With the day one issues all put to bed, day two was awesome. The conference seemed much more lively today, and we ended up having a great day of booth presentations, VPLEX demos and hands on labs.
One of the presentations that I enjoyed the most was from Gideon Wilkins, the Director of Strategic Partner Management with Colt. Colt is a huge service provider player in Europe (and you know I have a soft spot for the SPs!) and they have also standardized on the Vblock platforms for both internal and external use. In addition to being a very engaging speaker, Gideon has an awesome presentation to share. Some of the highlights of his company’s experience with VCE include a 97% reduction in delivery times, a 67% reduction in major hardware incidents, a 15 month ROI on TCO, 50% less rack space, 40% less power consumption and millions saved in maintenance and support costs using the Vblock. That’s the kind of marketing you can’t buy: a customer who shares how the product has positively impacted their business!
The VPLEX demos also got into full swing. We have a pair of 300-series Vblocks on the show floor, one in the VCE booth, naturally, and one in the EMC booth down the aisle. We have a VMware vSphere cluster that’s using an active-active storage presentation from the VPLEX appliances, such that half of the cluster is on the VCE side, and have is over with EMC. We spent the better part of the day showing customers how they could vMotion running workloads from one “location” to the other, without interrupting the end users. One of the demos was a VM running one of the Chad’s World videos, and we moved it from one Vblock to the other without stopping the video stream! The technology is awesome, and even in this simplified (yes, it’s all one layer 2 IP network!) demonstration you can see customers having that “ah-ha!” moment.
The labs were also a much bigger hit today. We were a little more aggressive making sure customers knew that the UIM demo was available and had close to 20 people work through the lab on day 2. With only two lab stations stations available, that was a huge number for us, and I’d like to thank all of the attendees for their participation! I didn’t have any more of the NetApp team come over, but you folks are all certainly welcome!
The night closed out with the Grand Opening of the new Finsbury VCE office, and it was a hell of a party. With a “Casino Royale” theme, customers, partners and friends were treated to a night of fun and prizes in our beautiful new facility. It was great catching up with people, and of course I have a whole new list of follow-up items, including a possible trip back to the UK in the near future. Thank you to all of the VCE marketing folks who made the event possible!
Tomorrow is the final day of the Cisco Live event, and here’s hoping it’s a great one. See you there!