So in the last 3 weeks I’ve spent time un cork with a number of tier 1 VMWare, Cisco and EMC Partners, aswell as Subject matter experts from the 3 vendors themselves; I’ve also just come back from Arizona after course around Cisco’s UCS B Series offering and Nexus piece.
The Infrastructure offerings from VMware, Cisco, EMC are all very impressive; there are integration points between the 3 vendors which go beyond just marketing fud. Cisco have their Nexus 1000v which extends the network access layer into the virtual server environment rather than simply at the hypervisor OS itself, EMC offer direct integration and management capability of their systems from VMWare’s Management suite by making optimal use of the various Vstorage API’s, EMC/VMWare’s Ionix portfolio integrates with both management of the 3 vendor offerings, but also giving application discovery capability visible from VCenter and granular trending and reporting cababilities; even covering change control for those lucky folks who must be ITIL compliant.
So that’s the whole package.. job done.. NAY !!. In my humble opinion, the businesses that really excel are those organisations that can offer all of this, but can also wear a development and integration hat. Dealing with the presentation layer as to how all of this is managed, provisioned and tweaked to meet business needs, not just IT infrastructure needs. IT is moving more and more towards a self service model, to where within the constraints of what a business or provider allows; a user/customer/business can spin up instances of applications/servers/resource/storage on the fly and the underlying infrastructure simply goes and does.
From a Service provider instance this might be a virtual machine or computing resource thats spun up, from an internal business perspective it may be a complete virtual environment that’s spun up for dev purposes or demonstration purposes, It may simply be using something like XML to extend on the management capabilities of the native vendor tools (much like BMC Bladelogic have with Cisco UCS) or simply making the management tools more personal and relevant to an organisation.
Kaavo is one company which is working on management of public and private cloud deployments
The below video is a very good example of someone that has taken the open XML framework and tuned an IT deployment specifically to an organisations business needs
So in summary, selling tin and selling licences will make you money, BUT !! consultancy, development and services demonstrate more value, a deeper fundamental understanding of how business needs map to IT requirements and are more margin rich.