Data Center On The Brain: 10 Scenes From VMware Partner Exchange

VMware Partners Getting Ready For Cloud

VMware held its annual Partner Exchange event in the shadow of Disney's Magic Kingdom this year, but the subject matter was anything but kids' stuff. VMware and its partners met up to discuss the serious business of capitalizing on current market demand for virtualization solutions while also laying the groundwork for migrating to the cloud.

In between attending keynote sessions and speaking with VMware executives and partners, CRN found time to capture some illustrative scenes from VMware Partner Exchange 2011, and here we present 10 of the most memorable.

Marathon Training Sessions

VMware Partner Exchange gives solution providers exposure to deployment skills and training on a range of core and emerging products, including VMware View, ThinApp, Site Recovery Management, vSphere, VMware vCloud Director, vCenter Management Product Family, and Zimbra version 7.0, which VMware launched last week.

Upon entering, all that could be heard in this dark, quiet room was the tapping of keyboards and mouse clicks. If harnessed, the energy from the collective brain activity that went on here would have been enough to keep Las Vegas -- site of next year's VMware PEX -- powered up for several weeks.

Settling In

Some of the 3,600 VMware partners from 65 countries settle into their seats to listen to VMware CEO Paul Maritz's opening keynote, during which he calmly declared that the industry is "heading toward a post-Windows world."

Other executives speaking at the event included Ragu Raghuram, VMware's senior vice president and general manager of virtualization and cloud platforms; Tod Nielsen, VMware's newly minted president of application platforms; Chris Young, vice president and general manager of VMware's End User Computing group; Steve Herrod, CTO and senior vice president of R&D; Carl Eschenbach, co-president of customer operations and Rick Jack, chief marketing officer.

Pano Logic's Zero Client

Desktop virtualization startup Pano Logic's Pano System 4.0, launched last month,includes a shiny chrome embossed "zero client" with 4 USB ports, dual monitor support, display input, network connection, audio in and out, and power adapter. It contains no CPU, no memory, no operating system, no drivers, no software and no moving parts and connects over local area network to Windows XP or Windows 7 desktop virtual machines.

Pano Logic's desktop virtualization strategy is to shift all processing power to the server, thereby freeing organizations from the burdens of endpoint management and boosting interoperability between the different virtualization platforms. Thus, the zero client can even be embedded in monitors, as Samsung is doing.

Evolution, Pano Logic-Style

The unofficial VMware PEX 2011 show floor prize for the most hilarious vendor signage went to Pano Logic, which made the case for its "zero client" desktop virtualization in a most impressive way.

Show attendees were observed doing double takes as they passed by Pano Logic's booth on a more or less continual basis.

Tandberg Telepresence Provides Link To Data Center

A Tandberg telepresence deployment on the VMware PEX show floor gave attendees a glimpse into back end data center operations at VMware. Cisco's partner program and distribution strategy for the Tandberg portfolio has now taken shape, and while some partner concerns remain, most Cisco VARs are pleased with how the integration has played out.

Channel-Friendly Private Cloud Purveyor

VMware, Cisco and EMC touted their private cloud coalition known as Virtual Computing Environment (VCE), which is taking a channel-friendly approach to selling VBlock private cloud building blocks. VCE is expected to divulge the details about its new channel program, and solution providers are waiting to see if the joint venture will follow through on its pledges.

We've Heard Of Overheating Notebooks, But...

Kroll Ontrack, a company that has been making a business of recovering data from damaged hard disk drives since 1987, has extended its scope to virtualized and cloud computing environments. The company showed off this notebook which was fried to a crisp in a pharmacy fire and claimed to have been able to retrieve data from it afterwards, a remarkable feat given its ultra-toasted state.

Go Quickly With The Cloud?

At first glance it looked as if Bluelock, an Indianapolis-based VMware partner, was urging customers to rush into cloud computing, which would have been somewhat bizarre and heavy handed. However, what Bluelock is actually saying is that the vCloud Datacenter Services can help companies get up to speed on the cost savings and efficiencies. Much better.

vCloud Datacenter Services is a set of offerings architected and certified by VMware that blend elements of private and public cloud infrastructure, and they're aimed at enterprises that are still worried about security and reliability, quality of service and application portability.

To The Victor Goes The Storage Spoils

HP and Dell are still squabbling about whether HP paid too much in its $2.35 billion acquisition of 3Par, but at VMware PEX HP was touting the fruits of its victorious pursuit of the company. HP says its 3Par storage arrays reduce storage management costs by 90 percent, cut capacity requirements by 50 percent, and security for multi-tenant environments.

Riding High On The Hog

VMware and its channel partners are tapped into an arterial flow of virtualization business right now, and some partners literally have more work than they can handle. It's high margin work, too, the kind of stuff that can lead to quarterly champagne celebrations. CRN has recognized VMware for its achievements in the past and will be watching closely to see how the company's transition to cloud computing plays out for the channel.