Ever since hearing about them earlier this year, I've been fascinated by the Vblock concept, but the Vblocks I learned about in a session I attended with Gestalt IT's Tech Field Day didn't scale down very well. During the session, the presenters indicted that a smaller Vblock – dubbed Vblock 0 – was under consideration.
At this point, you might be asking yourself, "What is a Vblock?"
In simple terms, a Vblock is a unit of data center infrastructure that consists of:
- Processing power and RAM via Cisco server.
- Storage provided by EMC.
- Storage networking hardware provided by Cisco.
- Virtualization software from VMware.
Only when these pieces are brought together in very specific combinations are they considered Vblocks. Vblocks have some advantages over manually sized individual components. First, there is an economy of scale. Second, support is a single phone call regardless of what component fails. Third, various Vblock levels will provide specific numbers of virtual machines. So, when you look at it, if you're looking for a "data center in a box" or a private cloud, you can get that through a single source. There's certainly some beauty in that.
Currently, Vblock 0 is the smallest available Vblock package and, depending on selected configuration options, Vblock 0 starts on the low end by supporting 300 virtual machines and tops out around 800 or so. With this kind of all-in-one approach to data center construction, smaller organizations can focus on the end result – the business driver – rather than on the underlying infrastructure.
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