March 12

London VMUG – 22nd March 2018

Erm, that’s “Next Thursday” to you and me! I’ll be there. Train tickets paid for at £81. The cheapest ticket gets me in for 9.45am, and then I have to cross London. So I won’t be there for the 10am kick off. I’ll sneak in at the back…

Register here at this unfeasibly long URL –

Just in case your not sure where it is..
Dates on a beer mat for the future…
The Agenda


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May 23


Well, I’m all registered for my first VMUG in aaaaaages. It will be good opportunity to network and catch-up with all my fellow vMUGGERS as I like to call them!

Its literally being a “yonks” since I was active in the community. A yonk being measure of time that starts with a career break, and ends when you return. Of particular note – Frank Dennenman will be presenting on the subject of VMware on Amazon. A topic that intrigues me greatly since I’ve been dabbling with Amazon recently as away of getting the little grey IT braincells working again.

Also worthy of note, my pal Julian Wood will presenting on the subject of “Can I order some servers for my serverless, please”. You can relie on Julian for good dosh of “wake up and smell the vBacon”. So I will relish that session.

There’s vBeers, and without sponsors we all know they’d be no vBeers. Just kiddin’ ya 🙂

It’s the usual suspect, but two new vendors who have never previous crossed by radar before…. So Alain Geenrits, Solutions Architect, EMEA for Bluemedora will be there, as will SIOS…

Now all I have to do is sort my training ticket out to get there… Book early to avoid disappointment!

Register here!

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December 23

London VMUG Meeting – Thursday 21st January 2016

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I’ve just registered for the first London VMUG of next year kicking off the season on the 21st Jan. I won’t be speaking, so I will be just another attendee in the crowd.

There’s the usual round up of presentations from VendorLand including Bitdefender, Velostrata and Tegile – as well as VMware themselves…

The start of the new year will be chance to have heated panel debate as well as 2015 Community Speaker Awards… and the all important vBeers after the meeting sponsored by 10Zig…

This year meeting will be opening a new chapter on the London VMUG. After this years finale of the UK National Event much of the steering committee from the London User Group have opted to exit stage right on high. That’s sensibility that resonates with me – wanting draw things to a close – not with whimper but a bang… So the 21st will see an introduction to a brand new steering committee and I think is chance for “Fresh Blood” to come into the group – whilst at the same time giving ‘respect is due’ to the former members for all their hard work in the past.


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November 2

The UK VMUG 2015 – VMworld SwagBag Competition…

Well, would you believe where the time has gone? Another year and another UK VMUG beckons as well as new SwagBag Competition. In case you don’t know – for the last couple of years I’ve ‘bagged” a VMworld Bag, and stuff it with quality ‘swag’ gathered over the year. Each year this bag is raffled off at the UK VMUG event held in the November. The money raised is donated to good cause. This years good cause is “Code Club” ( it’s goal is to help 9-11 learn the first principles of programming – rather than just being users of Word, Excel and the Internet.

To stand ANY chance of winning the Swagbag you must attend the VMUG vCurry event or the UK VMUG event itself. The UK VMUG event is held on Thursday 19 November 2015 – at National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull. The vCurry Event happens in the same venue the night before, and usually incorporates a quiz. The UK Event has special guest visitors including Josh Atwell and the know legend in his own lifetime, John Troyer.

Full Details for the UK VMUG and vCurry Event are here – Register Today!

Anyway, that’s it from me – lets have a look at the bag and this years award winners…. I call it the Oscars for Swag!

UPDATE: Oh, I forgot to mention to other additions to the bag. Firstly, I’ve got one of those “Tile” things to give away. It was vExpert gift. Basically, you stick a ’tile’ on something important that you frequently lose (like your keys for instance), and your phone will locate it with a special app. Sadly, you cannot use a tile to find your phone (which for me is more common…). Ravello has also offerred a free subscription to their service – in case you don’t know Ravello allows you to run nested ESX in the Amazon EC2 cloud – which could be the next incarnation of the homelab. Finally, PluralSight have included a free subscription to their training. You might know PluralSight acquired TrainSignal a while back which was the go-to source for training on VMware technologies.

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June 3

VMUG EVALExperience – Now with vSphere6 and VSAN6

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VMware recently announced the general availability of VMware vSphere 6, VMware Integrated OpenStack and VMware Virtual SAN 6 – the industry’s first unified platform for the hybrid cloud! EVALExperience will be releasing the new products and VMUG Advantage subscribers will be able to download the latest versions of:

  • vCenter Server Standard for vSphere 6
  • vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus
  • vCloud Suite Standard
  • Virtual SAN 6
  • *New* Virtual SAN 6 All Flash Add-On

Existing EVALExperience users previous products download has been replaced in order to upgrade you to the latest version of these products. They must visit Kivuto and place an order for the updated products. Please note, the old products and keys will no longer be available, you will need to migrate to the new versions.

For futher info visit:


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May 15


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This little post to tell you about the stuff I’m doing to support the VMUG. You know I really don’t enough, you see. 🙂

North East England VMUG Meeting – 21th May

I’m speaking at a couple of VMUGs this year and my first date is with a location that close to my heart in the North-East of the UK. I’ve been U’ North a couple of times in last month checking in with my parents and family up there. Were blessed in the local by presence and talent of guys like Lee Dilworth and David Hill, both hold senior positions at VMware. Lee will be there speaking about vCloud Air, and I will there speaking about EVO:RAIL under the covers.

Register Here:


Central Ohio UserCon – 2nd June

This year I will be at the Central Ohio User Con(ferrence) on the 2nd June. It’s to be held at Hyatt Regency Columbus, 350 N High Street Columbus, Ohio. It has pretty packed agenda already with sessions on EUC, Hybrid Cloud and Emerging technologies, Storage and Availability, as well as the old favourites of vSphere and Virtualization generally.

Register Here:

Charlotte UserCon – 4th June

In the very same week I will be over in Charlotte, North Carolina for their UserCon. I’ve always had a soft spot of the Charlotte VMUG ever since back in the day (2006? 2007?) I was asked by one of the VMUG leaders to come to their event and speak. I think that was first time I ever got up on stage to really big audience. Up until then it had been classrooms and smaller VMUG events of 50-80 people. I like to think Charlotte is where my public speaking apprenticeship started!

I will be delivering the morning keynote which to be honest isn’t very keynotey. It’s more of a breakout session on a big stage, rather than lofty vision-thing still presentation. Once again I will be talking about the nuts and bolts of EVO:RAIL. Delivering the lunch time keynote, will be none other than Chad Sakac of EMC. That’s quite a coup for Charlotte, as Chad is a busy man and everyone wants as slice of him and his time. His subject is “Technology and Industry Disruptions: What’s going on in Applications, Infrastructure, and Operational/Consumption Models”.

Register Here:

After the VMUG I will be spending sometime with my good friends, Raymond Overman – the internationally famous wood turner who has made some instruments for me in the past. My wife will be coming over for the Charlotte event, and we intend to spend the week over in Raleigh-Durham with friends of ours (The Atwells and the Lewis’s) before heading the Pisgah National Forest, home of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway for some well-earned R&R in the mountains.


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May 7

VMUG Wiki Update and Thank You


This blogpost is really one long thank you to individual who helped me get the VMUG Wiki of the ground. His name is Jack Collins and I met him via friend of mine in the town where I live. Jack’s been very helpful to me and the VMUG Wiki project by painstakingly converting the many books and blogposts that have contributed to the seeding of the VMUG Wiki prior to the launch. I pretty much realised I wouldn’t be able to convert my EUC and SRM books on my own, plus my commitments to VMware as part of my day job would prevent me from completing that process on time.

Anyway, I managed to secure from those very friendly and helpful “VMware Press” people a collection of books all about VMware Technologies as a thank you. Jack is very much at the beginning of his IT career and keen to learn more about our technologies. So I see him as the next-generation of people who are going to move our industry forward.

It’s really thanks to Jack we have an (almost) completed vSphere 5.5 Wiki; Site Recovery Wiki and VMware View Wiki.

Thank you once again, Jack! 🙂


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April 14

San Diego VMUG USERCON – Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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It’s with great pleasure that I will be once again presenting at the San Deigo User Conference (Usercon) next week. As it happens I was due to be state-side this week anyway, with plans to spend time with my team in Palo Alto. Of course I will be presenting on EVO:RAIL, but going a little under the covers to explain what the prereqs are, best practises and talking about how EVO:RAIL works – so something beyond marketing pitch is what I’m aiming for. I’ve the afternoon keynote slot just after lunch, so hopefully people won’t be to stuffed with food!

This trip marks the second time I’m presenting at San Diego. And there’s a little bit of nostalgia attached to the event for me, as San Diego began for me road trip of US User Conference that spanned two years. Back then, before I joined VMware, I was on the VMUG circuit nearly every month, and certainly built-up plenty of air miles – to point that kept on bumping into the regular VMUG sponsors at the airport…

If you want to register for the event – click here:

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February 18

EVALExperience Update

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A few short weeks ago VMware and the VMUG announced the EVALExperience. In case you don’t know this is something myself and others in the community have been crying out for, for sometime. It’s essentially a beyond 60-eval subscription where you can get your sticky paws on VMware software for 365-day period. Those who subscribed early might have been caught out by the subscription containing a small number of CPU sockets of VMware ESXI hosts. Initially, the licenses only allowed for two hosts – of course, that creates issues of technologies where 3 VMware ESXi hosts are a minimum. I’m pleased to say this was noticed very quickly, and fixed even quicker-er (is that word?). So if you have the old keys – you need update your licenses via the subscription portal in order to fulfil the full allocation.


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February 13

VMUG Virtual Event – Feb 17th

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Do you want the best in NSX, Management, vCloud and vSphere at your fingertips? Want to chat with VMware experts, leaders, and partners? Maybe solve some of your business’ most frustrating issues? Take the VMUG conference experience to the next level and connect with the industry’s most skilled professionals while discovering the latest technology, products, and services. The 2015 #virtualevent—conveniently located wherever YOU are—will provide you with keynote and breakout sessions, a virtual trade show floor, and opportunities to engage with other attendees; not to mention access to webcasts, white papers, and case studies available for download.

I will be presenting EVO:RAIL using the brand new hands-on-lab, and taking QA afterwards – there will be also an opportunity to take the lab and be supported by either myself or one of my team members (depends on the time you take the lab!)

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