The company formed by Cisco and EMC, with investments from VMware and Intel, just made the biggest announcement since it was created three years ago. VCE has introduced open management capabilities for the Vblock portfolio, Vblock Specialized Systems, and new Vblock Systems designed for branch offices and mid-size data centers.
VCE Vision Intelligent Operations, which makes possible a converged infrastructure management that works to leverage and preserve investments in existing management frameworks, is front and center in the new lineup. The Vblock System 200 brings the Vblock family to distributed environments and mid-size data centers, which significantly expands VCE's market reach.
Then there's the Vblock System 100, which targets remote office/branch office deployments, and works to extends the value of Vblock System 200, Vblock System 300 or Vblock System 700. And the Vblock System 300 and Vblock System 700 architectures have been improved, too. Both now offer more configuration flexibility in optimizing compute, networking, and storage resources.
VCE is also introducing the first of a series of systems that are optimized with pre-installed core workloads. Vblock Specialized System SAP HANA represents a push toward converged infrastructure, extending the benefits of convergence through the application layer.
No Rip and Replace
"IT Executives in the Wikibon community are modernizing their data centers and transforming operations to focus precious resources on adding sustainable business value," said David Vellante, co-founder and chief analyst at Wikibon, which is an open-source wiki dedicated to solving technology and business problems. "Converged infrastructure such as VCE's Vblock Systems can dramatically speed deployments, simplify infrastructure management and reduce risk. CIOs will value the fact that VCE is extending convergence to management and operations of converged infrastructure."
Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, said VCE's new offerings represent a generational step forward for the company, for the cause of converged infrastructure and, most important, for its customers.
"Bottom line: This is no rip and replace product or strategy, but one that, instead, is aimed directly at driving significant additional value to VCE customers' existing data center and management infrastructures," King told us. "The final questions, then, are whether VCE's new solutions will be enough to quiet naysayers and set VCE substantially apart."
The answer to that question is yes, King said. In fact, he said, only the "FUDdy-duddy competitors" could complain about VCE's shortcomings after seeing these latest offerings. Plus, he said, existing and potential VCE customers are likely to look favorably on the company's newly extended portfolio.
Overall, King believes the new Vblock System 100 and 200 solutions, enhanced Vblock System 300 and 700 offerings, SAP HANA-based specialized systems and growing catalog of Vblock use cases have significantly strengthened VCE's market position.
"In fact, given the robust quality of these new offerings and VCE's innovative trajectory, it seems likely that we'll see more new and enhanced VCE products, including additional Specialized Systems and capabilities for Vision Intelligent Operations," King said. "If the past is any guide to the future, the next few years should continue to bring substantial benefits and success to VCE and its customers and partners."