Starting a VMUG

VMUGLast year, in November, the first ever meeting in VMUG Norway took place in my hometown of Bergen, and since then there has been meetings in Oslo, Trondheim and a second one in Bergen as well.

Getting the Norwegian VMUG up and running was a long process. I decided to have a go at it, and I spent a lot of time talking to people, thinking, planning and generally wondering how we could get it started and how to proceed. Some might say an inordinate amount of time, and they are right. I’m lucky to have talented and passionate people on board with me for this, this is not something I have done on my own. But, someone had to get the ball rolling.

It turns out, that all you need to get a VMUG running in your local area, is to arrange one. It is really that simple. Don’t over think it and don’t overcomplicate things. It really isn’t that hard, and honestly, it really doesn’t take that much effort either. Start small. A small venue, and a few people goes a long way.

Admittedly, the Norwegian VMUG is small in comparison to our Danish counterparts, but we all have to start somewhere, right? Sure, we can grow bigger and better, and of course we will learn and improve as we go along. I for one is really excited by the possibilities VMUG Norway has going forward, and I hope the attendees share our passion for growing the local community. If they do, I’m sure VMUG Norway is destined for success and growth.

If you plan on starting a local VMUG, just remember one thing: It is all about the U(sers), not the leadership or even the sponsors. Keep that in mind, and you’re ready to go.

Awesome: Nordic VMUG Conference 2014

Last year I was lucky enough to get to travel to Copenhagen and visit the Nordic VMUG conference. Sadly it doesn’t seem like I’ll be able to make it this year, but don’t let that stop you! While we in Norway are still trying to get our local VMUG up and running, more news on that in a very short while, the danish VMUG is really the driving force and the leading star for the rest of us in the nordics.

Last years conference was awesome, and the 2014 edition looks no different. A quick glance at the agenda shows a bunch of familiar names:

  • Frank Denneman, PernixData
  • Kamau Wanguhu, VMware
  • Duncan Epping, VMware
  • Raymon Epping, Nutanix
  • Chris Wahl, Ahead
  • Paudie O’Riordan, VMware
  • Cormac Hogan, VMware
  • Shawn Bass, VMware
  • Hugo Phan, Atlantis Computing

The topics range from NSX, VMware vSphere futures, various storage topics, backup, security and flash acceleration. All in all, the line up and topics look great, seems that once again is creating their own mini-VMworld in Copenhagen. It’s once again held in the Bella Center, the same venue that hosted VMworld EMEA back in 2010, when everyone complained about the cold weather and high prices.

So, if you can, go register now.

I can guarantee you that you will not regret it, and I really wish I could join in this year as well.Perhaps next year, and I might even have a speaking slot then, who knows…



Nordic VMUG Conference – My Thoughts

On Tuesday, December 3, 2013 VMware User Group Denmark arranged the Nordic VMUG Conference. The event itself can only be described as a mini-VMworld, with over 600 registered attendees, and a speaker list worthy of such a nick-name.

The opening keynote was held by Joe Baguley, the closing keynote was held by Chad Sakac. In between those two, you had the possibility to attend sessions held by Cormac Hogan, Mike Laverick,  Frank Brix, Paudie O-Riordan, Frank Denneman, Mattias Sundling, David Davis and Duncan Epping.

There was even a mini solutions exchange where vendors scanned your badges, tried to sell you products and concepts or just update your geeky t-shirt wardrobe. Got that VMworld feeling yet?

Both Joe and Chads keynotes were eye-openers. It is really refreshing when people of “executive stature” like those two, actually skip the marketing slides and just talk. And man, both those guys talk good.

“Think more like a chicken farmer, and less like a cat owner.”
― Joe Baguley

“A software defined thing that requires special hardware is not a software defined thing.”
― Joe Baguley

In particular Chad´s closing “The Nature and Impact of Disruption – On Industries, Vendors, and Customers” was really interesting as it was completely non-technical. The concept that disruption is not inherently good or bad, and that all change stems from a single individual is really intriguing. I think more people should ask themselves this; How can I, or how do I, disrupt myself?  

“Disruption is characterized by change and fear.”
― Chad Sakac

Most of the people who are a part of the VMware community has actually done this already, consciously or not. Think about that for second…

As usual at events, I spent most my time networking and talking to people, and I even got the chance to meet a few people I had yet to meet. Liselotte Foverskov and Jane Rimmer immediately springs to mind, but I also got to have a chat with Magnus Andersson and Rasmus Haslund actually drove me and my wife to the beer tasting event held at Mikkeler after the conference.

I have to say that I am very impressed by what the Danish VMUG leadership has been able to pull off here, it is no small task arranging an event of this magnitude, especially when you do it on your spare time. I am honoured to have been invited as a guest, and it serves as a real inspiration now that we are really trying to get the Norwegian VMUG active with our first meeting in Bergen in March 2014. Hopefully things are in motion, and we will have meetings in Oslo and in Trondheim as well.

There is absolutely no way we are aiming as high as VMUGDK, at least not initially, but one thing is certain; If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.


Random photos from the event: