Vblocks revenues on track to hit $3bn in 2013

The tie-up between Cisco, EMC and VMware is ramping up revenues from its datacentre-in-a-box product

Revenues for Vblocks are shooting through the roof, according to the executive in charge of the project.

A Vblock brings together UCS server technology and networking from Cisco, with EMC’s storage and VMware’s virtualisation products, to offer a datacentre “straight from the factory line”.

Although the solution was only launched in 2010, Michael Capellas, CEO of the company responsible for Vblocks – Virtual Computing Environment Company (VCE) – revealed the company ended the fourth quarter with very healthy revenues and the upcoming year looked even better.

“When we ended Q4 we were at just north of an $800m run rate. We are approaching a $1bn run rate right now and growing quite fast,” he said. 

“We think a $3bn target is within reach in the next year.”

Having large customers, such as Visa, has been a big help to reach this level, and with partners going from five in 2010 to more than 125 this year, the channel has made a big difference to VCE’s figures.

“We continue to be a leading innovator [and] we recruit people who have innovation in their souls,” said Capellas. “We have a partner-led model for distribution [and] we are quite disciplined, focusing on great customer experience.”

We think a $3bn target is within reach in the next year

Michael Capellas, CEO, Virtual Computing Environment Company

Integrated datacentre offering

VCE pushes Vblock as the best converged datacentre technology on the market, but with the likes of HP and IBM offering the entire server, storage and networking products in house, what makes it better getting converged products from three firms?

“One should not confuse the parts that come from a company as parts that are integrated together,” Capellas told Computer Weekly.

“You can have a reference architecture programme which says I can use many different components put in place without pre-testing and without support. If you look at HP… its reference architecture says you have a series of blades, you will integrate that, then out to 3PAR for storage, out to software management, out to 3COM for networking, in many cases they want customers to integrate that,” he said.

With Vblocks, however, Capellas said it all comes integrated, pre-tested and pre-configured with one central place for customers to call for support. Although he acknowledged there was a place for reference architectures, he said it was not the space VCE and Vblocks played in.

“We are competing against mainframes and more high-level infrastructure. No one ever tried to install a mainframe at a customer site,” he added.

“Reference architectures have a place, and sometimes we say to our customers that may be what you want to do, but if you want the benefit of pre-engineered, pre-architected and mission-critical application-ready infrastructure, this is what you want.”

VCE used the EMC World conference in Las Vegas to launch updates to its Vblock systems. New features included integration with EMC Vplex to allow data to be moved between Vblocks, along with a range of new data protection tools, bringing in EMC products such as Data Domain, Avamar and Recoverpoint to boost productivity and security.  

Image: Thinkstock

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