I recently had the opportunity to meet with Trey Leyton, VP & CTO for VCE, to discuss VCE’s momentum and how they use Cisco technologies to deliver a truly converged infrastructure and an incredible customer experience.
Last year, VCE achieved a $1 billion per year run rate with the VblockTM Systems portfolio. Customers have returned to purchase additional systems. Seventy percent of Vblock customers buy a 2nd and 3rd Vblock system. Why? VCE delivers a great customer experience. Vblock is a truly converged infrastructure, it is pre-integrated, factory built and tested, delivered as a single product with one phone number to call for support. A converged infrastructure such as Vblock requires a holistic management solution. Cisco UCS Director enables the automation and orchestration of converged infrastructures from a single-view portal improving IT efficiency. These efficiency gains allow IT to spend much less time managing infrastructure.
Ninety nine percent of the time a Vblock system is operational within 48 hours of being delivered. A solution that is usable this quickly meets the requirements of both technical and business IT teams. The factory-integration and validation accelerates deployment, enabling IT technical staff to focus on driving innovation rather than installing infrastructure. IT executives like that the infrastructure is operational faster to help drive the business forward.
Vblock Systems eliminate many of the challenges that consume today’s data center resources including planning, setting up and deploying infrastructure, and keeping infrastructure up to date. Basically, Vblock Systems can simplify every aspect of IT operations while boosting productivity and lowering costs.
Infrastructure will always matter if your goal is to deliver an elastic, automated cloud computing environment. The success and momentum of VCE with the Vblock Systems portfolio is proof that a truly converged infrastructure using best-in-class technologies from Cisco (Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus Switches) and EMC (EMC VNXe, VNX and Symmetrix VMAX) can help customers can get projects done faster, with better performance, higher availability and low total cost of ownership.
Cisco and EMC continue to partner closely to speed our customers journey to the cloud via our “three paths to the cloud’ strategy. The strategy enables customers to implement custom-design infrastructures with best-of-breed products, validated reference architectures via Cisco solutions for EMC VSPEX, and pre-integrated converged infrastructure from VCE.
In the last year, Cisco solutions for EMC VSPEX have generated significant momentum with customers and partners. In this short period of time we have:
Signed up more than 850 channel partners
Nearly 1,000 VSPEX customers around the world
Published 9 CVD’s focused on virtualization and desktop virtualization
60% y/y growth in viewership on our VSPEX CVD pages
Cisco and EMC will continue collaborating on VSPEX to expand the solution portfolio and accelerate growth. As a preview of future VSPEX CVDs, two new solution briefs have just been released. These solution briefs enable customers to choose their desired hypervisor, Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 or VMware VSphere 5.1, and get a validated configuration for up to 1000 virtual machines based upon Cisco UCS servers and networking with next-generation EMC VNX Series storage. The next-generation EMC VNX Series storage will complement VSPEX solutions by enhancing virtual application performance through multicore optimization software taking advantage of the latest multicore CPUs.
Building your own infrastructure solutions can not only take time and resources but also can introduce additional risk and complexity. This is exactly the problem that Cisco solutions for EMC VSPEX solves by offering presized and validated solutions that give customers confidence that they are deploying the right balance of computing, networking, and storage resources.
Congratulations to the Cisco and EMC teams for their momentum with Cisco Solutions for EMC VSPEX and thank you for making it easy for organizations to quickly deploy a powerful, secure virtualized environment without the expense or risk entailed in designing and building a custom solution.
Recently I spent time at Cisco Live Orlando where I caught up with Trey Layton, CTO, VCE. We had an opportunity to talk about automation and orchestration of Vblock with Cisco UCS Director (formerly Cloupia). Over recent months, we have been doing even more work for our customers, collectively between our companies, to do deeper integration and to simplify the management, administration, provisioning and automation of our converged infrastructures.
As we see the continued trend to move to a services model in IT and adopt a private cloud infrastructure, Cisco UCS Director is the only solution to provide single pane of glass automation and provisioning of all virtual and physical assets and can provide end-to-end orchestration across server, network and storage resources. With Vblock, it provides our mutual customers an elastic pool of resources to be able to consume and adapt to various applications and use cases that customers are deploying in the virtualized or bare metal environments.
We are excited about the developments around both what UCS Director and Vblock are delivering, and there is a lot more in the works moving forward to continue to support simplification and agility for our customers’ data center architecture.
The next release of UCS Director will add VMAX and VNXE storage support to the product by September. This will allow UCS Director to support all Vblock models with complete server, network and storage provisioning automation.
The UCS Director task library will include over 50 Vblock specific tasks to allow users to easily build model-based automation workflows to dynamically provision the system.
Cisco continues to innovate, delivering technology and solutions that provide real value to our customers. Tomorrow starts here.
In April the largest conference for Oracle users, outside of Oracle OpenWorld, occurred in Denver. With 6000 attendees “Collaborate”, the annual Oracle user conference sponsored by IOUG (Independent Oracle User Group), OAUG (Oracle Application User Group) and Quest International, is one of the best events For Oracle users, whether it is Oracle Database or any of the other Oracle software products, to learn, network, share and teach. Oh, and have some fun too.
But for companies like Cisco who exhibit and sponsor Collaborate, it is also a great chance to informally “take the pulse” of the Oracle user community. The questions they ask and the sessions they attend provide a clear indicator of where Oracle users are headed, what the trends are and and where they are putting their efforts in the future. Here is what I discovered at this year’s Collaborate.
So unlike past conferences, the Oracle community is actively looking at
a) Virtualization for their Oracle infrastructure, including Databases and
b) Preconfigured/prevalidated hardware solutions (sometimes called converged infrastructure solutions) instead of just the old DIY custom system approach for hardware.
To me these are both major changes in the mindset of those using Oracle Database and applications. And the implications are significant. As virtualization permeates the large Oracle install-base (largest business software vendor), the hypervisor vendors will see significant growth and many operational aspects of Oracle infrastructures will change and improve. That virtualization push includes Oracle who is making inroads with their dramatically updated Oracle VM (virtual machine) product.
The move towards pretested hardware solutions is also a major directional shift which should drive an increased focus on reducing software and database upgrade/version cycle times and downplay the need to do extensive hardware testing. In today’s environment of “do more with less”, pretested hardware solutions may be a great way to help the Oracle IT team address that conundrum.
Can Cisco help with these trends towards more Oracle virtualization and pretested hardware configurations? The answer is a resounding YES! With our storage partners EMC and NetApp, and our software partners Oracle and VMware, we have developed an extensive array of pretested/prevalidated solutions with hypervisors (Oracle VM and vSphere), storage (EMC and NetApp) and software (Oracle Database and applications) all running on Cisco UCS servers and Cisco networking. For more information on Cisco’s Oracle solutions and to see the available Cisco Validated Designs (CVD) for Oracle, go to Cisco.com/go/oracle
Coming up in my next blog, more on the move to virtualize Oracle database and applications.
By: VCE CTO Trey Layton at EMC World 2013 (@treylayton)
Greek philosopher, Heraclitus said “change is the only constant in life.” And without question, change is the lifeblood to our industry and like any transition, albeit from VHS to digital, from board games to mobile apps, or even dare I say it, Tom and Jerry to Jerry Springer, the “customer” conversation takes on a new shape, with new questions and a fresh dialogue.
Today, we’re seeing something very similar with a natural transition towards convergence in the data center market. No longer is the conversation about the impact on IT departments, but about how to influence change to meet the business needs of the company. Refocusing an entire business around a common goal is no easy feat, especially within those longer standing companies with more traditional, more siloed approaches to their business – and as such skill sets are once again going to have to change or people will find their options becoming limited. Like the technology they’re going to have to adjust; it’s a natural transition for not only the IT department, but leaders across multiple faculties of the business.
Economic and competitive pressures are demanding we do more with fewer resources. Take Columbia Sportswear who deployed Vblock systems in order to transform IT to be much more service orientated in order to fulfill business requests that much faster. Rapid deployment and ease of use also enabled Columbia to redirect IT staff to find new ways to solve business problems, rather than focused on the IT “plumbing”. Above all, the need for flexibility is commonplace in today’s business environment and hence require their IT to “never say no” regardless of the project that comes through the door.
VCE is leading the charge into the next generation data center, simplifying and accelerating data center modernization efforts for our customers. Simply put, VCE represents the next evolution of IT, one focused on the next generation data center and the future of cloud computing.
So where do we go from here?
As the IT industry and the needs of the customer continue to evolve, so will VCE and the Vblock systems. Already we’ve taken our Vblock family to the next level by enhancing the existing 300 and 700 systems and expanded our portfolio by adding the 100 and 200 systems. We also developed Vblock Specialized Systems that are optimized for SAP HANA software and added our own layer of intelligence to existing management toolsets by creating VCE Vision Intelligent Operations to enable and simplify converged operations.
As we look to the future we will continue to innovate on top of the success we’ve already seen to ensure converged infrastructure retains its position as the foundation for next generation data centers. And trust me, there’s a lot more coming to you this year, including the notion of “hyper-convergence” – something you’ll hear a lot more from me on in the coming months.
Join us at this year’s EMC World in Las Vegas to experience for yourself the simplicity behind the Vblock converged systems and see what the future holds for the next generation data center.