Converged Infrastructure Bets Are In: Where Are They Paying Off?

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VCE: Vblock's High Availability, Low TCO


VCE Vblock


Solution providers say there's a simple reason that converged infrastructure from VCE is on a $1 billion annual sales run rate with more than 1,000 Vblock systems sold: high availability and lower total cost of ownership in the most demanding data centers from financial services firms to hospitals.

"It's all about availability and performance," said eGroup's Flowers. "Customers appreciate the overall stability of the platform, which is locked down."

Flowers said VBlock has been particularly strong in virtualized desktop and large-scale Microsoft Exchange environments. "Those are environments that simply can't go down," he said.

Richardson, Texas-based VCE was one of the early proponents of converged infrastructure, entering the market more than three years ago.

Jamie Shepard, regional vice president North America for Lumenate, a Dallas-based national CRN Solution Provider 500 power, said VCE momentum is picking up as a result of a stepped-up focus on C-level executives from CEOs to chief marketing officers, along with a big kick from VCE's new Vision Intelligent Operations software aimed at providing rapid provisioning and management of cloud infrastructure with new APIs.

Shepard predicts Vblock sales will shoot up some 150 percent in the next year. "We're very bullish on VCE," he said. "They were on to this converged infrastructure earlier than anybody. VCE has matured and the converged infrastructure market opportunity is accelerating very quickly."

Shepard said Lumenate is seeing a "significant increase" in converged infrastructure sales opportunities. "We had more [converged infrastructure] RFPs in the first six months of this year than in the last 18 months," he said.

World Wide Technology, the $5 billion CRN Solution Provider 500 powerhouse, is seeing strong traction of Vblocks not only in large enterprise and federal agencies, but also in midmarket companies where VCE has done a good job in the past six months expanding the Vblock product line to appeal to a broader market, said Bob Olwig, vice president of business development and innovation.

"It's not surprising that converged infrastructure is resonating with both small and large enterprises," said Olwig. "It's about speed to deployment, simplifying and managing a converged IT environment rather than silos of storage, virtualization and compute."

One large World Wide Technology Vblock customer quickly followed its first Vblock purchase with multiple buys because of the "simplicity and ease of management," said Olwig. "Vblock has freed up time so they can put more effort and resources into custom applications and the things that are driving their business versus just keeping the lights on with infrastructure."

Olwig credits VCE CEO Praveen Akkiraju, a 19-year Cisco veteran who took the helm last July, with driving significant improvements in VCE's channel sales effort. "Praveen has helped make VCE overall a more channel-oriented provider," said Olwig. "We appreciate that. We knew him when he was a business unit vice president at Cisco. He is a strong leader and has carried that over to VCE." — Steven Burke

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