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Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), EMC (NYSE:EMC) and VMware Inc. (NYSE:VMW) said Tuesday that they are forming a coalition they call the Virtual Computing Environment.

Rumors of the deal had been creating buzz around the Web since late last week.

At the same time, Cisco and EMC said they are forming a joint venture, to be called Acadia, that they said will build, operate, and transfer Vblock infrastructure to organizations that "want to accelerate their journey to pervasive virtualization and private cloud computing while reducing their operating expenses."

Acadia expects to begin customer operations in the first calendar quarter of 2010, Cisco said.

"Cisco, EMC and VMware have worked closely over the past year on a shared vision for the future of enterprise IT infrastructure – private cloud computing," Cisco said in its announcement.

"With the introduction of Vblock Infrastructure Packages, the Virtual Computing Environment coalition will provide customers with a fundamentally better approach to streamlining and optimizing IT strategies around private clouds," Cisco said.

The VBlock packages will come in three forms targeted to 300 to 800 virtual machines, 800 to 3,000 computers and 3,000 to 6,000 machines, Cisco said.

"Today’s announcement addresses our customers’ greatest challenges and opportunities in the data center," said John Chambers, Cisco chairman and CEO. "This coalition is about more than technology and partnership. It is about an entirely new and unique approach to the data center…."

The three companies are "are coming together in an unprecedented way to help our customers, Joseph Tucci, EMC chairman and CEO, said. "They need to be able to shift more of their IT budgets to the development and rapid implementation of new technologies that help their organizations create differentiated business advantages. Many of them understand the vast potential of the private cloud."