EMC VSPEX is further evidence that the IT infrastructure consumption model is changing. VSPEX is ultimately a new menu item for select EMC partners. From the outside, VSPEX has a consistent look of a packaged solution, but it is what is available on the inside that gets interesting. A customer will be able to customize a VSPEX based on hypervisor preference (Citrix, Microsoft, or VMware), Cisco servers, Cisco or Brocade networking, and multiple flavors of EMC storage. The partner will base the menu choices off EMC proven infrastructure solutions and deliver a single packaged unit to the customer.
The initial use cases EMC chose to focus on are interesting as well:
- Private Cloud - enabling both Microsoft and a VMware solution for 50-100 virtual machines
- VDI - with a Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View solution for 250 - 2000 virtual desktops
The expansion beyond VMware-only solutions is a commendable effort and I suspect one that the partners initiated. Now partners will have an opportunity to engage strategically around a private cloud and VDI initiative and shift its value to delivering IT value as opposed to hardware gear . It will be important to watch how partners work with customers to help size, deliver, and educate them on the value of VSPEX. Traditional product speeds and feeds will not win here. Vendors that can differentiate themselves on time to value, economic efficiency, and the shifting role of IT staff have the potential for long term success.
You can read Mark's other blog entries at Liquefying IT.