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Cisco Validated Designs for Cloud – Part 3 – Flexpod

November 9, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

Over the past two weeks, Tom Nallen introduced the concept and benefits of the Cisco Validated Design , then Laszlo Bojtos,  illustrated this concept with the Cloud Service Assurance for Virtualized Multi-Services Data Center 2.2 Cisco Validated Design, with a specific emphasis on the integration with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud .

This week I talked with John Kennedy, a Cisco engineer who put a lot of energy on the FlexPod CVDs.

“So John, what is FlexPod ?
FlexPod is the result of collaboration between NetApp© and Cisco to create a cost-effective, scalable solution for cloud applications as well as standard virtualization support.  The FlexPod(t), a pre-defined, pre-tested solution, includes the compute, networking, and storage customers need in a validated (as in CVD) package. But unlike other validated solutions, FlexPod can be scaled up or out, not just one or the other.

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 »

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Register NOW! – Webcast Series on “Why Cisco UCS for your Microsoft Apps”

Guest Post by Rex Backman (Global Marketing Manager, Microsoft Solutions at Cisco)

Please join us for a four-part webcast series hosted by Cisco. During this webinar series Cisco and Microsoft experts will show you how to architect, deploy, and manage Microsoft applications on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) platform. Industry experts will also share their experiences on implementing Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) offerings. Throughout the series, we will discuss relevant architectural, technical, and operational benefits and best practices. This information will be available to you via Cisco Validated Design (CVD) reference architectures.

The first chapter kicks on May 10th – so please visit www.cisco.com/go/semreg/urls/44768/1 for registration information.

Here are the details of what will be covered in each webcast.

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Fearlessly Consume Tier-1 Enterprise Applications in “Clouds without Boundaries”

With an ever growing mobile and distributed workforce, application developers are being tasked to develop applications that can also be remotely accessed by this global workforce. Application developers, with a very basic understanding of networking, assume the network has no boundaries and applications perform optimally regardless of the mode of access. At the same time, cloud computing is enabling applications to be consolidated into centralized and virtualized data centers, further increasing the distance from where the applications are being accessed. Network architects are also being challenged with current network designs for this application deployment and delivery model. The available bandwidth is being taxed as the ever growing applications portfolio competes for network resources to provide a satisfying user experience across the network without boundaries. This application delivery model also demands capabilities for better visibility and control, WAN optimization, and agility of the network to rapidly deploy and manage enterprise applications.

The Cisco Application Velocity solution addresses all the challenges associated with the delivery and consumption of enterprise applications over the network without boundaries. It is one of the five services in Cisco’s Borderless Network Architecture and is composed of innovative Cisco technologies that help IT professionals meet or exceed business SLAs, maximize user experience, optimize resource utilization, and increase reliability and user expectations.

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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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Virtualize Microsoft Enterprise Applications (Exchange, Sharepoint and SQL Server) on FlexPod for VMware

Few days back I blogged about how FlexPod for VMware is a great solution that can accelerate your cloud journey and help move beyond 30% virtualized datacenter (Test & Dev workloads, infrastructure servers, web servers etc.) to virtualizing enterprise applications (e.g. Microsoft, Oracle, SAP etc.), and finally -- implement a fully automated IT as a Service solution.

In lot of customer environments, Microsoft applications (e.g. Exchange, Sharepoint, and SQL Server) support a good portion of mission critical business operations. These Microsoft applications have traditionally been hosted on siloed, underutilized IT infrastructure and operational processes that were built based on the requirements of individual applications and processes. The end result is increased total cost of ownership and inability to help business be more agile, introduce new services, and achieve operational efficiency.

Here are some of the key operational benefits to virtualizing Microsoft Apps on FlexPod for VMware:

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