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It should be VICE and not VCE

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Presenting at IP EXpo today Acadia CEO Michael Capellas positioned Intel as an equal partner to VMware, Cisco and EMC in the VCE coalition.

He showed a slide with all four companies contributing key technologies to the vBlock converged compute, network and storage packages.

Intel has made an undisclosed investment in The VCE coalition. In that case it should properly known as the VICE coalition. Our understanding is that although all for companies recommitted to the vBlock idea they are not that committed. A chicken is committed to an egg but it is not such a life-changing commitment as a pig being committed to bacon.

In this sense the VICE partners are chickens; they all have other irons in the fire, with EMC producing its Greenplum Data Computing Apliance on its own integrated hardware as well as making GreenPlum  software available to Acadia. Similarly Cisco is playing nice with NetApp, nice enough for NetApp to make marketing hay out of the integration possibilities between Itself, Cisco and VMware - think VNE.

But it beggars belief that, say, Intel, will produce vBlock-specific product not applicable to Intel customers such as Dell, HP, IBM and Oracle.

Capellas is very bullish about vBlock and cloud momentum, saying: "This train has already left the station." He reckons that all great IT transitions happen in economic recovery periods when businesses are looking at new and more efficient, less costly ways of doing things.

Cloud-based computing will be rapidly adopted over the next 24 - 36 months and it will change the way we think about and consume IT. We'll change to a position in which we neither know nor care where the IT resource we are using is located.

Naturally the VCE group, or VICE as it actually is, occupies pole position in terms of bringing product to market. It represents a Collaboration of engineering by the best of the best, and has the most significant research and development power in the industry.

Collectively that must be true but only a fraction of that collective R and D is actually focussed on the vBlocks. Also there are significant R and D boundaries between the four players whereas competitors HP and IBM own much more of their integrated stack technology in house. They should, in theory, be faster and better at integrating stack compute, network, stooge and app layers than Acadia or the four companies playing VICE together.

EMC, with its GreenPlum Data Computing Appliance appliance exactly exemplifies this, having conceived and bought the thing to market far in advance of the vBlock Greenplum implementation and, we expect, with a far higher performance. It doesn't even use Cisco UCS servers, favouring Dell servers instead.

The VICE quartet are inherently limited in terms of the speed of their response and the depth of their integration compared to HP and IBM. EMC's GreenPlum appliance is a tacit admission of that fact.  The only way to overcome this disadvantage is for the four VICE players to get even closer together; something they show no sign of doing. ®

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