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FlexPod: More Flexible Than Ever, and Gaining Customers

What’s a FlexPod—is it a highly flexible case for your favorite MP3 player? A cool new modern chair? No, FlexPod is a design architecture combining networking, computing and storage infrastructure that’s now available through 120 channel partners worldwide!

Yes, that’s right—since its launch in November of last year, FlexPod has seen tremendous growth in the marketplace, with 120 partners worldwide now offering this flexible, scalable shared infrastructure that helps customers lower deployment risk, increase data center efficiencies, and create a flexible IT environment to build a private cloud. FlexPod, which is built on the Cisco UCS server platform, Cisco Nexus switches, and NetApp unified storage, has also been adopted by more than 150 customers.

Furthermore, to make it even easier to purchase and deploy a FlexPod, Avnet Technology Solutions today announced it is pre-bundling the FlexPod, based on the Cisco and NetApp reference design architecture guides, for our resellers partners in the U.S. and Canada. Avnet will now provide a single source through its newly introduced FlexPod Services, offering partners all the products, assembly, testing, technical expertise, and support they need to successfully bring FlexPod to market.

Do your customers use SAP applications? Then you’ll also be interested in the last piece of today’s FlexPod news.

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Does Cisco’s Unified Computing System server platform support Enterprise Business Applications? Where do I go to find out?

You run your business on SAP.  You have standardized on Oracle for your  database, and you have Microsoft apps all over your company.  All three are critical if you want to maintain your competitive edge in the market.  You are doing a server refresh right now and Cisco’s Unified Computing System server platform keeps surfacing as a server platform that you should seriously consider in your decision.  You would like to know as much about Cisco’s server platform as possible.  So where do you go to find out about it?

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Is SAP HANA In-Memory Technology Disruptive?

What is “in-memory”?  “In memory” is a technology that takes Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence to a different level.  CIO’s want information at their fingertips.  In order to obtain that information, they engage in data modeling and “what if” scenarios, the answers of which give them a competitive edge in business.  The biggest concern to-date, is that the data modeling and “what if” scenarios usually take days to process.  SAP HANA in-memory technology allows CIO’s to obtain answers to these complex issues in microseconds instead of the typical wait of days.

Who are the only server platform vendors certified to sell SAP HANA?

  • Cisco
  • Dell
  • Fujitsu
  • HP
  • IBM

What are the benefits to users of SAP HANA?

  • Processes all transactions in memory instead of I/O to disk
  • Processes millions of lines of data in microseconds
  • All processing done outside of normal data processing
  • Reduction of hardware and maintenance costs since SAP HANA is self contained in one appliance

So is SAP HANA “in Memory” technology disruptive?  Absolutely.  Watch Rajiv Thomas’s Video Cisco and SAP HANA about HANA

and judge for yourself and visit the Cisco booth number 2106 at SAP Sapphire 2011 to see a demo of HANA in the booth.

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If SAP Applications are installed and run on the Cisco Unified Computing System server platform, but no one knows about it, do they really run?

The Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) server platform was introduced 2 years ago.  The first SAP installation on this platform happened shortly after that.  Yet when CIO’s and Application Architects are asked if they plan on running their SAP instances on UCS, many times their initial response is, “huh”.

Companies who run their business on SAP, can take no chances.  If their application shuts down, so does their business, costing them, depending upon the size of the business, millions of dollars a day and in some cases millions of dollars an hour.  So why should they take a chance on running their application on a two year old Cisco server platform?

The reasons actually are very compelling:

  1. Cisco is a top tier server hardware partner with SAP
  2. Cisco is already a SAP hardware partner selected and certified for HANA
  3. Cisco is a SAP hardware partner selected and certified for Business Warehouse Accelerator (BWA)
  4. The Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Server Platform was designed from the ground up, for virtualization
  5. The unique design of the UCS motherboard allows for up to four times the memory slots per blade chassis; no expansion chassis required.  You can either increase the memory on your blade using 16GB DIMMS to satisfy software requirements or use more of the smaller 8GB DIMMS, utilizing the additional memory slots, satisfying your memory requirements and spending less.
  6. UCS blades are stateless and use software-based Service Profiles to manage the server.  This means that you set up a profile once and are able to attach or reassign that profile to any blade added or already in use.  In some cases this saves 2 to 3 days of configuration time and allows the blade to become active in as little as 30 minutes.
  7. Virtual Interface Cards are used in the Unified Computing System.  You can assign 128 VM’s to a VIC.  2 cards are allocated per server.  Instead of having 256 cables behind your server you now have 2.

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“FlexPod for VMware” Partner Success Stories, new CVDs and more…

There has been huge customer and partner interest in FlexPod for VMware since its launch in November 2010. The key FlexPod values that are resonating well with the customers are:

  • Flexible ITaaS platform built from simple, unified compute, fabric, and storage infrastructure
  • Simplified purchase and flexible scale out model accelerates journey to private and hybrid cloud
  • Cisco CVD based architectures and channel partner enabled deployment services for both the base FlexPod infrastructure and layered Tier-1 enterprise applications (Microsoft, SAP, VDI, etc.).
  • Centralized management enabling streamlined operations
  • Open management framework allowing simplified integration with 3rd party orchestration tools
  • Streamlined response to identify and quickly solve potential issues, enabled by cooperative 24/7 support model

I want to highlight that the CVD Program has been around for over a decade and has proved its worth time and again to help design and deploy next generation network architectures across the globe.

What do Channel Partners have to say about FlexPod for VMware?

Here is a short video by Paul Sorgiovanni, Data Management Practice Manager at Empired (one of the leading FlexPod global partner based in Australia). In this video, Paul explains how FlexPod for VMware has been extremely helpful in making their customers successful, and helped Empired evolve as a trusted advisor for their fast growing customer base.

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