Most every solution provider in the channel will tell you that there are a lot of fiefdoms to be navigating when it comes to selling IT infrastructure inside the data center. Each major component of the data center – servers, storage and networking – is typically managed by dedicated specialists that tend to react violently to anything that threatens their domain. After all, the single strongest motivator inside or outside of IT is self-interest, so it’s hard to get people to buy into a concept that by definition could make someone’s job redundant.
And yet with the advent of pre-integrated data center platforms such as the Vblock server platform from The Virtual Computing Environment Company (VCE), a joint venture between Cisco, EMC, VMware and Intel, that’s exactly what vendors are asking solution provider partners to do.
To accomplish that goal VCE president Frank Hauck makes no bones about it; the only way to really sell data center convergence is to the senior leadership of an organization that is looking for a new way to substantially lower the total cost of enterprise IT. The advent of virtualization, notes Hauck, has forever changed the way data centers can be managed. What doesn’t make sense is adhering to older models of managing IT to administer modern systems.
Hauck, formerly the CIO at EMC, adds that much of the cost in managing IT results in all the customization required to integrate various data center components from different vendors. Vblock systems eliminate that issue by putting the integration onus on the vendors, which is one reason that Hauck says a Vblock server platform from VCE can be deployed in less than 30 days. More importantly, the ongoing cost of managing the environment is substantially less because Hauck says all the “digital hygiene” that goes into making sure that every software update doesn’t break some point of integration with another product has been eliminated in favor of system-wide update process that is managed by VCE.
Overcoming the inertia associated with the way IT products have been traditionally acquired is no easy task. But Timothy Page, senior vice president of global sales for VCE, says the smartest thing solution providers can do is to advise senior executives to centralize the data center budget. Once that happens, the economic clout of any one particular fiefdoms within the data center is sharply reduced, which in turn makes all the participants in the project a whole lot more willing to participate than they might be otherwise.
In other words, the more things change; the more compensation and IT budget allocations still drive behavior.Tags: data center convergence, virtualization, solution provider, channel, data center, Vblock, VMware, Intel, The Virtual Computing Environment Company, VCE, EMC, Cisco