UK VMUG UserCon 2017

UK VMUG UserCon 2017

What is it?

2017’s UK VMUG UserCon takes place on Thursday 16th November at the National Conference Centre (a.k.a the National Motorcycle Museum) which is between Birmingham and Coventry. For those of you that don’t know, this is an all day, multi-track, mini VMworld kind of event - but with a higher ratio of great community content. Win, win huh? Oh, and it’s free!

Where is it?

For you SatNav users, the address is Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull, West Midlands, B92 0EJ

It’s worth noting that Google Maps appears to have worked out where this is now, so you get directed to the correct location rather than somewhere further down the A45 - happy days! Other SatNav tech is out there, so be warned. You’re aiming for a location just off the roundabout where the M42 passes under the A45.

When does it start?

I know I said Thursday right, but if you turn up early on the Thursday, you’ve already missed out. This years action starts in the afternoon of Wednesday 15th, if you’re signed up for the VCDX Workshop. If you’re not signed up, then I’m both pleased and sorry to announce that this workshop is full! If you’re looking for VCDX action, then keep an eye on the official calendar announcements at

The VCDX Workshop has been cunningly designed to finish just ahead of the traditional National VMUG curtain raiser, the vCurry. Famous throughout the virtualisation world, the vCurry feeds you, buys you drinks and then hurts you by assailing you with some of the most fiendish quiz questions ever compiled. Then it soothes you by giving you prizes. Amazing prizes, oh yes!

Not only that, but you’ll also have the opportunity here to win a VMworld Swag Bag and contribute to a worthy cause at the same time, courtesy of Michelle Laverick and Kev Johnson. There’s some great stuff in that bag and all monies raised go to the VMware Foundation listed charity, Aquabox.

Where do I sign up?

Registrations for this year are running way ahead of last year, but it is still not too late to register for the UK UserCon and (optionally) the vCurry. Simply head over to the Registration Page and fill in your details. Did I mention that this whole thing is free for end users? Yes, £0.00 to you.

Yes, we know who’s signed up for the vCurry and yes, if you are already signed up now or sign up soon, then you will get email confirmation of both your registration to the vCurry and to the UserCon a few days before the event.

What else?

Still not convinced or have more questions? Well, like I said, this is a mini VMworld. The Agenda is available online, but I will summarise here:

  • The Thursday starts with Breakfast and Registration at 7.30 (There’s a lot to fit in to the day).
  • There’s the Official welcome arm wavy bit before Joe Baguley (VMware EMEA CTO) delivers the opening keynote at 8.30.
  • Then you get the chance for a break and your first chance to visit the Exhibition Hall. We’re assembling a dazzling array of sponsors who will be on hand to impress you with their wares, tempt you with the “passport to prizes”, outdo each other with swag giveaways and so on.
  • Throughout the day there are 6 (six) tracks across 6 (six) rooms, which is more than ever before. There are sponsor sessions, there are VMware sessions, but throughout the day, no matter what else is taking place, there is always a Community Session going on. (more on those later).
  • If that was not enough, this year also sees the availability of VMware Hands-on-Labs. A number of the new labs will be available, fresh from VMworld, with VMware experts on hand to help guide you through the content or answer your questions. Places for this will be limited to around 30 and if you are interested in doing any labs please make sure you bring your own device with you!!
  • There’s Lunch, tea and coffee, additional chances for the all important networking and more time to mingle in the exhibition hall interspersed throughout the day.
  • And! The Mezzanine Sessions from previous years are also happening again this year, up on the elevated level at the end of the Exhibition Hall. This is again a mix of VMware and Community content in a smaller, more informal setting - great value to be gained here. VMware will have Office of the CTO and R&D staff here, so do take advantage of that level of access to pose your questions / give your feedback.
  • Finally, we pull it all back together at the end of the day, VMware’s Chris McCain will deliver the closing keynote before the Closing Session (which you’ll want to be at if you want to win stuff, as this is where all the prize draws and awards take place).
  • Finding it hard to keep up with all this? Well there’s a Mobile App to help you out. If you’re registered, you’ll get the links sent to you to download the App ahead of time (Android and iPhone only, I’m afraid).

What was that about Community Sessions?

VMUG’s all about community and that community is going from strength to strength. At the UserCon we make sure that there is always at least one Community Session available in each session timeslot. This year, we are running the following Community Sessions:

  • Do more with less! Lab smarter, not harder! Nested home labs - Sam McGeown
  • Integration of vRA, Cisco ACI and IPv6 - Jose Gomez
  • AWS for VMware Admins - Alex Galbraith and Chris Porter
  • VMware APIs - What they are and Which is best for you - Ricky El-Qasem
  • Reality TV for Geeks - An intro to Virtual Design Master - Chris Porter, Gareth Edwards and Kyle Jenner
  • How failing the VCDX Made me a better Architect - Rebecca Fitzhugh and Gregg Robertson

There’s also a community focus at the Mezz Sessions:

  • I think I’m building Skynet, is it wrong? - Ricky El-Qasem
  • vRA/vRO Drop-In session - Michael Poore
  • vROps Drop-In Session - Simon Eady
  • NSX Design Drop-In Session - Sam McGeown
  • The OpenTechCast folks will also be here. If you ever wanted to be on a podcast, here’s your opportunity…

Are you not entertained??

I think that’s it. If there’s something you need to know that I’ve not covered, then ask below or reach out to @UKVMUG. See you in a couple of weeks!

Dave Simpson avatar
About Dave Simpson
VMUG Board Member, London VMUG Leader, Multi-year vExpert, Toastmaster, Homelabber and amateur hack blogger!
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