This week, I am attending Gestalt IT Field Day in Silicon Valley. Field Day is an invitation event for bloggers across many areas of IT to converge and have hands-on access to new products from a number of sponsors.

The first stop is VMware’s headquarters. There, they have a pretty cool hardware setup that is available both for eye candy and for a true purpose. During VMworld 2009 in San Francisco, there was an awesome display of equipment for lab use during the show. For day-to-day operations, there is a need for equipment to provide demonstrations in more private settings. VMware has a mobile infrastructure that can be used to provide demonstrations in more comfortable settings for requirements in their Palo Alto headquarters as well as for industry events.

The demonstration racks are available in the lobby of one of the buildings at the VMware campus. In Figure A, the Field Day attendees are being shown the mobile racks for the demonstration infrastructure.

Figure A

Note the limited number of cables coming down from above the racks. This is intentional. Because the infrastructure may be required to be on-site at industry events, there are design elements used to get this equipment to its destination with ease.

One other point is that by using 36U racks the equipment transports easily. Air transportation in a crate is done easily as well as being not too large to move around for two people. Another ease-of-entry point for a remote destination is the networking for all the equipment involved. For the mobile demonstration infrastructure, the networking is self-contained by using NAT-translated IP addresses. This saves time by keeping the infrastructure networking consistent for all locations.

Creating this environment was to solve a simple problem for VMware. In the past, the demonstrations in booths or other solution-exchange environments had their own equipment located in each venue. For large events, there could be dozens of small inventories of servers, storage, or networking to facilitate the demonstrations. By consolidating all the required resources to one consolidated inventory, efficiencies are realized. Plus, it is really cool to show a large collection of equipment as well.

Do you have any mobile equipment requirements? What architecture design elements do you use to facilitate an easy transition? Share your comments below.