VMUG UK User Conference 2014 – a Rimmary, including pictures!

**Update November 26th – Recordings from the UK VMUG now available here, and a playlist here**

 

Being on the UK VMUG committee is a tad similar to organizing a party – you hope that all your guests enjoy it but you’re a little on edge and don’t fully enjoy it yourself and you breathe a sigh of relief when it’s all over!  But I couldn’t be more thrilled with how this year’s UK VMUG turned out – especially when reading all the tweets about what a great day it was, great speakers, sponsors, tracks, content, etc. etc., that makes it all worthwhile!

This year’s proceedings started with our usual tradition of vCurry and vQuiz the night before.  This year vCloud Air sponsored it, so it enabled us to open up to all the community, including the sponsors.

Big and better this year, we moved to a new room too!  My fellow committee member Stuart Thompson was the most amazing quiz-master and, having created 30 questions, was thoroughly entertaining in his MC-ing.  The winning team, called vMwear, is pictured below with the committee. (photo credit Hans de Leenheer)

 Mike Laverick also announced his EVO:RAIL swag bag raffle.  Every year Mike raffles a bag containing goodies from VMworld.  This year the bag was not a VMworld bag and it contained many EVO:RAIL specific goodies, as well as pre-launch PROJECT MARVIN swag!  This year Mike collected for a great charity, National Association of Blood Bikes, and raised over £400!  And the winner was our guest speaker, Chris Wahl!

As always, we were very lucky to have Joe Baguley, EMEA CTO, VMware, as our opening keynote on the day.  Joe has the ability to be informative, entertaining and deep dive technically if required.  His support of VMUG is a great testament to the uniqueness of VMware as a company supporting its affiliated user group that I’ve not seen in any other software company that I’ve worked with and/or for.  My key take away from Joe’s keynote was his point about “Infrastructure as Code”, the next evolution for IT in moving toward the Software Defined Datacentre. Loved Joe’s shirt he was wearing too!

We were very fortunate to have an abundance of sponsors this year –  34 in total – including VMware, naturally, as our program partner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are also very lucky as a committee to have Martyn Storey as our VMware representative; Martyn contributes a lot to both UK VMUG and London VMUG and helps us in many ways, such as securing VMware speakers and attending every meeting and user conference that we hold.  Veeam is also a great supporter of VMUG globally and have consistently supported the UK VMUG and this year were again our platinum sponsor AND sponsored lunch, hence why it was so much better than last year.

The mezzanine, Simon Gallagher’s brainchild, was a roaring success this year, primarily due to the awesome community members staffing it, but also because we added it to the main agenda 🙂   We were delighted to have Chris and Tim from VMware GSS, who discussed anything and everything with attendees, ranging from ESX failure to boot from USB, to query on existing SRs to licensing expiry and renewals! Mike Laverick and Lee Dilwlorth’s DR session was soooo popular they had to vacate the mezzanine area and re-convene in the room where the food and drinks were served!

We also had VMware UKs PR agency on hand, conducting interviews with key speakers and attending members.  Look out for these by following @VMware_UK on Twitter!  We also had all the sessions in the Britannia Suite (where the keynotes were held) recorded, and these will be uploaded to YouTube soon, so follow @UKVMUG on Twitter for further details as they become available.

Our guest community speaker, Chris Wahl, was our closing keynote speaker – having conducted a breakout on NSX as well as being on the community mezzanine – and gave a thought provoking, entertaining presentation that was greatly appreciated by our members.

His assimilation into the UK is, perhaps, summed up best by the tweet below!!

Alaric then announced a very special initiative, vFACTORLONDON!  We are encouraging submissions from end-user, first time speakers to submit a 10 minute lightning talk for our January 22nd 2015 meeting.  We’ll assist with providing a mentor through the excellent #FeedForward initiative created by Mike Laverick and others in the community, details of which can be found here.  To encourage you even further to submit a session, which you can do here, we’ll be giving away some amazing prizes to successful presenters, including a MacBook Air, iPad Mini, iPad Air and Amazon vouchers – what are you waiting for? Submit now!

As always, we had great prize draws from the supporting vendors and one of our London VMUG members, Ather Beg was a winner of the PernixData Virgin Driving Experience Days, he made me giggle with his tweet about winning as he missed a key word……

 Below is a screen shot of some of my favourite tweets from the day:

As always, we’ll post presentations we have to box.com/londonug and VMUG HQ will also upload them to vmug.com – details will be announced on Twitter, so make sure you’re following #UKVMUG hashtag!

Finally, a thank you to everyone involved in making this event such a success; the sponsors, the speakers, the community but especially to my fellow committee chappies, Stu, Si and Al and also the amazing team from VMUG HQ, Emily, Maria and Scott – just goes to prove that as a team you can achieve anything!  It was very kind of Emily to acknowledge us as a committee, thanking us on behalf of VMUG.

Oh, and don’t forget to put November 19th 2015 in your diary as a placeholder for next year’s event!

UK VMUG User Conference – November 18th, 2014

 

With just over 3 weeks to go to the annual UK VMUG user conference we, the committee, are working hard to ensure that all VMUG members that attend have the most awesome day due to the sponsors, speakers and networking opportunities.

We are very lucky to have some great VMware, community and sponsor speakers, including Joe Baguley, Duncan Epping, Cormac Hogan, Mike Laverick, Julian Wood, Jonathan Medd, Barry Coombs, Ricky El-Qasem and industry luminaries such as Frank Denneman and Chris Wahl.  As always, we cannot stage this event without sponsors and we have a plethora of companies supporting us again this year, including Veeam as our platinum sponsor.  As well as other well known companies, we also have some new companies sponsoring the event this year, such as Sumerian and Unitrends.  I’m particularly looking forward to Joe’s keynote, entitled CTO Rant-as-a-Service!  Joe can always be relied upon for an informative, engaging and humourous keynote.

As always, Simon Gallagher has excelled in putting together some seriously good ‘hosts’ for the mezzanine community area.  Whether you want to call this ‘birds of a feather’ sessions, mezz area, or whatever else takes your fancy, this section of the agenda is a great way to quiz experts in their respective fields on issues, challenges, opportunities for your own environment.

Our tradition of vCurry the night before is kindly being sponsored by vCloud Air this year and, as such allows, us to open this night up to all that will be in attendance the night before.  However, do sign up early as we are limited on spaces………  If you have registered for the vCurry and only received a confirmation for the conference, don’t worry, as vCurry confirmations will be going out shortly.  Our own Stuart Thompson will be the quiz-master for the evening for the vQuiz.  This went down a storm last year, with some very competitive teams – I think even some of the VMware folks were surprised at the technical depth of some of the questions Stu had devised.  Expect more and better this year!  We will also be awarding some amazing prizes to the top 3 teams, so maybe swot up on all things VMware before coming?!

From a content perspective, we will have all the latest and greatest VMware news for you, including Horizon 6, VSAN, VVOLS, vSphere6, NSX, vRealize, vCloud Air and EVO:RAIL. As well as a community session from Julian Wood on a VMworld update.  Don’t forget, we’re giving away 10 prizes for access to all the VMworld 2014 content – but you have to attend to stand a chance of winning.

For those that have attended before, we will run a slightly different agenda, the exhibit hall won’t open until after the keynote and all sessions run for 40 minutes, apart from the VMware ones; they are scheduled for an hour, based on feedback from other VMUG conferences.  The agenda is being finalised with the sponsor sessions, so ensure you check regularly on the VMUG site for agenda updates.  Also for ease of information of sessions on the day, please don’t forget to download the VMUG UK User Conference app from your preferred App Store just by searching “VMUG”.  The details for the UK user conference won’t appear until a few days before the event. Or scan the QR code below:

If you’re involved in anyway with VMware implementations, you cannot afford to miss this free event, so sign up here and see you November 18th!

Event Mania

Yes, we’ve entered that manic time of year, the IT event silly season!  This week sees IP Expo opening its doors for the first time at the ExCeL – personally I loved going to this event at Earls Court because it was an easy drive in for me; the ExCeL is the back and beyond of East London 🙁 But it’s going to be a great event! Tim Berners-Lee is the opening keynote and I’m really looking forward to that.  I shall be with my client, PernixData, on their stand E17 in the VMware partner zone.  PernixData has just announced the new version of its flagship product, PernixData FVP software, and will be demonstrating new features, such as Distributed Fault Tolerant Memroy, Adaptive network compression and much more. Watch a demo and you can enter the prize draw to win a Google Chromecast 4 times during each day, and 2 x driving experiences for 2 lucky people being drawn at 16.00 each day.  For in-depth details of version 2.0 of FVP software, I recommend reading Frank Denneman’s blog

Then on Sunday 12th, I shall be flying over to Barcelona for VMworld Europe. I, unfortunately, did not make it to the August event in San Francisco this year so am really looking forward to being in Barcelona to hear the latest news not just from VMware but from the eco-system vendors and to meet up with new and old friends.  As always, there is a plethora of community gatherings and, as a VMUG leader, I’m really looking forward to all the VMUG events and you will find me most days on the VMUG booth, so stop by and say hi.  I also intend to spend time in the hangspace, always a great place to catch up IRL with my tweeps 🙂  I will also be attending the vRockstar party on the Sunday night, what a great way to start proceedings.  I will also be spending some time with 2 of my clients that will be in the solutions exchange, Liquidware Labs, booth #141 and PernixData, booth #314.

I will be attending the first VMwomen event to be held at VMworld Europe, for any other female attendees wishing to attend, you can register for it in the schedule builder by searching for VMWOMEN (session ID and session title). Add the session to your personal schedule– select ‘Scheduling Options’ 
– select ‘+’ value next to day/time listing.

The final “big” event for me this year will be the annual UK VMUG User Conference.  Being on the committee this event takes a considerable amount of personal time, but is all worth it as, even leading up to the event, we’re getting tweets about the amazing line up of speakers and sponsors we’ve secured and I know this is going to be an awesome event.  This is our 4th year of running this user conference, in conjunction with VMUG HQ, and as it’s held in central England, at the National Motorcycle Museum, we get a lot of attendees that don’t usually attend a regular VMUG meeting.  If that sounds like you, register here and come along and have an informative, educational day for free!  We’ve got lots of prizes, including 10 prizes to access VMworld content, great industry speakers including VMware’s EMEA CTO, Joe Baguley and industry expert Chris Wahl as well as community and birds of a feather sessions that you just don’t want to miss.

Post November 18th I am planning to take a holiday!