London VMUG Meeting April 23rd

As you can imagine with recent announcements, our agenda will focus heavily on vSphere 6 at this meeting.  We’ve got some great community content as well as some fab sponsors, namely Cisco, Atlantis and Nimble, with a new company to the VMUG community – vBeers sponsor, Taupo Consulting.

The agenda below is ‘hot off the press’ and will soon be published on  So, what are you waiting for?  Register for this VMUG meeting now!

The night before our meeting, the crew from TECHUnplugged will be in town and everyone is invited to a vWhatever session (vBeers, vWine, vCurry, vWhatever……) location to be determined, so watch this space for more details.





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 and VMUG HQ will also upload them to – 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!

Come and win with Hairy Convergence

Guest blog from Matt Northam.

I am sure most of you have read about Converged Systems and maybe even Hyper Convergence but with this being November I am wondering how many of you have heard of Hairy Convergence, the speed of Tache!
This is the phenomenon sweeping our shores, and it happens every year around this time, where facial hairs converge around the upper lip on men’s faces.
It has come to my attention that on the 21st November, in the small village of Solihull, many men afflicted with this Hairy Convergence will be congregating (thought of using converging here but too much??).
This gave me an idea. I have had a cancer that Movember raises money to fight (and a damn fine job they do). I have sponsored the one very facially hairy Christian Mohn for Movember as well he asked first and having only seen photos of him with a full a viking worthy beard it was worth it to see him cleanly shaven on 1st November!! I want to do more and since I am fighting the convergence of hair this year I would like to sponsor more of my fellow VMUG’ers…..BUT who?
So here is the plan, I don’t have a book to give away, I struggle with ones that don’t have pictures, hell I don’t even blog. The 140 character limit of twitter is my limit…..I don’t have any fancy corporate goodies either to give away but what I do have is a bright pair of yellow trousers (yes I do Lee Dilworth!!) AND a desire to help fight these cancers Movember are winning against.
Anyone attending the UKVMUG on the 21st who comes past the Nutanix stand (yes I am an employee of Nutanix BUT this is a personal thing!) and gets a photo with me with their ‘MO’ and my yellow trousers will be entered into a draw. The best Mo will be chosen by Linda Smith of Global Knowledge (thanks for volunteering Linda) and I will then donate £100 of her majesty’s finest pounds to their Movember charity page. I am sure we can also leak the photos for comic value.
This is not a gimmick just a fun way for me to help a charity who’s fantastic work helped me personally and enabled the NHS to beat my cancer.
Also I get a great excuse to wear my bright trousers and have fun with my fellow VMUG community people. Also being at the Motorcycle museum the thought of Steve Bruck with a tache is too good a photo opportunity to miss, Village People anyone?
I am working with the amazing Jane Rimmer, (ah, thanks Matt!) who is kindly letting me guest blog, to have a Mo off against Christian and the other Nordic VMUG’ers and their Mo’s
Thanks and see you on the 21st……..
P.S. If anyone wants I have the Movember prize I won when I did it 2 years ago and it is a book all about growing and tailoring your Mo…..happy to loan out for some final grooming tips!