Okay, despite the title; I don't actually think that VCE is Evil, certainly no more so than any other IT company. As we move to an increasingly virtualised data-centre environment; I believe that VCE does have something to offer to the market, the more vertically integrated a stack, the more chance that it is going to work within design parameters and with a reduced management footprint.
Yet, I do have a problem with VCE and that is it is not consolidated enough; it's like some kind of trial marriage or perhaps some troilistic civil partnership. (And I have similar problems with the even looser Flexpod arrangement with NetApp/Cisco/VMWare.)
As a customer; it seems that I am expected to make a huge commitment and move to an homogeneous infrastructure even if it is some kind of 'virtual homogeneity'. Yes, there are management benefits but the problem with both vBlock and Flexpods is what happens when the relationship founders and fractures? What happens to my investment in consolidated management tools to support these environments; where is the five, ten year roadmap? And where is the commitment to deliver? Who gets custody of the kids?
Are the relationships going to last more than one depreciation/refresh cycle? Perhaps the problem is that the evil is not consolidated enough? Or am I just cynical in expecting the relationship to fail? I would say that the odds are that one of them will fail, you?
Perhaps Cisco/EMC/NetApp should de-risk by all merging!