Cisco and EMC tie-up with cloud coalition

Cisco and EMC confirm market rumours with announcement of coalition on virtualisation and joint venture for training

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Cisco and EMC tie-up with cloud coalition The coalition between EMC, Cisco and VMWare is an entirely new and unique development to data centre utilization and optimization, according to Cisco CEO and chairman John Chambers.
By  Julian Pletts Published  November 4, 2009

Cisco and EMC have announced a collaboration focused on offering solutions and services for private cloud computing.

The Virtual Computing Environment Coalition, as it is officially coined, also involves EMC-owned VMWare, and is intended to accelerate pervasive data centre virtualisation and increase migration to private cloud infrastructures.

In addition to the formal creation of the coalition, which has been over a year in the coming, there is a second major aspect to the announcement. Cisco and EMC are launching a joint venture called Acadia, which will provide the training and education to both channel partners and customers about how to respectively sell and use the cloud computing and virtualisation products.

Cisco and EMC will be largely footing the bill for Arcadia as the major investors, but funds will also be provided from Intel and VMWare as minority investors.

John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco said: "This coalition is about more than technology and partnership. It is about an entirely new and unique approach to the data centre that improves utilisation, power consumption and security of information, all in a way that lowers the total cost to the customer, not via a box, but with a network-based architectural approach for optimizing virtual resources."

According to market research firm McKinsey and Company, worldwide spending on data centre technology infrastructure and services exceeds $350 billion annually and it suggests that half of that is spent on capital expenditure and the other half on operational expenditure. However, the analyst also suggested that 70% or more of those costs are expended to maintain existing infrastructures, leaving 30% or less for new technology initiatives that will create differentiation factors for businesses.

In support of the newly-formed coalition's remit, it is also predicted that roughly 20% of the overall market, a potential $85 billion chunk, can be addressed with data centre virtualisation and private cloud technology by 2015.

Joseph Tucci, EMC chairman and CEO, hopes that the coalition and Arcadia JV will help end-users consider the possibility of cloud computing and the inherent flexibilities that can offer sooner than they otherwise might have.

"Many [organisations] understand the vast potential of the private cloud. With shared roadmaps and a long-term commitment, the Virtual Computing Environment coalition will bring true accountability, along with the best-of-breed technologies our respective customers have come to expect, to help enable their success," said Tucci.

NetApp, which is also a strategic partner of Cisco and VMWare in the market, commended the move, which looks set to have a massive impact on how cloud computing is going to be developed and marketed on the global stage in the years to come.

In a statement Jay Kidd, vice president, storage solutions group and chief marketing officer at NetApp said yesterday: "We view the announcement as a clever attempt by Cisco to sell UCS servers into EMC's install base. We also feel that this announcement further validates the trend that we're seeing as more and more enterprises move to a virtualised dynamic data centre infrastructure."

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