It was an awesome first-time User Conference put on by the Danish VMUG leadership team, with the ‘back office’ help of VMUG HQ. The numbers was comparable with the UK VMUG, however, we were hosting our third event, this was the first in the Nordics and a testament to the dedication and efforts of the leaders. But without a doubt the ‘star’ of the show was my good friend and Danish VMUG Chair, Liselotte Foverskov. As Joe Baguley commented on his opening keynote, for someone that has a full time job, is married with a young family and is chair of the Danish VMUG, is a truly outstanding achievement to pull off the Nordics VMUG. He then presented her a plaque to commemorate her achievements.
For me, as a visiting VMUG Leader, it was great to be able to attend sessions that we had on the UK VMUG agenda, but being on the committee it’s rare you actually get to attend them! I attended Cormac’s VSAN session – oversubscribed as in the UK – as well as Frank Denneman discussing use of flash in virtual datacentres, Chad Sakac’s Software Defined Storage session and, the best one for me, was Enrico Laursen from LEGO, along with his colleague Stefan Pahrmann, talking about how LEGO relocated to a new datacentre, sharing their process, challenges and outcomes with a packed room. It’s always great to hear from other users of VMware and eco-system technology and their implementations. It was also great to catch up with Duncan Epping, who had been unable to attend our UK VMUG in November. I still missed his session though as it conflicted with the LEGO presentation 🙁
The solutions exchange had many of the same sponsors we’d had in the UK, with some local companies supporting the Nordic VMUG, such as Arrow. It was great to catch up with Rasmus Haslund from Arrow, who is such a passionate virtualisation and cloud VMUG member. I also caught up with my old colleague and long time friend Matthias Sundling who was presenting his myth buster session with David Davis, a session I missed at VMworld and also missed in the Nordics, as it conflicted with Enrico’s presentation. This is a challenge of scheduling such great content and speakers – there will also be a clash, unless we turn VMUG User Conferences into a 2-day event – thoughts? Another highlight was finally meeting Christian Mohn (aka vNinja), we’ve ‘known’ each other for a couple of years now, thanks to the power of social media, but never met face-to-face, until now! This is the power of VMUG, we’re a virtual community but also provide the opportunity to network face-to-face too.
There were so many good points throughout the day that I can’t capture them all here, but if you want an overview, put #vmugdk into your Twitter client and see detailed coverage of the day.
The closing keynote from Chad was inspiring, entitled The Nature and Impact of Disruption on Industries, Vendors and Customers, below is the key takeaway slides from it:
After the prize giving and closing by Nicolai Sandager from the Danish VMUG, where David Davis provided some Pluralsight free 1-month trial codes, and there were a few left over, which I purloined (with his approval!) for our London VMUG meeting in January, there was beer and pizza in the solutions exchange.
Then the speakers and VMUG leaders in attendance were treated to a Mikkeller beer tasting and dinner, hosted by VMware Denmark (thank you Rasmus Thomsen!). The following day there was a VIP tour of LEGO, one that I was lucky enough to be invited to, but one that I couldn’t attend, as I had to get back to the UK. However, my fellow UK VMUG leader, Simon Gallagher, did attend and, from the photos on Twitter, certainly enjoyed it 🙂
The only ‘negatives’ to comment on are relevant to most VMUG events; registration still proves an issue at these events, no matter how much you encourage folks to arrive early, register and have some light breakfast, most still decide to arrive at the last minute, causing a backlog and delays…. We also saw the usual ‘no shows’ in the region of over 20% – 600+ registrations, 470+ attendees. Solutions to these two points could include registration confirmation via your smartphone (like) and charging to attend these events (dislike) – thoughts?
Thank you to everyone for such a fantastic time at Nordics VMUG User Conference – here’s to 2014!