Tag Archive: User Group

Well the year is starting to wrap up – Twitter avatars look a little snowier and analysts are digging deep into their prediction boxes in the attic to see what 2012 is going to “be the year of <insert technology>”.


If you make no other resolutions in the coming 2 weeks or so , make this one , “I will attend a user group meeting” – for example the next London VMware User Group meeting is on the 26th of January, so its a nice early one to tick off the list. If you’d like to sign up for the meeting , head on over to here and sign up. If you feel you need a little more convincing on why a user group is for you, then read on.


7 Reasons why you should go to a usergroup

1. Its an educational event – Not only is there a chance to pick up some handy info from the sponsors and members presentations , for instance “how to build 1000 hosts in 10 minutes with VMware auto deploy” by Alan Renouf from VMware , or dabble in “A little orchestration after lunch" with Michael Poore – you could even brush up on those skills to complete a certification such as with Gregg Robertson’s VCP5 Tips & Tricks session.

2. Its a social event – a chance to meet with people who share similar sets of day to day issues as yourself , so its the perfect place to bounce an idea around with a peer group of very bright people

3. Its a fun event – from Alaric’s jokes at the welcome to the laughs and war stories at the pub afterwards its good humour all the way – just because we work in IT doesn’t mean that we’re socially crippled!

4. Its a free event! even lunch and a swift half at the pub later is covered

5. Its an interactive event – Its not just a day of PowerPoint overload , you can get involved with the hands on lab sessions , on this occasion sponsored by the guys over at Embotics, I’m sure you’ll have built a self service cloud portal before you can say “boo!”

6. Its a networking event – People pay quite a lot of money to marketing companies to be able to have “breakfast” with like minded peers for the purpose of networking – being in IT we’re much more practical , we’ll do it for free at the usergroup! Find out the gossip , who’s hiring & who wants to be hired. You might just find that next rockstar position you’ve been promising yourself!

7. Its a community driven event – think you can do better than the guy on stage ? got something worth saying ? well you have the opportunity to prove it at a user group – We love the sponsors, but what makes it a *user* group is the member driven content – it could be a panel / open roundtable or just an aspect of your day to day techie life that you think you’ve done well and would like to tell people about


Hopefully there is something that will strike a chord above – and I’ll see you on the 26th!


Details have just been released for the next meeting of the London VMware User Group – In the few years since  I have started attending , this event has continually got better and better with May’s meeting blossoming into a full days event with a couple of different tracks and 2 labs hosted by COLT , based around consumption of resources with vCould Director & Administering vCloud director. If these labs are up to the quality of those offered at VMworld Europe then it’ll be worth taking the day off just for those !

Did I mention this was all free ? After the glow of the projector bulb has died town the event concludes with a social reception at a nearby pub to give you a chance to meet , greet and drink with fellow and like minded individuals who actually want to listen to you talk about virtualisation all night ( my usual drinking buddies tend to fall asleep after the first hour or so ! )


Head over to http://www.myvmug.org/e/in/eid=13 and register!  follow #LonVMUG on twitter for updates and tweets from other attendee’s


This week saw the last London VMUG of 2010. It featured not only the main session with a mix of updates from the mothership , presentations from users & sponsoring vendors , but a choice of 2 breakout sessions in the morning before the main session.

For the last 3 or 4 VMUG’s , Alan Renouf of virtu-al.net ( and lately vSpecialist ) fame has very kindly been running a PowerShell session , graduating from a presentation to a lab – this time hosted in the “cloud” ( also known as Al’s house! ) – I’m told from the guys who attended it , that it was yet another slice of command line gold.

While I enjoy PowerShell as much as the next man, the alternative breakout session being trialled this time appealed more to me as what Alaric Davies described as a bit of “beard-strokey high level strategy stuff” , namely a roundtable discussion with slightly less of a technical focus than some of the other VMUG subject matter.

As it turned out the subject of the roundtable was about VDI – not something I have a huge day to day exposure to as I’ve said before , but something that interests me as it represents some tough challenges for the virtualisation professional. In terms of workload numbers , a good sized Virtual Server estate could have 1000  workloads running , each reasonably predictable and trended. An equivalent sized VDI implementation could be tens of thousands of much less predicable workloads , raising a significantly different challenge.

In addition to the technical challenges offered by VDI – there is a far greater barrier from the finance department. Several of the delegates at the table found the case hard to justify to their management line, Not only could additional hardware need to be purchased in the server room , but potentially a whole new set of hardware for the desktop in the form of thin clients. It would seam there are potential pitfalls in other areas too, such as licencing , where if you are not careful you could end up attempting to licence your desktop twice , which is something we’d all rather avoid. One of the delegates at the table deliberately  avoided the thin client route – citing the reason that should the VDI project “crash and burn” then at least he would not have to go round and buy everyone a new PC ( presumably shortly followed by clearing his desk ? Winking smile )

In addition to user contributions from the table , we were also lucky enough to have a scattering of VMware staff who were able to offer clarifications / advice when required. on a personal note I felt they gave just the right level of participation, it would have been all too easy for them to have run away a bit with the conversation. Mike Laverick was running as an unofficial compere for the roundtable and I’m sure he’d have interjected if he felt things were loosing sight of their goals.

If you work in virtualisation anywhere around the south east, then I really do urge you to come and take part in the London VMUG. It really is a fantastic source of knowledge , networking and occasionally beermats ! Smile





If you’d like more information on the London VMware User Group then check out the VMware Community pages or the LinkedIn Group.