Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Scott Sobhani, Kevin Jackson, Harry Trott, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud, IoT User Interface, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

VCE Revisited, Now and Zen

VCE stands for Virtual Computing Environment and was launched as a joint initiative

Yesterday VCE and their proud parents announced revenues had reached an annual run rate of a billion dollars. Today VCE announced some new products along with enhancements to others.

Before going forward though, let's take go back for a moment to help set the stage to see where things might be going in the future. A little over a three years ago, back in November 2009 VCE was born and initially named ACADIA by its proud parents (Cisco, EMC, Intel and VMware). Here is a post that I did back then.

VCE logo

BTW the reference to Zen might cause some to think that I don't how to properly refer to the Xen hypervisor. It is really a play from Robert Plants album Now and Zen and its song Tall Cool One. For those not familiar, click on the link and listen (some will have DejaVu, others might think its new and cool) as it takes a look back as well as present, similar to VCE.

Robert plant now and zen vs. Xen hypervisor

On the other hand, this might prompt the question of when will Xen be available on a Vblock? For that I defer you to VCE CTO Trey Layton (@treylayton).

VCE stands for Virtual Computing Environment and was launched as a joint initiative including products and a company (since renamed from Acadia to VCE) to bring all the pieces together. As a company, VCE is based in Plano Texas just north of downtown Dallas and down the road from EDS or what is now left of it after the HP acquisition The primary product of VCE has been the Vblock. The Vblock is a converged solution comprising components from their parents such as VMware virtualization and management software tools, Cisco servers, EMC storage and software tools and Intel processors.

Not surprisingly there are many ex-EDS personal at VCE along with some Cisco, EMC, VMware and many other people from other organizations in Plano as well as other cites. Also interesting to note that unlike other youngsters that grow up and stay in touch with their parents via technology or social media tools, VCE is also more than a few miles (try hundreds to thousands) from the proud parent headquarters on the San Jose California and Boston areas.

VCE logo

As part of a momentum update, VCE and their parents (Cisco, EMC, VMware and Intel) announced annual revenue run rate of a billion dollars in just three years. In addition the proud parents and VCE announced that they have over 1,000 revenue shipped and installed Vblock systems (also here) based on Cisco compute servers, and EMC storage solutions.

The VCE announcement consists of:

  • SAP HANA database application optimized Vblocks (two modes, 4 node and 8 node)
  • VCE Vision management tools and middleware or what I have refered to as Valueware
  • Entry level Vblock (100 and 200) with Cisco C servers and EMC (VNXe and VNX) storage
  • Performance and functionality enhancements to existing Vblock models 300 and 700
  • Statement of direction for more specialized Vblocks besides SAP HANA


Images courtesy with permission of VCE.com

While VCE is known for their Vblock converged, stack, integrated, data center in a box, private cloud or among other descriptors, there is more to the story. VCE is addressing convergence of common IT building blocks for cloud, virtual, and traditional physical environments. Common core building blocks include servers (compute or processors), networking (IO and connectivity), storage, hardware, software, management tools along with people, processes, metrics, policies and protocols.

Storage I/O image of cloud and virtual IT building blocks

I like the visual image that VCE is using (see below) as it aligns with and has themes common to what I have discussing in the past.


Images courtesy with permission of VCE.com

VCE Vision is software with APIs that collects information about Vblock hardware and software components to give insight to other tools and management frameworks. For example VMware vCenter plug-in and vCenter Operations Manager Adapter which should not be a surprise. Customers will also be able to write to the Vision API to meet their custom needs. Let us watch and see what VCE does to add support for other software and management tools, along with gain support from others.


Images courtesy with permission of VCE.com

Vision is more than just an information source feed for VMware vCenter or VASA or tools and frameworks from others. Vision is software developed by VCE that will enable insight and awareness into the Vblock and applications, however also confirm and give status of physical and logical component configuration. This means the basis for setting up automated or programmatic remediation such as determining what software or firmware to update based on different guidelines.


Images courtesy with permission of VCE.com

Initially VCE Vision provides (information) inventory and perspective of how those components are in compliance with firmware or software releases, so stay tuned. VCE is indicating that Vision will continue to evolve after all this is the V1.0 release with future enhancements targeted towards taking action, controlling or active management.

StorageIO Industry trends and perspectives image

Some trends, thoughts and perspectives

The industry adoption buzz is around software defined X where X can be data center (SDDC), or storage (SDS) or networking (SDN), or marketing (SDM) or other things. The hype and noise around software defined which in the case of some technologies is good. On the marketing hype side, this has led to some Software Defined BS (SDBS).

Thus, it was refreshing at least in the briefing session I was involved in to hear a minimum focus around software defined and more around customer and IT business enablement with technology that is shipping today.

VCE Vision is a good example of adding value hence what I refer to as Valueware around converged components. For those vendors who have similar solutions, I urge them to streamline, simplify and more clearly articulate their value proposition if they have valueware.

VCE logo

Vendors including VCE continue to evolve their platform based converged solutions by adding more valueware, management tools, interfaces, APIs, interoperability and support for more applications. The support for applications is also moving beyond simple line item ordering or part number skews to ease acquisition and purchasing. Some solutions include VCE Vblock, NetApp FlexPod that also uses Cisco compute servers, IBM PureSystems (PureFlex etc) and Dell vStart among others are extending their support and optimization for various software solutions. These software solutions range from SAP (including HANA), Microsoft (Exchange, SQLserver, Sharepoint), Citrix desktop (VDI), Oracle, OpenStack, Hadoop map reduce along with other little-data, big-data and big-bandwidth applications to name a few.

Additional and related reading:
Acadia VCE: VMware + Cisco + EMC = Virtual Computing Environment
Cloud conversations: Public, Private, Hybrid what about Community Clouds?
Cloud, virtualization, Storage I/O trends for 2013 and beyond
Convergence: People, Processes, Policies and Products
Hard product vs. soft product
Hardware, Software, what about Valueware?
Industry adoption vs. industry deployment, is there a difference?
Many faces of storage hypervisor, virtual storage or storage virtualization
The Human Face of Big Data, a Book Review
Why VASA is important to have in your VMware CASA

Congratulations to VCE, along with their proud parents, family, friends and partners, now how long will it take to reach your next billion dollars in annual run rate revenue. Hopefully it wont be three years until the next VCE revisited now and Zen ;).

VCE logo

Disclosure: EMC and Cisco have been StorageIO clients, I am a VMware vExpert that gets me a free beer after I pay for VMworld and Intel has named two of my books listed on their Recommended Reading List for Developers.

Ok, nuff said, time to head off to vBeers over in Minneapolis.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2013 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
You are moving to the Cloud. The question is not if, it’s when. Now that your competitors are in the cloud and lapping you, your “when” better hurry up and get here. But saying and doing are two different things. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Robert Reeves, CTO of Datical, explained how DevOps can be your onramp to the cloud. By adopting simple, platform independent DevOps strategies, you can accelerate your move to the cloud. Spoiler Alert: He also makes sure you don’t...
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Digital Initiatives create new ways of conducting business, which drive the need for increasingly advanced security and regulatory compliance challenges with exponentially more damaging consequences. In the BMC and Forbes Insights Survey in 2016, 97% of executives said they expect a rise in data breach attempts in the next 12 months. Sixty percent said operations and security teams have only a general understanding of each other’s requirements, resulting in a “SecOps gap” leaving organizations u...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, a Developer Advocate with IBM Cloud Data Services, discussed...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, discussed how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He also discussed how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors ...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...