The old saying that “time flies by” couldn’t be any more true when I reflect on our decade-long partnership with NetApp. Over the past ten years new technology trends, changing consumption models, and fast-evolving customer needs have altered the IT industry landscape. But the Cisco-NetApp partnership has stood the test of time. Why? Because it was built on a solid foundation: remarkably aligned visions of the future of IT, complimentary technology solutions, and similar corporate cultures.
Over the past two years our partnership momentum has accelerated with the success of the FlexPod architecture. Cisco and NetApp now have more than 2,100 FlexPod customers, deployments in 35 countries and more than 700 channel partners. In fact, our channel partners have proven to be the secret sauce driving FlexPod momentum.
Today, Cisco and NetApp are announcing an expansion of our winning partnership to make it easier for customers to deploy and access next-generation cloud infrastructure solutions. The partnership expansion is built around four key areas: Read More »
FlexPod, by any measure, has been a great success. 2,100 customers worldwide have adopted the architecture and it stands today as one of the leading converged infrastructure solutions in the industry. IT organizations want to modernize their operations, but they need to do it in a way that mitigates risk and lays down a solid foundation on which to scale. To get there they need a solution that brings the best, most innovative technology in an integrated architecture that’s easy to consume. FlexPod has delivered on that combination of innovation + integration + easy.
Innovation comes in abundance with FlexPod and it has allowed customers to land a wide spectrum of applications on a common infrastructure. The key is that while infrastructure elements are abstracted and pooled (the basic food groups of compute, network and storage) the system supports both bare metal and virtualized workloads with aplomb; a crucial capability given the realities in the data center today. Cisco and NetApp have each taken abstraction and API control deep into the server, network and storage infrastructure, below the OS/Hypervisor waterline, and this is what unlocks new agility for everything built on top.
So what comes next? FlexPod solutions to date have been aimed squarely at the enterprise data center. What Cisco and NetApp announced today expands the architecture on two key axis. Both vectors support the growing challenge IT organizations face today: spanning from the data center core out to the branch office and also into the cloud (both to deliver services and to procure them.) Location independence for applications across this continuum requires infrastructure that can be tuned to support a wide spectrum of workloads and operating models. To do it efficiently requires uniformity in deployment and operating models.
One the axis of operating models, the FlexPod architecture will expand out from the solid base of solutions developed for the data center in two directions: into solutions for branch office and smaller use cases, and upward, with massively scalable designs for solution providers.
On axis of workload, the array of application solutions validated by the companies will continue to grow, allowing customers to expand the footprint of converged infrastructure across their IT services.
From a consumption perspective FlexPod has established an impressive, highly scaled presence, because it was designed by both companies to “meet in the channel.” The solution is offered today by more that 700 partners in 35 countries.
While it’s possible to sometimes have too much of a good thing, it’s clear we’re a long way from that with FlexPod.
We’re participating in a small way via sponsorship with Microsoft in their Cloud OS Trivia Challenge. Join your peers in the Microsoft Cloud OS Trivia Challenge; test your knowledge with trivia for a chance to win some excellent prizes-including a trip to MMS 2013. You also have a chance to win a Microsoft Surface, Windows 8, Windows Server, or a Linksys Router. Play Now!
Are you in the market for a new car in this year? Automotive retailers compete for your business in one of the most competitive industries, so reducing infrastructure and operating costs is key to selling you a car at the price you want.
Hendrick Automotive Group is the second largest privately held automotive retailer in the US, with 7,000 employees and 80 dealerships. Watch the 3:39 minute video for more information on how Hendrick is running every mission critical application on UCS, saving more than $100,000 annually, and helping the IT department become a profit center while offering superior service to both their employees and customers.
As we got past the Mayan Apocalyse day and as 2012 comes to an end, a question to reflect upon is if this has been the year of the Converged Infrastructure Solutions. Incidentally, use of these solutions by data centers was a topic of discussion on a panel moderated by Jim McHugh last month.
Just so we are on the same page, Converged Infrastructure Solutions are those which have integrated servers (CPU & Memory), server virtualization (hypervisor) and storage with the necessary network access into a single entity or logical unit. Examples are the VCE Vblock, NetApp FlexPod, Hitachi Data Systems UCP, IBM PureFlex System and HP CloudSystem (all names are trademarks of the respective companies). Even Dell has started marketing converged systems. The term pre-integrated has to be dissected carefully. In some cases the precise choices on server, storage array and the hypervisor have already been made by the vendor. In others, there is a choice on these infrastructure components and the solution is a reference design with tested scenarios. For instance, the Vblock is a fully integrated and tested solution with Cisco UCS for servers and network access, Cisco MDS 9148 storage switches, EMC VNX series storage and VMware virtualization. The misunderstanding on converged solutions is deep enough that an IBM PureFlex video goes on to compare the UCS Manager (manages only the UCS components) to the PureFlex management software, when in reality it should be compared with the Vblock management software. Read More »