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EMC, Cisco and VMware to Release Joint Data Center Product

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At yesterday's EMC Forum in Long Beach, Calif., EMC (NYSE: EMC) let slip a few details about announcements that could come within a month, as the cloud alliance between VMware (NYSE: VMW), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and EMC (dubbed VCE) gathers momentum.

"We have been building an integrated 'stack in a rack,' which is essentially a virtual data center in one rack," said Linda Connly, EMC's chief of staff and sales strategy. "We have proved out an architecture that offers integrated components for storage, virtualization, security, networking and deduplication. These would work well, for example, as drop-in modules for remote sites."

In addition to the first concrete product from the VCE alliance, a joint service center is also part of the plans — with three vendors to deal with, customers would naturally be hesitant about what could well turn into a finger-pointing extravaganza.

"We have a joint announcement coming soon about an integrated service offer for customer service," said Connly. "That means one phone call to resolve issues with this new product."

Each member of VCE has contributed staff, for an initial total of 60 people to form the core of the support organization. End user calls would go to a resource pool that spans the combined might of the companies so that issues can be handled at first contact rather than being referred from one vendor to another.

It's not clear if Cisco's Unified Computing System, or UCS, will be part of the announcement. Cisco said on its earnings conference call this week that it expects UCS sales to pick up in the second half of the year.

EMC competitor NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) is also working on a cloud computing vision with Cisco and virtualization vendors, the company revealedthis week.

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