First London VMUG meeting of the year in the bag


As posted previously, it only seems like yesterday that we wrapped up the UK User Conference at the National Motorcycle Museum and now the first London VMUG meeting is also a wrap!

The feedback from sponsors – PernixData, 10ZiG and Nimble Storage – speakers and members alike was really positive and, as always, a great vBeers followed, with some leaving early to also attend Cloud Camp London.

We had some great community speakers, lightning talks for the first time and an automation panel – all ‘mixing it up’ to add diversification to invoke interaction.  A benchmark of success for me is analyzing the twitter stream, both during and after, and this meeting was another rip roaring success in my book!

A highlight of Alaric’s intro for me was recognising all our community speakers from 2013, and awarding the top 3 sessions with a token of our appreciation, 3rd place went to VMUG noobie presenter, Sam McGeown, 2nd place was co-presenters Steve Bruck and Stu McHugh and first place to the entertaining top swearer, Greg Ferro – there’s not many presenters that can call their audience a bunch of w***ers and get first prize!

Being a committee member doesn’t always allow for attending lots of the sessions, but I sat in on Justin Beck’s VSAN presentation – he’d graciously flown all the way from Los Angeles, CA to cover the session as the EMEA team were all tied up elsewhere – as well as attending Enrico Laursen’s LEGO datacenter move presentation.  Both were very interactive, with lots of questions from the audience, again, a benchmark of success in my book.  We, the committee, are very grateful to both of them for travelling to London to participate.

We also had fantastic support from our sponsors – as we all know, we can’t put these meetings on without them – and Frank Denneman from PernixData captivated the audience again with his session, Nimble Storage fielded a customer, Brightsource, along with Nick Dyer to discuss their use of flash-optimized hybrid storage in their data center.  And long-standing VMUG supporters, 10ZiG had James Broughton talking about the value of thin and zero-clients in today’s virtualized/cloud world.

For those unable to attend, or attendees wanting to review decks for sessions they couldn’t attend, presentations will be loaded here over the coming days.

Please mark your diaries for future London VMUG meetings and also the UK User Conference, to be held again at the National Motorcycle Museum:

London VMUG – May 15th, London Chamber Commerce

London VMUG – July 17th, London Chamber Commerce

UK User Conference – November 18th, National Motorcycle Museum

To keep abreast of all things VMUG, don’t forget to check out

Here a few of my favorite tweets from yesterday’s twitter stream:

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

London VMUG 25th April – a Rimmary

As ever, we had a great meeting at the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry last Thursday, 25th April.  In his usual endearing style our chair, Alaric Davies, kicked off proceedings and, as usual, asked for a show of hands for first timers. Interestingly as ever, about a fifth of the attendees were vNoobies. It’s encouraging to see many new faces, as well as our stalwart members.

 We had a great selection of sponsors, VMTurbo as Gold, Nimble Storage and Veeam as Silver and for the first time, Atlantis Computing was our lab sponsor.   Being on the organising committee it’s hard to attend many sessions, but I can categorically state the best session of the day in terms of member feedback and tweets was Greg Ferro on his “Don’t Do Virtual Networking, Do Cloud Networking” presentation – engaging, thought provoking and somewhat controversial by all accounts!! With Hans De Leenheer from Veeam tweeting:




Kudos indeed to Greg and to London VMUG too!

We were well represented by VMware as usual, with sessions on vCAC, Horizon, SDN and Robbie Jerrom presenting a Puppet Primer. Also a big thanks to our community presenters; Barry Coatsworth, Gregg Robertson & Darren Woollard, Lee Harris and our very own Stu Thompson.

We had a couple of overseas guests too, demonstrating the draw that London VMUG has in the wider community;  Shane Williford from Kansas City, Missouri and Javier Larrea from the Spanish VMUG it was great to host you in London.

As always, many thanks to our sponsors – we can’t do these meetings without you! Mark your diary for our next meeting – July 4th, same time, same place 🙂 Don’t forget presos will be available on

I’ll also be at the VMware Forum in Wembley this Thursday 2nd May, staffing the VMUG booth, stop by and say ‘Hi’.