London VMUG meeting Thursday 22nd June

vmug london

This week sees the last of this year’s London VMUG gatherings and what a great agenda we have! It will be followed by a luxury vBeers at the Fourpure Brewing Company on what will be one of the hottest evenings of the year. I’m sure some nice cool beer will be just what we need.

We are especially lucky to have the legends that are Frank Denneman, Julian Wood and Neils Hagoort speaking in the community sessions so it’s truly not an event to be missed.

The event is at TechUK, the new home of the London VMUG at 10 St Bride Street, London, EC4A 4AD (just off Fleet Street) and is running from 10am to 5.15pm.

This event is sponsored by Nimble Storage, BlueMedora and SIOS so a big thank you to them as without sponsors this event couldn’t happen.



Here is the agenda and if you dont want to miss out on what will be a great event then pop over to the VMUG web site and register here.




London VMUG meeting Thursday 6th April

I’ve not been posting for a while and suddenly realised that I had let the next meeting of the London VMUG creep up on me, so the news is the meeting is tomorrow on Thursday April the 6th.

The event is at TechUK, the new home of the London VMUG at 10 St Bride Street, London, EC4A 4AD (just off Fleet Street) and is running from 10am to 5.15pm.

If you’re interested in all things VMware then come along and meet some of the nicest people in the VMware community, we don’t bite and everyone is welcome.

So what’s on you ask, well here is the agenda so you can pick the sessions you want to attend.


This event is sponsored by Bitdefender, Morpheus and Runcast so a big thank you to them as without sponsors this event couldn’t happen.





So come along and see what it’s all about, you can pre-register here or just turn up on the day Hope to see you there.

vExpert 2017 Award Announcement


Today is a special day for me, I’ve been awarded vExpert 2017 from VMware and I’m so thrilled to make the list again, this being my second year as a vExpert.

To see the full list of vExperts and find out more about the program see the Announcement here.

I believe that becoming a vExpert is all about the community, and this last year I have tried to really get to know the people out there, and have now made new friends at the London VMUG as well as led the CloudCred team on the charge up the leader board. I’ve set questions for Cloudcred, Attended many events, all the UK London VMUG events, Airwatch and EUC events, VMworld 2016 Europe and the UK VMUG usercon. I used to be shy and intimidated by talking to people at these type of events but by taking the jump to get involved has been so rewarding for me, meeting people, seeing  then present and chatting over food and drink has been inspirational to me.

I’m really looking forward to continuing my journey with both VMware and the London VMUG and seeing where it takes me, only last week I was having vBeers with my good friends Chris Bradshaw and our very own London VMUG leader Dave Simpson

I’ve met a number of great people who have supported me on this journey and hopefully Ive supported them on their journey’s, far too many people to mention here (but I will try) so a big thanks to The London VMUG team, The Open Homelab project The Open Techcast team,  (hope to be a podcasting guest soon guys)

The following people for inspiring me (in no particular order)

A really special mention must go to NoellGrier @CloudCredGeek who as the Cloudcred admin must be really sick of all my emails about bugs, suggesting improvements, problems with tasks and why I can’t complete any tasks at the moment!

vBeers – Guildford, UK (Thursday 2nd February 2017)

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the first “vBeers in the Country” organised by my good friend Chris Bradshaw. I decided I should go and support this inaugural event which was being held in Guildford at The Britannia. So It was completely by accident that I bumped in to our very own London VMUG leader Dave Simpson in the nearby car park trying to work out how much off peak parking costs in Guildford.

A pleasant evening was had by all as this photo shows and we had a good chat and catch up over food and drink.


So who knows what happens next, we may go viral or better yet get a sponsor and then you will definitely want to come to the next event if you missed this one. Better still if you know of a great location put yourself down as an organiser. If you think you would come to an event in Winchester then please let me know (add a comment or message me) and if there is interest I will find a venue.

Chris has put a great guide together on how to arrange a vBeers event on his blog at and for more info on vBeers check out their website.

London VMUG meeting Thursday 19th January

Well the New Year is now well upon us and what better way to start January with the first meeting of the London VMUG Thursday 19th January.vmug

The event is at TechUK, the new home of the London VMUG at 10 St Bride Street, London, EC4A 4AD (just off Fleet Street) and is running from 10am to 5.15pm.

If you’re interested in all things VMware then come along and meet some of the nicest people in the VMware community, we don’t bite and everyone is welcome.

So what’s on you ask, well here is the agenda so you can pick the sessions you want to attend, Personally its great to see the community sessions presented by the members for the community. So I’m looking forward to Amazon AWS for Beginners with Alex Galbraith and Chris Porter  and then Practical PaaS with Ricky El-Qasem 


This event is sponsored by Rubrik, iland and StorMagic so a big thank you to them as without sponsors this event couldn’t happen.

So come along and see what it’s all about, you can pre-register here or just turn up on the day Hope to see you there.

UK VMUG Usercon 2016


Well in two days’ time it will be the UK VMUG Usercon in Birmingham at the National Motorcycle Museum on Thursday November 17th. This will be my first year to attend the event having only attended the London VMUG up to now. This is a completely free event so if your in to VMware then you should come along and see what’s going on. As someone who has been lucky enough to join the VMware Community I can only say what a privilege it is to attend this kind of event and meet some of the Community Legends that are out there.

So what is there to expect on the day:

Keynote “VMware Strategy Update” by Joe Baguley, VMware VP & CTO EMEA

  • 5 breakout blocks with sessions by the community, VMware and sponsors
  • 15+ community discussion groups, topics led by peers
  • Closing keynote “Demystifying the Future of IT – An IT practitioners guide” by well-respected virtualization blogger Julian Wood (
  • Meet carefully selected VMware partners to discover innovative and complimentary virtualization solutions
  • vCurry Reception on Wednesday 16 November between 19:00 and 21:00.

I’m going to be there for the vCurry so come over and say hi if your there.

Want to know more, the agenda is available Here

Still interested then there is still time to register Here

My thoughts on the London VMUG Meeting June 2016

Well last week was the 3rd London VMUG meeting of the year and the last in London. I arrived to find it fairly empty due to some train issues. It was also the day of the EU referendum so we won’t forget where we were on that day. Given the train issues on the way home due to some flooding I was glad to of got up early to of gone and voted before traveling.


 The first session of the day was from the gold sponsor Simplivity.

Simplivity -­ Hyper Convergence with Data Virtualisation – A Double Win -­Stuart Gilks @StuartGilks123 simplivity

Stuart gave us a very quick corporate presentation then took us straight in to the technical heart of the product with a hands on demo. Through the demo Stuart was able to demonstrate how simple the software is to use, through the vCenter Plugin, administration is easy and configuration of policies is simple.

The heart of the product is SimpliVity’s OmniStack software which enables a powerful set of hyperconverged technologies. The OmniStack technology is composed of the Data Virtualization Platform software and the purpose-built Accelerator Card.

The key points are:

  •  Multiple layers of protection
  • VM centric management
  • Data efficiency that improves performance.
  • Accelerated data efficiency.
  • Deduplication and compression at ingest.
  • Performance acceleration and capacity saving.
  • Unified management single pane of glass.
  • Built in data protection (backup and restore)
  • All drives are RAID protected to allow for multiple disk failures.
  • Data protection with RAID and RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent Nodes)
  • On data write’s If the hash matches anywhere them all it does it update metadata therefore making capacity savings on write’s.
  • So therefore when you clone a VM it’s a complete hash match so it consumes no extra disk capacity or IOPS
  • This is the same for backups even on a different site, several GB’s simply becomes a few MB to be replicated to a remote OmniStack.
  • A nice touch was that the software has very simple policy’s to configure and they will estimate the capacity used before you commit a stupid job.
  • if you decide to bring up a VV in a remote site, when you move a VM it will deregister in the active vCenter, The destination site will check its blocks and just transfer the missing blocks so the move will be faster than conventional Vmotions and consume less bandwidth.

 For more information take a look at their web site and watch the short video below:

why simplivity

Stuart mentioned that you can Register for a free hands on test drive, these are typically 3 hours and run around the country and I may well attend a test drive in future.

  •  Get hands on time on a real system with a lab guide.
  • Join an interactive discussion about best practices for deploying hyperconverged and solve common IT problems.
  • Discuss with experts any questions you have.

You can register at, The next session is the 12th of July in London.

 Next up was Chris Dearden @ChrisDearden who hosted the debate – Cloud In/Out BREXIT for Your Datacentre.


We then had a somewhat humorous look as to what was best place to host your servers either In or Out of the cloud. There was some healthy debate between the two sides covering issues over costs, workloads, applications, backups, speed of deployment and even beards at one point!


Before the vote there was a bit of a wobble from a few people who wanted a hybrid option but this was a simple In or out Vote and the result was a clear victory for the in Datacanter  at 30 server huggers compared to 14 cloudlovers. I hasten to add I was one of the luddites and a server hugger.


VMware EUC Update – Howard Bliss (VMware)

Howard took us through the latest changes to the Vmware EUC (End user Computing) product set.

The purpose of which is to deliver an unmatched identity defined contextual experience to the user from Consumer to Enterprise. Delivering a full spectrum of digital workspaces across devices, or to put it simply Any platform any App.

  • Unmanaged (manage the user)
  • Managed Workspace (manage the user and apps)
  • Managed Workspace with Unified Endpoint Management (manage the user, apps and device)

Workspace one has gained elements of Airwatch including MAM (Mobile App Managmeent) containment support. Horizon 7 has a number of new features including:

  • Improvements to just in time delivery (Just in time lets you clone the base image, mount the VMDK simultaneously and then use app volumes to deploy apps)
  • Can deliver 2000 desktops in less than 20 minutes.
  • Supports more than 50000 sessions over 10 sites and 25 pods.
  • App volumes allows you to deliver apps in seconds.
  • Smart policy’s and User Environment Manager (UEM) will allow you to customize the app as the user opens it.
  • Blast extreme is a new protocol to replace PCs over ip and supports h.264 encoding to bring HD experience to end users.
  • There is a new client available as of the 16th of June V4.1

Windows 10 has the blurred the way we use Windows as it now runs on laptops, mobiles and tablets. This has changed the way that us corporates need to think about managing our windows devices it’s no longer about joining the domain and group policies.

windows10 and horizon

To help manage Windows 10 devices horizon has introduced VMware Trust point Powered by a partnership with Tanium and is the Ideal solution to combines policy and control with endpoint security and allows you to:

  • Discover unmanaged end points in seconds with a 15 second detection.
  • So then it can decide whether to push agent or quarantine the device.
  • Natural language query engine – so just ask a question in plain English “what are the computer names of the machines with critical patches missing”
  • Remediate compromised endpoints as needed by:
    • Deploying a patch
    • Killing a process
    • Uninstalling an app
    • Removing a device


Lakeside Software -­ Using SysTrack in a Horizon Environment – Simon Salloway @simonsifi

Simon promised us a slide free demo of end user analytics for Horizon demonstrating how to objectively measure user experience and accurately plan capacity.

You can see more on their web site and I would recommend the short the video below.

The Agent is a Scalable lightweight client and looks at what users are doing.

  • Software monitors the time it takes to load software.
  • Is the CPU queue length high.
  • What the Service quality is (the time that users are working without any delays)
  • What the User experience % is.
  • What takes time away from users.
  • Can be used forLicense management and Capacity planning for VMs
  • Can produce reports that are accurate showing real statistics.
  • Application report can show systems and links showing latency for each link which looked very useful for RCA.

Extreme VMware Datacentres Matt Northam, Alex Galbraith and Ed Morgan

Again this was quite a humorous breakout session where 3 people presented to us on a number of situations involving extreme datacenters. Which were above and beyond what we would call normality.

Matt Northam @Twickersmatt

Matts example was one about putting VMware on to ships of the Royal Navy. So obviously apart from any required security clearances he mentioned a few points that I have had some experience of (although not all)

  •  Think about no internet connectivity so have lots of DVD media.
  • How are you going to install any software (DVD or USB)
  • Remote Support, How are you going to perform it.
  • Remote access, Will you have ILO or DRAC type access.
  • Trouble shooting logs, are you able to send logs to a supplier, probably not.
  • Can you use your phone or laptop, do you need to be escorted everywhere.
  • Always take pen and paper.
  • Always have photo ID.

Alex Galbraith @alexgalbraith

Alex’s Example was one of a rural site, something I can relate to living in a small rural Hampshire village where we have limited mobile access (mainly none) and limited broadband although I recently got an increase to around 3.5MB, his Issues included:

  • No internet access, a 1MB DSL circuit for a lot of users. With massive costs to install a dedicated circuit over 6 miles.
  • Rf broadband (line of sight) did increase this although its deterioration was found to be because Trees grow in the country!
  • DR was only on same site, still there was at least some distance between the servers.
  • A shed for office which was dirty with dust and flooded which resulted in the racks being lifted off the floor to prevent future flooding.

Ed Morgan @mo6020

Eds example was more extreme that Matts, with all the same issues but only in a submarine!

For reasons of national security I can’t repeat what Ed told us, (and it wasn’t because I was too busy laughing honestly)

Quote of the session, “How exactly do you rebuild an array when someone has pulled out two of the disks”

vBeers – sponsored by 10ZiG, Nutanix and Pernixdata

vBeers was a bit different this time, we found ourselves at FourPure brewery in Bermondsey @fourpurebrewing apparently some of our sponsors are quite well know there! food was supplied by Le Bao @LeBaoTruck and I must say I enjoyed my first couple of Baos and it was a shame I had to leave for the train. So a big thanks to the sponsors for a great night.

10ziglarge     nutanix     pernixdata