Things You Won’t Learn on My LinkedIn Profile

I had to do a little introduction exercise when I moved over to the marketing team as a Tech Marketing Engineer. I had to share some things you wouldn’t learn on my LinkedIn Profile with the team. I thought it was fun to walk through and worth reposting here!

I just married the woman of my dreams (Kat) who was born in Germany but moved to Florida when she was young. She says y’all with a mixed German and Southern accent and it melts my heart. When we got married we smiled so much our faces hurt. We’re both still amazed that our lives turned out this way and we get to live our dreams.

Despite my mild mannered appearance, I like to live life dangerously. In addition to the rock climbing with my wife, you can find me riding motorcycles, snowboarding, or my one true guilty pleasure, eating Chipotle on my walk to and from HQ and the SJC airport.

I’m a Tough Mudder finisher. You’ll find me out crawling through the mud once a year.

Our long term goal is to move to a walkable city (maybe in Germany or the Netherlands) and spend summer nights walking between cafes. Especially Eiscafés

Vienna Avaya Technology Forum

Part of my role on the Nutanix Performance and Solutions team is to “evangelize” the technology and tell the world about all the great work we’re doing writing documents, testing products and solutions, and assisting with customer engagements. The physical manifestation of that is me sitting in an airport typing up this blog post, on my way to the Avaya Technology Forum in Vienna, Austria.


Nutanix will have a booth and I’ll be doing demos of the product interface and reaching out to Avaya communications and networking customers. I’ll be joined by members of the local Nutanix team to help share the duties. I’m looking forward to meeting more of the international Nutanix team!

The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform is a great fit for Avaya customers looking to virtualize their communications infrastructure running Avaya Aura, or IP Office. Nutanix also simplifies the compute and storage side of the data center for those leveraging Avaya Fabric Connect to simplify the network stack.

Imagine being able to scale your compute and storage seamlessly with auto discovery. Imagine one click upgrades of the entire compute and storage ecosystem (INCLUDING THE HYPERVISOR!). More importantly, imagine all the time you’ll have to work on the applications that really matter.

IP Office Reference Architecture

Avaya Aura Reference Architecture

Stop by the Nutanix booth in the Solutions Zone at the Hilton Vienna on May 5th – 8th if you’re in the area!

Nutanix and The 2015 Avaya Technology Forum

I’m at the 2015 Avaya Technology Forum with Nutanix to talk about Avaya Unified Communications on the Nutanix platform. Stop by the Nutanix and CRI booth to see the Nutanix gear in action. Nutanix 3460 and 1450 nodes will be powering all the demos you see for Avaya Aura and other applications!

I’ve been testing with the helpful engineers at Avaya to do two important things:

  1. Ensure Avaya Unified Communications applications run flawlessly on Nutanix.
  2. Test the Nutanix Distributed File System (NDFS) performance and operation on top of Avaya Fabric Connect.

The result of all this work is being presented here at the Avaya Technology Forum in sunny Orlando. The Avaya colleagues I’ve been working with are from the Boston area (and Canada), so I imagine coming down here to find 81 degrees and sunshine is a welcome change!

The first item I want to bring to your attention is the Nutanix Avaya Unified Communications Solution Brief. This is a high level piece to show the overall benefits of combining Nutanix and Avaya Unified Communications. Nutanix makes the data center admin’s life easier by eliminating silos between UC and other data center apps, bringing scalable compute and storage to the masses, cutting down on management time, providing blinding fast I/O performance, and tying it all together with high availability baked in.


Whether you’re running Avaya IP Office, a full blown contact center with Avaya Aura, or something in between, the Nutanix platform brings web-scale technologies to these virtual applications. To top it off – Avaya Fabric Connect technologies allow the data center admin to provision highly resilient, low-latency, high-throughput network backbones without the drawbacks of traditional spanning tree architectures.

Nutanix performs hyper-convergence at the storage and compute layer using a software defined Controller Virtual Machine. Find out more here at the Nutanix Bible to see how Nutanix ties together the disks of many nodes to form a resilient, distributed, high-performance compute and storage cluster.

Avaya brings Software Defined Networking and Virtualization with Avaya Fabric Connect.

These two technologies together save time and money in the datacenter, while also providing blazing performance.


Check back for updates during the conference. I’ll be sharing a Reference Architecture for Avaya IP Office Server Edition running on Nutanix. In the future you’ll also see a Reference Architecture for Avaya Aura on Nutanix.

Find me at the conference by tweeting @bbbburns or stopping by the Nutanix and CRI booth.

Motorcycle Weekend – Myrtle Beach and Wright Brothers

I spent the weekend riding the motorcycle to Myrtle Beach SC to spend some time with my sister Amanda. I took a route directly to her place, but today took a pretty long road home to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial and tour some scenic NC coast.

The bridges were awesome to cross. The burned swamp land was breath taking and went on for miles. There were some SERIOUSLY deserted places out there.

A 733 mile shakedown run on the bike, new seat, and new shoulder. Everything works pretty well so I’d say I’m prepared for Tail of The Dragon next Friday.

The new seat lowers me (good) and cramps my legs a bit (bad), but I get used to that. My butt isn’t AS sore as it used to be with the old seat, but sit in the saddle for a 12 hour day and comfort is relative.

The new shoulder works perfectly with no complaints (as long as the weather is nice).

Plane Travel Plus Kindle

I think one of my favorite parts of the Park City trip was the new FAA regulations on portable electronic devices. We took Delta and were instructed that we could use our portable electronic devices during all phases of flight.

I used my Kindle Paperwhite to read the HELL out of Caliban’s War which is the second book in the excellent series The Expanse, starting with Leviathan Wakes.

It was great to be able to continue reading uninterrupted because it’s a pretty fast paced book.

Canyons – Day 6

Day 6 after a short Cross Country interlude was our final day boarding in Utah. We decided to mix it up and head over to Canyons. The weather forecast was SNOW all day (up to 10 inches) and there was already 4 inches on the ground.

Park City was effortless for buying tickets but Canyons just up the street proved to be a real pain. We bought tickets online ahead of time to save some time and money but when we got there the line for tickets was taking people about 30 – 40 minutes to get through. Talk about a SERIOUS waste of time on a powder day.

The trick here is to go to the Ski School window inside the building where they have more agents just waiting to help you out with ZERO line. I don’t know why this wasn’t better load balanced or advertised for customers that had already bought passes online.

Once we got on the slopes we didn’t have too much trouble getting around but we did have trouble with the conditions. It didn’t seem like anything had ever been groomed so the terrain hidden underneath the snow was pretty inconsistent. You’d plow through a powder pile and slow down, then at the end it would all go to hell when the last bit of the pile slid away due to the ice underneath. It was tough on us boarders but the skiers said it was brutal since the conditions varied from one ski to the next.

The Dream Catcher area was definitely our favorite of the day. It appeared to have the most untracked powder and the most consistent conditions underneath. The next favorite area was called Red Pine Road which had a lot of free areas along the side to head off into the trees with the deep stuff. We only did this run once on the way out and couldn’t find an easy way to get to it again without taking two lifts.

Overall thoughts: We picked the right housing location by being “Ski In – Ski Out” at Park City. It had plenty of groomers to keep the skiers and boarders zooming in fast conditions. It also had a lot of fun Adventure Alleys to let people run through the trees. On top of that it just seems really well put together in terms of navigation. We never had a problem figuring out which lift to take or where to go. Everything just flowed! Canyons seemed tougher to get around with conditions that just didn’t lend themselves to high speed runs. Park City was non stop fun no matter which way we went!

Park City – Day 5

Day 5 started out super lazy. We were gonna go to Canyons but the group consensus was to do nothing at all for a while.

The day off included a ton of computer time…  Then we decided why not go cross country skiing?!

We rented skis and boots and did a 5k around the golf course. It was a bunch of fun after a few falls. I’m now a skier… Sort of.

Hot tub now.

Park City – Day 4

Day 4 of Park City gave us a few more inches of snow. This day was completely dedicated to Adventure Alley runs. We completed all of the Adventure Alley runs on the mountain! Each one is demarcated by a little metal monster.

I put together a string of runs during breakfast and then we went to execute on the plan.

Think mountain biking or dirt biking, but on a snowboard. There are banked turns through the trees and a pretty set path to follow with a bit of variation. You have to pick your line right to make the turn, otherwise you’re jumping over the bank instead of cutting a hard turn. WAY TOO MUCH FUN!

Brendan hurt his knee and had to go back early. Apparently I missed an epic face plant.

I worked a change window that went well and then we went out in Park City for Sushi. It’s a cool little place to walk around in.

Park City – Day 3

Day 3 of Park City brought us a few inches of snow! We started right as the lifts opened up (or just a few minutes behind) and headed straight to the Powder Monkey “Adventure Alley” section on the back side of the mountain.

This is a tree filled gully full of little dips and whoops that was a bit like going over a pump track on a mountain bike.

It continued to snow on us and we explored the rest of the mountain.

We called it an early day and went back home to meet up with Marv. It was good to see him again and hang out. It continued to snow so Marv had to call it a bit of an early night to make it back down the mountain.

We TRIED to get into the hot tub before dinner but it turned out to be more of a warm tub. 93 degrees and it was snowing HARD on us. Luckily this is fixed now but it made for a pretty unpleasant realization at the time.

No Name Saloon was next on the list. Everyone grabbed burgers and Pete was inappropriate with the waitress as usual.

An excellent 3rd day in Park City.

Park City – Day 2

  • Top of the world selfie
    Top of the world selfie
  • Binding repair
  • Falling in the lift line (me plus new bindings)
  • Fast runs
  • A run that lasted for miles
  • Sunny skies
  • Powder Monkey tree run via super high lift
  • Lunch break
  • Anneka learning to ski backwards and crashing into a 30 foot wide bright orange Slow Zone barrier in the beginner zone.
  • Outside beers
  • Freezing night run lift
  • Beautiful moon and sunset over the mountains
  • Amazing view of Park City way below lit up at night
  • Hot tub!
  • Pizza
  • Review of pics and videos of the day
  • Writing from bed

Hoping for snow tomorrow.