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Cisco and EMC, Together with VMware, Form Coalition to Accelerate Pervasive Virtualization and Private Cloud Infrastructures

Cisco and EMC, Together with VMware, Form Coalition to Accelerate Pervasive Virtualization and Private Cloud Infrastructures

Unprecedented Collaboration Heralds Business-Ready IT Infrastructure Packages and Single Point of Contact for Design, Service and Support   Cisco-EMC Solutions Joint Venture Also Established to Help Enable Customer Adoption

SAN JOSE, California – Nov. 3, 2009 –Cisco and EMC, together with VMware, today introduced the Virtual Computing Environment coalition, an unprecedented collaboration of three information technology (IT) industry leaders. The coalition has been 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.

Cisco, EMC and VMware have worked closely over the past year on a shared vision for the future of enterprise IT infrastructure – private cloud computing. A private cloud is 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, and it can exist on or off premises or in combination. Private cloud computing offers the controls and security of today’s data center with the agility required for business innovation at substantially lower costs.

Worldwide spending on data center technology infrastructure and services exceeds $350 billion1 annually, according to McKinsey and Company estimates, with half of that spent on capital expenses (products) and half on operating expenses (services and labor). Further, an estimated 70 percent2 or more of those costs are expended to maintain existing infrastructures, leaving 30 percent or less for new technology initiatives and applications that can provide breakthrough differentiation for businesses. It is also estimated that approximately $85 billion3, or 20% of this total market, can be addressed with data center virtualization and private cloud technology by 2015.

The Virtual Computing Environment coalition offers organizations of all sizes an accelerated approach to data center transformation with dramatic efficiencies that promise significant reductions in both capital and operating expenses. As a result, organizations will no longer have to choose between best-of-breed technologies and end-to-end vendor accountability. 

With the introduction of Vblock TM Infrastructure Packages, the Virtual Computing Environment coalition will provide customers with a fundamentally better approach to streamlining and optimizing IT strategies around private clouds. Vblock Infrastructure Packages are fully integrated, tested, validated, and ready-to-go/ready-to-grow infrastructure packages that combine best-in-class virtualization, networking, computing, storage, security, and management technologies from Cisco, EMC and VMware with end-to-end vendor accountability.

The coalition will scale customer adoption of Vblock systems by enabling a global community of systems integrators, service providers, channel partners, and independent software vendors (ISVs). The coalition has also established unified presales, professional services and support capabilities to simplify customer engagement.

In unveiling the Virtual Computing Environment coalition, Cisco and EMC also introduced Acadia, a joint venture focused on accelerating customer build-outs of private cloud infrastructures through an end-to-end enablement of service providers and large enterprise customers. Acadia’s unique “build, operate, transfer” model for delivering the Vblock architecture, addressing people, process and technology, will offer customers further choice, flexibility and cost advantages as they seek to virtualize their IT infrastructures and evolve to private cloud environments. In addition to Cisco and EMC as the lead investors, the build-out of Acadia’s expanded capabilities in 2010 has also been capitalized by investments from VMware and Intel. Because the Vblock architecture relies heavily on Intel Xeon® processors and other Intel data center technology, Intel will join the Acadia effort as a minority investor to facilitate and accelerate customer adoption of the latest Intel technology for servers, storage, and networking.


1. First Offering:  Vblock Infrastructure Packages

  • The Virtual Computing Environment coalition today introduced Vblock Infrastructure Packages to accelerate the virtualization of IT infrastructures by minimizing risk, complexity and time to benefit.
  • Vblock Infrastructure Packages are validated platforms of engineered, integrated IT infrastructure from Cisco, EMC and VMware, that deliver a breakthrough total cost of ownership and pervasive virtualization at a scale to meet today’s most demanding use cases.
  • Vblock Infrastructure Packages can be easily scaled with additional compute and storage capability after purchase, a key differentiator versus today’s monolithic IT systems.
  • Vblock Infrastructure Packages can be extended by complementary systems integrators, service providers, channel partners, and ISVs.
  • Early customer trials of Vblock Infrastructure Packages have delivered up to 40 percent reductions in the cost of operating and managing virtualized data center infrastructures.
  • The following family of Vblock Infrastructure Packages is being offered by the Virtual Computing Environment coalition:
    • Vblock 2 is a high-end configuration supporting up to 3,000-6,000 virtual machines that is completely extensible to meet the most demanding IT needs of large enterprises and service providers. Designed for large-scale and ‘green field’ virtualization, Vblock 2 takes advantage of Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS), Nexus 1000v and Multilayer Directional Switches (MDS), EMC’s Symmetrix V-Max storage (secured by RSA), and the VMware vSphere platform.
    • Vblock 1 is a mid-sized configuration supporting 800 up to 3,000 virtual machines to deliver a broad range of IT capabilities to organizations of all sizes. Designed for consolidation and optimization initiatives, Vblock 1 is comprised of a repeatable model leveraging Cisco’s UCS, Nexus 1000v and MDS, EMC’s CLARiiON storage (secured by RSA), and the VMware vSphere platform.
    • Vblock 0 will be an entry-level configuration available in 2010, supporting 300 up to 800 virtual machines, for the first time bringing the benefits of private clouds within reach of medium-sized businesses, small data centers or organizations, and for test and development by channel partners, systems integrators, service providers, ISVs, and customers. Vblock 0 is also comprised of a repeatable model leveraging Cisco’s UCS and Nexus 1000v, EMC’s Unified Storage (secured by RSA), and the VMware vSphere platform.

Also today, EMC is introducing IonixTM Unified Infrastructure Manager as an integrated, unified element manager for Vblock. Unified management is a central factor in helping customers reduce operating expenses.  As an element manager, Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager is designed to support a wide range of enterprise management consoles.

A comprehensive security framework based on EMC RSA security products, including RSA enVision, has been validated with Vblock Infrastructure Packages. RSA security solutions are layered onto the Vblock architecture to deliver security policy management and security at three levels: identity, information and infrastructure. Vblock is designed to extend a customer’s existing enterprise security controls to the virtual infrastructure and does not require the customer to replace security software already in place.

  • Further Vblock Infrastructure Packages will be developed to serve business needs across three categories:  shared services, applications and vertical industry solutions.  For example, the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure on Vblock solutions will enhance the provisioning, scale-out and back-end management of enterprise applications and users. To help ensure solutions are de-risked and highly secure, Vblocks will be ISO 27001 compliant. 
  • Vblock Infrastructure Packages are scheduled to be available this quarter direct from authorized systems integrators and channel partners.  EMC, Cisco and VMware components can be purchased directly from the respective companies or their authorized partners.

2. Integrated Presales, Professional Services and Support

The Virtual Computing Environment coalition has committed to unify customer engagement with investments spanning dedicated pre-sales, professional services and single support experience to provide a seamless, end-to-end customer and partner experience.

  • The Virtual Computing Environment coalition Solution Support Team is a cross-company presales team, fully trained in all elements of Vblock architecture and go-to-market resources to work with customers and partners and to facilitate engagements.
  • Virtual Computing Environment coalition professional services, jointly developed and delivered, will help customers to understand how to maximize value and speed time to solution. These offers include: the Cloud-based Business Advisory Service, Private Cloud Strategic Impact Advisory Service, Private Cloud Architecture Impact Advisory Service, Virtual Desktop Advisory Service, Cloud Computing Strategy Service, and Vblock Design and Implementation Service.
  • Virtual Computing Environment seamless support offers customers unmatched technical support and rapid problem resolution for virtualization and private cloud solutions.  The coalition companies will leverage in-depth cross training and investments in joint problem re-creation labs as well as integrated processes and best practices with a single point of accountability.

3. Acadia Solutions Joint Venture and Investment

The Virtual Computing Environment coalition today also introduced Acadia — a Cisco and EMC solutions joint venture to build, operate, and transfer Vblock infrastructure to organizations that want to accelerate their journey to pervasive virtualization and private cloud computing while reducing their operating expenses. Acadia expects to begin customer operations in the first calendar quarter of calendar year 2010.

  • Founded on a Vblock architecture that incorporates Cisco, EMC and VMware technologies, Acadia will train and help customers and an ecosystem of service providers and other partners to build, operate and transfer Vblock Infrastructure Packages to customers or their partner of choice.
  • In addition to Cisco and EMC as the majority investors, the build-out of Acadia’s global capabilities in 2010 also has been capitalized by investments from VMware and Intel.

“We have been pleased to contribute industry leading data center building blocks to server and storage solutions from EMC and Cisco.  We look forward to extending these relationships by supporting their Virtual Computing Environment coalition in a similar fashion,” said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and General Manager of Intel’s Data Center Group.  “Our investment in Acadia will provide a deployment option for customers looking to take advantage of Intel’s latest data center innovations.”

4. Vblock Partner Ecosystem

The Virtual Computing Environment coalition has established a robust set of partners committed to the coalition. This includes representation from the entire partner ecosystem, including systems integrators, value added resellers, service providers, and independent software vendors. There are six system integrators at launch: Accenture, Capgemini, CSC, Lockheed Martin, Tata Consulting Services, and Wipro.

  • The entire community of partners will augment, sell and deliver Vblock solutions to accelerate the journey to pervasive virtualization and private cloud for organizations of all sizes. 
  • The Vblock partner ecosystem will offer systems integrators and channel partners a business and technical solution on-ramp to private cloud infrastructures.  Click here (Insert hyperlink) to read commentary from systems integrators and channel partners participating in this ecosystem.
  • Vblock Infrastructure Packages support a broad range of operating systems and applications, enabling partners and customers to rapidly migrate existing applications to Vblock, accelerating broad-scale virtualization and time to results.

Read perspectives from Vblock Partner Ecosystem members here:

“Today’s announcement addresses our customers’ greatest challenges and opportunities in the data center.” said John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco. “This coalition is about more than technology and partnership. It is about an entirely new and unique approach to the data center that improves utilization, power consumption and security of information, all in a way that lowers the total cost to the customer, not via a box, but with a network-based architectural approach for optimizing virtual resources.”

Joseph Tucci, EMC chairman and CEO, said  “Cisco and EMC, together with VMware, are coming together in an unprecedented way to help our customers. They need to be able to shift more of their IT budgets to the development and rapid implementation of new technologies that help their organizations create differentiated business advantages. Many of them understand the vast potential of the private cloud. With shared roadmaps and a long-term commitment, the Virtual Computing Environment coalition will bring true accountability, along with the best-of-breed technologies our respective customers have come to expect, to help enable their success.”

“Customers are increasingly looking to virtualization to dramatically improve the performance and flexibility of their existing IT systems,” said Paul Maritz, president and CEO of VMware.  “Today’s announcement provides a compelling vision and set of roadmaps valuable to any company looking to harness cloud computing in a fundamentally more pragmatic and nondisruptive way.”

Watch John Chambers, Joe Tucci and Paul Maritz discuss the Virtual Computing Environment coalition here. 

Customer Quote

“Purdue is a research university and the majority of our IT needs are spent on high-performance computing, which requires strong computing, massive amounts of storage, and high-speed networking fabric,” said Gerry McCartney, CIO of Purdue University.  “The Vblock solution offers these elements in a single pre-tested, pre-integrated solution which will be easier to deploy.  VMware, Cisco, and EMC are ideal partners to respond to this problem because they offer complementary tool sets and have a history of delivering good products in the market space.  When these solutions are tied together in a coherent and systematic way, it is very good news for an environment like Purdue.”

Watch Purdue’s Gerry McCartney discuss the Virtual Computing Environment Coalition here:

News Webcast

John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco, Joe Tucci, chairman, president and CEO of EMC Corp, and Paul Maritz, president and CEO of VMware will discuss the new Virtual Computing Environment coalition and how it will help organizations simplify and accelerate pervasive virtualization and the transition to private cloud infrastructures.

When:   Nov. 3, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. PST/ 11.30 a.m. EST


EMC and Cisco will be taking questions from the Twitter community. 
Please submit questions to @CiscoSystems ((hyperlink to or @EMCCorp. ((hyperlink to

Additional Resources


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About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information on Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to

About EMC

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. Information about EMC’s products and services can be found at

About VMware

VMware (NYSE: VMW) delivers solutions for business infrastructure virtualization that enable IT organizations to energize businesses of all sizes.  With the industry leading virtualization platform – VMware vSphere™ – customers rely on VMware to reduce capital and operating expenses, improve agility, ensure business continuity, strengthen security and go green. With 2008 revenues of $1.9 billion, more than 150,000 customers and 22,000 partners, VMware is the leader in virtualization which consistently ranks as a top priority among CIOs. VMware is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the world and can be found online at

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Note 1: Worldwide spending by businesses and other organizations on technology infrastructure and services exceeds $350 billion annually, according to McKinsey and Company estimates, with half of that spent on capital expenses (products) and half on operating expenses (services and labor).

Note 2: VMware Fortune 1000 Customers Study

Note 3: Based on Cisco internal estimates.


Cisco, the Cisco logo and Cisco Systems are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. DOCSIS is a registered trademark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.

EMC, Symmetrix, CLARiiON, Ionix, and V-Max are either registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. RSA and RSA envision are registered trademarks of RSA Security Inc.

VMware and VMware vSphere are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies. The use of the word “partner” or “partnership” does not imply a legal partnership relationship between VMware and any other company.