The partnership, which also includes virtualisation software vendor VMware, is set up in two parts: one is a Virtual Computing Environment coalition to develop the new products; the other is a joint venture, called Acadia, to train customers and partners on how to install and use the products.
Cisco and EMC are lead investors in Acadia, while VMware and Intel are minority investors. Acadia will have its own CEO, which the companies are searching for, and an initial staff of 130. Acadia's main mission will be to accelerate product sales and deployment, perform initial operating and then transfer operations to customers or partners.
"It will be a repository of knowledge transfer and best practices," said EMC CEO Joe Tucci, announcing the coalition and joint venture.
The collaboration between the three companies is targeting a market the companies say -- citing data from McKinsey and Company - exceeds $350 billion annually. Half of that amount is spent on capital expenses -- product acquisition - and half on operating expenses.
Roughly 70 percent or more of those costs are allotted to maintaining existing infrastructures, leaving 30 percent or fewer for new technology purchases. The companies also say that approximately $85 billion can be addressed with datacentre virtualisation and private cloud technology by 2015.
"When we look back on this in five years from now, we'll see that this was the most major change in datacentres and cloud computing made in this decade," said Cisco CEO John Chambers on the coalition's potential impact.
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