VMware Partner Exchange officially began on Monday evening with the Welcome Reception. Again, this was my first Partner Exchange so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did attend VMworld last year in San Francisco and it is quickly becoming a mega event that’s dominated by parties and spreads into three different convention centers (Moscone West, North, South). Compared to VMworld, Partner Exchange is much smaller. Where the attendance at VMworld is close to 20,000 Partner Exchange attendance is between 3 and 4 thousand. What that means is the event is only 3 days long as opposed to 5 (counting the Welcome Reception) and there are far fewer vendors. This makes sense though as VMworld is much more a customer event where vendors are looking to attract new customers.
The first thing I must say is the food was dynamite as compared to VMworld. A buffet was provided for both breakfast and lunch throughout the entire conference and it didn’t disappoint. I attended the Welcome Reception on Monday evening, spoke to a few vendors that I was hoping to develop deeper relationships with and grabbed a few “swag” items for the kids. I attended the general session on both Tuesday and Wednesday and while each presentation was good, the presentation by Shawn Achor was fantastic. Some will see him as a motivational speaker but he’s much more than that. He’s very intelligent and has done an excellent job of combining what he’s learned about human behavior into a way of achieving success through happiness.
As for the content of PEX, while I don’t think I got as much out of the conference as I was hoping to, I feel I learned more at PEX than I did at VMworld. For me, VMworld is also too big and it’s difficult to take it all in. With PEX being much smaller, it was much easier to absorb information and I was also able to connect with other people and had some absolute great discussions with the likes of Hersey Cartwright (@herseyc), Justin Lauer (@justin_lauer), Matt Brender (@mjbrender) and Dave Henry (@davemhenry). I ran into fellow EMC Elect members and played foosball at the EMC / Cisco party. The EMC bootcamp was ridiculous. Chad Sakac once again delivered and I walked away excited for what EMC has planned for this year. I attended a session on how to protect VMware View using vCloud Networking and Security which was excellent. I can’t wait to install this functionality in the lab and really get my hands dirty. I gained a deeper knowledge of Citrix during my discussion with Hersey, learned a little bit about the new features in the Horizon Suite and had one the best bacon cheeseburgers I have ever had at Gordon Ramsey Burgr.
As for next year, PEX will be at the Moscone Center in San Francisco February 10-14.