Road Warrior Thoughts

Image credit: Josh Atwell

Road Warrior Thoughts

VCE is all about riding the rocket while constructing and reworking that same rocket in real time. – VCE 101


Having just returned from trips to Barcelona and Saudi Arabia I can see 2012 has shaped up to be one of those so-called travel intensive years. I’ve experienced travel at this level before but not as international. That means a bit more time to reflect on flights that aren’t wifi enabled and watching more inflight movies than I can recall before grabbing extended naps.

When I look back on the first meetings with VCE folks in 2010 the topic of how much travel was too much travel came up immediately. At the time I was clear that in my consulting practice it was easier to count the days I was not traveling. Everyone smiled and said that it wouldn’t be anywhere near that much travel.

Back then I knew there would be demand for what VCE was doing and what it was planning on doing. What I didn’t know was that I’d be heading west in just over two years

This is what I do. I get around.

Every single trip has been this year has been to take meetings with customers – multiple customers and multiple meetings per day in most cases. VCE customers that have realized the benefits of Vblock Systems are an ever growing global list.

The travel is pretty concentrated in terms of what is accomplished on each trip. There is the ground you cover in the room and the ground you cover beyond the room. It’s not uncommon that when I get to the meeting there is already a conference bridge, a WebEx, or a Cisco TelePresence session pulling together global rosters of VCE, Cisco, EMC, VMware, and customer teams.

There is no off switch. We are all online.

[ If you blink you might miss something. It’s true. Looking through my various sharing channels I’m reminded of just how much information courses through our veins. Luckily there is a solid and growing team of really smart folks here. So I can’t help but smile when I see a reply, wiki edit, or sharing of something better than I was going to send. You can sense the Americas, EMEA, and APJC nature of it all like some kind of indexed histogram of intelligent and often quite humorous banter.

The M&A show continues. Any questions?

This year has seen a lot of M&A activity from VCE investors. Each time Cisco, EMC, or VMware makes a move there is undoubtedly going to be speculation online in hopes of generating page views or promoting some kind of horse race narrative. This is to be expected and it often requires I be ready to explain for the hundredth time what VCE is about and where VCE is going to the uninitiated, the curious, the contrarian, and sometimes… the curmudgeon.

For example, when Cisco acquired Cloupia there was bound to be questions such as

“Does this mean Cisco IAC is going away?”

“Does this mean Cisco customers will use Cisco IAC or Cisco Cloupia?”

“Where did I put my glasses this morning?”

[The simple answer to the going away question is “no” but color is required to illustrate that not everything in the market is a horse race or binary system of 1’s and 0’s. As such, in the wider DCIM landscape ‘it depends’ is that most pesky of responses that requires education and presenting the background to capture goals, coverage areas, concerns, and any caveats.

Cisco IAC is data center oriented to encompass “a range of implementations” involving converged infrastructure, bare metal OS, VMs, network endpoints, apps, etc. To contrast, Cisco Cloupia is razor focused on specific requirements ranging from converged infrastructure products like Vblock to reference architectures like VSPEX and FlexPod.

Considering both Cisco IAC and Cisco Cloupia are API rich it’s also a good bet that you’ll see some of both (mixed and matched) as specific converged infrastructure operations and automation needs emerge and grow within enterprise and specific service provider environments.

Of course, that’s just a Cisco example. I fully expect that M&A will continue at a robust pace from all VCE investor angles and interests.

In each instance VCE will highlight how we’ve been thinking about the future as it applies to each of our investor innovations be they organic, M&A, collaborative, and ultimately interlocked.

As always, we can only do our best at VCE to present a sane and logical statement… that raises discourse to… promote a… uh…

Seriously? [