Cisco and NetApp Help Customers Accelerate Transition to Microsoft Private Cloud

Dimension Data Expands Its FlexPod Services to Offer Custom Configuration of the Validated Cisco, Microsoft, and NetApp Solution

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - 8 March 2012 - As data centre virtualization becomes more pervasive, IT functions are increasingly seeking to lower cost of ownership and improve manageability by unifying silos of information with shared IT infrastructures and multi-hypervisor environments. To meet growing customer demand for choice and flexibility, Cisco and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) are announcing the availability of a Cisco® Validated Design (CVD) for the FlexPod™ shared infrastructure and Microsoft private cloud. The new FlexPod solution validated with Microsoft private cloud builds on a reference architecture that was announced last year and is designed to reduce infrastructure and application deployment time from days to hours while helping achieve greater utilisation of physical and virtual resource pools. Part of a series of innovative joint solutions that Cisco and NetApp are bringing to market with support from Microsoft, the FlexPod solution is currently available for demonstration in select Microsoft Technology Centres (MTCs) around the world, allowing partners and customers the opportunity to see firsthand the many benefits of the solution.

To help channel partners further accelerate and simplify customers' transitions to private clouds, Cisco and NetApp are working with Dimension Data, an IT services and solutions provider, to expand its FlexPod Services to provide customers with the validated, pretested data centre solution for the cloud.

Key Facts / Highlights:

New FlexPod solution validated with Microsoft private cloud

  • Validated by Microsoft as part of its Private Cloud Fast Track program, the new FlexPod validated shared infrastructure features the Cisco UCS™ server, Cisco network switches, NetApp® unified storage systems running on Data ONTAP® software, and the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track architecture with Windows Server 2008 R2 and System Center.
  • FlexPod is a pretested architectural design guide that combines networking, computing, and storage in a shared infrastructure and supports multiple applications and workloads to help customers accelerate and simplify their transition to the cloud. The flexible, scalable shared infrastructure is pretested to lower deployment risk, increase data center efficiencies, and create a flexible information technology (IT) environment to build a Microsoft private cloud.
  • The FlexPod solution validated with Microsoft private cloud goes beyond virtualization to drive real business value through deep insight into applications and to simplify the evolution to IT as a Service (ITaaS). The platform allows customers to orchestrate IT resources so they can deliver applications as services, rapidly resolve problems, increase application uptime, and meet desired Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  • The FlexPod solution validated with Microsoft private cloud is deployed at select MTCs worldwide, allowing customers to see the power of Microsoft System Center with Windows Server Hyper-V on the FlexPod shared infrastructure. Partners and customers have direct access to FlexPod deployments and can engage with Cisco, Microsoft, and NetApp technology experts through briefings, architectural design sessions, and proof-of-concept engagements.

Dimension Data Support for the FlexPod solution validated with Microsoft private cloud

  • As part of its FlexPod Services, Avnet will now provide its channel partners with a single source for delivery of the Microsoft private cloud built on FlexPod solution. Avnet will offer multiple configurations to help channel partners meet different customer requirements, especially for those working with customers in the high-growth vertical markets of energy, finance, government, healthcare, and retail.
  • Dimension Data's expanded FlexPod Services are designed to deliver the FlexPod solution validated with Microsoft private cloud quickly and easily. The services include pre-sales support, consolidated quoting, single order capability, assembly and testing, ship complete, and tracking. Additionally, customers will be able to work hand in hand with a dedicated Dimension Data team to support all of their FlexPod needs, as well as draw upon additional support and expertise from Dimension Data's dedicated Cisco and NetApp teams.
  • FlexPod Services from Avnet allow channel partners to focus their resources on core business strategies while Avnet handles the complexities of solution development and supply-chain management.

Cisco and NetApp FlexPod Shared Infrastructure

  • Since Cisco and NetApp's FlexPod was announced in November 2010, both channel partners and customers have embraced the benefits of the solution. To date, approximately 500 joint channel partners worldwide are certified to sell FlexPod and more than 600 customers have deployed FlexPod in their data center infrastructure, representing more than 400% growth in customer adoption since May 2011.
  • To provide greater flexibility and customer choice, FlexPod currently offers 13 Cisco Validated Designs supporting multiple hypervisors, business applications and workloads. Cisco and NetApp will sponsor Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2012, where these and other private cloud solutions will be demonstrated.
  • NetApp and Cisco offer programs to support FlexPod to give channel partners access to a wide range of unique tools and resources to help partners differentiate their services, speed time to market, and grow their revenues. The channel programs include technical trainings and service benefits, as well as marketing and sales support.

Supportive Quotes:

  • Brad Anderson, corporate vice president, Management and Security, Microsoft
    "Customers find unique value in Microsoft's private cloud because of our cross-platform approach-you can build one private cloud for your heterogeneous workloads and platforms. The FlexPod solution validated with Microsoft private cloud implements best practices for effectively integrating server, storage, and network elements with Windows Server, Hyper-V, and System Center. By combining Cisco and NetApp solutions with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center, we can give our joint customers an integrated, agile, and efficient data center environment."
  • Peter Menadue, Group General Manager - Microsoft Solutions, Dimension Data
    "By working collaboratively with Microsoft, Cisco and NetApp to develop and delivery Microsoft private cloud built on FlexPod solutions, Dimension Data is now able to provide an alternative to customers considering Microsoft , as virtualization and cloud computing become more mainstream. FlexPod's pre-sized, validated and standardised data centre architecture allows us to build flexible private cloud solutions to help our customers accelerate their adoption of cloud computing.
  • Satinder Sethi, vice president, Server Access Virtualization Technology Group, Cisco
    "The FlexPod validated with Microsoft private cloud reinforces Cisco's commitment to offering a range of data center solutions that enable our channel partners to offer customers more choice and flexibility. Microsoft customers can now use shared infrastructure and integrated management to complement Microsoft's deep application insights, along with the ability to automatically orchestrate resources from the FlexPod, to enable customers to deliver applications as services and meet demanding business service-level agreements."
  • Phil Brotherton, vice president of the Enterprise Software Group, NetApp
    "The strong market demand for Microsoft private cloud solutions built on NetApp and Cisco technologies further reinforces the importance of this strategic three-way partnership. Together, we are bringing compelling, innovative solutions to market that enable our joint partners and customers to build secure private clouds optimized for efficiency, flexibility, and fast time to value. NetApp's ongoing and proven integrations with Cisco UCS and Windows Server, Hyper-V, System Center, and applications underscore our commitment, and we look forward to much more to come at the Microsoft Management Summit in April."

Additional Resources:

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