Chicago VMUG Review

I got to attend the Chicago VMUG yesterday, what a treat! Was definitely worth the drive and time. It was OBVIOUS to me and I’m sure others that the depth and width of VMWare’s ecosystem was on full display yesterday, I have NEVER seen a HyperV conference with this level of technology or partners all pushing the same common vision/dream. A gentlemen yesterday asked the question of “VMWare vs. HyperV” and one of the vExpert’s gave a similar answer, the ecosystem is far superior and its true (not even discussing the technology superiority!) All I can really say is that it’s a good time to be a VMWare customer!

VMWare’s full compute/storage/network virtualization strategy was the most impressive “on display” the entire event. I would have to say at least half the vendors were offering some variant of either storage, compute or network virtualization/optimization. There were a few “cloud” folks for good measure as well. A lot of the traditional vendors TRYING to catch up and “add-on” virtualization to their products, won’t name names. Also saw some “new to me” vendors that had some pretty promising stuff going out there:

– 10zig. http://10zig.com
They make the usual VDI/virtualized desktop thin clients and management software. They had some extremely compact units though. Perhaps the coolest item from them, a stripped down Linux thin client OS that you could put on any comodity hardware with management: http://10zig.com/no-touch/
We use HP Thin Clients currently today but I could easily see this as an OS upgrade path to newer Citrix support/etc. without having to purchase new hardware.

– LG USA. http://www.lg.com/us/commercial/desktop-virtualization/lg-23CAV42K
Didn’t know LG made thin clients, saw their 23CAV42K which is basically an all-in-one monitor/thin client solution, coolest piece was its all POE! HP has some all-in-ones but last time I looked at them all they had were 19in units, we have standardized on a 22in+ real estate so this item was incredibly attractive to us. Also its great because your POE switch becomes the only needed power backup/generator device for user work continuation during power events!

– Condusiv Technologies. http://www.condusiv.com/
This was an interesting one. They basically make a software layer for Windows VMs only that improves I/O performance, marketing was saying 50%+, at this time we don’t really have any I/O issues but definitely an interesting product.

Got to meet a lot of great vendors and sit in on some awesome breakouts by Veeam, Condusiv, VMWare and others. Got to finally meet Rick Vanover from Veeam, was awesome to finally meet him, awesome guy and awesome cheerleader for Veeam. Also got to touch base with the PRTG/Paessler team, was so nice to finally see them represented and get to meet some of their folks. We’ve been a loyal PRTG user for the past year and love it, most exciting news, a full syslog server has been integrated into PRTG allowing us to ditch Kiwi SysLog FINALLY! On a total side note, Veeam and Paessler are 2 SHINING examples of companies who listen to their customers and you can see that feedback reflected in future releases, which to me is HUGE and is a LARGE factor for why I continue business with these companies, I would encourage you to do the same! If your current company doesn’t listen to you, send a message with your dollars!

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Author: Travis Kensil

Director of IT. Husband and father. Michigan beachbum.

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