Top 50+ Tech Influencers and Thought Leaders You Should Follow

By solarwindssoftware on August 26, 2018

Today’s technology is growing at an extraordinary pace, so it is important to follow industry influencers and thought leaders to stay in the loop and learn new trends and best practices. Keeping on top of things in the industry is a great way to make sure you are functioning most effectively every day.

We have compiled a list (in no particular order) of tech geeks from system, virtualization, storage, database, network, and security management domains, who we think are the top influencers and thought leaders you should follow.

Top Systems Management, Virtualization, and Storage Experts

Ethan Banks


He is a 20+ year IT veteran with hands-on experience as a network architect; CCIE #20655, serial podcaster, writer, and tech analyst. He speaks frequently at the Interop, co-hosts Packet Pushers, and writes various articles for many tech websites.

Rob Bogue

Owner, Thor Projects LLC

He is a global speaker, author, and consultant. He helps organizations successfully implement Microsoft® SharePoint®, designing knowledge management solutions, creating flexible information architectures, etc. He has written 25 books, authors articles in Thor Projects, and offers consulting services.

Lance Boley

Technical Marketing Manager

He is a technology enthusiast, works as a Technical Marketing Manager, and likes to share and talk about anything related to computers, IT, and data center technology. He was a VMware® vExpert™ in 2014 and 2015. He writes blogs on and also hosts the Data Center Chic podcast.

Paul Braren

Founder, TinkerTry IT

He has over 12 years of VMware experience, including project-managing and first-hand implementing a data center consolidation project. He is a VCP5-DCV, VMware vExpert 2014, 2015, and 2016. His specialties include storage, RAID, iSCSI, and SAN technologies, Remote Control, including Terminal Services, BladeCenter AMMs, and KVM-over-IP Remote solutions. He has produced over 500 articles and 250 training videos on topics that include efficient virtualization, storage, backup, and more.

Duncan Epping

Chief Technologist, VMware

He is a VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX007) and the main author and owner of VMware/Virtualization blog Duncan is currently the Chief Technologist working for VMware Office of CTO. In that role, he serves as a partner and trusted adviser to VMware’s customers, primarily in EMEA. His main responsibilities are ensuring that VMware’s future innovations align with essential customer needs and translating customer problems to opportunities.

Eli Etherton

Eli the Computer Guy

He has 16 years of experience in technology, including time spent in the Army, building out new satellite offices for the enterprise, and running his own shop with nine full-time employees. He has real-world experience with almost all systems that technicians will be working with. He has a B.A. in Criminal Justice and 1600 hours of formal technical content training in technologies ranging from Avaya PBX/ Audix to Microsoft®, Red Hat®, Linux®, MySQL®, Cisco®, and much more.

Steven Foskett

Owner, Foskett Services

Stephen Foskett is an active participant in the world of enterprise information technology, currently focusing on enterprise storage, server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. He organizes the popular Tech Field Day event series for Gestalt IT and runs Foskett Services. A longtime voice in the storage industry, Stephen has authored numerous articles for industry publications, and is a popular presenter at industry events.

Richard Hay


He is a Microsoft MVP since 2010; hosts observed Tech PODCAST, a weekly look at all things tech with a decidedly Microsoft angle, where he discusses various topics, including security, social media, hardware, software, and more.

Chuck Hollis

Technologist, Blogger, SVP at Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

Currently working for Oracle®, Chuck previously spent two years at VMware and 18 years at EMC®. He writes blog posts about a variety of technology topics on chucksblog.

William Lam

Staff Engineer II, VMware

He works in VMware’s R&D organization, where he focuses primarily on the automation, integration, and operation of VMware’s Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC). William works closely with various engineering teams within VMware to help provide early feedback on usability, design, and architecture. He provides many tips and tricks for the various VMware products on his blog.

Thomas A. Limoncelli


He is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and system administrator. His best known books include Time Management for System Administrators and The Practice of System and Network Administration. He blogs at and has worked at Google®, Bell Labs / Lucent, and AT&T®.

Scott Lowe

Engineering Architect, VMware

He is a 20-year veteran of the IT industry and a focused technologist that specializes in virtualization, VMware ESX®/ESXi, VMware Infrastructure, VMware vSphere®, KVM, Open vSwitch, OpenStack, SANs, Storage, NFS, iSCSI, Networking, SDN, and OpenFlow. A former contributor to, a VMware-focused website with technical articles, how-tos, tips, and news, Scott also has six traditionally published books to his credit.

Scott D. Lowe

Co-founder, ActualTech Media

Scott is a vExpert, MVP Hyper-V®, MCSE and co-founder of ActualTech Media and serves as Senior Content Editor and Strategist. He is an enterprise IT veteran with nearly 20 years of experience in senior and CIO roles across multiple large organizations. Scott is also a micro-analyst for Wikibon, and an InformationWeek Analytics contributor, having written thousands of reviews, articles, and technical blog posts.

Roger Lund

President, vBrainstorm

He is a vExpert, VMUG leader, and tech field day delegate who blogs on VMware and cloud technology. He won the VMware VMUG award in 2013, and his specialties include managing EMC®, Dell® Compellent® Storage, VMware vSphere, VMware View® , VMware vCloud® , Veeam, Windows Server®, and Linux® servers.

Bob Plankers

Virtualization and Cloud Architect and Blogger

With over 25 years of working experience in IT, he wears multiple hats as virtualization architect, system administrator, storage administrator, network administrator, end-user, project manager, and developer. He is an IT generalist who writes for various technology outlets. He also serves as an analyst with The Virtualization Practice.

Phoummala Schmitt

Exchange Goddess

She is a Systems Engineer with a focus on messaging and collaboration, virtualization, storage, and smartphones. She was a VMware vExpert in 2014-2015. She co-hosts Current Status Podcasts and writes technical articles for the Petri IT Knowledgebase and blogs for 24x7ITConnection,,, and The Register.

Eric Shanks

Consultant and Blogger

He is a solutions architect with over 10 years of experience using a wide variety of data center technologies. He’s a certified VMWare vExpert, Cisco champion, PernixPro, Microsoft IT professional, NetApp® data management administrator, and more. His background includes expertise in Microsoft operating systems, networking, storage, virtualization, automation, and software monitoring.

Larry Smith Jr.

Virtualization Expert

He has over 11 years of everyday real-world experience in virtualization, specifically VMware. A VMWare vExpert from 2013-2016, he owns the website Everything Should Be Virtual, where he blogs about technologies, including virtualization, cloud, automation, and DevOPS.

Michael Stump

CTO at Holden Information Services, LLC

He has over 24 years of experience in engineering and administration roles. He was a vExpert in 2014, and a PernixPro, VMWare, and SolarWinds certified professional. You can find his blog posts on various topics in #eager0.

Jon Toigo

Business Information Technology Advisor and Author

He is an IT veteran with over 35 years of experience in progressively responsible internal IT positions in the financial industry, then as a senior consultant for two international systems integrators. He has authored 17 books on business technology, over 2000 articles, and writes seven ongoing columns in the technology trade press that garner a readership of over a half million monthly.

Keith Townsend

The CTO Advisor

He is an IT architect with 18 years of experience helping organizations achieve their mission through optimized IT infrastructures. He is a recognized technology thought leader, whose articles have been published in TechRepublic and TechTarget. He has been quoted by leading online publications such as ZDNet, GigaOM, and TechCrunch.

Matt Vogt

Solutions Architect

He is actively involved in the virtualization and storage communities as a Minnesota VMUG (VMware User Group) member and VMware vExpert. His specialties include VMware ESX(i) – VCP5-DCV, VCAP5-DCD (vExpert 2012, 13, 14), EqualLogic iSCSI/NFS/CIFS SAN, Active Directory®, Group Policy, Windows Server® 2000 – 2008R2, Windows 95 – 7, Mac OS X®, MS Office®, and networking.

Chris Wahl

Tech Evangelist, Rubrik

Chris holds two VCDX certificates (Data Center Virtualization and Network Virtualization) and has over 10 years of IT experience in enterprise infrastructure design, service orchestration, and building policy-based automation tasks. He co-authored Networking for VMware Administrators for VMware Press, and has published hundreds of articles. Chris hosts the Datanauts podcast, which covers all things virtual.

Top Network Management Experts

Mitchell Ashley

President and General Manager of Kyrio, Inc.

He has co-founded startup ventures serving network security, SaaS, Internet applications, telecommunications, and IT services industries. He has written for industry publications, including USA Today, NetworkWorld, ComputerWorld, InfoWorld, CIO Magazine, InformationWeek, CRN, and others. He writes blogs on Converging Network, Network World Microsoft Subnet,, and has co-hosted the StillSecure After All These Years podcast.

Lee Badman

Network Engineer and Wireless Technical Lead

Lee is a wireless network architect for a large private university, and authors articles at Network Computing. He has also taught classes on networking, wireless network administration, and wireless security. He helped organize and has presented at several higher education and industry conferences, and has written for a number of IT, low voltage, and communications periodicals.

Ryan Booth

Network Engineer

Most of his 10 years of experience has been focused on routing and switching (R&S). He is a Cisco Champion 2015 who currently holds a CCIE in RS and several CCNP certifications (R&S and Design). He writes on a wide range of topics in the networking realm for the blog, Moving Ones & Zeros.

Teren Bryson

Network Geek

He has over 22 years of professional experience in computer networks. He has various certifications, ranging from Cisco certifications to Microsoft™ MCSE. He’s also a VMWare and UNIX™ geek who writes blog posts on various topics in

Nick Buraglio

Principal Network and Security Architect, ForwardingPlane, LLC

He is a network engineer and architect with practical knowledge of a broad range of network hardware, software, and security tools. He has published articles in TechTarget and blogs for about the security and networking industry. His specialties include FTTP, FTTC, Metro networks, community fiber projects, BGP, DNS, security, and network analytics, including flow data, IDS, capacity planning, and IPv6 integration.

Wesley David

The Nubby Admin

He’s a system administrator specializing in Windows Server and Linux platforms communicating over wired and wireless networks. He writes blog posts for The Nubby Admin and various other tech sites, including Simple Talk, SysAdmin Talk, Royal Pingdom, Petri, and more.

Jeffrey Fry

Network Guru

He has over 25 years of experience in computers and networks. He’s a Cisco CCIE in Routing and Switching #22061, and authors Fryguy’s blogs on various tech topics. His specialties include Cisco IOS®, Cisco IOS XR, Cisco NX-OS, Juniper® Junos, OpenFlow®, SDN, MPLS, Service Provider Networks, ASA Firewalls, Juniper EX Switches, Juniper Q-Fabric, MPLS Core Networks, and Nexus data centers.

Tom Hollingsworth

The Networking Nerd

He has 12 years of experience in the IT industry working with enterprise networking and wireless, server virtualization, and unified communications. He’s a CCIE #29213 and holds a variety of certifications from Novell™, Microsoft, VMware, and ISC2. He currently organizes Tech Field Day event series, focusing on networking and wireless events.

Patrick Hubbard

The IT Management Head Geek

He has over 20 years of IT experience, and is involved in product management and strategy, technical evangelism, sales engineering, and software development, all with a focus on application and service delivery for startups and Fortune 500 companies. He runs customer education and training programs to empower IT pros to resolve their IT management problems quickly and easily. He is also a Cisco NetVet and a regular speaker at technology conferences for Ethernet, IPv6, and SDN.

Amy Renee

Senior Network Engineer

She’s a network engineer and authors the blog She’s certified in CCNP/DP, CCNP- voice, CCNA wireless, CCNA – voice, CCNA, LPIC- 1, MCSE, and PMP.

Top Security Experts

Dr. Anton Chuvakin

Security Expert

Dr. Anton Chuvakin is a Research Vice President at Gartner’s Gartner for Technical Professionals (GTP) Security and Risk Management Strategies team. He is a recognized security expert in the field of log management, SIEM, and PCI DSS compliance. He authored Security Warrior, Logging and Log Management: The Authoritative Guide to Understanding the Concepts Surrounding Logging and Log Management, and contributed to Know Your Enemy II, Information Security Management Handbook, and others. Before joining Gartner in 2011, Anton was running his own security consulting practice, focusing on SIEM, logging, and PCI DSS compliance for security vendors and Fortune 500 organizations.

Graham Cluley

Independent computer security analyst

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, researcher, and public speaker. He has been working in the computer security industry since the early 1990s when he worked as a programmer, writing the first version of Dr. Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Graham has spoken at events around the world, such as RSA, InfoSec, Web Summit, Microsoft Future Decoded, EICAR, AVAR, ICSA, ISSA, Virus Bulletin,, Campus Party, and the European Internet Security Forum. He has worked with law enforcement agencies on investigations into hacking groups, and regularly appears on TV and radio explaining computer security threats.

Jack Daniel

Technologist and Security Professional

He is a network and security systems engineer focusing on practical information security for the small enterprise, now focusing on enterprise security and integration of emerging technologies. He holds several leadership positions in the community, including board positions on three Security BSides 501(c)(3) corporations. He is a Microsoft MVP for Enterprise Security, CCSK, Increasingly Reluctant CISSP, and is a frequent speaker at major conferences, including ShmooCon, SOURCE Boston, DEFCON, RSA, and many BSides events.

Rob Graham

CEO, Errata Security

He writes blog posts about cyber rights, Internet security, and other security-related topics. He’s the CEO of Errata Security, an online community of security researchers who are engaged in practicing offensive security. The insight gained from research is delivered to clients through Hacker Eye View reports that cover a variety of topics and real-world scenarios.

Andrew Hay

CISO at DataGravity, Inc.

He is a security expert who is frequently approached to provide expert commentary on security industry developments, and has been interviewed by Forbes, Bloomberg, Wired, USA Today, International Business Times, Sacramento Bee, Delhi Daily News, Austin Business Journal, Ars Technica, RT, VentureBeat, Le Monde Informatique, eWeek, TechRepublic, Infosecurity Magazine, The Data Center Journal, TechTarget, Network World, Computerworld, PCWorld, and CSO Magazine. He also has written articles for several trade publications, such as Information Week Magazine, DarkReading, and Network Computing on various security-related topics. He has authored four books on security.

Troy Hunt

Troy is a Pluralsight author and Microsoft MVP for Developer Security. Troy focuses on online security, technology, and the cloud. He is the creator of @haveibeenpwned. He speaks at technology events around the world, usually on security topics. He enjoys showing people how easy it is to break software on the Web today.

Brian Krebs

Investigative Reporter

He has been writing Internet security-related stories for the past decade and maintains, a blog focused on computer security and cybercrime. He wrote NYT bestseller Spam Nation, 1,300 blog posts for the Security Fix blog, as well as hundreds of stories for In 2014 he was profiled in The New York Times, Business Week, and by

Jason Pubal

Director, Visa

He is an accomplished information security professional with a decade of experience in diverse technical environments. He owns the blogging website Increased Visibility, where he shares his thoughts on security events, technology news, and ideas and tips to security personnel.

Bruce Schneier

Security Guru

He is an internationally renowned security technologist, dubbed a security guru by The Economist. He is the author of 13 books, including Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World, as well as hundreds of articles, essays, and academic papers. His influential newsletter, Crypto-Gram, and his blog, Schneier on Security, are read by over 250,000 people.

Randy Franklin Smith

Windows Security Expert

Randy Franklin Smith is an internationally recognized expert on the security and control of Windows and Active Directory software. He performs security reviews for clients ranging from small, privately held firms to Fortune 500 companies, and national and international organizations.

Christophe Veltsos

Cyber Risk Strategist | Digital Trust Advisor

Chris, aka Dr.InfoSec, is passionate about helping organizations take stock of and manage cyber risks across the intricate landscape of technology, business, and people. He enjoys working with business leaders to improve their organization’s cyber risk posture. Dr. Veltsos regularly teaches Information Security and Information Warfare classes and authors Dr.InfoSec blogs.

Top Database Experts

Denny Cherry

Owner, Denny Cherry and Associates Consulting

He is the owner, founder, and principal consultant for Denny Cherry and Associates Consulting. He has over a decade of experience in the IT field. He started working first with SQL Server™, then he branched out into VMware’s vSphere and Microsoft’s Hyper-V platforms. He holds an impressive set of credentials, including being a Microsoft MVP award winner since 2008, VMWare vExpert, Microsoft Certified Master for SQL Server 2008, and more.

Joey D’Antoni

The SQL Herald

He is a Microsoft MVP and VMWare vExpert who has strong understanding of technologies, including Microsoft SQL Server, VMWare Virtualization, Oracle, Microsoft Clustering, and Red Hat Linux. He has given technical presentations at various events on a range of topics, such as High Availability and Disaster Recovery with AlwaysOn in SQL Server 2012, Virtualization for DBAs, Building Your First SQL Server Cluster, and more.

Pinal Dave

Technology Evangelist

He has been a part of the IT industry for more than 13 years. He received his Master of Science from the University of Southern California, a Bachelors of Engineering from Gujarat University, and holds many Microsoft certifications. Pinal writes frequently on his blog about various subjects concerning SQL, NoSQL, and Business Intelligence. Known for translating complex subjects into simple context and applications, Pinal attracts over a million visitors a month to his site. His passion for helping the community drives him to share his training techniques and professional knowledge. When he is not in front of a computer, he is usually traveling to explore hidden treasures in nature with his family.

Argenis Fernandez

Field Solutions Architect

He is a SQL Server Solutions Architect, certified master on SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Data Platform MVP, and MCM. He authors articles in Pure Storage™ and

Tim Gorman

Technical Consultant

He is a technical field consultant for storage virtualization of databases based on Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL™, Sybase™, and applications based on file-systems on UNIX/Linux, and Windows platforms. He has co-authored six books, performed technical review on eight more books, has been an Oracle ACE since 2007, and an Oracle ACE Director since 2012.

Kyle Hailey

Technical Evangelist

He is a specialist in data virtualization technology, databases, and DevOps. He shares his expertise by presenting at conferences, blogging, giving webinars, meeting with analysts, organizing events, and so on.

Kathi Kellenberger

SQL Server Consultant

She is an independent SQL Server consultant and Teammate at Linchpin People. She wrote Beginning T-SQL 2008 and co-authored Professional SQL Server 2005 Integration Services, Beginning T-SQL 2012, and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives.

David Klee

Founder and Chief Architect of Heraflux Technologies

He is a Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and SQL Server and infrastructure performance tuner. He is the founder of Heraflux Technologies and regularly contributes to the PASS Virtualization, Performance, and High Availability and Disaster Recovery virtual chapters. He also helps the Maine SQL Server Users Group.

Thomas LaRock

The Database Management Head Geek

He is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft Certified Master, SQL Server MVP, VMware vExpert, and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry as programmer, developer, analyst, database administrator, and more.

John Sterrett

Group Principal, Linchpin People

John is a consultant who specializes in SQL Server performance tuning, high availability, disaster recovery, database design, development, and database administration. He is a Microsoft Technology Specialist – SQL Server 2005 and 2008, and was nominated for Microsoft MVP Award for SQL Server in 2012 and 2013.

Jason Strate

Database Architect

He is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP and a highly skilled database administrator with a strong background in database/data warehouse architecture and best practices, business analysis, mentoring, and leadership. His specialties include performance tuning, architecture design, environment assessments, data processing (ETL/ELT), business analytics and resource management/mentoring.

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