Archive for the ‘VMUG’ Category

Connecting VMware Cloud on AWS to Native AWS Services – a UKVMUG presentation

December 13th, 2018 No comments

I had the huge pleasure today of presenting a community talk at the UK VMUG in the stellar location of the UK National Space Center in Leicester…there was an actual rocket!

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I’ve been super interested in the recent love fest of VMware and AWS. The titans of private and public clouds have entered into a marriage of stratospheric nerdy potential. I recently attended AWS re:Invent with plenty of blogging! What interests me more than just running vSphere VMs on ESXi on Amazon hardware (which is a fancy colo if you ask me) is being able to take advantage of all the myrid AWS services from within those vSphere VMs. AWS has a vast array of service which can be consumed directly and can really help augment your tried and trusted vSphere VMs.

Presentation TL;DR

I went through a short overview of the VMware Cloud on AWS service and delved more deeply into the key networking component which is the Elastic Network Interface. This is an AWS virtual Nic which connects the two clouds together. Then onto some real use cases like connecting vSphere VMs to storage with S3/EFS, connecting an app running on a vSphere VMs to a RDS database running in AWS. Then turning the connectivity around and using an AWS load-balancer to front a connection to a pool of vSphere web servers.

I then spent some time going into the up and coming AWS-VMware options including RDS on vSphere which is running AWS RDS databases on vSphere in your datacenter. Then I also spoke about the very recently announced AWS Outposts which is AWSs surprising hybrid cloud announcement. Who would have thought but AWS hardware on-prem which has an option to run a vMware SDDC. There’s also CloudFoundation for EC2 which is using vSphere management and networking for EC2 instances wherever they may now be able to reside.

Thanks for attending for the people who were there and if you weren’t able the be here today, hopefully the slides are useful.

I particularly need to make special mention of the screen shots I borrowed from many other VMware and AWS presenters to make this presentation. I don’t actually have a VMware Cloud on AWS in my back pocket so needed to lean on the creation of others and curate their hard work for today’s presentation. See the slides for who helped.

Here are the slides:

Serverless, Show Me the Servers! – A UK VMUG 2017 Presentation

November 16th, 2017 No comments

I was happy to be asked to present at the National UK VMUG about Serverless. I had done the closing keynote last year so pretty relieved that I was at least invited back!

The presentation was similar to the London VMUG presentation I had done in July although updated as the Serverless ecosystem is moving at breakneck speed.

Changes of note since July are the addition of the new and momentum gathering OpenFaas framework, Azure Functions now available in the wild with Azure Stack, AWS adding more Lambda functionality particularly with its announcement that traffic shifting is coming soon for canary releases and blue/green routing. bought by Oracle and VMware shutting down Photon Platform and shifting direction to Pivotal Container Service (PKS) and vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC).

AWS Re:Invent is in less that 2 week’s time so I’m sure there will be plenty more to talk about!

Here are the slides:

Presentation Summary:

I went though some of the public cloud examples like Amazon Lambda, Azure Functions and Google Cloud Functions. There are also Kubernetes based options you can deploy yourself like Fission, Kubeless and Funktion as well as cross container platforms such as Apache OpenWhisk, IronFunctions and the new and exciting OpenFaaS. I spent time going through what events are, why they are so critical to understanding serverless and gave some examples. How much it costs was covered, the differences between PaaS and containers. Listed the benefits and currently many disadvantages as its very new.

I also talked about how Ops is changing and doesn’t mean Ops goes away, just evolves. As it was a VMware user group I went through two connections to VMware, the kinds of things you could use serverless for to manage a VMware environment as well as the VMware cloud native story and using Pivotal Container Service the new Kubernetes based container runtime from VMware as your private serverless hosting platform.

Functional billing was highlighted as probably the most important future benefit for serverless, being able to track the cost of every single function call you make which can very easily highlight the inefficiencies you have and the benefit of being now able to have business costings matching up to IT costings.

Looking into the future there’s lots that needs to evolve but perhaps this is the time to decide whether you skip PaaS and containers for some things that have event triggers and go straight to serverless?

UKVMUG: Demystifying the Future of IT , an IT practitioners guide

November 17th, 2016 2 comments

vmugI had the huge honour today of presenting the closing keynote at the UK National VMUG.
I’ve attended all but one of the previous six UK VMUGs and my excuse for missing last year’s was attending Virtualisation Field Day 4 so I’ll take a pass for that!

I presented “Demystifying the Future of IT, an IT practitioners guide”
The premise was helping IT practitioners navigate a complicated cloud journey.

Here are the slides:

As well as a summary:

I want to redefine the journey as a multi-cloud one rather than just hybrid which implies a single private and public cloud relationship. Multi-cloud means embracing all the cloud offerings from on-premises to AWS/Azure encompassing IaaS, PaaS, SaaS.
I all to briefly went through a small part of Wardley Mapping to help people focus on user needs and map out their IT on the Evolutionary Pathway which tracks things from Genesis through to Utility. This I hope helps people work out what to build vs. buy vs. consume.

Resetting on simplicity is a big theme, to try to make things much simpler to operate and manage which also helps deciding on where to place things.

I went through how Microsoft transitioned its own Treasury department to a cloud model by working out what could be binned, transitioned to SaaS, refactored for PaaS, lifted and shifted to IaaS or left alone on-prem.

Read more…

Categories: VMUG, VMware Tags:

VMworld US 2016 Buzz: NSX – The Network Bridge to the Multi-cloud Future – NET9989-S

September 9th, 2016 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

20160829_214837526_iOSI then attended a session to expand on the Day 1 announcements around NSX connecting multiple clouds together.

The session was run by VMware Chief Technology Strategy Officer, Guido Appenzeller and customer Isao Eguchi from Nomura Research Institute.

The session went through how networking is changing to support tomorrow’s applications, multiple hypervisors, multiple clouds, multiple platform architectures. Guido mentioned the first change is the software independence from hardware. He used the analogy of the PC which had a motherboard from Dell, CPU from Intel and OS from Microsoft. This hasn’t happened in networking until now. Network virtualisation is part of this disaggregation by being able to run software in the hypervisor.

The second change is the evolution of the application, applications today run as distributed systems. He went through the sales pitch that you still need a hypervisor for containers.

The future for NSX is connecting public and private clouds and running traditional and cloud native applications.


Read more…

Categories: VMUG, VMworld Tags: , ,

London VMUG shakes up its leadership

December 10th, 2015 No comments

vmug-logoThe London VMware User Group has been running for I believe 11 years which is a remarkable length of time and has arguably been at the forefront of the global VMUG movement. I have been involved as an attendee and regular presenter for a number of years. At the National UK VMware User Group in November 3 of the 4 leaders dropped the bombshell that they have decided to stand down. There was no coordinated reason, they just felt that they’d had their turn and it was time to bring in new blood and new ideas.

First of all I would like to publicly thank Alaric DaviesStuart Thompson and Jane Rimmer for the sterling service they have performed over so many years. It takes time, effort and commitment to run a VMUG and over so many years this is a remarkable achievement. Simon Gallagher stays on as chief to continue their sterling work.

I would also like to highlight some of the reasons the London VMUG has been so forward thinking over the years

The VMware User Group ideal is actually all about the Users, hence “U” in VMUG. This isn’t just about gathering users to hear from vendors but making users active participants in the VMUG process. Hearing what your peers have to say, their successes and troubles is hugely valuable. I’m pretty sure every single VMUG I’ve attended (and that’s quite a few) I have learned something by talking to or hearing from another attendee, an idea for a script, a better way to apply some firmware, an interesting tool to add to my collection, a different way to approach a design. Sure, the vendors are important, they sponsor the event as a marketing opportunity and have experts on hand to tell you about their products but tapping the resources of fellow attendees is as important if not more so.

This user participation isn’t actually easy to achieve though as people need to be convinced to stand up and present in their own time, possibly without their company’s backing or even knowledge. They need to move outside their comfort zones to share knowledge and may sometimes be highlighting issues in vendor products which vendors don’t often want to hear. Tip for product managers, go to a VMUG to hear the truth from presenters and speak to other users! It takes time to find people to present and this isn’t something that can be mass produced. The London VMUG has always made this a high priority by always having community tracks to encourage users to present and for it to be independent information. They have also started mini presentations of 10-15 minutes called lightning talks to allow users to get involved without the commitment of a full presentation which can be intimidating. This means more organisation for the committee but they’ve gone ahead and done it for the benefit of users. It saddens me when I see the agendas of some other even big VMUGs around the world with little or no non-vendor presentations. Bring back the U into VMUG!

VMUG now has a global organisation which deals with some of the sponsorship opportunities and organisation of the local events but this wasn’t always the case and I know that there are sometimes conflicts where the VMUG organisation would like to prescribe how certain things should be done. I know the London VMUG leadership have had to face these conflicts and as far as I know have always sided with what the users want rather than what the global organisation would prefer. Same has happened with VMware, obviously a rather important supporter but still not the boss, a community presentation on a product has been scheduled rather than someone from VMware doing it. I applaud this independence and hope it continues.

The “virtualisation” industry is changing, sometimes even having the virtualisation tag puts people off, witness the change of the Virtualisation Field Day series of events to generic Tech Field Days. Cloud, cloud-native apps, DevOps etc. are all things IT practitioners are dealing with on a daily basis along with virtualisation, storage, networking and VDI so User groups are going to have to evolve to take this into account.

New chair, Simon Gallagher, is now joined by Dave Simpson, Chris Dearden and Linda Smith who are fantastic additions. I can’t wait to be involved with the new team to carry on and advance the great community the London VMUG provides. Next meeting is on 21st Jan at the new venue called Tech UK, sign-up!

Simon, Dave, Chris and Linda, good luck and thank you for stepping up.

Alaric, Stu & Jane, thank you so much, you’ve given us a huge amount, now enjoy the extra time!

Categories: VMUG, VMware Tags:

London VMUG presentation: Hands on with vSphere 6.0

April 23rd, 2015 No comments

vmug-logoI had the great pleasure today of presenting at the London VMware User Group. I did a presentation called “Hands on with vSphere 6.0” where I briefly covered what’s new and then went into some of the architectural changes with the new vCenter and Platform Services Controller (PSC) and Enhanced Linked Mode.

I warned about the vast amount of incorrect information currently on the interwebs as the architecture and recommended layout changed from the Beta to the released product so make sure what you are reading is up to date. This particularly relates to VMware not recommending you run an embedded PSC if you need to link even two vCenters together but rather have an external one which requires a load balancer for true continuous availability.

I went through some of the install and upgrade steps which may mean you need to split out your vSphere 5.x SSO to an external one before upgrading to the vSphere 6 PSC. I then covered some new things related to security and how certificates are now handled with the new VMware Certificate Authority in the PSC.

Here’s a copy of the presentation.:

vFactor, the BIG prize London VMUG 10 minute presentation competition on 22 Jan 15

December 12th, 2014 No comments

As a regular London VMUG attendee and sometime presenter I am more than aware of the value of having community presentations. Sure, the VMware and vendor presentations are very useful but its the in the field, real-world, warts and all, non-marketing,nothing to sell, tell it like it is presentations that are often the most interesting.

In fact casting my mind back over many years of VMUGs, there are some outstanding vendor presentations I remember but to be honest most of the memorable ones have been from community members sharing their stories.

You may think, I’ve got nothing to say, my project isn’t big/important/valuable enough.

This is where you are misguided my dear VMUG friend. Sharing your stories, of that botched migration, bug in a PowerShell script, faulty unreliable firmware, vendor promises that aren’t kept as well as the awesome little trick you found, hardware hack you performed, cable splicing, .vib hacking, batch file busting success story is what we really really want to hear because if you don’t let us know, there’s no one else who will.

A full presentation of 45-50 minutes is daunting, I know, I’ve done a few and it is a lot of preparation work but how about 10 minutes?

You probably spent way more time than 10 minutes explaining your project to your colleagues/wife/kids  so why not do it at a VMUG?

You don’t need to be an expert, guru or superman, just have a story to share and a little bit of help to give.

You may be nervous standing up in front of a crowd, well do it sitting down 😉 Seriously, you will not be judged or have tomotoes thrown at you and will be supported and encouraged through whatever nervousness you may have.

If I’ve managed to encourage you to get over your apprehension, the London VMUG has put its hands in its pocket and is enticing you with some pretty amazing prizes if you take part in vFactor which is a competition for 5 x 1st time VMUG presenters who are end users and can doll out 10 minutes of their wisdom on a virtual cloudy related topic on 22nd January at the next VMUG meeting.

The prizes are pretty incredible:

  • 1st Prize: MacBook Air
  • 2nd Prize: iPad Air
  • 3rd Prize: iPad Mini
  • 4th Prize: Amazon voucher
  • 5th Prize: Amazon voucher

Head on over to to submit your idea before 19 December.




Categories: VMUG, VMware Tags: ,

UKVMUG: The unofficial lowdown on everything announced at VMworld

November 18th, 2014 No comments

vmug-logoI have had the pleasure today of presenting at the 4th annual UK VMware User Group conference at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull near Birmingham.

I did a whirlwind tour of everything that was announced at VMworld and believe me, there was a huge amount. OK, so no major release which is the norm (but plenty of teasers) but enough other things going on in the VMware space to fill more than a UKVMUG! I know, I’ve done the research! Even though I was at VMworld US, so much was going on that I didn’t appreciate all the new shiny things being announced and once you start getting down to the nitty gritty of everything, you will be amazed at how much is going on.

I really didn’t have time to go through everything in detail so the presentation acts as an independently curated jumping off point for you to find out more information about the announcements that matter to you. You may not care particularly about hyper-converged or OpenStack so you can flick through the slides and then head off to continue your explorations.

Thanks for having me UKVMUG!

Here’s the presentation:

UK VMUG 2014, VMworld enhanced!

November 7th, 2014 No comments

The fantastic National UK VMUG is being held at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham on Tuesday 18th November (note it’s a Tuesday, not the normal Thursday).

This isn’t just your run of the mill, normal VMUG (if there is such a thing!) and has been seriously enhanced over the already phenomenal 2013 version. What takes it to another level is the content that you can’t even get at VMworld…and remember, it’s free!

See the full agenda here. Sign up NOW!

The opening keynote is by VMware EMEA CTO, Joe Baguley who always delivers and as his talk is titled “CTO Rant-as-a-Service”, you can expect an inside look into what Joe sees out in the world and what gets under his skin! Of course he will be punting the VMware SDDC vision but as he talks to people day in and day out, he has a very good idea how the real world of IT works with invaluable insight into how your own company and its competitors actually do IT.

In addition, never before seen at a VMUG as far as I know, is a round table discussion with Joe called “Ask the CTO Anything”.  Seriously can you imagine having direct access to one of VMware’s most senior strategists and being able to ask him anything. Joe isn’t just your strategy marketer with a good stage presence, he’s seriously technical himself so make sure you take advantage of the opportunity.

Read more…

Categories: VMUG, VMware, VMworld Tags: , ,

London VMUG, Independence Day Edition – Thursday 4th July 2013 – Register Now!

June 18th, 2013 1 comment

The London VMware User Group (VMUG) is meeting in an independence day extravaganza  on the 4th July 2013 at:

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
33 Queen Street

It doesn’t cost anything to attend and is a full day event stuffed to the gills with interesting content and people. Lunch is included so you won’t even go hungry and its well worth arranging time away from your desk for access to so much more information than you can possibly find by trawling the web. You can register at

I’ll be hosting a VDI roundtable so if you have anything you’d like to share or something you need answered, come along and join in the discussion.

Community Speakers: 
• Fernando Frediani – Build Your Own Shared Storage
• Steve Bruck and Stuart McHugh – SSO SOS
• Sam McGeown – PowerCLI Tips and Scripts
• Seb Hakiel – 4000-seat VDI Lessons
• Julian Wood – VDI roundtable Discussion
• Simon Gallagher – Hybrid vCloud Reaction

Sponsor Speakers: 
• Hans de Leenheer – Veeam
• David Cumberworth – Atlantis Computing
• Dell Wyse

Special Guest: 
• Frank Denneman – Pernix Data

You can see the full agenda here.

After filling your head with superb technical content, it’s time to fill your tummy with a tasty beverage so we’ll all be heading on to the pub to catch up and solve the worlds EUC and cloud issues!

See you there.

Categories: VDI, VMUG, VMware Tags: , ,