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By: David Davis

The second day of VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) 2012 kicked off with the keynote address. It started off like no other keynote I have seen. A talented actor circled the room, describing different types of clouds while a gifted artist digitally drew what was described on the screen. 

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While the keynote didn’t make any specific product announcements, it was inspiring, visionary, and a sign of what is to come in 2012. It started off with VMware’s Scott Aronson, Senior Vice President, Global Channels and Alliances taking the stage and offering some amazing statistics related to virtualization. If my notes serve me correctly, some of them were:

  • VMware has approximately 350,000 customers to date
  • 32% growth year after year and 85% of sales come from VMware partners
  • VMware is in 95% of enterprises today
  • The cloud computing market represents a $41.5 B opportunity by 2015
  • SMBs are only 20-30% virtualized
  • 215,000 partners were trained last year on VMware technologies

Scott went on to say that the VMware approach to the market must change to focus not only on enterprise and commercial segments but also the SMB. In order to do that, VMware is announcing a SMB accreditation for partners. Overall, Scott rallied partners to capitalize on the opportunity before them.

Next, VMware CEO Paul Maritz took the stage. He talked about how VMware’s goal is to continually transform IT and evolve the software-based datacenter. Paul pointed out that 1 VM is created every 6 seconds, and 25 million virtual machines are running on vSphere today. Over 50% of the world’s workloads are now virtualized. He gave us a history lesson on how well known applications have died off over the years (like Wordperfect and others) and how VMware partners and customers need to make a decision to choose (what will be) the winner.

After that, VMware’s CTO Dr Stephen Herrod (always my favorite speaker at these conferences) took the stage. Steve pointed that there are 25 million VMs in the world and that if they were physical servers, they would stretch twice the length of the great wall of China (also in the Infographic – The World Runs on vSphere). Those VMs must be managed efficiently and that’s what the new VMware vCenter Operations Manager 5 (vCOPS) is there for. Steve talked about the new vCloud Director iPad Client, Project Horizon, and Project Octopus, and the new vCloud Service Delivery Manager. 

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Steve went on to say that there are over 4,000 developers at VMware who are focusing on “cloud management with less management.  A big part of that management is understanding performance and capacity. Steve pointed to the quote “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”. That measurement will come from VMware vCOPs. Finally, Steve discussed that IT has to become a broker for IT services, not a builder of hem.

After the keynote, I had my photo taken with Elias Khnaser and the VM Monster! What fun!

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After that, I did my first VMware PEX Lab and was very impressed. There were no lines, the topics were great (building a vCloud Director lab), and the performance was FAST. If you haven’t tried them, I highly recommend them! I’ll be doing more today, and the lab hours are 11am-6pm today.               

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That afternoon, I attended the partner social media strategies session with John Troyer and was impressed with the packed out room. As always, John had great social media tips, based on years of social media experience. In this session not only did he go into details on VMware’s approach to social media, but he also gave VMware customers the opportunity to discuss how they went from social media phobic to developing innovative social media strategies that are bringing in real revenue for their businesses.

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As for today, I enjoyed this morning's keynote with Carl Eschenbach, where he discussed why VMware is the best bet for partners (more details on that tomorrow!), and I look forward to more awesome sessions and the PEX party with the Bare Naked Ladies! Enjoy!

David Davis is a VMware Evangelist and vSphere Video Training Author for TrainSignal. He has achieved CCIE, VCP, VCAP-DCA, and vExpert level status over his 18+ years in the IT industry. David has authored hundreds of articles on the Internet and over 10 video training courses for TrainSignal.com including the popular vSphere video training package. Learn more about David at his blog or on Twitter and check out a sample of his new vSphere 5 video training course over at TrainSignal.com.