Rose Ross talks to Hans De Leenheer, independent Blogger and vEXPERT

August 29, 2013

Hans de Leenheer, Independent blogger

By Rose Ross, @Rose_at_O, and Rosalind Carr, @Rosalind_at_O

This summer Rose caught up with Belgium based independent Blogger Hans De Leenheer @hansdeleenheer, chatting storage, virtualization, American Football and Storage Beers… Check out his latest insights at  http://hansdeleenheer.blogspot.co.uk/

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself:

As I was previously a systems engineer, I suppose initially I fell into blogging by putting solutions to problems encountered into a blog to help tackle these problems. In the last three years, I have put my focus more towards storage, compiling the how to’s and offering my insights into different areas of storage and virtualization.

As I started blogging more about new products and industry moves I gained interest from the vendor community. I got invites from DELL, HP and others to come to their events as an influencer. The best thing I do is being passionate about technology and sharing that passion with others, whether that is through writing, presenting or just speaking to people in person. And that is what I do today; I represent vendors when they need someone passionate to explain their technology.

Q. Tell us a little bit about your blog:

The ethos of my personal blog is independent; my subjective take on the issues and developments in the storage and virtualization space. I like to think of my blog as a “conversation on paper”; a written forum of information and ideas.

You will notice that a lot of my interest goes to start-ups. In my opinion this is where new technology shifts faster. As a technologist I am very interested in what will happen tomorrow in this field, which is being developed now by those start-ups.

With his expertise in storage and virtualization, and his involvement in the start-up world, we are delighted to have Hans as a judge in this year’s Tech Trailblazers Awards – watch this space!

Q. What’s hot in storage/virtualization this year?

Flash start-ups definitely still are, but the question is whether flash will become mainstream. In my opinion we have hit a point where, next to the technologists, the customers are now seeing the benefit of using flash more broadly than just as a niche solution. As there is a very disperse market with so many players, the real question will be which vendors will become profitable enough.

The industry is extremely fast paced and hardware lifespan is evolving quickly, whilst updates are incredibly expensive. Technology’s lifespan is becoming increasingly shorter and as a result becomes outdated after just a few years, much shorter than the time period it has been bought for.

Although I dislike buzzwords, I do welcome the whole software defined model. It will make the datacentre more flexible, as one of the biggest restrictions I see today is the inability to change due to past acquisitions.

I do like to emphasize a feeling I have around buzzwords when we are speaking about “what’s hot”.  I feel that buzzwords like cloud, big data and software defined are too often used as wrappers around existing technology instead of innovation.

Q. Who is worth listening to about storage and virtualization?

So many different people constantly inspire me that the list changes on a daily basis!

I do believe from an independent point Chris Mellor is in a league of his own in terms of knowledge as a reporter and Martin Glassborrow and Scott Lowe are really insightful mentors to follow. I also follow the likes of Calvin Zito, Steven Foskett, Chad Sakac, Greg Shultz, Chris Evans, Vaughn Stewart, Howard Marks, Chuck Hollis and Marc Farley (I should keep going here as I am offending dozens by not calling them by name).

Q. What is the best piece of advice for companies pitching stories to you?

In my opinion there is a big difference between a blogger and a journalist/reporter. The latter is more interested in being the first to spread your news as objectively as possible. Bloggers tend to be waiting for something that tickles their mind.

Those looking to capture my interest should keep it personal; research the areas I cover and pitch accordingly. Giving bloggers the time to process information and compile insights is another top tip. Pitch the bloggers a week before you pitch the press, you might be surprised by their feedback and the results for you will be greater. I also find that organising a group webex with bloggers can be productive, where it’s possible to bounce around ideas globally and form fascinating debates.

Q. What is your favourite restaurant?

No favourites as such, I love being shown new cuisines, which is one advantage to the travelling I am doing at the moment. For example, I first ate curry and noodles in London as we don’t really have that richness in foreign cuisine in Belgium, except for Chinese and Italian maybe.

Q. Tell us something no one knows about you. Do you have any unusual or unexpected hobbies/interests? Do you have a claim to fame?

puurs titans

Up until the point I injured my knee, I was an American Football player back at home in Belgium for my team Puurs Titans. I am still involved with the team as a board member.

Q. The question we should have asked you but didn’t. Feel free to share anything else you’d like to make the readers aware of.

I feel lucky to have my hobby as a job – one which is internationally social, where I can connect with like-minded people with the same interests. I love how I can meet new people at global events such as Storage Beers, and form great relationships through our combined love of technology. Be it people of different ages or from different countries, it is important to find the time to connect with these people and pool our knowledge and enthusiasm.

My family are very important to me. We are a musical family, with my daughters singing and playing trumpet, and my wife playing bass tuba. When I’m not blogging, you’ll often find me sitting proudly in the audience and occasionally when the band goes out on the street, you’ll see me banging the base drums.

Copyright ©Launchpad Europe 2013. All rights reserved. You may copy and distribute this material as long as  you credit the author where possible; the copies are distributed only for non-commercial purposes and at no charge; and you include this copyright notice and link to Countdown2vmworld.com, the original source of the work.

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