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VMware Attracts a Crowd

In an era when some channel-focused events have gotten smaller, VMware likes the trend for its own partner event. The virtualization giant is holding VMware Partner Exchange 2010 this week in Las Vegas.

"We're north of 2,500 attendees, which is over 50 percent growth from last year," Ben Matheson, senior director of global partner marketing for VMware, said in an interview. The figure includes about 300 VMware employees, with the remaining 2,200 attendees a mix of channel partners and technology partners.

The growth of the show reflects a growth in the VMware's partner program over the last year. Matheson said the VMware Partner Network grew by 4,000 partners in 2009 to reach 25,000 partners worldwide.

"I think the thing that's probably more interesting is we've seen really significant growth in our existing partners, double-digit growth rates," he said. "The reason that they are growing is that there are some very large adjacent markets that partners are entering. A few years ago, virtualization was all about server consolidation. Now, there's massive growth in disaster recovery, business continuity and desktop virtualization."

Recognizing that RCP's audience consists of committed Microsoft partners, many of whom are looking hard at Microsoft virtualization solutions, Matheson said, "Don't view VMware and Microsoft as being mutually exclusive. You can deploy VMware and all the Microsoft applications like Exchange and SQL and basically you're doubling your profit and your opportunity."

What's your take? Do you find that layering VMware on Microsoft solutions works well for customers or does Microsoft's "better together" story match your reality? I'd like to hear your views at [email protected].

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 10, 2010