Vblocks: The Icing on Cisco UCS’s Cake

While Cisco, EMC, and VMware are excellent communicators, when it comes to Acadia they have missed the mark.  Acadia is the triumvirate’s joint venture that is headed by Michael Capellas of Compaq/HP fame.  Acadia’s tag line is Your Bridge To The Private Cloud and they are the guardians of the mythical Vblock Infrastructure Packages.

Acadia leverages the Vblock reference architecture that has been published by Cisco, EMC, and VMware.  The concept is to transform your datacenter into a giant grid with defined units that provide a set of services, with service levels, to a set of customers.  Vblocks allow for the rapid deployment of pre-integrated and validated solutions.  Currently there are over 300 Enterprise applications that are explicitly supported with over 20 supported operating systems.

Furthermore, the Vblocks have been organized into ‘levels’ that define the size and scope of their deployment.  Vblock 0 is an entry-level configuration designed for small datacenters, Vblock 1 is a mid-sized configuration, and Vblock 2 is a high-end configuration.  What comprises a Vblock and why should I care?

A Vblock is comprised of the following components:

  • Compute – Cisco UCS
  • Network – Cisco Nexus & MDS
  • Storage – EMC CLARiion
  • Hypervisor – VMware vSphere
  • Management – Various (VMware, Cisco, EMC, and 3rd Party ISVs)
  • Applications and Operating Systems

Why you should care is because Vblocks have the potential to fundamentally change how you deploy, test/validate, provide DR, guarantee SLAs, and purchase applications running within your datacenter.  It’s a tall order with an incredibly ambitious agenda, but the rewards are huge.  No longer will organizations have to test/validate configurations or define upgrade and back-up procedures for deployed applications as this has been completed ahead of time courtesy of Acadia and Vblocks.

While Cloud is becoming the most overused term next to CMDB, in this case it’s at least in the ballpark.  For the Cisco UCS architecture, coupled with the EMC’s V-Max, utilizing VMware’s Hypervisor is an awesome platform to provide public, private, or hybrid-cloud applications.  Furthermore, Acadia looks to take advantage of enhancements in Cisco UCS and VMware’s newly announced vDirector product.

The open question remains Acadia’s ability to execute and Cisco, EMC, and VMware’s ability to play nice together.  In the end, Vblocks are the icing on Cisco UCS’s Cake and provide more fire to Cisco’s feud with HP.