My First VMUG Experience

My First VMUG Experience

Last week my local VMware User Group were getting together in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. I decided to satisfy my curiosity and head along to see what the VMUG meetings are all about, here’s a write up in case anyone was considering going to a VMUG meeting and what it entails.

First of all, you will need to register for the event via the VMUG website. This will allow the organizers know how many people they are expecting.

According to the schedule the registration process started at 11:30, so I headed into to town early to grab a coffee before heading to venue. When I got to the venue I was greeted by one of the VMUG leaders Kevin Hodgson, who was very friendly and went through the registration with myself despite being 30 minutes early. The venue was great, and well set out for the presenters and vendors.

Not long after the vendors arrived and setup their displays. There was representatives from Rubrik, 10Zig, Zerto, and Nimble Storage. They all came with free goodies! Pens, mugs, t-shirts and keyrings. Who doesn’t like a good freebie?

12 noon hits and it’s time for the NEVMUG introduction by another VMUG leader David Owen and introduced the first presenter.

The first session was a guide on vRealize Orchestrator by Christopher Lewis (Lead Consultant – Xtravit). This was a very informative session on how to automate and improve efficiency of the tasks we have to perform frequently in vSphere. This is definitely something my environments could benefit from and something I will look into.

12:50 and time to head for a drink, which was free of charge! This was combined with a free buffet of food. All subsidized by the VMUG group! Really nice touch.


Next up, our first Gold Sponsor Rubrik. I was particularly looking forward to see what Rubrik had to offer as I’ve heard good things about their services, I was definitely not disappointed. Their product looks amazing! If you want to spin your backups up in next to no time at all then look no further than Rubrik.


Following Rubrik was a session from Chris Porter on AWS for VMware Admins. Chris described AWS as the “800lbs Gorilla in the room”. AWS is something all virtualization enthusiasts need to pay attention to, especially after the VMware Cloud Foundation announcement. Chris did a great job going through the core components of AWS and the pros and cons of having your environment hosted in the cloud rather than on local infrastructure. He also finished with some training links and AWS certification tips.


Next we have another gold sponsor and a presentation from Kevin Greenway (Managing Director 10Zig) Kevin talked about the comparisons and performance results between Blast Extreme and PCoIP. VDI is another technology that is becoming more widely adopted so this was a good topic to cover.


Speaking of Technologies getting more adoption, the following presentation was by Michael Armstrong (VMware Senior Systems Engineer) and was all about NSX. This presentation was focusing on the security elements of NSX. This was a presentation I was personally looking forward to. NSX has been something I have been hoping to get more involved with in the future and Michael’s presentation was great motivation for me to go and delve further into NSX and how it can improve the environments I support.


Rounding off the presentation section of the day was James Kilby on Nutanix. James gave a real life example of how adopting Nutanix improved his production environment.


Once the presentations were finished, there was the prize giveaways. Each vendor was giving away a prize along with prizes from the VMUG group. These included, an iPad, Amazon Echo, and many others.  After the prize draw everyone headed to a local bar for a few drinks which again was covered by the VMUG group!


Overall my first VMUG experience was not only extremely informative and useful but also highly enjoyable. In between each presentations there was plenty time allocated to allowing attendees to network among themselves as well as visit all the extremely helpful and friendly vendors. The whole day was a fantastic experience meeting likeminded people who have a passion for Virtualisation and predominantly VMware products.

I’m very glad I took the plunge to sign up and attend, as well as professional insight into other products and services I’ve now gotten an indication of areas I need to look for my own personal development, such as AWS and NSX.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this VMUG to anyone who is working with Virtualisation and VMware Products.


If you would like any more information on the presentation or the vendors or even about the experience as a whole, please feel free to comment in the comment section below.


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