Uncommon Wisdom

Nov 4 2009   1:11PM GMT

Cisco/EMC joint venture: private & public cloud data center strategy

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Cisco, EMC and VMware have formed a joint venture called “Acadia” to promote a new vision of the data center, built on virtualization and presumably cloud-ready elements. Intel will also have a small stake in the deal. The core of this venture is an architecture built on technology from all three, who form what they call the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) Coalition.

The “product” is a set of Vblock Infrastructure Packages that are essentially ready-to-install combinations of software and hardware to support security, virtualization, networking, computing and storage. Acadia will sell, install and sustain this as the customer requires, and we’re hearing they have their first contracts in the bag in Asia and the EU, with one in the U.S. likely coming within 45 days.

The concept is also targeted at both private and public clouds, and in this aspect it could be the basis for something highly interesting to service providers and even somewhat competitive as a service-layer technology. So far none of the players seem to be positioning Acadia as a generalized solution for the service layer, and we can’t find any indication of new products other than element management for the Vblocks, but the value of the package concept is considerable for users whose needs fit in the framework of the three Vblock configurations.

Professional services and a developer ecosystem are also provided; the latter may be where service-layer technology comes into the picture. We think that a service-layer extension to the VCE concept could put a lot of pressure on other network vendors. Ericsson has no real announced strategy, Alcatel-Lucent and NSN have strategies they’re not really opening up on, and Juniper has just announced a major service-layer innovation. All of these would need to accommodate whatever positioning Cisco might make.

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