Life could get boring – not anymore – OpenTechCast is here

It’s true what they say about trying something new and breaking down your personal barriers but it’s only once in a blue moon that a group of passionate community folk come together and decide to go it alone and launch their own podcast.

So welcome to the birth of a new, exciting and hopefully invigorating podcast….DRUM ROLL please…

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HISTORY

This was a spur of the moment decision based on conversation we had briefly about starting something new over Twitter. What was an idea quickly turned into a full blown production and was full steam ahead. We all have our favourite podcasts and many of us listen to around 10-20 of these on a regular basis but we wanted to draw appeal by trying something a bit different.

At one of the recent London VMUG events we had a great presentation by Alex Galbraith on the OpenHomeLab project. This created a lot of interest in the UK group and had impressive attendance. We wanted to take this a step further and start a podcast talking about various lab concepts but also merging in content about business and I.T challenges, hot news and also technology that we saw as disruptive and needed further investigation and conversation. This formed our template for the show.

 

WHO ARE WE

The 4 hosts are Me, Alex Galbraith, Gareth Edwards and Kev Johnson – A fine entourage of devout technologists seeking the truth, interpretations and misconceptions around I.T., Business and the next wave of computing all coupled with some quintessential British humour to add to the spice of the show.

 

FIND US HERE

Please download the 1st episode on iTunes or Stitcher or listen on the web – Link

Please feel free to follow us individually or at our podcast Twitter account here

Thanks to the efforts of both Kev and Gareth, we’ve managed to get a logo, website and agenda organised and both Alex and I will be in full swing now that we are back from our holidays.

This show is going to get refined and bring more content and palatable conversation to you as the year progresses so subscribe now and give us feedback at our Twitter account.

If you’d like to be a guest and talk about a particular topic that keeps you awake at night feel free to drop us a line.

Over and out…

VMworld 2016 – Who’s going to be tomorrow ?

CaptureJust to think that it’s that time of year again when tech officianados from around the world descend upon the hallowed grounds of VMworld 2016 in search of the unicorn, the golden tip or even the life changing keynote that will allow them to be inspired when they return home.

You’ve all read the headlines and no doubt many are dubious of what going back to Vegas will be like after the joys of the Moscone but no doubt it will still be an impressive conference in the US and in Europe. It’s what YOU make of it and how YOU make the most of your time that will set you apart from the others that persist in squeezing as many sessions as they can into 1 day.

All the events kick off from Monday 29th August in Vegas and for those waiting for the European event it’s all going to start from Monday 17th October in Barcelona. I want you all to make your time well spent no matter what as I have done in previous years and again will do so this year.

 

My Tips

 

  1. Wear comfy footwear – There’s a ton of walking to be done at both venues. Make sure you are well prepared and try and coordinate your activities so you arent forever bouncing from 1 end to the other.
  2. Stay hydrated – Make sure you don’t binge on alcohol every evening and carry a water bottle with you to ensure you stay awake, sane, and full of life during the few days whilst there.
  3. Be yourself – There’s a lot of pressure to try and be the one that is recognised by others at a strong influencer or a contributor so only do what you can. Not all of us are extroverts so if you find talking 1:1 instead of large group or vice-versa then stick to your guns. No doubt if you don’t stay hidden and you talk to others then you’ll be a name to be remembered.
  4. Be social – This isn’t just in person but more professionally. Use Twitter to voice your comments and use hashtags and be part of the fun.
  5. Meet at least 3 new people a day – It’s easier said than done but you’ll find that if you smile and introduce yourself to others (at after event, in the hangspace area, in sessions or in the solutions exchange) you’ll feel so much better for branching your network. Don’t be afraid to talk to familiar bloggers that you admire and also new and upcoming community folk.
  6. Try something new – Whether it’s entering a competition,talking to a CEO,partying like it’s 1995 or simply trying some new cuisine, make sure you do something new. Breaking out of our comfort zones is something techies hate to do but it can be rewarding once you try it.

 

SAY HELLO TO ME !! (Only in Barcelona)

 

I promise I won’t sell you all the solutions and products I have access to. Instead I’ll be wanting to branch out my own network and get to know people I have conversed with over Twitter and LinkedIn and also see how I can educate you and hopefully educate myself at the same time. I’d love to learn about your challenges and also see what’s working in your organisation and what’s not. Perhaps a short interview with you to go up on my blog would be beneficial to you and I.

Whatever the outcome, come say Hi as I have done with numerous folk over the last 4-5 years and stayed close friends ever since.

 

See you all in Barcelona !!

Cloudcamp (June 2016) – We’ve done cloud, what’s next ?

I finally made time to attend this event that has long been in my list of events to go to. If you haven’t heard of it before it’s a London based meetup chaired by Joe Baguley (VMware CTO) and Simon Wardley (Cloud computing officianado) revolving around all things cloud and future looking technology that will disrupt your way of thinking.

 

So what goes on at an event named after a fluffy white object inside a camp ?

Well……Simon opened the evening talking about the famous ‘Art of War’ referring to Chinese military strategist and how the Wardley mapping technique can be applied to companies and the way in which they operate – Link. It was an interesting conversation and very unlike the normal tech conferences that you’d normally attend such as VMUGs and other user groups. The focus was very much around tech, business and economics which opened my eyes to a different perspective on the inner workings of a business.

This led onto Lightning talks where various people had volunteered to talk about a topic that was close to their heart for a maximum of 5 mins. If you didn’t like any of the presenters you had the option to red card them but luckily all of them had some interesting stories to tell. A colleague of mine, Paul Mackay (VCE), talked about AI and how robots would come to dominate the future of technology. An interesting view of how we could be out of jobs in the future. Names such as IBM Watson and Deepblue featured. Some more reading for me I think….

 

This was followed by a Panel discussion compered by Joe Baguley and 1st time attendees were encouraged (forced !!) to come onto stage and take part including ME !!! Topics thrown out to us panelists ranged from serverless computing with its pros and cons along with how Enterprises adopt to cloud computing and what they fear the most.

Serverless computing, in particular AWS Lambda, was talked about and the audiences had varying views on how mature it is today. The key message here was that it was also referred to as ‘function-as-a-service‘, by the CTO of a startup specialising in cheaper mobile calls in foreign countries, and he explained how it was in use exclusively for many code functions for his company. The point here was that operationally it was very difficult to monitor and manage and when it breaks or doesn’t work how do you know who to blame be it the developer or AWS themselves. Of course the efficiencies gained here are that the costs are very low as billing is carried out based on the memory the code uses along with the execution time.

It was good talking about my opinions on how Enterprises are embracing cloud and relaying some of the fears that I see when talking to customers and reading articles on cloud consumption.

The evening culminated in an informal networking discussion with peers with some beer/pizza courtesy of the event sponsors on the night. A great way to talk to developers, CTO’s and other folk who may never get the chance to interact with in your day job.

Having the event start at 6.30pm means that most people can finish work and come along without sacrificing their day. A Plus point in my opinion !!

So would I attend again ?? OH YES. If I can make time to attend the next event I will be there for sure. Would love to see you too.

EMC Rapidfire – Bite sized EMC World

rapid_fire_by_lordhayabusa357-d717n9fComing to a UK City near you, watch out for this jam packed event in the month of June. Not all of us were blessed to attend EMC world earlier in May but fear not….this event is designed to give you the information you need to succeed in 2016 and deliver bite sized knowledge chunks in order for you to understand and apply the vision of EMC to your business.

These events will give you a flavour for all things concerning the Modern Data Center, I.T. Transformation and the importance of cloud computing. Armed with this knowledge is where you can make a real difference in contributing to your companies success.

These half day events are taking place all over the UK&I and I’d encourage you to sign up before places run out. Dates and Cities are summarised below.

 

8th June 2016 – Chelsea Football Club LONDON- Register HERE

14th June 2016 – EMC MANCHESTER – Register HERE

16th June 2016 – Printworks DUBLIN – Register HERE

21st June 2016 – The Library Society of Advocates ABERDEEN – Register HERE

23rd June 2016 – Sheraton Grand Hotel EDINBURGH – Register HERE

 

EMCWorld 2016 – It’s going to be epic…

Well what else can I say.

2016 is going to be of epic proportion at EMCWorld and a face meltingly awesome year to coin an illustrious leader you all know of – Hope you don’t mind Chad.

Personally it’s the year to think transformation and how you or your business can stay competitive and relevant and EMCWorld is the place where you will see conversations evolved from last year and new conversations around the art of possible and where the state of the industry is going.

Personally, I can’t wait to see all the content and follow the many ways of receiving the hot news as it is announced. Unfortunately for us Brits, this means most of the key announcements will be made on our special day off work but it won’t stop you from hearing the news via all sorts of media sources.

I’m super excited to be promoting a lot of content via Twitter and of course via this blog but there are multiple ways to stay up to date and receive information realtime.

Virtual EMCWorld is your way of having insight into the conference for those that cannot be in Vegas and will be broadcasting keynotes live as well as all the EMC TV content. Names like David Goulden, Joe Tucci, Michael Dell, Jeremy Burton, Chad Sakac and a host of leaders will all be featuring in keynotes that are going to WOW a lot of people.

You can also follow one of my favourite podcasts, The Source, for a daily summary as each day close.

The event starts with the Keynote on 2nd May 10:00 – 11:30 AM (UTC-8) Pacific Time (US & Canada) with some key announcements to be made on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 at the same time.

Oh and before I forget – Duran Duran will be one of the bands performing this year so for those of you who will be attending the evening festivities don’t forget to sing all those 80s classics.

Here’s some links to help you navigate what is sure to be an eye watering event and for the first time this year, for you millennials especially, you can also follow EMC on Snapchat for some great behind the scenes and exclusive footage.

ENJOY THE EVENT !!

 

Live streaming – emcworld.com/virtual

Snapchat – Follow emccorp

Twitter – Use #EMCWorld and follow @emcworld

 

 

 

 

 

vSphere Beta Program is open

VMware are excited to announce the upcoming VMware vSphere Beta Program. This program enables participants to help define the direction of the most widely adopted industry-leading virtualization platform. Folks who want to participate in the program can now indicate their interest by filling out this simple form. The vSphere team will grant access to the program to selected candidates in stages. This vSphere Beta Program leverages a private Beta community to download software and share information. VMware will provide discussion forums, webinars, and service requests to enable you to share your feedback with us.
You can expect to download, install, and test vSphere Beta software in your environment or get invited to try new features in a VMware hosted environment. All testing is free-form and we encourage you to use our software in ways that interest you. This will provide VMware with valuable insight into how you use vSphere in real-world conditions and with real-world test cases, enabling them to better align their product with your business needs.
Some of the many reasons to participate in this beta opportunity:
  • Receive early access to the vSphere Beta products
  • Interact with the vSphere Beta team consisting of Product Managers, Engineers, Technical Support, and Technical Writers
  • Provide direct input on product functionality, configurability, usability, and performance
  • Provide feedback influencing future products, training, documentation, and services
  • Collaborate with other participants, learn about their use cases, and share advice and learnings
Participants are expected to:
  • Online acceptance of the Master Software Beta Test Agreement will be required prior to visiting the Private Beta Community
  • Install beta software within 3 days of receiving access to the beta product
  • Provide feedback within the first 4 weeks of the beta program
  • Submit Support Requests for bugs, issues and feature requests
  • Complete surveys and beta test assignments
  • Participate in the private beta discussion forum and conference calls

Here is the link to signup – vSphere Beta Registration Form

Flash First – Could this really be the year ?

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Honestly, what do you all think ? I’m certain that the tipping point has been reached and the relative costs of flash media vs. spinning disk is now a compelling reason for all to consider flash for their primary storage.

Every year, vendors come out with their spin on what’s likely to be the hottest thing since sliced bread. Obviously, none of us are time travellers but there are many industry analysts (IDC, Gartner etc.) and also visionaries that try to set the pace of change in technology by thinking about the next big thing. Technology changes as quick as fashion does and we see shifts in perception every few months or even quicker but this has been brewing up for quite some time and I believe that we are going to see significant growth in All Flash this year. Watch this space…

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GSAP – The Final Frontier

A different type of post but one that deserves its own plaque on the mantelpiece due to its unique place on my career path. Time to write about the fantastic learning experience I had in the latter part of 2015. Nothing directly related to technology but more about how to be an effective pre-sales engineer and embrace new ways of introducing cutting edge solutions. GSAP is what I’m hear to rave about….

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