Yesterday saw another fantastic London VMUG with lots of quality sessions and opportunities to network with peers and friends. The committee seem to do a fantastic job every time and this one was no exception, so thanks to Alaric Davies, Jane Rimmer, Stuart Thompson and Simon Gallagher!
One of the best things for me about the VMUG is the chance to chat with some of the smartest and most influential people in the VMware world – a trip to the coffee table provided a great opportunity to “chew the vfat” with two of the VMUG’s biggest characters, Mike Laverick and Ricky El-Qasem – all before any sessions had started.
The first session of the day, after the obligatory coffee and biscuits, was presented by Itzik Reich of EMC’s ExtremIO talking about the all-flash offering. For a non-native English speaker I was thoroughly impressed with how he engaged with the audience and spoke. My main take-away was that you can’t treat flash in the same way as magnetic disk – it’s not just a faster version of the traditional spinning platter but requires a whole new approach as to how it’s used and managed. That may sound obvious but I think a lot of solutions treat flash as such, imposing magnetic disk concepts like RAID which don’t make the best use. Flash != magnetic disk, don’t treat it the same!
Sticking with storage the next session was presented by VMware’s own Owen Sheehy with an introduction to Virtual SAN. This was another really knowledgeable presentation and for me highlighted the transformation that is happening around storage at the moment. Owen highlighted the simplicity of setting up VSAN (which I’ve seen first hand in my lab even during the beta versions) and walked through the process of getting a your VSAN up and running. I would have liked some more in-depth technical stuff, but this was an overview so it wasn’t meant to be a deep dive.
I spent some time catching up with Simon Eady and Craig Kilborn which is always great – we talked a lot about VCDX and certification as Craig has just submitted and I am in the process of writing my design. There were sessions on vCHS - which I’ve been lucky enough to have had some good exposure to – and Frank Buechsel did a session on SSL certificates in vSphere, which I heard some good things about!
That was followed by lunch and some vendor sessions, and then some real-world vCAC experience with Simon Gallagher and Ricky El-Qasem – loads of helpful information in there, even if the demo didn’t work! I’d definitely recommend getting hold of Simon’s slide deck as that contained a ton of tips (you should be able to get it via the London VMUG workspace). This session was packed – reflecting I think both the huge interest in the community for vCAC, and the difficulty of finding good resources to learn vCAC.
Finally, I attended the lightning talks – three 15 minute sessions hosted by Darren “gramps” Woolard on SRM, the munchkins Gregg Robertson and Craig Kilborn on what it takes to get a VCDX application ready, and Simon Gallagher attempting to get his vCAC demo working from earlier in the 3 minutes he had remaining!
As usual there were vBeers after the main event, sponsored by PernixData – unfortunately I needed to get home so I couldn’t attend, but from the twitter feeds I gather it was a great evening.
If you’ve never been to a VMUG before, I would very strongly recommend going. You don’t just get some great sessions on relevant topics led by really clever people, you get the opportunity to network with peers and colleagues. As the good book says, “iron sharpens iron” – you will get massive value from the conversations you have through out the day. Did I mention it’s free, and lunch is provided? The next one is in July (I believe Thurs 17th) so why not sign up and have a look?
Lastly, if you’ve been to a few VMUGs why not consider doing a community session yourself? You could start with a 15 minute lightning talk, and there are plenty of people out there willing to help and mentor you. Get in touch with one of the committee members on twitter – all you need is an idea!