VCE is getting more “V” and potentially less “C” in it.
That’s significant, because the default SDN option for VCE’s Vblocks — cabinets with computing, storage, and networking already integrated — was originally Cisco’s Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Back in 2013, as ACI was introduced, the situation was described like this: You could use NSX with Vblocks, but it would have to be on top of an ACI-based fabric.
Now, it appears customers will be able to ignore ACI altogether and go straight for NSX as a network virtualization option.
This isn’t that surprising when you consider that Cisco has pulled back from VCE. In October, the joint venture became essentially an EMC property and part of the EMC Federation, which includes Pivotal, RSA, and VMware. Cisco now holds about a 10 percent stake in VCE, and VMware holds even less.
So it makes sense that EMC would want to use the networking option from VMware (which is roughly 80 percent owned by EMC).
VMware has had a truckload of product announcements this week in conjunction with its Partner Exchange conference in San Francisco. Hybrid cloud has been a strong theme, and VMware had already touted the use of NSX inside the vCloud Air service offering.
What might be more significant is that with VCE, VMware gets an easier way for enterprise customers to install NSX, as a VMware spokesman notes in an email to SDNCentral. VMware had taken some criticism for NSX being difficult for some enterprises to adopt.
The VCE-plus-NSX option is being called the VCE Foundation for Federated Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, where the “FEHC” part refers to EMC’s offering of converged hardware and services for hybrid clouds. VCE says the NSX option will be orderable starting sometime this quarter.