VCE Brings First All-Flash Vblock to Market

System combines EMC XtremIO arrays, Cisco UCS and ACI tech

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

October 6, 2014

2 Min Read
VCE Brings First All-Flash Vblock to Market
VCE Vblock System 540, announced earlier this month, is the first Vblock solution to integrate all-flash storage (Image: VCE)

VCE announced the first version of its Vblock converged infrastructure solution with all-flash storage Monday.

Vblock System 540 consists of Cisco Unified Computing System servers and networking and EMC’s all-flash XtremIO storage arrays. It also supports Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure technology, the giant’s answer to open software defined network products.

EMC got its all-flash product line through acquisition of Israel-based startup XtremIO for $430 million in 2012. As the cost of flash memory inches down, companies increasingly consider all-flash storage for application acceleration.

All-solid-state arrays are most commonly used in online transaction processing, analytics and virtual desktop infrastructure, according to Gartner. For now, users deploy them for specific workloads, but there is growing interest in using the technology to support multiple applications.

XtremIO got the fourth-highest product score in a Gartner ranking of all-solid-state products. SolidFire SF was at the top, followed by Pure Storage FA and Kaminario K2.

SolidFire, Pure Storage and Kaminario are very young companies, however, compared to EMC. On its Magic Quadrant for solid-state arrays, EMC is ahead of everyone else in terms of ability to execute, while Pure Storage is top on the completeness-of-vision axis.

IDC has forecasted that the market for all-solid-state arrays will reach $1.2 billion in revenue by 2015.

Converged infrastructure line widened

VCE, which Cisco and EMC formed in 2009, announced System 540 along with four other new versions of Vblock and “technology extensions” for the system.

The new Vblock System 740 is the highest-performance model. It includes EMC’s Vmax 3 storage, which increases storage performance, the company said.

There is also the new Vblock System 240 for the mid-size business customers and remote offices. Its storage component is EMC’s entry-level VNX5200.

Along with the new Vblock models, VCE added two Vblock-based integrated cloud management solutions: one for Cisco cloud management and the other for VMware cloud management. EMC-controlled VMware was one of the early investors in VCE.

Cisco is offering its UCS Director software (management software for UCS infrastructure) as a cloud management solution. The company said users can provision virtual resources in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service manner using the Director.

The VMware version of the solution comes with the software company’s vRealize Suite. The suite also enables cloud management, including automated provisioning and orchestration of private and hybrid cloud environments.

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