My 1st VMUG – #LonVMUG – 22/06/17

Last month I was finally able to take the plunge and attend not only my 1st VMUG but also my 1st #LonVMUG.  I had planned to attend 2 previous events this year but due to work commitments had to cancel at short notice.

For those not familiar with VMUGs, VMUG or VMware User Group was officially launched in 2010 and is an independent, global, customer-led organisation which was created to maximise members use of VMware and its partner solutions through knowledge sharing, collaboration and events.

The #LonVMUG was held at TechUK which had some impressive conference facilities plus a separate room for the event sponsors who on this occasion were Nimble Storage, Blue Medora and SIOS.

After registering and grabbing a coffee it was onto the agenda for the day which began with a Welcome by the London VMUG Committee and 1 of the slides poked fun at the North West VMUG which was also being hosted that day about how to translate Geordie dialect!


Nimble Storage

After the Welcome it was then on to the 1st session from Peter Evans from Nimble Storage which was entitled “What can a storage vendor bring to your virtualisation platform?”.  An interesting presentation about Nimble and it’s offerings in the virtualisation space.


During the presentation we found out that 90% of Nimble arrays are used with VMware infrastructures which is industry leading and integration with VASA and SPBM features helps to promote that.

They also reported 99,999% (five nines) of uptime across all of their customers estates and we also got a demo of their cloud based analytics and monitoring solution – Infosight using actual customer data which was pretty cool.   Their technology allows a problem which is discovered at 1 customer being prevented proactively at other customers.

With the recent acquisition of Nimble Storage by HPE, this is an interesting time for Nimble and it will be interesting to see how HPE decides to develop the Nimble platform.  There are already some positive outcomes as during the presentation we were advised that HPE are planning to integrate the analytic capabilities from Nimble into their Storage systems.


Straight after this it was time for the “Main Event” at 10:15AM in the morning and what a lot of attendees had come for.


We were lucky to have a VMware rock star in the building – Frank Denneman, a Senior Staff Architect who gave a presentation on VMware on AWS which included a lot of updates since the partnership was first announced in October 2016.   The talk gave us a closer overview of whats to come when the solution is launched at GA and how it will look.

We got a breakdown of how the VMware on AWS solution is created where you are taking bare metal servers from the AWS Global Infrastructure and then installing the complete SDDC stack on top of this which comprises of vCenter / vSphere / vSAN and NSX.  In short this offers a private cloud on a public cloud provider but has consistency and parity with on-prem solutions.


I am fortunate to have seen a lot of this internally under NDA so it was good to see this information being presented in a public forum with all of the marketing magic added to the slides.  Highly impressive!


After Frank, the last presentation of the morning from Julian Wood was entitled “Can I order some servers for my serverless please?” – this was an interesting talk providing an overview of serverless technologies and where it fits in with technology today.


During the presentation, Julian gave a great statement to help explain how “serverless” technology works…

“Serverless has servers in the same way that a wireless network has wires. The servers are still there, but the interaction is with the functions (FaaS) or the backend systems (BaaS) rather than the tin, hypervisor, operating system, or container.”

Key takeaway from the presentation was serverless is a new technology finding it’s place in the market and has a few success stories for various use cases (for example; the training service A Cloud Guru).

Blue Medora

After the buffet lunch you had the choice of taking 2 sponsor tracks; SIOS were presenting on Track B but I chose Track A where Alain Geenrits and Ian Wells from Blue Medora presented on “Predictive Analytics for IT Operations using VMware vRealize”.  This selection was a bit of a no brainer as I support vRealize Operations in my day job and work with Blue Medora closely with their Management Pack integration challenges.


Their presentation covered a sample of their vRealize Operations Management Packs which allow vROps to collect and present data on a wide number of applications and infrastructure components.  These MP’s include storage (Dell), databases (MySQL, MS SQL Server) and additional infrastructure (Nagios, SCOM).


Host Deep Dive

After a short break it was time for the final session and some people could argue the London VMUG Committee left “the best til last” as it was another session with Frank Denneman but this time he was joined by Niels Hagoort, a freelance architect and VCDX #212.  The purpose of this talk was to provide an overview of some of the topics that are covered in their new book “VMware vSphere 6.5 Host Resources Deep Dive”.


Some interesting nuggets of insight and it gave you a taster of whats to come if you stump up the £££ and buy the book.  I think as a general vSphere resource it is well worth the money and you will definitely learn something! 🙂


We ended the day and I got to experience Luxury vBeers held at Fourpure in South Bermondsey, here I tried some specialty craft beers and talked shop with other attendees – Great way to end the day!




I really enjoyed my time at #LonVMUG and it was a great choice for my 1st VMUG.

I  found the presented content highly beneficial and was able to speak to VMware users and hear there virtualisation stories as well as share some of my own insight from a GSS perspective.

I also heard that these events are not represented enough by VMware so I was glad to be present all be it in an “unofficial” capacity.

I look forward to my next VMUG be it in London or another location although I do plan to attend the UK VMUG in November – schedule permitting of course!

— Lukas






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