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Over the past eighteen months or so, I have pretty much managed to avoid the vendor roadmap discussion despite many attempts by vendors to draw me in but I have found that it really does not hamper my decision making. Knowing short-term futures and what is about to be announced in the next six months is often useful but the longer term less so.

Roadmaps change so much and often features that are promised are not there, so it is not worth designing systems and infrastructures around them; game-changing features turn out rarely to be so and game-changers can often be completely unexpected.

I am going to say something rather surprising here and those who know me will probably be calling the men in white coats; vBlock is game-changing and will continue to change the game. But it is not for what it is but it is what for it makes people do. It actually encourages people to start thinking about the whole stack and how it does integrate; VCE (amongst others) will of course suggest that once you do this that the best thing to do is to then buy that whole stack from a single person. It might be…it might not, your mileage will vary.

But what it should do is drive the idea of standardisation and governance and it actually allows you ask some other interesting questions which almost go against the very idea of an integrated stack.

If a vendor turns up and says ‘My software is marvellous but you must run it on *my stack*; if you have your own stack, you are in a better position to ask why is this so? Why must I run it on your expensive and overpriced stack, I have built my stack and it runs just fine? Is the value of your integration and certification really worth that much?’

Your stack might be VCE, it might be something completely different and something that you have defined but you really do need one now. vBlock is game-changing because of the thought process it should drive…


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