I get a few recurring questions from time to time. ;-) When I look back in my sent folder or listen to some of my WebEx recordings I find myself answering these same questions with some degree of expansion on the theme and quite often a refinement on wording.
In fact, much like the continuous integration approach to converged infrastructure we take at VCE -- my answers are getting better. Then again, I've been accused of explaining how to build a clock when asked what time it is.
So here are three of the regular questions I get and here are the respective answers that I draw upon depending on the audience and their proclivity for staying awake. ;-)
What should the industry know about VCE that it might not know already?
First and foremost, VCE is a tremendous success for our investors and is experiencing explosive growth in terms of customers, partners, and the talent pool we've attracted.
To understand this success is to understand why VCE exists. VCE seeks to eliminate challenges that consume today’s data center resources by delivering the world's best VMware experience on the world's most advanced converged infrastructure product: Vblock Systems. VCE defined the converged infrastructure movement and is extending its lead just as other vendors that compete with our investors initiate efforts in this market. VCE customers depend upon VCE to efficiently run agile data centers that provide a competitive advantage along with VCE investor and VCE Partner technologies and solutions.
What value is VCE providing to Service Providers today and what is VCE's ongoing strategy?
VCE Vblock Systems provide secure and predictable performance through pre-engineered, modular infrastructure that enables standardized processes and operations that make it permissible for a Service Provider (SP) to standardize on a converged infrastructure product that is adaptable and proportional to their own customer requirements.
Vblock represents a product driven by the demand to have a trust and SLA as guiding principles so that the SP can achieve the fastest time to market while maintaining customer expectations with predictable and quickly repeatable scaling patterns. VCE is focused on SP solutions that address not only the unique internal IT requirements of the SP but also the consistent demand for revenue generating offerings and the infrastructure that supports those offerings. VCE is committed to promoting ever increasingly agile delivery with the SP environment by supporting the next generation of use cases and scenarios that Enterprise IT will demand in the coming years. VCE will accomplish this through continued innovation and refinement of our own VCE developed IP in addition to the judicious use and application of technology innovations from our investors and partners.
What is VCE's position and opinion on reference architecture within SP environments and more generally in the market today?
VCE believes that there are three paths to converged infrastructure.
First, there is a BYO piece parts approach where a customer can literally pick and choose each element that comprise a point in time converged infrastructure or create an amalgam of technologies that they can stitch together on their data center floor. For best of breed in these component choices there are obvious benefits to using EMC and Cisco for storage, compute, and network needs for VMware environments. The customer then tunes and refines this on their own or with the help of trusted partner as an iterative process doing their own regression testing across patches, move/add/change, and compliance both physically and logically.
Second, there is the reference architecture approach such as EMC VSPEX where a more refined list of those elements are brought together with guidance from a major product supplier for a scenario or scaling pattern that worked at least once for one variety of workload or use case scenario. This reference architecture can then be extrapolated or interpolated so that a sized anticipated workload can reside on the assembled parts. The physical parts are then delivered by a channel and paired with professional services that provide for an on site logical build followed by ongoing contracted services or customer created regression testing across patches, move/add/change, and compliance both physically and logically.
Third, and I should add that VCE has very strong opinions here, is Vblock. Vblock is a manufactured converged infrastructure product paired with ongoing pre-engineering and ongoing support from VCE as it applies to the lifecyle of the investment. It is also important to understand the mission criticial workload characterizations as well as mixed workload characterizations that VCE applies to Vblock with a focus on solutions. Vblock represents the fastest return on invested capital for the Enterprise IT buyer seeking a converged infrastructure. For the SP, Vblock represents a just-in-time approach to entertaining and winning deals while maintaining SLA with unparalleled investment protection and product efficacy though the Vblock product lifecycle. Long term, VCE sees Vblock as the future and VCE customers are realizing this future today.
In fact, you can see and hear a similar complimentary point of view shared by Cisco's Senior Director Shashi Kiran and EMC's VP Partner Solutions Parmeet Chaddha as well as a summary by me at the end on YouTube.