DFW VMUG User Conference 2014

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It seems like I was just in San Francisco at VMworld 2014 (I was!) but we are already into what feels like fall in Dallas and the DFW VMUG User Conference has arrived. This years conference was held at the Irving Convention Center and was well attended, over 500 attendees came out for the event. I am proud to be a part of this great VMUG community and had support from Houston and Austin VMUG members as well.


Our local VMUG President, Brad Christian @vHipster, kicked things off with an introduction and moved right into a VMword update from one of VMware’s local reps. We also gave away a VMware lab!



Scott Lowe @scott_lowe, who is well known in the VMware blogging community, also VCDX #38, delivered an excellent keynote to start the day off discussing what it will take to evolve your skill set in the next generation of IT, automation and aligning IT with your business.

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I was only able to attend a few sessions, but one of the sessions that I got added to the day was a deep dive of the vSphere Hardening Guide guru Mike Foley @mikefoley. He discussed the actual chances of VM escape vs. physical and logical security steps that most overlook.

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During lunch, Damian Karlson @sixfootdad, Cody Bunch @cody_bunch and Tommy Trugden @vTexan gave a vBrownbag branded presentation on the VMware community and how you can be a part of the great community that they have helped bolster. Of course they gave out vBacon shirts….because everything is better with Bacon!

Cody Bunch was at the Rackspace booth doing a book signing for his Open Stack Cookbook!


The remainder of the day was spent catching up with my fellow VMUG’ers and meeting new people. It’s amazing how many people had their first VMUG experience at this conference.

Some lucky person got that awesome Lab Giveaway,  very jealous….

Like last year, we will have the full list of all the presentations and slide decks on the VMUG Workspace site.


DFW VMUG User Conference is almost here!


The year has certainly flown by because we are coming up on the DFW VMware User Group’s Annual User Conference. It is being held at the Irving Convention Center on September 16 from 8-5. Register here and to see a detailed agenda.

We have some great keynote speakers lined up including: Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe), Tommy Trogden (@vTexan) and Damian Karlson (@sixfootdad). There will be a complete download of what was announced at VMworld, VMworld sessions discussing vCAC, NSX, VSAN, Horizon Suite and more! We even have the vBrownBag crew that will be doing a live Q&A during lunch and a vExpert Panel.

Not only will we have some great speakers and session but an entire room filled with vendors like: VMware, Symantec, Veeam, EMC, PernixData, PureStorage, Nutanix, Nimble, Arista, Cisco and many more!

Oh did I mention the swag giveaways….that’s right, Raspberry Pi with vTools, shirts, giveaways, gift cards and more.

Be sure and register, hope to see you there!

March DFW VMUG Mtg Wrap Up

Last Friday, the DFW VMUG hosted their latest meeting, held at Studio Movie Grille in Lewisville some of the best and brightest minds that play with VMware everyday were in attendance. PernixData and Arista gave some great presentations on their offerings and yours truly got an opportunity to share with the members about how our company is using Horizon View to take the desktop experience to the next level with SSD’s and virtualized graphics. If that wasn’t enough excitement, we got an opening day viewing of 300: Rise of an Empire (go see it now!)


IMAG1556If you’ve haven’t been living under a rock then you’ve probably heard about this company called PernixData. Having vCelebrities like Frank Denneman doesn’t hurt but their solution to inadequate IOPS is making serious waves in the shared/converged storage market. We were fortunate enough to have Poojan Kumar, the CEO, in attendance and gave a great presentation into how Pernix got started, the value it can bring to any datacenter and where the company is going.

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IMAG1559Scott Lowe challenged several members of the VMUG community to become mentors to the next generation of VMware Admins and guide them into presenting at VMUG’s. Tommy Trudgen and Brad Christian have been kind enough to dedicate a portion of their time to working with me on presenting at the DFW VMUG. I wasn’t expecting to present this early, a fellow VMUG member had a family emergency and I filled in for him, but why not talk about the stuff that I love playing with everyday….Horizon View and cool technology! I described my struggles with storage, successes with vSGA and some cool stuff we are playing with like Google Glasses and drone helicopters.


IMAG1560I had heard of Arista but didn’t quite know what they were doing these days. Arista Networks is the maker of several Software Defined Networking switches. Darrin Thompson gave an informative presentation on how Arista works with NSX and the upcoming standards of 10/40/100 Gigabit ethernet protocols. I was really impressed with the Extensible Operating System (EOS) that sits as a VM and manages the entire fabric, the concept of having one fabric versus isolated fabrics for switching and storage was new to me also. Arista is designed for larger environments but it’s benefits can be seen to smaller companies as well.

What’s Next for DFW VMUG?

The next quarterly meeting will be held in Ft Worth, with more information to come.

If you are in the DFW area and haven’t had a chance to make it out to a VMUG you owe it to yourself and your career to network with peers and learn about some awesome products, not to mention there is free swag and activities while you are there.

For more information about DFW VMUG visit the website, Google+ or Twitter.

DFW VMUG User Conference Download

DFW Opening Slide Deck

DFW VMUG held it’s annual User Conference September 25 at the Irving Convention Center and it was a blast. It was great to see so many people that are a part of the VMware community come together and geek out. I even had some of my non-VM coworkers come and learn about some new software and hardware at the Vendor Crawl. It was cool for them to see the journey VMware is on.

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Also got a chance to meet up with some of the DFW VMUG members (Nigel, John, Brad, Matt and Me) The keynotes were well prepared and the speakers for the breakout sessions had some great material to present. I couldn’t get to all of them but I attended 4 sessions and wanted to do a session download, we do this at our company anytime someone goes to a conference, it helps to keep everyone informed:

Evolving to the Software-Defined Data Center: EMC Integrations                     – Tommy Trudgen

Tommy Trudgen (vTexan) from EMC gave a great presentation showcasing the evolution of Virtualization and how EMC is helping push the boundaries of the Software Defined Data Center. He illustrated the highs and lows of EMC and how they capitalized emerging software and technologies to keep them moving forward and a leader in the storage market.

VSAN Technical Best Practices                                                                                           – Dan Gillcrist

By the time VSAN had been announced at VMworld, I wasn’t able to get signed up any sessions. I wasn’t going to waste time with Hands On Labs at VMworld so I was really pumped to do a deep dive on the subject. For those that aren’t familiar with VSAN it is VMware’s version of SAN independence and storage convergence. The best example I can give on convergence is Google’s Server Clusters, by storing spinning drives at the nodes instead of centrally storing in a SAN, they couple all the disks into logical arrays. By doing this, you can scale storage and performance on demand as opposed to sizing a SAN prior to implementation and then adding shelves to handle growth, be it expected or not.

That was the quick version, for a more detailed assessment of what VSAN is, check out Duncan’s article at Yellow Bricks, lets dive into some best practices for VSAN.

Automation Generation                                                                                                       – Nick Weaver

Automation is a concept that I am trying to learn more about, this session threw gas on the fire for me. PowerCLI and PowerShell is the start to making vCenter commands more automated, but it doesn’t automate processes, in comes Puppet Labs. Puppet Labs is an automation platform (Purchase and Open Source Models) that the vCloud and vSphere teams use to automate provisioning of Application stacks and other management intensive processes. VMware also makes available all of the Puppet Lab scripts that they use on GitHub.

Think about the last time you implemented a software solution, what was the first thing you did, white papers right? Our company implemented an ERP platform and our install process was over 200 steps just for the servers! Now think about spitting out some code and clicking run….yup! To play with Puppet Labs start with something simple like the vCenter Server Appliance and configure IP, DNS, hostname, etc. In very simple terms, that’s Puppet Labs, check them out and if you have any questions, give Nick Weaver a tweet, also check out another project works on: Project Zombie.

The Emerging Technologies That Will Change VDI                                                   – Mark Vaughn

If you are part of the SLED market (State, Local and Education) then you have probably heard of Presidio, they have implemented VDI solutions in 1/3 of the Nations Colleges that is no small feat. Mark Vaughn gave a compelling presentation of common misconceptions with VDI, areas to avoid, lessons learned and what we can expect from VDI in the near future and how VMware is leading the industry in virtualizing desktops and offering Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS).

Troubleshooting Storage Performance                                                                         – Brad Pinkston

Storage performance is on every admin’s mind, unless you have a Flash array! Brad gave a high level overview of how storage has evolved with the releases of vSphere 5.5, VSAN, and vFlas Read Cache. I got some good nuggets of information when running esxtop and understanding averages vs peaks, here are some valuable slides on esxtop info.

Disk IO Latencies Disk IO Queues esxtop explained Storage Best PracticesOn top of those valuable slides, he also recommended some tools that can be used to diagnose storage problems and help isolate the problem:

All in all it was a great User Conference, this was my first and will not be my last. Up next VMworld Barcelona is going on right now and then later in October VMworld on the Road is coming also, check those out if you can!

DFW VMUG User Conference is tomorrow!

cropped-vmw_vmug_logo31The Dallas-Fort Worth VMware User Group is hosting their annual User Conference tomorrow, October 25, at the Irving Convention Center from 8am-5pm. This User Conference is a great opportunity to network with other VMware people (no matter what position!), gain valuable knowledge on what is going on in the world of VMware, better understanding of Solutions Best Practices and more.

A lot of what will be discussed is information that was announced at VMworld 2013, including vSphere 5.5, NSX, vCloud Hybrid Services, Open Stack and Horizon Suite. So if you weren’t able to make it to San Francisco then definitely come to the User Conference!

It’s also a great time to meet up with other members of the DFW VMUG, get involved, get signed up and of course you cannot miss vBeers at Champps in Las Colinas afterwards.

Keynote Sessions:

  • Lunch Keynote – Damian Karlson
  • End User Computing Keynote – Steve Kaplan
  • Industry Expert Panel
    • Jon Harris
    • Mark Vaughn
    • Tony Foster
    • Tommy Trogden

There will also be several breakout sessions:

  • Automation Generation – Nick Weaver
  • A Deep Dive on VMware Horizon Mirage Technical Use Cases
  • Horizon Workspace Architecture and Design Discussions
  • Troubleshooting Your VMware Horizon View Implementation
  • How to Troubleshoot VM Performance Issues Across Applications, Infrastructure and Storage Using vCenter Operations Management
  • Troubleshooting Storage Performance (Is it the Hardware or the Software?)
  • Performance Best Practices for vSphere
  • Software Defined Storage, The VCDX Way!
  • VMware Virsto Technical Best Practice

Event Registration

Event Agenda

Event Sponsors

Irving Convention Center

500 W Las Colinas Blvd, Irving, TX 75039


The best part is…IT’S FREE! Who doesn’t like free?

Hope to see you there, I will be sporting my VMUG T-Shirt.