Cisco announces (old) datacenter automation solution

Cisco is well resoluted to make the most out of virtualization hype: it first declares Datacenter 3.0 initiative (more ambitiously than IDC, which claimed Virtualization 2.0), then it re-launches a technology obtained by TopSpin acquisition in April 2005 and offered since September 2005 under new brand: VFrame.

Obviously the press release doesn’t even mention that VFrame just moved from 3.0 (which exist since May 2004, when TopSpin was developing it) to 3.1 in more than three years.

Quoting from the official announcement:

Cisco announced today VFrame Data Center (VFrame DC), an orchestration platform that leverages network intelligence to provision resources together as virtualized services. This industry-first approach greatly reduces application deployment times, improves overall resource utilization, and offers greater business agility. Further, VFrame DC includes an open API, and easily integrates with third party management applications, as well as best-of-breed server and storage virtualization offerings.

VFrame DC is a highly efficient orchestration platform for service provisioning which requires only a single controller and one back-up controller. The real time provisioning engine has a comprehensive view of compute, storage and network resources. This view enables VFrame DC to provision resources as virtualized services using graphical design templates. These design templates comprise one of four VFrame DC modular components: design, discovery, deploy, and operations. These components are integrated together with a robust security interface that allows controlled access by multiple organizations…

InternetNews reports VFrame will be available in August at a starting price of $60,000 dollars per appliance.

This should clarify why Cisco CEO, John T. Chambers, will perform second day keynote at VMworld 2007.

A further confirmation is given by fact that VMware is involved in VFrame development program since May 2004, as reported in a Cisco confidential presentation of 2005 (page 35).

Cisco old presentation also adds a detail about what probably will be announced at VMworld, and an interesting claim:

…VFrame can provision ESX Servers over SAN.

VMWare needs Cisco for scaling on blades…

In any case this move, along with Opsware acquisition by HP, also re-fuels interest in other automation solutions like Scalent and Dunes.