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VMware partners are looking for the vendor to use this week's VMware Partner Exchange to answer a lot of questions about its cloud strategy, channel program and increasing focus on related technology such as storage, data protection and networking.
The VMware Partner Exchange, held this week in Las Vegas, is an annual event bringing together VMware's solution providers and strategic partners to discuss the vendor's channel and technology strategies.
The event also offers channel partners an opportunity to bring their questions and concerns to VMware in a public forum and in private meetings.
VMware's ability to maintain a leading hypervisor feature set while continuing to innovate around software automation to help it become a true "cloud" OS is on the radar of Kris Queen, director of technology at Alliance Technology Group, a Hanover, Md.-based solution provider and VMware partner.
"As a technical guy, I would expect VMware to have some more comprehensive hands-on labs," Queen said. "On the sales side, I would like to hear more about how they will continue to stay ahead of their competitors as the basic hypervisor becomes a commodity."
VMware's road map is a top concern for many solution providers.
Kevin R. Vogl, vice president of virtualization and cloud services for Champion Solutions Group, a Boca Rotan, Fla.-based solution provider and VMware partner, said he will be looking for VMware's road map with a special focus on third-party applications to enhance customers' existing VMware environments; purpose-built hardware for specific virtual environments such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), high-end databases and disaster recovery; and the use of open standards to be able to include multiple hypervisors in a private cloud.
Mark Teter, CTO at Advanced Systems Group, a Denver-based solution provider and VMware partner, said he is hoping to hear from VMware what's new in networking and security, virtualizing latency sensitive apps, storage strategies for vSphere and vCloud, and other storage, data protection and related road maps.
Storage is also on the mind of Bernard Westwood, CFO at Syscom Technologies, an Atlanta-based solution provider and VMware partner.
"[I] am interested in getting some additional information on their new offerings around storage and storage management," Westwood said. "We are interested in seeing how far they are trying to push into that part of the data center infrastructure."