What an extremely busy and fun week for everyone attending the 10th annual VMworld in San Francisco. A special thank you is in order to VMware for providing all ~21,500 attendees with a week full of valuable content, breakout sessions, hands-on labs, and one heck of a party at AT&T Park. Being back in the office this Friday, my head is still spinning with content delivered this week, and my body is still adjusting to the 90 degree weather. I was already missing the San Francisco 60-70 degree afternoon high on my drive to work.
As expected, VMware didn’t waste any time announcing their new solutions during Monday morning’s keynote. It was here that CEO Pat Gelsinger announced to the general public 3 new VMware solutions. NSX, think virtualized networking, virtual SAN, and their own hybrid cloud service (vCHS). All of which fall directly into the overarching theme “Software Defined Datacenter” at VMworld.
As a member of CDW’s Cloud Team, my interest was laser-focused around their vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS). This is a solution that CDW has been offering for nearly 6 months, made possible by VMware’s selection of CDW as 1 of 5 partners to help drive early awareness and adoption around this cloud product. It was really cool to see that 3 out of the 4 vCHS customer examples used in the keynote and breakout sessions were CDW-signed vCHS customers. I knew CDW was outpacing the competition with the number of customers enrolled, but being responsible for 75% of the customers mentioned at the event was simply icing on the cake. Sadly, CDW wasn’t mentioned as the partner of record for any of the customers, so we remain the silent hero. Overall, the vCHS solution was a popular topic of conversation amongst attendees with well-attended breakout sessions and “vCloud” being the 4th most popular VMworld topic on twitter.
Another key highlight was the presence of CDW’s very own Technoliner at VMworld. Modeled after GM’s Futurliner, which traveled the US in the 1940’s and 50’s to showcase advances in science and technology, the CDW Technoliner delivers pretty much the same level of service for CDW in 2013. Outfitted with the latest and greatest technology, the Technoliner travels the US attending customer and technology events. It’s a nice alternative to the traditional booth CDW would have occupied in years past. Since the Technoliner is a full-size motor coach, it’s hard to miss, even amongst a full convention center of booths and eager exhibitors doing their best to grab your attention. Over 600 attendees walked through the Technoliner during Sunday’s welcome reception, and a steady flow of traffic continued throughout the week. The main attraction was the 14-foot HD High Brightness Video Wall, which was center stage for a CDW game show that offered contestants a chance to win various technology products and CDW swag.
Overall, the future of a Software Defined Datacenter leaves corporate IT feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially as more cloud-based virtualized products and services enter the market. This leaves CDW with the opportunity to step in and truly become a customer’s trusted advisor, and why I’m eager to start discussing vCHS with our customers.