EMC's approach with the new platform sets it apart from some other major enterprise vendors, such as Oracle, HP and IBM, Pund-IT analyst Charles King said. For example, Oracle's Exalogic Cloud is entirely built around that company's technology, King said.
"When you're buying into Exalogic, you're buying not just a hardware platform, but you're buying an entire Oracle software stack and virtualization stack as well," King said. EMC, which makes storage but not computing or networking products, approaches the problem differently, he said. "Rather than taking a single-vendor view of the market, they are in essence acting as the ringmaster."
VSPEX may also prove to give EMC a better shot at the emerging cloud market, King said. EMC has frequently pushed VBlocks to service providers, partly reflecting a view that companies interested in cloud computing initially would look to carriers' public clouds, he said. However, enterprises have proved to be more interested in private clouds, and VSPEX is likely to be a better platform to meet those demands, King said. Letting channel partners configure them specially for individual customers or industries should help to serve that market too.
Only about two-thirds of enterprises are ready to buy or deploy private clouds, according to surveys of Fortune 1000 companies and public agencies by 451 Research. Though some larger organizations have moved already, midsized ones have not moved as fast. As they dive into private cloud, platforms such as VSPEX will be what many are looking for, 451 Group analyst Peter ffoulkes said.
"I do think this is likely to be the wave of the future, but I don't think it's going to take off tomorrow," ffoulkes said.
Most VSPEX configurations are available now, though ones using VMware's Vue 5.1 desktop virtualization software won't be available until August. The platform is designed exclusively for configuration and sale through channel partners. EMC could not immediately estimate a price range for VSPEX systems.
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