2013 looks like it will be another exciting year. I was at EMC Forum in Toronto on Wednesday and heard some great news from VCE: the smaller Vblocks are coming! I think this is great news for the Canadian market, the current Vblock offering (300 and 700) are very well suited for the large Enterprise (the 700 mostly for the very large enterprise), but there were two gaps: the remote office/branch office (including retail) and the smaller enterprise (hundreds of VMs, but not thousands).
The smaller Vblock 100 answers the ROBO call. It offers the full value of a Vblock (easy ordering, proven architecture, tested upgrade guides with cookbooks, single contact support resolution…), but it uses components more suited for a smaller footprint (Cisco UCS C Series and EMC VNXe, some half rack options are even available). This is by far the easiest way to have a cookie cutter approach for branch deployment (I have done the manual approach multiple times; this is what I would have wanted!).
I think the Vblock 200 will be a major success for the Canadian market. The Vblock 300 is an amazing product, but it includes some larger building blocks to allow it to grow across the full line; that made it a bit more expensive than it could have for smaller configurations. The 200 will fix that. Once again it includes all the value add that VCE provide, but in a form factor that will make it more accessible to midsize customers (hundreds of VMs?). I am looking forward to see the final specs to get a better feel for the sizing options.
Bottom line, we are getting some great new tools to simplify the way we do things today. I think Converged Architecture systems are the best way to create the building blocks for tomorrow’s infrastructure. Focusing over the next few years on IaaS (moving from virtualized, to highly virtualized to automated server deployments) paving the way to full systems deployments (PaaS), but that’s a conversation for another day…