Last thursday I attended my local VMUG. This was my first experience outside tacking on the end of a previous jaunt. The Melbourne VMware Users Group convenes on multiple occasions throughout the year. The aim of VMUG is two-fold. One is to engage local users of VMware to see what is new through presentation and technical discussion. The second is to build friendships and relationships based on common interests.
VMUG is run by the community. Sponsored by a vendor usually with lashing of help from VMware this event is driven by community volunteers. Craig Waters, Damien Calvert, Tony McPhail, and Andrew Dauncey lead the Melbourne chapter. All around the world VMware have volunteers like the aforementioned gentlemen who donate their time to create an extremely slick experience.
We experienced a variety of presentation which was opened by Nimble Storage. Nimble Storage were the sponsors of the nights events and had the floor for around 35 minutes discussing their flash/hybrid array storage. Their regional technical manager was approachable and friendly and the intimate environment of around 50 people gave them a great platform in which to have a targeted conversation. I am hoping to deliver a blog around Nimble soon.
This was followed up by VMware Horizon and Mirage discussion from the Victorian End User Computing (EUC) specialist, David Head. This was an engaging presentation. VMware Horizon and Mirage are all about reinvigorating terminal services, publishing applications, and desktop anywhere technologies. Extremely impressive stuff. What got me rather interested was two approaches VMware have to advanced EUC.
One was the ability to leverage inbuilt GPU of the servers and offload graphics acceleration. This would allow better support for workstation applications such as photoshop, lightroom, and autoCAD. The other was to offload GPU to the end unit. This would take advantage of allowing compute delivered from a server whilst GPU actions performed by the host. This is extremely advantageous due to the fact since the i series intel processors have arrived, they all have had sound GPU instruction sets build in. The HD series CPU graphics deliver quite a punch of power.
This was wrapped up with a presentation from Josh Odgers and Rob Waite. They represent IBM and NetApp respectively. They delivered a discussion regarding the improving availability of Site Redundancy mechanisms and failover practices. This was a great insight into what can be achieved in conjunction with network peers. It also highlights the incredible resiliency some customers require. I raised some points regarding data trombones and network trombone. The entire presentation this was all I could think about. The presenters agreed it was a very important key to be aware of, which surprised a lot in the room.
The event then officially closed and Nimble Storage hosted #vBeers at the Belgium Bier Cafe. With the beer, wine, and soft-drink flowing and food aplenty, the solution architecting and networking got under way. I had great chats to the NSX solutions guys, automation engineers, and solution providers from VMware. I met people in the industry working at a plethora of vendors. This part of the night is sensational and extremely beneficial.
VMware Education gave away some delicious treats during the night. A course was on offer from VMware education of the winners choosing. Nimble Storage offered to a business card raffle for a pair of Bose noise-cancelling over the head headphones which 100 percent of the room had a geek-gasm over. VMware Education Press also had the following books for the best questions of the night. The books given out were
- VMware Press Administering VMware Site Recovery Manager
- VMware vSphere 5.0 Building a Virtual DataCenter
- VMware Automating vSphere with VMware vCenter Orchestrator
- VMware Managing and Optimizing VMware vSphere Deployments
My first full VMUG was great. I loved being in a room of like-minded individuals and the technical banter flowed. Establishing the human network with people over a beverage, a banter, and on social media is as important as delivering solutions in your day job. I highly recommend getting around to your local VMUG. If you’re feeling brave go one step further and ask to contribute. Reach out and offer to present. If you are a vendor reading this, for the small price of #vBeers you can get a slot for a captive audience.
Footnote: MVMUG need venues and sponsors. This event is great. I cannot say this enough. If you can offer sponsorship (I would if I were a business) or a venue please get in touch with Craig Waters.