London VMUG January 21st meeting – New! New! New!

What a kick-start to the New Year! New venue, three quarters of a new committee and new vBeers pub!! This meeting was always going to be bittersweet as myself, Alaric Davies and Stuart Thompson had announced at the UK national VMUG UserCon in November our intention to step down from the committee once January’s meeting was in the bag.

IMG_8079The day started with outgoing chair, Alaric, opening up the meeting at our new venue, TechUK. I have to say we expected a few hiccups, but the day went flawlessly, the team at TechUK was very welcoming and efficient. The only complaint I heard all day was no chips at lunch, like we used to have at the London Chambers of Commerce and Industry!

We then recognised our top 2015 community presenters with a small token of our appreciation with some Amazon vouchers. Chris Porter was the winner, with Sam McGeown, Alec Dunn and Frank Buechsel all in joint 2nd. Thank you guys for your contribution to UK and London VMUG community during 2015!


VMware sessions included a keynote from Paudie O’Riordan on vSphere Storage 2016, providing a great overview for our members. Robbie Jerrom covered Cloud Native apps and Atif Qadeer delved into vRealize Automation 7.

vra7As well as the VMware speakers, it was also a pleasure to see many of the UK SE team in attendance, including Simon Townsend, UK SE Director, Matt Steiner, Rob Hayden and Rory Chaudhuri – thanks for the support guys!

Bitdefender was our gold sponsor and conducted the plenary session on Endpoint Security Challenges.


A well attended community session by Stuart Thompson and Simon Greaves on a full VMware Stack deployment case was very well received by our members as it was a ‘warts and all’ presentation 🙂  This is the value of VMUG – we’re not an extension of VMware’s sales and marketing teams, we’re all users and therefore we tell it when it’s good and bad. But seems the sentiment is appreciated, judging by this tweet:

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Then silver sponsors Velostrata and Tegile presented as we split into two tracks. Both presentations yielded great interest from the members, at least judging by the amount of tweets going on. And our final community presentation was from Simon Eady on vROPS ROX.

simon vropsrox


An Ask the Experts panel debate wrapped up the day with Simon hosting and Alex Galbraith, Julian Wood and Mike Laverick being our panel. It was a lively discussion, ranging from clean installs to upgrades to the VMW share price 🙂


After an emotional closing where the outgoing committee members were honoured with gifts of champagne (me!) and beer for Stu and Al, Simon produced some very dodgy pictures of the three of us – if you want to see them, you’ll have to view the presentations!

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We then adjourned for vBeers at the new pub location of the Old Bank of England, sponsored by great community vendor, 10ZiG.

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I personally feel very privileged to have been a serving VMUG leader for over 5 ½ years, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feel confident that I’ve handed over the baton; the new venue proved a success, our sponsors and members were happy (always the goal) and the new pub was also a success. A recipe for future success!!

All presentations can be found on and hope you will attend the April 14th meeting.





Make an early New Year’s resolution

vmug logo

Time to make an early New Year’s resolution, “I will attend/join London VMUG meetings”. Register now for the new look London VMUG January 21st meeting here – we’re at a new venue and will introduce the 3 new committee members, along with Simon Gallagher taking over from Alaric as Chair. So, if nothing else, come along to see if Simon can ‘wavy handy’ as well as Al 🙂 One point to note, we cannot get into this new venue until 9am, so please do not show up early, thank you!

As always, we’ve got a great agenda for you with community, VMware and sponsor speakers, along with our traditional prize giving for our 2015 community speakers:

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Finally, thank you to Bitdefender, Velostrata and Tegile for being, respectively, our gold and silver sponsors, as well as thanks to 10ZiG for sponsoring the vBeers after the meeting. We think we’re going to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street for vBeers, but more to follow on that in the New Year.

Jan 13th UPDATE – vBeers will be held at the Old Bank of England pub, 194 Fleet Street, LONDON, map here, vBeers post here


London VMUG July 9th – A Rimmary

Despite there being a tube strike and many people unable to make it, we had one of the best London VMUG meetings for a while.  We still had around 7 new member attendees and we were pleased to host fellow VMUG leader, Eric Lee, all the way from Kansas City.  Hey if Eric managed to make it all the way from the US, a tube strike wasn’t going to stop our hardcore members from making it either!

Our first keynote was from our gold sponsor Zerto, a long standing supporter of London VMUG and Chris Snell shared with the group how to build a perfect DR Solution.


We were lucky to have Frank Denneman as our keynote speaker.  As you all know, Frank is super super technical but technology was not the focus of his presentation.  Back at our January meeting Frank presented a keynote as his company, PernixData was our gold sponsor.  Following his session then were our 4 vFACTOR community speakers.  They shared with me they felt a little intimidated have to follow Frank.  In a conversation with Frank a few months later I shared this with him and, kudos to his humility, he stated he was surprised and so offered to share his journey on public speaking at a future London meeting.  So, thank you Frank for, in this instance, being a community speaker and sharing your experiences with our members, your time was much appreciated by us, the committee, and our members.

Alaric declared “miking up the new community speaker!”

Excellent point Frank!


We then had Ben Ward from VMware discussing complementing Citrix with the new Horizon View bundle and Ricky El Qasem and David Balharrie hosting an interactive vCD missing you already session.  After a quick break, we resumed with our two silver sponsors, Shavlik and Cumulus Networks discussing comprehensive patch management and modernizing VMware networking respectively.  Alongside these sessions, our lab sponsor Sumerian conducted hands on capacity planning for the SDDC sessions. As always, we can’t do these meetings with the generosity of our sponsors, so thanks to Zerto, Shavlik, Cumulus Networks and Sumerian.

The sponsor sessions were followed by 2 of our previous vFACTOR presenters, Alec Dunn and Chris Porter talking home labs and Ravello Systems. Great job guys, thanks for putting the “u” into VMUG!!

Unfortunately, I missed a lot of the afternoon sessions because I was on a reccy for a new home for us.  Yes, after over 7 years of being at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, they are closing their doors, so we need a new home for 2016 and beyond meetings.  After some intense research, I discovered TechUK – a trade association for UK technology – is based in London and have meeting facilities very similar to the LCC.  It is amazing to be able to find a venue in central London that isn’t an arm and a leg to hire and the great thing is VMware is a member of TechUK!  We are excited about our new home but sad to be leaving the LCC – Alaric in his closing remarks asked Agata from the Chambers to come and receive a round of applause for all her hard work and efforts in hosting our meetings for all these years – it was emosh!!  So our January meeting – 21st, put it in your diary – will be held at TechUK, 10 Saint Bride Street, just off Fleet Street.

We left early for a special vBeers event – superbly arranged by Alaric and Matt Northam and kindly sponsored by Nutanix, 10ZiG and Bitdefender.  It was perfect weather for sitting outside (albeit we were in the Bermondsey Industrial Estate!) drinking 9 different types of beer, noshing gourmet hotdogs – a perfect end to a perfect day.

Picture credit: Kimberly Delgado

Heading back to Waterloo was a synch, as the tube strike had finished and the roads were not too busy.

For all presentations please visit, for pics of the day visit our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to keep abreast of all things London VMUG!

London VMUG Meeting Rimmary – January 22nd, 2015

Yesterday’s meeting was a great kick-start to the New Year; we had a great line up of sponsors and speakers, with the vFACTOR finalists taking centre stage. In the opening remarks, Alaric, our chair, acknowledged the 24 community speakers from last year, with prizes being awarded to:

1st Alex Galbraith

2ndSimon Greaves

3rdSimon Seagrave

4thMatt Northam

5thErik Bussink

With Julian Wood and Ricky El-Qasem receiving our Exceptional Service award for their never ending support of the London VMUG. Community speakers are the lifeblood of great agendas at our meetings, so we’re very thankful that these peeps take time out of their day to support us, thank you!

Matt Steiner announced the VMware Technical Academy Program (vTAP), a program designed to enable customers and partners on VMware technology, with the first event taking place on 26th February.

Frank Denneman from PernixData (our gold sponsor) was first up and presented alongside one of his customers, Cloudhelix – which made for a very informative, real world presentation.

We then had the lightning talks from our 5 members, they’d spent a lot of time preparing and had been through the #Feedforward process with Alaric and Simon.  Due to the fact that VMUG is a not-for-profit organization, and that we have such awesome sponsors throughout the year, we had some funds left over which enabled us to give all 5 some nice prizes, including shiny, strokey, gorgeous Apple thingies! They were all winners but the audience voted and placed them as:

1st Alec Dunn (who also got a tweet for the best Twitter handle of the day!)

2nd Chris Porter

3rd Philip Coakes

4th Dave Simpson

5th Gareth Edwards

However, there was very little between them as this bar chart shows:


Our silver sponsors, SimpliVity and Unitrends, were up next and presented on converged infrastructure and datacenter failover respectively.

Following the success of the Global Support Services (GSS) chaps’ mezzanine sessions at the national event last November, we invited them back to conduct 2 presentations; Valentin discussing Performance, NUMA, Ready and LLC and Tim talking about your journey to the Horizon.  Dave Hill discussed where to start for vCloudAir and Robbie Jerrom and Andy Jenkins did 2 presentations as a double act on Docker and Cloud Native Apps. Phil Monk and Jon Kemp from VMware PSO with Michael Poore from Xtravirt, presented on bringing SDDC to life, a real world deployment based on their work at a global customer, with their HQ in the UK.

Xtravirt was our lab sponsor, they were tech previewing a Reporting-as-a-Service SaaS solution, SONAR, they’ve been developing and will shortly be launching. And thanks to 10ZiG for sponsoring the vBeers after the meeting.

Based upon the content of this first meeting of 2015 – we definitely put the user back into VMware User Group!!  And we’re looking to run the vFACTOR again in July – so get your thinking caps on for your topic to present.  Rules/submission details will be posted later.

All presentations can be found at And put April 23rd in your diary for our next meeting.  Finally, visit our Facebook page for photos from the meeting.



Disclaimer: both Xtravirt and PernixData are currently hiviz-marketing clients



January 22nd London VMUG meeting

No sooner are Christmas and the New Year celebrations over, we’re back with a bang and arranging an awesome line up for our London VMUG members at our January 22nd meeting.  We’re back to our usual venue, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry – they look after us so well and it’s a great central London location, so why change?!

January 22nd will highlight the ‘crème de la crème’ of the vFACTOR submissions, with lightning talks from Philip Coakes, Alec Dunn, Dave Simpson, Gareth Edwards and Chris Porter. After the success of having GSS at the User Conference in Birmingham, they’re back to host 2 sessions.  We’re also delighted to welcome back Frank Denneman from PernixData, along with his customer, Cloudhelix to tell us about best practices for deployed decoupled storage in a cloud environment.  Next up on the sponsorship side are Simplivity and Unitrends who will tell us about converged infrastructure and datacentre failover respectively.  We’ve also got the Xtravirt team in the Lab sessions, running a tech preview of their SaaS solution, SONAR, for vSphere on demand analytics and reporting.  With Docker, devops and SDDC in the real world sessions from VMware, it’s an agenda not to be missed.  So, what are you waiting for, register here now!

We’ll close the day with traditional vBeers at the Pavilion End, kindly sponsored by 10ZIG – thanks guys!

AGENDA: (this is an update to the one that is currently on

Capital A Capital B Central Room
0830 – 0945 E  V  E  N  T     R  E  G   I  S  T  R  A  T  I  O  N
1000 – 1015 W e l c o m e
1015 – 1100 Frank Denneman, PernixData  & James Leavers, Cloudhelix –  FVP Software in a real-world environment
1100 – 1145 vFactor Lightning Talks – Philip Coakes, Alec Dunn, Dave Simpson, Gareth Edwards, Chris Porter
1145 – 1215 B r e a k      i n      T h a m e s      S u i t e
1215 – 1300 Robbie Jerrom, VMware – What is Docker and Where Does VMware Fit? VMware GSS Xtravirt Lab – SONAR Tech Preview – an easy-to-use SaaS service providing on-demand vSphere automated analytics and reporting
1300 – 1400 L u n c h
1400 – 1450 Simplivity – Stuart Gilks, Making Sense of Converged Infrastructure Unitrends – Ian Jones, Datacentre Failover
1500 – 1550 Dave Hill, VMware – 5 Starting Points for Cloud Adoption Andy Jenkins, VMware – Cloud Native @ VMware – Give your developers & ops teams everything they want without losing control Xtravirt Lab – SONAR Tech Preview – an easy-to-use SaaS service providing on-demand vSphere automated analytics and reporting
1550 – 1600 B r e a k      i n      T h a m e s      S u i t e
1600 – 1650 VMware GSS Phil Monk, VMware, Bringing SDDC to Life – A Real World Deployment with Michael Poore Xtravirt Lab – SONAR Tech Preview – an easy-to-use SaaS service providing on-demand vSphere automated analytics and reporting
1700 – 1715 C l o s e
1715 vBeers – Pavilion End – sponsored by 10ZIG