In a little over two weeks many will converge on Las Vegas to attend Partner Exchange (or as us geeks prefer to say ‘PEX’), VMware’s annual conference dedicated to educating and enabling the partner community. As you would expect, NetApp is again a platinum sponsor for the event and has a load of fantastic content to share with attendees. Whether you prefer to learn by attending sessions or participating in hands on labs, there will be numerous opportunities for you to learn more about the value of deploying VMware solutions on NetApp technologies. I’d ask you to consider this post as my personal invitation for you to learn why NetApp is (currently) the second most often deployed, and the fastest growing storage platform for VMware deployments.
PEX Hands On Labs
If you’ve ever attended VMworld then you’re likely familiar with the Hands On Lab. It’s an understatement to say the HOL is rather popular with VMworld attendees. The HOL provides an environment for technologists to increase their personal knowledge base by participating in technical labs that are comprised of the latest technology releases from VMware and a select set of VMware technology partners including NetApp.
For PEX 2012 NetApp is bringing our very popular, and in my opinion rather impressive, labs to the PEX HOL. This is your opportunity to experience the truly unique capabilities of running VMware on NetApp with tools like the Virtual Storage Console (VSC) plugin for vCenter and OnCommand Insight Balance.
At both VMworld and VMworld Europe 2012, HOL attendees rated the NetApp labs as the #1 partner lab for both events! Of the 27 labs offered at VMworld, the NetApp lab placed 12th in overall lab attendance and tied for #1 in overall user satisfaction with ranking with an extremely impressive score of 4.55 out of 5! The quality of the NetApp lab is likely why it was attended 469 times more (or 146%) than the next technology partner lab. For VMworld Europe the numbers were even greater with the NetApp lab placing 9th in overall lab attendance, with 138% of the attendance of the next highest attended technology partner lab.
If you’d like more details around the NetApp labs from VMworld, check out this post from the Datacenter Dude, Nick Howell. He’s got some additional content in this post that frankly, you won’t believe!
PEX Boot Camps
For those looking to maximize their time at PEX you can get a condensed learning experience via the NetApp ‘Boot Camp’ sessions. There’s one designed for Sales Account Managers and another geared towards the Technical Sales Engineer. Both camps are running on Monday, with the technical content running from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM and the sales content running 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM.
Both the sales and technical camps will cover a broad set of solution areas and highlight the unique capabilities and unparalleled value joint VMware and NetApp solutions deliver to customers.
PEX Break Out Sessions
For those who crave ‘a bit’ more technical content you may want to consider adding the following break out sessions to your schedule. Starting with break out session #1574 “NetApp and VMware – The Smart Decision to Virtualizing Business Critical Applications.” This session will present an overview of the benefits of virtualizing various business critical applications in vSphere on NetApp. Technologies will include Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, Oracle, and SAP. This session is presented by Scott Baker, Senior TME Manager in NetApp’s VMware Ecosystem Organization and Alex Fontana, VMware Sr. Solutions Architect on Tuesday, 02/14/2012 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM.
For those of you looking for even greater details around virtualizing Oracle in vSphere with NetApp then may I suggest you check out break out session #1438 “A Customer Success Story: Running Mission Critical Applications on Oracle RAC and vSphere.” This session will present the transformation and virtualization of including Oracle Real Application Cluster and the Oracle Utility Suite on vSphere and NetApp at Vermont’s Green Mountain Power. This session is presented by Bob Goldsand, Partner Architect at VMware and Steve Schuettinger, Oracle Technical Alliance Mgr at NetApp on Thursday, 02/16/2012 from 10:15 AM – 11:15 PM.
PEX Social Media Events
John Troyer and the Social Media team at VMware have scheduled a number of events where you will have an opportunity to meet with many of the virtualization experts in the social media community.
- Monday: Insight Reception
- Monday night : The Unofficial Tweetup
- Tuesday late afternoon: The Official VMware Tweetup
- Wednesday: The vExpert Meeting
- All Week: Dozens of social media personalities and select VIPs will be available for meet-and-greets in the VMware Community Lounge.
I’m very excited for this year’s event. It’s always a fantastic conference filled with fantastic opportunities for attendees to increase the depth of their personal knowledge-base and to expand their professional networks. VMware and NetApp, along with all of the PEX sponsors, have invested a ton of resources specifically to make this year’s event one that will help you exceed your goals!
Here’s hoping to see you there and if you’d like to try to meet up, send me a Tweet!