UK VMUG 2015 Report – part 1

I missed VMworld this year due to a number of reasons, so was determined to attend this years’ UK VMUG to catch up with the VMware community.

As usual, there was the community vCurry night, prior to the event (note: one year can we please have a change from Lamb curry and Lamb koftas? ) and the associated vQuiz, ably hosted by VMUG leader Stuart Thompson in his unique style.

The following morning I arrived bright and early for the complimentary breakfast, before making my way up to the main hall for the introduction and keynote.

Slide decks are being made available here and I will update with links when the videos are posted.


UK VMUG leader Alaric Davies (@alaricdavies) opened the show with a high energy welcome, including congratulations (and Tshirts) for the new UK VCDX awardees Gregg Robertson (@GreggRobertson5) and Sam McGeown (@sammcgeown), as well as news of the 4 VMworld 2016 ticket and travel costs giveaway at the end of the conference.

Opening keynote – Joe Baguley (@joebaguley)

The day was worth attending for the keynote alone. VMware UK CTO Joe Baguley is an outstanding and inspiring speaker, and if we were from the other side of the Atlantic I’m pretty sure we’d be whooping and high-fiving at the end of his presentations.
I will bullet point his main points as it would be definitely worth your while viewing the full presentation if you missed it.

  • Digital accelerators: VMware viewed as #5 in the list of vendors most able to accelerate a companies move to digital.
  • Bridging Client-Server to Mobile-Cloud: This is the move from rigid structures to digital, or slow and predictable, to rapid and changing
  • Pat Gelsinger quote: “Riskiest thing in business is to take no risks”, the world is changing due to the move to the App Culture. Joe referenced his 15yo daughter who has moved banks 3 times to move to better banking apps.
  • App Economy: Business works on a cycle of producing an app, which produces data, which we analyse to improve app-cycle.pngthe app, and so on.
    Enterprise IT moves around this cycle slowly. If you move around it quicker, you win.
    Things like microservices, big data, and containers are designed to help companies go round the cycle quicker.
  • RAID -> SDDC: In the 1980’s 1 disk wasn’t big or fast enough, so RAID controllers were born to abstract this. Also provided “design for failure”, so were a “Cloud” of storage. SDDC provides this but for datacenters.
  • Unicorns (Google, AWS, FB) have the scale to run custom apps, on custom platforms, on commodity x86/storage/IP. We don’t have this luxury, but SDDC allows standard apps, on SDDC, on commodity x86/storage/IP
    – Infrastructure as code makes everything possible
  • Hardware – becoming a world of white boxes: The end isn’t nigh for hardware vendors, but the future is different – higher volume, smaller margins. Jevons paradox
    The future is racked commodity hardware.
  • Software stack: more layers of virtualisation (turtles all the way down)
  • Docker: virtualisation at the OS level, like Terminal Services, BSD jails. Provides shipping containers for code.
  • Farming: Most people in the room can name all their servers, and know where they are in the DC, we should treat servers like chickens not kittens (cattle, not pets). Developers wanted an API to create/destroy 1000s VMs per hour. Ops couldn’t deliver, so instead they asked for 1 big VM and used containerisation to deliver it.
    Now we’re rethinking infrastructure in terms of microservices, containers, Continuous Integration/Delivery.
  • Fragmented Ecosystems: have hidden costs, tool sprawl, governance issues.
    vSphere Integrated Containers – extension to vSphere to allow transition. Found that performance on VIC is better than bare metal due to hypervisor optimisations.
    Photon platform, new subscription based platform, optimised for containers, large scale API.
    Project Xenon, about dealing with the billions of containers/microservices of the future. See blog
  • Need to evolve skills, teams: the future is about delivering APIs not servers.
  • Simon Wardley reference – Pioneers/Settlers/Town Planners
    Pioneers get bored quickly, Settlers needed to take new tech and make it work, TPs needed to commoditise the working product.
    P/S/TP is a cycle, Pioneers use utility from Town Planners to build new things.

Joe finished with a cryptic mention of the future being Unikernels. It was a thoroughly engaging and inspiring presentation, and I hope you will take the opportunity to watch the video when it’s made available.

Now read part 2


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