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.
Previously I talked about the growing demands and how the role of IT has to change from a cost center to a business strategic partner. And we also looked at the journey you need to take to deliver IT as a Service. Cloud computing is part of this journey and it is happening – and I mean all types of Clouds – Private, Public and Hybrid. In other words, we are entering the World of Many Clouds. Forrester Research recently published a report that concluded, “Cloud computing is ready for the enterprise… but many enterprises aren’t ready for the cloud.”1 Yet cloud deployments are happening, driven by workload virtualization and changes in application architecture and usage.
Take a look at this short video with Paul Perez (VP/GM of Unified Computing System and CTO of Data Center Group) and me. Paul shares his insights on the trends of how Cloud is changing the way of the IT and the challenges you will be facing.
Guess what? Once again Cisco is here to help you on your journey to the World of Many Clouds. How you ask?
This week , I met Johnny Tung, Systems Marketing Manager for Data Center Solutions, to talk about a very interesting announcement : The Virtualized Multiservice Data Center
” Johnny , can you tell us what Happened to Cisco’s Unified Data Center on Dec 3th?
Well…it just got more interesting! You may have heard of Virtualized Multiservice Data Center. Let me remind you. It is Cisco’s reference architecture for the Unified Data Center. The big news here is that we have just released the 3.0 design. We are introducing Cisco FabricPath into the Unified Data Center network in order to simplify and scale Cloud Ready Infrastructure designs for Private and Virtual Private Cloud deployments.
FabricPath simplifies and expands existing data center network design by removing the complexities of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), and thus enabling more extensive, flexible, and scalable Layer 2 designs. This release marks the introduction of FabricPath-based designs into VMDC; further FabricPath-related VMDC releases will follow as Cisco develops and evolves its FabricPath offerings.
Private cloud is surrounded by its own mythos--some folks believe it doesn’t exist and some folks believe its something that will only be enjoyed by future generations. So, Cisco IT is living proof that private cloud is something that is very real. This week, tomorrow in fact, John Manville SVP for Cisco IT, will be presenting a session at Gartner Data Center on Cisco’s private cloud environment, Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services or CITEIS. John will explain how Cisco has woven together all the elements (compute, network, storage, automation, orchestration, provisioning, etc) into a cohesive offering that serves our production workloads. John will also share the TCO savings captured to date and how he sees CITIES evolving over the next few years.
If you are at Gartner DC in Las Vegas this week, be sure to check out his session, The Programmable Cloud, tomorrow (Dec 4) at 1:45pm in Titian Ballroom SPS 28--he’ll also be at the Cisco booth (#432) after the session to answer questions.
If you are not at Gartner DC, stay tuned for a coming interview with John Manville, and meanwhile you may want also to take advantage of our coming webcast o see how industry peers are doing to solve the very challenges Cloud adopters face. Tune in to the webcast UCS : Foundation for Cloud on December 6 at 9:00 am PST to hear from Cisco UCS customers Xerox and FICO Corporation, about how and why they used it in their Cloud environments.
You’re probably double-checking your agenda to make sure you’ve booked the most interesting sessions at the Gartner Data Center Conference this week. Let me help you by sharing a few sessions that you don’t want to miss. And if you attend one of these sessions and fill out the questionnaire, you’ll be entered in a raffle for a $500 American Express gift card.
The Evolving Data Center: Past, Present, and Future Innovation is crucial for IT infrastructure to take advantage of new technology trends, including cloud computing and “big data,” while supporting current and emerging applications. Customers will derive the greatest value from the tight integration of emerging software approaches with the underlying hardware infrastructure. This session explores the newest developments in the Cisco Unified Data Center platform, which unifies computing, networking, security, and management to deliver business agility, IT simplicity, and financial efficiency.
This is a must-see presentation from one of the Cisco’s top senior executives in engineering – mark your calendar now and add it to your agenda.
The Programmable Cloud Trends such as social apps, cloud, and BYOD offer the opportunity to significantly improve customer experiences and increase worker productivity. Making the most of these trends, however, is going to require some new thinking about infrastructure. This session will explore how to build on your existing investments and create a programmable data center that will give you the agility and flexibility to keep up with today’s on-demand world.
In this session, you’ll hear from Cisco IT’s senior vice president of infrastructure – featuring “Cisco on Cisco” initiatives using our Unified Data Center solutions. See a demo of Cisco IT’s internal private cloud and learn about our ‘enterprise store’ service catalog initiative for BYOD – powered by Cisco Intelligent Automation software.