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Entries in Conference (5)


2016 UserCon

Another year…another UserCon…

As we close out this year’s UserCon, with nearly 600 attending of 670+ registered, the KC VMUG leadership sends a heartfelt Thank you! to all of this year’s sponsors.

We also appreciate all the attendees that spent some or all of the day with us: you’re the reason we put this crazy thing together!

As always, we have lots of photos to share…and look forward to seeing as many as can make it to the next meeting, August 17, 2016 at Boulevard Brewing Company.


2015 UserCon

The time is almost upon us! On Tuesday, June 16th, one of the biggest VMware User Group events this side of VMworld will open, with a Welcome Reception the night before, Monday June 15th.

As always, our sponsors make it possible, and there is no cost to register! {registration link}


Monday, June 15th —Pre-conference Activities—

Tuesday, June 16th —Conference Highlights—Overland Park Convention Center—

  • 7:30am: Registration & Breakfast
  • 8:30am: VMware Update with Irish Spring
  • 9am: Opening Keynote with Frank Denneman
  • 10:15–noon: Labs & Breakout Sessions
  • Noon: Lunch
  • 1–4:15pm: Labs & Breakout Sessions
  • 4:20pm: Virtualization Futures Panel Session
  • 5pm: Closing Reception & Giveaways


Special Attendee Gift: Custom-crafted Loot Crates for the first 500 attendees to check in!


Annual Conference

While this post may be a little late to the game, it has been appropriate to wait on this until more of the major details had been finalized.

As many already know from both Twitter and the main VMUG website, the date for the annual conference—previously in the winter near the holidays—has been moved forward to Tuesday, June 10, 2014. The leadership team had wanted to move the conference into a different part of the year (to get away from the holidays) and was working to slowly accomplish this; however, there were simply too many conflicts in the fall. We simply “bit the bullet” and moved it to summer, which is what we’d had in mind for a goal all along.

Registration for the conference is open!

Satyam VaghaniAs in previous years, we have a great list of sponsors, break-outs and guest speakers planned. Our opening keynote session will be delivered by “Mr. VMFS” himself, Satyam Vaghani. Satyam is currently the CTO and co-founder of PernixData, delivering a new wave of distruptive technology into the VMware ecosystem; expect a walk down memory lane as he recounts some of the early days of VMware and the development of the game-changing shared filesystem which allowed shared-storage clusters and—arguably the most disruptive of all tech—the development of vMotion.

Kevin MitnickOur lunchtime keynote will be a special question-and-answer session with VMware security maven Mike Foley and the man infamously known as “the world’s most wanted hacker,” Kevin Mitnick. While he may have a storied past, Kevin is now a principle in a successful security consulting firm, has written several books and is an engaging speaker for both technical and non-technical audiences alike. Expect a mix of history—Mike was on the receiving end of one of Kevin’s “adventures”—and current practices to be covered in this unique session. 


Hello New Year!

As we roll into 2014, your KC VMUG steering committee has lots of changes in store for the group, and we hope you’ll all be along for the ride…

The first big change is our regular meeting location. As indicated in a previous post, we were looking at having meetings at Dark Horse Distillery; we’ve been able to come to an agreement with them, and our first meeting in the new space is already taking registration. Additional dates for the year are posted in the calendar, so you can add “save the date” entries for the year.

The second big change is the date for our all-day Superconference. We’ve traditionally (if five years makes a tradition) held it near the end-of-year holidays, but that’s been a repeating challenge for staff, speakers, the steering committe and attendees in one way or another since our first year. We’ve had great attendance & feedback, but we’ve always wanted to get it earlier in the year to avoid that holiday mess. We took our first step last year by holding the event in November instead of December, and had hoped to move it to October in 2014, but it just didn’t work out logistically. We looked at a number of alternatives for times & venues, but it just wouldn’t play out; September and August were also bad due to VMworld, so we looked even earlier in the year and were able to settle on Tuesday, 10-June.

We like the mid-Summer date; we’ve always been shooting for that timeframe, where minimal industry conference conflicts will be occurring. While this year it’s a big jump—and leaves us far less than a year between dates—we’re working hard to bring great content to Kansas City for another spectacular event.


Guest Post: Traveling to Conferences

In the IT field, continuing education is critical to both personal and professional success; professional success should also translate into success for the businesses for which we work. Education can come in many forms, from reading books and trade magazines to attending classes and seminars. Doing any of these things on-line is fine; getting out of the office and sitting down next to your peers adds the additional benefit of connecting you with folks who may be struggling with the same challenges as you. You may also find that you are doing the helping, instead of being helped.

Attending a good conference is a way to get a concentrated dose of seminars and classes with a chaser of networking thrown in for good measure. And traveling out-of-town gives you the additional opportunity to set aside your normal routine and get immersed in the environs.

I typically budget for a couple of conferences each year, and I’ve been going to the same ones for a while. Contrary to any belief that “the same old stuff” is presented at annual meetings, the ones I’ve attended have updated, fresh things to learn every time; and as a bonus, I tend to see the same folks coming back, year after year. Not only does that make for great networking and friendships, it helps validate that the conference is a good one.

VMworld is one of those conferences, and I’m back for my fourth year.

It’s early yet for the schedule as I write this post; registration isn’t open for another 7 hours. But in the 14+ hours that I’ve already been here, I’ve reconnected with guys I’ve known for a while and met a bunch of cool, new folks who share my passion for IT and VMware. I’ve already learned some things, too.

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m here for the tech. But in the course of relaxing before the business of the conference gets going, I joined a number of fellow attendees at a sushi bar. For the folks that know me, I’m sure you’re surprised. I’m a straight-up steak-and-potatoes kind of guy, and the thought of eating little bits of raw fish and seaweed is kind of nauseating.

So I followed my own advice: when you get out for a conference, you set aside the routine and push yourself to learn something new.

As it turns out, I learned that sushi isn’t all bad; in fact, the “spicy tuna” was pretty darned good.

So this conference is off to an auspicious beginning: my travel wasn’t marred by weather problems (my condolences to all those folks affected by Irene!), and I’ve learned something that I’d have never learned had I skipped the conference and stayed home.

(In the spirit of full disclosure: after the sushi bar, I went to another restaurant and made a filling meal out of a more substantial dish.)

Jim Millard is a member of the KC VMUG Leadership team. You can follow his exploits in his blog or on twitter.