Scottish VMUG - March 2019

Introduction

On Thursday 29th March 2019 the first Scottish VMUG took place in Glasgow (Best city in Scotland). Each time I think the leaders can’t top the previous event, and each time I am proved wrong. It looked to be a record attendance with an estimate of 160 people at the venue.

Vendor Sessions

The main vendors were in attendance as usual such as DellEMC, VMware, Zerto, Softcat, etc. The best vendor session of the day was Joe Baguley on the topic of The Evolving Technological Landscape and Outlook. It was a session that covered DevOps, The VMware Vision, AI, ML, Data Analytics, Chromatography, and others. As ever Joe is an amazing speaker and kept the whole audience in the palm of his hand.

The other vendor sessions I attended were DellEMC on Data Protection as Code, Zerto on A new Era for Data Protection: Converged DR and Backup and then finally DellEMC: VxRail - What’s New?

To be honest these session were pretty boring. They were too heavy on marketing and thus boring content. Vendors I can only as that you consider you are speaking to a bunch of technical people - tailor your content towards us. What new things are you working on, customer stories on how they are using a technology, automation examples, etc.

Community Sessions

There was a lot of Community sessions at this VMUG which makes me very happy. The first session I attended was Brian Gerrard on an Introduction to VMware Cloud Automation Services. This is a very interesting Saas tool that lets you automate deployments across clouds including on premises vCenter. It seems to be a real contender to vRealize Automation and as Brian said all the new cool features are coming to CAS first. One thing about Brian’s sessions is I always come out of them feeling smarter as I learnt something new, but dumber as there is so much I don’t know. Brian is a clever guy!

After lunch was the best session of the day. Craig Dalrymple presented on a very important topic ‘A Frank and Open Presentation About Mental Health in IT’. Craig told us about his own tale and gave us some good pointers if we were experiencing burnout/depression. There were some good links to sites people can turn to if they are uncomfortable speaking to someone they know. Once the decks are released I will update this post with them.

Craig opened the floor and in the opposite of what usually happens several people opened up about their own mental health issues. It was a very good discussion with some people giving great advice on how to help combat burnout. I know Craig is presenting this at further VMUGs so if you get the chance go see it and share your story. Thanks Craig for presenting on this.

The last community session of the day was Brian Gerrard again with VCDX 251 Bilal Ahmed on ‘From Zero to Hero. The Certification Journey’. This was a great session on VMware certifications from two very knowledgeable certification junkies! It was packed with valuable tips on certifications up to VCDX and on a twist to the session they performed a mini VCDX design session giving the audience a taste of what they have both been through. Thanks Bilal for coming up and speaking to us.

vBeers

As usual after the session there was another excellent vBeers session. Along with the Community Sessions the vBeers is the best part of the day. I love talking to fellow IT people about the challenges we all face. I had a great conversation on working from home with a couple of people that is particularity valuable to be right now.

I also had further discussions on mental health, Stargate and how the gates relate to Layer 2 and 3 networking, DevOps, VMware Cloud on AWS, and others. Such great conversations with such great people.

Wrap Up

I need to thank the VMUG Leaders Sandy Bryce, Martin Campbell, James Cruickshank and Iain Balmer for organising the day. They are a well oiled machine now on running a brilliant day what provides such valuable learning to us all. Thanks guys! Shout out to Chris Storrie too for his contributions on the day and evening. Even though he’s not ‘official’ it’s great to see him there and he’s on top of the sticker game!

I’d urge everyone that attended to join the Scottish VMUG Slack. Just contact the leaders to request access. Lots of great knowledge sharing, banter, ranting, home automation and homelab chat. What more do you want?

The events coming up are:

  • vBeers Edinburgh (14th June 2019)
  • Edinburgh VMUG (3rd October 2019)
  • Festive vBeers (6th December 2019)

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