re: Vblocks' Secret Sauce: Simplicity
"VCE's secret sauce, says CSC's Bhargava, is not unique technology. It lies more in a rigorously specified, integrated and produced rack, no configuration needed, with a unified management interface."
Alright, as Larry Ellison would say, "when is this idiocy going to stop!" Everyone used to have, and many still have, a technologically superior, higher RAS version of the "VBlock" called a mainframe. It is very simple to manage/maintain, as all systems are where one provider controls the hardware and the stack. Yes, when one provider, or in the case of VBlock a loose confederation of providers, make all of the decisions for you, it will be simpler to manage with fewer integration points. What happens when you want to replace Cisco with Juniper or VMware with KVM or BMC with Tivoli or EMC with another storage provider? You have no choices, you are locked in. If you want the VBlock value proposition, the original appliance model from IBM is superior to this loose conglomeration. This is not new, it is the original IT systems model. Cisco, VMware, and EMC grew up on the value proposition that buying "best of breed" for network, hypervisor, storage was a financially superior model to the integrated systems from IBM, DEC, Tandem, to some extent HP, etc (i.e. the extra integration and management work was worth the provider flexibility). Now they are performing a 180 and pretending as though they just came across a new model when their "new model" is the model they built themselves on attacking.
Also, if you are going to buy an appliance, don't buy a general purpose appliance that provides zero optimization for your workload. Oracle and IBM provide appliances which integrate the DB, DW and application server, which is far superior from a performance and management perspective than just joining the infrastructure layers to create a standard x86 platform.
It is natural that Cisco, VMware, and EMC would want to protect their substantial market shares from emerging threats. That is the name of this game.