There are two very recent vendor initiatives that hearken back to the days of single vendor tightly integrated systems. The first is Oracle’s pending acquisition of Sun. The second example which has potentially far more impact upon VMware is the recently announced EMC/Cisco Vblocks.
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The problem is that neither VMware, nor any disk array vendor has explicitly announced support for it.
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Prior to the announcement and subsequent to the announcement of Ionix, EMC has been on an absolute tear acquiring companies that have components that will be combined into the new Ionix management stack. These announcements have included the acquisitions of Voyence, ConfigureSoft, Fastsale Technology, and an agreement to resell VMware AppSpeed.
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So from an economists perspective, there is really one and only one simple question. How will the vBlock initiative make earnings per share at EMC, Cisco, and VMware grow faster than they would have had the companies not done this partnership or faster than if they had of done something else with the resources that they are putting into this partnership?