Primer on Reinforcement Learning for General AI - Dr. GP Pulipaka

Keith caught up with Dr. GP Pulipaka during SAP Sapphire 2019. Dr. Pulipaka is an AI expert and Data Scientist with Accenture. Dr. Pulipaka introduces the concept of reinforcement learning vs. more traditional pattern based ML. Topics covered include:

  • General introduction to Reinforcement Learning

  • Various Algorithms

  • Use cases

  • Current state of the technology

Dr. Pulipaka’s upcoming book is entitled PyTorch.

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Punched in the Nose Part 2

Mark and Keith are joined by Matt Broberg and Luigi Danakos. The friends share stories about life surrounding IT. Just a practical conversation about surviving layoffs, job searches, and career challenges.

  • Matt shares an update from his job search and moving

  • Luigi shares what it’s like to fight back from hundreds of failed job applications

  • Keith shares his raw feelings about getting laid off from VMware after 6-years of trying to get into the company

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CTO Adovisor 100: Bare Metal Cloud

RackN CEO Rob Hirschfeld (@zehicle), joins the CTO Advisor for episode 100!!! (Sorry Chad, we’ll get you on for a ceremonial episode 100). With the growth in interest for VMware Cloud on AWS and AWS bare metal cloud, what is the market for bare metal cloud and automaton? Rob attempts to argue the value of bare metal automation. Rob makes the argument for Fry Cooks racking and stack at the edge. The conversation is wide ranging to why OpenStack didn’t work and Kubernetes at the edge.

Show Notes

CTO Advisor 099: ESXi on ARM

One of the advantages of Keith and Mark working for VMware is the ability to get guest working on world-class software. Today’s guest is Andrei Warkentin, Arm Enablement Architect at VMware. Andrei is helping to lead the development of VMware’s flagship product ESXi on ARM. VMware is in the early stages of finding product fit for ESXi on ARM. As such, this podcast episode captures some of the earliest thoughts on the effort. One burning question of why did the team port ESXi to the Raspberry PI when the device is too small to run a VM gets an answer.

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VMUG - Pivoting to Avoid Becoming Legacy - CTO Advisor 094

Keith and Mark sat down with VMUG CEO Brad Tompkins to talk the future of the VMware User Group (VMUG). The VMUG membership is a great pulse of the traditional IT organization. With all the talk about containers, serverless, and cloud, where are VMUG members in their technical journey? How does Tompkin navigate what members want to learn vs. what members must learn to avoid in his words not having an answer for the members CXOs. Great conversation on how to turn the ship from the bottom up. 

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Data protection and big data - CTO Advisor Podcast 093

How does Big Data impact your data protection strategy? Just as important, how does your data protection strategy fit into your data management strategy. Keith has mentioned the concept that compute has an opposing gravity to data. How does compute's gravity impact big data? Mark and Keith have on the CTO of startup Imanis Data to discuss why the data protection segment has seen so much investment. What are investors seeing that someone who hasn't looked at their backup strategy in two years doesn't? 

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Quietly Judging with Amy Lewis - CTO Advisor 091

Quietly judging our way into this week's CTO Advisor Podcast, this week's guest is Amy Lewis of The Geek Whisperers fame. This is a dual posted podcast as it's the first VirtualizedGeek episode as we begin talking careers over on We've often wondered about Amy's career journey. She went from publishing to being a Marketing Director at a large publically traded software company. How did she make the jump? What advice can she give to others wanting to make a similar jump? 

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Facemelting w/Chad Sakac Pt. 2 - The CTO Advisor Podcast

In the 2nd half of the conversation, we hit it right off from the business. Chad Sakac could chose to lead another business. Why did he decide to take an individual contributor role at Pivotal. What's so special about the opportunity at Pivotal? 

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Show Notes:

  • 7:00 - Forget Dell Tech... Who's interesting 
  • 10:00 - Functions, Serverless, Containers and PaaS 
  • 13:00 - The challenge of changing culture for serverless (NYT CTO Podcast Episode)
  • 15:00 - Learning a new way to code 


Facemelting w/Chad Sakac Pt.1 - The CTO Advisor Podcast 088

We finally got Chad Sakac on the podcast. It only took Chad taking a role at Pivotal to get him on. As with his blog, Chad can run a little long so we split the conversation into two episodes. The first episode focuses on the growth and customer demand for HCI. 

Show Notes

  • 3:30 - Facemelting numbers from the DellEMC Converged business 
  • 7:00 - Customers want HCI
  • 11:15 - What's the market for VxBLOCK when HCI is a rocketship? 
  • 12:30 - SAP HANA on HCI vs. CI 
  • 16:00 - Sometimes we don't care about vendor certification 
  • 18:30 - The importance of software vs. hardware


CTO Advisor 086: Behind the scenes with Mrs. CTO Advisor

We've been promising to do a behind the scenes look at the CTO Advisor and let you in on the private side of the business. The CTO Advisor is a family owned endeavor with Keith and Melissa Townsend at the helm. What were some of the challenges in starting and running a business as husband and wife. What were some of the expected experiences of running the CTO Advisor vs. the reality? Great raw conversation between the founders of The CTO Advisor. 

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Update on Dell Technologies - W/Howard Marks

Keith, Mark and Howard Marks are all headed to Dell Technologies world. After the $57B purchase of EMC, what are the three impressions of Dell Technologies post-acquisition? The three debate if there's an argument for an all Dell Technologies stack vs. Public Cloud. 

Show Notes 

2:30 - Defining Dell Technologies. 

5:30 - Dissecting DellEMC 

10:00 - Does DellEMC have a different mission than EMC 

11:30 - The new ScaleIO strategic direction and Software-Defined Storage 

13:30 - Nutanix' software only position vs. DellEMC 

16:00 - The impact of the death of DellEMC Code (Mark calls BS on Dell's open source strategy) 

18:00 - Is VMware better on Dell hardware? 

19:00 - NetApp's messaging vs. DellEMC messaging on developers. 

22:00 - Complexity in DellEMC vs. VMware customer relationship. Does Dell Technologies now have the same problem as a pre-spinout HPE and a current Cisco? 

24:30 - Is Dell too big to find solutions to customer problems? 

26:30 - Is the Dell acquisition of EMC good or bad for the customer? 

29:00 - Is there an argument for an all Dell Technologies stack vs. Public Cloud? 


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