25 Somewhat Sinful Scenes From Interop Las Vegas

They don't call Las Vegas sin city for nothing, and Interop is no exception. Vendors and attendees pulled out all the stops to ensure a good time both on and off the show floor at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this week. Here are some somewhat and not so sinful things we found.

Actually, this is the exact opposite of sinful. WAN optimization vendor Packeteer had a gospel choir singing to the heavens at its booth on the show floor. We're not sure why they're singing, but the blue robes are likely a symbol of Packeteer's recent acquisition by application acceleration vendor BlueCoat.

Perhaps wired networks are for dinosaurs. Motorola took that quite literally at Interop, creating this prehistoric creature out of cables and wires to signal that it's time for the wireless big bang to wipe wires out of existence.

Security vendor Fusion-io revved into high gear at its afterhours Interop party, taking the Speed Racer theme to new levels. The night featured tricycle races and a live performance by the rock band Morningwood, but it was the suped-up Corvette on loan from Warner Bros. pictures to promote the upcoming Speed Racer film that took center stage.

Before the party, Fusion-io kept the speed theme running, daring attendees to take a gravity-defying spin on a bike that whips the rider upside-down. Here, daring audience members strap in and hold on for the ride. Fortunately for the daredevil pictured here the green on his face isn't from the nausea setting in.

Oh yeah, and Google was at Interop. Because, well, Google is everywhere. Right?

While it wasn't the Speed Racer car, Citrix had some races of its own at its booth, on a bit of a smaller scale.

It's not uncommon for Interop to feature a booth crawl, using beer to get folks over to the booths. Here, the sign advertising the crawl was itself crawling away. Perhaps it had a few too many.

A lot of vendors had young women on tap to entice attendees to their booths. Here, the girls representing D-Link pose for a photo with a happy attendee.

Bluecat also had scantily clad women on its booth, but it was this simulated golf game that brought out the competitive spirit.

And don't tell this to the guy on the last slide, but outside the A-10 Networks booth we found this slide promoting a service to improve your golf swing.

Like the Swingtoob.com ad on the last slide, Highly Reliable Systems got in on saying things "suck." In this instance, the storage vendor took a jab at tape. There are probably a few storage administrators out there who couldn't agree more.

While not necessarily an Alex Trebec doppelganger, Secure Computing rolled out this guy to host its own version of Jeopardy. One would assume the Final Jeopardy question had something to do with security.

A-Team beware! Barracuda Networks rolled out the anti-spam van in its quest to thwart the pesky mailbox flooders. Someone call Mr. T.

While not as menacing as the Barracuda van, NetOptics rolled out its cyber security Mini Cooper. A small, agile vehicle can defend the network in those hard to reach places.

And what would Vegas be without a little gambling? NetQoS kept attendees pockets filled with change with its booth-side slot machine.

Since a number of Interop attendees used off hours to party like rock stars, it was only fitting that Wasabi Systems had the Rock Star video game available to play and was also offering an X-Box 360 to one lucky wanna be rocker.

Lately, it seems vendors with video game systems are using the Wii to entice players. Anti-spam vendor MailFoundry took a different approach, offering this old-school console chock full of games from the days of yore.

But it wasn't all fun and games at the big show. Interop also had a lot of education and information from some of the industry's top names.

Here, C.K. Prahalad, distinguished professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, kicks Interop off with the first keynote highlighting information from his most recent book, The New Age Of Innovation, which offers business insight on how to partner with customers, optimize the supply chain and a host of other successful business tips. He detailed how to follow this new model for business and how to make it work.

Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the server and tools business at Microsoft, also took the stage, pulling back the curtain on System Center Operations Manager 2007 with Cross Platform Extensions, tools that enable management and monitoring of Linux and Unix servers and open source databases in a Microsoft Windows environment.

Cementing Cisco's vision of the new data center, dubbed Data Center 3.0, Jayshree Ullal, Cisco senior vice president of data center, switching and services talked about how the data center is changing and how sophisticated applications, like video, are helping fuel that change.

Citrix CEO and president Mark Templeton used his keynote as a call to arms, telling attendees to "take computing into their own hands" by restructuring their IT models to meet the demands of an increasingly service-oriented society. In his keynote presentation, Templeton told the crowd that the IT industry is challenged with serious problems. For one, the industry has been in a recession since 2001, and consequently has faced incremental growth rates of 3 to 4 percent, which comes as a stark contrast to the 25 percent growth the industry experienced in previous decades.

"Thinking differently and rethinking is not going to be enough, he said. "We're going to have to do something very different."

Following Templeton, Oracle senior vice president for application development Jesper Anderson took the stage to talk about how Oracle is readying for Web 2.0 to help it and its application retain a competitive edge. He said Oracle is looking beyond the database and hopes to create line-of-business application specific to certain verticals with embedded Web 2.0-style next-generation applications.

It took all of about five seconds for McAfee president and CEO David DeWalt to scare the living daylights out of the audience at his keynote. DeWalt frightened attendees by detailing the latest threat landscape and other cyber security issues that go bump in the night. Put bluntly, he said security concerns have pushed the industry to its edge and "it's no wonder people want to jump."

DeWalt did shine a light, however, detailing how McAfee and other vendors are working to thwart security threats new and old and how they're working toward a safer cyber space of tomorrow.

According Motorola enterprise mobility president Kathy Paladino, the time is now to roll up those wires that power the network and chuck them in the trash. In her keynote address, Paladino said the time is now for the all-wireless enterprise. She said the reliability, security and cost-savings wireless networks can offer -- thanks in part to 802.11n -- far outweighs their wired counterparts.