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Cisco/VMware Venture Gets Cozy With SAP

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
2/21/2013
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VCE, the joint venture formed by VMware Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and EMC Corp., is announcing some improvements on Thursday that take the venture even further away from plain systems-integrator territory. VCE is now offering to pre-load SAP HANA software onto Vblocks, the bundle of storage, computing and networking hardware in which the joint venture specializes. HANA, used for big data analytics, happens to be popular enough to make this worth doing. The snazzy name for the new offering is Vblock Specialized System SAP HANA. VCE has a few other similar Specialized System deals in the works, some relating to specific software packages, some to particular vertical markets, says CEO (and former Cisco executive) Praveen Akkiraju. This puts VCE in kind of the same bucket as Oracle, which pre-loads its software in the Oracle Exadata offering. A key difference is that Oracle owns both the software and the hardware, a type of business Gartner Inc. defines as "workload systems." Cisco, not owning HANA, wouldn't count for that category. "We're creating this category of specialized systems," Akkiraju says. The point of it all is to separate VCE from competitors that are doing more basic systems integration. VCE started out at that point three years ago, Akkiraju says, but has since grown to be the equivalent of a US$1 billion-a-year business (that is, VCE recorded more than $250 million in revenues for the fourth quarter). VCE is also announcing Thursday that it's adding application awareness to Vblocks, a capability it's calling Vision Intelligent Operations. VisionIO provides a RESTful API to connect to management and orchestration systems -- VMware's, for now. Versions for management and orchestration from Cisco and other companies are in the works, Akkiraju says. Finally, VCE is introducing the Vblock System 100 and 200 lines, lower-end counterparts to the existing Vblock System 300 and 700. — Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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Craig Matsumoto
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Craig Matsumoto,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/21/2013 | 8:32:06 PM
re: Cisco/VMware Venture Gets Cozy With SAP
It's tough to believe Cisco and VMware can stay friends in the long term.-á VCE benefits them both, so I'd expect them to keep it running for a good long time, even if things get tense at other layers of the companies.
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