My First 60 Days

Image credit: Jay Cuthrell

My First 60 Days

[Time flies when you are having fun… and freezing cold. In the past 60 days since I’ve joined VCE there has been cold weather in Boston, Montana, RTP, etc… but all of my trips were tempered with warm receptions and the high energy of VCE team members, VCE parent team members, vSpecialists Team 04 [1], VCE Partners, and of course VCE customers!

Since my first 30 days update, my solo talk at SxSW on CALEA was accepted and scheduled. If you are attending SxSW be sure to set aside your Sunday to attend “Lawful Intercept: I Saw What You Did”.

Also, when I pushed that update I was semi-growing a small marsupial on my upper lip. That’s right. I was able to share my month long devotion to facial follicular fantasy via Movember to raise awareness for and raise research funding for cancers that affect men. I subjected everyone I met during this time to the fuzz du jour.

[was able to raise $480 that helped TeamRDU raise $22,542 as part of our network Digital Challenge sum of** $313,064**

For this update, I’m already a few days into my latest charity activity. I’m drinking nothing but water through March 5 (SxSW starts after that btw… heh). Why?

Think about how easy it is for you to drink water each day. Now imagine that being a chore, a high involved series of steps, or a daily struggle.

If you know me you know I’m someone that enjoys all kinds of beverages. For the next 90 days I intend to drink only water. No sodas, no beer (!!!!), no wine, no tea, no coffee, no milk, no juice… just water.

$9000 represents 90 families having access to water. Help me by clicking here!


[just let me know in the comments.

I’ll pick a comment at random and donate my Google TV from the Google I/O 2010 developer program to the local charity/cause/GTUG of their choosing. _

Just let me know in your comment if that is of interest to you. And now… the actual content you likely came here for in the first place…


That Guy in VCE Q&A Time

Since becoming that guy in VCE, great questions keep coming to my inbox about VCE and Vblock. Here are just a few I’ve answered since my last update that came in from you curious, gentle, and thoughtful readers (reprinted with permission with edits).

[_Are you working for Acadia or VCE? _

We’re all VCE now… and of course it’s more than just the branding. The Acadia brand/charter has been set aside to make sure a vibrant channel and VCE Partner community can flourish and grow quickly. I’ll cover the VCE Partner and channel question you posed below as well.

As with any branding change, it will take time for the sunsetting of the Acadia brand. I just happen to have more VCE branded attire than I do Acadia branded attire. If you attended the Gartner Data Center Conference you would have seen the new VCE logo and brand at our booth.

[_What kind of traction are you seeing for Vblock? _

Our CEO, Michael Capellas shared some details at the Gartner Data Center Conference on traction for Vblock. From these comments, Wikibon coverage of VCE indicated that VCE has a significant base of major customers worldwide for Vblocks and that VCE is targeted to add even more customers for Vblocks before the close of 2010.

What’s important to understand is how customers consume Vblocks today and the seamless support that VCE provides to them. Vblock is not a mere reference architectures you can fold up in your back pocket – Vblocks are ubiquitous workload substrates for data centers to deliver SLA backed solutions with unified support that arrive in a ready to consume state. Just add power, network, and go to market!

Of course, I’m unable to share the actual number of customers and Vblocks but it’s a very safe use of the “s” to make Vblock plural! On a personal note I’ve never been more energized and BUSY that I’ve been since joining VCE…. I am truly riding the rocket.

[Are potential customers having scalability concerns with the parts that make up a Vblock?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Each selection of components that make up the Vblock have competitive vertical and horizontal scaling patterns mapped to real work workloads which are vetted through testing. The amount of engineering hours put into the design and delivery of a Vblock is simply awesome.

While there is always a “speeds and feeds” conversation taking place in the industry, where Vblock stands apart is in the manner in which scale is brought to bear in a useful and consumable fashion. Specifically, Vblock is unrivaled in time to scale and rate of return on invested capital and the single pane of glass approach to ongoing management of the investment.

Consider that a Vblock delivery takes place on pre-engineered, pre-wired, and pre-configured and fully populated cabinets in structured racks on shipping pallets. By only requiring the unpacking, powering, and networking to the aggregation layer means that Vblock customers are capable of making x86 virtual machines in just a few hours. More importantly, as these are workload driven goals the first VM stays within the SLA parameters desires as well as the (n)th VM created within the Vblock solution.

Personally, I’ve been involved with gargantuan Vblock deals, POC/Demo Vblock deals, and all Vblock points in between. In the sizing of these Vblocks, the workload driven configuration tools made available to VCE parents dovetail with our own internal VCE tools. As these tools are made available (soon!) to VCE Partners and the channel, I expect a better understanding of Vblock scale to be approached and visualized as hysteresis curves or bubble charts and not simply a coarse MIN vs. MAX discussion. Be sure to review VCE Partner Portal for updates on these tools and training slots.

[_Who are the players you are seeing that compete with VCE and Vblock? _

The big names in the room are easy to name. VCE and her parents (Cisco, EMC, VMware) are all vying for the same data center market as the likes of IBM, HP, Oracle, etc…

Regardless of what sleepy cat has waded into market for consuming data center real estate, VCE’s attitude is “Game On” and has been since the moment the company was formed just over a year ago as the trend setter and first mover in this space.

The most satisfying part of competition is seeing our list of VCE Partners grow so rapidly. VCE Partners provide insight, detail, and understanding of the customer needs and requirements as well as the challenges to consuming IT in a new way. VCE Partners are essential to making it permissible for customers to consume Vblock.

[What is happening with VCE partners and the channel?

Great things are happening. In fact, in my own day to day work I’m working with VCE Partners more often than not. When I attend social tech events I’m advising every VAR I know to take a good hard look at VCE, do earnest research, and provide feedback to our Partner and Channels teams.

What is clear is desire for Vblock is strong. You have a valid question and I want you to be curious and skeptical.

Did you know that many VCE Partners have already delivered Vblocks to their customers? It’s true. BTW, you can be one of those VCE Partners too!

The BOOM moment is where VCE is the catalyst and accelerant to help VCE Partners win Vblock deals early and often. There are already great resources our our portal. If you haven’t reviewed the VCE Partner Portal – make the time to review and let us know what you think!

[1] The vSpecialist Team04 Giddyup like no other!