VMware is going on the road to showcase its virtualization technology. And it's bringing all its equipment with it in a rolling mobile data center packed with gear from Cisco Systems, NetApp, Dell Xsigo and parent EMC Corp.The VMware Express is making its debut at this week's VMware Partner Exchange Event. The Express will be crossing the U.S. and Canada to bring VMware demos to customers, but the exact schedule of apeparances hasn't yet been worked out.
The road show follows on the example of Sun Microsystems, which put its Blackbox data center container on a truck and stopped outside industry events and customer sites in the U.S. and Europe. The 2007 road trip helped familiarize many data center professionals with containerized data centers, and was good for a few photo ops along the way.
Rather than using a shipping container to house its demonstration equipment, VMware (VMW) has opted for a trailer. The approach is similar to that taken by APC with its InfraStruXure Express, a fully mobile data center in a 53-foot long trailer. The challenges of this form factor: when packed with gear, the trailer is heavy. This also is a challenge for some fully-loaded 40-foot data center containers, an issue cited by HP in its recent decision to offer a lighter, cheaper 20-foot version of its HP POD container.