Making Virtualization Tangible: The CDW Bus
The VMWorld Convention, currently underway in San Francisco has brought 22,000 IT professionals face to face with the future. From the opening presentation, which included mini-keynotes from industry heavyweights to the dizzying selection of breakouts and events, through to an exhibit floor larger (seemingly) than many actual countries, this extremely well-run multi-day extravaganza is helping drive home the awareness that we live in a new age, where virtualization of information technology rules.
As Iddo Kadim, Director of Datacenter Technologies for Intel points out, this is not a reinvention of the wheel. The current infrastructure of servers, hardware and software has run out of places to grow, and the new era of virtualization stands to usher in new and remarkable advancements in speed, storage and throughput.
Which is why it is such a pleasure to hang out in the CDW bus. CDW is a problem-solving company that helps consolidate all of the key elements of maintaining a modern-day data presence, including, mobility, networking, cloud computing and more.
Whereas all of the other vendors at the convention use sophisticated graphics and animations to illustrate their virtual product, CDW decided to put it all inside a vintage GM FutureLiner (The concept of a Futureliner), and take it out on the road. As their Lead Solutions Architect, Dan Vargas explains, the bus was first produced in the late 1940’s, and early 1950’s to address the postwar appetite for the new and futuristic. What better way is there, he says, to demonstrate the new and futuristic vision of cloud and virtualization than to package it inside a really retro-cool looking vehicle.
Although the bus is somewhat dwarfed by the enormous space of the Moscone Center, Vargas tells CloudTweaks that they drive the vehicle to all kinds of events including tailgate parties. Inside, carefully constructed display cases show off racks of servers and machines from all of the major players, highlighted in sleek red lighting.
The bus is no power-lightweight. It currently draws 100 amps and talks to its own cloud. There are plans to create an entire SDN network inside for a future tour.
Although some might categorize this as a simple marketing ploy, the bus helps create an image of high technology combined with tangibility, allowing curious potential customers to “kick the tires” of the technology in their own parking lot. And that’s a tangible advantage in a virtual world.
By Steve Prentice