UPDATED 13:00 EDT / MAY 09 2013

VCE Chief on the Datacenter’s Evolution : A Complex Challenge for Converged Infrastructure

During theCube’s live coverage of EMC World 2013, Praveen Akkiraju, CEO of VCE, sat down with hosts John Furrier and Dave Vellante to discuss the company’s progress in accelerating deployment of Cisco and EMC technologies with their converged infrastructure, Vblock.

It’s almost been a year since Akkiraju was appointed CEO of VCE, and he shared what he’s learned in that time. “What I’ve found was, given the amount of change we have going on in the technology space, a lot of our customers are dealing with tremendous amounts of complexity.” In this non-stop disturbance environment, VCE steps in, delivering a “fundamental simplification of a core piece of the data center infrastructure.” That real value proposition resonated immensely, as Akkiraju explained, “The biggest surprise to me was the level of customer loyalty we have. VCE’s set of customers is the most loyal [I’ve seen], and it’s a testimony to the team’s performance and focus on customer experience.”

Akkiraju described how, in the initial stages, most of VCE’s Vblock deployments were specific application use cases. Their customer set started off as primarily large enterprises, but, since then, they’ve broadened their customer set, now working with service providers and smaller businesses. “We’ve gone from delivering specific applications to being a core part of data center consolidation, application re-platforming, cloud deployments. We’re now accepted as a fundamental way to dibble up the next generation data center.”

The Exploitation Phase of Converged Infrastructure


Dave Vellante pointed out what seemed to be the three stages in the life of Converged Infrastructure. Having passed the “prove it to me” phase and then the “gaining validation” phase, converged infrastructure now seems to be entering the “exploitation phase.” Akkiraju agreed, saying, “We are spending less time convincing customers that converged infrastructure is a viable way to build their data centers. Most CIOs now understand the value. What our customers are asking now is ‘Can you train my folks to operate in a converged infrastructure environment?’” In order for customers to be able to fully “exploit” the benefits of converged infrastructure, Akkiraju states that VCE now needs to give them a better support system—by enabling training, and having on-site residents who help the customer’s engineers.

“That’s where we’re headed. Simplifying operations, simplifying the application onboarding onto converged infrastructure.”

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