Two more AHEAD© engineers achieve VMware Certified Design Expert status

Tim Curless and Brian Suhr join Chris Wahl as 3 of only 119 VCDXs worldwide

CHICAGO, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Following a grueling process involving countless hours of study, intense written exams, and a nerve-racking solution defense before a panel of VMware experts, AHEAD Senior Solutions Architect Brian Suhr and Technical Architect Tim Curless achieved recognition as VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX).


For both Suhr and Curless, this had been a goal since the certification was in its early days. Curless says "I looked at the early VCDXs as an incredible source of information and expertise around VMware solutions and remember thinking, 'someday I'm going to become a VCDX.'" In 2011 Curless had his first interview with Eric Kaplan, CTO at AHEAD. "Over the course of lunch we discussed many things," recalls Curless, "but one topic that jumped out was my interest in pursuing the VCDX certification. Eric did not hesitate a moment to tell me that was a goal he and AHEAD would earnestly support."

Suhr adds, "To achieve my goal I knew I needed to work where personal growth was valued, where I could work with a large number of clients and technologies, and where I would be surrounded by smart people. That place was AHEAD. I am quite sure I would not yet have achieved this goal had I not been working here."

Each engineer addressed a different scenario in preparing for review and defense. The solution Suhr submitted involved a vSphere, vShield, and vCloud design for an internet entertainment company. "The scenario revolved around taking this organization from a traditional virtualization environment to a 100% virtualized IT as a Service (ITaaS) offering," Suhr notes. "We were also tasked with creating an environment that was easy to manage and simple for developers to provision and consume resources. The end solution was implemented in roughly three months from start to finish. This environment gives them the flexibility to provision workloads to their private vCloud resources or take advantage of the newly announced vCloud Hybrid Cloud Service for additional capacity."

Curless addressed an infrastructure modernization project for an enterprise accounting firm. "In this scenario," says Curless "the firm was already highly virtualized, but suffered from many challenges: crowded data centers, customers demanding levels of service commensurate with today's public cloud offerings, and, of course, needing to reduce operational cost. The solution focused on moving the client from captive data centers it owned and maintained into a colocation provider. In addition, an upgrade from vSphere 4.0 to vSphere 5 enabled the client to transition from being a builder of infrastructure islands to being a provider of services."

"Tim and Brian exemplify the type of technical talent we look for at AHEAD," says AHEAD CEO Dan Adamany. "Their commitment to the VCDX design and defense process shows their technical depth, as well as their leadership in the VMware ecosystem. Having three VCDXs at AHEAD is a tremendous achievement for our company, and ultimately is an invaluable resource for our clients to leverage. I can't overstate how proud I am of Brian and Tim for their accomplishment."


AHEAD is a team of experienced IT infrastructure professionals with deep expertise in today's compelling technologies: virtual end-user computing (VEUC), SaaS, and private, public, and hybrid cloud. These technologies are the building blocks of the new IT service delivery model.

AHEAD helps you transform from a builder of components to a broker of services. We apply AHEAD's collaborative THINK | LOOK | PLAN | MOVE service delivery framework to assist our clients with in developing strategy, roadmaps, design, plans, procurement, and accelerated deployment.

About Tim Curless

Tim Curless joined AHEAD in 2011 as a technical architect specializing in virtualization. In August 2013 he achieved VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) status—#114 in the world.

Tim has over a decade of experience supporting large corporate data centers, specifically focusing on virtualization, server and storage consolidation, and infrastructure architecture and engineering.

Tim is actively involved with the Wisconsin VMware User Group (WI-VMUG) with over a dozen speaking credits at various large industry forums, including the Wisconsin Digital Government Summit and the Wisconsin VMware User Group Conference.

About Brian Suhr

Brian Suhr is a senior technical architect and VDI expert at AHEAD. In August 2013 he achieved VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) status—#118 in the world.

Brian has two decades of experience supporting large corporate data centers, specifically focusing on virtualization, server consolidation, and infrastructure architecture and engineering.

Brian is a leader of the Chicago VMware Users Group (Chicago VMUG) and authors a blog, VirtualizeTips. In 2011 and 2012, Brian was recognized as a VMware vExpert, a designation given to individuals who have gone above and beyond in their contributions to the virtualization and VMware user community.

AHEAD, the AHEAD logo, and the Think | Look | Plan | Move logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of AHEAD, LLC in the United States and certain other countries. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contact: Allison McGreevy, AHEAD, 312-329-7880,

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