VCE Coalition Combines with Acadia, Simplifies Name to VCE
The VCE Coalition and Acadia, both virtualization acceleration collaborations by partnerships between and with Cisco, VMware and EMC, have merged to become simply “VCE” (or the Virtual Computing Environment Co.). The new group has one goal: to simplify business, but The VAR Guy wonders whether the move is more of a mea culpa to the channel. Here’s the scoop, but first a little background:
The VCE Coalition was created in November 2009 as a collaboration between Cisco, EMC and VMWare in an effort to accelerate the transition to fully virtualized environments and private clouds — a noble effort if ever there was one. The group created the vBlock architecture, which is a pre-architected and prequalified environment for virtualization of technologies and applications including storage, fabric, compute, hypervisor, management and security.
But then the companies decided they’d create a separate company called Acadia as a service provider arm to sell the vBlock technology directly and through only select partners into Fortune 1000 companies. Such a move created a rift in the channel community, which saw the move as a direct conflict to their efforts.
Apparently, their cries were heard, and the Cisco/VMware/EMC two-headed beast has been folded into itself to create VCE. The new organization still pushes the agenda of simplifying IT delivery via converged infrastructure systems, and now that Acadia has been ‘retired’ all product integration, development and presales support for both companies fall under the VCE umbrella and moniker. However, the sales and delivery of the vBlock, which is what Acadia was created to do, no longer is handled by the company, leaving it instead to Cisco’s, VMware’s and EMC’s channel partners.
Through its previous efforts as the VCE Coalition and Acadia, the group boasts 120 partners worldwide who are selling the vBlock infrastructure platforms, but that number is comprised of Cisco, EMC and VMware partners. The focus is still on hitting multiple verticals such as healthcare and financial services as well as the public sector,
So now that Acadia no longer exists, The VAR Guy wonders whether the VCE will truly embrace the channel with open arms. And from a technology standpoint, how well is vBlock actually making good on its promise to accelerate deployment of virtualization services? For big deployments, VCE seems like a good approach, but for the SMBs of the world, a company’s channel partner will still be the trusted adviser to help them make a cost-effective and easy virtualization purchase — something Cisco, EMC and VMware must have forgotten in their quest for virtualization domination.