EMC launches VSPEX to accelerate mid-market journey to private cloud

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Channel only programme aimed at Velocity partners

EMC has announced the release of its VSPEX reference architecture aimed at offering greater flexibility for channel partners in moving customers towards private clouds.

EMC has roped in a variety of vendors to launch its VSPEX infrastructure, with Microsoft, Intel Citrix, VMware, Cisco and others all part of the launch.

The launch of VSPEX has been hinted at by EMC for a few days on its website, and EMC has officially unveiled its channel only programme with exclusive access for its Velocity partners.

The bundled services will use EMC storage along with virtualisation, server and network technology from its launch partners, with mid market businesses squarely in its sights.

Fourteen configurations at launch will offer up some of the most common private cloud set ups, with options for running a variety of hypervisors including VMware, as well as Microsoft Windows Hyper-V, on anywhere from 50 to 250 ChannelBiz was told.  Between 50 and 2000 Citrix Xen virtual desktops will  also be among the initial offerings.

For EMC this is only the start however. The firm plans to increase the number of partners and services available as soon as possible.

Intel and Cisco are server partners on launch for example, though EMC is aiming to add choice for customers to use any server choice, as is the same with networking and storage, EMC’s Cloud Director Colin Fisher says.

“This will absolutely get built out in the future,” Fisher told ChannelBiz.  “This is not a pilot, it’s EMC next generation ‘go to market’ for our channel.

“We are trying to add more value for our channel partners, so that they can help customers expediate the journey to private cloud.  Part of this plan is to scale this programme out.”

Fisher wasn’t able to say which companies are already in the pipeline for joining up, but there are plans to add to current launch partners.

This will help further drive towards simplicity and flexibility, and offer more benefits for channel partners.

“With access to VPSEX labs this give partners the ability to validate their own solutions going forward, that’s where their value add comes in,” he says.

“Some partners have specific capabilities around specific applications and solutions.”

“We are adding value by reducing integration and validation costs effectively. What we are asking our partners to do is to add the increased value on top of the infrastructure we are putting together.

“They can then take that added value to their customers.”

Channel partners will be targeted with co-branded hardware, such as storage arrays.

According to Fisher the service will not directly overlap with the converged offerings of the VCE Vblock.

“For the right customer there is value in that business model.  But if a customer has a requirement for Microsoft as a hypervisor or Citrix as a virtualisation technology, then VCE Vblock may not be the right solution as it is a VMware solution.”

VSPEX gives more flexibility and choice to use alternative technologies, he says.

VSPEX is aimed at the mid market, and Fisher believes that there are examples where a Vblock will be used for “tier one applications”, but they may also use a VSPEX based service for “tier two or tier three applications”.  This is down to the increased flexibility and choice that EMC is pushing.

Fisher says that the four disties involved with VSPEX in EMEA are in a position to provide partners with the “correct training, education and commercial support to help bring this to market” straight from launch. The distributors are Avnet, Magirus, Azlan and Arrow.

“There is everything a partner needs to skill up and bring this to market,” Fisher says.

“We hope this is getting us closer to our partners and adding more value to our partners through this being a channel only programme.

“We are working very hard to a lot of the heavy lifting that allows our partners to provide this solutions to their customers more quickly efficiently, with a lower cost.”

“This means that there are additional margins for our partners as well.”

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