VMware CEO Gelsinger: VCE Joint Venture 'Has Knocked It Out Of The Park'

VCE, the joint venture formed by VMware, EMC and Cisco Systems in the converged infrastructure market, is doing well despite competitive tensions among the vendors, according to VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger.

"From our perspective, the [VCE] partnership has been extraordinarily successful," Gelsinger said at Nexenta's OpenSDx Summit in San Francisco Thursday. "We expect the partnership to continue to grow very rapidly."

VMware and Cisco have different views on software-defined networking and that's fueling tension in their once-tight partnership. VMware is pushing a software-only approach its NSX technology, while Cisco is promoting a mix of software and hardware with its Application Centric Infrastructure offering.

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VCE already has anointed Cisco ACI as the SDN of choice for its flagship vBlock product, and that hasn't gone over well with VMware, according to some VCE partners.

Depsite the tensions, Gelsinger said VCE is still leading the way in getting customers to understand the benefits of running converged infrastructure, which are pre-integrated bundles of servers, storage and networking gear.

"VCE is by far the largest converged infrastructure vendor with over 50 percent share in the category. Joint ventures are hard, but VCE has knocked it out of the park," Gelsinger said at the event.

While the VCE partnership is "producing good revenue," Gelsinger acknowledged that VMware and Cisco have conflicting visions for the future of software-defined networking.

"That's actually turning out to be a good competitive battle," Gelsinger said.

Gelsinger said the VMware-Cisco partnership is doing just fine in other areas, such as desktops-as-a-service and VCE.

"We love Cisco, and NSX works just great on Cisco gear," Gelsinger said, echoing VMware's well-worn stance on the SDN battle.

VMware entered the hyper-converged market this week with two new products: Evo:Rail, which combines its VSAN storage virtualization and vSphere server virtualization running on hardware from x86 server partners; and Evo:Rack, a rack-mounted product aimed at cloud-scale customers.

Gelsinger said VMware expects VCE to be a partner for the Evo:Rack product, which is expected to launch next year.