VCE’s Vision of the Unified Data Center

By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.  March 12, 2015

VCE announced a major expansion of its converged infrastructure portfolio with new platform and software offerings designed to speed and simplify the journey to the hybrid cloud. VCE is expanding its converged infrastructure integration from focusing on physical hardware to include applications and cloud infrastructures, driving an evolution toward converged solutions. The company introduced several advancements in its portfolio, including:

  • VCE Vscale Architecture is a new, innovative “scale-up” and “scale-out” architecture that delivers simplicity and speed-at-datacenter scale. VCE Vscale Architecture leverages a next-generation converged fabric to interconnect multiple VCE converged infrastructure systems and elements into unified data centers with, over time, optimized, on-demand resource sharing.
  • VCE VxBlock Systems are a new family of VCE converged infrastructure systems designed to enable greater flexibility in system components. The first VxBlock System will offer customers the choice of either VMware NSX or Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) for software-defined networking (SDN) functionality. VxBlocks do not in any way replace VCE’s Vblocks which are alive and well, as is the partnership with Cisco.
  • VCE Vision Intelligent Operations 3.0 is a major update to the company’s converged infrastructure management software and has been expanded to provide unified intelligence across multiple VCE converged infrastructure systems – either independently or as part of a Vscale architecture.

VCE Vscale Architecture and VxBlock Systems will be orderable in Q2 2015. VCE Vision Intelligent Operations will be orderable in Q2 2015

The pitch

VCE’s new/updated solutions expand the company’s portfolio and ease the journey to hybrid cloud computing.

Final analysis

In my view, the era of commercial cloud computing began in 2008 when VMware’s recently minted CEO, Paul Maritz, introduced the company’s vCloud initiative. Maritz portrayed the effort as a means to achieve what he termed “the Big Computer” – highly integrated IT environments that spanned entire data centers and enabled seamless, flexible access to compute and data resources.

What does that have to do with VCE’s latest announcement? Just this – that the company’s new converged infrastructure hardware and software solutions, along with its vision of the unified data center place VCE at the forefront of achieving the integrated vision that Maritz postulated, and which form the heart of true cloud computing.

Enabling the unified data center

How has VCE achieved this? The new family of VxBlock systems qualify as a major step in this direction. In essence, VxBlocks are designed to offer customers greater choice and flexibility in system components while continuing to provide the full “VCE Experience” that sets the company well apart from its peers.

The first generation of VxBlocks will support either VMware’s NSX or Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) for software-defined networking (SDN) functionality. Those options are certain to be popular among a growing number of customers, and I expect future VxBlock solutions will follow this approach with additional software and hardware options. But the new solutions also complement the Technology Extensions VCE announced late last year to support EMC’s Isilon scale-out and XtremIO flash-based storage systems, and significantly round out the company’s converged system portfolio.

VCE’s new Vscale Architecture and the updated Vision Intelligent Operations 3.0 management software are more fundamental to its family of solutions and unified data center goals. VCE Vscale allows these processes to be achieved in an essentially transparent manner with an end goal of eliminating the information and application silos that plague most enterprises. That has long been an aim in cloud models and solutions, and is particularly important in hybrid cloud environments which allow organizations to extend and enhance their private IT assets with public cloud services.

That is where VCE Vision Intelligent Operations 3.0 comes in. Not only is this the latest version of the company’s converged infrastructure management software, but it has also been enhanced to provide unified intelligence across multiple VCE systems in both independent configurations and multi-system Vscale environments. The result is a highly efficient and flexible management solution that can support converged operations at scale. In other words, VCE Vision 3.0 is just the sort of management offering required by enterprises contemplating, preparing for or embracing hybrid cloud.

Finally, it’s important to recognize the added value that the company’s factory integration expertise and the “VCE Experience” provides to these new converged infrastructure solutions and use cases. Since its launch, VCE has separated itself from the pack of enterprise system vendors by providing factory-based pre-integration, pre-testing and pre-validation of all its solutions, followed by seamless component-level updates, ongoing lifecycle assurance and unified single-call support. The resulting benefits are among the reasons why VCE’s sales growth has long eclipsed other converged system vendors, and why over half of the company’s systems are sold to repeat customers.

But consider this point in finer detail, particularly as it relates to hybrid cloud environments which are among the most complex and time consuming in enterprise computing.

By factory-integrating its vRealize suite (which combines products formerly known as vCloud Automation Suite, vCenter Operations Management Suite, vCenter Log Insight and IT Business Management Suite into a powerful hybrid cloud management platform) with standard templates and workflows in the factory, VCE can deliver its solutions ready for deployment, with a minimum of onsite services to insure it fits the needs of each particular customer. That, in turn, massively reduces the onsite consulting services and costs typically required in such implementations.

In essence, VCE is using its technological acumen and innovative capabilities to make converged solutions faster to deploy, easier to manage and maintain and simpler to use. That speaks to evolving skill sets among IT professionals and also tangibly helps enterprises intent on improving the way they contend with and respond to changing business demands.

VCE has always been perceptive of and attentive to the needs of its enterprise clientele. These new and improved solutions underscore those long held values and the company’s dedication to innovation. As a result of these latest VCE efforts, the value of converged solutions is clearer and the goal of true hybrid cloud computing is closer than they have ever been before.

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