What on Earth has EMC done to VCE?

We'll all find out on March 12th

EMC and Cisco's converged infrastructure love child, since spurned by the latter parent, will reveal how it's re-inventing itself as a member of the EMC federation on March 12th.

The Reg's virtualisation desk is in receipt of marketing emails promising a “next wave” and “the next big thing” in converged infrastructure. There's also a hint about “even greater levels of simplicity and convergence across a broader set of technologies, solutions and hybrid cloud environments.”

VCE CEO Praveen Akkiraju will helm the webcast in which these announcements are made, under the banner “Simplicity.Next”, a riff on the “Unleash Simplicity” sloganeering the company used in 2013.

What can we expect from this new launch? All parties to VCE insist that Cisco's UCS servers, Nexus switches, EMC storage and VMware software will always appear in vBlocks. Contracts specifying those building blocks have years to run and none of the participants in the venture are interested in alternative recipes.

When we spoke to Akkiraju last year he could only drop broad hints, because the legal niceties of Cisco's move to silent partner had not been completed. The hints he did drop included:

  • An expectation VCE would offer a “full range” of converged infrastructure products;
  • VCE doesn't see itself heading down-market and feels VMware's EVO: RAIL hyper-converged template is far cheaper and smaller than its preferred market;
  • Likely inclusion of Pivotal software in future converged appliances;
  • Products aimed at helping users implement hybrid clouds;
  • Possible converged infrastructure products aimed at specific applications, like ERP.

We also left our conversation with Akkiraju feeling that EMC's full range of storage appliances could start to appear in vBlocks, perhaps as options. And let's not forget hints dropped by EMC's Chad Sakac about a new rack-scale converged architecture product.

If you know more, feel free to throw us a bone. Or tune in on March 12th for the news. ®

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