Seeking to leverage the collective strength of their partner ecosystems to forge a leadership position in enterprise cloud computing, Cisco, EMC and VMware are bundling their hardware and software in a turn-key solution for enterprise customers.
The three companies today outlined their shared vision for a Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) powered by an "infrastructure package" called Vblock. They also unveiled Acadia, a long-rumored joint venture to provide implementation services for private clouds built using Vblock.
Vblock brings together Cisco's Unified Computing System, EMC's Symmetrix V-Max storage and VMware's VSphere platform in three packages that allow customers to run anywhere from 300 to 6,000 virtual servers. Vblock includes a security framework from RSA, which is owned by EMC.
Build, Operate and Transfer
Acadia offers a "build, operate, and transfer" roadmap for companies who want to implement Vblock while working closely with vendors and hosting partners. Intel will be an investor in Acadia, which will begin customer operations in early 2010.
Contrary to some early rumors, Acadia will not offer a hosted solution based on Unified Computing technology.
"Acadia does not aim to be in the hosting business, but rather to help IT organizations to accelerate their journey to pervasive virtualization and private cloud computing while reducing their operating expenses," Cisco said in a statement.
"The systems built will be based on Vblock, and will either reside in the customer’s data center, or could reside with the customer’s SI (system integrator) or hosting partner," the statement continued. "Acadia’s goal is to work with SIs and service providers to complement their services. After building, Acadia will operate the system for a year or two, but not long term, then when the customer is ready, will transfer operations to the customer, SI, or service provider."
Hosts, Integrators Express Support
Several leading players in the manged hosting and IT infrastructure field have worked closely with Csco and VMware, and welcomed today's announcement.
“We believe the pre-integrated Vblock integrated packages from VMware, Cisco and EMC will accelerate the market for cloud to new and existing enterprise customers,” said Bryan Doerr, chief technology officer for Savvis (SVVS), which has been an early adopter of Cisco's Unified Computing.
Another provider expressing enthusiasm was Terremark (TMRK), which recently sold a 5 percent stake to VMware. “The new business model being forged by this venture
provides a simplified solution that will help to streamline the procurement of cloud infrastructure for our current and prospective customers,” said Marvin Wheeler, chief strategy officer for Terremark.