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.
SAP announces support for Virtualized SAP HANA for non-productive platforms at SAP Sapphire/TechEd Madrid
On the final day of TechEd in Madrid, SAP announced that they will be supporting virtualization for Non-Productive SAP HANA systems. No other details were given surrounding this announcement, but this is a significant departure from their previous position as it related to SAP HANA. This should be good news for Cisco given that the Cisco UCS server platform was built from the ground up to host applications in a virtualized manner. As we work with VCE, EMC, and NetApp this will only enhance our position in the SAP HANA space
Cisco had an excellent presence at the event. There were almost 700 visitors to our booth as we had on display, FlexPod from NetApp, VBlock from VCE and IT Process Automation. In addition we had as many visitors to the SAP HANA Test Drive area where Cisco had the C460 SAP HANA certified platform.
One area that got quite a bit of attention was the SAP Precision Retail mobility application on the Cisco platform. I attended two sessions that were well attended by attendees at the conference. There were at least 40 to 50 attendees at each session. In addition, the application was on display in the SAP Mobility area. Cisco is the only hardware vendor that SAP has worked with on this particular application and will be actively selling this application as part of their portfolio.
Michael Missbach, who manages Cisco’s SAP competency center in Walldorf Germany, was the leader in two Microforums on Tuesday and third speaking session on Wednesday. The first was SAP on the Cloud and the second was a Microforum with TUI Travel’s (HotelBeds) CIO Mr. Garcia. Mr. Garcia was able to discuss his installation of SAP on Cisco UCS as well as his use of SAP HANA on the Certified Cisco UCS server platform and how this architecture design has saved him approximately 150,000 Euros a year.
What need does FlexPod address ? It’s probably been a while since you had to source a motherboard. Many of us have done this in the past, in order to get desktop computer system that met our needs. Pre-configured systems were limited in their abilities, and custom design was beneficial.
But choices of personal computer systems have increased, and most folks don’t need to customize anymore, preferring to buy an entire computer system that’s been tested and designed to meet their needs. On the other hand, customers want to be able to expand the system they have to keep up with new technology, or to add capabilities.
Customers need to support multiple types of applications and have multiple purposes for their infrastructure, and the Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) for FlexPod reflect that need. The architectures have been validated by engineers from both companies to ensure performance and stability.
But that’s just the beginning. The Cisco Validated Design documents include multiple configurations with multiple types of application and operating systems Read More »
In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, storage industry luminaries Chad Sakac (@sakacc) of EMC and Vaughn Stewart (@vstewed) of NetApp discuss the concept of Stretch Clustering, a topic they’ve been covering at tech events for awhile now. Check out their discussion here:
Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:
Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
Practice drawing unicorns
Collaborative Storage Unicorn, courtesy of Chad Sakac and Vaughn Stewart
For more information on stretch clustering and all storage topics, be sure to check out Chad’s blog and Vaughn’s blog. Questions, comments, thoughts? Post them here or join the conversation with @CiscoDC on Twitter!