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Cisco denies plans to pull its cash out of VCE

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Cisco has denied it will stop investing in VCE – the converged systems company financed by itself, EMC, and EMC sub VMware – following a report that appeared across the pond, citing unnamed sources.

“Cisco is not pulling out of VCE,” the company’s senior PR manager, Gareth Pettigrew, said. “VCE customers and partners can be assured that they have the full commitment of Cisco and EMC.”

EMC spokesperson Dave Farmer, said: “EMC, along with Cisco, is fully committed to VCE, its customers and partner ecosystem”, while VCE spokesperson Nick Fuentes was a little less forthcoming, stating that “VCE does not comment on rumour or speculation”.

VMware, Cisco and EMC (their initials forming VCE) set up the company to supply (and then assemble) Vblocks, converged, single SKU systems from Cisco UCE servers running ESXi, Nexus switches, and EMC storage arrays, now including XtremIO, VMAX 3 and VNX and Isilon variants.

At setup, there was a great product fit, with Cisco having no storage and EMC no servers or networking gear. Now Cisco has its Invicta Fibre Channel connected flash arrays, VMware has its Nicira software-defined networking product, and EMC is in the server business, albeit in a small way. Cisco also has its FlexPod converged system design template business with NetApp.

Cisco also recently signed a hyper-converged system reselling deal with Simplivity, just after VMware came out with its own EVO:RAIL product. Co-opetition is becoming full-blown competition as software-defined networking, storage, and data centres blur previously clear product boundaries.

Sources who spoke to CRN US claimed Cisco is expected to keep its stake in VCE but not invest any more cash. Its total investment is around $715m, with EMC’s topping $1.2bn. Neither Cisco nor EMC have recorded profits from their VCE funding. ®

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