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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

Read the original blog entry...

About 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.

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Cloud Expo - Cloud Looms Large on SYS-CON.TV

Cloud Expo 2013 East Opening Keynote by IBM
In this Cloud Expo Keynote, Danny Sabbah, CTO & General Manager, Next Generation Platform, will detail the critical architectural considerations and success factors organizations must internalize to successfully implement, optimize and innovate using next generation architectures.
Lisa Larson, Vice President of Enterprise Cloud Solutions of Rackspace Hosting Live From New York City
In the old world of IT, if you didn't have hardware capacity or the budget to buy more, your project was dead in the water. Budget constraints can leave some of the best, most creative and most ingenious innovations on the cutting room floor. It's a true dilemma for developers and innovators – why spend the time creating, when a project could be abandoned in a blink? That was the old world. In the new world of IT, developers rule. They have access to resources they can spin up instantly. A hybrid cloud ignites innovation and empowers developers to focus on what they need. A hybrid cloud blends the best of all worlds, public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers to fit the needs of developers and offer the ideal environment for each app and workload without the constraints of a one-size-fits-all cloud.

Keynote: Driving Cloud Innovation: SSDs Change Cloud Storage Paradigm
Cloud is a transformational shift in computing that can have a powerful effect on enterprise IT when designed correctly and used to its full potential. Join Citrix in a discussion that centers on building, connecting and empowering users with cloud services and hear examples of how enterprises are solving real-world business challenges with an architecture and solution purpose-built for the cloud.

Go Beyond IaaS to Deliver "Anything As a Service"
Many organizations want to expand upon the IaaS foundation to deliver cloud services in all forms—software, mobility, infrastructure and IT. Understanding the strategy, planning process and tools for this transformation will help catalyze changes in the way the business operates and deliver real value. Join us to learn about the new ITaaS model and how to begin the transformation.

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SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit 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. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online busine...
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SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit 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. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudbric, a leading website security provider, will exhibit 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. Cloudbric is an elite full service website protection solution specifically designed for IT novices, entrepreneurs, and small and medium businesses. First launched in 2015, Cloudbric is based on the enterprise level Web Application Firewall by Penta Security Sys...
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Top Stories for Cloud Expo 2012 East

In this Big Data Power Panel at the 10th International Cloud Expo, moderated by Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan, Govind Rangasamy, Director of Product Management at Eucalyptus Systems; Kevin Brown; CEO of Coraid, Inc.; Christos Tryfonas, CTO and Co-Founder of Cetas; and Max Riggsbee, CMO and VP of Products for WhipTail, discussed such topics as: Big Data has existed since the early days of computing; why, then, do you think there is such an industry buzz around it right now? How is Big Data impacting storage and networking architecture in data centers? How about the intersection of Big Data Analytics and Cloud Computing - how big a sector is that and why? What's the difference between Big Data and Fast Data? ... (more)

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Everyone talks about a cloud-first or mobile-first strategy. It's the trend du jour, and for good reason as these innovative technologies have revolutionized an industry and made savvy companies a lot of money. But consider for a minute what's emerging with the Age of Context and the Internet of Things. Devices, interfaces, everyday objects are becoming endowed with computing smarts. This is creating an unprecedented focus on the Application Programming Interface (API) as developers seek to connect these devices and interfaces to create new supporting services and hybrids. I call this trend the move toward an API-first business model and strategy.
We live in a world that requires us to compete on our differential use of time and information, yet only a fraction of information workers today have access to the analytical capabilities they need to make better decisions. Now, with the advent of a new generation of embedded business intelligence (BI) platforms, cloud developers are disrupting the world of analytics. They are using these new BI platforms to inject more intelligence into the applications business people use every day. As a result, data-driven decision-making is finally on track to become the rule, not the exception.
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@CloudExpo Blogs
In case you haven’t heard, the new hotness in app architectures is serverless. Mainly restricted to cloud environments (Amazon Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, Microsoft Azure Functions) the general concept is that you don’t have to worry about anything but the small snippets of code (functions) you write to do something when something happens. That’s an event-driven model, by the way, that should be very familiar to anyone who has taken advantage of a programmable proxy to do app or API routing and rewriting or executed inspection of requests or responses for malicious content.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to change everything by enabling “smart” environments (homes, cities, hospitals, schools, stores, etc.) and smart products (cars, trucks, airplanes, trains, wind turbines, lawnmowers, etc.). I recently wrote about the importance of moving beyond “connected” to “smart” in a blog titled “Internet of Things: Connected Does Not Equal Smart”. The article discusses the importance of moving beyond just collecting the data, to transitioning to leveraging this new wealth of IoT data to improve the decisions that these smart environments and products need to make: t...
In many organizations governance is still practiced by phase or stage gate peer review, and Agile projects are forced to accommodate, which leads to WaterScrumFall or worse. But governance criteria and policies are often very weak anyway, out of date or non-existent. Consequently governance is frequently a matter of opinion and experience, highly dependent upon the experience of individual reviewers. As we all know, a basic principle of Agile methods is delegation of responsibility, and ideally we need to delegate governance to the Agile practitioners and teams. So the question is how to imple...
I spend a lot of time helping organizations to “think like a data scientist.” My book “Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science” has several chapters devoted to helping business leaders to embrace the power of data scientist thinking. My Big Data MBA class at the University of San Francisco School of Management focuses on teaching tomorrow’s business executives the power of analytics and data science to optimize key business processes, uncover new monetization opportunities and create a more compelling, engaging customer and channel engagement.
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resources of one or more underlying hosts. It's not uncommon for Docker servers to run thousands of short-te...
They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Sometimes doing the same thing over and over while expecting the same results can be insane too. Find out how to change your expectations of IT infrastructure. Have you ever wondered if you are stuck in an IT infrastructure loop, continuously deploying the same types of components and integrating them into an overall infrastructure architecture? Servers for CPU and RAM, storage appliances, hypervisor software, and disaster recovery software/appliances are just some of the different components that you've...
Recently I've been doing quite a bit of analysis work using the IBM Watson cognitive business platform. The really exciting thing about this opportunity is the way data can seem to have a conversation with you. This got me wondering if social media data could carry on a conversation as well. Given my almost unhealthy interest in cloud computing, we ran a one week experiment to "crowdsource the internet" in order to see if it held any interesting cloud computing insights.
As we enter the final week before the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in Santa Clara, CA, it's time for me to reflect on six big topics that will be important during the show. Hybrid Cloud This general-purpose term seems to provide a comfort zone for many enterprise IT managers. It sounds reassuring to be able to work with one of the major public-cloud providers like AWS or Microsoft Azure while still maintaining an on-site presence.
HTI Labs in London provides the means and governance with its Schematiq tool to bring critical data services to the interface users want. The next BriefingsDirect Voice of the Customer digital transformation case study explores how powerful and diverse financial information is newly and uniquely delivered to the ubiquitous Excel spreadsheet edge.
Last week, I was a keynote speaker at the Mobile Edge '16 conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Following the conference I met individually with many different companies. These companies represented a variety of industries, sizes and digital maturity levels. I was sharing my latest digital strategy report findings, and then answering questions and brainstorming about what the data meant to each of them. At the hotel, following a long day of meetings, it occurred to me that the biggest value I was bringing to these businesses was the breadth of my experience - the kind of experience that has turned...
A BriefingsDirect thought leadership panel discussion explores how public-sector organizations can gain economic benefits from cloud interoperability and standardization. Our panel comes to you in conjunction with The Open Group Paris Event and Member Meeting October 24 through 27, 2016 in France, with a focus on the latest developments in eGovernment. As government agencies move to the public cloud computing model, the use of more than one public cloud provider can offer economic benefits by a competition and choice. But are the public clouds standardized efficiently for true interoperabi...
Since its introduction in 2009, Microsoft Azure has gone through a significant transformation. What started as a hardcore set of platform services is now a force to be reckoned within the infrastructure market as well. According to Gartner, Azure is inching closer to AWS, firmly securing its place in the top right section of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Magic Quadrant, which is reserved only for the market leaders.
There are some enterprise applications that were born to be in the cloud. Customer relationship management (CRM) applications were an early favorite because salespeople (the primary consumers of CRM) are decentralized and mobile. Web applications and personal data storage are also ideal cloud applications because they allow enterprises to scale up easily while driving down costs. Enterprises have held on to their communications, however, making it one of the last applications to move into the cloud.
Phishing has been around since the dawn of the internet. The term was first used in an AOL Usenet group back in 1996 but it wasn’t until 2003 when many baited hooks and lures started dropping. Popular transaction destinations like PayPal and eBay were some of the early victims of these spoofed sites asking customers to update their personal and credit card information. By 2004, it was a full-fledged ‘get rich quick scheme’ with many financial institutions – and their customers – as targets.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the M2M space. This really allows some room for influential individuals to create more high value inter...
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Past SYS-CON Events
    Cloud Expo West

    Cloud Expo East

    Cloud Expo West

    Virtualization Expo West
    Cloud Expo Europe

    Cloud Expo East

    Virtualization Expo East
    Cloud Expo West

    Virtualization Expo West
    GovIT Expo
    Cloud Expo Europe

Cloud Expo 2011 Allstar Conference Faculty












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Layer 7 Tech



What The Enterprise IT World Says About Cloud Expo
"We had extremely positive feedback from both customers and prospects that attended the show and saw live demos of NaviSite's enterprise cloud based services."
  –William Toll
Sr. Director, Marketing & Strategic Alliances

"More and better leads than ever expected! I have 4-6 follow ups personally."
  –Richard Wellner
Chief Scientist
Univa UD

"Good crowd, good questions. The event looked very successful."
  –Simon Crosby
Citrix Systems

"It's the largest cloud computing conference I've ever seen."
  –David Linthicum
Brick Group