I like to be sure I have something to say, before I accept an offer to speak at a user group or conference. Just so happens that with all the innovation in CPUs and SSDs over the past year, I sure do! I love tinkering with hardware, and will of course be mixing it up with virtualization software tips and home lab ideas. For the first event coming up on February 17th event, I even plan to bring the first-in-world Xeon D-1541 system, weeks ahead of general availability.

What I enjoy the most about speaking is the audience interaction during Q&A. There's nothing like discussing ideas with fellow IT Pros, PC/Server enthusiasts, and developers. That back-and-forth dialogue is always a joy. Any speaking opportunity is quite the honor, and a nice chance to give back to the community.

Suddenly, in the last few weeks, all these opportunies were offered. Some are in New England, some are global/online and free. Why not join me? Registration links below.

1H2016 Speaking Schedule

1) My 5 Year Ultimate Home Server quest, featuring Core i7 vZilla and those mini-tower Xeon D-1540 SuperServers


Date: February 17, 2016
Duration: 1 hour
Audience: IT Pro User Group
Location: MTTI – Seekonk
1241 Fall River Avenue (Rt. 6)
Seekonk, MA 02771

Event completed, with one guy driving over an hour just so see the new Intel Xeon D. A lot of great questions. Copy of the presentation here.

2) Windows and NVMe – on air discussion with Dan Stolts of Microsoft/ITProGuru.com


Date: February 18, 2016
Duration: 30 minutes
Audience: Global - free, on Channel 9
Location: recorded privately via Skype

Event completed, watch the video at:

3) Intel Xeon D-1541 Supermicro SuperServer demo/presentation in the Exhibit Hall


Date: March 1, 2016
Duration: 15 minutes
Audience: VMUG Hartford Connecticut UserCon - free
Location: Connecticut Convention Center
100 Columbus Boulevard
Hartford, CT 06103

Event completed! The was no slide-deck, just a brief talk with some live demo and Q&A, with followed-up provided in this article:

4) Building The “World’s Fastest” Kick Ass Home Lab


Date: March 31, 2016
Duration: 45 minutes
Audience: Global - free registration
Location: Home Studio - Webcam Conference

Trond Haavarstein's signature xenappblog.com virtual expo events are well attended, with hundreds last year I hear. This should be quite fun for all of us, geeking out together the entire day!

Event completed, copy of the presentation here.

5) Creating the Ultimate Home Lab Server


Date: May 28, 2016
Duration: 40 minutes
Audience: Experts 2 Experts Virtualization Conference
Location: The Mirage
3400 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109

6) Home lab demonstration of the Xeon D System on a Chip, great for pen testing, and for leaving VMs up 24x7


Date: June 08, 2016 6:30pm
Duration: 60 minutes
Audience: Amherst Security Group (AmherstSec) members - free
Location: Paragus Strategic IT
112 Russell St
Hadley, MA 01035

Event completed, copy of the presentation here.


Paul Braren will demonstrate just how capable the new Intel Xeon D-1500 SoC (System on a Chip) really is, powering the first mini-tower on the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide, and he’ll have one with him! A commitment to power, efficiency, and capability is evident in this design that features up to 128GB of RAM, 2x1GbE and 2x10GbE networking, 6 SATA3 drive bays, and 2 of the world’s fastest consumer M.2/PCIe NVMe SSD drives. Use cases roll-your-own OpenVPN, Linux (RHEL, SuSE, etc.), Hyper-converged Nutanix CE (Acropolis), FreeNAS, Citrix XenServer, Windows Server 2012 R2/2016/Hyper-V, VMware ESXi 6.0, and a novel, TinkerTry-exclusive vSphere 6 SuperServer Workstation all-in-one featuring a vSphere 6 datacenter and a Windows 10 VM with 3 4K outputs.

Paul is an IT Professional with a background in x86 servers, currently working at IBM as a Storage Technical Advisor. He’s also a VMware VCP and vExpert, Veeam Vanguard, and Founder of TinkerTry.com, “Efficient virtualization, storage, backup, and more.”


7) Intel Xeon D-1541 Supermicro SuperServer demonstration/presentation


Date: June 9, 2016 7:00pm - 7:45pm
Duration: 45 minutes
Audience: Virtualization Group Boston members - free
Location: Microsoft NERD, Cambridge, MA

Event completed, copy of the presentation here.


For this technical presentation and live demonstration, Paul will bringing his compact SuperServer with him! You’ll see just how capable the new Intel Xeon D-1500 really is, powering this highly compatible mini-tower with a high “family acceptance factor.” A commitment to power, efficiency, and capability is evident in this latest SoC design that features up to 128GB of RAM, 2x1GbE and 2x10GbE networking, IMPI/iKVM remote console, 6 SATA3 drive bays, and 2 of the world’s fastest consumer M.2/PCIe NVMe SSD drives.

These are big step up from the popular Intel NUC: similar efficiency, with way more capability. Actual use-cases include Windows Server 2012 R2/2016/Hyper-V, Windows 10, VMware ESXi 6.0, Linux, Citrix XenServer, Nutanix CE, FreeNAS, and even a datacenter/workstation all-in-one.

Paul’s efforts to get fast, stable, and simple solutions readily available and fully documented and tested will be evident, featuring Amazing (8 core), Insane (12 core), and Ludicrous (16 core) variants that folks can buy from an authorized reseller, or create for themselves.


8) The STH Inaugural Meetup

I have another event that I just confirmed I'll be able to enjoy. Figured I'd share the details, just in case you're in the area and can join us. The more attendees the merrier!

The STH Inaugural Meetup


Date: April 2, 2016
Duration: 3 hours
Audience: Local - join us, with free registration!
Location: Hacker Dojo
599 Fairchild Dr
Mountain View, CA 95054

I'll be attending this casual first-ever ServeTheHome event as a PC enthusiast with an interest in hardware, and to meet new people. A great chance to finally meet the amazing Patrick Kennedy, who I've referenced in many of my posts.

Mar 31 2016 Update - Turns out I got diagnosed with a definitive case of the flu, so no airplane travel for me. Had no choice but to cancel the trip. Looking forward to another chance someday though!

Read Patrick's latest update:

8) IT Career Discussion at "Mobile Apps for Hartford" at Trinity College


Date: Aug 11, 2016
Duration: 60 minutes
Audience: High School Students participating in a summer class
Location: Trinity College
300 Summit St.
Hartford, CT 06106

9) VMworld 2016 - VMvillage Social and Community - Demonstration


Date: Aug 31, 2016
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes
Audience: Hundreds of people who came by to see this cluster
Location: Mandalay Bay Convention Center
3950 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89119

10) Hartford CUGC Meeting


Date: Sep 15, 2016
Duration: 45 minutes
Audience: Members
Location: Wood n Tap
99 Sisson Avenue
Hartford, CT 06109

11) Home Server Show Meetup 2016 (6th Annual)


Date: Sep 17, 2016 8am-5pm
Duration: NA (informal display throughout the day)
Audience: Attendees who pre-registered and HSS Patreons
Location: Microsoft Corporation
8900 Keystone Crossing
Indianpolis, IN 46240

12) Champlain Valley VMUG - Vermont


Date: Oct 11, 2016
Duration: 60 minutes
Audience: VMUG Members/Attendees
Location: The Essex Resort & Spa
70 Essex Way
Essex (Burlington), VT 05452

13) Orlando VMUG UserCon - Florida


Date: Nov 02, 2016
Duration: 60 minutes
Audience: VMUG Members/Attendees
Location: Hyatt Regency Orlando
9801 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819

14) Minneapolis VMUG - Minnesota


Date: Dec 09, 2016
Duration: 60 minutes
Audience: VMUG Members/Attendees
Location: TBD

See also at TinkerTry

All my other presentations and podcasts.