EMC and Cisco have announced a plan to sell virtual blocks - or V-Blocks - likely to be integrated stacks of virtualised servers, storage and switches, either as products or services. HP's Cell technology could achieve the same end: IT stacks provisioned on demand in private or public clouds. A V-Block is, El Reg reckons, a …
Chris, get with the programme
"... Dell is not, let's say, a true enterprise-class competitor to the others. .."
So we're talking about standards-based servers, virtualization and storage.
Dell is number 1 in USA, number 2 worldwide in standards based servers, number 1 seller of VMware and number 4 in storage. They have as much product in their range - or missing from it - as the rest of the crowd, which is why you see Cisco partnering with IBM, IBM OEM'ing storage from LSI, HP scrambling, etc.
In an increasingly virtualizing data centre, I think we know that this is relevant than whatever Cisco - current server market share 0% - is trying to cobble together with VMware, BMC and EMC. Most customers I speak with are interested to hear about stacks, but are disinterested in being locked into a stack that would require a major forklift to climb out of.
As for lack of big iron, how about you customers a big favour and discuss why big iron increasingly irrelevant now that Intel has launched Nehalem, which blows away P4, P5 and all but a couple of the P6 measurements, which Nehalem EX is due to crush.
Dell waiting on Microsoft?
If MS make a private cloud product (and they seem well on the way to doing so), then it will be x64-based. That means Dell is in just as good a position as the other vendors to pick it up, use generic EMC storage (or more like just lots of cheap SATA JBODs hanging off the back of x64 nodes), off-the-shelf networking gear, and then use their size to hammer out discounts to make it as cheap as possible. Maybe it won't be the best solution, but I'm betting it will be one of the cheapest. True, Dell don't currently have a management tool that could manage the whole chunk, but that would not stop them buying one or licensing one from a rival. Whilst Dell is not one of the leaders in this field, I see them as following close behind and definately not out of the running. If private clouds really do take off then it will be a race over a long time, and being an early innovator does not mean you will be the long-term top dog (remember RLX and blades?).
it's the application, remember ?
selling boxes is futile, it's just a carrier..
of all parties mentioned, IBM is the only one who has them all:
hardware, system management, infra management, development, middleware and a services club to implement it....... or even run it, in some countries.....
IBM reluctant ? yep, they almost got carved up in the eighties because of their domination.
Now that EVC is there, IBM has competition, and they will go for it, I would be surprised if they did not.
btw, EVC only covers x86 and that is not where the big bundles are. there is a lot of competition on x86, that's for sure. like Dell ;-)
@Matt - re Dell waiting on Microsoft
Matt - Dell's apparently the leader in building private clouds, but keeping it quiet
@ AC - the big cloud bundles are ONLY in X86 - this is due to the price-performance and virtualization, which can't be touched by dinosaur platforms.
RE: @Matt - re Dell waiting on Microsoft
"....Dell's apparently the leader in building private clouds...." Hard to tell. Firstly, no two vendors seem to agree on what's a cloud, whether pubic or private. Secondly, people buying what they class as a provate cloud seem to want to keep the details quiet. If they're doing DIY clouds then Dell may just see a large number of x64 servers and cheap storage going out the door and not necessarily know what it's being used for, so they may not count it as a "cloud" sale. On the other hand, they may see a customer buying to that pattern and assume it is a cloud sale rather than a generic HPC one.
But of course HP has sacked most of it's Bristol Labs and their storage guru decamped for Google some months ago - apparently in disagreement about the future of this sort of thing with the director (ho ho ho) of Labs Central. Not many new ideas coming out of there folks......