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November 12, 2009

Comments

David Vellante

Can I add one Chuck...

What's the best way to back up 6,000 VM's?

Chuck Hollis

Hi David

Generally speaking, the answer is client-side dedupe approaches. The Vblock architectures are generally rich in both CPU and memory resources, favoring this approach over target-side dedupe, not to mention minimizing I/O traffic.

Of course, if someone wanted to use another approach (e.g. traditional backup agents to tape or dedupe disk, snap and backup, etc.) all of that still can be done if needed.

-- Chuck

Adrian

Hi Chuck, Who are VCE's competitors on this coalition. Is anyone else selling a similar approach, HP and Brocade for instance ?

Mark Bowker

Hi Chuck,

Only 10 questions? ;-) Fair enough....you said so far :-)

First of all thank you for responding to the questions I posted on; http://www.liquefyingitblog.com/

Her are a few suggestions to add to your list:

#11 -- How do the channel partners and resellers embrace Vblocks with open arms? Aren't Vblocks the exact value they provide to their customers?

#12 -- Is Vblock a product/ skew or a reference architecture? Why?

#13 -- Why form a joint venture (Acadia) if EMC, Cisco and it's partners can perform individual tasks? Does this strip away revenue? Acadia will ONLY be called to the plate to "Build, Operate & transfer". If a customer only wants one or two of the three they go to to Cisco, EMC or partners anyway.

I'll stop with #13 in honor of Friday 13th :-)

Thank you in advance for adding to the list.

-Mark

Chuck Hollis

Hi Adrian

There are generically two classes of competitors -- those that are offering integrated stacks, and those that are currently outside a stack. Both will compete differently.

The stack vendors are HP, IBM, now VCE and potentially Oracle/Sun if they ever make peace with the EU :-) We expect to compete vigorously with HP, less so IBM.

There are a host of good vendors that are currently outside a stack: Brocade, NetApp, BMC, etc. Each of these will focus on the "best of breed" message and attempt to convince customers and partners to build their own stacks, rather than considering a pre-made one.

The members of the VCE coalition have to do both: focus on differentiating the stack, as well as supporting customers who wish to build their own stacks.

Hope this helps!

-- Chuck

Chuck Hollis

Hi Mark

These are all very insightful questions, and deserve thoughtful answers.

So, let's get started ...

#11 -- How do the channel partners and resellers embrace Vblocks with open arms? Aren't Vblocks the exact value they provide to their customers?

Well, just ask any partner, reseller or integrator that's working in this ecosystem, and they'll generally tell you that they're very excited about this.

You're right about the services piece, but as you learn more about it, most reseller consider this a poor business to be in -- it's hard, it's expensive and customers won't pay much of a premium for selecting and integrating ostensibly off-the-shelf components.

They'd much rather take their services headcount and point it at high-value, high-touch services that are more in demand, and they can charge a premium for -- migrations, consulting, application integration, etc.

Wal-mart can't charge much of a premium for assembling bicycles at Xmas, if you get my drift :-)

#12 -- Is Vblock a product/ skew or a reference architecture? Why?

I think the term you're looking for here is "SKU", refers to "stock keeping unit", which originated in the retail segment.

The respective companies provide a reference architecture and a bill of materials for their pieces. Customer who want the complete package will mostly engage with a partner, or perhaps the services organizations of the three companies as part of a larger services engagement.

Having one company resell or OEM the other's respective pieces (especially between EMC and Cisco) doesn't necessarily add a lot of value, jacks up the prices and creates interesting channel conflicts. And no one is going to pay much a premium for a pre-integrated stack vs. components, especially in larger environments.

#13 -- Why form a joint venture (Acadia) if EMC, Cisco and it's partners can perform individual tasks? Does this strip away revenue? Acadia will ONLY be called to the plate to "Build, Operate & transfer". If a customer only wants one or two of the three they go to to Cisco, EMC or partners anyway.

The problem we were trying to solve is pretty hairy if you think about it. First, there are three relatively new sets of skills that need to be brought together simultaneously: this stuff is built differently, operated differently and consumed differently.

Although each of the three companies has substantial services capability, we quickly realized that we needed a new construct to accelerate adoption, and it made sense to structure it as an independent JV. Many (but not all) of the people in Acadia come from one of the three companies, for example.

The second driver was accelerating partner enablement. We realized we needed a big investment to get the ecosystem up and running quickly, and -- once again -- the JV structure made sense.

Hope this helps!

-- Chuck

-- Chuck

David Vellante

Thanks Chuck...I agree, generally source-side de-dupe is your 'good buddy' in big VMware shops. I'm looking forward to the Vblock backup/recovery reference architecture Chad told me about this week. Not really what I'd call an 'edge' use case as some in the new BRS group imply for AV - ahem. Maybe I should blog about this for the 100th time and make some more friends :-)

Okay...next question...how do I restore in that environment w/o breaking the bank architecting a zillion grid nodes?

btw...great security white paper with the RSA folks-- best I've seen on the topic. I saw a very early version before you got involved and it's come a long long way. Nice work to the team.

Chuck Hollis

Hi David -- thanks for the engagement.

As we both know, full and immediate restores of entire zillion-VM environments usually fall under the heading of "disaster recovery and business continuity", so it really morphs from an Avamar discussion into a replication discussion. More on that soon :-)

There are some announcements coming out soon from Avamar that make what's already a good proposition (in terms of CPU/RAM/IO resource sizing) even more compelling, but I don't want to spill the beans.

Thanks for the kudos on the RSA security paper -- I think it came out pretty well myself.

Have a great weekend!

-- Chuck

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis


  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems
    @chuckhollis

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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