Last June Cisco announced plans to work with NetApp to deliver additional hybrid cloud services and support for the FlexPod platform. An integral part of the plan was to extend the capabilities of Cisco Intersight and NetApp Data Fabric to support cloud-native apps, simplify workload and data management, and to improve hybrid cloud operations.

Today, Cisco and NetApp are introducing the first fruits of that labor that will help transform converged infrastructure by bringing visibility, automation, flexible consumption, and hybrid cloud/cloud native services to the highly successful FlexPod portfolio. FlexPod XCS is a suite of capabilities from Cisco and NetApp designed to tackle the many challenges of hybrid cloud and accelerate the delivery of modern apps and data.

When Cisco and NetApp introduced the original FlexPod a dozen years ago, hybrid cloud was barely a buzzword; today it’s a stark reality. Enterprises and their IT organizations are no longer deciding whether to support apps and workloads on their premises OR in the cloud. It’s often an all-of-the-above proposition as IT infrastructure is becoming hyper-distributed across the enterprise data center, edge, and in not one or two, but many different clouds. Thus, these organizations are grappling with increased complexity, loss of control, and operational challenges beyond human scale.

In response, our customers are now in the midst of a major shift to modernize and unify their infrastructure and operations. They are evaluating every tool available to augment their in-house resources and skillsets including automation, observability, and a variety of hybrid cloud and SaaS services. The goal is simple: Use whatever is available to supercharge IT productivity and agility to drive better operational results while lowering operational costs.

What’s New in FlexPod XCS; What’s Not

FlexPod XCS delivers four core capabilities to help customers accelerate their hybrid cloud journeys:

Visibility: We are providing enhanced and unified view of Cisco compute and NetApp storage through Cisco Intersight, the world’s simplest hybrid cloud operations platform. An example of this is the new FlexPod dashboard within Intersight that provides a single, detailed view of all components and enable more intelligent resource decisions.

Automation: We are delivering improved automation across all cycles of the life of customers’ infrastructure. An example is how we’re using Cisco Intersight Cloud Orchestrator to simplify all key day-to-day IT operations including configuration, deployment, expansion, and infrastructure consumption/ optimization.

Hybrid Cloud Services: With Cisco Intersight and NetApp ONTAP storage and data services working closely together, we are bringing higher levels of hybrid cloud operations and cloud native services support.

Flexible consumption: FlexPod as a Service enables an OpEx consumption model so customers can lower initial costs and tailor purchasing options based on budgets and usage.

What has NOT changed is what made converged infrastructure like the FlexPod so popular with customers in the first place. These solutions integrate networking, compute, and storage in a turnkey fashion so customers can deploy and run workloads and apps quickly and effectively. Converged infrastructure removes a lot of risk and complexity for customers as the solution providers like Cisco and NetApp own the burden of integrations, solution design & validation, and continued innovation.

With the first FlexPod and now FlexPod XCS, Cisco and NetApp bring a strong track record of delivering highly differentiated innovations and compelling value. The alliance between the two companies on the FlexPod alone spans more than 250 person-years of joint engineering output that has resulted in more than 200 jointly validated reference architectures for both popular and emerging use cases, workloads, and apps. FlexPod XCS is a proof point that the collaboration between Cisco and NetApp is stronger than ever.

“For over a decade, our partnership with Cisco has continued to grow, and FlexPod XCS is the next evolution of our joint innovation. We’re delivering the first and only hybrid cloud solution that brings increased visibility and automation natively integrated across all three major public cloud providers – enabling enterprises to operate more efficiently at the edge, core or in any cloud.”
—Mike Arterbury, Vice President, Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure and OEM Solutions at NetApp

How Customers Can Get Started

As with all previous FlexPod models, we plan to make the FlexPod XCS to be available through our ecosystem of channel partners and other solutions providers. FlexPod XCS empowers these go-to-market partners to offer new and existing customers a differentiated Hybrid Cloud solution, including an as-a-Service consumption model, cloud provisioning and container orchestration platform capabilities.

Visit NetApp and Cisco Solutions for more information and

to accelerate your hybrid cloud journey with FlexPod XCS.



Siva Sivakumar

Senior Director

Computing System Platforms Group