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Dell EMC Discontinues Vblock

Many companies like to offer a choice of different products. Within the choices can be a more limited product, and a product that has greater options. When consumers regularly and consistently choose one option over the other, it's time to look at eliminating the less popular option. This can free up resources to focus on the product that consumers actually want to purchase. This is definitely true with Dell EMC's Vblock and VxBlock Converged Infrastructure product.

Both products are currently part of Dell EMC's converged infrastructure (CI) portfolio of rack-scale systems. They combine servers, storage and networking from Cisco and Dell EMC in an integrated, buy-as-a-single-entity system. The main difference being that the VxBlock features Software-defined networking (SDN) from either Cisco with their Application Centric Infrastructure, or Vmware's NSX, whereas the Vblock can only use a Cisco Nexus 1000v switch and cannot deploy with an SDN.

In a blog announcing the discontinuation of the Vblock, President of EMC Global Systems Engineering, Chad Sakac stated that a full 90 percent of their customers have chosen VxBlock Systems over Vblock, indicating a clear preference to have a choice with Software Defined Networking (SDN) options. Beyond the the virtual switch, there really isn't much difference between Vblock and VxBlock.

By consolidating to one solution Dell EMC believes customers will gain:

  • Choice: the flexibility of VMware NSX or Cisco ACI
  • Simplicity: a single standard CI building block for Enterprise Hybrid Cloud (EHC) along with our HCI options of VxRack and VxRail.
  • Innovation: latest Cisco and VMware technology coupled with all-flash storage solutions from Dell EMC Unity, VMAX, XtremIO, and Isilon
  • Time to Market: innovations will be brought to market even faster by shortening the qualification process thanks to streamlining with fewer portfolio models.

What does this mean for the small amount of customers who did choose to go with Vblock? The company has assured that they have not, and will not forget the product. Existing Vblock customers are supported for the full service life. The company will continue to sell additional Vblock System expansions (e.g. adding more drives/UCS systems) and supported Converged Technology Extensions (e.g. adding a Technology Extension for Isilon to a Vblock System) and minor enhancements through June 30, 2020. Dell EMC will also continue to offer service and security patches through June 30, 2022.

Consolidation here just means that the customers are voting on which product they prefer with their wallets. Dell EMC is simplifying their offering to coincide with what the customer base is already choosing.