CSC today announced an extended alliance with Cisco and EMC under which the IT services firm will be touting the Cisco Unified Computing System and VBlocks as the ideal "purpose-built" platform for cloud computing.
VBlocks is a set of pre-configured systems that Cisco has allied with EMC and its VMware subsidiary, which collectively is known as the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition, to deliver a turnkey data center platform. The basic idea, says Peter Allen, president of global marketing and sales for CSC, is to convince customers of the economic merits of upgrading their entire data centers to run Cisco UCS systems.
The technical issues associated with that business agenda, however, are at the heart of a battle over just how data center should evolve over the next several years. Offerings such as Cisco UCS and the BladeSystem Matrix from Hewlett-Packard provide some distinct advantages in total cost of ownership and the tight coupling of processor, storage and network resources.
But these systems are an expensive proposition at a time when most customers are scrambling for capital budget. In fact, many companies are looking for a more open, evolutionary approach to next-generation data center infrastructure that might rely more on software to integrate existing assets instead of relying on a forklift upgrade. In addition, a software approach also allows customers to take a more evolutionary approach to thorny internal turf issues within the IT department about who should be in charge of what once all the processors, network and storage management are converged.
There no doubt that interest in private cloud computing is driving many IT organizations to rethink the way they deliver IT services on a modern data center architecture. The challenge is going to be trying to figure out how to accomplish that goal given IT politics and current economic realities.