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… ūüôā


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)


2013 UKVMUG Agenda

There’s now an agenda posted for next month’s UK VMUG in Birmingham. As you can see, it’s got some cracking sessions in it.

If you haven’t registered yet, or you want to check the agenda out for yourself, head over to the VMUG site.

Wednesday, November 20,2013
7:00 -9:00 pm Pre-Reception vCurry – Veeam Bracebridge Suite
Thursday, November 21, 2013
8:00 – 8:30 am Registration | Breakfast | Mingle with Sponsors Trafalgar Foyer
8:30 – 9:00 am VMUG Welcome | Alaric Davies Britannia Suite
9:00 – 9:45 am VMware Keynote | Joe Baguley, VMware CTO EMEA Britannia Suite
9:45  10:00 Mingle with Sponsors Imperial Suite
10:00 – 10:45 am Breakout Block #1 | Education Sessions
50% Faster VMs on the Hardware You Have!, Condusiv Bracebridge Suite
Convergence and Scalability in Your Datacenter.  Bringing Google like Infrastructure to the Enterprise, Nutanix РJason Langone Ballacraine Suite
Splunk Waterloo Suite
Tales From the Field: Don’t Let This Happen to Your VMs, Veeam Britannia Suite
Community Session | Securing VMware Virtual Environments, Sam McGeown Kirkmichael Suite
10:45 – 11:15 am Break | Mingle with Sponsors Imperial Suite
11:15 – 12:00 pm Breakout Block #2 | Education Sessions
VMware Virtual SAN – All You Wanted to Know,¬†VMware –¬†Cormac Hogan Bracebridge Suite
vCHS, VMware Р Massimo Re Ferre Ballacraine Suite
Knowledge Exchange by Duncan Epping, VMware. This session is all about exchanging knowledge and experience amongst each other, bringing the User Group back in VMUG. No death by Powerpoint, instead Duncan will coin buzzwords ranging from Flash to SSO to start the discussion. Waterloo Suite
Management Automation, VMware – Matthew Steiner Britannia Suite
Community Session | 0 Day Installation, Maish Saidel-Keesing Kirkmichael Suite
12:00 Р1:00 pm Lunch / Mingle with Sponsors Imperial Suite
1:00pm – 1:45 pm Breakout Block #3 | Education Sessions
Software Defined Storage – From Desktops to Servers and Beyond, Atlantis Computing – Dan Senior Bracebridge Suite
EMC Ballacraine Suite
Evolve Your Virtual Data Center with Nimble Storage Waterloo Suite
Over-provisioning Is For Amateurs: How To Get 20-40% More Utilization Out Of Your Virtual Infrastructure, VMTurbo – Andrew Mallaband Britannia Suite
Community Session | Introduction to Overlay Networking, Greg Ferro Kirkmichael Suite
1:45 – 2:15 pm Break | Mingle with Sponsors Imperial Suite
2:15 – 3:00 pm Breakout Block #4 | Education Sessions
VMware Horizon Workspace 1.5 – Implementation and Troubleshooting, VMware – Ray Heffer Bracebridge Suite
NSX Technical, VMware – Scott Lowe Ballacraine Suite
EUC Vision, VMware – Brian Gammage Waterloo Suite
Data In; Data Out ‚Äď vCHS, VMware – Mike Laverick Britannia Suite
Community Session | PowerCLI Automation in the Enterprise: Breaking the Magician’s Code ‚Äď Jonathan Medd Kirkmichael Suite
3:00 – 3:15 pm Break | Mingle with Sponsors Imperial Suite
3:15 – 4:00 pm Breakout Block #5 | Education Sessions
Software-Defined Storage: Cloud Architectures Drive Fundamental Shifts in Storage Design, Coraid Bracebridge Suite
Dell, VMware and NVIDIA Working Together to Solve Your 3D Graphics Requirements, Dell Ballacraine Suite
Deliver Virtual Desktops That Match the Performance of SSD Laptops, Fusion-io – Adrian Booth Waterloo Suite
Discover Hybrid Storage, Tegile Software Britannia Suite
Community Session | Developing vSphere/vCloud .Net Apps for Beginners, Ricky el Qasem Kirkmichael Suite
4:00 – 4:15 pm Break | Mingle with Sponsors Imperial Suite
4:15 – 4:45 pm Closing Keynote by Greg Ferro Britannia Suite
4:45 – 5:00 pm Prize Draws and Close Britannia Suite


UKVMUG 2012 Agenda

The dust has barely settled on VMworld Europe and the Agenda for next month’s UKVMUG in Birmingham has been posted. There are multiple tracks and some big names presenting in addition to the valued event sponsors.

It’ll be difficult picking between everything that’s going on. For instance should I go for Duncan and Frank’s Deep-Dive discussion, Alan and William’s Practical Automation session or Hugo and Aidan’s VCDX Boot Camp? And that’s just breakout block #2!

It’s interesting that there are Community sessions scheduled alongside Sponsor ones. I imagine this might be in response to some feedback from last year’s event or perhaps from more recent VMUGs.

Anyway, I’ve copied the Agenda below for easy reference. But if you haven’t registered yet, why not? It’s free! Register here…

8:00 – 8:30 Registration | Breakfast | Mingle with Vendors Trafalgar Foyer
8:30 – 9:00 Keynote VMUG Welcome | Alaric Davies Britannia Suite
9:00 – 9:45 Keynote VMware Keynote | Joe Baguley | Software Defined Data Centre, Weapon or Necessary Evil? Britannia Suite
9:45 – 10:00 Break|Mingle with Vendors Imperial Suite
10:00 – 10:45 Breakout Block #1 | Education Sessions
Sponsor Nimble Storage | Stress-Free Data Protection for VMware and VDI Bracebridge Suite
Sponsor Veeam | 5 Ways Smart VM Backups May Surprise You Ballacraine Suite
Sponsor Teradici | How to Enhance Your VDI Experience Waterloo Suite
Sponsor Trend Micro | Security at Every Stage: Trend Micro, VMware and Your Journey to the Cloud Britannia Suite
Community Ricky El-Qasem | Creating VMware Apps for Novice Programmers Kirkmichael Suite
10:45- 11:15 Break | Mingle with Vendors Imperial Suite
11:15 – 12:00 Breakout Block #2 | Education Sessions
VMware Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman | Deep-Dive Discussion Group Bracebridge Suite
VMware Hugo Phan and Aidan Dalgleish | VCDX Boot Camp Ballacraine Suite
VMware Alan Renouf and William Lam | Practical Automation for Everyone Waterloo Suite
VMware Matthew Steiner | What’s New in vSphere 5.1 Britannia Suite
Community Chris Dearden | A Techies Guide to Getting the Most Out of IT Support Kirkmichael Suite
12:00 Р13:00 Lunch | Mingle with Vendors Imperial Suite
13:00 – 13:45 Breakout Block #3 | Education Sessions
Sponsor Fusion-io |¬† Flash as a Cache ‚Äď Rethinking Virtualisation Bracebridge Suite
Sponsor Embotics | Lessons Learned in Deploying Private Clouds Ballacraine Suite
Sponsor Coraid | Server Virtualization Demands a New Storage Architecture Waterloo Suite
Sponsor Quantum | The 7 Questions You Must Ask Before Buying a VM Protection Product Britannia Suite
Community Mike Laverick | Building my vCloud Director Home Lab Kirkmichael Suite
13:45 – 14:15 Break | Mingle with Vendors Imperial Suite
14:15 –¬†15:00 Breakout Block #4 | Education Sessions
VMware Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman | Deep-Dive Discussion Group Bracebridge Suite
VMware Cormac Hogan | VMware Storage Update – 5.1: Storage features and storage futures as per announcements at VMworld Ballacraine Suite
VMware Aidan Dalgleish | vCloud Director DR Waterloo Suite
VMware Tom O‚ÄôRourke and Kim Raynard | Dynamic Ops ‚Äď Cloud Automation Britannia Suite
Community Tom Howarth | Deep Dive on Desktop Design for VDI Kirkmichael Suite
15:00 – 15:15 Break | Mingle with Vendors Imperial Suite
15:15 –¬†16:00 Breakout Block #5 | Education Sessions
Sponsor Whiptail | Flash 101 ‚Äď The Physics and Stuff Bracebridge Suite
Sponsor Hitachi Data Systems | Storage Systems Basics for Virtualized Environments Ballacraine Suite
Sponsor VMTurbo | Can You Manage Your Virtual Infrastructure so That Optimized Performance and High Resource Utilization are Not Mutually Exclusive? Waterloo Suite
Sponsor iLand | vCloud Services: IT’s Secret Weapon Britannia Suite
Community Julian Wood | vSphere Networking and Converged IO with Blade Servers Kirkmichael Suite
16:00 Р16:15 Break | Mingle with Vendors Imperial Suite
16:15 – 16:45 Keynote Closing Keynote | Scott Lowe | Staying Sharp and Relevant in IT Britannia Suite
16:45 – 17:00 Prize Draws Britannia Suite


UKVMUG – 15/11/2012

The first UK-wide VMUG event went so well last year that it’s on again this year. Once again it’s on at the National Motorcycle Museum just outside Solihull (nr. Birmingham).

National Motorcycle Museum
Coventry Road
Bickenhill, Solihull, West Mids, England B92 0EJ

A detailed agenda has yet to be published but the day starts on Thursday November 15th 2012 at 8am and includes:

  • Registration and Breakfast
  • VMUG Welcome
  • VMware Update
  • Keynote
  • Breakout Sessions
  • Lunch
  • Keynote
  • Breakout Sessions
  • Closing

The night before there is a vCurry reception (also at the museum) sponsored by Veeam. What are you waiting for? Register here!


UKVMUG 2012 Call for Papers

As the days get shorter, colder and wetter (is that actually possible this year?) it means that November is drawing nearer and that heralds the next UKVMUG in Solihull.

The UKVMUG is the country’s VMware and Virtualisation community conference held annually and this it’s year on November 15th. Put the date in your calendar!

The organising committee have today asked for submissions for community presentations to be made via a google form. If you have a good idea for a presentation on a project or specific technology and you want to present at the VMUG then pop your ideas in here.

Last year’s event was very well attended. See my review of it here.


London VMUG 19/07/2012

It’s not been that long since the last London VMUG and already the next one is upon us. Sadly I won’t be able to make this one as I’ll be out of the country – it’ll be the first one that I’ve missed for quite some time – but it looks like there’s going to be some very good sessions on. Especially the NDA session. See what’s planned here:

  • Centrix Software Presentation
  • Fusion-IO Presentation
  • Whiptail Presentation
  • EMC Labs Throughout the Day
  • Lee Dilworth – VMware Availability Update: vSphere Replication, Stretched Clusters and BCDR
  • Darren Woollard and Gregg Robertson – vSphere Nerdknobs
  • Chris Evans – The Storage Architect’s View
  • Chris Gale – Fusion-IO More Desktops. More Virtual Machines. More Data-Intensive Applications. Faster. Cheaper. Simpler.
  • Matt Northam and Simon Hansford – Government Can Run vCloud, How Skyscape Did It
  • Martyn Storey – VMware NDA Roadmap Session¬†–¬†PLEASE NOTE:¬†¬†Entrance to the NDA¬†session is strictly dependent upon the following criteria: Signed, personal NDA; Photo ID and proof of where you work; not working for a vendor,¬†partner, or¬†competitor.

The event is sponsored by Centrix Software, Whiptail, Fusion-IO and EMC (for the labs). It’ll be in the usual place with the customary vBeers afterwards.

What are you waiting for? Register here.


Here’s To The Next 10 Years!

I was listening to Joe Baguley‘s keynote speech at the UKVMUG the other week and it made me think – which of course was the point.

The central topic of his presentation (or at least how I saw it) was to explain where IT is going in the future. There are hints-a-plenty already present in VMware’s current product set and upcoming releases but Joe painted the picture of a future where users aren’t tied to desktop computers (and, as a consequence, desks) but are free to use a plethora of devices to access corporate data and applications stored somewhere off in the clouds.

All of this is not because CIOs and CEOs want to go in this direction but because they are being driven that way by their users. These are users who are increasingly growing up in a world where computers and technology are not just prevalent but as much a part of everyday life as food and sleep are.

That’s my short interpretation of it anyway, others may disagree with it.

Joe described a direction (it’s not a destination as the goalposts will surely move further away before we are ever in reach of them) and I have no problem with it. My children will probably grow up more familiar with handheld devices than the chunky boxes that surround me at present and they are the future workforce that will shape IT; knowingly or not.

The standout thought that I had whilst sitting there listening though was something that had been on my mind for some time but that I had yet to find words for. Simply put, my thought was that in IT no vendor can afford to stand still. If they don’t keep innovating and driving forwards in the same sort of direction I mentioned above then the likes of VMware, Oracle, Sun, RedHat, Ubuntu, Apple, Google, Microsoft etc. will become a choice and not an assumption or foregone conclusion when it comes to IT.

What do I mean by that?

Take desktop computers as an example. Whereas a high proportion of home computers sold in the last 10 years have run Windows based Operating Systems, in the next 10 years that figure will have changed because other companies have innovated more in that space that Microsoft are perceived to have done. People are increasingly using tablet devices or smartphones instead of desktops and Microsoft have a smaller presence in that market. In 10 years’ time may people may not know or care what an Operating System is.

The same thing applies to people. I can’t sit on my laurels assuming that people companies are going to keep using the same technologies in their datacentres. Companies will eventually follow the trends in technology, adapt to the demands of their workforce and head in the same direction as their users because IT is increasingly being driven by consumers and users and not so much by those at the top of the corporate ladder.

I welcome and embrace the changes that will come in the next 10 years.


Review: First UKVMUG 03/11/2011

I could make this my shortest ever post and just say that it was a brilliant event but that’s hardly useful information for anyone. I did seriously consider it though.

So, in case you weren’t able to attend or simply didn’t know about it, last week saw the UK’s first ever national VMUG take place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull. Ordinarily the UK hosts three VMUG meetings (London, Northern and Scottish) at regular intervals throughout the year but the VMware User Group (VMUG) organisation wanted to try out a UK-wide meeting.

Continue Reading


UKVMUG – There’s Still Time (03/11/2011)!

Next week sees the UK’s first national VMUG taking place and there’s still time to register for it.

For anyone who hasn’t been to one before, VMUGs (VMware User Groups or Virtual Machine User Groups depending on who you ask) are regular meetings of virtualisation users held around the world. I’m a regular attender of the London VMUG (Twitter: @LonVMUG¬†or hashtag #LonVMUG) and have been for a few years now. For a while now though there have been rumours of a UK-wide VMUG and it’s happening for the first time on Thursday 3rd November 2011 in Birmingham. Continue Reading