Last week, a Cisco Validated Design doc was posted covering how to deploy VMware View 4.5 on EMC Unified storage (part of the Cisco VXI initiative). You can read it here:
This is a great doc, and if you’re interested in just technology, are a Cisco and EMC customer looking to virtualize clients, and have no interest in business topics, you can stop reading here :-)
In view of the constant debates about stack models, this is a little instructive as an example. If you want to know more about what I mean, read on.
One thing that I want to highlight – this is an example of how Cisco and EMC continue to operate together in the “classic” open systems way (and we continue to do this also in the “everyone partners with everyone” way).
You can have VMware, Cisco and EMC technologies in the traditional mix-and-match model, flexibility to change any configuration you want (within the support matrices of the companies), and with the support and joint escalation we as leading vendors try hard to do (not always perfect, but try).
This type of document (Cisco’s CVDs, EMC’s Proven reference architectures) represent the traditional “mix and match from best of breed” model of IT. The CVD represents a great “recipe” on how to integrate those components (components = VMware View, vSphere, Cisco UCS/Nexus, EMC Unified Storage). The way you deploy it is (trivializing a bit to make the point): “Get VMware View. Get vSphere. Get UCS. Get EMC Storage. Follow the instructions.”
The fact that there is also also a View on Vblock reference architecture highlights how “VMware on UCS on EMC” (V,C,E) and Vblocks are two different business propositions. BTW – that doc is here:
In that reference architecture is using a different product – not UCS + EMC Unified Storage. That product underneath VMware View is a Vblock 1. I know it’s a mental leap for technologists like myself to not immediately start deconstructing the Vblock 1 into – yes – Cisco UCS, Nexus, and EMC Unified storage. But as a product – well, that’s how integrated infrastructure needs to be viewed. How it’s wired, configured, and disk configurations are fixed – by definition. In that case the “recipe” is VMware View 4.5 on Vblock 1. The way you would deploy it is: “Get VMware View. Get a Vblock 1. Follow the instructions”.
Both models are PERFECTLY VALID. If you got this far, and want to understand what I mean better (in long prose format) – read this.
I know how hard it is for people who have “grown up” in the free wheeling melee of open systems to understand that a Vblock is a product, not a VMware, Cisco, EMC reference architecture – and that distinction is material. Those two different models (mix and match with a document vs. a product) each have pros and cons – just like anything else. Heck – I need to reinforce that often with my own team (who sometimes bristle at Vblock configuration boundaries).
Constructive comments welcome – as always!