13 VMworld Scenes That Show How Hot The Cloud Is Right Now4:00 PM EST Thu. Sep. 05, 2013
The VMworld expo hall -- with its flashy demos, shouting barkers, prize giveaways, funny signage and jam-packed aisles -- never disappoints. Of course, walking around and seeing it all is a test of one's physical and mental endurance, but in return, conference attendees are rewarded with a glimpse of what's coming next in cloud computing and virtualization.
This year, many vendors came to VMworld armed with ample marketing budgets and a license to wow. You could just tell from looking at their booths that they meant business. CRN elbowed its way through the madness of the VMworld expo hall and here presents some of the most memorable scenes we saw along the way.
Remember that classic scene from the TV show "I Love Lucy" where Lucy and Ethel are working at the chocolate factory, trying to keep pace with the never-ending procession of candies?
VMware hired a Lucille Ball look-alike to walk around VMworld to make the point that IT admins these days are in Lucy's position, faced with nonstop demands from apps within their IT infrastructures. As it turns out, VMware's management tools have the automation to handle these demands -- which was great, since it gave Lucy time to pose for photos with conference attendees.
Rubber ducks are usually benign, sweet creatures -- but not this one. At Eaton's show floor space, this horned rubber duck was threatening to converge people's infrastructures -- which was a bit strange since combining servers, storage and networking in IT is supposed to be a good thing, right?
Service provider and VMware vCloud partner Bluelock was on hand to tout the growing popularity of its Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) and 5-Series Virtual Datacenters (VDC) offerings, the latter of which has seen revenue growth of 195 percent. That's an impressive sales pace, and this guy seemed to be trying to claw his way out of the ground to join the festivities.
One great thing about VMworld is that it's not always about work: Conference attendees had an opportunity to unwind in a fluorescent-lit game room with pool tables and ping-pong tables. Many conference attendees took advantage of the opportunity. Alas, Led Zeppelin posters and lava lamps were not part of the scene.
At VMware's show floor area, attendees lounged on cloudlike pillows and accessed data from the cloud as they waited for a technical session to get under way. Somewhere behind the scenes, VMware software was facilitating this flow of information to devices, most likely.
What would VMworld (or any tech conference) be without games? FalconStor had one of the best: Contestants were invited to snake their arms into a sleeve and grab bouncing ping-pong balls with one hand, while a timer ticked down, in return for prizes. It was a heck of a lot harder than it looks.
SolarWinds had an interesting take on IT management challenges in cloud environments, likening them to a horned, cartoon reptile creature that caused congestions and bottlenecks. This thing doesn't look like it's been vaccinated, either. The good news is, the frightening beast can be tamed as long as end-to-end virtualization management software is installed.
Everyone loves the game Tetris, right? So it made sense that cloud vendor Adaptive Computing's Tetris lamp giveaway managed to attract large, jostling throngs of show attendees.
Adaptive Computing was also showing off Moab, its OpenStack-based software that does "policy-based optimization" for cloud environments. Enterprises can use it to figure out how to get the most performance and efficiency from their OpenStack-based clouds.
Nutanix, a converged infrastructure startup, had an ample marketing budget and before an excited group of onlookers gave away an estimated $35,000 first edition comic book signed by the legendary artist Stan Lee. Nutanix also promised to "Liberate the datacenter from the tyranny of SANs," and that promise seemed to play well with conference attendees, too.
Splunk, which provides search and analysis of big data stores and had a successful IPO last year, was talking about its updated Splunk for VMware app, which keeps tabs on virtual and cloud environments to make sure they're running at peak efficiency.
Tintri had one of the best prizes on the VMworld show floor: A trip for two to Dublin, Ireland, home of the Guinness brewery, and the Book Of Kells, and a lot of other very cool, very old things.
Intel was at VMworld to talk about how great its latest processors are at running virtual workloads. To make its point, Intel set up a stunning pink-hued show floor space around the theme of "Smarter Computing".
Dell, which won a Best Of VMworld Finalist award for its storage and backup for virtual and cloud environments, had one of its staffers give a presentation from inside of a box. It worked, as show attendees gather around Dell's space trying to catch a glimpse of the proceedings.