Today, we are excited to announce the next-generation of FlexPod, an Intersight-enabled platform that delivers a modern hybrid-cloud infrastructure with enhanced observability and automation capabilities to simplify operations and accelerate the delivery of your modern applications.

We’re announcing a strategic direction for FlexPod that will set the standard for the future.  With next-generation FlexPod, we are bringing cloud-like capabilities to the datacenter and connecting FlexPod to the public cloud for a hybrid cloud experience.   Let me tell you a little more about it…

The Modern Data Center Challenge

Applications today are very diverse and hyper-distributed in nature by being built continuously and rapidly on modular microservices architectures and provisioned inside virtual machines, containers, or even bare-metal hardware. Ensuring that these applications can be run on-prem with a cloud-like experience is key as IT leaders look to connect, automate and optimize their on-premise and public cloud environments to improve agility and lower operating costs. Along with our friends at NetApp, our goal is to help you take bold steps to prepare your data center for this future.

You already know that FlexPod provides a trusted foundation for innovation, driving best-in-class modern infrastructure solutions.  We’ve been doing this for over a decade and have almost 10,000 customers that rely on our now almost 200 tested and proven reference architectures.  Today, we are excited to announce the next-generation of FlexPod, an Intersight-enabled platform that delivers a modern infrastructure with enhanced observability, automation, and hybrid-cloud capabilities to simplify operations and accelerate the delivery of your modern applications.

A New operational model offers an opportunity

At the core of our thinking is a new operational model around the Cisco Intersight cloud operations platform and its new integration with NetApp ONTAP data management software.  Cisco Intersight is a cloud-based, software-as-a-service lifecycle management platform that unifies and simplifies your experience with Cisco UCS® and Cisco HyperFlex and now FlexPod with NetApp storage so that a single user interface can give you full visibility and operational control over your entire infrastructure stack.

Full stack observability

Now that Intersight can be your single point of observability for your computing, networking, storage, hypervisor, and container environments. there are exciting ways you can use observability to deliver a better overall experience for your customers.  One way is with FlexPod-specific views that provide operational status of your existing and new FlexPods, including inventory, health status, alerts, and lifecycle advisories.  This new functionality will also provide correlated insights into the relationship between application and infrastructure components, helping you optimize your workloads so that infrastructure never stands in the way of application performance.

Simplified operations with end-to-end automation

We all agree that ‘manual’ doesn’t cut it anymore. Organizations no longer have the people or resources to respond to daily demands, never mind deploying new applications in a timely manner.  Agility goes out the window when everything requires an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach every time.  With the next generational enhancements to FlexPod, you’ll see improvements in automation across all cycles of the life of your infrastructure.  For example, ‘Day 0’ automation through configuration of server, storage, and network infrastructure; ‘’Day 1’ (day-to-day) operations through predefined operations such as configuring storage for use by virtual machines or custom workflows; ‘Day 2 operations to add and remove servers and storage; and ‘Day N’ lifecycle management.

Bringing Hybrid Cloud Services to FlexPod

We are extending the portfolio of Cisco Intersight services and NetApp Data Fabric to FlexPod to bring hybrid cloud operations and cloud native services to the FlexPod platform. With Intersight Kubernetes Service, we will be enabling the deployment and management of cloud native applications on FlexPod; with Intersight Workload Optimizer, customers can facilitate workload placement and optimization across FlexPod and cloud resources; and with NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, customers can manage data in the public cloud.

New Cisco UCS X-Series: Designed for the diversity of modern apps

If you haven’t seen it already, I urge you to take a closer look at our recent launch of the Cisco UCS X-Series. With UCS X-Series we have innovated to build a modular computing system designed expressly for operations from the cloud and across the clouds. UCS X-series blends the efficiency of blades servers with the expandability of rack servers to cover the majority of workloads in the data center with a single, highly scalable design. With UCS X-Series and Intersight, we’re extending FlexPod into the heart of our customers hybrid cloud operating model.

Stay Tuned

We know that making infrastructure easier to deploy and manage is paramount to keeping up with the speed of your business so stay tuned throughout this year as we release key elements of our FlexPod strategy starting with enhanced observability in the summer of 2021 and adding full-stack automation in the fall.

For further information, please consult flexpod.com

Please read the companion blog from our friends at NetApp.


Siva Sivakumar

Senior Director

Computing System Platforms Group