Cisco, EMC Partnership Venture VCE Hires CEO

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-07-19

VCE, a 3-year-old startup that is producing new-generation converged cloud infrastructure systems, on July 19 announced that it has hired former Cisco Systems executive Praveen Akkiraju as its new CEO.

Akkiraju (pictured) joins President Frank Hauck, appointed in 2011, as the newest members of VCE's management team. Akkiraju and Hauck also will join the company's board of directors.

The company has taken its time searching for its chief executive. VCE has been run at the outset mainly by board chairman Michael Capellas. Capellas is best known as being the former CEO of Compaq, a position he held from 1999 to 2002--when it was acquired by Hewlett-Packard.

VCE, an acronyn for Virtual Computing Environment, is a partnership venture among three IT giants€”Cisco Systems, VMware and EMC€”that was founded in November 2009. Its purpose is to produce cloud computing systems called vBlocks that use hardware and software from all three companies.

VBlocks are pre-configured, converged-function cloud computing systems that can run hundreds to more than 6,000 virtual machines, depending on customer needs. In two-and-a-half years, VBlocks have become an $800 million business for Cisco (which supplies servers and networking), EMC (storage and data security), VMware (virtualization and management software) and Intel (processors).  

Go here to view a slide show detailing EMC's cloud-optimized version of a VBlock, called VSPEX.

VCE, which also gets in-kind support (namely silicon) from chip maker Intel, also runs a new, shared-equity company called Acadia to handle the specifics of marketing the vBlock systems.

Akkiraju, a 19-year veteran of Cisco, served most recently as senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Services Routing Technology Group, where he supervised cloud infrastructure and integrated networking services products.

Having led business units across the enterprise, service provider and commercial market segments, Akkiraju was responsible for setting the direction for Cisco's next-generation enterprise architecture and integrating security and application awareness capabilities with the network and cloud infrastructure.

Richardson, Texas-based VCE employs about 1,200 people and has an annualized order run rate approaching $1 billion.

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