Training and competencies are important, and I am pleased to attend various training courses and product events throughout the year, one of them being the VMware Partner Exchange (VMware PEX), held this year in Las Vegas from Feb. 10-17, 2012. It is the second PEX event I’ve attended.
VMware PEX is a showcase event run by VMware and designed specifically for VMware Partners. It is sponsored by many of the vendors—including EMC and Cisco. There were over 4,000 attendees and it was a great opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals and VMware professionals to discuss issues and problems that occur on a daily basis. It was also a chance to upgrade my credentials: this year I took and passed the VMware Certified Professional 5 (VCP 5) exam.
At VMware PEX (Partner Exchange), some interesting statistics were revealed:
- Someone in the world powers up a new Virtual Machine every 6 seconds
- There are now more than 25 million Virtual Machines running on VMware
- More than 50% of the world’s workloads are now run on Virtual Machines
- 81% of all virtualized workloads run on VMware
VMware has built their virtualization foundation upon vSphere. I have been actively assisting customers to virtualize their environments. After virtualizing their servers, many customers are further interested in virtualizing their desktops using VMware View—also called VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). Many organizations are using VMware View to allow for centralized management and easy access to virtual desktops.
As a leader in the virtualization space, VMware is always looking to the future, and this year was no exception. They are building upon their solid foundation and have created two new products: VMware vCloud Director (vCD) and VMware vCentre Operations Server (vCOPS).
VMware vCloud Director (vCD) allows organizations to look at their datacentres in a whole new way—rather than refer to individual servers, or even clusters of servers, vCD allows an organization to view their datacentre as a group of resources that they can utilize and deploy in any fashion they wish. They can give individual departments access to infrastructure without those departments having to a) purchase new gear or b) know anything about the underlying infrastructure. The IT department takes care of the underlying infrastructure and adds more servers, networking and storage as required. Other departments can simply consume these resources as needed using an easy to understand web-based interface. vSphere virtualizes the server; vCloud Director virtualizes the entire datacentre.
VMware vCentre Operations Server (vCOPS) is a monitoring and analytic engine that gives the organziation the ability to watch over the datacentre (or multiple datacentres) and collect metrics. It learns what is “normal” in your environment and will alert you to anomalies. It also provides trending so the organization can be made proactively aware that they will, for example, run out of diskspace in 6 months based on previous trends. This allows the organization to actively plan for the future instead of guessing at potential issues or dealing with them on the fly. In addition, when problems do arise, it allows the organization to pinpoint problems and know exactly what piece is causing the issue.
In addition, VMware PEX hosts break-out sessions and hands-on labs where Partners can test out products in a live environment. This year, there were over 190 breakout sessions on many different topics and 27 different hands-on labs.
On the 2nd last night, VMware had a party for all attendees with the Bare Naked Ladies – and I took some footage.
Overall, the experience was fantastic and I would highly recommend that customers attend the customer-open event “VMWorld” in 2012.