Cisco, EMC, VMware Coalesce to Advance the Data Center

November 6, 2009

D.H. Kass

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Two Vblocks offered at launch

Three levels of the Vblocks, which integrate networking and servers from Cisco, storage and security from EMC and virtualization software from VMware, will be offered, based on the number of virtual machines required, starting at 300 and ascending well past 6,000, officials said.

Two of the Vblocks, the high capacity and a unit targeted at the mid-market, are ready now while a third, aimed at the low end of the market, won’t be available until 2010.

None of the Vblocks will be featured as line card items, but offered as what the coalition partners called a “reference architecture.” The coalition identified six system integrators tapped to sell Vblocks—Accenture, Capgemini, CSC, Lockheed Martin, Tata Consulting Services and Wipro.

These companies were selected in part because they held the technical certifications the founders believed essential to handle the Vblocks, officials said.

At this point, no firm channel strategy has been determined, the companies said.

According to one analyst, the VCE coalition may be different from others in the industry’s history that promised customers that technological collaboration would yield exponential benefits but rarely delivered.

“The VCE coalition allows Cisco, EMC and VMware to present clients a single face and common responsibility while preserving the partners’ independence,” said Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT Inc.

“While the three will contribute significantly to VCE, they will also continue to work closely with various partners and with clients who prefer other vendors’ products,” he said.

“Overall, the coalition’s efforts should help customers realize optimal or increased data center efficiency and control while preserving their essential freedom of choice of products and vendors.”

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