due to the specific local conditions (lots of SMBs, editor’s note). Nevertheless new technologies developed by VMware and overall virtualization should grow in the Czech Republic because whoever wants peace of mind with his business can’t afford to ignore these technologies on the long term.
For the second year in a row you were nominated a VMware vExpert, what does it means for you?
The fact that I defended vExpert 2012, and was again nominated in 2013, is something I weigh even more than last year because as they say it is harder to defend when you were nominated once. It’s not so much about the vExpert title but more about the people who are in this community of VMware enthusiasts and about the sharing of knowledge about VMware technologies, it’s a large school every day. I also like the various benefits such as access to various information ahead of others. Which is very important because you get the possibility to learn about a new product before others know about its existence, so you can be ready to solve problems with a given technology when others are just starting to learn about it.
Can you tell us something about your hobbies and personal life?
Well, I don’t know where to start with. But I believe one of my hobbies is clearly IT technologies, not just VMware but all the other interesting things in IT, of course VMware has precedence over the other things. My main hobby with family is travelling. I’m a fan of Premier League team Arsenal since I was 15 years old. I played professionally basketball, badminton, for a while I also practised Aikido, ran triathlon, biathlon, shot with air guns, table hockey, dungeons and dragons etc… there was a lot of it. Now sporting in front of the TV (mainly Arsenal), travelling and relaxing moments with my family. I’m incredibly happily in a partnership for 13 years, without support from my partner and my daughter I couln’t do what I do.
Thank you very much for your time Karel, and catch up soon!
Karel’s blog: http://www.vmware-veeam.cz/
Karel’s twitter: http://www.twitter.com/novakkkarel