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keithKeith Pratola has been fascinated with computers for the past 30 years since he first got his hands on a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A. This is back when you could save your programs using standard audio cassettes. One of his first programs was Tic-tac-toe. Little did he know that learning BASIC would later help in High School with advanced mathematics and physics where it was easy to learn TI-BASIC on a graphing calculator and make complex problems simple to solve. Even the teachers were impressed and wanted a copy of these programs for their own personal use and Keith was happy to oblige.

Eventually, Microsoft became a big part of his life with the first server install being Windows NT 4.0 and Exchange 5.5, going on to learn just about every version of Windows and Exchange Servers. Almost everything with Microsoft products intrigued him but the real breakthrough was when Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition was released as a free download. Now he could install several servers on a single physical host. Being able to run an entire infrastructure in his home with a Domain Controller, IIS, SharePoint, SQL, and Exchange was very exciting.

While Microsoft still plays a major role for Keith, designing and deploying VMware solutions is now his primary focus. He started with VMware ESXi 3.5 and hasn’t stopped since. Currently he in the process of vetting out vSphere 6.0 before upgrading a mid-size infrastructure. In addition to ESXi, he also designed and deployed vCloud Director and has a major focus on products such as Site Recovery Manager, Operations Management, vRealize Suite, and more. He currently holds two VMware certifications, the VCP5-DCV and VCAP5-DCA and is working towards the VCP6-DCV and VCIX6-DCV.

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