The big virtualization news this week was the partnership announcement from three industry-leading companies: Cisco Systems, EMC, and VMware. The three were already intimately connected to each other through ownership -- EMC owns nearly 85 percent of VMware, and Cisco owns a small percentage stake in the virtualization company too But now, this union appears to be even stronger with a joint venture announced around a new integrated datacenter coalition called the Virtual Computing Environment.
According to the group, the coalition was 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 center virtualization and a transition to private cloud infrastructures."
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Without saying it, one can only assume it was also created to help these companies better compete against the likes of IBM and HP, which both sell a much broader array of datacenter equipment than either Cisco or EMC alone. If you can't go it alone, partner up with someone to get it done.
It also helps Cisco kick things into high gear with moving the company into the computer server market. Cisco launched its first line of servers earlier this year and is looking to gain some traction. The venture may also help EMC and VMware get traction of its own by further extending its footprint into the cloud computing market -- one it has been loudly trying to establish for the last two years.
The line of products being introduced is called Vblock Infrastructure Packages, which integrate the hardware and software from all three vendors. These Vblocks are fully integrated, tested, validated, and ready-to-go packages that combine networking solutions from Cisco; storage, security, and systems management from EMC; and virtualization software from VMware.