*Update* vExpert and Intel NVMe Optane Giveaway

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A few months ago I was contacted by Intel as they wanted to engage deeper with the vCommunity and vExperts. My Intel contact, Scott Sherman, was a person I new from my Phoenix VMUG days. We met back in 2009 when Scott was working with Xsigo. He remembered the great blogs I did for Xsigo back in 2011 and wanted to chat more about enabling the vCommunity with Intel hardware.

Through a series of meetings Scott and I were able to come up with a framework worthy of presenting to the vExpert team. Scott was able to allocate 600 Intel Optane P4800 375GB NVMe drives in a PCIe or 2.5 Inch formfactor. The drives came in packs of 10 which would enable us to give them away to 60 vExperts. We chose 10 drives as this would enable the vExperts to create an all flash vSAN configuration or they could use the drives for other home lab fun. The only question now was how do we get these drives in the hands of the vExperts.

We presented our ideas to the vExpert Staff (Corey Romero) and they loved the idea. We came up with the idea to ask the vExperts to fill out a surrey explaining how they would use the disks and if selected how could they promote their outcomes. We’d present this program overview to the vExperts and after they filled out the survey we would review then select the lucky 60.

Over this past week we’ve been reviewing the surveys and there were a lot of great candidates. In fact, some of them even made special blog posts and videos!

It wasn’t easy to choose which vExperts would receive these disks. In reviewing their responses, Intel, VMware, and myself really looked at each entry and tried to surmise how they would use and promote these drives. We visited their social media platforms to get a feel of how they might plus we looked at their activity. We also considered other platforms and venues they shared with us and read each of their entries. We narrowed it down and discussed why each candidate would be chosen.

Now that we have our 1st round picks, we will be sending drives to them this week. They will be notified by the vExpert program and should see their drives the first week of January 2022. Additionally, we will be scheduling a Mid-January meeting to help enable them.

But wait there’s more! We will be sending out a “thanks for applying” email to those who were not selected in the 1st round. However don’t fret, We are working on a 2nd chance plan for those who applied but didn’t get selected. We are planning to setup a meeting to help these candidates become more viable. With a little work I have no doubt that many folks from this group will be selected.

But wait there’s even more! This is not fully confirmed but we may be able to open the 2nd round to folks in EMEA. We are working on some Intel magic to be able to ship to EMEA. Fingers crossed on this one and stay tuned!

It’s been a pleasure helping and enabling my fellow vExperts but please do keep in mind that all official communication should be coming from the vExpert team.

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