The True Converged Infrastructure


VCE was created with one purpose:  to change how IT is performed. Our mandate was to break down the silos in the data center – reversing the status quo of static and inflexible pools of resources.

VCE set out to deliver a system that was truly integrated:  compute, network, storage, virtualization, all tightly integrated and acting as one. The result was VCE’s Vblock System.  It was the first, and still is, the most advanced converged infrastructure offering in the industry.

When we first delivered the Vblock System to the market, we believed that it was a transformative way of providing – and consuming – information technology.  The results outlined in the IDC whitepaper released today certainly bear this out – with customers seeing 4X faster deployment, reductions in downtime by 96%, and at half the cost of traditional infrastructure datacenter operations, the value VCE has been able to deliver is tremendous.

However, the transformational benefits delivered by Vblock Systems would not be possible without the principles that guide how VCE provides an exceptional “true converged infrastructure” experience to our customers.

A true converged infrastructure must be engineered, manufactured, managed, supported, and sustained as a single entity – one product, one unit.

VCE believes a “true converged infrastructure” is vastly different than the experience provided by reference architectures or blueprints.

True Converged Infrastructure

Let’s go through this in more detail:

Engineered as One Product: A truly converged infrastructure has a tightly integrated system that produces a seamless lifecycle experience for the customer.

In other words, the system must be developed as a single product – albeit with multiple components – with integrated roadmaps and a unique development process that includes pre-testing, pre-integrating, and pre-validating the system as a single object.

Not only is VCE’s development team drawn from “the best of the best,” it’s also made up of people who understand datacenters and complex infrastructures.  Because of this, VCE can create simplified, customer-focused solutions that deeply integrate the best technology the market offers.

Manufactured as One Product: Since true converged infrastructures are engineered as a single system, they must be manufactured as a single system. Converged infrastructures are not “assembled” or “racked and stacked” in a warehouse or customer facility, but completely built in a factory.

VCE has developed a diligent and disciplined manufacturing process that is capable of building an entire Vblock System – both physical AND logical aspects – in less than 45 days.  What’s more, the quality of that manufacturing effort produces an application-ready infrastructure that can support production environments less than 48 hours after delivery.

Managed as One Product: After a customer deploys a true converged infrastructure, it must be managed as a single system. The system’s software must be engineered to provide comprehensive awareness of all resources, correlating events and eliminating the need for traditional, manually intensive resource integration.

VCE Vision™ Intelligent Operations software does this, enabling a Vblock System to be seen and managed as a single converged infrastructure object – intelligently and dynamically informing customer management frameworks about Vblock Systems and creating a “converged operations” experience.

Supported as One Product: Customers should only have one point of contact for support and services.  As a truly converged system, customers should not be routed to individual component specialists who only know one part of the system, rather than understanding the entire infrastructure as a single unit.

True converged infrastructures must provide end-to-end support for all the components.  At VCE, we’ve made this a priority, and are proud to say that the vast majority of our support calls are handled by VCE support and completed without escalation.

Sustained as One Product:  Converged infrastructure vendors should free customers of the burden of piecing together complex patches and managing updates from multiple vendors. Instead, a true converged infrastructure should provide these updates to the customer with step-by-step instructions, configurations, and guidelines throughout the product lifecycle, including upgrades, patches, and change management.

VCE not only provides these capabilities through our Lifecycle System Assurance process and our Release Compatibility Matrix (RCM), with our new announcements we dramatically simplify how system updates are applied to ensure interoperability and eliminate most sources of data center outages.

Today, VCE announced some truly innovative approaches to computing, with new Vblock Systems, New Vblock Specialized Systems, and new VCE Vision software.  However, it’s important to remember that the technology uniquely incorporated into Vblock Systems is only part of what makes VCE special.  There’s a lot that goes into delivering a true converged infrastructure experience – from engineering to manufacturing to support to management, and beyond.   That’s why it’s worth understanding what we at VCE are doing, how it is truly unique, and how only a true converged infrastructure can deliver truly transformational results for customers.

About the Author: Frank Hauck