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http://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pdfs/US2449255.pdf originally invented by Harold Arlington Sneckner

Vblock is the brand name VCE uses for racks containing the components of its data center products. Prepackaging, called converged infrastructure, allows customers to select preconfigured and integrated solutions, with predictable units of power, weight, cooling, and geometry for data center planning purposes.[1]

A Vblock 300 FX at CA World
Vblock 300 FX at VCE (company) booth during CA World 2011.

Vblock systems consist of storage and provisioning from EMC, switches and servers from Cisco, and VMware virtualization software running on the servers. In addition, Vblock system customers' support calls are handled by VCE.

History and Models[edit]

Vblock had two series based on the following compositional elements:[2][3]

  • EMC provides storage and provisioning
    • VNX
    • VMAX
    • Ionix UIM/P
  • Cisco provides compute and networking
    • UCS
    • Nexus
  • VMware provides virtualization
    • vSphere
    • with vDS provided via Cisco Nexus 1000V
    • with MPIO provided via EMC PowerPath/VE

Vblock brand naming changed since its inception.[4] In 2009, the term Vblock Infrastructure Packages was announced by then Acadia (technical partnership), the Virtual Computing Environment coalition, as well as their primary investors. In late 2010 and continuing through 2011, the term Packages was replaced with Platforms. By mid-2012, the term, Infrastructure Platforms was replaced with Systems in wider circulation to arrive at, simply, Vblock™ Systems.[5] Meanwhile, constituent elements and technology included upgrades to the product lines from Cisco, EMC, and VMware.[6]

Infrastructure Packages[edit]

Originally, these combined a reference architecture with a physical and logical configuration step initially at a customer data center or colocation data center and later within a pre-manufacturing environment for shipment to a customer data center or colocation data center. Options were limited during the time these were marketed and sold.



In contrast to the 0, 1, 1U later series were produced in manufacturing centers and then installed within a customer data center or colocation data center by a VCE partner or professional services team. Models were named EX, FX, GX and HX.


This series offers an even larger number of options. Models were named LX and MX.


No confirmed numbers were announced publicly by VCE or its investors until 2013 [7] but when it was disclosed the numbers were provided conservatively as being over 800 customers in almost 60 countries with nearly 2000 VCE manufactured Vblock Systems sold.[8][9][10] Because of the lack of a manufactured physical and logical build on an actual VCE manufacturing floor, previous deployments in 2009 and early 2010 of what were called or referred to as Vblock (often with various use of upper and lower case spelling) are not considered to be Vblock by some pundits and infrastructure professionals [11] since these so-called reference architectures varied greatly from project to project when compared to late 2010 manufactured Vblock. Anecdotally, institutions and companies using Vblock have been involved in published testimonials.[12][13][14]