Following my return from TechEd and Cisco Live! in June, I promised a recap of my experiences and impressions from VMworld, which was held late last month in San Francisco. With the show now firmly in our rearview mirror, here’s my take.

Overall, I’d expected cloud and SDN to be the primary topics of interest, and that pretty much held true to form.

Possibly the most significant thing that came out of VMWorld this year that affects the data center is VMware’s announcement of the EVO product line. EVO:Rail is essentially a one hundred VM cloud-in-a-box, and it’s designed to take less time to power up and start using than it will to uncrate it when delivered. The hardware side of the equation is provided by hardware partners and the purchase is to be made from those partners. VMware merely provides the software layer.

EVO is a significant step forward in making converged infrastructure a practical reality, so if you’re a fan of converged infrastructure, this is probably something you’ll want to check out. A significant percentage of the hands-on labs at VMworld were actually running on EVO:RAIL hardware.

What if you need more than a hundred VMs? Not to fear! For that, there’s EVO:RACK, which essentially scales the concept of the single appliance EVO:RAIL offering to one or more racks, providing an entire software defined data center. This option was announced in the VMworld keynote as a “technology preview,” so you can go read more about it in the VMWare CTO blog or watch the keynote online.

If you were registered for VMworld, you can also watch all the session content online.

Another notable part of the week for me was our SolarWinds Experts & Espresso sessions. We offered up fresh brewed espresso, cappuchino and coffee along with three presentations on topics of relevance to the VMworld community.

On Monday, Scott Johnson of LogixHealth and Dan McDougal of Performance Tuning Corp. presented on “Managing & Optimizing Across the Application Stack.” On Tuesday, our CTO and CIO Joel Dolisy along with VMware’s Venky Deshpand presented on “Use Cases for Managing VMWare NSX in a Traditional Network Environment.” Finally, on Wednesday, Stephen Foskett presented on “Storage I/O is About to Get Crazy.” All three of the presentations can be watched at the YouTube links provided.

Finally, Joel and Suaad Sait, our executive vice president of products and markets, had the chance to present during the Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld event to a pretty renowned group of industry influencers. Their presentation focused on application performance in the world of hybrid IT and can be seen here.

With all that said, as always, my favorite part of VMworld—and any trade show—was visiting with you, fellow IT pros. So, next time you’re at a VMworld or any show we’re attending, please don’t hesitate to come up and say hello.