Virtualisation Smackdown next Wed 26 August


I’m pretty excited, I gotta say, about this month’s Sydney Business & Technology User Group meeting – we’re having a Virtualisation Smackdown! It’s this coming Wednesday, starting at 6pm.

Here’s the details: SBTUG - High level clarity

  • Date: Wed 26 August 2009
  • Time: 6pm – 9pm
  • Location: Microsoft, North Ryde (map)
  • Web:
  • Phone: 0413 489 388 (call me if you get there after 6pm and need to get it)
  • RSVP on Facebook (or email me)

Smackdown, Schhhmackdown!

What this means – for the smackdown uninitiated – is that we have a panel of speakers (6 in our case) each present on a different virtualisation product. We’ve got Citrix coming along, VMware, and Microsoft each presenting on a few of their products. The smackdown term came to be used because… well, actually I’m really sure why it is used – it just sounds good I guess…

I think the concept is along the lines of them going ‘head-to-head’ in a contest to demonstrate the ultimate virtualisation champion! Or some such.

Who’s the night for?

Virtualisation is a big field, and there are literally hundreds of offerings out there. We can’t possibly cover it all. So, instead we are focussing on the big 3 vendors, with the aim of providing an understanding of what virtualisation is, and the benefits. Plus a chance to understand what each of the main players offer.

Citrix VMware Microsoft

We’ll be covering developer, IT Pro and business owner scenarios, and as per the SBTUG matra, our aim is to provide ‘high level clarity’. You may not come out with a technical understanding of how to configure a loopback network adapter on your chosen platform – but you will understand which platform to look at if you need to say run 64 bit programs in a virtualised environment as a developer (<- that’s just one example).


We’ve been very lucky with our speaker line-up (and a big thank you to Kathy Hughes for organizing this). Here’s who’s going to be ‘on stage’:

  • Kathy Hughes – Microsoft SharePoint MVP – covering an overview of virtualisation, plus the developer scenario
  • Steven Gross – VMware Asia-Pacific Product Manager – presenting on VMware ESX Server
  • Dino Soepono – Citrix – presenting on XenServer
  • Scott Lindsay – Citrix – presenting on XenServer with Dino
  • Jeff Alexander – Microsoft IT Pro Evangelist – presenting on the Microsoft Strategy and Hyper-V
  • Nick Rayner – Windows User Group Leader – presenting on Virtual PC and Virtual Server

I don’t have proper publicity photos of our presenters for the night, so the following ‘likeness’ will have to do:

This is not what the presenters look like

(Image source:

Actually, perhaps its more akin to a body building competition than wrestling. In my mind, it’s not so much about fighting each other, but rather presenting the muscles of your technology. I’ve asked the speakers to focus on demonstrating their strengths (as opposed to criticising their competition).

In fact, I’ll be asking the crowd to boo any speakers who take cheap shots at their rivals :-). This will be a no vendor bashing zone!

Format for the night

The format is pretty simple. Each presenter has 15 minutes to highlight the features and benefits of their product and outline the usual usage scenario (ie a desktop tool has different uses to a server product). Plus 5 minutes for questions. Given that we have an intro + 5 slots, I’ll be pretty strict with the time.

At the end of the night we’ll be having a 30 minute panel session with all speakers up the front, taking questions from the crowd. And of course feel free to hang around at the end, network, ask more questions of the speakers etc.

Here’s the agenda:

6:00pm : Welcome + News: Craig BaileyAre you a Virtual Geek - a Veek ?
6:15pm : Introduction to Virtualisation: Kathy Hughes
6:30pm : Virtualization for Developers with VMware Workstation: Kathy Hughes
6:50pm : VMware ESX Server: Steven Gross from VMware
7:10pm : Hyper-V + Microsoft strategy : Jeff Alexander from Microsoft
7:30pm : Pizza
7:45pm : XenServer + Citrix strategy: Dino Soepono and Scott Lindsay from Citrix
8:05pm : Virtual PC + Virtual Server: Nick Rayner
8:30pm : Panel session – ask the panel any virtualisation questions
9:00pm : Finish

Plus we have some great prizes – including a special-edition VEEK T-Shirt (a big thank you to Jon Harsem for the design) for one lucky attendee. These shirts have been specially designed and printed just for the night!


I ask for a $5 donation from attendees to cover the cost of pizza. Donating is optional of course, but I’ve noticed that the people who do donate are far and away more attractive, of higher intelligence, and the most interesting to be around. I suspect it is a causal relationship…

See you there

It’s going to be a big night. Make sure you’re there. Either RSVP on our Facebook event page, or send me an email to let me know you’ll be there.

Please spread the word.

We start at 6pm sharp!

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By Craig Bailey