I blogged on the EMC support for View 5 via reference architectures and View 5 testing here. I made a comment about the difference in the core value proposition of the traditional (and still very fine) technology acquisition model of “mix and match” (best of breed, near infinite flexibility) versus the value proposition of converged infrastructure (acceleration of business value).
If it seems weird that I bring this up again – it’s because some folks (ahem) continuously try to suggest that we do one or the other. The reality is we do BOTH. We give customers the choice, and some prefer one model over the other.
Now, let’s examine the VCE new product announcement of the VCE FastPath solution for View.
Look at the core problem they are trying to solve:
This is very different from the problem we’re trying to solve for with the VNX based reference architectures – which is to optimize the set of components to get the densest user design with the minimum infrastructure (ergo optimize best of breed components). We do that – answering things like “how can you minimize the cost of storage for View"? (answer more than anything else is FAST Cache, but also filesystem compression/dedupe, archiving and backup approaches). But that is NOT an end-to-end answer.
That’s what VCE FastPath Solution for View is all about…
It’s pretty darn simple: It is a “End User Computing Appliance”.
To understand more, read on.
There are three sizes (all in the Vblock 300EX sizing band), and they include EVERYTHING up through View. It is a single SKU from VCE (and available through our partner channels), supported and warrantied as a single unit. It’s cost per client is a simple proposition of total cost/number of clients – that’s price transparency (a complex answer normally with End User Computing use cases). It is an appliance after all.
Some would look at that and say “but what if I have 1300 users? And could I use it for something else if I just needed to throw it on there?”. If they can’t get past that – they are a “reference architecture kind of customer”.
Another person looks at it and says: “1300, 1500 – whatever – that’s not the thing stopping me from success, and hyper-optimizing at that degree is a waste of my time – and the people doing it are stopping my IT from moving fast enough”. If they they that way, they are a converged infrastructure kind of customer.
Both are valid – but totally different - viewpoints – which is why EMC is actively bringing BOTH kinds of solutions to the market – both available through our partners.
When it arrives on site, VCE has constructed a slick Automated Optimized Logical Configuration tool.
One set of questions to configure all the network properties….
…then some basic questions around domain settings….
…then point to a gold image, and you’re done. Note there’s an automated “deploy to best practices” button :-)
I’ve been involved in enough of End User Computing projects to know that they go through a distinct process. Proof of Concept. Then Pilot. Then Production. Then Expanded Use Cases.
The reality of far, far too many View projects (and this is true of XenDesktop as well in my experience) is they tend to get “stuck” in the PoC or early Pilot phase. It’s not because there isn’t will, and its not due to some “intrinsic” technological or economic barrier. It’s due to the “I’ve cobbled together a start, but not confident how to go bigger”
If you ask me, that’s why Chris Young who heads up the View team at VMware has been such a supporter of making a “View Appliance”. In the early days, storage cost was amongst one of the main barriers to View deployment. It can still be an issue, but things like FAST Cache have dramatically reduced that issue. The bigger issue is now “getting stuck” without a plan – and the VCE FastPath Solution for View is more on the mark for what the next wave of client virtualization at more (not “bigger”) customers needs. Making it really, REALLY SIMPLE.