San Francisco VMUG Meeting with Frank Denneman

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.

Audience viewA view of the audience during Frank Denneman’s presentation

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.

Raffle WinnersThe lucky raffle winners

 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.

VMUG Leader PicsLeaders of Sacramento VMUG, San Francisco VMUG, and Silicon Valley VMUG with Frank Denneman

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.

 

 

 

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News Roundup

I have a number of news updates to share with you this week.

New VMUG Website

VMUG has updated their website with a new look, but also with some overdue enhancements to help members, sponsors, and leaders to access information easily and improve collaboration. Please visit http://www.vmug.com to view the new site.

VMUG announces the Game On program

VMUG has announced the Game On program to boost membership and engagement with its members. The membership base stood at 80,000 at the beginning of 2014, and the target is reach 100,000 members by VMworld 2014. Please note that VMUG counts only active members, defined as those that attended a meeting or event within the past year.

Members can win prizes for signing up other members, including an iPad Air, and a trip to VMworld. The VMUG chapter that gets the most new members during this period also wins prizes. Sign in for the Game On program here

VMware announcement on vCloud Hybrid Service

VMware announced on April 15, 2014 that the vCloud Hybrid Service would be available to customers starting from $835 a month for up to 1TB of storage, with a 15 minute RPO. This is a critical resource for many organizations that do not protect their mission-critical applications. The press release from VMware can be viewed here and the blog post by Bill Fathers can be viewed here.

My guest post on VSAN

VMware announced on March 12, 2014 that its VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) product was moving out of beta and would be generally available to customers. A much anticipated product, VSAN offers a huge list of features and addresses a number of customer use cases.

Is VSAN just a great storage product, or does it have greater potential? Read my entire post at Greg Stuart’s vDestination site.

Why should you attend a VMUG User Conference during 2014

VMUG User Conferences are a great resource for customers, partners, and VMware to get product information, stay in touch with current technologies and best practices, as well as networking with industry peers. More information and details in my post in VMUG Voice

Information on the Silicon Valley VMUG User Conference

The Silicon Valley VMUG User Conference will be held at the San Jose Convention Center on April 23, 2014. Some of the highlights of the agenda are a keynote by Ben Fathi, CTO at VMware, a panel session on End User Computing trends, and a number of VMware and partner sessions.

If you will be in Silicon Valley on April 23, 2014, I would like to meet you. The link to register is http://www.vmug.com/p/cm/ld/fid=4864 , hoping to see you there.

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Congratulations to the 2014 vExperts

The list of 2014 vExperts was announced on April 1st – no, this was serious, not meant as a joke. There were 754 vExperts on this list, making it the largest one ever. In addition, there will be more announcements on a quarterly basis during the year as well. The formal announcement and the entire list of 2014 vExperts can be viewed here.

So what is the qualification to become a vExpert, and how do to earn their stripes? As Corey Romero mentioned in his blog post, vExpert is not a “technical certification”, and does not measure the technical aptitude or capability of the applicant. Rather, it is a method of identifying people who were particularly engaged with their community, and had substantial influence within those communities. This award is particularly apt in the age of social media, that it identifies and rewards the influencers who spread the word about benefits of technology platforms.

I was one of the vExperts anointed this year (my first vExpert award), and I consider this a great honor, and a recognition of my support to this community. This award energizes me to serve the VMware user community in roles beyond my existing ones as Board Member at VMware User Group (VMUG), Chairman of the VMUG Partner Council, and Leader of Silicon Valley VMUG. I look forward to ideas from the community on additional roles.

On a related note, if you will be in Silicon Valley on April 23, 2014, I would like to meet you at the Silicon Valley VMUG User Conference at the San Jose Convention Center. The link to register is http://www.vmug.com/p/cm/ld/fid=4864, hoping to see you there.

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Silicon Valley VMUG User Conference on April 23

I would like to invite you to the 2014 VMware User Group’s User Conference at the San Jose Convention Center on April 23rd. There will be a wide range of choices from VMware and partner sessions, a Solutions Center with partner exhibits, keynote session by Ben Fathi, CTO at VMware, and panel sessions from reputed speakers within the industry. What is more, VMUG has you covered with breakfast, lunch, and coffee – you can spend the entire day attending sessions, previewing the Solutions Center, and networking with fellow attendees.

Some demographics about the attendees:

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Some key facts from 2013 User Conference attendees (information gathered from attendee surveys)

  • 99% of attendee survey respondents plan to return in 2014
  • 98% would recommend events to a colleague
  • 85% of attendees are decision makers / influencers within their organizations

Attendees also mentioned these as their primary reasons for attending:

  1. Build Relationships with VMUG Members
  2. Learn about the latest solutions to their VMware installations
  3. Share their Knowledge

One of the key membership benefits that all VMUG members receive is unlimited participation in VMUG meetings and VMUG User Conferences. Registration is open for this conference, kindly login to your VMUG account to register.  The registration link can be accessed here. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I hope to meet you there.

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VMUG’s Inaugural Virtual Event

Did you register and attend the recent VMUG Virtual event? If you did not, you missed out on a great event with high quality content from VMware and its partners.

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To recap, the VMware User Group (VMUG) held its inaugural virtual event on January 21, 2014. The keynote, “The Grand Challenge: Simplifying IT to Unleash Innovation” was presented by Paul Strong, CTO at VMware. In addition, there were many sessions from VMware, partners, Hands-On Labs, vBrownBag sessions, an Exhibit Hall with over 20 vendor booths.

The event was a huge success, with over 8,300 registrations and 4,100 attendees. These numbers significantly exceeded expectations for the first ever virtual event. Attendees patiently waited for a representative to chat with them at booths, streamed a lot of content, attended multiple sessions, and spent time at the community lounge. The average time spent by each attendee at this event was over 4 hours, demonstrating the value of the content. Event sponsors had a lot of positive feedback regarding the quality of the event and the value they received.

 

VMUG Staff

An event such as this takes a lot of effort to plan and deliver, and I wish to recognize the efforts of the staff at VMUG HQ (pictured above), the leaders of this event, and the VMware staff responsible for coordination. I would like to thank all the speakers and participants from VMware and VMware partners as well. There were no technical glitches in spite of the huge turnout. Well Done!

Lastly, in case you registered, but could not attend, or wish to download content from this event, please note that your access is valid until the end of this month. You have a great opportunity to utilize some valuable content.

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