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From Internship to VMworld 2009

September 22, 2009

Karan Kumar (MS20), an INI student in information networking, holds a special interest in the area of virtualization. At Carnegie Mellon, he has explored this interest through coursework in computer systems and advanced data storage under the tutelage of respected faculty, such as Randy Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science and university professor, and Greg Ganger, professor in electrical and computer engineering and computer science. When Karan was offered a summer internship with VMware, a recognized leader in virtualization technology, he had reached an important career goal--one that would quickly lead to more opportunities.

At VMware in Palo Alto, California, Karan gained insight about the company and made helpful professional contacts. He was assigned to a single project that he was able to see launch before the end of the summer, and his work on three different teams within the project gave him a broad and valuable learning experience. Under the leadership of three teams, Karan met and developed relationships with several mentors with whom he stays in touch.

"My work as an intern at VMware was to develop and automate the whole framework for loadbalancing workloads across storage devices based upon the performance of device and workload, using Storage VMotion," said Karan. "My internship experience in one word was 'awesome'. Apart from working on open technical problems, I had fun interacting with other teams and exchanging ideas."

VMware offered intern events, such as a baseball game, scavenger hunts, poster sessions and tech talks. When VMware offered a technical poster competition for its 120 interns across the company's multiple locations, Karan's poster on enhancing storage resource management in cloud-scale environments was among three winners. He won a trip to a major virtualization industry conference, VMworld 2009, which took place August 31 - September 3, at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Shortly after arriving back in Pittsburgh to start the fall semester, he returned to California to attend the conference.

At VMworld, Karan was impressed by the sheer amount of knowledge around him and the unique chance to meet a number of top virtualization experts face-to-face. He saw demonstrations and previews on new virtualization-based products but most enjoyed "VMware technology exchange developer day" that featured products and information specifically for developers working in datacenter, cloud and desktop environments.

"It definitely deepened my knowledge about virtualization and the technical challenges and opportunities it presents," said Karan. He plans to pursue a job position in virtualization technology upon graduating this year.