We have a saying here at Planet - "In Davey We Trust!"
Welcome to the first of our Meet The Planet Hero's features! We always talk about our people being our greatest strength. We have a huge team of experts here at Planet and we're great at talking abut their technical ability. But what makes them tick? Why do they do what they do? What's important to them other than their key roles at Planet IT?
First up in our series is Michael Davey. One of the big characters in our office (or on Microsoft Teams right now I suppose). Mike has been part of the Planet Family longer than most and today heads up our Backup & Disaster team. He's a key member of the technical team but outside Planet he's a family man, grows a great beard and has one hell of a guitar collection... but we'll come to that...
Firstly Mike, Why IT and then why Back-UP & DR?
To tell the truth, I was looking for a stable career industry having recently started a family at the time. Regardless of the organisation, everyone has some level of IT infrastructure and that is only going to grow. I had similar motivations when it came to specialising in Backup & Disaster Recovery, it's something that every organisation needs to have and there is a great sense of assurance and comfort in knowing that you're a part of that safeguarding process.
What's your favourite Back-up tool or hack?
It's no secret that I really like Veeam. As a tool it has multiple points of entry depending on your skill level and has a very simple and intuitive model in comparison to other solutions I've worked with. With regards to hacks? Mapping your user profile folders into a cloud enabled service like OneDrive is really handy. It makes moving around on devices a lot easier.
What emerging technologies most excite you?
I am really excited to see more mixed reality concepts come to life in the commercial market. With so many smart assistants and virtual reality products now in the market, the ability to combine those in a tangible real world environment (through personal devices) is a very cool and exciting area for me.
What current tech can't you wait to see improved or made redundant?
I think we are truly blessed with the tech that is available right now throughout the world. Honestly, the rate of improvement in almost all areas is already staggering, I would however really like to see these technological improvements be made more widely available so their benefits and "smart" functions can help everyone. When it comes to redundancy, it has to be physical connectivity. Having to manage 4-5 different (and often proprietary) connections for powering, connecting and extending devices can be annoying. A better adoption of industry standard alternatives (USB-C being a great example) would be nice.
During this time of COVID - what business habits have you seen emerge? What has impressed you? What has shocked you?
I've noticed a considerable rise in software as a service options. Removing the need for on-premise solutions and VPN connections with cloud services has been a very big deal. I'm impressed I've stayed sane working from home with 3 kids running around! Equally, I am shocked my Fiancé hasn't tried to kill me in my sleep yet!
In Davey We Trust
What advice would you have for businesses right now?
Make sure your backups are working properly, especially for cloud services like Office 365, AWS and Azure. Times are hard enough already without having to deal with a Disaster Recovery nightmare. Office spaces and server rooms aren't necessarily getting the same wear and attention right now, and I hate to say it, but malicious exploits are only getting higher as people take advantage of the many vulnerabilities people are dealing with. Always have a plan B - and don't neglect it!
Planet IT - what's it like to work there?
Planet IT is like a family. I don't think I have ever met a more hard working team with such pride in the work they do. I've been with Planet IT for over 7 years now and I couldn't be more thankful to everyone I've worked with. Some of the best experiences of my life have only been possible thanks to Planet IT. We set the bar high across the board and everyone is looked after. I am very very lucky to be a part of this family.
Outside Planet IT - what makes Mike tick?
My biggest motivation is my family of course. My 3 sons keep me going no matter what and are far and away the best source of comedy in my life. For myself? I love music, I love video games and I love food! That's my trinity right there. If I have a guitar, a controller or a spatula in my hands, I'll be smiling! Oh also my cat, I love my cat, she’s a total weirdo and hates the world but she’s the best.
Just for you, we need to ask about guitars - Just start jamming and tell us why you play?
Haha! Well I've always loved music. My parents always had great music playing when I was a kid, be it Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Bluetones (I could go on here….) and my Uncle is a fantastic singer and guitarist so I used to always watch him play. He taught me how to play guitar when I was about 13 and the rest as they say is history. At the minute I am relishing every moment I get to play my vintage 1978 Sierra Sunburst Fender Telecaster, my first guitar (A Yamaha F-310 gifted from my Uncle) will always be my favourite, but this Telecaster is something else!
If you were to give advice to a 14 year old you - what would it be?
1. Buy some bitcoin around 2009/10 and hold onto it until around December 2017!
2. That bald patch will get bigger, but it’s ok, you grow a beard and shave your head so it’s fine.
3. Do more things that scare you. They’re always the most fun.
If you were to give advice to a young person thinking of entering the world of IT - what would it be?
Push yourself. The industry is huge and it's unlikely anyone will have a real understanding of their ability and/or preference areas from the get go. Just find a good employer with a good team and push yourself every day to learn or try something new, ideally somewhere just outside of your comfort zone. I firmly believe that the more you know, the more fun you can have and the more doors you can open. So push yourself and grow as much as you can.
Michael Davey is our Backup & Disaster Recovery Services Manager and an expert in Veeam, VMWARE, Microsoft Azure, Zerto, Microsoft 365 and many more. He and his team will simply blow you away for the level of detail and care they will show for your backups giving you the peace of mind it is taken care of. If you're interested in talking about any of his services, he loves a chat - give him a call directly on 01235 425219 or email firstname.lastname@example.org