VCE President: Vblock Private Cloud Means 3-4 Times Faster Time To Deployment

VCE President Frank Hauck Tuesday told about 100 CIOs that the company's Vblock private cloud converged infrastructure is giving customers as much as a four-times-faster time to deployment than private cloud reference architectures.

Speaking at solution provider GreenPages' 15th annual technology solutions summit, Hauck said the average time to deployment for a Vblock private cloud converged infrastructure solution is 30 days compared to 90-120 days for private cloud reference architectures that need to be integrated, staged and tested before deployment.

Frank Hauck

"We say you can do it (Vblock private cloud) in 30 days from order to production," said Hauck who urged CIOs to simplify their IT operations to respond to the consumerization of information technology that has resulted in a work force relying heavily on iPhones, iPad, Facebook and Skype. "We have seen people do it in less than a week. It's operational simplicity."

Besides the rapid time from order to deployment, Hauck said VCE has seen "incredible performance gains" usually in the range of 30 percent for Vblock private cloud solutions. "We see numbers that look like that across the board in almost every application," he said, cautioning that VCE does not yet have enough data points to come out with final performance figures for Vblock private cloud.

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The three-day GreenPages conference, which is being held at the Portsmouth Sheraton in Portsmouth, N.H., is aimed at helping CIOs navigate the treacherous information technology terrain to the cloud computing services model. The conference theme is: "Cloudscape. Consquences, Opportunities & the New Reality."

Hauck said the problem with adopting a private cloud reference architecture is it saddles customers and even technology solution providers with as many as 250 different components that require software and interoperability testing, patch and change management and even the burden of converged infrastructure road map planning. VCE maintains that the 250 different components in a private reference cloud architecture raises the likelihood of maintenance issues or even security and performance problems.

In contrast, Hauck said, VCE's Vblock is simply "virtualization, server, storage, networking in a single system, pre-engineered, validated, physical and logical integration" in a rack. "Before it leaves our factory, it is ready to roll based on the logical build that has already taken place," he said.

VCE is putting an emphasis on helping customers keep a "clean" converged infrastructure with the Vblock private cloud, said Hauck. He said that VCE's goal is to deliver a regularly scheduled patch update for the Vblock every six months that works with both the storage and server infrastructure. "It is pre-tested," he said. "Our goal is to keep current within every six months. Obivously we have got to be sensitive to change management requirements."

Next: The VCE Support Offering For Vblock Private Cloud

VCE is also touting its Vblock support offering aimed at avoiding finger pointing between the three vendor partners -- EMC, Cisco and VMware -- that formed VCE. "If somebody has a problem, we triage the call and figure out where it goes relative to EMC, Cisco or VMware," said Hauck. VCE then assigns a customer advocate to assure that any and all customer issues around Vblock private cloud are resolved.

"Somebody goes with you to make sure the thing gets solved," he said. "We think if we can do that as this thing scales up then it gives people a better experience. We have somebody working with them every step of the way."

Hauck, who spent 20 years at EMC before taking the VCE president's job in March,said the need to keep IT systems clean and simple was driven home by his experience at EMC where the storage giant learned that many large accounts were having outages because routine IT systems maintenance aimed at keeping systems "clean" with new software versions, patches,…etc was being postponed due to the demands placed on the IT organization.

"We found it was a hygiene problem, meaning they couldn't keep their infrastructure clean," said Hauck. "Software was out of date and they didn't have the ability to test patches. A fair amount of it was self inflicted things they couldn't keep up with."

"If we can keep people's environments clean, it makes providing support much easier because we are going to know exactly what the environment looks like," he continued. "We'll know exactly what (software) rev (revision) level they are on and it allows us to use diagnostics that we think we can solve people's issues and identify the source of the problem much, much quicker."

That central tenet of providing a simple, efficient and easy to deploy best of breed converged infrastructure experience is at the heart of the VCE Vblock private cloud partnership comprised of EMC, Cisco, VMware and Intel. VCE views that best of breed component building block strategy as its competitive advantage over reference architectures from the likes of NetApp with its FlexPod reference architecture and what it calls single vendor stacks from rivals like Oracle, IBM and Dell.

"The thought behind this is how do we simplify," Hauck said of VCE's Vblock sprivate cloud olution. "I view this as a virtual machine appliance. The thing shows up, you plug it in and go! Simplicity has to be there every step of the way from how you configure it, to how you use it to if you have a problem how do you get the problem solved."

Hauck said industry analysts estimate the converged infrastructure market that VCE is pursuing with its Vblock private cloud as a $35 billion market by 2014. He said the converged infrastructure Vblock private cloud solution is how customers are going to buy and deploy IT infrastructure in the future.