So what do I get by buying a Vblock, VCE stack, VCN stack or whatever they are called these days! Over buying the same components seperately? What functionality do I get that is different because the overall solution is greater than the sum of its parts? The answer is bugger all! All they have managed to do is let a customer buy a pile of bits with one part number something that SI's and proper vendors have been doing for years.
I hate it that they throw the term "cloud" around as if they actually know what is required to build one. The trick to making a cloud work is all in the software stack (orchestration, portals, catalogues) yet at no point have any of the vendors/coalitions mentioned in this article actually addressed this point. Hardware actually is a secondary consideration, as a pile of bits from three different vendors is still a pile of bits from three different vendors even if you have bought it from one supplier. What you really need is some form of over arching software stack that ties it all together (and does it out of the box, there should be no customer specific integration work required) and thats what HP and IBM's solutions offer. The solutions should be greater than the sum of its parts. Oracle do not have a cloud offering BTW!
There are three features that are a MUST in a cloud environment, inbuilt orchestration, inbuilt service catalogues (that should take into account apps) and service portals. Show me were this is in any of the products mentioned in this article?! All you really need in the hardware is the inbuilt integration points to let the sotware hook in and drive it.
All Vblocks and FlexPods are, are static bundles of hardware with none of the actual components required (pre integrated and out of the box) to do anything remotely cloudy!
"Every supplier involved in the Vblock and FlexPod efforts will be privately pleased that all the others are there at some level. This demonstrates a degree of openness that is missing from, for example, the HP and Oracle integrated stack offerings."
No it doesnt!! Openess means the ability to rip out one vendor and replace with another WITHOUT changing the architecture or removing functionality, Could I for example use HP servers instead of Cisco in a Vblock? Could I use IBM storage instead of EMC, could I take a VCE environment and replace the E with an N (EMC with NetApps for those not paying attention) without affecting the rest of the stack or having to rework something. The answer is no, these systems are far more closed than any solution out there. Let me give you an example can the customer choose which hypervisor to use? A hypervisor is just a tool for resource pooling so why do I have to use vmware when Hyper V is probably good enough? A decent stack should allow the customer some leeway in individual components. There is no true open stack out there but some are more open than others.