I recently attended the TechnologyUG in London as I’d recommended one of my clients to sponsor it. As a previous VMUG leader, I’d never attended the TechnologyUG as I’d felt it would be a conflict of interest 🙂 Whilst I’d argue it’s not a user group in the truest sense of the term, it is a broader church than a VMUG and the attendees are reflective of this with more managerial level attendees than perhaps a VMUG. It was interesting to see previous London VMUG speakers, Chris Kranz and Craig Kilborn, speaking at the event; talking about modern storage and Azure site recovery respectively. I maybe biased but I didn’t feel the community passion I always feel is present at a VMUG, but I highly commend the dedication of long term serving TechUG founder Gav Brining and organisational and communication skills of Mike England, TechUG COO. It was an interesting day and great dialogue with the attendees for my client, Liquidware Labs.
Then yesterday, May 12th, I attended the 2nd TechUnplugged event in London, organised by Enrico Signoretti. It was a very educational day for me personally, although heavily storage biased, the opening session by Giuseppe Paternò on bridging the gap between virtualisation and cloud with OpenStack was a great learning experience for me. Plus, I got a copy of Giuseppe’s book, Openstack Explained (which you can also download off his website. Then followed a preso by Rick Vanover of Veeam who provided an excellent overview of protecting your data and vulnerabilities from an ‘agnostic’ view point versus banging Veeam down our throats.
Chris Mellor of The Register fame, then shared his thoughts with us on winners and losers in the storage arena. Despite his acerbic reporting style, his presenting style was informative, interesting and humorous and he was clearly nervous at presenting to an audience!
Another London VMUG presenter, Greg Ferro of PacketPushers fame gave his usual engaging presentation style on Upgrading your WAN to Internet, 2 key takeaways for me where to look at 5G to solve my (lack of) broadband issues and also it’s cheaper to provide your employees with smartphones than implement a VoIP telephone system!
Nigel Poulton, as always, gave a great presentation on clouds and containers and did a demo of AWS and Docker deployments, against the timer for AWS deployment (2 minutes) and against Martin Glassborow eating 5 biscuits (he only got to 4). What an entertaining preso!
Interspersed with the industry presentations were vendor sponsor presentations from HGST, Violin Memory, Caringo, Cohesity, who fielded their evangelist Nick Howell of datacenterdude.com fame – was great to see Nick over this side of the pond and he gave an enlightening presentation on Hyperconverged Secondary Storage – and LoadDynamix. The vendor presentations were not really of interest to me, sorry! However, most were interesting and good speakers. One, however, read from the slides! What a big no-no and they were proceeded to be quizzed by the audience post-presentation, mainly on “why” regarding their technology #fail.
Enrico kindly let my colleagues from WhatMatrix give a 10 minute overview of their community comparison initiative just after lunch. I hope the exposure will lead to more contributors signing up as well as more vendors getting involved. The final industry presentation I attended was Chris Evans, another previous London VMUG speaker. Given the other industry presentations had focused on technology, Chris took a different approach of discussing real world storage and dealing with scale, operational complexity as well as users and bosses. The key takeaway for me is highlighted below:
Was also great to catch up with old industry friends Arjam Timmerman (NL VMUG Leader and co-host of the event) Alex Galbraith, Julian Wood, Chris Dearden and Rose Ross. An excellent networking and educational event, thanks Enrico!