Thank You for Attending the Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon!

Last week on September 23rd the Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon took place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, and it was an outstanding event! With 1,029 registrations and 746 attendees there was no shortage of energetic and inquisitive IT professionals looking to acquire new skills, information, and insights with which to move their careers further ahead.

Without a doubt that is exactly what the UserCon delivered! Whether it was in the form of our keynote speakers, breakout sessions, onsite demonstrations, or a visit with our many key partners who sponsored the event you were sure to learn something new and gain interesting perspectives on virtualization technologies if you attended.

Plus at least 11 people joined the VMUG Advantage program while at the event, and we are happy to see more members of our community getting access to the EVALExperience as well as $600 of vCloud Air service credit for 1 year as part of their VMUG Advantage membership.

Best of all we raised $2,000 for Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School with our VMUG Cares Charity for a Home Lab Raffle! That money will be used to help lower income students acquire the education and STEM skills needed for the future.

What was it that made our UserCon event such a success? Was it the great Chicago themed menu that was served throughout the day? The bean bag toss game? The live band playing Chicago classics during the closing ceremony?

We know the answer: Our VMUG members and UserCon attendees made this UserCon event better than we had ever imagined it would be. So we thank you for being there to support the Chicago VMUG, and we look forward to delivering another outstanding UserCon again in 2016!

Presentations from this year’s UserCon are being made available online if you were not able to attend. If you did attend the Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon please take a moment to provide us with your feedback by completing this online survey.

So until next year, here are some photos from the UserCon. Enjoy!




Thank you to all of our Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon Sponsors!


Program Sponsor


Platinum Sponsors

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Gold Sponsors


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Silver Sponsors


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Participate in Our Raffle & Help a Student!

“We’re a school that hustles. We’re willing to do anything and everything for our students. We are not satisfied with being average.” says Ashley Keine.

Ashley is the one of the many talented faculty members teaching at Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School on Chicago’s south side, and when she speaks about Shoesmith her passion for the school and its students is undeniable. That is not surprising considering that Beulah is rated with a rank of 1 according to the Chicago Public Schools tier ranking system, but that was not always the case.

At one time Shoesmith had a rank of 3, which is the second worst tier there is, and it was only through the efforts of the school’s faculty, staff, community and students over the last seven years that Shoesmith was propelled from a school that was in danger of being shutdown into a school worthy of praise. Part of the formula that made this possible was Shoesmith’s focus on developing a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program for its students.

When I spoke with Ashley she made it clear that when you are teaching students who come form areas of high poverty that you need to teach skills that will provide real opportunities for the future. Careers in STEM offer such opportunities, and Shoesmith’s STEM program is leading the way. Other CPS school’s teachers are being trained by educators like Ashley who has an M.A. in Educational Technology. Teachers like Ashley do not just use technology in the classroom to make simple tasks easier. Ashley and her peers are leveraging technology to its fullest so that Shoesmith’s students understand how technology can be used to solve problems.


Which is why the Chicago VMUG is proud to support Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School with the VMUG Cares Charity Raffle!

Many IT professionals discovered a passion for technology when we were children. The Chicago VMUG team wants to inspire the next generation of IT pros, and that is why all proceeds from our VMUG Cares Charity for a Home Lab Raffle event will benefit Chicago’s Shoesmith Elementary School’s technology curriculum.

Raffle ticket prices are $3 a ticket, or you can buy 5 tickets and get one ticket for free. The raffle ticket sales will be open from 9:20 am until 3:20 pm on September 23rd, during the UserCon event. You must be present during the closing session to win.


And what might you win?

Here is the current list of the raffle prizes:

Home Lab Value: $3,206

Includes: 2 servers, 4 memory upgrades, 4 SSDs, 2 power strips, 1 VMUG Advantage subscription (including EVALExperience)

Weekend Getaway Value: $785

Includes: $300, $300 Southwest Airlines, VMUG carry-on luggage, $50 Starbucks


GoPro Hero 4 Music Bundle Value: $499


Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Power Edition Quadricopter Value: $412

3D Printer + Filament Value: $360

Chicago- Made Gift Basket Value: $250

Includes: Koval spirits, Garrett’s popcorn and more


ThinkGeek Gift Card Value: $200

Loot Crate Subscription Value: $216


Chicago Bears tickets Value: $214

Details: Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, Chicago, IL Sun, 12/13/2015, 12:00 p.m. CDT (Event time subject to change – Check local listings) Grandstand 446 | 2 tickets | Row 31 | Seats will be together


VMware Press- Book bundle Value and details TBD


With so many great prizes you do not want to miss out on this fun way to help support Shoesmith Elementary School continue its mission of exposing its students to a world of opportunities through technology!


Register now to attend the Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon event!

You can contact Shoesmith Elementary School directly or follow Shoesmith’s Facebook page if you would like to learn more about their programs and how you can help. If you wish to participate in our VMUG Cares Charity Raffle for a Home Lab though there is only one way to do so: Register now to attend the Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon event! Not only will you get to participate in the raffle but you will have a chance to meet with our many partners, attend several great sessions, and network with other IT professionals while supporting a great cause through the charity raffle.

Registration is free, and once you are on site you can purchase raffle tickets at the event which will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on September, 23rd. The Chicago VMUG team is looking forward to meeting as many of the UserCon attendees as possible, and to helping a great school with its continuing pursuit of a great cause! Don’t delay! Register to attend now and we’ll see you on September 23rd!

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Goodbye VMworld, Hello Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon!

Yesterday VMworld 2015 ended and as always it was a great event. There was lots of exciting technology on site to learn about, and plenty of top notch IT professionals present to help explain how the latest innovations from both VMware and its partners could benefit organizations of all sizes.

Plus where else do you get to take a picture with Chris Wahl and his DeLorean time machine?


The DeLorean time machine is real, but I might have been fooled by @2dChrisWahl when this pic was taken. Not sure…

But what if you could not attend VMworld this year?

First of all, don’t panic! There will be a VMworld in Las Vegas in 2016. You have a whole year to plan for it, and it will be just as awesome as this year’s VMworld was (if not better).

Of course if you don’t want to wait for an entire year there is another option: Attend this year’s Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon!

A VMUG UserCon is a one day event packed full of sessions, partner booths, and personal networking opportunities that you normally would only find at VMworld. The Chicago VMUG UserCon is also one of the largest VMUG UserCon events there is, so it is like having a mini-VMworld in the Windy City!

But what if you did attend VMworld this year?

Then you already know that the Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon is going to be an amazing event! Which of course means that you want to attend it. Plus you also want to invite all of your friends who could not attend VMworld this year to come and experience the awesomeness of such an event! You rock!

Here is how you can be a part of the Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon!

All you need to do to attend the Chicago VMUG 2015 UserCon is to register online now and then show up at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL on September 23rd. Admission is free, and we’ll even provide lunch!

To make the most of the UserCon though you will want to check out the agenda and plan your day using the VMUG Mobile App. Use the application to choose the sessions that you wish to attend now before they fill up. You will also have access to the full list of attending partners and their booth locations which helps if you are doing research for your next big project. And if you want to have a little fun while at the UserCon be sure to participate in our #ChicagoVMUG Game which you play by using the VMUG Mobile App.

Register today!

All of the Chicago VMUG Leaders and the excellent staff at VMUG headquarters are working hard to make sure this UserCon is one of the best events of the year, so you do not want to miss it! Register online today, and get ready for a day of great sessions, speakers, and demonstrations!

We’ll see you at the UserCon on September 23rd!

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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

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 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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