Review – Potomac Regional VMUG UserCon 2017

I always enjoy going to the VMUG UserCons. This year was no different. I attended my 5th UserCon on March 22. The Potomac Regional VMUG UserCon 2017 was at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC. This UserCon seemed smaller than previous years. Perhaps it was due to email notifications for the event only going out about 2 weeks prior to the event.

The keynote speakers were the best that I remember of all the Potomac Regional UseCons I’ve been to. Scott Lowe had a more serious speech in the morning compared to Chris Wahl’s jovial speech at the end of the event. Scott went into the ever changing IT profession and how the term DevOps is often missed used. DevOps is not a postion. It’s a collaboration between developers and operations/infrastructure professionals. Chris’s keynote seemed more like a motivational speech, which I appreciated and honestly needed to hear myself. He went into his journey on how and he started in IT and how got where he is today. Sometimes it’s hard to make that jump to the next level. He was advocating for everyone to get involved with GitHub in some way. Even if it is to point out a spelling/grammar error like he did with Docker.

On a lighter side, the food is always great at these events. Impossible to go home hungry. Started off with a standard breakfast. Lunch had many options and a couple desserts. Can always count on cookies in the afternoon too. They even had milk this time to go along with the cookies this time. Finally the open bar and hors d’oeuvres at the end was a nice finishing touch.

There were a few breakout sessions that I enjoyed. Usually vendors are of course doing most of the presenting and it’s geared towards their products. However, once in a while, there’s a presentation hosted by a vendor that is not specific to any product they offer. This year Rubrik’s session titled Auditing and Enforcing a Consistent vSphere Configuration using PowerShell and Pester. This fits what I just described. On top of doing a keynote, Chris Wahl hosted that session. The title of the session describes the project well and you can check it out further on GitHub.

I also enjoyed the two VMware host sessions. The first one I attended was VMware Cloud on AWS. I was happy to finally receive more details on the AWS and VMware Cloud collaboration. I haven’t seen more information until the past couple weeks. I should do a separate article to dive more into this topic. Josh Townsend presented the last VMware session I attended which was on VMware Cloud Foundation. Not really a product I would use, but interesting to see how far it was come. Definitely a much easier way for a company to get into virtualization. Can have vCenter, vSAN, and NSX up and running in a day without too much effort. Comparably speaking to someone setting up and configuring all that in a traditional way.

The VMUG leaders hosted another great event. Many thanks to all that are involved in organizing the event and to all the sponsors. Always great to network with my peers, see what vendor’s are offering, and have a change at winning a raffle prize. Speaking of the latter, I was not as lucky as I have been in the past, but there was a lot of cool stuff being given away. As always, everyone walked away with a bag full of swag. I absolutely enjoyed my time at the Potomac Regional VMUG UserCon and looking forward to the next event.

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