Meet NPX 021 – Michael Shin

  • Name: Michael Shin
  • NPX Number: 021
  • Employer: Nutanix
  • Blog URL: 
  • Twitter: MshinNutanix
  • Virtualisation background:  – VMWare : I started using VMware since 2010 on ESXi 4.0, when I was first involved in building small hosted VMware cluster for a managed service company. Since then, been working on primarily on Server Virtualization on design / implementation and supporting both on-prem and hosted solutions.
    – Hyper-V : Started with the release of Hyper-V 2012 with the main focus on designing complete storage + virtualization solution using Hyper-V on VNX and UCS blades. During my support days, I was heavily involved in Hyper-V 2012 to 2016 automated conversion field tests
    – Xen Server : Main focus on troubleshooting / supporting existing solutions since 2013.
  • Storage Background:I was at Symmetrix support team from 2006 to 2007, then moved to language support team for all EMC storage product for Korean customers. From 2009 to 2014, I worked as a systems engineer for presales, design, implementation on multiple SAN solutions including Clariion, VNX, Equalogic and IBM XIVs. Most of my previous work involved collecting app specific IOPs requirement and designing / carving RAID groups and LUNs.
  • Hyper Converged Infrastructure background:  In 2014, I joined a professional services company who happened to be one of the first Nutanix partner in Australia. I was deeply attracted to this whole new concept which defies my entire storage engineer career. After spending 1 year delivering Nutanix solutions to multiple customers in ANZ region and seen the differences Nutanix brings to legacy datacentres, I decided to join Nutanix as a support engineer. I spent 3 years in supporting / escalations team, then moved into APAC GSO team to combine my support knowledge / experience in Nutanix and my previous consulting experience in fast paced, always challenging customer facing role.
  • Future of HCI and other emerging technologies:  HCI is not just a fancy new technology built for specific use case anymore, and Nutanix is not just a HCI infrastructure company anymore. With simplified yet powerful infrastructure HCI brings, Nutanix has developed a full stack of platforms and features to create hybrid cluster solution highly customizable for many different customers, all the way from SMB to large enterprise. Customers always desire mixing and matching different hypervisors, cloud technologies and hardware solutions custom built to satisfy their business requirement, Nutanix is here to deliver this freedom that everyone deserves.
  • Value of NPX:  NPX is a challenging certificate that tests your knowledge on multiple hypervisors over highly complicated solution design. Being a peer-vetted exam with 3 different sections to cover (Presentation, Design and Troubleshooting), you need to be able to demonstrate not only your technical knowledge, but also your ability to consult and communicate with customers. You need to understand technical aspect of every component of the design, as well as complete life cycle of the project delivery. This is the proof that you can comfortably interact with C level execs, Management team and technical resources to collect different requirements and turn them into customized solution.
  • What made you go for NPX: Throughout my career as a support engineer, systems engineer and consultant, there has always been one question I’ve been asking myself – Am I providing what customer really need?
    During my support days in Nutanix, I had a privilege to work on multiple solutions designed by NPX certified professionals, and was deeply impressed that every design decisions actually corresponds to a specific customer requirement, and changes they brought to customer’s day to day life. I quickly realized that I can find answer to my question in the journey to NPX, and started preparing for the exam.
  • Advice to people looking into the NPX track: This was not an easy process. You will have to spend hundreds of hours, and will need to learn the areas you were never familiar with. This is not something you can cram for 2 weeks and expect to pass. From my past experience, I would say NPX bootcamp is a must. It took me two attempts to pass, and my first defence which I tried without attending bootcamp was a disaster. You must learn to ask right questions, and work your way top down from conceptual to logical, then to physical design. My suggestion is to read through and understand the difference between conceptual, logical and physical designs, come up with a good methodology to collect right information and apply them to your decisions. You will need to spend huge amount of time preparing for the exam, stick to NPX blueprint and make sure you spend enough time for each category.