So, we should all know what VCE stands for by now, right? Let’s say it together: “VMware, Cisco, EMC.” Using a bad analogy of Adam Lambert, a contestant on American Idol last season, the three companies “came out of the data center” today and publicly announced what we already knew; they’ve been working together to build the most integrated cross technology cloud infrastructure solution known to mankind. They are so integrated they’ve cross trained each other’s support staff so that anyone of the three partners can be a single “choke point” for those customers that implement vBlock Architecture. They call their union a “Computing Environment Coalition.” At the same time, EMC is promising that VMware can continue to “play the field” with technology partners that want to hook up. Hey, if you love somebody let them go. if they come back then it was meant to be!
Confused? Me too. Time will clear the fog and, as promised, reveal the vBlock based Cloud.
VCE vBlock is big, bad, and designed for scale like VMworld 2009 Infrastructure (without being told as much, my bet is that what we saw at the bottom of the stairs in the Moscone Center was a vBlock test drive). Apparently, VMworld’s spotlight on vCloud Express provider Terremark was another hidden VCE vBlock showcase from Vmworld. It all was happening in plain sight. If we only knew then what we know now.
My thoughts (or this rant) can best be described as “now what!?”. I’ve spent the last 5 years figuring out how to design customized, application specific, performance optimized, and product feature specific virtual infrastructure designs for the enterprise data center. This is because I’ve listened to everybody explain that a “cookie cutter” infrastructure is not adequate for their solutions. Change this setting for feature A, provision these LUNs for feature B, add these VLANs for feature C, etc., etc. Now, VMware, Cisco, and EMC have figured out all the tough stuff and come up with a “connect the dots” data center reference architecture to make it easy to move to the Cloud? Really? I mean, I know we’ve been told this had to happen in order for the Cloud to work, but REALLY?!! Oh well, the only constant is change.
Ok, I feel a little better. Anybody else care to vent?
Here’s some more random links and quoted information to help others with similar change anxiety issues as me.
From the Cisco press release: Cisco and EMC, Together with VMware, Form Coalition to Accelerate Pervasive Virtualization and Private Cloud Infrastructures The following family of Vblock Infrastructure Packages is being offered by the Virtual Computing Environment coalition:
- Vblock 2 is a high-end configuration supporting up to 3,000-6,000 virtual machines that is completely extensible to meet the most demanding IT needs of large enterprises and service providers. Designed for large-scale and ‘green field’ virtualization, Vblock 2 takes advantage of Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS), Nexus 1000v and Multilayer Directional Switches (MDS), EMC’s Symmetrix V-Max storage (secured by RSA), and the VMware vSphere platform.
- Vblock 1 is a mid-sized configuration supporting 800 up to 3,000 virtual machines to deliver a broad range of IT capabilities to organizations of all sizes. Designed for consolidation and optimization initiatives, Vblock 1 is comprised of a repeatable model leveraging Cisco’s UCS, Nexus 1000v and MDS, EMC’s CLARiiON storage (secured by RSA), and the VMware vSphere platform.
- Vblock 0 will be an entry-level configuration available in 2010, supporting 300 up to 800 virtual machines, for the first time bringing the benefits of private clouds within reach of medium-sized businesses, small data centers or organizations, and for test and development by channel partners, systems integrators, service providers, ISVs, and customers. Vblock 0 is also comprised of a repeatable model leveraging Cisco’s UCSand Nexus 1000v, EMC’s Unified Storage (secured by RSA), and the VMware vSphere platform.
The Coalition leaders calls VCE vBlock “IT as a Service”
Introducing The Vblock
Building virtualized infrastructure at scale? We’ve created a new option for you — the Vblock.
We’ve taken the best of the best from the three respective companies, and create a pre-architected and pre-qualified environment for virtualization at scale: storage, fabric, compute, hypervisor, management and security. We’ve also characterized its behavior for specific use cases as well.
Whether you actually want to buy one, or just use the reference architecture as a blueprint for your own efforts — there’s an entirely new option available to accelerate the transition to a fully virtualized environments.