Well, it has been about 3 days or so since I have returned from VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) in Las Vegas, and to be honest, there still hasn’t been enough time to fully digest all of what I took in while at the conference. At the same time, I thought it would be a good idea to not delay it any further and work through some of the highlights of my involvement at VMware PEX in this Blog post with all of you. So, as hard as it may be to do, amongst thinking about all the great dinners and social events, along with epic experiments in Social Media exploits at tech conferences, what are some of the main themes I took away at PEX?
First off, the VMware Hands-On-Labs were once again well received by all the attendees, and continued to show the stability and scalability of VMware’s Lab infrastructure, serving up well over 20,000 Virtual Machines in 1800+ labs provisioned over the course of 4 days! Here are some photos to give you an idea of some of the highlights of the week from the HoLs:
Seats beginning to fill in on Monday morning!
Customers continue to enjoy labs throughout the week on the 120 stations available in the HoL.
This was the view of the stat display on Thursday morning (the last day the HoLs were offered).
I want to thank VMware for allowing EMC to be a partner and host a lab module (Lab 26) within the HoLs. I got a lot of good feedback from users running through the lab and that is definitely something great to hear. I am definitely looking forward to the continuation of the HoLs @ VMworld!
Within that feedback from HoL attendees and other conversations I had throughout the conference, it seems to me that from a Partner perspective, we already understand the need and value in shifting the way IT operations are performed to keep up with increasing business compute demands. It was already understood from walking in the door at this conference that this aspect of adopting the cloud model was assumed. For me, the question I started to see churning in attendees’ heads was what is the next big step? For example, I felt everybody at the conference understood the basic infrastructure involved in delivering and implementing cloud services, but were ready to move on to thinking about “How do I really leverage that base infrastructure of ESXi servers and vCenter/vCloud infrastructures I have started to deploy and take my IT services to the next level for true iPad/Tablet like delivery model that my end users are asking for.” This view was definitely at the fore front of conversation and PEX presentations, but let’s not also forget an interesting statistic brought up by Scott Aronson, SVP of Global Channels and Alliances for VMware (and highlighted in Scott Lowe’s blog here) during the first general session of the conference. He mentioned that enterprise customers are only 50% down the way of the virtualization path. On top of that, Small to Medium Business and Enterprises are less than 50% down that same journey. So it’s a good idea, while always anticipating the next turn on the journey, we don’t forget what we have been implementing from a technology foundation perspective to make sure all of our customers are ready to deploy Next Generation IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS).
Which brings me to the role that I feel EMC can play as both a strong member and alliance with VMware in the Partner Ecosystem. During the EMC VMware PEX boot camp, a good portion of the discussion was dedicated to backup & recovery of virtualized environments. And rightly so, providing a tried and tested industry leading solution protecting and retaining data for a virtualized environment is key. This theme wasn’t just something EMC was discussing in its presentations, but other partner presentations as well as attendee’s I talked to in my time spent on the Solutions Exchange floor and Hands-On-Labs. This is really where the rubber met the road – hearing from partners firsthand what they were looking for from a data protection perspective, and realizing during the conversation that the approaches taken by implementing EMC solutions met those needs nicely.
This sentiment and theme in the discussion I just mentioned was really summarized nicely by Brad Maltz from ICI who was gracious enough to share his time and words with our attendees in the EMC Boot camp. To paraphrase, he mentioned that EMC and it’s solutions have really enabled his organization to be a more consultative partner with his end users. Allowing him to be more of a trusted advisor to his customers for the long haul which is really where customers see the value add!
For me, that is the pinnacle of what we at EMC are working towards together with VMware in this continuing Journey our Industry is taking to the cloud. This I was glad to see.
Next Stop?! Back to the Venetian in Las Vegas for EMC World in May! See you there!