Renewing my energy at SolarWinds

Headquartered in what has become my hometown, SolarWinds shares a campus with AMD in the southwestern corner of Austin. The majority of the existing, product suite is comprised of componentized, enterprise-architected, Windows-oriented network, systems, security, database management software. Many (not all) of these offerings were from one of ~18 acquisitions, with the latest (LogicNow) in early June of this year. These acquisitions include three SaaS offerings, LibratoPapertrail and Pingdom, giving SolarWinds continuous-delivery known-how and a splash of DevOps culture.

SolarWinds is bimodal both in how offerings are built and delivered, but also in terms of customer environments its software manages. With Mode 1 offerings in hand, SolarWinds is well-poised and funded for new product initiatives and acquisitions moving toward Mode 2 offerings. With this in mind, I join forces at SolarWinds. I’ll highlight a few attractions to coming aboard:

  • company recently privatized, freeing itself from external (Street) pressure
  • recently refreshed set of well-experienced leadership
  • headquartered in Austin – a refreshing change for me from having led high profile initiatives from branch campuses
  • a forward-looking mindset toward new offerings; SaaS know-how embedded with the acquisitions of Librato, Papertrail and Pingdom
  • alignment with my long-standing love of empowering engineers to work smarter with great software

I anticipate a smooth acclimation to the company (given its culture) and role given that developer platforms, management and automation software have been, not the only, but a consistent theme throughout my career:

  • An extranet at Weir Minerals integrating their ERP system with supply chain vendors for real-time information on materials and orders, automation of document management.
  • Moving to Pelco to lead Engineering IT, I empowered engineering groups to self-service and innovate autonomously by deploying network environments while maintaining supportable, dynamically-documented systems/networks with transparency to each environment’s configuration and service status; Designed first SNMP MIB and OID structure and introduced SNMP as a new capability across product portfolio; having created the Pelco Management Station, I moved to Cisco.
  • Focus on management software and efficient service delivery continued within Cisco Remote Management Services group, where I spent much time pushing the envelope of ScienceLogic’s EM7 (e.g. video mgmt, network configuration management) capabilities; brought in a data center automation engine to automate service delivery producing over 70 man-months of savings in its first year running.
  • Transitioning into Cisco Cloud and Virtualization Group, where I built Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, (and teams of excellent engineers); delivered the initial Cisco Intercloud release; founded the Docker@Cisco community.
  • Joining Seagate, to focus on hyper-converged infrastructure and SDS, I pushed forward DMTF Redfish (1.0), a next-generation of IPMI, and delivered the company’s first implementation; Directed a suite of management software, spanning systems monitoring to drive analytics with failure prediction algorithms to the deployment of Seagate Call Home on container PaaS, Red Hat OpenShift (and joining the OpenShift Commons).

In the office of the CTO and chartered with technology strategy for the existing product lines and forward-looking ventures, I look forward to new challenges and relationships, and in doing so, reuniting and partnering with a former cohort from Cisco and Seagate. It seems acquisitions truly are SolarWinds’ forte – team acquisition in this case.

Lee Calcote

Lee Calcote
Lee Calcote is an innovative thought leader, passionate about developer platforms and management software for clouds, containers, infrastructure and applications. Advanced and emerging technologies have been a consistent focus through Calcote’s tenure at SolarWinds, Seagate, Cisco and Pelco. An organizer of technology meetups and conferences, a writer, author, speaker, he is active in the tech community.

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