Audit and advisory service KPMG has signed a commercial agreement to deploy the pre-tuned vBlock server, storage and network stack made available by Cisco, VMware and EMC.
Announcing the purchase at the Cisco Live! event today in Melbourne, KPMG's director of IT David Banger said the company was upgrading its IT infrastructure to prove to advisory clients its ability to "walk the talk" in terms of adopting the latest generation of technology.
The company's infrastructure refresh was kicked off nine months ago with the appointment of new CIO Chris Robinson, who reviewed KPMG's IT function and found it to be "not as relevant as it could be to the advisory business".
In terms of infrastructure, KPMG engaged in a server refresh and consolidation program and was also at end-of-life with its existing EMC storage infrastructure.
"We were also running out of storage capacity," Banger told iTnews.
This storage investment wasn't the sole deciding factor in deploying the vBlock architecture, he said, but it was easier to justify additional spend on top of the storage refresh.
Whilst vBlock is typically marketed by EMC, Cisco and VMware as enabling what is termed a "private cloud", Banger noted that KPMG's clients demand intense scrutiny around security of confidential data.
Such is the level of concern that Banger's team has not used the word "cloud" when discussing the project - rather, the more sensible branding of "infrastructure optimisation."
Banger also stressed that KPMG's IT team remains "vendor agnostic" and "impartial" to protect the integrity of its advisory business.
That said, the success or failure of the team's implementation of vBlock is very likely to influence the advice the firm provides its clients.
"We perhaps can be a reference case for customers like Westpac, NBN Co and others," Banger said.
"Our IT team is moving toward greater alignment to advisory business - what we encourage clients to do we must deem to demonstrate ourselves."