Cisco, EMC Partnership Venture VCE Hires CEO

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-07-19 Print this article Print

Praveen Akkiraju, a 19-year veteran of Cisco Systems, 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.

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.

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

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