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Simplifying FlexPod Management with Converged Systems Advisor

Aaron Kirk

Businesses in today’s world are faced with many challenges to maintain pace with changing customer expectations and competition in the marketplace. Needing to iterate more quickly, continually deliver value to customers, and ensure that data remains secure. Additionally, increasingly large sets of data need to be leveraged to gain insights and solve problems in new and innovative ways. Because of these business challenges, it is vital that data center infrastructure provides a stable and scalable platform for application and service development.

FlexPod continues to be a trusted platform, allowing businesses to standardize the data center and provide rock-solid and scalable infrastructure for all types of workloads. With over 170 validated designs and greater than 9000 deployments worldwide, FlexPod continues to solve challenges that customers are having today.

Converged Systems Advisor

For FlexPod administrators, NetApp Converged Systems Advisor provides a single view of the FlexPod, simplifying the experience, and ensuring that the health and configuration of the FlexPod is aligned with best practices throughout the life of the FlexPod. Instead of logging into multiple different element managers to build a mental model of FlexPod health, Converged Systems Advisor provides this status up front along with the interoperability of the different components in the stack.

In addition to monitoring the health and configuration of the FlexPod, recent enhancements to Converged Systems Advisor enable active management. This powerful feature allows administrators to modify FlexPod configuration and remediate issues directly from the cloud portal. As this automated functionality is expanded, the management experience will be further simplified and administrators will be required to check in with element managers less often.

With the latest release of Converged Systems Advisor, coverage has been added for Cisco ACI networking. With Cisco ACI coverage, Converged Systems Advisor now supports all major networking devices in a FlexPod. Cisco ACI is the industry leader in software defined networking and FlexPod designs with Cisco ACI allow administrators to apply network policy management for their workloads. Converged Systems Advisor will integrate data from Cisco ACI to provide status for these FlexPod designs.

In addition to Cisco ACI coverage, Converged Systems Advisor now supports FlexPods that contain multiple ONTAP clusters. We’ve consistently talked to customers that use multiple different ONTAP clusters in a single FlexPod to provide separate performance tiers or to utilize all of the storage resources efficiently. This new support allows those customers to connect their clusters and receive guidance on the full FlexPod configuration.

If you haven’t taken a look at Converged Systems Advisor, I’d encourage you to reach out to your sales team to see how your FlexPod experience could be improved by deploying it in your data center. For more information about Converged Systems Advisor, check out these resources:

Aaron Kirk

Aaron Kirk is a Technical Marketing Engineer in the NetApp Converged Infrastructure Engineering team. He focuses on producing validated reference architectures that promote the benefits of end-to-end data center solutions and cloud environments. Aaron has been at NetApp since 2010, previously working as an engineer on MetroCluster in the Data Protection Group.

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