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!

Putting the “U” into VMUG – London July 17th Rimmary

On the hottest day of the year so far, we all assembled in the pews to listen to a number of sermons from chair, industry luminary, members and sponsors.

I loved Mike Laverick’s presentation. Mike is an ideal #feedforward mentor, as he has the skill of a true presenter – making the content applicable for the audience, captivating and engaging.  Whilst usually presenting on topics of a technical nature, Mike did a thoroughly entertaining presentation on “when did turkeys ever vote for Christmas?”, it was a thought provoking presentation about fearing and/or embracing change, with good anecdotal evidence of career challenges and opportunities.

Next we had Luca Dell’Oca, technical evangelist from Veeam.  As a committee we love the Veeam VMUG presentations, as they rarely focus on their products, but on topics that affect many companies and individuals in today’s IT world.  Luca discussed SLA Confidential and was 40 minutes into his presentation before he even mentioned Veeam – great job Luca!

We then had an NDA session for end-users only, for the partners and vendors present we held a discussion group with Martyn Storey and was well received both by the attendees and Martyn as it was frank and informal.  The conversation flowed so well, we overran by 10 minutes, thanks to all that took part.

After lunch we had our sponsor presentations, new to the London VMUG was ExtraHop and in the other session was a regular sponsor, Fusion-io.  Both presentations were well attended and the twitstream highlighted some key takeaways 🙂



Matt Northam had secured some Real Ale for some lucky members, the winning criteria was to name a real ale and tweet it.  Some of the suggestions were very creative with the winning submission – Hopper-V – from Julian Wood, who also submitted the most suggestions.  Added a great community, fun twitter element to the day!

Atlantis was demonstrating their new USX solution in the labs, and produced one of the most well attended labs to date.  We also had VMware sessions from Peter von Oven on Horizon 6 and vCOps from Matt Steiner – regular VMware presenters at VMUGs across the UK.

Final thanks and kudos goes to our 2 community speakers, Alex Galbraith and Sam McGeown – we salute you and admire your commitment to sharing your knowledge with your fellow members – great job!


Finally, we retired to the usual ale-house, with vBeers compliments of Bitdefender.

All presentations are now up at and don’t forget the National UK User Conference, 18th November, more details here.

Thank you to everyone who signed my birthday card and for the English Champagne, Matt!!  Not sure about this pic though that Si Gallagher took, particularly as Julian Wood tweeted this was the “before” pic!







Actually, the “after” was a bit messy too!


Forthcoming July 17th London VMUG Meeting

We’re just over 2 weeks away from our last meeting of the year in London.  As many of you might know, as a committee we also organize the yearly UK VMUG User Conference in Birmingham in November.  As such, we don’t hold a 4th quarter meeting in London, as we just don’t have that much spare time to volunteer for two events in the same quarter 🙂

You can register here for July’s meeting.  And you can find more details here for the User Conference in November.

So, back to July’s meeting, we have an awesome array of community and VMware speakers and sponsors, including an NDA session from VMware for customers.  We are very privileged to have this session and hopefully this in itself will be a very good reason to attend!

The agenda is below:


At the recent VMware vForum in Wembley, we staffed the VMUG booth and signed up 51 new members.  We hope to see all of you at this forthcoming meeting!

Thanks, as always, go to our sponsors; Veeam, Fusion-io, Extrahop and Atlantis Computing. Plus, Bitdefender is sponsoring vBeers, check out the post here.