Page 2 of 3
Jamie Shepard, executive vice president of technology solutions at ICI, a Marlborough, Mass.-based solution provider and partner to both EMC and VCE, said he could see VSPEX competing with VCE Vblocks for customers who want flexibility.
"Everything being said about VSPEX is, it's the processor, the storage, the networking," Shepard said. "And it's open. VSPEX is offering choice. VCE is about raw virtual provisioning and compute power, not choice. To me, VSPEX is a VCE competitor."
Shepard said VSPEX seems to be similar to his company's Virtual Cloud Cube (vCcube) offering, which he described as am Infrastructure-as-a-Service virtualized private cloud which provides flexibility, choice, and best-of-breed technology.
The big difference, he said, is that ICI's vCcube is powered by ICI's nCubed methodology of infrastructure assessment, consulting, and enablement for planning, designing, and building clouds. "EMC doesn't have the nCubed Methodology," he said. "But it is offering customers choice. "
While channel sources expect EMC to take advantage of its architecture to move more towards the server business, it would not necessarily be to offer stand-alone servers, particularly in the commodity server market. Instead, VSPEX would be a strong platform on which customers could build private clouds.
VSPEX will likely fill a gap in between EMC's current storage-focused products and the Vblock unified storage-server-networking platform from VCE, sources said.
VCE develops solutions based on EMC storage arrays, including EMC's entry-level VNX array and its enterprise-class VMAX. That storage is married to Cisco's UCS server technology and Cisco's networking technology, and to VMware's virtualization technology in VCE's Vblocks, which are configured and built by VCE in relatively rigid configurations before being shipped to customers.
VCE is also expected to offer entry-level Vblocks based on EMC's VNXe SMB storage line, although neither VCE nor EMC has confirmed such a move.
EMC in January reported that VCE currently has an annualized run rate of about $800 million in revenue, and could soon reach the $1 billion mark.
EMC's primary storage competitor, NetApp, also works with Cisco and VMware as well as with Microsoft to develop a Vblock competitor called FlexPod. Unlike the fixed-configuration Vblock offering.
However, FlexPod is a reference architecture which provides a blueprint for solution providers to build their own converged infrastructure offerings based on specific customer requirements.