VCE adds two new converged infrastructure models, SAP certification

Calling it the biggest news since its creation, VCE today added two low-end models to its line of Vblock pre-configured, cloud-computing systems.

VCE also announced it is teaming with SAP AG to add the SAP HANA database to its Vblock system. Models prequalified to work with the in-memory database software are called Vblock specialized System SAP HANA.

The new Vblock System 100 and System 200 models join the System 300 and System systems.

Additionally, VCE unveiled a new software management application said to give users a single view of their entire Vblock environment. The new software, called VCE Vision Intelligent Operations, allows the preconfigured systems to be managed in a "much simpler converged way," said Nina Hargus, VCE's chief marketing officer.

"What we heard from customers is 'don't invent another management tool,'" Hargus said. "So we've done native integration with VMware. We have APIs which allow us to plug into any management framework"

Founded in 2009, VCE (Virtual Computing Environment), is a joint venture of EMC, its VMware subsidiary and Cisco Systems.

VCE sells preconfigured and pretested cloud computing systems called Vblocks. VBlocks include Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) servers and networking switches, EMC's storage arrays and VMware virtualization software.

The new System 100 and 200 will use Cisco's UCS C Series blade servers. The System 100 will use Cisco Catalyst Ethernet switch and the System 200 will use the Cisco Nexus 5500 series switch.

Vblock System 100 will be built using Cisco's UCS C220 M3 servers, Cisco Catalyst 3750-X switches, and EMC VNXe 3150/3300 storage arrays. The Vblock System 200 will use Cisco's UCS C220 M3 servers, Cisco's Nexus 5548UP switches, and EMC's VNX 5300 storage array.

By comparison, the Vblock 300 and 700 are built with Cisco's UCS B series blade server. The Vblock 300 uses the Cisco Nexus switch and the 700 uses Cisco's MDS switch. For storage arrays, the Vblock 300 uses EMC's VNX midrange array, while the Vblock 700 uses the top-end VMAX Symmetrix array.

The new Vblock System 200 will be target mid-market corporations for use as part of a core data center infrastructure, VCE stated in its announcement.

Large corporations could also use Vblock System 200 as part of a distributed environment, while extending installed larger Vblock systems across the business.

The Vblock System 100 is targeted for remote office and branch office deployments, and will be pushed by VCE as extensions to the other Vblock systems.

"The Vblock System 100 allows rapid deployment and reliable, cost-effective operation of applications such as Exchange for Messaging, VMware Virtual Desktop Integration (VDI) and collaboration using Microsoft SharePoint or Cisco's Unified Communications," VCE said.

VCE said the The Vblock System 100 and Vblock System 200 are targeted to be generally availabile in early Q2, 2013. Enhancements to Vblock System 300 and Vblock System 700 for SAP HANA are available immediately.

The Vblock System 100 has a base list price tag of just over $110,000, and the System 200 will start at just over $220,000.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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