UK VMUG UserCon November 27th

I’m so excited to be attending – and presenting – at the forthcoming UK VMUG UserCon on 27 November, with the preceding evening being the vCurry, which I am also looking forward to. I missed the event last year, so am also super excited to see the new location at the National Space Centre.

As others have already blogged about, the vCommunity is a big part of the attraction to this annual event, as well as the awesome sessions the organisers have arranged. There will be the usual VMware glitterati there in the shape of Joe Baguley, Frank Denneman, Duncan Epping and Cormac Hogan, but there are some amazing community sessions too, check out the agenda here. The agenda lists two roundtable sessions, both to be held in Breakout 7, Rocket Tower. The first one is at 2.15pm with the second one at 3.00pm. I will be hosting a session at both times; the first one is on Personal Branding, so if you’re interested in how “Brand You” can impact your career, pop along to that. The second one is a demo of the community analysis site, WhatMatrix in conjunction with a couple of the community contributors. This session is an absolute MUST ATTEND if you’re responsible for evaluating technology for your company. We’ll focus on a VMware comparison so you can see how the site works and the type of output you can obtain – all for free!

And, of course, the whole event couldn’t take place free for attendees without the sponsors, so please do make sure you go check them out.

Finally, in advance of a fab event, I’d like to thank Simon Gallagher, Dave Simpson, Linda Smith and Chris Dearden for carrying on the mantle of being the organising committee. I know how much hard work and heart ache goes into organising this annual event – I take my hat of to you all!

Looking forward to seeing many of you in less than two weeks!!

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!

Third Annual UK VMUG User Conference – November 21st, 2013

This year’s event was another roaring success – thanks to all the contributing factors; speakers from VMware, sponsors and the community, the attendees, the sponsors, VMUG HQ and the UK VMUG Steering Committee.  This event continues to grow, from 331 attendees in 2011, to 375 in 2012 to this year’s amazing 458.  The only downside is that registration/attendee ratio continues to have a 25-30% drop out – not just in the UK but globally across VMUG events and conferences, all I can say is #UKVMUGBOO.

As usual the event was preceded by the traditional vCurry, as always sponsored by Veeam.  However, this year had a different twist with the inclusion of a vQuiz, MC’d by our very own committee member Stuart Thompson.   The vGeeks team were the winners of the highly sought after trophy of a box of aptly named Celebrations!

 

 

Stu did an amazing job of providing some great questions – which am sure many folks struggled to answer – well do you know the answer to this?

“When using Network I/O control, how many different 802.1p priority tags are available for assignment?

Bonus point – Name each of the default traffic types available.”*

The day started with the usual entertaining intro from Alaric Davies, our UK and London VMUG Chair, who introduced the UKVMUGYAY and UKVMUGBOO hashtags to win access codes to VMworld content as well as offering people the chance to win a 6 month subscription to Plural Sight’s complete online training catalogue by tweeting “I deserve to win because…”.

Alaric also asked the audience who had not been to a VMUG before, and it was great to see around 30% of the audience was a first time attendee!  This intro was followed by an extremely informative and well received keynote from VMware EMEA CTO, Joe Baguley.  In usual tradition, Unicorns, Chickens and Kittens all played a part 🙂

Prior to, and throughout the day, Nick Dyer and Nimble Storage were the most supportive sponsors tweeting, thank you! Unfortunately, both Duncan Epping and Scott Lowe were unable to attend on the day, but Dan Watson did a great job of presenting NSX to a packed room and Martyn Storey chaired a panel session with Mike Laverick, Mark Stockham, Joe Baguley and our own Simon Gallagher.  I believe, however, the most popular session of the day was Cormac Hogan’s on VSAN – the room was heaving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another very popular element was the community mezzanine, organized by committee member, Simon Gallagher – a big thanks from all of us to the participating community.

Alongside the main focus of ensuring the USER is the main focus in VMUG, we also had an additional community element of the traditional MOvember charity, Matt Northam announced on this blog his £100 to the best Mo at UK VMUG, and the winner of his donation was Mr Steve Bruck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were lots of prize winners during the day:

Plus Mike Laverick raffled his VMworld SwagBag, raising over £350 for UNICEF, with Rynardt Spies being the lucky winner!

 

 

 

The day closed with a really engaging closing keynote from Greg Ferro entitled the Duck Deficiency – you really had to be there to get the meaning, but my takeaway was summed up by this tweet Processes do not solve a problem – in many cases they create them.  Look hard at your issues – do you have an influx of snails or not enough ducks?

Alaric wrapped up the proceedings with the prize giving from the sponsors and passport to prizes.  Finally, Joe’s tweet really summed up the day for me and for those that do want to be there next year, put November 20th 2014 in your diary as the tentative date for 2014!

* the answer is: 7, bonus : FT, Management, vMotion, iSCSI, VM, NFS, vSphere Replication