Once again I had the pleasure of attending a half day event hosted by Angelo Luciani and the Toronto VMUG team on March 27th.  In my opinion this was one of the most informative VMUGs that I have been to as of yet;  The sponsor presentations were great, but the real winner for me was the audience participation throughout the complete event.  It seemed more like a conversation between community members than a sales pitch from the vendors, and to top it all off, the last presentation of the day came from a community member outlining their trials and tribulations with vSphere.  Below are the slides and my notes from the event….

Angelo started the day off with a brief introduction as to how the day should play out and basically how to 'stay in touch' between meetings with the Toronto VMUG members.  I had the opportunity to sit and talk to Angelo over lunch after the event and honestly this guy is a 'model community member'  He is doing the best he can to spread the word and share resources that he has found with the rest of the VMUG members.  You can truly see he is very passionate about virtualization and that passion shines through in the presentations and conversations that he has with everyone.  A true community leader!

Next in line was VMware throwing out their take on operations management.  It's not surprise that they are promoting their newest version of vCenter Operations.  If you are currently looking for ways to monitor and manage your virtualized environment I would highly recommend checking out the latest version of vCenter Operations as it is a very robust application which will certainly save you in troubleshooting time down the road when things start behaving 'abnormally'

The first sponsored presentation was by a Canadian company named Embotics.  Embotics gave us their interpretation of Private Cloud as well as the monitoring and management tools that are bundled within it.  No wifi meant no live demo, but they did have a canned demo which took us from a virtual environment to a Private Cloud in less than 20 minutes.  They seemed like they had a good take on how to provided these services to the SMB market and this is a company that I would certainly watch.

Next, all the way from California was Eric Burgener from Virsto Storage.  The term 'tough crowd' could have certainly been derivied from this presentation alone.  A lot of questions were getting thrown at Eric from all different angles.  However, Eric handled them all well.  Throughout the presentation I didn't here once the 'I'll have to get back to you on that one' or 'Let's talk after the presentation'.  He simply either answered the question with either an explanation, or a simple, 'No we don't support that'.  Virsto also seems like a sound company focusing on virtualizing your storage SANs and helping to accelerate workloads.  The OS dependencies on Windows however seem to throw me off a bit.

Last and MOST CERTAINLY NOT least was Robert Simons,  a community member, giving his presentation 'Lessons learned running VMware in an enterprise environment   This was a great presentation as Robert gave us a brief introduction of his environment, continued to dive deep into some of the issues and problems that he has experienced as well as the lessons he has learned  throughout his journey.  No doubt in my mind that this was the best presentation of the day.  Having a community member present really does help define these VMUGs as what they are, and that's a USER group.

All in all it was a great day!  I had the opportunity to sit and have lunch with VMUG Leader Angelo Luciani and another member Eric Wright after the meeting, which was filled with great conversation and food for that matter.  As always, you can connect with the Toronto VMUG through a variety of ways; The web, on Twitter, or LinkedIn.