EMC and Cisco, together with VMware, have committed to an extensive and ongoing collaboration to drive pervasive virtualisation and private cloud with technology innovation, business partnership, venture investments and partner ecosystem leverage.

The Virtualised Computing Environment coalition has been created to accelerate customers’ ability to increase business agility through greater IT infrastructure flexibility, and lower IT, energy and real estate costs through pervasive data centre virtualisation and a transition to private cloud infrastructures.
Travers Nicholas, specialist and evangelist for the Virtual Computing Environment coalition, says the coalition is accelerating customers’ journey to the private cloud. “Integrated best-of-breed packages from VCE have been engineered, tested and validated to deliver revolutionary TCO and pervasive virtualisation at scale in today’s most demanding use cases,” he says.
EMC, Cisco and VMware have worked closely over the past year on a shared vision for the future of enterprise IT infrastructure – private cloud computing. 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.
“Through dedicated pre-sales, professional services and a single-support experience, the VCE coalition will provide a seamless, end-to-end customer experience. This is a joint venture to build, operate and transfer Vblock infrastructure to organisations which want to accelerate their journey to the private cloud,” Nicholas says.
John Jordaan, EMC alliance manager: southern Africa, agrees: “VMware, Cisco and EMC have established a business and technical solution on-ramp for joint VCE Accredited Partners to form an ecosystem of channel partners which will augment, sell and deliver Vblock solutions to accelerate the journey to private cloud for customer organisations of all sizes.
“The VCE coalition embarked on the journey to the private cloud with two local EMC Signature Solution Centre Partners, Business Connexion and Dimension Data, which have been certified and accredited on all the technologies, and the integration thereof, to deliver these solutions.”
Worldwide spending on data centre technology infrastructure and services exceeds $350-billion annually, according to McKinsey and Company estimates, with half of that spent on capital expenses (products) and half on operating expenses (services and labour). Furthermore, an estimated 70%2 or more of those costs are expended to maintain existing infrastructures, leaving 30% or less for new technology initiatives and applications that can provide breakthrough differentiation for businesses. It is also estimated that approximately $85-billion, or 20% of this total market, can be addressed with data centre virtualisation and private cloud technology by 2015.
The Virtual Computing Environment coalition offers organisations of all sizes an accelerated approach to data centre transformation with dramatic efficiencies that promise significant reductions in both capital and operating expenses. As a result, organisations will no longer have to choose between best-of-breed technologies and end-to-end vendor accountability.
Servaas Venter, EMC Southern Africa country manager, says the VCE coalition represents an unprecedented level of collaboration in development, services and partner enablement that reduces risk in the infrastructure virtualisation journey to the private cloud.
“Enabled by Vblock Infrastructure Packages, the coalition delivers the industry’s first completely integrated IT offering that combines best-of-breed virtualisation, networking, computing, storage, security and management technologies with end-to-end vendor accountability,” Venter says. “Rather than assembling individual components, customers can now purchase them as Vblock Infrastructure Packages. The three companies have invested in an industry-leading seamless support experience, featuring innovative collaboration that starts with a single point of contact for customer support.”
With the introduction of Vblock Infrastructure Packages, the Virtual Computing Environment coalition will provide customers with a fundamentally better approach to streamlining and optimising IT strategies around private clouds. Vblock Infrastructure Packages are fully integrated, tested, validated, and ready-to-go/ready-to-grow infrastructure packages.
The coalition will scale customer adoption of Vblock systems by enabling a global community of systems integrators, service providers, channel partners and independent software vendors (ISVs). The coalition has also established unified presales, professional services and support capabilities to simplify customer engagement.
Derek Peyton, Cisco South Africa’s business development manager: data centre technologies, comments: "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."
Chris Norton, regional director for VMWare South Africa, says: “The alliance is taking three best-of-breed technologies and creating reference architectures for customers to build their data centres in conjunction with the frameworks that we have put forward. It will make a significant difference to the way people compute. It changes the rules and the way people think about their environment.”
From a coalition of EMC and Cisco along with VMware, customers can now experience the power of three. VCE represents the efforts of these three technology innovators and market leaders combining forces to enable rapid transformation to a new, more powerful computing model: private cloud. The Virtual Computing Environment is an innovative move to better business outcomes, options and opportunities for greater efficiency, control and choice.