A lot can change in a decade. In this last one especially, I’ve seen technological advances hit hyper-speed. While I don’t have that futuristic flying car I was promised yet, we’ve seen so many amazing things come to life since 2010: AI, robotic surgeries, self-driving cars (cool but still not the same as flying), and FlexPod, an agile, best-in-class converged infrastructure platform.

A Transformative Partnership

How did FlexPod come into being? Through a powerful partnership with NetApp, one of Cisco’s strategic partners. Together, we reimagined converged infrastructure, creating a solution that can keep pace with the evolution of IT, providing a strong foundation for companies today while allowing them to transform for the future. In 2010, we launched the first-generation FlexPod architecture, combining NetApp ONTAP storage arrays with Cisco

Unified Computing System (UCS) servers and Cisco Nexus switches.

But of course, we didn’t stop there. Technology innovation means constant change.

FlexPod: Innovative. Trusted. Customer Focused.

Over the next few years, the FlexPod ecosystem expanded to include Microsoft, VMware, SAP, Citrix, and Oracle. This gathering of powerhouses enabled FlexPod to unify infrastructures and platforms, letting customers simplify and stabilize their daily operations through prevalidated architectures. (Today, we have over 180 validated designs covering nearly every data center and hybrid scenario.)

Cisco and NetApp have invested more than 250 person-years of joint expertise in FlexPod so far, and I’m proud to say that our focus and dedication have paid off. FlexPod now has 1,100 partners in 100 countries and supports 9,500 customers around the world.

FlexPod delivers modernization to every aspect of your organization by providing a robust backbone that supports your IT strategies. It allows for faster deployment and higher efficiency while minimizing costly downtime.

We’ve designed FlexPod to give customers what they need—performance, reliability, agility, and value—while always evolving to help improve operations and drive innovation. How? Let’s talk through some use cases.

Hybrid Cloud

In 2017, FlexPod incorporated hybrid cloud technology, allowing data and workloads to move back and forth from on-premises to the cloud. This gives customers a flexible, future-proofed hybrid cloud strategy that meets them wherever they are in their cloud journey.


Business-critical apps running on Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and SAP databases demand high performance. FlexPod has all the power and agility customers need. For example, the prevalidated FlexPod Select solution for Oracle Real Application Clusters provides 1 million IOPS for 100% reads and sub-millisecond latency, so customers can do more business, faster.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

FlexPod delivers virtualization without limits. To help customers leverage the powerful new FlexPod technology and latest VDI use cases (including the increase of remote work), Cisco and NetApp recently rolled out quick ship FlexPod reference bundles for VDI. Additionally, we released a new FlexPod VMware Horizon validated architecture, enabling up to 5,400 Windows 10 desktop users—with the ability to scale beyond 10,000 users in multiple domains. Want to learn more about our latest FlexPod for VDI innovations and the real-world benefits you can gain, such as a 23% lower TCO? Check out the FlexPod for VDI webpage.

The Future with FlexPod

We look forward to our continued partnership with NetApp. Through our coordinated focus, we’re ensuring that FlexPod is poised to evolve with the IT landscape, future-proofing our customers’ investments by continually integrating new and improved technologies as well as updating to the latest versions of critical enterprise workloads.

To learn more about our partnership, watch our 10-year anniversary video. (Maybe by our 20th anniversary, I’ll finally own that flying car.)

To stay up to date on FlexPod news, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


David Loy

Global NetApp Alliance Executive

Global Partner Organization