It’s that time of year when I book the next London VMUG session into my calendar and rather than my usual ‘here’s the agenda, you should go‘ blogpost I thought I’d recap what the last year has delivered. If this doesn’t convince you that there’s value in attending a free event where you could have learnt all the topics listed below as well as networking with your peers then nothing will.
If there’s a topic you’d like covered or if you’d like to present something yourself get in touch with the organising commmittee. I’m planning to present at one of next year’s VMUG sessions (it’s about time!) because it’s a user group and real world experience can be gold dust for others to learn from. I’m told we’re a friendly audience!
I’ve grouped them according to some industry trends so your own ‘pointy haired boss’ will also see the value;
- Virtualisation. As you’d expect from a VMware usergroup there’s been a strong focus on virtualisation;
- Covered the features in vSphere 5.1 and when you’d use them or not (Gregg Robertson and Darren Woollard, vExperts)
- Took an indepth look at the storage functionality of vSphere5.1 plus a peak at future storage features (Cormac Hogan, VMware
- Learned how to use stretch clusters, SRM, and vSphere replication to provide high availability, even across geographically dispersed sites (Lee Dilworth)
- Using vSphere’s new AutoDeploy functionality (with a sneak peak at a prerelease tool)
- What’s the vCenter Appliance and how does it compare to the Windows version we all know and love? (Hugo Phan, VCDX)
- Preparing for your VCP5 exam (Gregg Robertson, vExpert)
- Xangati explained why you need 360 degree monitoring of your infrastructure
- Darren Woollard ran a couple of interactive VMware design workshops
- This year saw the first EMEA NDA session which covered the future roadmap from VMware. Exciting stuff but not available online for obvious reasons – you had to be there!
- Chris Evans (from TheStorageArchitect.com) gave a great presentation about next generation storage – flash, tiering, current vendor landscape etc
- Nimble Storage, Tintri, and Whiptail all presented their storage arrays and gave us their take on the future of storage
- Fusion-IO gave us their solution to the compute/storage gap
- End User Computing
- VMUG stalwarts Tom Howarth and Julian Wood both covered the challenges of VDI deployments from different angles. Tom covered hypervisor agnostic VDI considerations while Julian Wood provided an overview of why you should or shouldn’t do VDI and common stumbling blocks.
- Clive Wenman (from VMware) gave us a longer term perspective on VMware’s vision for EUC including project Horizon, Appblast, and Horizon Data
- Centrix showed us how to manage the ‘workspace of the future’ while Liquidware labs gave us their vision of desktop transformation
- Converged infrastructure
- Cloud and automation. I’ve put these subjects together as a cloud solution really needs automation – you can argue about this in your own time!
- There were a couple of vCloud sessions throughout the year, including an architecture deep dive and one on DR (Aidan Dalgleish and Dave Hill)
- An introduction to vCloud Automation Center (from the acquisition of Dynamic Ops who themselves presented back in 2009!)
- Practical automation (Al Renouf and William Lam) which focused on VMware tools for automation including PowerCLI, esxcli, and vCenter Orchestrator.
- We had a couple of sessions around automation and orchestration. Michael Poore covered the what, when, and why of orchestration and Steve Bryen covered available automation and orchestration solutions (including Chef, Puppet etc) and where they fit in the stack from infrastructure through to applications.
- Security in the cloud wasn’t forgotten either – Trend Micro presented their Deep Security product.
- You want real world cloud case studies? Pete Rossi showed that ‘Government Can Run vCloud, How Skyscape Did It’ (no slides available)
- Applications. As infrastructure professionals we may not spend much of our time thinking about the applications but eventually we all have to admit they rule the roost;
- We had an introduction to the vFabric product suite along with coverage of VMware’s Application Management roadmap
- Symantec presented their virtualisation-aware ApplicationHA software to bring high availability to tier1 apps
- Want to know how to start using VMware APIs to create small but invaluable utilities? (Ricky El-Qasem)
- Nontechnical sessions. While I have my head in the technical clouds it’s good to look over the parapet once in a while and these sessions helped me do just that;
- Industry thought leader Joe Baguley’s perspective on the transformation of IT and VMware’s role
- A couple of well respected IT professionals, Chris Kranz and Scott Lowe, gave us their views on how virtualisation and cloud is changing job roles and how to stay relevant in IT. We also heard from a leading virtualisation recruitment agent, Neil Mills, who gave us insight from the ‘other side of the fence’. These guys are at the top of their game and well worth listening to.
- A thought provoking session on DevOps and service management from Alex Smith. This topic was probably out of many people’s comfort zones but it’s good to learn something new and challenge your thinking.
I could mention the giveaways (iPad, Fusion-IO card, t-shirts, AppleTV etc) and the free beers afterwards, the fact we had at least five VCDX’s presenting and the live labs from EMC, VMTurbo, and Embotics etc but you’re already sold right?
Register for the next session on 24th Jan 2013 (did I mention it’s free?)