Many of you probably saw the impressive array of server and storage hardware on show at the bottom of escalator at September’s VMworld over in San Francisco. This particular server, network and storage hardware was responsible for running the attendee labs at the event, however just as interesting was the single rack environment at the VMware stand that powered all of VMware’s booth labs (not the attendee labs), Cloud Pavilion and customer meeting room requirements using hardware from Cisco, HP, EMC, MDS and Xsigo to name a few.
But how did this data center in a rack implementation for the event come together and what was the thinking behind it?
In the following video that I took at the recent Gestalt IT Field Day Tim Myers the senior architect for VMware’s own internal Global Engineering Technical Operations (GETO) team talks about how he and his team architected and put together what was to become known as the “Booth Rack” which pretty much powered everything, excluding the labs, at VMworld.
It makes for interesting viewing as Tim describes how the environment made it’s way literally from a scrap of paper from a table cloth (see image) through to the final product which continues to be used daily for demonstrations and shows at VMware’s head office in Palo Alto.
Also, as you’ll hear, the Booth Rack uses products from MDS and XSIGO for both it’s processing and virtual I/O requirements each of whom also presented interesting sessions at the Gestalt IT Field Day – watch this space for postings on both of these vendors.
So before we head into Tim’s presentation video here is a brief overview video of what the Booth Rack actually looks like – this footage I took at VMware’s showcase type data center. From this you get a good view of the cabling (or lack of) around the back of it and how compact the MDS blade servers actually are.
Tim Myer’s on the VMware GETO team and the VMworld Booth Rack.