It is the start of 2011 and I hope everyone has not broken their New Year’s Resolutions already. To start the year off, I would like to encourage and or challenge you to become a part of your local VMware User Group or VMUG as we like to call it.  Last year I did a post on My Experience with VMUGs and I am a full supporter of this program and the good it can bring.  Although I have a bias for the VMUGS over other types of user groups, the concept of people helping people rates high in my book and I would like to challenge you all to get involved.

If you are looking for a user group in your area you can search for one on the Find a Local VMUG.  If you live in an area that does not have a local VMUG then I encourage you to consider starting one.  I have been a part of the creation of three different user groups in Florida and can help you get in touch of the right people.  Please reach out and attend a local meeting and if you have any trouble at all getting any information you need, please let me know and I am sure I can get you pointing in the right direction.

The VMware User Groups have gone through some amazing growth during the last couple of years.  They have gotten so big and organized now that a VMUG Board of Directors has been established and I continue to expect great things from this program going forward.

A news letter went out in March of last year from Kathi Kaplan, who is the VP of Global Programs that highlights the growth and benefits of the VMUG’s.  Here are a couple of highlights from the email that are worth sharing.

  • Since the creation of the VMware User Group Program (VMUG) in 2004, we now have 140 chapters and over 30,000 members that span 32 countries.
  • As a VMware User Group Member, the new independent VMUG will enable you to:
  • Tap into new VMUG member benefits and programs, such as Special Interest Groups, webinars, and VMware technical education offerings
  • Increase your value to your organization by becoming the recognized VMware subject matter expert through knowledge and contacts gained through VMUG
  • Become part of a global, collective customer voice, impacting VMware products/services
  • One of the most exciting aspects of an independent VMUG organization is that VMUG will be led by VMware customers—your peers.

Also, I wanted to share with you the link to a video of CMO Rick Jackson & VMUG Board President Mariano Maluf

If you are still wondering why you should get involved with the User Groups?  I would like you to consider this.  Your local User Group is a great place to network with people with the same passion for virtualization that you have.  This gives you local resources that bounce ideas off of and to see what others are doing or have done to create and maintain their environments.  One example of the power of your peers might be something like this.

You are looking to upgrade you environment from VMware ESX 3.x to VMware vSphere and someone in your local area has already gone through this process.  What a great resource to see what worked well and what did not go well during the process.  How prepared can you be with your own upgrade when you can learn from others?  What about if you are doing a VDI and SRM deployment and you can learn from others what it takes for a successful deployment?  The point is having local resources that you can share and learn from if one of the biggest reasons to get involved.  We all have something to offer and something that we can learn from each other.  I have always been a firm believer in the power of your peers and by really networking your local area you can learn tips and tricks from others but also if it is time for you to take a move and seek out a new position you now have the inside track to find out how in your area might be looking to higher.  They say it is not what you know but who you know and networking is the key to that.

I have a couple of links, to share, for information on other User Groups you might also find interesting.

Citrix User Groups  Microsoft User Groups Linux User Groups

Are you up to the challenge to get involved with a VMUG?  I hope you accept this challenge and if you have any difficulty getting in touch with the right people I am more than happy to help.

Let’s start the New Year off right!!

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Steve Beaver (152 Posts)

Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.

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