VMware has asked at least two companies who planned to setup booth displays at its Partner Exchange conference next week not to attend the show.
Representatives from Veeam, a backup and recovery platform for virtualised environments, were planning to attend PEX, just as they had in the past. But VMware representatives reached out to Veeam officials and told them they would prefer if Veeam did not display a booth at PEX. Veeam is complying.
Nutanix, a converged infrastructure provider, was also reportedly asked not to attend PEX. CRN originally broke news of this story on Friday. VMware officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Veeam told Network World that they were not given an explanation as to why they were asked not to setup a booth at PEX, which is set to be held next week in San Francisco. "From Veeam's perspective, we've done a lot to drive VMware adoption, providing a best of breed DR and backup recovery option for customers," says Doug Hazelman, vice president of Veeam's product strategy and a Veeam evangelist. By making virtual environments more fault tolerant, more users have become comfortable using virtualised infrastructure powered by VMware, he explains.
VMware has its own backup and recovery tools though, most notably its vSphere line of data protection software. Veeam could be seen as competition to VMware's own backup services. Hazelman says there is "bound to be competition" but customers should have choice for their backup provider. Veeam hopes to continue being a VMware partner, Hazelman adds. The company has in recent years rolled out support for Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualisation software though.
Industry watchers say a company excluding certain partners or other companies from its events is hardly anything new.
"It's VMware's show, they can do what they want," says Stuart Miniman, an analyst at Wikibon. PEX is an annual show geared toward educating VMware partners and channel companies (meaning those that resell VMware products). Perhaps VMware wants channel partners to use its own baked-in backup and protection tools instead of Veeam's, which are well-respected in the industry, Miniman says. "It's a little disappointing to see this, but it's certainly within the company's rights to do it," he says.