South West UK VMUG – 22nd February 2017

I was absent from the VMUG scene for the entirety of 2016 for a number of reasons. I’m determined to make amends this year and I’m jumping in at the deep end!

A week from today is the first South West UK VMUG for 2017 and I’m going to be presenting a session. Registration for the event is open now; so if you’re in the area, drop by. As usual, it’s at the mShed in Bristol.



UKVMUG 2015 – Loved it, but…

That’s the fifth UKVMUG done with, and the first one that I’ve ever presented at.

I loved it, it was a great day. The highlights for me (or what I did):

  • Joe Baguley’s opening keynote – great as ever (even though I saw some of it in TechSummit a couple of weeks ago).  Joe is a very inspiring speaker, and I’m not just saying that because he’s my boss (a few times removed). Listening without a hangover this time, there were some interesting things that I took away from it.
  • Eric Wright’s session on OpenStack and VMware. Great to meet a fellow vBrownBag guy and good content too.
  • An idea Josh Atwell gave me for some future blog postings over lunch.
  • Picking the brains of Andy Jenkins and Robbie Jerom about Docker and Cloud Native Apps
  • Ricky El-Qasem and Alec Dunn’s conversational presentation on vCD to vRA migration (thanks for the freebies too).
  • Frank Buechsel’s vRA war stories session.
  • John Troyer’s excellent closing keynote – he doesn’t just get technology and the associated communities, he understands the British and their compulsion with DIY.
  • The conversations that I had with some of the event’s numerous sponsors, thank you.
  • Conversations that I had with many of the other attendees – too many to list.

As I mentioned, I also presented (alongside Sam McGeown and Jonathan Medd). Aside from some PowerPoint issues before we started, I thought it went well. I already have a few ideas for more VMUG sessions for next year… 🙂


What about the “but”?

In case anyone’s wondering about the “but” in the post title, there were a few things about the day that weren’t so good. They were:

  1. Committee chair Alaric Davies announcing that he’s going to stand down to spend more time learning to play the (Spanish) guitar.
  2. Committee member Stuart Thompson announcing that he’s going to stand down to spend more time painting pictures of fruit bowls.*
  3. Committee member Jane Rimmer announcing that she’s going to stand down to spend more time on her business. (Not quite how Alaric put it.)

Between them, they’ve given over 25 years to VMUGs (both UK and London) and, in my opinion, helped promote and advance the VMware community immensely. They certainly have my thanks.

That does mean that the committee (for the London and UK VMUGs) needs some new blood**. Perhaps that’s you?

It’s not an undertaking to be taken lightly. I know this from my involvement with the South West UK VMUG over the last two years. It needs people who can give their time, both in organising events and running them. Interested? There’s a survey available to complete as part of the process. Just make sure you do it by next Thursday (26th November).
* I may have made that up.

** To join Simon Gallagher, whose continuing contributions are awesome too (don’t want him to feel left out)


…Hello VMware!

I’ve been a user of VMware’s products since finding VMware Workstation in the early noughties but things really took off for me in 2007 with ESX3. I’ve long thought that I might work for VMware one day if the circumstances were right. As of yesterday, it became a reality.

This has been mostly a sideways move for me as I have joined the Northern EMEA PSO team as an SDDC consultant. I’ll probably be working on similar projects to the ones I have been working on already. However, I believe that the opportunities within VMware for me at this stage of my career are significant. I’m excited by the prospects and keen to get stuck in.

One downside to this move is that I have had to step down as a co-leader of the South West UK VMUG chapter. It’s been a fantastic 2 years and we’ve organised some great meetings but the remaining leaders (Barry Coombs, Simon Eady and Jeremy Bowman) are more than equal to the task. (Although they almost stole my thunder!)


On the subject of VMUGs, a quick shout out for the next South West UK VMUG meeting on September 28th 2015. Register here. And although I can no longer have any sort of leadership role in VMUG meetings, I hope to still be presenting at them regularly.


Last chance to register for South West UK VMUG

Next week (Tuesday) sees the second South West UK VMUG occurring in Bristol. We’ve got some interesting sessions lined up including:

  • Julian Wood (WoodITWork) talking about some of the new features of vSphere 6
  • Tom Howarth (PlanetVM) will be talking EUC
  • Feidhlim O’Leary (VMware GSS) will be on-hand to run through some troubleshooting scenarios and answer your questions

We’ll also have Nimble Storage and Simplivity in attendance to talk about what they offer to your datacenter and give you a little food for thought.

simplivity    nimble

We’ve got a couple of copies of “Mastering VMware vSphere 6” to giveaway. Here they are on my desk (I haven’t read them, honest):


Plus some Pluralsight passes:


Registration is open until Monday.


South West UK VMUG (9th September 2014)

VMUG Logo 2014How time flies!

The dust had barely settled on our second successful VMUG in Bristol and we were already well into planning for the next meeting. If you haven’t already see an email or tweet about it, the next SWUKVMUG is being held on Tuesday 9th September 2014 at the mShed once again.

We’ve got a little bit of last minute juggling going on with the agenda following some of the announcements coming out of VMworld US this week. The highlights include:

  • VMware vSAN
  • A VMworld update
  • Mike Laverick will be speaking
  • We hope to have a session about EVO:RAIL or vCloud Air (maybe both)
  • Community speaker Seb Hakiel

We’ll also have representation and sessions from our sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsors

nutanix  rackspace

And to top it all off, vBeers afterwards in the Pitcher and Piano.

We look forward to seeing you there, please register here.



South West UK VMUG (3rd June 2014)

I think it’s safe to say that the first South West VMUG back in February was very successful. Our next one will be held at the same venue (Bristol’s mShed) on June 3rd 2014.

We’ve got some good sessions lined up and we’d love to have as many of you along as possible. So, if you’d like a day of discussion and learning with lots of people from the virtualisation community, then please sign up via the VMUG site.

Session Times Session Description
10:30:00 11:00:00    Registration / Coffee
11:00:00 11:15:00 Welcome and Introduction
11:15:00 12:00:00 VMware Session on vCAC
12:00:00 12:45:00 Nimble Storage (Nick Dyer)
12:45:00 13:30:00    Lunch / Vendor Area
13:30:00 14:15:00 vCD Experience (Julian Regal – Capita)
14:15:00 15:00:00 Troubleshooting Panel
15:00:00 15:15:00    Tea / Coffee
15:15:00 16:00:00 PowerCLI / Automation (Jonathan Medd)
16:00:00 16:45:00 PernixData (James Smith)
16:45:00 17:00:00 Close

Afterwards we’ll be de-camping across the other side of the dock at the Pitcher & Piano for some vBeers (kindly sponsored by PernixData):

vBeers at the Pitcher & Piano