VMware User Groups gathering steam

Quoting from Virtual Strategy Magazine:

This is the year for the North American VMware User Group (VMUG).

The first group met in Dallas in August, two more in Boston and Ottawa-Montreal have met in September, and over the next few weeks there are kickoff meetings in Calgary, Silver Spring MD, San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia and Kansas City, MO.

The groups are meant to share best practices and provide a forum for new ideas and product optimization. VMware contributes product information, news and technical input, as requested by each group. And sometimes, for the kickoff meetings, lunch!

Michael Williams of Occidental Petroleum and Percy Gonzales of Mary Kay started the first North American VMUG in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Williams is a senior systems engineer and has worked with VMware for more than four years, since the release of Workstation 2.0. Gonzales began working with VMware during four years at Microsoft as a Lab Manager and Test Engineer for ISA server MSMQ Embedded NT and IVR.

Their reasons for starting the DFWVMUG revolve around communication and collaboration. Williams, who recruited his friend Percy to work with him on the project, felt that getting big companies who are users of VMware to speak with a single voice could help get software vendors to support their applications running on virtual servers. Gonzales hopes to get more documentation for the many ways of using VMware, and to encourage collaboration among the VMUG network members.

Both Williams and Gonzales speak highly of VMware’s support of their group and its goals. “Their participation is going to be strictly whatever we want them to do. This isn’t going to be a marketing thing,” Williams says. They are both impressed with how VMware has provided resources, even at the developer level, to address their questions.

More VMUGs will be starting up. Look for groups in Atlanta, Denver and NY/NJ soon. VMware also wants to help groups start in the following areas:

Northern CA
NorthWest (WA, OR)
Ohio/Western PA
South (GA, AL, TN, AK, MS, LA)
MN/North Central

If you’d like to start a group in one of these areas, or in one not listed, visit www.vmware.com/vcommunity/usergroups for more information.

And don’t forget to let Virtual Strategy Magazine know, so we can post your meeting on the site!