IBMs Cloud Approach Versus Cisco-EMC-VMware

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-11-19 Print this article Print


IBM and Hewlett-Packard are two of the few companies in the world-in fact, they might be the only two-where a customer can go and find just about everything he or she needs to build a private cloud system: hardware, software, storage, a management platform and all the services to go with it.

Now they have some competition from a new coalition of individually powerful companies that want in on the coming cloud-building bonanza: Cisco Systems, EMC and VMware-along with chip maker Intel, which sells to just about everybody anyway.

This group of cloud partners revealed Nov. 3 that they have formed a new joint venture, the Virtual Computing Environment, to produce cloud computing systems called vBlocks that integrate hardware and software from all three companies.

The coalition-along with Intel-also announced that it is starting up a new, shared-equity company called Acadia to handle the specifics of marketing the new vBlock systems.

vBlocks are preintegrated, preconfigured computing systems consisting of networkware from Cisco, storage/security/system management from EMC and virtualization software from VMware. The resulting cloud computing systems will range in size from hundreds of virtual machines to more than 6,000 virtual machines, depending upon the need of the customer.

IBM's response? "The fact that they need to build a partnership is a confirmation that there is a lack of integration and of complexity reduction," Clementi said. "This kind of confirms that they are trying to match, or to complete, the capability [that IBM owns].

"Here is what I believe is most important: We say cloud computing is going to be applicable to a vast majority of workloads. First, it will be workload dependent. Secondly, we say this all about service management; then we say we need to give our customers choice in deployment," Clementi said.

Then, in matching this approach back to Cisco-EMC-VMware's, Clementi compared this to innovation emanating from the consumer market.

"This model comes from the consumer world. We all Google, we Shutterfly, we tweet, we do all kinds of stuff," Clementi said. "You would feel comfortable with your e-mail out there, but you would feel less comfortable with your banking records out there. So there are requirements for enterprise workloads that will determine which workload goes where."

Can a coalition of disparate companies put together a cohesive cloud system for customers that works and will be secure from cyber-attacks and other problems? Certainly this is possible. Can such a partnership provide the tightest engineering for workload efficiency? That remains to be seen, Clementi said.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel