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

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!

This Week’s London VMUG – July 4th



Having been on holiday for the past 10 days, the next meeting is already nearly upon us.  This one has been a bit more challenging in organizing speakers and sponsors than previous ones.  I think there have been so many VMware related events recently; with more VMUGs coming into play and the recent VMware Forums across Europe have sapped vendors’ resources; human and budgetary.  However, we have secured a GREAT line up for our members, with Veeam, Atlantis and Dell/Wyse as our sponsors and special guest, Frank Denneman from Pernix Data.  Of course, we also have some fabulous community content, with London stalwarts Julian Wood, Steve Bruck and Stu McHugh, along with newcomer speakers Fernando Frediani, Seb Hakiel and Sam McGeown. Our own steering committee member, Simon Gallagher, will give us his view on the recent vCHS (vCloud Hybrid Service) announcement and we have regular VMware VMUG contributor Aidan Dalgliesh with his colleague, Kamau Wanguhu, talking Simplifying DR IP Addressing With  Overlay Networks – all good stuff!

As usual, we’ll have our giveaways to chuck – sorry, I mean give to new members and am sure our sponsors will have some goodies too.

Check out the agenda for yourself below and ensure your boss will let you attend this great information and knowledge exchange/networking meeting!


In case you haven’t already registered (why not?!) you can do so here and looking forward to seeing you all on Thursday!