After discussing the technical side of VMworld 2017 in my previous posts, it is finally time to shift focus to my favorite topic: networking and community.

The real added value of VMworld is the infinite opportunities to interact with peers and build your own professional and personal network. I remember my first VMworld in 2011: I was nobody and I knew nobody. In 2017 I can list the achievements I “unlocked” as a direct consequence of that trip to Copenhagen:

1. I started attending VMUG meetings
2. I became a VMUG Leader and got the VMUG President’s Award in 2016!
3. I became a vEXPERT
4. I landed a job with VMware (although I am not there anymore, that was a life achievement!)
5. I started blogging
6. I became a Tech Field Day delegate
7. I attended VMworld 2017 as an Official Blogger
8. I learned a lot and became a way better professional
9. I met and shook hands with the best minds in the industry
10. I made lots of friends in the community <== This one’s the best!

Going to that VMworld in 2011 on my own money and leave days (my employer at the time wasn’t interested in having me attend conferences) was the best career and personal investment I could do, it all started from there.

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VMworld Europe 2016 will be a memorable one for me, not only because I will be returning to the event after a one year hiatus, but also because something very special is going to happen.

Let me explain… last August, at VMworld US 2016 in Las Vegas, VMUG Leaders gathered for the traditional lunch with VMware Execs (including Pat Gelsinger).Every year there is a ceremony where a few Leaders are publicly mentioned for their commitment and their efforts for the VMUG community. This is when people who have gone the extra mile for the community are acknowleged at the presence of their peers. More »

Every now and then I realize how lucky I am to be part of this community of peers sharing a common passion for what can be (in a very simplistic way) referred to as “virtualization technology”; last November 12th, on a train back to Rome after the conclusion on VMUG Italy’s 2015 UserCon, I had once again such an epiphany. I was very tired after a long two days in Milan spent preparing and running the conference I have helped to organize together with my VMUGIT friends, but I was also very happy and proud for the awesome result we (as a community) obtained.

The outcome is here for you (not me) to judge: 274 attendees, 18 sponsors/exhibitors, 3 keynotes, 15 breakout sessions and one closing panel featuring some of the most influential leaders and visionaries in the IT industry. One of the aspects I am particularly satisfied with is that this time (our third one) the VMUGIT UserCon has become a true international event: most of sessions were delivered in English by prominent speakers coming from Europe and the US specifically to present at our conference. We also had Brad Tompkins (the VMUG International CEO) and Massimiliano Mortillaro from the Czech Republic VMUG as our welcome guests. The Italian UserCon may not be one of the biggest in terms of attendance, but for sure it can now be acknowledged as one of the leading international community events in terms of quality of content presented. This doesn’t come by chance but thanks to the hard work of all the people involved (the VMUGIT Board, the VMUG International Team, VMware itself and, last but not least, partners and sponsors).

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VMUG_IT-Twitter_SmallOne of the most important characteristics of a VMUG event, and particularly of a big sized one such as a User Conference, is indeed the involvement from the Users’.

This can take the form of volunteering efforts, but also active participation as speakers. We always encourage speakers to take the stage and present their experiences with VMware technologies to peers.

No matter your experience, you are always welcome to join events as an active participant.

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VMUG_IT-Twitter_SmallAfter the first successful event held in April 2013, VMUG Italy is proud to announce the date and location of its second User Conference, which will take place next May 7th in Milan, at the MiCO – Milano Congressi Conference Center.

We are in the early stages of the event organization, but stay assured that we – once again – will deliver a User Conference up to the high standards set last year.

We should be able to provide you with some details soon, including the names of the first International Speakers and a link to the registration page.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed to stay up to date and also to follow both my personal Twitter account @stingray92 and VMUGIT’s official one @vmugit for real-time updates.

VMUG_IT-Twitter_SmallLights are off in the conference center which hosted the first Italian VMware User Group User Conference. Rooms are empty, sponsors booths have been dismantled, all is silent, guests, organizers and attendees are all back home and at work.

But the excitement and the adrenaline still have not faded out.

I thought that, once we had scattered in many different directions after the event wrap up, we would have returned back to our normal lives, perhaps savoring that warm feeling coming from a sense of achievement, maybe vaguely making plans for our next meeting in the back of our minds. On the contrary, after two days my mind still has not stopped thinking about what happened on April 3rd and how great it was. Maybe it’s because we – the VMUG IT board guys – are still busy with post-conference tasks (you know, collecting, sorting and uploading photos, slides and videos), maybe because the Twitterverse is still buzzing with references to the event. The truth is that I am still in full Conference mood. I cannot stop thinking how well it went. And I like this.

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In two weeks’ time I will be most probably blogging live from VMUG Italy’s User Conference (planned for next April 3rd, 2013 in Milan), but now I am just excited to reveal what has been cooking for the last couple of months!

We’ve been working hard to set up this event and now all the pieces of the jigsaw are in the right place and we’re finally allowed to publish the complete and final Event Agenda.

I would not want to talk about it much, just judge yourself. I can hardly contain the excitement looking at the speakers’s names and at the sessions’ topics.

Don’t forget to register here and also keep in mind that very soon the official User Conference App will be available for iOS and Android devices… we don’t want you to miss a single beat!

So… here is the Agenda!

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This is our fourth and last interview with the Special Guests visiting us in Milan in early April for the VMUG-IT User Conference. We already spoke to +Cormac Hogan+Scott Lowe and +Duncan Epping and today I am delighted to introduce you Mr. +Mike Laverick.

I am particularly pleased to complete this mini-series with Mike, as I know him personally since 2006, when I was among his students in a VMware ESX 2.5 training. Mike’s training skills were instrumental in teaching me the fundamentals of Enterprise Virtualization and in helping me to become the professional I am now.

Mike is probably one of the best known personalities in the VMware Community: a former Trainer, then Blogger and Writer (his SRM books should be in any professional’s technical library) and now an “Evangelist”.

But he’s probably  most famous as an Elvis Impersonator!

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VMUG Italy’s first ever User Conference is approaching, the agenda is shaping up (more details soon), seats are being filled fast (you can register here) and all the Special Guests have confirmed their presence.

After +Cormac Hogan and +Scott Lowe, today’s featured speaker is Mr +Duncan Epping, VMware Architect, respected technical blogger at and co-author, together with +Frank Denneman of the great “vSphere Clustering Technical Deepdive” books.

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