Just over a month ago, VMware held its annual VMware Partner Exchange in Las Vegas. It has been such a busy spring that this is the first opportunity I’ve had to reflect on what I consider one of the industry’s annual guideposts. As you can tell by the timing on this update, there is a lot happening in the virtualization marketplace.

By my estimation, 2012 marked one of the largest turnouts I’ve seen in recent years, with VMware estimating that there were more than 4,300 attendees. The VMware Partner Exchange brings the ecosystem together to share insights and learn about new technologies or strategies. The main takeaway was – the move to a virtualized environment is continuing full steam ahead.

The technical side of me has to throw in a few statistics to underscore this observation:

With so much happening in the market, it is no wonder that the VMware Partner Exchange has grown steadily. I continue to be amazed at how much information VMware is able to pack into three days. There were more than 190 unique breakout sessions, 20 hands on laboratories, and over 91 sponsors and exhibitors in the Solutions Exchange.

One of the noteworthy developments discussed during the event was the new specialization for the small and midsize business (SMB) vertical. The conference unveiled new competencies, programs and incentives for SMB partners. These are designed to prove to a company and its customers that VMware partners are offering the best possible virtual solutions. At the show, VMware acknowledged that one competency does not fit all markets, so they created a specialization for partners that sell to the small business market. As a VMware partner that works with small and midsize businesses every day, we are excited that VMware is investing in the SMB market. We can’t wait to utilize these new VMware tools and training to deliver and a better and more targeted experience to our customers.

Many of the sessions discussed virtual desk infrastructure. At Mosaic Technology, we have been talking about virtual desktops for a while, and how it opens up the possibilities of not only how your users work, but where. We have helped many of our customers set up VMware View 5 Desktop Virtualization. We recommend VMware View to our customers because it intelligently delivers data and applications on a wide variety of computing devices, web applications, and computers.

Network World predicted that virtual desktops would be one of the major trends of 2012, and we agree. Desktop virtualization provides a stable operating system for workers across a company, while decreasing overhead. When you manage your desktop virtualization in one central place, it requires less maintenance and administration by your IT staff, allowing more flexibility when patching, updating, or upgrading desktops. Employees can travel or work from home and use their desktop, without compromising their company’s security. VDI reduces office power utilization by as much as 70% and the cost of desktop ownership up to 50%.

We are looking forward to the new focus on SMBs and the upcoming VMware products this summer, and helping our customers utilize their technologies. We will be at the NEVMUG Spring Break in Newport, RI on April 19th, and VMware’s flagship event, VMworld 2012, in August.

Did you attend this annual event? Have a favorite VMware show? I’d like to hear your experiences and what you are thinking about for 2012. Post a comment below or send me a “tweet”.