Cisco and NetApp have been partnering to create trusted and versatile FlexPod converged infrastructure for more than a decade now. Many of our close to 10,000 customers continue to tell us that FlexPod is ideal for applications with requirements in areas such as compliance, data sensitivity, and latency. Customers tell us they like FlexPod because it offers a platform that supports excellent application performance, while keeping costs low and providing high availability and disaster recovery. Customers also love the single-vendor support model across the entire stack.

Cisco and NetApp joint engineering over the years has resulted in a continuous stream of new capabilities, evidenced by the fact that, to date, we’ve created more than 190 Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs). Today’s FlexPod continues in this tradition of innovation, supporting for example, hybrid cloud integration, fifth-generation compute, high-speed fabric, and all-flash storage with end-to-end non-volatile memory express (NVMe).

Next-generation infrastructure management

When we ask customers what their big pain points are, they highlight challenges such as physical and virtual sprawl, limited IT resources, and the need to deal with compute and storage silos. To address these challenges, Cisco and NetApp engineering teams are working on next-generation infrastructure management based on Cisco Intersight. Cisco Intersight is a cloud-based as-a-service management platform that assists in observation of Cisco and third-party IT infrastructure in your environment, analyzes and makes recommendations, and allows you to create workflows that automate frequent activities.

We’re very excited about three new Intersight capabilities for FlexPod and are highlighting them at CiscoLive! this month: Intersight Managed Mode (IMM), ONTAP integration with Intersight, and Intersight Workload Optimizer support for FlexPod.

Intersight Managed Mode (IMM)

Intersight Managed Mode is a new architecture that unifies the capabilities of Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and the cloud-based Intersight so that there is a consolidated management experience across standalone and Fabric Interconnect-attached systems. IMM standardizes policy and operations management for FlexPod systems with the fourth generation Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects and the Cisco UCS M5 servers.

At CiscoLive!, we will announce general availability of IMM, which will be available for any UCS systems meeting the above hardware requirements. You can learn more about IMM operation with FlexPod by reading this white paper. You can also visit the NetApp booth at CiscoLive! to see a demo and get more details.

NetApp ONTAP Storage Integration with Intersight

Figure 1:  NetApp ONTAP Connector

The new NetApp ONTAP storage integration highlighted at CiscoLive! builds on the strength of the Cisco Intersight platform in managing UCS compute and third-party storage. A NetApp ONTAP Connector has been developed to allow Cisco Intersight to communicate with NetApp Active IQ Unified Manager, as shown in Figure 1.

This integration provides visibility into the NetApp ONTAP storage systems. It also offers a rich set of tasks for managing storage in NetApp ONTAP storage systems, allowing IT to manage both compute and storage resources from a single management tool, Intersight.

For more information, read this blog from our NetApp friends.

Intersight Workload Optimizer support for FlexPod

Intersight Workload Optimizer (IWO) now supports FlexPod infrastructure. IWO supports additional efficiency in the data center by helping IT in identifying the best location to place workloads. IWO is all about rightsizing your environment, and it now includes monitoring of FlexPod infrastructure. IWO, for instance, can recommend how to move assets such as virtual machines based on compute and memory use.

Why does FlexPod integration with Intersight matter?

Currently, managing on-premises infrastructure can be quite complex. Admins must typically manage compute and storage as siloed islands. A higher level of efficiency can be achieved in the data center by integrating the management of compute and storage into Intersight. Cross-functional admins need only go to the Intersight portal to manage their FlexPod compute and storage resources. Experts can set compute and storage policies in advance, so fewer such professionals are needed to manage day-to-day FlexPod activities.

Join us at CiscoLive!

You can learn more about the FlexPod integrations with Intersight at CiscoLive! Register here if you haven’t already.

And while attending CiscoLive!, don’t miss all the FlexPod sessions including:

  • FlexPod: Intelligent integration with Cisco Intersight
  • Enhance FlexPod management experience with Cisco Intersight

Check out the companion blog from our friends at NetApp.

Visit the FlexPod page and learn more about the Cisco and NetApp partnership!


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Steve Cooke

Product Marketing Manager

Data Center Marketing