Posts Tagged VCE
With its recent announcement, VCE is showing the world that it is more than a solution of parts from the parent companies (Cisco, EMC, VMware and Intel). VCE’s revenue is now tracking over $1B per year thanks to Q4 2012 being over $250M and according to industry trackers, is the top selling converged infrastructure solution. The most notable piece of VCE’s recent announcement is that for the first time, the company is bringing a software product to market that was developed in-house – VCE Vision Intelligent Operations which will start shipping with all Vblocks in April 2013. First of all, the creation of a new software line is a proof point that the company is not a short-term project; despite the coopetition between parent companies, the bottom line is that VCE provides revenue and strategic value in how EMC and Cisco bring data center solutions to the market. At its core, VCE Vision software helps deliver on the mission of the company, which is to help simplify infrastructure for virtualized environments by moving from siloed components to management at the rack level. Managing by the rack rather than the component is how hyperscale companies manage their environments at much lower operational costs (see Rack Level Architectures and Hyperscale Operations). Virtualization administrators will now manage a “Vblock” item directly in vCenter, so the internal components become invisible, allowing for much less day-to-day touching of the solution.
HP stated on a recent analyst call that its VirtualSystem best-of-breed integrated system is the “only real alternative to VCE” [Vblock]. While HP may have VCE in its competitive sights, all of the major storage vendors have been ramping up efforts in the converged infrastructure space.
While the number of virtual machines (VMs) that can be deployed on any infrastructure will vary by workload and there are many other capabilities (such as energy efficiency, cost, support, performance, and application support) that should be considered in evaluating stacks, it can be seen that not all stacks are geared for all environments.
Over 18 months ago, when EMC and Cisco created a joint venture (with some involvement from VMware and Intel), there was talk of hardware (the Vblock which includes Cisco’s then new UCS server), management software and even the joint support; but the purpose of the endeavor was to deliver new ITaaS solutions for both enterprises and service providers. Over the first year, there were a number of changes made to the business model, switching from what was essentially a reference model that could be assembled by VARs and SIs to single-SKU offerings that would be shipped from The VCE Company. A services option, “Acadia”, that would build, operate and transfer the solution was dropped, reducing potential competitive friction with service providers who are a primary customer base. Now at over 900 employees, the significant investment in the VCE model has come under question by some. The investments by EMC and Cisco in VCE are a bet on the future of IT that is high stakes/high return. This is not a little 3-month project, but a strategic move to pivot toward the next transformation of IT that will deliver billions of dollars of hardware and services.
Convergence is about more than putting piece together, it is about looking for opportunities to do things in a better way with a complete solution. John Furrier of SiliconAngle recently interviewed Tony Kolish, SVP of EMC Worldwide Customer Support, and they discussed how support is critical to an environment that spans multiple technologies and multiple companies. Kolish says that the same best-in-class service that EMC offers for storage must translate to complete converged product.
Not Your Average Partner Support
One of the ways that companies are looking to become more agile is by breaking down the silos between groups. This change can not happen solely through the adoption of new technologies (including management tools), it requires that IT staffs look to cross-training and internal process changes to become more efficient. Virtualization is a catalyst for this change as server, network, storage and application owners are all dealing with the impact of abstraction on how they do their jobs.
Corporate desktop environments have grown in utility and complexity over the last few decades.
This has lead to a difficult support environment for IT organizations; constantly having to deal with patches, upgrades and a variety of hardware and software issues.
Enter Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) – IT organizations can once again take control of management and security of the corporate desktop while also freeing the users by giving them a consistent experience across an expanded range of hardware.
The future of the corporate desktop is a flexible end-user experience with a cost-effective centralized management.
Last week I attended Interop in New York City where I had the opportunity to speak to many companies about converged infrastructure and cloud solutions. Every vendor has a different definition of what convergence is (it is not melting your data center into a toxic blob) and how it fits into a cloud story. Back at the office, Dave Vellante debriefed me on what I saw – see the video clip below:
IT departments need to balance the requirement of getting a solution into production fast with the risk of making sure that everything works. Server virtualization helped with this challenge by allowing companies to spin up a virtual machine fast where applications and real company data can be tested. For large environments and critical applications, the time to design, build, test and verify a configuration can be a long and expensive process with lots of troubleshooting and adjusting of settings. The VCE Coalition has simplified this effort by having done the architectural work of Vblock configurations and by having a streamlined Proof of Concept (PoC) process that speeds up the time to get production environments online and reduces the peril of the unknown.
Innovation is stuff that’s impossible, because otherwise someone else would have done it
Tribes is about leading the groups that already exist. Communities in the past were formed around politics, religion or sports, now they can be for anything that can get people passionate. As people get emotionally engaged, they can overcome fear of change by charging to the new way with a group of like-minded people.