A new venture offering a variety of business software and services through hosted applications has been created by Cisco Systems Inc., EMC Corp. and VMware. The Virtual Computing Environment features a comprehensive IT infrastructure via private "cloud" computing. The intent, said the partners, is to give users greater flexibility while lowering their cost of IT deployment, energy and real estate. The three companies define a private cloud as a virtual IT infrastructure that is securely controlled and operated solely for one organization. It can be managed either by that organization or a third party, while existing on or off premises, or through a combination of the two options. The coalition is offering Vblock Infrastructure Packages, combining best-in-class virtualization, networking, computing, storage, security and management technologies from the three sponsoring companies. The packages have been fully integrated, tested and validated. Adoption of the Vblock systems can be scaled through a global community of systems integrators, service providers, channel partners and independent software vendors. The coalition has also set up unified presales, professional services and support capabilities, in order to simplify customer engagement. Concurrent with the unveiling of the Virtual Computing Environment, Cisco and EMC have introduced Acadia, a joint venture aimed at accelerating customer build-outs of private cloud infrastructure by linking service providers and large customers. The Vblock architecture is designed on a "build, operate, transfer" model. Supplementing Cisco and EMC's role as lead investors, VMware and Intel are helping to fund the expansion of Acadia's capabilities in 2010. Intel will join the Acadia effort as a minority investor, to accelerate customer adoption of its latest technology for servers, storage and networking.
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