Cisco, EMC and VMware work together to develop private cloud infrastructure with management and support ventures introduced

Cisco, EMC and VMware has introduced the Virtual Computing Environment coalition.

The coalition has been working closely over the past year on private cloud computing, what it calls ‘a shared vision for the future of enterprise IT infrastructure'.

It said that a private cloud is a virtual IT infrastructure that is securely controlled and operated solely for one organisation. It can be managed either by that organisation or a third party, and it can exist on or off premises or in combination. Private cloud computing offers the controls and security of today's data centre with the agility required for business innovation at substantially lower costs.

Vblock Infrastructure Packages have also been introduced which, according to the coalition, are fully integrated, tested, validated, and ready-to-go/ready-to-grow infrastructure packages that combine best-in-class virtualisation, networking, computing, storage, security and management technologies from Cisco, EMC and VMware with end-to-end vendor accountability.

There are three Vblock packages offered: Vblock 0 will be an entry-level configuration available in 2010, supporting 300 up to 800 virtual machines; Vblock 1 is a mid-sized configuration supporting 800 up to 3,000 virtual machines to deliver a broad range of IT capabilities to organisations of all sizes; and Vblock 2 is a high-end configuration supporting up to 3,000-6,000 virtual machines that is completely extensible to meet the most demanding IT needs of large enterprises and service providers.

EMC has also introduced the Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager as an integrated, unified element manager for Vblock. It is designed to support a wide range of enterprise management consoles.

A security framework based on EMC's RSA security products, including RSA enVision, has been validated with Vblock Infrastructure Packages. RSA security solutions are layered onto the Vblock architecture to deliver security policy management and security at three levels: identity, information and infrastructure.

It claimed that Vblock is designed to extend a customer's existing enterprise security controls to the virtual infrastructure and does not require the customer to replace security software already in place.

In unveiling the Virtual Computing Environment coalition, Cisco and EMC also introduced the Acadia joint venture, which is focused on accelerating customer build-outs of private cloud infrastructures through an end-to-end enablement of service providers and large enterprise customers.

Acadia's unique ‘build, operate, transfer' model for delivering the Vblock architecture will offer customers further choice and flexibility as they seek to virtualise their IT infrastructures and evolve to private cloud environments. Acadia expects to begin customer operations in the first calendar quarter of 2010.

Founded on a Vblock architecture that incorporates Cisco, EMC and VMware technologies, Acadia will train and help customers and an ecosystem of service providers and other partners to build, operate and transfer Vblock Infrastructure Packages to customers or their partner of choice.

In addition to Cisco and EMC as the lead investors, the build-out of Acadia's expanded capabilities in 2010 has also been capitalised by investments from VMware and Intel.

Intel will join the Acadia effort as a minority investor to facilitate and accelerate customer adoption of the latest Intel technology for servers, storage and networking.

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, described the coalition as a ‘partner eco-system, in terms of how we do this as a family' and ‘one that is really designed to work on customers'. He said: “There is no industry transition moving faster than you see in virtualisation, understanding the power of virtualisation, where the cloud is going to go and bringing the power of the operating system to that.”

Paul Maritz, president and CEO of VMware, said: “Customers are increasingly looking to virtualisation to dramatically improve the performance and flexibility of their existing IT systems.

“Today's announcement provides a compelling vision and set of roadmaps valuable to any company looking to harness cloud computing in a fundamentally more pragmatic and non-disruptive way.”

Joseph Tucci, EMC chairman and CEO, said:  “Cisco and EMC, together with VMware, are coming together in an unprecedented way to help our customers. Many of them understand the vast potential of the private cloud. With shared roadmaps and a long-term commitment, the Virtual Computing Environment coalition will bring true accountability, along with the best-of-breed technologies our respective customers have come to expect, to help enable their success.”

“This coalition is about more than technology and partnership. It is about an entirely new and unique approach to the data centre that improves utilisation, power consumption and security of information, all in a way that lowers the total cost to the customer, not via a box, but with a network-based architectural approach for optimising virtual resources,” said Chambers.

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