About Me



  • As a VMware Certified Instructor, teach various courses including: Install Configure Manage, VMware Horizon View, and What’s New.
  • Maintained and grown a global VMware vSphere infrastructure at a large pharmaceutical company.  An environment with 4,000 virtual machines, 200+ ESXi hosts and 5 vCenter servers globally.
  • Administered a VMware View 4/5 environment for an enterprise client which consisted of over 2,000 virtual desktops globally.
  • Worked on a team to perform 1000+ P2V migrations to consolidate infrastructure.
  • Assisted clients with Microsoft Hyper-V implementations.
  • Performed VMware vSphere 4/5 audits at several clients to ensure best practices are in place.
  • Implemented and managed several VMware vSphere 4/5 new installations with clients who had little or no prior virtualization experience.
  • Worked with the Indy Racing League to move car sensor timing infrastructure to cloud services to scale with their needs and provide a more reliable infrastructure.
  • Architected an internal self-service cloud based service for internal demo and proof-of-concept use.


Mr. Birk has a wide breadth of varied experience related to information technologies.  He started out in the field working in a Systems Analyst role where he worked with various hardware and software platforms.  He was the technical lead on a company wide deployment of full hard disk encryption for 3,000+ laptops.  After an extremely successful deployment, and after gaining enough knowledge, he quickly moved into a Systems Administration role where he worked with several different platforms including Windows Server, VMware, Citrix and Novell.  Ryan has always enjoyed working with virtualization products since he deployed his first virtual machine.   He decided this was an area where he wanted to focus and grow professionally.  Over the years he has been focusing on expanding his knowledge on the different virtualization and cloud platforms and the various technologies surrounding it.  He consistently tries to stay abreast of the different vendor offerings.  Ryan recently became a VMware Certified Instructor and teaches official VMware courseware. Since 2007, Ryan has also been Associate Faculty in the Computer Technology department for Purdue University and sits on the advisory board that directs the future path of the school curriculum.


New Horizons United (New York City):  VMware Certified Instructor (11/2011-Present) – Ryan was brought on in November 2011 to help grow the VMware offerings that New Horizons offers. Mr. Birk was not a VMware Certified Instructor and worked to obtain the credential after he was hired. Ryan teaches various courses including Install Configure Manage, What’s New, VMware View, Fast Track courses and different design classes. Ryan has taught both in person classes and online classes.

Purdue University: Associate Faculty (04/2007 – Present) – Ryan has been Associate Faculty for Purdue University since April of 2007.  He was brought on initially to teach a single systems administration class.  After the initial semester and hearing the students feedback, he was hired on for additional courses.  He has taught Advance Network Administration, Network Operating System Administration, Network Security, Virtualization and Cloud Topics courses.

Apparatus: IT Consultant, Virtualization (03/2008-11/2011) – At Apparatus, Mr. Birk has worked in several different roles.  In his last role with the company he spent time focusing on building and leading a virtualization practice within Apparatus.  His depth of knowledge in this area made this a logical choice.  Ryan spent time at multiple companies deploying virtualization tools and has spent time deploying internal solutions at Apparatus as well.  Ryan worked with multiple small to medium sized businesses looking to grow their own use of virtualization and shrink their physical footprint.  This includes everything from virtual desktops, internal self-service clouds to physical-to-virtual migrations and also large Fortune 500 companies.

Sallie Mae: Systems Administrator (10/2006 – 02/2008) – As a Systems Administrator at Sallie Mae, Ryan helped implement and maintain a wide variety of physical and virtual servers running Windows, Linux and Novell NetWare platforms located at various building locations across the United States.  He maintained their VMware ESX infrastructure with hundreds of virtual machines utilizing HP C-class blade servers and a SAN.  He also supported a diverse Citrix environment consisting of over 80 servers running both Citrix Presentation Server 4.0 and 4.5.  His daily tasks also included maintaining a 60 server Novell NetWare 6.5 file and print infrastructure at various corporate locations.  Ryan helped with an upgrade of their VMware environment to Virtual Infrastructure 3, converting their remaining GSX hosts to ESX and implementing HP Insight Manager 5.1 for systems monitoring and event notification.

Sallie Mae: Systems Analyst (10/2005 – 02/2008) – Ryan had worked on many different projects and deployment teams at Sallie Mae. He was the technical lead for an initiative to deploy AES-256 full hard disk encryption with pre-operating system authentication and a central management interface for password resets and recovery for the disk encryption. The project was implemented on 3,000 laptops and was a great success.  It was completed in November of 2006 after six months of planning, testing and deployment phases.

Ryan was also active on a team which streamlined the Sallie Mae workstation setup procedures.  After implementation, the need for multiple workstation images was eliminated, saving storage costs, bandwidth and time.  While working on these project teams, he conducted research on proposed system upgrades, identified potential incompatibilities with outside products and researched operational benefits while maintaining Sarbanes Oxley and FDIC audit requirements.  In addition to administration tasks, he created and maintained system documentation.


Operating Systems:   Windows (XP, Vista, 7, Server 2003, Server 2008), Linux (multiple distributions), MacOS.

Applications:  VMware vSphere 4/5, VMware Infrastructure 3, VMware View, VMware Converter, VMware vCenter, VMware ESX(i) (2.x / 3.x / 4.x / 5.x), VMware Workstation/Fusion, Microsoft Hyper-V, Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, Amazon Web Services

Programming / Scripting:  Windows Powershell, VMware PowerCLI

Certifications:  VMware VCP 3/4/5/6, VMware Certified Instructor, Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, Microsoft Certified IT Professional:  Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CIW Associate

Professional Development:  Various VMworld conferences from 2009-2016.

Professional Recognition:  VMware vExpert 2012-2016, Worldwide Excellence in Training Award 2014, (Top 20 within Global New Horizons Technical Instructors)

Professional Affiliations:  Co-Founder – Indy Cloud Users Group, IndySec Member, Indy VMware User Group Member (Co-President from 2008-2009), Indiana Computer Educators

Speaking Engagements:  Alumni Panel, Office of Career Services and Professional Development, IUPUI – (2008-2011), Speaker, Indy Cloud Users Group – Cloud Technologies Lightning Talk


Capitol College

Master of Science in Information Assurance

Purdue University

Bachelor of Science in Computer Technology

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are entirely of my own thoughts and not that of my employer.

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