Like many who use VMware products, I had heard about the VMware User Group but had not had the opportunity to attend due to various work commitments. For those of you who are unaware, they are organised by the community, and people give up there time to orchestrate the event, which I for one applaud.
So, what’s it like? Well the easiest answer is ‘a mini VMworld, but for free’!
On arrival you perform the normal sign in process and then you are greeted by free tea and coffee. What a great start to the day.
We then got chaperoned to the opening keynote from Joe Baguley who is the Chief Technologist for VMware EMEA. This guy rocked, very witty and informative about the future roadmap that VMware has.
After this you can either choose to go to the (did I mention free) seminars or you can go the vendor hall. I decided to go to a Veeam session ‘5 Ways Smart VM Backups May Surprise You’ did I learn something from this? absolutely.
We then had a thirty minute break to give you time to mingle with vendors or other like minded people, and drink some more (free) tea.
The next session I chose to attend was hosted by Frank Denneman and Duncan Epping which was a ‘Deep Dive Group Discussion’ they did an excellent job of translating business issues faced and some of the ways to overcome them. I mean how often do you get to ask questions you have to industry experts?
Lunch was a great buffet spread which catered for pretty much everything you need (again for free).
In the afternoon, I attended a session hosted by Darren Woollard which was to design an infrastructure for a fictional company. This lead to a decent debate of what servers, storage, switches and vSphere configuration should be used. This was of particular interest for me, as it’s great to validate design ideas with your peers. A worthy mention to Darren for then answering a number of my questions for what I’m sure seemed like an age to him!
I was keen to attend the session by Julian Wood on ‘vSphere Networking and Converged IO with Blade Servers’ as with 10GbE becoming more and more affordable it’s something that I will be deploying in the not so distant future. Julian did an outstanding job and he does know his ‘networking onions’.
The closing keynote was from industry heavy weight (not by size) Scott Lowe, again doing an awesome job of trying to educate us on how to ‘Stay Sharp and Relevant in IT’.
So in summary it was an action packed day, which I was overwhelmed with not only by how organised and professional it was but also by the number of industry leaders who the UK VMUG had arranged to attend. Awesome job UK VMUG.
For the social media folks, some twitter handles and websites
Joe Baguley @JoeBaguley
Duncan Epping @DuncanYB http://yellow-bricks.com/
Frank Denneman @FrankDenneman http://frankdenneman.nl/
Darren Woollard @dawoo http://blog.vmote.net
Scott Lowe @scott_lowe http://blog.scottlowe.org
Julian Wood @julian_wood http://woodITwork.com
Simon Gallagher @vinf_net http://vinf.net