VCE’s converged infrastructure offerings have expanded with a new line of appliances called VxBlock Systems. It features software-defined networking platforms, with the choice of either VMware's NSX or Cisco's ACI. The architecture in general has been tuned to scale-out and scale-up with better management of multiple appliances.
Converged infrastructure’s initial purpose was to consolidate multiple assets into one box. Now vendors are focused on providing better control and flexibility through software. Software-defined networking and scaling abilities makes VxBlock more flexible and feasible for modern big data workloads or cloud infrastructure.
Vision Intelligent Operations management software has been enhanced to better deal with multiple VxBlock systems, and Intelligent Operations can now define multiple VCE systems as a single pool or resources in 3.0. Previously, each VCE appliance was viewed and treated as individuals.
In essence, Intelligent Operations meshes multiple converged appliances with the ability to monitor the whole with unified intelligence.
"VCE's mission since inception has been to free IT organizations from expending resources and efforts managing infrastructure so they could deliver next-generation services to their end users," said Praveen Akkiraju, CEO of VCE, in a press release. Akkiraju said the new set of platforms and solutions is just the first phase of major expansion for the portfolio.
In the same release, Mark Bowker, senior analyst for the Enterprise Strategy Group, said the enhancement provides “an open-door design and ways for IT professionals to invest in VCE-enabled, software-defined data center solutions that provide strategic longevity."
As converged infrastructure becomes hyper-converged, the lines blur—even within EMC-owned companies, such as VMware’s similar offering EVO:Rail. The only real difference between converged infrastructure and a modular data center at this point is the inclusion of environmental controls and a container.
Born as a joint venture between EMC, VMware, and Cisco, EMC recently took complete control of VCE. Cisco is now doing its own converged infrastructure as well as partnering on converged infrastructure, and there’s also growing competition from the likes of SimpliVity, which recently raised a massive round.