This month marks the three year anniversary of Cisco’s partnership with NetApp and our development of FlexPod. Over the years, we’ve experienced some tremendous growth, more than doubling new installations year-over-year, and now we have more than 3,000 customers globally.
Following the success of FlexPod Datacenter, FlexPod Express and FlexPod Select the solution is capping off the year with several technology enhancements. These include the automation of integrated infrastructure, business continuity solutions, and validation of new products and reference architectures.
Together, Cisco and NetApp are introducing four new FlexPod components that enable our customers’ continuing journey to the cloud:
UCS Director 4.1 deeply integrated with clustered Data ONTAP.
The addition of Citrix to the FlexPod Cooperative Support program.
FlexPod Datacenter with NetApp MetroCluster
FlexPod Datacenter with Cisco Virtualized Multiservice Data Center 2.3
I encourage you to take a look at the short video we’ve created that gives more details of all the new components we’re announcing today.
Our friends at NetApp have written a great blog post outlining the last two offerings, but I’d like to focus on the first two components – UCS Director and the addition of Citrix capabilities.
UCS Director Integration
New integrations with UCS Director and Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) provide automation and service catalogues, which help customers move toward delivering cloud services. Corporate IT maximizes benefits when its infrastructure can be commissioned within minutes in response to changes in demand. Cisco UCS Director views FlexPod as a single system and allows customers to rapidly deploy FlexPod by leveraging single element managers. UCS Director, in turn, will soon be natively integrated into Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud for a more comprehensive FlexPod cloud management solution.
With the Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) cloud accelerator, UCS Director and FlexPod are integrated as a “node” in the cloud that can be used by cloud administrators to provision NetApp storage into virtual data centers.
Faster with Intel
Rapid deployment will be used to harness tremendous increases in FlexPod computing power. The newest FlexPod deployments will feature Cisco UCS built on Intel’s Ivy Bridge chipset. We’ve introduced the Intel Xeon Process E5-2600 v2 product family on several servers.
“We like to say that Cisco and Intel are “Joined at the Chip,” because the innovation each company brings is incredibly complimentary. Cisco’s innovation in the data center is an extension of the company’s historic focus: connecting things. Cisco Unified Data Center and products like UCS are the outcomes of our drive to connect the pieces. When we join forces with Intel’s leadership at the computing core, customers see an unbeatable combination.” - Todd Brannon, Tick Tock Goes the Server Clock
Coupled with other UCS innovations, the solution has demonstrated great performance versatility and has set record-breaking industry benchmarks.
For enterprises that want to scale out this capacity, Cisco delivers UCS Central. UCS Central software manages multiple, globally distributed Cisco UCS domains with thousands of servers from a single pane.
Agile deployment and scale-out performance need the backing of a best-in-class support model. The FlexPod Cooperative Support program brings together the technology expertise of Cisco, NetApp and now Citrix. Citrix XenDesktop, Citrix XenServer and Citrix CloudPlatform are frequently deployed workloads in enterprises today. Customers will have direct access to Cisco, NetApp and Citrix engineers trained to rapidly address any operational issues. By adding Citrix, FlexPod has the broadest IT and cloud management support, including Citrix CloudPlatform, Microsoft System Center, VMWare vCenter Orchestrator, CA Automation Suite for Clouds, and BMC Cloud Lifecycle Manager.
Combined, these advances in FlexPod technology will enable the platform to exceed the needs of the most demanding private and public cloud deployments.
We’re incredibly proud of the work that Cisco and NetApp have done over the past three years. We are looking forward to an exciting future together as we use the FlexPod platform to continue delivering significant technology innovations to our customers.
I’m happy to report that Cisco UCS Director (formerly Cloupia) has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Storage, Virtualisation & Cloud (SVC) Awards! Please take a moment and vote for UCS Director at http://cs.co/SVCAward.
This finalist nomination recognizes the innovation and differentiation that Cisco UCS Director provides for end-to-end converged infrastructure management — including automation for both virtual and physical resources across compute, network, and storage.
The video below provides a good overview of Cisco UCS Director and its benefits for IT organizations:
The sweet spot for Cisco UCS Director is in managing converged infrastructure based on Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) with Cisco Nexus switches and third party storage — focusing on our market-leading integrated systems including the FlexPod solution with NetApp, as well as VCE’s Vblock Systems and our VSPEX solutions with EMC storage.
But the beauty of Cisco UCS Director is that it can also manage heterogeneous environments, including non-Cisco infrastructure and multiple hypervisors. Whether you call it your single-pane-of-glass or one ring to rule them all, it’s a highly innovative and comprehensive infrastructure management solution for your data center operations. These capabilities and more are highlighted in the award nomination which you can read here.
4 years ago, Cisco introduced a revolutionary server platform called Unified Computing System or UCS. Since that time it has become the number 2 blade server in the world. At the same time UCS was introduced, Cisco also elevated their relationship with SAP. Cisco was one of the first hardware platform certified for SAP HANA. Cisco has also announced and is selling SAP solutions on the UCS platform in a variety of solutions, those being SAP on Vblock, SAP on FlexPod, SAP ERP on UCS, Precision Marketing for retail establishments on UCS, Suite on HANA on UCS, Sybase ASE on UCS. Cisco is also working very closely with SAP on their cloud solutions and how these solutions will benefit joint customers.
So what is Cisco doing at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas from Oct 21 through Oct 25.
Palazzo Congress Center, Las Vegas
Come visit Cisco at our booth #1000 and see firsthand how
Cisco delivers a complete compute platform for SAP Applications, including SAP HANA. In booth demonstrations will include:
SAP on FlexPod
SAP and Hadoop
SAP on Vblock
SAP IT Process Automation by Cisco
Attend Cisco Speaking Sessions
Join us at SAP TechEd for Cisco speaking and expert
networking sessions. With topics including: What Is
The Real Value of HANA, SAP and Hadoop, UCS For SAP HANA, and more. For more information on speaking sessions, click here. We look forward to seeing
you at our sessions.
Meet with Cisco Experts at Booth 1000
Cisco executives and subject matter experts will be available to meet with you at SAP TechEd 2013. To schedule a meeting, please contact your Cisco representative.
Connect at our Customer Events
Make sure to join us for some fun as well. We will be hosting a Customer Reception with some of our partners, for additional information, please contact you local Cisco Account Executive.
We will also be hosting an Exclusive Customer Dinner at TAO. For details, please contact you local Cisco Account Executive.
This year at VMworld, San Francisco, I had a choice, to attend either as a Visitor or as a Demo Booth staffer. I quickly chose the latter, as I could not resist getting face-time with customers! My decision proved fully justified, as I gained a lot from the discussions on the show floor. I was so busy, the 4 day event ended before I could notice it. It was really a great learning experience for me at the event to hear first-hand why customers prefer vBlock and FlexPod over other Cloud offerings. Many folks mentioned, that the unified support model that comes with vBlock and FlexPod, Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) that minimize guesswork and risk, combined with lower TCO and high-performance that comes with Cisco UCS, were all major factors that influenced their decision.
Along these very lines, I was able to grab some time with Jim McHugh, (our VP of Marketing for UCS) to discuss the emerging customer trends in private cloud, desktop virtualization, and other innovative solutions Cisco is building with VMware and its strategic partner ecosystem
After a refreshing summer road trip through the beautiful Michigan Upper Peninsula I am happy to be back at work. I even got a fresh perspective on the phrase “cherry picking”.
The geek in me got to see the “Nuclear Energy” sculpture at site where Enrico Fermi’s Manhattan Project team devised a nuclear reactor to produce the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago. ( image from - http://www.chicagobauhausbeyond.org/ )
While I was away, I missed an interesting webinar on optimizing operations of Cisco Data Center environments with converged infrastructure management. Thanks to video archiving, I was able to review it this week. EMA analyst Jim Frey gave a comprehensive view of data center management using converged infrastructure. Some key takeaways from my perspective were:
Converged infrastructure will usher in a renewed focus on application performance and service quality.
The need for automated discovery and configuration will become all the more important with converged infrastructure.
It was very interesting to see a customer -- Molina Healthcare -- discuss their journey to a service oriented data center. The reorganization of the IT department along the lines of service delivery was fascinating. Like other UCS customers, they had seen quantifiable benefits from the Cisco UCS management capabilities.
Speed of deployment improved 50- 75% (down to 1 week from 2-4 weeks)
Support costs reduced by 60%.
Discernable improvements in reliability and availability of the infrastructure.
As integrated infrastructure gains importance in data centers with physical and virtual environments that support application services, simplified management of these assets becomes very important. The Cisco UCS management portfolio was recently enhanced with the Cisco UCS Director. It provides unified management of industry-leading integrated infrastructure solutions that Cisco delivers with EMC (VSPEX) Read More »