I'm going to VMware Partner Exchange next week. Not just going - I'm presenting during the EMC Partner Bootcamp on Tuesday 8 February.
The title of my session (as you can see on the right) is "60 VMware Integrations in 60 Minutes". The title started out as an inside joke. Part of EMC's message for why we're #1 for virutalization has been our deep level of VMware integration (in fact, it's the #1 reason on the "Top Ten Reasons Why EMC for VMware"), and that, with over 60 distinct points of integration with VMware across our product portfolio, there is no other vendor that does more to enhance your VMware experience.
[And yes, ever since we've started with that message, there have, in fact, been over 60 distinct points of integration with VMware. I know; I tracked them down, cataloged them, and counted them.]
We're talking true integration here - not just features that complement or enhance VMware in some way (like how VMware's Storage I/O Controls (SIOC) and EMC's Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) can be used together to provide VMware DRS-like capabilities for storage). No, when I counted a "point of integration" it needed to go deeper than that. When word got out that I'd begun this cataloging project a lot of people jumped in to help (which was great, because being able to speak directly with the experts and engineers behind our products made things go a lot faster and really helped me to learn a lot). Some folks interpreted the point of the cataloging project to be to get as long a list as possible, and kept offering up these complementary features.
The thing was, a long list wasn't ever my goal. My goal was always to have an accurate and up to date list. To make the list, a feature needed to be:
- Truly integrated with the VMware vSphere code stack in some way (fortunately, VMware has all sorts of APIs that make it easy for vendors like us to do this).
- Defendable as distinct and separate from any other point on the list.
- Be shipping and available to customers today. "Will be in the next release" was not good enough to make the list.
Given the high threshhold we set for the list, I'll admit that even I was surprised that going into VMworld in San Francisco five months ago we had more than 60 points on the list.
So, I started out by mentioning that there was an inside joke behind the presentation's title, but I never explained it, and that's not fair to you (and, if you're like me, it's been bugging you and distracting you while you're reading this), so let me explain. You see, after I finished the cataloging project, I had to convince several people here at EMC (myself included) that the list was actually real. Reactions tended to range from "I knew we had a lot, but more than 60?? Are you sure you counted right?" to "If I'm going to out out there with this message, you need to convince me it's defendable first".
This lead to me presenting walk-throughs of the catalog at a lot of internal meetings. When my audience was technical, they'd want to do the deep-dive into each point and really understand it in detail. Often, I was asked to do a higher-level overview. I started joking that I had been called on again to do my "standard 60 points of integration in 12 minutes or less" presentation.
Fast-forward to December. In planning for Partner Exchange, we were deciding on what content we should present during the EMC Partner Bootcamp day. As I recall it, the conversation went something like this:
Hey, Dave, how would you like to give one of the sessions at the bootcamp? We can give you about an hour.
Sure thing. What topic would you like me to present on?
I was thinking that you should do something about the integration points.
That's a great idea. Give me some time to put together an outline, and then I can get you a title and an abstract so we can propose it.
Don't bother. I already proposed it and it's been approved. Your presentation title is "60 VMware Integrations in 60 Minutes."
Oh, OK... I guess I better start working on that then...
[OK, so I can guess what you're thinking. It's something like "you're right, Dave, the unexplained joke reference was bothering me, but not as much as something else..." I can guess what that is, too. It's probably been bugging you since I mentioned the presentation's title and then drew your attention to the title slide. No, that's not a mistake - the title slide is, in fact, different than the presentation's actual title.
How does that happen, you ask? A combination of two factors caused that little discrepancy:
- We needed to submit the title back in December.
- In January EMC had a record-breaking product launch.
New products meant more features that integrate with VMware...]
The problem is, that a list of features that have integration with VMware is, at it's core, just a list. Admittedly, it's an interesting list. It's even an interesting list on an exciting an relevant topic. But it's still just a list.
It's not enough for me to stand up and present a list. I mean, the list will help - it will allow our partners to go out and speak the integration message with confidence knowing that the "more than 60" message is, in fact, real.
No, in order to make this truly valuable to those attending the EMC Partner Bootcamp, I have to show the list, explain the points on the list, and demonstrate why each point is important. What difference that particular integration point will make for their customers (who are, hopefully, you, my readers).
How am I going to do that? Well, if you'll be at Partner Exchange and attending the EMC Bootcamp, you'll see me using the agenda that you see on the right.
Now, I know not all of you will be going to Partner Exchange and you might be interested in this information, too. Well, I have good news for you. I'm going to give you this information, and in a detailed deep-dive.
I will be posting a 7-part series on this blog that will take an in-depth look at all of EMC's integration points with VMware, following closely to the agenda of the presentation. The series will be:
- Part 1: EMC/VMware Integrations for Ease of Use
- Part 2: EMC/VMware Integrations for Efficiency
- Part 3: EMC/VMware Integrations for Performance
- Part 4: EMC/VMware Integrations for Data Protection
- Part 5: EMC/VMware Integrations for Security
- Part 6: EMC's VMware Virtual Appliances
- Part 7: The Value of EMC's VMware Integration
And now the bad news (admit it: the moment you read "I have good news", most of you heard "and bad news" in your head): This series will not start until after I get back from Partner Exchange.
Why? Well, there are advantages to attending these events. Our partners who attend the EMC Partner Bootcamp will get this information live, and, yes, they'll get it first.
For the rest of you (or for those who are attending the Partner Bootcamp who will want an in-depth refresher), stay tuned to this space. I've got a lot of good stuff coming your way.