Created by Cliff Cahill @CliffCahill

In conjunction with the announcement of the ‘Vblock 740’ @VCE’s latest addition to the Vblock range Cliff kindly put his creative and baking skills to good effect by creating the ‘Vblock 740 vCake’. The Vblock System 740 is VCE’s flagship converged infrastructure, an IT infrastructure built on industry-leading technology combining Network and Compute components from Cisco, Storage in the form of the EMC VMAX³ and virtualization from VMWare – all market leaders in their respective technology sectors.

The steps below outline the process that was followed in order to deliver the Vblock vCake:

1. Logical Configuration Summary(LCS) & Bill Of Materials(BOM)
2. Physical Build Commences
3. Configuring the Advanced Management Platform (AMP)
4. Configuring the Cisco Network Components (MDS, NEXUS) & Compute Components (Cisco UCS)
5. Configuring the EMC VMAX³ & VMWare Virtualization Infrastructure (ESXi, vCenter, VUM)
6. Logical Configuration QA
7. Vblock Sent to Distribution
8. Deployment and Implentation Begins
9. Deployment and Implentation Knowledge Transfer
10. Vblock Enters Production

1. Logical Configuration Summary and Bill of Materials
The vArchitect has taken the customers requirements and expertly sized the Vblock to deliver optimum performance for the customers mission critical applications. The bill of materials has been completed and the Technical Program Team has qualified and validated the solution design. The Logical Configuration Survey has been signed off with the customer and the Vblock has been added to the Production Schedule. All components are laid out in preparation for integration:


2. Physical Build Commences
Next our manufacturing team place each part of the Vblock platform into its correct location within the cabinet:

The Cisco UCS, fabric interconnects, network switches and EMC VMAX³ are now installed:

Then the power outlet units (POU’s) and all network and power cabling get installed and connected to the appropriate ports based on a Master Port Map:

3. Configuring the Advanced Management Platform (AMP)
Next the Vblock platform goes through the Logical integration phase where it is expertly configured by the LB Team to meet specific customer requirements, beginning with the AMP configuration which runs the software that manages the platform (Cisco C220 servers and EMC VNXe storage array):

4. Configuring the Cisco Network Components (MDS, NEXUS) & Compute Components (Cisco UCS)
Code Upgrades are complete based on the fully tested and validated RCM. Initial and advanced scripting executed:

5. Configuring the EMC VMAX³ & VMware Virtualization infrastructure (ESXi, vCenter, VUM)
The EMC VMAX³ Bin File has been loaded and the VMWare ESXi clusters are provisioned via UIM:

6. Logical Configuration QA
Logical Configuration Complete, QA Done and VCE Vision verifies compliance with RCM. Hand Off Email Sent:

7. Vblock Sent to Distribution
The Vblock is down in distribution and ready for dispatch. Customer agreed delivery date is achieved. Vblock is covered to ensure immaculate delivery to its proud new owner:

8. Deployment and Implementation Begins
Vblock arrives at the customer site as a piece of truly converged infrastructure and the Deployment and Implementation phase commences:
photo 1
photo 2

9. Deployment and Implentation Knowledge Transfer
The Vblock has been integrated into the customer environment and Deployment & Implementation knowledge transfer begins:
photo 3

10. Vblock Enters Production
The Vblock is now in operation – End User is already after taking a few compute slices:
photo 4
photo 5

Vblock Infrastructure Platform is Transforming IT
vCake Final

BOM for Biscuit Cake
400g digestives
2 Crunchies
450g milk choc
90g butter
5tbsp double cream
1tbsp golden syrup

BOM for Ganache:
180ml double cream
28g butter
227g dark choc

Logical Build Instructions for vCake
Biscuit Cake
Melt milk choc with butter over pot of simmering water.
Break up biscuits and crush crunchies in a large bowl.
Once milk choc melted, cool slightly and then add cream and golden syrup.
Mix using a whisk until completely mixed through.
Add to digestives and make sure every biscuit is covered.
Put it in to a prelared tim lined with cling film and refrigerate.

Break Dark chocolate into Single Squares and add to Glass Bowl
Slowly Bring cream and butter to the boil and poor over dark chocolate.
Allow to sit for a couple of minutes and then mix thoroughly until choc completely melted.
Allow to set until desired consistency has been reached.


  1. One issue we found with this process, the cake may be delivered as per the recipe but if the ingredients are out of date I.e. Matrix upgrade since design, this isn’t applied as part of delivery. The process is too rigid.

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