Our 2015 UserCon Community Track Slots Are Filled!

We want to start this post with a huge thank you to everyone who submitted an entry for the Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon Community Track! We are pleased to announce that all of the Community Track presentation and demo slots have been filled. We could not have done this without the many members of the VMUG community who stepped forward to share their wisdom and insights with others, and we are grateful to have an opportunity to work with so many talented IT professionals with a passion for VMware and virtualization technologies!

Even with VMworld taking place next week the entire Chicago VMUG team is working hard on making sure that the Chicago UserCon is full of great opportunities for attendees to learn more about the latest virtualization technologies. In addition to the now complete Community Track there will be several presentations from both our partner sponsors and VMware. Not to mention the excellent speakers who will be present, such as our keynote speaker Stephen Foskett!

But wait! There is even more at the UserCon this year!

You can win great prizes by participating in our #ChicagoVMUG Game! To play simply register to attend the Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon now, and then download the VMUG Mobile App to begin planning your own personal agenda for the UserCon which earns you points. Then continue to earn points while you are at the UserCon by favoriting speakers, reviewing sessions, visiting exhibitors, and more!

Plus you can win an amazing home lab while at the same time supporting Chicago’s own Beulah Shoesmith Elementary’s after-school technology program by participating in the VMUG Cares Charity Raffle! The more raffle tickets that you have the greater the odds are that you will win one or more of these fabulous prizes:

  • Home Lab (Includes 2 servers, 4 memory upgrades, 4 SSDs, 2 Ethernet adapters, 2 power strips, 1 VMUG Advantage subscription)
  • Dremel 3D Printer + Filament
  • Playstation 4 Console- Batman Arkham Knight Bundle
  • And more!

In the end the real winners of the raffle will be the children who attend the Beulah Shoesmith Elementary’s after-school technology program, so be sure to participate in the raffle to help a future VMUG member get the solid start that they deserve!

Register today to attend in September!

There you have it! A full Community Track, great speakers, and plenty of chances to win cool prizes! Register now to attend the Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon on September 23rd at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, and start earning points with the #ChicagoVMUG Game to win prizes! Plus you can help a great cause by participating in the VMUG Cares Charity Raffle! This UserCon is going to rock!

We’ll see you in September!

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Our 2015 Chicago VMUG UserCon Keynote Speaker–Stephen Foskett!

If you keep up-to-date with the latest news in IT you probably already know and have read some of Stephen Foskett’s work. A self-described pack rat, Mr. Foskett is a leading contributor to several industry publications, and he speaks regularly at various trade shows and industry events. This year the Chicago VMUG team is happy to welcome Stephen Foskett to be our 2015 Chicago VMUG UserCon keynote speaker!

Don’t Miss Stephen Foskett’s Keynote Address “Gestalt IT – Why It’s Time to Stop Thinking In Terms of Silos”

Here is the abstract from the 2015 Chicago VMUG UserCon agenda:

Enterprise IT has always been a study in silos: Specialists in networking, computing, storage, and more spend all their time and energy in their own little world. But IT is converging, and it’s time for us all to see that the whole is not just greater than the sum of the parts, it’s all that matters. Converged computing, hyperscale, and software-defined everything are showing that these technologies aren’t all that different after all, and DevOps threatens to bring applications into the fold too. After two decades in IT, Stephen Foskett considers the changes that have happened and what lies ahead for IT.

This is sure to be a great keynote session, and we are working hard to make sure that every session on this year’s agenda provides outstanding value to each of our UserCon attendees!

Check out the 2015 Chicago VMUG UserCon agenda!

You can go to the official VMUG web site for this year’s full agenda and start planning your UserCon experience today! There are several great tracks to choose from, a plethora of top notch partners to meet with, and plenty of opportunities to network with other VMUG members and IT professionals!

There are even more announcements coming, so be sure to follow us on Twitter @ChicagoVMUG and to watch for more blog posts every week as we draw closer to the event!

Register for the 2015 Chicago VMUG UserCon today!

You don’t want to miss out on what is sure to be a day packed with great information, helpful tech tips, and a chance to learn about the latest virtualization technologies. It all takes place this September, 23rd at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL at the 2015 Chicago VMUG UserCon. Plus registration to attend the 2015 Chicago VMUG UserCon is completely free! Why wait? Register now and ensure your spot at this year’s UserCon!

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We’re Looking for Community Track Sessions!

The Chicago VMUG leadership is busy working with members of the VMUG Headquarters to make this year’s Chicago VMUG UserCon the biggest and best event that we have ever had. In order to have a truly exceptional event though we need your help. Not only do we need you to register and attend this year’s UserCon, but we need you to be a part of the event and to present your story during a community track session!

What is a community track session?

A community track session is very similar to other sessions. A community track session is 40 minutes long, AV gear is provided for the presentation, and the session is held in a private breakout room. The main difference between a community track session and other sessions is that community track sessions are created and delivered by members of the VMUG community and not sponsors. Community sessions give us a chance to see things from the customer and end-user’s points of view, and that is what makes them so unique.

Should I submit an idea for a community track session?

The short answer is YES! If you still are uncertain though, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What products have you found particularly useful in your work?
  • Do you have a success story about a product? Describe the process which led to your success.
  • Do you have a best use case for any particular products? If so, please share.
  • What new products have you recently deployed and what has been the impact on your organization?
  • What tips and tricks do you have for planning for the future in an ever-changing industry?

If any of those questions inspired a response from you, then chances are you have the makings for a great community track session! All you need to do now is create a title for your community track session and write up a one paragraph abstract that describes the content of your presentation to submit for consideration to info@chicagovmug.com.

There are only five community track session slots, so please submit your community track session ideas as soon as possible.

Submit your community track session proposals today!

We need to finalize the Chicago VMUG UserCon schedule for 2015 soon, so do not hesitate if you want to be a part of the community track session experience. Send your ideas to us at info@chicagovmug.com now, and don’t forget to register for the 2015 Chicago VMUG UserCon today as well! It is going to be a fantastic event!

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Save the Date! The Chicago VMUG UserCon is September 23rd!

We are happy to announce that the Chicago VMUG UserCon will take place from 8:00am to 5:00pm on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center located in Rosemont, IL. You can view the event’s current agenda, as well as register to attend the event now for free!


What is the UserCon?

A VMUG User Conference, or UserCon for short, is an all day conference event organized by VMware User Groups for IT professionals. We bring together experts from VMware, the partner community, and VMware customers to provide attendees the opportunity to learn about new technologies, keep up to date on best practices, and to share useful knowledge with each other.

Closely following this year’s VMworld 2015 US event the Chicago VMUG UserCon is a great option for those who are not able to attend VMworld this year, but who still want to maintain their VMware skills and knowledge. With multiple sessions from both VMware staff and partners you are sure to find many topics of interest to you. Below are just some of the partners that will be participating in this year’s UserCon event:

Program Sponsor



Platinum Sponsors


Interested in presenting at the UserCon?

What makes a UserCon such a unique event is that it is 100% user driven. That is why the Chicago VMUG UserCon has dedicated room for a community track! We want our users, partners and friends at VMware to hear what you have to say about your current IT projects and initiatives. If you are interested in presenting at this year’s UserCon email the Chicago VMUG Leadership your topic choice and a brief presentation description to the following address:


Community track presentation slots are limited, so please send us your topics ASAP to ensure that the selected presentations are included in the final agenda for the event.


Don’t delay! Register NOW!

We will send future announcements regarding keynote speakers, agenda items, and chances to earn prizes at this year’s Chicago VMUG UserCon event, but don’t wait until the last minute to register for this value filled day of presentations, professional networking, and fun! Go to the Chicago VMUG UserCon registration site today and register now for free!

Remember to keep up to date with the latest Chicago VMUG news by joining our LinkedIn Group, following us @ChicagoVMUG on Twitter, and by subscribing to our blog! We’ll see you in September for the Chicago VMUG UserCon!

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June 2015 VMUG Meeting & Movie Event

Do you like virtual machines? Do you like virtual dinosaurs? Well we are bringing virtual machines and virtual dinosaurs together like peanut butter and chocolate, and you are invited to join in this epic experiment at the next Chicago VMUG event on June 16th!

Come join us in the morning to hear from our event sponsors Ravello Systems and Nutanix. Ravello Systems will conduct a hands on lab to build a complete vSphere 5.5/6.0 environment on AWS and Google Cloud, and will be giving away a fancy adult size Razor Scooter to one lucky winner. Then Nutanix will share strategies to put your datacenter on the fast track to fitness in 2015, and you can register to win one pair of Custom Nike’s valued at $150.

Then in the afternoon join us for a private screening of Jurassic World!  It only took 20+ years after the first film for the theme park to open, and now we will learn if they finally moved away from that buggy Unix mainframe to vSphere. Not only will we show you the film, but we will even provide the popcorn! Be sure to register for this event early though as seating is limited. See below for location and event details.

Virtual machines, virtual dinosaurs, and real popcorn! All brought to you by our sponsors Ravello Systems, Nutanix, and the Chicago VMUG team. See you in June!


Be Sure To Register!





June 16th, 2015

10:00am – 10:15am – Registration

10:15am – 11:00am – Build multi host ESXi lab environments on AWS and Google Cloud – Ravello Systems

11:00am – 11:30am – vSphere 6 Overview – Randy Chertkow

11:30am – 12:00pm – vSphere 6 Upgrade Tips and Tricks – Geoff Wilmington

12:00pm – 12:30pm – Lunch

12:30pm – 1:15pm – Shape Up Your Datacenter – Nutanix

1:15pm – 1:30pm – Giveaways

1:30pm – Movie: Jurassic World


Studio Movie Grill
301 Rice Lake Square
Wheaton, IL 60189-2194

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2014 Wrap Up

2014 was a great year for the Chicago chapter of the the VMware Users Group.  The group signed up the most new members in the “Celebrate Your Year” contest from VMUG, and we had a great turnout for our Conference in September.  We gave away tons of books, shirts, coffee mugs and of course the second annual home lab giveaway.

The last meeting of the year was downtown and we got some great participation from the attendees, thanks in no small part to the presenters and sponsors who spurred the conversations.

A very Special thanks to our sponsors Bluelock and Simplivity for sponsoring this meeting.





Simplivity gave us a great presentation on Hyper-Converged datacenters, and it seems like there were a lot of interested attendees listening in on this based on the questions that were asked.  JP Doolin got to demo the solution and show how easy it is to deploy, manage and scale a Hyper-Convered solution like Simplivity’s OmniCubes.



The second Sponsor was Bluelock who we’ve been trying to get a session with for some time, but things just never worked out.  They gave an amazing presentation and audience participation was mandatory.  They gave a very compelling argument about why disaster recovery was important (yeah, we shouldn’t have to make that argument, but we do sometimes) and they had some datacenter disaster cards similar to “Cards Against Humanity”.



One of our user sessions was presented by Geoff Wilmington about their Server migrations.  This was a nice look at a common problem that administrators face and some of the little “gotchas” that we run into.  This is exactly the type of session we’d love to get from our members.  Remember we’re all peers and have similar problems.  No one is at the meeting to judge, just to share ideas and problems.  Thank you to Geoff for volunteering to share his experiences with us.



Next year there will be some changes coming to the local chapter, but we hope to make some additional improvements and have a great 2015.  Thanks for making it a great year!  See you at the 1st Quarter meeting out in the burbs!

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