Sputter, sputter. The VAR Guy is running on fumes today. The recent VMware Partner Exchange and IBM PartnerWorld conferences, both in Orlando, were high-octane events that drained our resident blogger's energy. So it's time to recharge this weekend... before running off to Orlando again -- this time for Parallels Summit (Feb. 22-24). In the meantime, here are six channel partner news blogs The VAR Guy didn't find time to write for the week ending February 18, 2011.

7. Distributors in the Cloud: In case you missed it, Ingram Micro and Synnex -- two rival distributors -- are planning more cloud and managed services moves. Keep a particularly close eye on Renee Bergeron, VP of managed services and cloud computing at Ingram Micro. Bergeron is set to speak at the Parallels Summit, which is expected to attract more than 1,000 VARs, MSPs, hosting partners and cloud services providers (CSPs). Perhaps she'll offer an update on the Ingram Micro Cloud portal...

6. BrainShare Is Back: The VAR Guy is pleased to see Novell BrainShare scheduled for Oct. 10-14 in Salt Lake City. The event had been scheduled for early 2011, but Novell reconsidered the date amid Attachmate's recent buyout of the company. Best guess, Attachmate will complete the Novell acquisition sometime in March 2011... leaving plenty of time for Novell and partners to plan for BrainShare. Separately, it sounds like Novell rival Red Hat also is planning a channel-centric event for October 2011.

5. Eutopia for VARs?: The VAR Guy spotted Vartopia team at VMware Partner Exchange 2011. It has been about a year since The VAR Guy first heard about Vartopia's multi-vendor deal registration site. Company representatives sure looked upbeat during this year's VMware Partner Exchange. Now, The VAR Guy and Vartopia are trading emails and trying to set up a briefing.

4. Nice Scoop: SMB Nation recently reported that former Microsoft Response Point Team Member Rex Backman has joined Cisco Systems. You'll recall that Microsoft killed development for Response Point, an SMB VoIP solution, in June 2009. The VAR Guy wonders: Will Backman surface at Cisco Partner Summit (Feb. 28-March 3, New Orleans)? If so, our resident blogger would love to grab coffee...

3. Talent Hunt: Are you a VAR that needs to make a full-time hire or needs some contract employees? Perhaps VAR Staffing can help... The VAR Guy hasn't personally used the channel staffing service. But he's intrigued to learn how VAR Staffing works.

2. HP Heading to the Cloud: New Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker says HP will spend a lot more time talkin' cloud, connectivity and innovation in the months ahead. Apotheker made the comments in an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week. The VAR Guy wonders: Will Apotheker unveil some of that strategy during the HP Americas Partner Conference 2011 (March 28-30, Las Vegas)? Best guess: Absolutely yes.

Earlier this week, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano suggested that most IBM rivals are focusing too much on commodity products and acquisitions rather than innovation. It was a thinly veiled jab at Dell, Oracle... oh, and HP.

1. Check the Headline: This remains a top six list. Always has been. Always will be. So there is no number one.

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