The ecosystem surrounding VMware and its virtualization and cloud infrastructure software is still vibrant. A close-knit group of bloggers, podcasters, evangelists, and kibbitzers grew out of forums and user groups over the last 15 years. Some work for VMware, some for other tech vendors, some for consultants and resellers, and others work delivering IT for their employers. Blogging might be on the wane elsewhere, but this community of technologists still has an active blogosphere: see this list of top virtualization blogs by popular vote and by the numbers. Those that don’t blog still follow each other on Twitter.
As a result, influencers in this ecosystem help educate people on products, on best practices, and on trends. The conversation is usually technical and relentlessly practical.
Here we’re presenting our list of top 50 overall influencers for VMware. This is an algorithmic list based on who is followed the most on Twitter by other “insiders.” It maps reasonably well to my own subjective sense of this community that I’ve been a part of since 2005; however, it has a lot of historical signal (ex-VMware CTOs, for instance, who were followed by lots of VMware insiders) and may show other biases in following behavior (e.g., there are no women in the Top 50.) We’ll explore different aspects of the broader data set later. See the notes following this list.
Top 50 VMware Influencers
- Duncan Epping. @DuncanYB. Chief Technologist @VMware | Author of http://Yellow-Bricks.com , Essential Virtual SAN, Clustering Deepdive | Hyper-Converged, Software-Defined Storage, vSphere
- William Lam. @lamw. Staff Architect II, VMware R&D | Blogger | Evangelist | Technologist | Hacker | VMware vExpert 2009–2017
- John Mark Troyer. @jtroyer. Human-centered techie, talker, community guy. @TechReckoning newsletter, @Geek_Whisperers podcast. Ex-VMware, vExpert creator
- Cormac Hogan. @CormacJHogan. Office of the CTO, Storage and Availability BU at VMware. Author and Blogger.
- Alan Renouf. @alanrenouf. My personal account where anything I say belongs to me and is the thoughts of myself and not the company I work for (VMware).
- Scott S. Lowe. @scott_lowe. An IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, & cloud computing; currently working for a leading virtualization vendor (tweets are mine)
- Frank Denneman. @FrankDenneman. Senior Staff Architect at VMware R&D for VMware Cloud on AWS. Tech advisor @ITQ and @EVOventurepartn | Co-author vSphere technical deepdive series | VCDX29
- Rawlinson Rivera. @PunchingClouds. Chief Technology Officer, Global Field @ Cohesity, Inc | Inventor | Opinions are all mine
- David Davis. @davidmdavis. Partner at http://ActualTechMedia.com , Author at http://Pluralsight.com , Speaker, 7 x vExpert, VCP, VCAP, & CCIE# 9369
- Chad Sakac. @sakacc. Dad, husband, friend, curious explorer and global traveller. By day, lead Converged Platforms & Solutions at Dell EMC. Views are mine, not that of my employer!
- Chris Wolf. @cswolf. VP & CTO, Global Field and Industry @VMware | Husband | Father | Friend | Instigator | Runner | Sucker for a song about hope
- Steve Herrod. @herrod. MD at General Catalyst (@gcvp), ex-VMware CTO. Enjoy Italian coffee, California wine, Belgian Beer, and US sports.
- Pat Gelsinger. @PGelsinger. CEO @VMware. Engineering pioneer, proud grandfather, Christian, philanthropist, farm boy at heart. Values are the most enduring thing leaders create.
- Jason Boche. @jasonboche. VMware vEvangelist, VCDX3 #34, VCDX4, VCDX5, VCAP4-DCA #14, VCAP4-DCD #35, VCAP5-DCA, VCAP5-DCD, VCPx4, VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM, vEXPERTx7, MCSEx3, MCSAx2, CCAx2.
- Chris Wahl. @ChrisWahl. Published author, tech writer, double VCDX, PowerShell MVP, and @Datanauts_Show host. Chief Tech Evangelist at @RubrikInc
- Eric Sloof. @esloof. As a VMware certified instructor I’m helping organizations who want to maximize the benefits of the VMware virtualisation and cloud products.
- Mike Laverick. @Mike_Laverick. Teessider, Techknowologist and Tweets are my own… Formerly of VMware, now volunteering for http://www.aquabox.org/
- Simon Long. @SimonLong_. EUC Architect at VMware (Double-VCDX #105), | Fitness fiend, CrossFit lover | #vExpert
- Ray Heffer. @rayheffer. Architect of clouds for VMware. Double VCDX. Member of CTO Ambassador program. Blogger and presenter. Passion for code, coffee, PC gaming & Linux
- Eric Siebert. @ericsiebert. VMware evangelist, virtualization nut, 9x vExpert, storage guy, book author, blogger, speaker, motorcycle rider, old west guns lover, work for HPE
- Chris Colotti. @ccolotti. Principal Architect at VMware, Diamond Team Beachbody Coach, Co-Owner STK Promotions with my wife, and Jeep Owner. Love ’em or hate ’em, my tweets are my own.
- Kit Colbert. @KitColbert. Work at VMware. Into tech, politics, running, snowboarding, and good beer & whiskey. All tweets my own!
- Sanjay Poonan. @spoonen. Chief Operating Officer @VMware. Former President, Platform & Industries @SAP. Loves Leadership, Piano, Sports, My Family & Jesus Christ
- Joe Baguley. @JoeBaguley. VP & CTO, EMEA — VMware : Virtualization, Containers, Cloud, SDDC, Datacenters, EVs, Energy, Science, Photography, Shooting, Fireworks, Cars & Gadgets!
- Rick Scherer. @rick_scherer. Lead Global Architect/CTO Ambassador at @DellEMC supporting @AmericanExpress & @Intel. Cloud Native Aficionado, Twin Dad, VCDX #21. Founder of http://VMware.Tips
- Manish Patel. @Mandivs. Loving life! Living in present.vExpert, CiscoChampion,VCP3/4/55/6/DV/DT/Cloud/NV,VCAP4/5DCA/DCD,VTSP5/6,CCNA/P,CNA/E, SCSA/NA,MCSA/E,ASE, Redhat Foundations
- Wade Holmes. @wholmes. VMware Sr. Technical Product Manager — NSX, Micro-segmentation Day 1 author, vCAT co-author, VCDX Panelist, VCDX#15, VCP-NV, CISSP, CCSK, NSX vExpert.
- John Arrasjid. @vcdx001. Principal Architect, VCDX-001
- Jad El-Zein. @virtualjad. Principal Architect, CMBU @VMware | tweeting/blogging all things vRA and SDDC @ http://virtualjad.com | Tweets are mine | Live Life and you will Love Life.
- Rick Vanover. @RickVanover. RICKATRON. I work for Veeam. vSphere & Hyper-V, Windows server, storage systems, hardware, cloud. Father, Husband, Work in Progress. MVP/vExpert/Cisco Champion
- Andrew Mauro. @Andrea_Mauro. ITPro. Accreditations: vExpert 2010–17,MVP 2014–16,NTC.Some certifications: VCDX-DCV,VCAP-*,VCP-*, MCSA,MCSE,MCITP,CCA,NPP. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member.
- Gregg Robertson. @GreggRobertson5. VCDX #205 (VCDX5-DCV) | Cloud Practice Solution Lead @DellEMC ,vExpert 2011–17,VMware Communities Moderator,EMEA vBrownbag host & Saffa geek.
- Cody Bunch. @cody_bunch. Doer of things.
- Tony Dunn. @tony_dunn. Chief Social Media Architect @VMware. Digital Marketing strategy, community mgmt, web dev/design & tech wizardry
- Michael Webster. @vcdxnz001. NPX-007, Author: Virtualizing SQL Server on VMware: Doing IT Right, VCDX, vExpert, Virtual Business Critical Apps in Software-Defined Datacenters, Tweets my own
- Jason Nash. @TheJasonNash. Something or other at @ThinkAheadIT. VCDX #49. Father. Jeep guy. Dodge Hellcat tamer. Skeet shooter. Apple fanatic. Hi-tech redneck.
- Christian Mohn. @h0bbel. Snr. Solutions Architect @ #TeamProact | http://vNinja.net | Author | vExpert | VMUG Leader http://vmug.no
- Josh Atwell. @Josh_Atwell. Husband to renowned COO & creative visionary of The Atwell Family, Stephanie Atwell. When not helping raise 3 kids I work as a Developer Advocate at @SolidFire
- Gurusimran Khalsa. @gurusimran. Virtualization geek, @VUPaaS co-host, VMware Availability Tech Marketing, #vBrownbag crew, vExpert, VCAP5-DCD/DCA, father/husband, always learning
- Luc Dekens. @LucD22. vExpert 2009–2017 / PowerShell MVP 2013–2016 / Co-author VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference Eds 1 & 2
- Stephen Foskett. @SFoskett. Just some guy talking about data storage, virtualization, the business of IT and whatever else. I run @TechFieldDay. My tweets are http://bit.ly/CCbySA
- Kendrick Coleman. @KendrickColeman. Developer Advocate @codeDellEMC | go/node/ruby/docker/mesos | Previous @VMware life | @BourbonPursuit Podcast Host | #BBN | Bow Tie Wearer | moar bourbon
- Michael Dell. @MichaelDell. 🇺🇸🇺🇸 Self employed 🇺🇸🇺🇸 Grateful to Customers http://DellTechnologies.com http://msdf.orghttp://msdcapital.com https://www.facebook.com/MichaelSDell
- Mike Foley. @mikefoley. Husband, Dad, Geek. This is my account full of my PERSONAL views. Follow @vSphereSecurity for VMware stuff. Get off my lawn kids. This is NOT my 1st rodeo
- Massimo Re Ferre’. @mreferre. “Yes, the planet got destroyed. But for a beautiful moment in time we created a lot of value for shareholders”. Technical Product Management at #VMware.
- Andre Leibovici. @andreleibovici. Alliances Eng. & Vertical Alliances @Nutanix. Ex-VMW CTO Office, Mentor @alchemistacc, Founder @devonportvc, Investor @KeewiInc @YotaScale, Advisor @workspot
- Jase McCarty. @jasemccarty. Virtualization Professional at VMware. I focus primarily on HCI & storage in general, with some coding too.
- Anthony Spiteri. @anthonyspiteri. Technical Evangelist @Veeam | Tech Addict | vCloud Director | vExpert 2012–2016 | vExpert NSX/VSAN | — Cricket|Golf — Essendon ManU, Heat
- Jonathan Frappier. @jfrappier. VMware stuff for days, DevOps, GitHub, Ansible, & Agile wannabe by night. EMCCAe VCAP5-DCD VCP6-NV VCP6-CMA VCP5-DCV Scrum Master #vExpert#vBrownBag#Commitmas
- Angelo Luciani. @AngeloLuciani. #Nutanix #VMware#Toronto#VMUG#SiliconValley#vExpert#VirtualDesignMaster#Openstack#CommunityManager#EnterpriseCloud#Cloud #Podcast#Growth #cmgr
- Martin Casado. @martin_casado. General partner at Andreessen Horowitz. https://keybase.io/casado
- Scott Bollinger. @kfalconspb. IT pro and technology certification junkie. #vExpert 2017, CCAx3(XA/XS6,XD5), CCAA, VCP5, CISSP, CCNA/DA, MCITP, MCSE, CIW, CEH, GIAC GCIH, & Comptia(7).
- Adam Eckerle. @eck79. Tech Marketing for vCenter @VMwareVCIX, @MotoGP/@WorldSBK fan, Triathlete, @SpaceCampUSA(@NASAAstronaut reject) & @RoseHulman alumni. Dad 2 twin boys.
- Simon Seagrave. @Kiwi_Si. Virtualization, Cloud & IT Tech Lover. VMware vExpert. Works for Dell EMC. Podcaster (Data Center Insiders & vChat). Blogger http://TechHead.co
- Brian Graf. @vBrianGraf. Senior Product Manager — Distributed Resource Management #DRS at #VMware, Author, #PowerShell MVP, #PowerCLI evangelist,#vExpert. Tweets are my own.
Why are there 55 people in a list of top 50? Originally we omitted several accounts that Little Bird had categorized as “Organizations” (I’m looking at you, @PunchingClouds), so after publications we added those 5 people back in.
Why are there no women? This is purely an algorithmic list based on bootstrapping a network of insiders who follow each other. There are many women on the longer list (Amy Lewis @CommsNinja #66, Jane Rimmer @Rimmergram #69, Yanbing Li @ybhighheels #96, Susan Gude @susangude #96, Jodi Shely @rytalws #124). I believe this Twitter following behavior doesn’t reflect their actual influence in the real world. Interested in having more VMware influential women in your feed? We’ll publish a follow-up list.
What is the algorithm? We are using the tool Little Bird, which looks at mutual following relationships on Twitter to discover and graph a network and then rank its members by their degree of connectedness. Because it ranks influence by who follows whom within the network, not just raw follower counts, the list captures both who is listening currently as well as historical following patterns. Because the VMware community on Twitter grew up in 2010–2013, many of those relationships remain captured in this list, since people rarely unfollow others who change jobs or become less active. (e.g., ex-VMware CTO #11 Steve Herrod).
VMware and Dell EMC: Most of the folks on this list work for VMware or Dell EMC. VMware has hired many people who were active in the community, often in technical marketing, professional services, or the Office of the CTO , and they are well-represented on this list. VMware employees who did not have large follower lists are naturally “on stage” and get followed at a higher rate as they join the VMware ecosystem (e.g., that newcomer #40 Michael Dell). As we extend the list over 50 we see many more people not employed by VMware itself, including customers and channel partners.
To PR pros: please, don’t blindly pitch this whole list of nice people. They may or may not be open to cold tweets or emails for press releases or briefings from your client. We’ll publish a follow-up list of top influencers who don’t work for tech vendors, and that may be a more useful list for you.