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More of a good thing: Cisco and NetApp open the next chapter for FlexPod

January 24, 2013 at 8:32 am PST

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.

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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.

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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.

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Padmasree Warrior (Cisco’s chief technology and strategy officer) and Manish Goel (NetApp’s executive vice president, Product Operations) recently met up to discuss how the companies will expand their decade long partnership.

More blogs about the announcement

Time Flies ! Expanding our Decade-Long Partnership with NetApp   by Rick Snyder , Cisco Global & Strategic Partner Organization

Building on Success: Cisco and NetApp Expand Partnership  By Satinder Sethi, Cisco VP Technical Marketing Server Access and Virtualization  UCS 

Flexpod Success Drives Increased Investment by Cisco and NetApp    By Vaughn Stewart (@stewed) , NetApp Director Cloud Computing

 

 

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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 8): Stretch Clustering

November 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm PST

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:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns
Collaborative Storage Unicorn, courtesy of Chad Sakac and Vaughn Stewart

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!

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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 6): What is a cloud architect?

October 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm PST

On today’s episode, Cisco’s Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell) and VMware’s Mike Laverick (@Mike_Laverick) discuss the roll of the cloud architect.

 

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Choosing the Right Storage Solution for your Small Business

NAS, virtualized, or cloud—it all depends on your needs

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee said, “Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.” So true. But data is only as useful as your storage plan. Data that’s scattered all over your company on PCs, laptops, and smartphones or other personal devices can be hard to manage and susceptible to loss. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to revamp your storage strategy.

Small businesses have access to the same storage options as the biggest corporations, but that doesn’t mean those options are necessarily appropriate or cost-effective for you. For instance, you may not have the funds for or need to hire a full-time IT person, much less a dedicated storage expert. So the solution you choose should be easy to manage. It should also be easy to expand, because the third certainty in life after death and taxes is that you will need to buy more storage.

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Virtual Storage Has Real Benefits for Small Businesses

Improve hardware use and manageability as well as reduce costs with storage virtualization.

Virtualization was initially developed for large companies to make their infrastructure, particularly servers and storage, operate more efficiently and to cut spending costs on new hardware. Like many technologies, server and storage virtualization products are now being developed for small businesses to bring the same benefits to their networks.

Many smaller companies start by creating a virtualized server environment. Using hypervisor software, you can divide a single server into multiple virtual servers, each one running its own operating system and associated workload. This lets one server run many more different applications than the one operating system, one workload model of an un-virtualized server.

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