Feb 102011

I personally anticipated Thursday’s general session mostly because I like to hear Carl Eschenbach speak. Carl started as a SE for EMC a long time ago. He’s very comfortable speaking to a large room and it shows. The session was in the same large room as the first which houses about 4,000 people.
Thursday started off like this:
The usual disclam was posted about forward looking features. Dale Irvin started the general session with a few jokes about his experiences the night before. Funny stuff to wake the crowd.  First up was Carl Eschenbach, President, Customer Operations.

Carl Eschenbach

Carl begins by describing how the name of partner exchange was chosen and a recap of why we are here. Last week, Vmware had 3,300 of their worldwide sales force come to Las Vegas to train them on the company message. This week is the “second week” of vmware’s kickoff sales training as per Carl. He talks about some of the numbers: 63 countries represented, 3,300 attendees. Carl asks the top partner award winners to come on stage.  The partners represented are from a variety of awards, Best Infrastructure Partner, Best BC/DR Partner, Best Distributor, etc.
Carls then goes on to discuss some of the awards that vmware has won in 2010. Continue reading »

Feb 092011

As I’m sure most are aware, today began the majority of the content for VMware’s Annual Partner Exchange Conference.  This year’s event is located in Orlando, FL and runs thru Friday February 11,2011.  Today began with a formal general session from 9am to 11am.  My comments/thoughts are included in parenthesis.

The session kicked off with a introduction and recap of the VMware vision by Paul Maritz, Chief Executive Officer, VMware.

Paul described 2010 as a breakout year for VMware. VMware accomplished $2.9 billion in revenue, up 41 percent over 2009. He mentioned that international revenues were up 43 percent to $1.4 billion. He then thanks the audience, composed of partners and resellers, for that achievement. Paul also thanks the sponsors for the event including EMC, HP, NetApp, Cisco among others. After the thank yous are completed, Paul asks a rhetorical question of the crowd specifically if they know what customers want.  Paul says that customers want greater business agility while improving efficiency.  He says that in the next five years there will be a transformation in IT.  Specifically around Integration and Automation, New Application Platforms, and Device independence in what he referred to as a “post-Windows world” (love that term).  He reviews the chart of new server deployments by year and highlights 2009.  That was when VM deployments surpassed physical server deployments.  He thanks the partners again and exits the stage. Continue reading »

May 282010

This week I had the luxury of attending the three-day vSphere: Design Workshop in Orlando, FL.  The class is now a requirement for VMware Enterprise Partners which was the reason for my attendance.  The class had about 15 attendees comprised of partners, customers and VMware employees.  There are no formal prerequisites for the course although I would highly recommend a VCP4 as some of the topics and recommendations get very technical and that level of experience would be very helpful.  This class is intended for those that will be designing virtual datacenters.  It is directly related to the newly-announced VCAP4-DCD certification and I would also recommend it for any one considering the VCDX certification.

The class was comprised of eight modules.  Day one ran through modules one thru four, day two had modules 5 and 6 and day three was comprised of modules seven and eight.  You can read this to see the syllabus for the class as well as the description for each of the modules.

There were a two things about this class that I found to be very different than any other VMware class I had attended.  First, there was no real administrative work.  We never used the vSphere client or looked at a host.  We barely used the classroom terminals at all.  Almost all of the work was whiteboarding and drawing architectures of networks and storage and physical infrastructure.  For the labs, the class was divided into two groups, one group was given an enterprise customer case study and the other received a SMB case study.  Both study’s had physical environments that wanted to virtualize.  The enterprise study was obviously significantly larger however the SMB had a very limited budget.  Both had items to challenge the designers.  As we reached the end of each module, we would incorporate what we learned into that phase of the design.  The labs were actually designed very well.  At the end of each lab session, each group had to pick someone to defend their design to the rest of the class (surely to prep us for what we might find at the VCDX defense session).

The second thing I noticed about the class that was very different from other classes was the references to blogger’s information.  The instructor referenced Duncan, Frank and Mike on more than one occasion (The VMguy was left out unfortunately – guess I’ll have to try harder).  Never had I seen such a display of non-vmware owned information in such a class.  Personally, I read all of their information pretty religiously yet I still found things I did not know or had not read.  This class was a very good summary of the pitfalls to avoid in design.  It was a collaboration of all of the gotchas that these designers (some who are now VCDXs) have seen.  Everything from the configuration maximums to what features are not supported with Fault Tolerance.  It was an outstanding display of all the things you have to remember when designing an entire virtualized datacenter.

My only complaint would be that the case study notes for the labs were incomplete.  We constantly found ourselves wanting to ask our imaginary customer for more information.  This can be expected somewhat as the class is a new offering from the education department.  I must say that our instructor was constantly requesting feedback for the course and promised to relay that information back to the class designers.

All in all, I would highly recommend this class to anyone who might need to design a virtualized datacenter.  It was an outstanding collaboration of experiences and best practices that would be required before creating a accurate, reliable, properly sized, well thought-out design.  Well done VMware Education Department, well done.

Apr 152009

This morning’s keynotes started off with Carl Eschenbach (on right below), EVP of Worldwide Field Operations, VMware.  If you ever have the opportunity to see Carl speak, go.  He’s a great presenter and very easy to follow.  Carl opened up by discussion the VMware opportunity to our partners.   He also made the new announcements about the upcoming updates to Partner Central, VMware’s partner portal.  He discussed the upcoming changes to the partner programs and our focus on specialized partners.  That is, Partners who have a specialty in one or more of four main areas, Virtualization Core, Virtualization Management, Business Continuity, or Desktop Virtualization.  He introduced Brandon Sweeney (on left), VP of Channel Sales – Americas.
Brandon and Carl

Brandon walked thru the new portal and how are partners can use it to find the information that they need.

Afterward, Carl introduced Chad Sakac (in center below), VP, VMware Technical Alliance, EMC.  Carl also introduced Ed Bugnion (on right below), VP and CTO, Server Access Virtualization, Cisco. Continue reading »