Recently I was speaking to someone (Mike from New Jersey) at Cisco Live and they were raving about their journey to the Flexpod. They were seeking the best compute, networking and storage yet didn’t want to be boggled down with details when it came to the purchasing process. Converged systems like this are relatively new, and honestly when I was an IT pro; we didn’t have options like that! Not to make me sound old, but when Mike and I were talking about this approach I had a few questions.
I’ve long thought that the idea of core infrastructure convergence like a FlexPod sounds like a good idea; but hadn’t had a real heart to heart with anyone using it in practice. Mike had talked to me at Cisco Live because he was interested in some upcoming Veeam functionality for NetApp storage and was interested in how his FlexPod usage would benefit. I explained all of the good stuff coming, but afterwards I wanted to know more about his FlexPod use.
Mike and I had a chat about his connections to other data center resources and the mix of software solutions that powers his business. The takeaway was that the FlexPod is now his natural choice. The beauty of the convergence is as Mike described, every component was what he’d choose and little things like cabling design was documented well so that he’d not make little mistakes that could cause availability issues in his data center. Mike is right, check out the figure to the left from a Cisco Validated Design.
Having complete documentation for big things and little things is important. The beauty of enterprise-ready convergence solutions is that documentation down the cabling work for today’s expectations from the data center. That’s not to say that Mike or anyone else doesn’t have applications in the data center that they wish they didn’t; but having a platform that is ready for anything is surely comforting.
Aside from this example, if you are new to a FlexPod there is an easy way to see what it would look like for you. Whether you use VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V or a mix of virtual infrastructures with physical servers; the validated designs make it easy to do the design without incurring additional risk. Check out the Validated Designs for more information.
What does convergence of compute, storage and networking mean for you? Do you find the FlexPod right for your data center? How have you changed your data center practice along the way since you’ve used a FlexPod? Share your comments below.