Chicago VMUG recap of October 20th meeting on VDI
Well we have another successful Chicago VMUG meeting under our belts. With each meeting we have it really feels like were building a strong community in Chicago. The reason that I got involved with the VMUG community was to network with my fellow VMware people and to share our experiences. I think building a strong community benefits everyone that attends the VMUG meetings. Sure you get to listen to briefings from VMware and other virtualization related companies but being able to talk openly with others that are fighting the same battles as you everyday is priceless. You get to ask questions of people who have done what you are seeking to do or are also planning the same projects. These are opportunities that would not come around often if it were not for the VMUG meetings. You can see the slide decks from most of the presentations on the Chicago VMUG blog.
Face it most of us have our internal teams and maybe a few friends in the industry. But do you really get the opportunity to speak openly about these technologies with industry experts and 100 other community members very often. Well if you attend the VMUG meetings then you can answer yes. Today I met several new people and I can say that at each meeting I’m sure to meet other interesting members.
In the first session of the day we had Chris Fox in from VMware. Chris gave us a briefing of new products and announcements that have taken place since our last meeting which included both VMware San Francisco and VMworld Copenhagen. In this session Chris laid out what VMware’s current Cloud and VDI offerings are. Chris also was nice enough to hang around and participate on our VDI panel in the last session that I describe below.
The second session of the day was a general VDI related presentation from Elias Khnaser from Artemis Technologies. In this talk Elias covered the business and technology reasons that are causing most companies to consider Virtual Desktops. He also provided some sample numbers on sizing and costs related to VDI deployments. Elias also spoke about the many options available within the VDI space.
Next up was Wyse technology. During this session we got a recap of the thin client offerings that Wyse has today. I was really surprised to see the Wyse mobile thin clients, these are kind of a Netbook style thin client. They also covered software clients that Wyse offers for PC’s and the popular Pocket Cloud app for iPad and iPhone.
After the 2nd session we took a short lunch break and enjoyed some delicious Fajitas that the staff at Dave & Busters in Addison cooked up for us. The food was fresh and ready right when we needed it to be. I was pleased with the meeting room and the service we got from the staff.
The next session was from RES Software and Brian talked about how RES can help with your VDI planning and deployments. It was good to hear from RES as I was already familiar with some competing products in this space. We got to hear about their profile management and workspace extender products. Brian from RES Software was also kind enough to sit on your discussion panel later in the day also.
Before I wrap up the last portion of the VMUG meeting I’ll cover what is likely a favorite of many. The prizes that we gave out today to many that attended the VMUG meeting. During the experts discussion panel we handed out vNerd shirts from TrainSignal and vArmy T-shirts to people that asked questions to the panel. Then we drew names for several people that won VMware related training videos from TrainSignal and Elias Khanser. Also the great folks at Wyse gave away an Apple iPad and the team at RES Software gave away a Flip video camera and several Starbucks gift cards. I would like to talk our sponsors and other companies that supplied these great gifts that we were able to provide to our lucky winners. Oh I almost forgot that one of our great members donated 4 tickets to an upcoming Chicago Bulls game that were given away to a lucky member at the meeting.
We finished off the meeting today with a panel of VMware heavy hitters that bravely took all questions from the audience related to VDI. I was really impressed by this session it was our first real panel type discussion and picking Virtual Desktops as the topic seemed to be a great choice. The questions came fast and there was a bunch of them. The conversation was honest and open. We had questions that ranged from security, SAN storage planning to building a small VDI of 50 clients. Each question was great because they came from a community member with a real issue or someone just seeking some insight to help with their planning. I posted a couple of pictures of the panel below taken with different cell phone cameras so excuse the poor quality. The panel consisted of the following people, I will fill in the names that are missing once I go over my notes.
About Brian Suhr
Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design