5 Reasons to Attend South West UK VMUG

vmug-sw-logoAs many people will be aware, there are many reasons to go to local VMUG meetings. Many people may not be aware that there is a new VMware User Group being started in the South West. Based in Bristol, the South West UK VMUG aims to bring the best of virtualization, technology, chat, networking opportunities and general cool stuff to the whole of the bottom left side of the UK. We aim to hold 3 free events in the city each year, with the first scheduled for 18th February 2014.

But why come along? Amongst many others, here are the top 5 reasons for coming to the South West UK VMUG meeting:

1. Rockstar Speakers

joe-200x301We are super lucky to be kicking off our meetings with a keynote speech by Joe Baguley, Chief Technology Officer of EMEA for VMware. Aside from running a huge company like VMware, Joe is a very ardent supported of local VMUGs, and we’ve been very lucky to secure some of his time. Joining Joe in the speaking slots are storage technology firm and platinum event sponsors Nutanix, Nathan Prisk from Falmouth University and VMware staffers Peter von Oven and Arash Ghazanfari.

2. Getting Involved in the Community

VMUG events are hugely popular and are often a gateway for people to get involved in the virtualization community. VMUGs are all about networking, communicating with other like minded individuals to form new business and technology relationships, and to expand networks to new area’s – both from a technology and a geographical perspective. VMUG events attract a cross section of the business and technology world, from those just starting out to seasoned professionals who have been in the business for years, from boardroom members to junior technical staff. Everyone is invited, everyone is welcome, and nobody pays a dime!

3. Free Training / VCDX Practice

In addition to the usual community sessions run as part of the VMUG agenda, we are also planning a coupke of extra sessions for registered attendees in the morning:

  • FREE TRAINING – delivered by another VMware Community Rockstar: Mike Laverick. A former VMware Certified Instructor, Mike is a VMware and technology evangelist, and will be delivering some free training for VMware beginners on 18th February. If you are interested, please leave a comment or get in touch!
  • VCDX Practice – organised by the community, those planning to do the top-flight VMware Certified Design Expert exam are invited to an informal study group, to practice defence sessions as we help each other to achieve VCDX status.

4. vBeers

For a little post-VMUG networking, there is also a Bristol vBeers event, starting at 5pm in a local Bristol bar (the Piano & Pitcher). Sponsored by 10zig, vBeers is an opportunity to enjoy a beverage or 2 and do some more networking. Couldn’t attend the afternoon sessions? Catch-up with the sponsors and find out all the latest information.

5. Free Stuff!

vmug-prizesEveryone likes to get something for nothing – right? There are lots of freebies on offer at South West UK VMUG:

  • Free Registration. Pay nothing to get in, and all the sessions are available to attend gratis.
  • Free lunch. Join us from 12pm to get signed-in and enjoy a bite in the process.
  • Free Training. New to VMware? Register for the morning sessions. (See above).
  • Free Beers. Join us at vBeers afterwards, sponsored by 10zig.
  • Free Stuff. We have many prize draws, including VMworld 2013 bags filled with goodies, t-shirts, mugs, pens, notebooks and other techie goodies!

So, what’s not to like about the up-coming South West VMUG meeting on 18th February? See the full agenda here, or register to attend for FREE on our VMUG.com Community website.

Follow us on Twitter for news and updates: @SWUKVMUG

SWVMUG Launch and Google Hangout

Jeremy and I participated in a brief Google Hangout today with Simon Eady and Barry Coombs, our co-leaders of the South West UK VMUG. We officially announced our first meeting date (Tuesday 18th February 2014 in central Bristol) and spent some time discussing some of the things that we collectively did at VMworld Europe recently.

The full video of the hangout is below. Once venues etc are firmed up for our first SWVMUG meeting we’ll get a registration link opened up on our VMUG page.

VMworld Europe 2013 – Partner Day

I have to confess to feeling a little jaded this morning thanks to the vRockstar party last night. I’m not complaining though, as I have been on the previous two occasions that I’ve attended VMworld Europe, I’m both excited and glad to be here.

2013-10-14 08.55.14

Registration was a breeze and a few subtle changes to the layout of the venue were immediately apparent. Compared to last year, I think that the conference is occupying a lot more floor space. The Solutions Exchange will open tomorrow where the General Sessions were last year. The HoL and Community / Alumni / Partner lounges have moved to occupy the space where the Solutions Exchange was last year. So far I like the layout.

As with previous years, Monday is VMware’s Partner Day. Owing to a perfect storm of circumstances I only managed to get in to one session but it was probably the one that I was most keen to see.

TEX5350 Designing network virtualization for Data-centers: Greenfield Design and Migration scenarios
Software Defined Datacenters and Network Virtualization technologies are essential components to enhance operational efficiency, unlock agility in provisioning new application and services, and enable extensibility to rapidly respond to business needs. This session will discuss how modern virtualization techniques, such as VXLAN, vWires can be deployed over 3-tier or 2-tier datacenter IP fabric topologies. Particularly the session will analyze requirements for the physical network, followed by logical network deployment options. The session will analyze the benefits of a generic vendor agnostic Layer 3 Leaf/Spine IP fabric and use of LACP, vmknics, host profiles will be covered with use-case discussions, design recommendations and Best Practices.

I have a few other session lined up that focus on or fit with NSX so this was a useful primer for me.

For me though, VMworld isn’t just about the sessions. Probably the biggest benefit that I derive from attending events like these is the networking (with people) and a great many people arrived today to register, take lab sessions and get the lay of the land.

As things started to wind down at the conference centre, the focus naturally shifted to evening activities. The VMUG organisation held a well attended party in the centre of the city. The Veeam guys (who were sponsoring the event) wasted no time going straight for Jaeger-bombs!

2013-10-14 20.07.31

Pernix Data also held a well attended event on the other side of the city centre that I was pleased to be invited to.

New UK VMUG Group: SW England


South West VMware User Group: The Facts, The Figures, And The Events

The South West VMware User Group launches in the UK, bringing the best of VMware and the user community to The West, South West and South Wales.

The leadership team is pleased to announce the South West VMware User Group (VMUG). Meeting in Bristol at the crossroads to the South West, The West Country, South Wales and the Midlands, meetings will begin early in 2014, to bring together virtualization customers, end users and enthusiasts in an informal social setting for discussion, learning and engagement.

Social Media

We are on Twitter, so please engage with us @SWUKVMUG or #SWUKVMUG. We also have a local presence on VMUG.com, where we will post meeting details and where you can register for a free account to sign-up for our up-coming meetings.


First Meeting

For our first meeting, we have some grand plans to open with a bang!

  • Mystery guest ‘VMware Rockstar’ keynote speaker.
  • Prizes and giveaways.
  • VMware session.
  • Sponsor session.
  • Community homelab session.
  • Local vBeers afterwards.

Regular announcements and updates will be posted on our Twitter account: @SWVMUG.


We are already planning our first meeting, but in the meantime we plan an online webinar on Tuesday 29th October with a VMworld highlight wrap-up, plus interviews about the forth-coming UKVMUG and an overview of plans for the first South West VMUG meeting. To view the webinar live (or play back the recording), checkout this link on Google Hangouts:

South West VMUG Webinar event at Google Hangouts: http://goo.gl/SrQqTd


Can’t wait till 2014 for our first meeting? Why not come to the national UKVMUG where all the members of the SWVMUG leadership team will be available to discuss the new group, what we have to offer, and how SWVMUG can enhance your VM experience. Look out for us in special RED t-shirts!

Can’t even wait till October? Join us for a Bristol vBeers! For details, follow @SWVMUG, the committee members or check http://www.vbeers.org/ for scheduling. We look forward to meeting you!


The Leadership Team of the new SWVMUG comprises:

London VMUG – July 4th 2013

VMUG LogoRegistration is now open for the London VMUG Meeting on 4th July 2013!

As usual, it will be at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (33 Queen Street, London, EC4R 1AP) between 8:30 and 17:00 and there will be vBeers afterwards.

The sponsors for this event are Atlantis Computing and Veeam.

What are you waiting for? Head over to the VMUG website, register and stick it in your calendar before someone sticks a different meeting in there!

Community Speakers:
• Fernando Frediani – Build Your Own Shared Storage
• Steve Bruck – SSO SOS
• Sam McGeown – PowerCLI Tips and Scripts
• Seb Hakiel – 4000-seat VDI Lessons
• Julian Wood – VDI roundtable Discussion
• Simon Gallagher – Hybrid vCloud Reaction

Sponsor Speakers:
• Hans de Leenheer – Veeam
• David Cumberworth – Atlantis Computing

Special Guest:
• Frank Denneman – Pernix Data