NLVMUG UserCon 2019 Recap


The Dutch VMUG UserCon is known to be the most attended UserCon event globally. Runecast is sponsoring for the second consecutive year and it’s something I have been personally looking forward to a lot.

This is the third and final destination in my “VMUG World Tour” this month. After attending the German VMUG meeting in a beautiful Castle, taking the exhausting but rewarding trip Down Under to Sydney VMUG UserCon, I headed to Utrecht for the biggest and mightiest VMUG UserCon.

NLVMUG UserCon 2019

The Dutch UserCon is like a mini-VMworld. The number of sessions was staggering – there were time slots when they were 11 overlapping sessions. Regardless of the overlaps, there were so many participants that the sessions attendance was quite good. Runecast also had a quick lightning session, where I managed to show a glimpse of Runecast and its latest features, like the Automated VMware HCL.

Stanimir Markov presenting in NLVMUG UserCon 2019

The participants' line-up was star-studded with the likes of Kit Colbert, Duncan Epping, Frank Denneman, Niels Hagoort, Brad Tompkins, Johan van Amersfoort, Amy Lewis, Viktor van den Berg, Wouter Kursten, Mark Brookfield and Katarina Wagnerova… to name a few! Due to the high attendance, I spent most of the time at the Runecast booth, together with my Runecast colleagues.

I am really pleased with the conversations we had at the booth. I loved how switched on and knowledgeable this audience was. It was obvious that the attendees really wanted to take their time and understand things in-depth. The upcoming Automated VMware HCL functionality was a big attention grabber again – it really struck a chord with many VMware admins who experienced the pain of discovering incompatibilities, especially after an outage. There was a huge interest also around the latest Runecast vRO plugin, which includes the out-of-the-box remediation workflows. Even if you are not familiar with vRO, it is so easy to use the workflows to remediate security gaps in vSphere.

Runecast vRO plugin

You just start the main workflow, select the Runecast Analyzer instance and vCenter and choose the type of objects you want to remediate (VMs, hosts or port groups). Then vRO communicates with Runecast Analyzer to pull the latest security issues detected on the selected object type. Next, you just select objects and issues you want to remediate and the rest is done by vRO and Runecast. Beautiful!

It was evident how much time and pain this saves and it only encourages us to develop the auto-remediation workflows further and provide even more value.

Speaking of Security – the comprehensive PCI DSS Security Compliance checks of Runecast were quite popular with the audience. The case study from one of our renowned Dutch customers de Volksbank was an important testament to the value of Runecast Analyzer for any type of organization.

Many people we met were primarily running vSphere. Not many of them had NSX and vSAN in production, but quite a few were using Horizon. I was also pleased to demo and discuss the new Runecast Horizon integration with the VDI guru Johan van Amersfoort. VDI experts are familiar with the complexity of (or lack of) Horizon integration points so it is not surprising that the in-depth configuration analysis Runecast Analyzer performs on Horizon is quite unique.

We were truly excited to chat with some current and potential customers. The cherry on the cake was when one of our prospects came to tell me that they just made a purchase order of Runecast Analyzer licenses during the UserCon event!

VMUG events are a great way for us to meet our users and get valuable inputs. I appreciated catching up with always welcoming and friendly Brad Tompkins, the Executive Director of VMUG. I was happy to share some feedback with him, as well as a deck of our increasingly popular KB Hunt card game.

KB Hunt card game

Great speaking with Niels Hagoort as well, discussing his new VMware journey, potential upcoming books and of course the latest and greatest from Runecast.

It was awesome to see so many fellow citizens from the VMware R&D office in Sofia, Bulgaria and to have some discussions in my native language, especially with such a clever crowd.

We thoroughly enjoyed this event – fun venue, great attendance and many valuable conversations.

After all these events, I was looking forward to heading back home with a bag full of valuable insights and new ideas.

A huge thank you to the VMUG organization and everyone contributing to making these events happen!

 

Stan Markov

CEO