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News from VMware Partner Exchange 2011 in Orlando

The big storylines at VMware Partner Exchange 2011 were new charges for VMware’s once-free Solution Enablement Toolkits and what partners think of vCloud Connector.

ORLANDO, FLA. -- Just before its big VMware Partner Exchange 2011, held Feb. 8-11, VMware told partners it would start charging them for heretofore free Solution Enablement Toolkits. While no one likes to pay for what was once free, most partners said the toolkits are valuable enough to pay for. The big news out of the show was the vSphere 5 roadmap. The next vSphere release will include Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler. Also new from VMware: The release of vCenter Operations.

Attendees also weren’t sure on the value of VMware’s vCloud Connector and whether it is significantly different than vCloud Director.

VMware charges partners for Solution Enablement Toolkits

VMware’s Solution Enablement Toolkits are no longer free. Most of the VMware partners interviewed said that the toolkits, which include designs and standard documents, are critical enough to pay for. VMware also said it will offer new toolkits in its infrastructure virtualization, desktop virtualization and business continuity libraries, which range from $299 to $499 per year and $1,099 for all three.

VMware Partner Exchange 2011 preview

The changes made to the VMware Solution Enablement Toolkits are significant to partners because of both the additions of new toolkits and the newly-added costs. This VMware Partner Exchange 2011 preview weighs the benefits of the toolkits against other vendor toolkit offerings and looks ahead to what partners will be interested in at the conference, such as VCloud Director and desktop vitrtualization.

VMware previews vSphere 5 at Partner Exchange

When VMware vSphere 5 comes out in the second half of 2011 partners will be able to utilize the new Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler, which will perform automatic load balancing if a disk becomes overloaded by using Storage vMotion. For partners that don’t use array-based storage replication and use the same type of storage at different sites, Site Recovery Manager (SRM) will allow more elasticity for VM storage.

VMware to release vCenter Operations for operations management

VMware’s vCenter Operations -- the latest of the company’s long line of management products --aims to   ensure that virtual machines and their applications meet their service levels and eliminate bottlenecks.

VMware readies vCloud Connector for hybrid cloud

VMware’s new vCloud Connector could help VARs move workloads between private and public clouds, but partner reaction was mixed.  A few attendees raised the issue of VM portability between public and private clouds while others said that vCloud Connector may serve as a legitimate alternative to the vCloud Director, which has Oracle-heavy requirements.

VMware adds partner competency for virtualizing tier-one applications

The ability to virtualize tier-one applications will now carry more weight for VMware partners since the vendor devised a new designation for partners with expertise in this area. Though partners will have new competencies to show for their capabilities, many say that it remains tough to get customers to virtualize tier-one applications because they d have technical concerns. VMware said pre-sales testing can help alleviate some of these worries.


VMware partners head south

Count Senior News Director Barbara Darrow among those shocked that partners don’t seem to mind that VMware is charging partners for Solution Enablement Toolkits. VMware partners seem to be giving the company the benefit of the doubt based on the fact that they can actually make money selling, installing and supporting VMware products.

VMware launches Sales Rewards Club at Partner Exchange

VMware told its partners about new channel goals the most significant being the VMware Sales Rewards Club. VMware partners will now be awarded points for sales and training that will translate into individual prizes. Partners’ renewal business will now be included in the quarterly rebate program as well.

VMware specializations target education, government VARs

VMware is shifting its certification strategy from recognizing partners’ size to stressing specific areas of proficiency. New targets include partnersin the education and U.S. federal government markets and those with plans for local and state government and healthcare in the future.

More on VMware vCloud Connector

VMware partners still had questions about vCloud Connector after its release. What, they wanted to know, is the big difference between it and vCloud Director. VMware said that the big differences lie in the vCloud Connector’s simplistic nature and the interface that it offers for non-vSphere admins. Partners that spoke to SearchServerVirtualization senior site editor Colin Steele remained split on whether it was a good alternative to vCloud Director or a whole lot of nothing.

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