A new VMUG chapter started up in San Francisco, the city of startups, on June 24, 2014. I happened to attend this meeting, and my thoughts from this meeting are below.
The meeting was organized at the Thirsty Bear brewing company on Howard Street, which is a stone’s throw away from the Moscone Center. This is a great central location, with parking conveniently available at the garage next door. I arrived around 11:30am, the designated start time and made my way to the second floor, where the meeting was to take place. The meeting room itself was an open space, but comfortable and cozy, accommodating 40-50 persons.
I had the opportunity to interact with Chris Seline and Andrew Uplinger, the leaders of the San Francisco chapter, who had organized this meeting. I also spoke with several attendees, including VMware customers, VMware staff, and representatives of PernixData, the sponsor of this meeting. The main attraction was an opportunity to meet with the presenter, Frank Denneman, who is an industry legend.
Attendees started to stream in, and pretty soon the room was buzzing with activity. Andrew and Chris efficiently signed in the attendees, and managed the walk-ins as well. They distributed raffle tickets to each attendee, and provided logistical information. VMUG was raffling a VMUG advantage membership, and PernixData was giving away a GoPro Hero3 camera.
Networking started going on in full force, as attendees interacted with each other and exchanged business cards and stories. They made a beeline for the food and drinks; the food was excellent Spanish fare, which the Thirsty Bear is known for, with many options. Chris Seline took the floor, welcomed the attendees, and introduced Frank Denneman, the presenter. The PernixData presentation began after a few introductory words from Frank.
PernixData offers its FVP solution, which uses server-side Flash memory to increase I/O performance for VMs across a cluster. This addresses many issues including VM sprawl, the I/O blender, latency to SAN storage, queue depth limitations, and more. (Sound Bite: Storage problems form over 75% of VMware support calls). FVP also eliminates the major chunk of demanding I/O from hitting the SAN, since these are served up from within the server’s Flash memory. Thus performance to all VMs improves, regardless of whether they are accelerated by FVP or not. At its core, FVP decouples storage performance from capacity, so that each issue could be independently addressed.
You can view the entire presentation by Frank here (VMUG login required).
After this great presentation, attendees headed for refills on their food and drinks, as the meeting entered its final stages. Chris took the floor again to survey the attendees on the convenience of the meeting time, the location, as well as preferences for future meeting topics. It was then time for the raffle, and the prizes were distributed to the lucky winners. I said my goodbyes to fellow attendees, congratulated the leaders, and made my way out around 1 pm.
To summarize, the venue and timing were excellent and convenient to attendees. There were 45-50 attendees in total, which is excellent for the first meeting of a VMUG chapter. The food and networking were great, and the presentation was excellent. Andrew and Chris managed all aspects of the meeting well, from the planning and preparation to the execution itself. Feedback from fellow attendees was uniformly positive, with all intending to return for the next meeting.
Congratulations to Chris Seline and Andrew Uplinger for a great job!! We hope to see many more successful meetings from the San Francisco VMUG chapter. Follow @SFVMUG for updates from this chapter.