EMC Debuts VSPEX Reference Architecture, Targets NetApp's FlexPod Business

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Steve Kaplan, vice president of the data center virtualization practice at Presidio Networked Solutions, a Greenbelt, Md.-based solution provider, called EMC's VSPEX a very good strategy.

"VSPEX provides clients with design flexibility," Kaplan said. "If a customer application doesn't exactly meet a Vblock specification, it would be a shame to lose the opportunity or force the customer into a different type of solution."

Ambulos said that VSPEX is actually a way for solution providers to add value to their customers' IT infrastructures while taking advantage of the configuration development done by EMC.

"This is a solution sell," he said. "Partners are seen as trusted advisors to customers. This actually provides 'stickiness' with customers. VSPEX is a recipe. The partners are working with pre-validated solutions. But partners still provide the sizing and the deployment."

VSPEX is a series of 14 configurations that EMC considers to represent the biggest potential for helping customers move to cloud computing.

At the storage level, the configurations leverage EMC's VNX and VNXe entry-level storage arrays at launch time, said Josh Kahn, EMC vice president of solutions marketing. Other VSPEX configurations will eventually include EMC's Data Domain, Avamar, and Networker storage technologies. EMC's VMAX enterprise array may also become part of VSPEX in the future, Kahn said.

On the compute side, EMC's VSPEX reference architecture includes Cisco UCS servers, but is can work with any vendors' Intel x86 processor-based servers, including white-box servers, Kahn said.

The networking layer will include options from both Cisco and from Brocade, giving Brocade an opportunity to work closely with EMC after being shut out of the VCE Vblock offerings.

This differs dramatically from VCE Vblocks which only provide options for Cisco UCS servers and Cisco networking technology.

VSPEX will include server virtualization options from VMware, which is owned by EMC, as well as from VMware rivals Microsoft and Citrix, and VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop options for desktop virtualization.

The initial 14 VSPEX configurations will provide the base for five different solutions, including VMware View or Citrix XenDesktop virtual desktop solutions for 250 to 2,000 users; a VMware-based private cloud for up to 125 or 250 virtual machines; and a VMware-based or Microsoft Hyper-V-based private cloud for 50 or 100 virtual machines, Kahn said.

NEXT: VSPEX Options Now And Going Forward

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