Vblocks are mostly known for being expensive converged infrastructure solutions that only the largest enterprises could afford. Recently, though, VCE announced its Vblock 100 Series, which consists of smaller end devices to appeal to more of an SMB market. Before I get into specifics about the Vblock 100 Series, I'll give a brief description of converged infrastructure, specifically at it relates to the Vblock.
You can think of the Vblock as an all-in-one solution. It's basically a rack that comes with an EMC storage array and Cisco UCS servers, and that is preconfigured with VMware. VCE figures out what your needs are, and within 45 days, the company will have a preconfigured unit delivered to your door. At that point an engineer will connect it to your network to finish the configuration, and you're up and running at a much faster rate than if you were to purchase storage, servers, software, and networking separately. It also comes "pre-validated," meaning performance metrics can basically be guaranteed. Another nice thing about this converged infrastructure is that, if you need to call support, there is one point of contact.
There are two models of the Vblock System 100: the BX and DX. The BX comes in a 24 unit cabinet, and the DX is almost twice as large at 42U. The BX can hold up to four Cisco UCS C220 M3 rackmount servers, whereas the DX can have up to 8 of these servers. The storage consists of an EMC VNXe 3150 or 3300. Both models come pre-configured with vSphere 5.x Enterprise Plus, along with a Nexus 1000v Essentials distributed virtual switch.
For more information about the Vblock and to actually see what it looks like, check out the following video. (You'll want to watch it in full screen.)
Additional resources about 21st century data centers
Check out the TechRepublic and ZDNet special feature The 21st Century Data Center and our Executive's guide to the 21st century data center download (PDF).
Lauren Malhoit has been in the IT field for over 10 years and has acquired several data center certifications. She's currently a Technology Evangelist for Cisco focusing on ACI and Nexus 9000. She has been writing for a few years for TechRepublic, Tech Pro Research, and VirtualizationAdmin.com. As a Cisco Champion, EMC Elect, VMware vExpert, and PernixPro, Lauren stays involved in the IT community. Lauren has been a delegate for Tech Field Day and has also authored a book called VMware vCenter Operations Manager Essentials.