Once again VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) will be held in San Francisco and registration is open for the event which is being held on Feb. 2-5 at Moscone West. As the name applies this is not a customer event and attendees at PEX are made up of a mix of VMware partners and resellers. PEX is essentially a scaled down VMworld with breakout sessions, keynotes, labs, solutions area, etc. with the focus more on training resellers on how to sell VMware and partner products to customers. Attendance is usually around 5,000 people.
The call for papers for PEX is internal to VMware only and almost all the sessions are from VMware speakers with the exception of a handful of partner sessions that they receive with sponsorship (generally 1 per partner for highest level sponsorships). In addition VMware holds special Boot Camps that are usually an all-day event on a specific topic, this is a great form of live training. Select partners also receive a Boot Camp as part of their sponsorship of the event. The Boot Camps are being held Jan. 31-Feb. 2.
Last year there was a bit of drama around PEX as VMware told both Veeam and Nutanix that they were not welcome at PEX. Veeam came anyway and ended up setting up shop nearby and tried to route customers to their camp and events. It will be interesting to see what happens this year as VMware continues to compete more and more with pretty much all of their partners.
The cost of PEX registration is cheaper than VMworld at $1,495. there is an early-bird registration discount (good to 12/9) that lets you save $300, if you are an alumni they also take off another $100. This year the event is a week earlier and as a result it conflicts with the
SuperBowl Big Game which will be sure to cause problems with peoples travel plans. As the Big Game is in my city (Phoenix) this year I haven’t decided if I want to try and fly out very late Sunday/very early Monday after the Big Game or early Sunday before the Big Game to make sure I can watch it.
The content catalog also just went live for PEX, right now only the VMware sessions are listed (130 of them) and very few Boot Camps. Expect to see it become more populated as it gets closer to the show. The Storage track only has 11 sessions with 2 on VVols and 4 on VSAN. The official Welcome Reception kicks off Monday (Feb. 2) from 5:00-7:00pm, you can see the full agenda here.
I’ll be attending PEX again this year so if you’re going I hope to see you there.