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Q&A: @SolarWinds Shows off Virtualization, Storage and Network Management Software at #VMworld - Booth 311

As part of VMblog's live VMworld 2014 coverage coming up in a few days, we're getting our schedule ready to learn as much as we can, as quickly as we can.  And I know attendees are doing the same.  The event is always jam packed with information coming in from every which way, so it is important to come up with a good game plan to try and follow as best you can throughout the event.  Part of our game plan is to get the lay of the land and figure out who will be on the exhibitor show floor.  Much like previous years, the sponsor list for VMworld 2014 is long and worthy, making it even more important to know ahead of time the who, where and what.

This time, we're focusing in on SolarWinds, a leading provider of easy to use, powerful and affordable IT management software.  In the VMware community, the most well known solution is Virtualization Manager, software that provides insight into how virtualization experts can gain further visibility into applications, databases, servers, networks and storage when combined with additional SolarWinds products.   

VMblog:  SolarWinds is back sponsoring VMworld 2014.  How can people find your booth at the show? 

SolarWinds:  We're in booth #311 this year, which is to your left as you come down the escalators. We're a bronze level sponsor, which gives us a 10x20 booth. As usual, you should be able to see our booth from a ways away: it will have plenty of orange and will feature a number of our buttons that have been popular over the years as well as a few new ones the team came up with specific for VMworld.

VMblog:  When an attendee visits your booth, what should be the takeaway message?

SolarWinds:  Well, we provide great management tools for essentially any aspect of their infrastructure, from servers and apps, to virtualization and storage, to networks and databases. This is really what sets us apart: we provide the ability to see across all these layers and more to get information in context of the application, which is really where the rubber meets the road. This is especially important when trying to troubleshoot across technology layers without a lot of finger pointing between teams. We help break down the silos that currently exist in many IT departments.

VMblog:  Why should SolarWinds be a must visit booth during VMworld this year?

SolarWinds:  While we always get a lot of traffic because of our great giveaways, I think the main reason they should come is to better understand how we can make their day-to-day life better. We're constantly hearing from our customers that they love our management solutions because they are so easy to use and are really designed to solve the challenges that the IT professional faces every day. By stopping by for five minutes, they can see a hands-on demo and get an understanding of how we can help give them more control and take some of the stress out of their day.

VMblog:  What do you like most about sponsoring VMworld (as opposed to other shows)?  Why is this a must sponsor event for your company?

SolarWinds:  Virtualization has become the center of the data center from a technology point of view. While it's the application that might really matter at the end of the day, almost every new application going into a data center is running on a virtual infrastructure. And from a personal perspective, it's a great opportunity to talk to a lot of people working on real-world solutions and to understand what problems are most important to them.

VMblog:  Can you give VMblog readers a sneak peek as to what you will be showing off at your booth this year? 

SolarWinds:  Application context and integration. SolarWinds has always been known for really strong core products, but we see the future as being built around solving problems across the infrastructure with the application at the center. We have done a lot to make those cross silo use cases really easy to handle with our products, all from a single console.

VMblog:  Explain or give readers a few reasons why your product is considered unique.

SolarWinds:  SolarWinds isn't focused on solving bleeding edge problems that most people haven't gotten to yet. Instead, our innovation is in solving day-to-day user problems better and easier than our competition without "dumbing down" the solution. Lots of people claim end-to-end visibility, but the question is how hard is it to install, configure, use and maintain. Making difficult problems easy to solve is SolarWinds' secret sauce.

VMblog:  You guys always have good tchotchke to give away.  What can we expect this year?

SolarWinds:  Our creative team came up with a pretty clever design for our t-shirt that I think this audience will love. They'll have to come by early, though, as our shirts are almost always gone in the first couple days. They're hot commodities! Even when the shirts are gone, though, our stickers and buttons are always popular because they're clever, speak to things IT admins can relate to and are always good for a laugh. We have a few new buttons just for VMworld this year that I think people will really like.

VMblog:  Are you guys doing any extra events during the show this year?

SolarWinds:  We're hosting a separate morning event that we're calling "Experts & Espresso." Monday through Wednesday, conference attendees can stop by Jillian's restaurant (175 4th Street) just across from the VMWorld breakfast at Moscone West and get a free espresso or coffee and hear short, really informative presentations on some great topics. The schedule is as follows: 
  • Monday, August 25: "Managing & Optimizing Across the Application Stack"

In this presentation, Scott Johnson, Sr. Systems Administrator, LogixHealth, and Dan McDougal, Performance Tuning Corp. will talk about how to manage and optimize across your complete application stack to get the most performance bang for your investment buck.

  • Tuesday, August 26:"Storage I/O is About to Get Crazy"

Here, Stephen Foskett of Foskett Services & Tech Field Day will talk about where he sees the virtualized world moving with regard to solving the storage I/O problem, including some of the new technologies appearing on the scene.

  • Wednesday, August 27: "Use Cases for Managing VMware NSX in a Traditional Network Environment"

In this final session, SolarWinds' CTO Joel Dolisy and Venky Deshpande, a VMWare Sr. Technical Marketing Manager, will combine their expertise to help users understand the use cases they will be faced with when looking at implementing and managing an NSX implementation along with their traditional networks.

On Monday and Tuesday, the coffee bar and sessions will run from 7:30-8:45 a.m. PT and 7-8:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday. There won't be any slides, just the presenters talking and a handy flip chart. For any who aren't able to make it or aren't even at the show this year, you can go to our landing page which will have a live stream of the event. You can also join the conversation via Twitter at #VMespresso.

VMblog:  What are you guys looking forward to most at VMworld this year?

SolarWinds:  The keynotes are always interesting because they provide a great understanding of what VMware is focused on. Next to that, I'm personally pretty interested to hear what our speakers have to say on each of their topics at the "Experts & Espresso" sessions.

VMblog:  You guys aren't new to sponsoring VMworld.  So, what keeps you coming back for more?

SolarWinds:  This is our third time sponsoring VMworld since I came onboard, but we did a few more before I joined SolarWinds. We view it as a great opportunity to talk to potential customers both so that they can understand what we do-we still hear a few people who sound surprised that we do so much more than just network management-but also to hear firsthand about the problems that are top of mind for them.

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Thanks to Michael Thompson, director of product marketing at SolarWinds, for talking to VMblog about the upcoming VMworld show.  SolarWinds has a lot of good information to share, so make sure to grab your T-Shirt early and catch a demo of their latest software at booth #311.

Published Friday, August 22, 2014 8:22 AM by David Marshall
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