My experience demoing Xeon D home lab and talking NVMe and vSAN with Supermicro at the recent NYC VMUG, thank you Ariel Sanchez, and welcome to VMware!

Trains and food La Bonne Soupe Thanks to the the extreme hospitality of NYC VMUG Leader Ariel, I was able to enjoy a wonderful dinner with a friend right in NYC, the night before last week's VMUG. Turns out that temperatures in mid 30s (Fahrenheit), coupled with 20-30 mph sustained winds makes…

Mar 29 2017

Another great Connecticut VMUG UserCon yesterday, with VMUG member presentation "The Ultimate Home Lab"

Yesterday was a blast for me, meeting so many IT Professionals who are also my neighbors. I even had a chance to get to catch up with these two inspiring key-noters: Gurusimran Khalsa, Senior Technical Marketing Manager at VMware, and blogger vbrowncoat.com, who I had briefly met before at The…

Mar 2 2016

Intel's first M.2 NVMe SSD might be available by late 2016, around the time Intel Micron 3D XPoint arrives

Let me start of by stating that this was just a Virtualization User Group - Boston meeting, not an official Intel PR-approved presentation. I'm simply sharing what I learned at this event, with 2016 shaping up to be an exciting year in storage tech. So glad I made the 100 mile drive up, to meet…

Feb 26 2016

My experience at the Boston VMUG USERCON Dec 8 2015, amazing speakers and 12 home lab giveaways!

Thanks to the VMUG organization, I was invited to join a dinner the night before the Boston VMUG with a whole bunch of folks just this once, including VMUG leader/powerhouse Steve Athanas. Boy does he know how to put on a show! I'm very grateful for this chance to hang out with the people that made…

Dec 9 2015

My first Providence VMUG, Nov 19 2015

The right half-of the room, note the many laptops for the Hands On Lab vSAN lab. I live half way between Boston and New York, about 2 hours to either, in central Connecticut, near Hartford. Been to VMUGs in all 3 cities, but somehow, never to the VMUG near Providence RI, only 1.5 hours of rural…

Nov 20 2015

The Reckoning 2015 - TinkerTry will be there!

Sep 23 Update - see also The Reckoning 2015 - My experience You may recall me announcing recently that I'm headed to VMworld soon: VMworld 2015 Schedule Builder is now available, featuring my first VMworld presentation, a live VVol demo! I'm also honored to be enjoying my 3rd trip to meet up…

Aug 15 2015

VMworld 2015, hands-off labs? All hands-on labs completely full in under 23 hours.

Log in to the Schedule Builder here! For those of you attending VMworld 2015 San Francisco, as of July 21st, you can now pre-register for the sessions you plan to attend. Well, some of the talks and presentations, but not the hands-on labs. Yeah, I guess those coveted spots are evaporating rather…

Jul 21 2015

VMworld 2015 Schedule Builder is now available, featuring my first VMworld presentation, a live VVol demo!

! For those of you attending VMworld 2015 San Francisco, as of July 21st, you can now pre-register for the sessions you plan to attend. Now that I've been asked to speak at VMworld this year, I've learned the importance of having session descriptions in on time. With pre-registration, folks can…

Jul 21 2015

Virtualization Technology User Group Summer Slam 2015 - learning, lobster, and fun

Hey all, for my third straight year, I'm headed up to Maine for the VTUG Summer Slam! Hope to see some of you there. Come on back and re-visit this page for stories from the event, along with some pictures, of course. Jul 16 2015 Update Related Tweets:…

Jul 15 2015

My experience at the Boston VMUG USERCON June 18 2015

Many folks in the New England / New York City area have met me these past few years, as I enjoy learning new things at various user groups for IT Professionals. I missed last year's Boston VMUG, but 2015 was bigger than what I recall from 2013, with many home lab give-aways and some friendly…

Jun 19 2015

TinkerTry at Connecticut VMUG USERCON doing a live virtualization lab demo

[pictures of the event now available below] It's an honor to have been invited to present at the Connecticut VMUG UserCon on May 21, 2015. What's extra nifty here is that participating at the demo zone at this UserCon also turned into an offer to record a 14 minute video that will soon be appearing…

May 20 2015

Think of VMUG USERCON as a VMUG meeting on steroids

A user group with hands-on demonstrations and exhibits, along with in-depth technical sessions. Sounds good to me! When I take the time, and expense, to travel, I tend to be much more fond of seeing techies actually do stuff when I arrive, rather than salesy slide deck presentations. See also: Top…

Jan 22 2015

How I landed on SiliconANGLE TV's theCUBE at VTUG Winter Warmer 2015 to talk about virtualization home labs and blogging

I've never been all that comfortable with public speaking. Which is why I try to face my fears and tackle user group presentations, podcast guesting, and Hangouts on Air somewhat regularly. I know I can teach a group of up to 10 IT Professionals comfortably, having done numerous VMware Jumpstarts…

Jan 16 2015

Connecticut VMUG User Conference May 13 2014 lures IT Pros with home virtualization lab give aways

Superguide: Home virtualization server enthusiasts’ colorful variety of ESXi whiteboxes There seems to be something about giving away a home lab system away that encourages a bit of extra participation and fun at virtualization user groups. A two node cluster, consisting of Core i5 systems…

May 14 2014

Presented at Security BSides Boston on May 10 2014, "Insecure about using public WiFi? Connect to your home's OpenVPN appliance, for free."

by Paul Braren, May 2013 by Paul Braren, May 2014 I'm fortunate enough to live only 2 hours away from the Microsoft NERD Center, founded in 2008. The employees there have long been open to a bit of fun, even on Father's Day, and open to a wide variety of free user group meetings for the IT…

May 10 2014

The Virtualization Technology Users Group Spring Ahead April 24 2014

All the details about this event right here, or register for free here. Very much looking forward to this trip up to Portsmouth New Hampshire, a seaside town I'm rather fond of. See also my post last year, Summer virtualization travels to Maine. Yep, it's time for a lobster roll at River…

Apr 22 2014

The Virtualization Technology User Group - 8th Annual Winter Warmer 2014 at Gillette Stadium, with >1,000 IT Pros!

A great collection of VTUG Winter Warmer 2014 Videos, thanks Chris Harney! It's cold. It's dark. It's foggy. It's winter, in New England. The perfect time to head on over to the Gillette Stadium to hang out with over a thousand other IT Professionals, and talk about virtualization! C'mon, let's…

Jan 22 2014

The Virtualization Technology Users Group Fall Forward 2013

Fall Forward 2013 Agenda & Breakout Sessions. Another wonderful event, thank you Chris Harney @csharney! See also Virtualization Technology User Group Summer Slam 2013. Met a lot of new folks, learned a lot in the breakout sessions, and enjoyed some beautiful autumn weather on the drive…

Oct 19 2013

Got to hear "Virtualization Security for the IT Guy/Gal" by Mike Foley at my local VMUG today

Today, those of us here in Southern New England owe a thank you to Kelser's Matthew Kozloski, who sponsored and ran this fun and educational Hartford VMUG Meeting. The unique outdoors setting made for a picturesque backdrop at the Northwest Park Picnic Pavilion. The opportunity to meet new folks…

Aug 13 2013

Virtualization Technology User Group Summer Slam 2013 in Brunswick Maine

Here's the fun email I received a while back YOU’RE INVITED: Summer Slam VTUG (aka NEVMUG) and Lobstah Bake! Hey All, I wanted to reach out to the VTUG community. As most of you know Summer Slam 2013 is fast approaching. It is a great event and in this day and age of training budgets being cut,…

Aug 1 2013

Enjoying the great outdoors, July 2013

Sometimes we all need to take a step back, and step outside, to properly enjoy the world around us. I had numerous professional and personal roadtrips and flights throughout July, and figured I'd take a moment to share some of the best of those little travel moments. The captions for each photo…

Jul 31 2013

Summer virtualization travels to Maine

A little summer fun, combined with some summer learning, and a bit of travel tech. Today, I traveled from Connecticut to Maine, for the free Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals, where I'll use my eSATAp cable to non-destructively install Hyper-V on my laptop Wednesday July 17th,…

Jul 16 2013

Presented at Security BSides Boston on May 18 2013, "Build Your Own VMWare ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V lab at Home, Using Affordable and Efficient Hardware"

To view the slide deck, the presentation itself, click here, or just view it below. Soon, there'll be video playback from the event as well, available here once published. Having never been to a security user group event before, I initially felt like a bit of an outsider, but felt very welcome in…

May 18 2013

Presented at Connecticut VMUG User Conference on May 14 2013, "Virtualization at home can be practical, affordable, and available, 24x7."

I'm very happy to have been given this chance to present publicly by Matthew Kozloski, so glad I met him! I find doing live demos fun, and the face-to-face questions and feedback extremely helpful. Here's my presentation summary: Paul Braren, Founder of the “TinkerTry IT @ home” blog at…

May 6 2013