EMC recently announced VSPEX (http://www.emc.com/about/news/press/2012/20120412-01.htm)which is a series of reference architectures designed with: Cisco, Brocade, Citrix, Intel, Microsoft, and VMware. The intent of these architectures is to provide proven designs for cloud computing while providing customer choice and flexibility. Overall the intent is to provide flexible architectures of best-of-breed components for cloud computing.
The VSPEX solutions are focused on virtualized infrastructure for private cloud and end-user computing environments. Current options provide VMware vSphere 5.0 and Microsoft Windows Hyper-V server virtualization from 50 – 250 VMs as well as VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop solutions from 50 – 2000 desktops. Additionally VSPEX architectures factor in unified management and backup/recovery. The initial launch solutions are: VMware view (250, 500, 1000, 2000 users), Citrix XenDesktop (250, 500, 1000, 2000 users), VMware Private Cloud (125 & 250 Virtual Machines), VMware Private Cloud (50 & 100 Virtual Machines), Microsoft Private Cloud (50 & 100 Virtual Machines.) Full details can be found at: http://www.emc.com/platform/virtualizing-information-infrastructure/vspex.htm#!resources.
The reference architecture are further supported through VSPEX Labs from EMC for testing and configuration,which enables partners to validate specific configurations. The model also enables partners to further drive new functionality into VSPEX based on their customer base. First-Level Support will be provided by the EMC channel partner and backed by EMC.
VSPEX is different from Vblock’s offered by VCE The Virtual Computing Environment Company and are more along the lines of FlexPod which is a collaboration of NetApp and Cisco with flavors for VMware, Citrix and several other applications/deployments. The VSPEX reference architectures offer more choice and flexibility while sacrificing some in the way of acquisition, and operational support. This gap again presents an opportunity for EMC channel partners to differentiate themselves with custom offerings to fill these gaps.
Overall VSPEX is an excellent offering for both customers and EMC channel partners. It provides additional options for deploying reliable, tested integrated hardware stacks for private cloud and end-user computing environments. It also provides a framework and foundation for partners to build a custom solution set from.