On Tuesday night we hosted a Virtualization Roundtable at PLUG North meeting. To be honest, it started out as a bit of a filler event because we didn’t have a speaker, but upon mentioning the possibility the response I got was very positive. I started planning the event last month, gathered a few experts who I communicated with via email prior to the event to plan the basics and bounce questions off each other. Lee Marzke, our VMWare expert, was particularly helpful with planning, deploying a shared plone site for us to post our screenshots and notes on. Thanks Lee!
The announcement outlines the basics the event. Aside from experts on VMWare, Xen and VirtualBox, the plan was to have a guided discussion on virtualization basics, the benefits, challenges and downfalls of implementations with frequent breaks for general Q&A about virtualization.
The result? Success! Not only did we have a very impressive turn out of 25 people (our standard meeting for that PLUG chapter is about 10, our biggest meeting until Tuesday night was 14), the discussion was very lively and engaging and I’ve received several positive emails post-event saying that it was enjoyable and they intend to attend talks in the future.
Here are my notes from the event, for my own reference and in case someone else wants to run something similar:
- 1 hour is not nearly enough. We nudged past the 1.5 hour mark and it still was a bit rushed in places and didn’t cover everything I wanted to cover. Next time shoot for 2 hours and make sure the moderator is able to keep things on track.
- Even though it’s a discussion, we did have a structure:
- Introduction to virtualization, general questions, what are people attending interested in?
- Introduction to VMWare, Xen and VirtualBox, demos and questions
- General discussion – success stories, failures, standard dos and don’ts
Finally, a huge thanks to CoreDial for being such a great host (for a year now!), and this time a specific Thank You toKevin McAllister who took over being the CoreDial employee host this month from Danita Fries. He spent lots of time and effort finding and bringing in chairs for all the people who ended up showing up and squeezing into the conference room. Thanks Kevin! And thanks to everyone who attended and participated.