vblocks, vb-locks and unified management!

200911111030.jpgThe first “product” from Acadia, the Joint venture between VMware, CISCO and EMC, is called vblock (but I prefer to call it vb-lock 😀 ).

Vb-locks are prepackaged stuff of hardware and software from the three vendors with some services on top to implement the solution: nothing new and nothing different from what you can expect from a system integrator! These bundles are proposed in three different basic configurations capable of running VMs in a range that varies from tens to thousand!

My thoughts are going to the management of this kind of infrastructure:

  • CISCO has its own management;
  • VMware has its own management;
  • EMC has its own management;

Each one of this pieces has little integration with the other ones, but just one at a time. There is nothing to orchestrate all the infrastructure as a single pool of resources! i.e.: vb-locks will be sold with ionix management software but it is still very tightened with EMC and not with blades. Furthermore, each vb-lock has different storage hardware, ranging from a not well identified one to Symmetrix V-max including CXs, each one with its own management software! So if you will buy two different vb-locks probably you will be forced to use many management softwares!

Why vb-locks? because you will be locked into complexity and highest TCO possible for what they claim to be a “Unified Computing”Solution.

Unified computing needs Unified Management, if Acadia (or someone else) can’t develop a single management platform to:

  • provision hardware and storage resources,
  • operating and application provisioning (at least via templates),
  • patching,
  • policy management for templates, cloning,
  • a single coherent GUI,
  • monitoring and reporting,
  • a full integration with VMware vCenter,
  • Diaster recovery automation,
  • and a lot of other features.

The landscape will not change very quickly, and Acadia results being one more mere reseller of boxes, software and services…. good luck!

Now I’m evaluating some solutions i think more interesting for the enterprises in terms of Unified Management and i would like to cite two of them:

Indeed, Sun Ops Center isn’t a viable product, you know, Sun has, often, good ideas but they are not able to monetize! So it is still a work in progress (the name changes every two or three months), with a lot of interesting features and functions but without a real strong strategy regarding virtualization and a doubtful future regarding Oracle’s plans!

Liquid Computing is a small company based in Canada and we are looking at them because they have a beautiful unified computing systems with an outstanding unified management software tightly integrated with NetApp storage too. Some days ago they announced a new generation of the product based on cheap standard 1 U servers from Intel!!! I hope to write more about this company soon.

We haven’t already a real UCS solution for our customer but i’m confident that none of our competitors has one at present too!


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