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FlexPod expands its horizons with the latest technology innovations

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Anand Louis

In the dynamic world of IT infrastructure, the need for systems that can adapt to ever-changing demands has never been greater. The FlexPod® data center solution, a joint offering from NetApp and Cisco, has consistently delivered a robust, integrated infrastructure platform. Today, we are excited to announce a series of technology updates that further expand the capabilities and reach of the FlexPod ecosystem. 

New NetApp AFF A-Series joins the FlexPod portfolio

We’re thrilled to introduce the latest addition to the FlexPod portfolio of supported NetApp® ONTAP® powered systems: new NetApp AFF A-Series systems. These all-flash, unified data storage solutions are engineered to simplify your complex data management challenges. They’re designed to power your most demanding workloads, including AI, VMware, databases, and media and entertainment applications. And they significantly increase your system’s performance and throughput, improve efficiency, and reduce maintenance and downtime. 

flexpod diagram

We are particularly excited about the potential of these systems to support new and demanding AI workloads while they also accelerate your existing mission-critical applications. The AFF A-Series includes: 

  • AFF A70. This NetApp integrated midrange system is optimized to balance price and performance. 
  • AFF A90. This NetApp integrated high-end system is optimal for your mission-critical workloads. 
  • AFF A1K. NetApp’s highest-end modular system is built to handle your most demanding workloads. 

With performance improvements over the previous generation, AFF A-Series systems are packed with innovations yet deliver the NetApp simplicity and reliability that organizations worldwide have come to trust. 

SAN-optimized FlexPod with NetApp ASA

We recently added a reference architecture for SAN-optimized FlexPod infrastructure. You can find out more in the technical report TR-4991–SAN-Optimized FlexPod with NetApp All-Flash ASA and in the supporting solution brief

San Optimized FlexPod

This addition enhances our support for your enterprise applications that require exceptional availability, reliability, and data integrity. 

Key highlights of SAN-optimized FlexPod include: 

  • Best practices deployment and validation for SAN infrastructure 
  • Built-in infrastructure resilience with dual components across the stack, dual networking connection, and NetApp ASA dual pathing 
  • Built-in network redundancy with network multipathing and dual homing
  • Data integrity, availability, and reliability for your demanding enterprise applications, meticulously tested with NetApp ASA controller failover scenarios across both bare-metal and VMware virtualized deployments 

FlexPod AI latest innovations

FlexPod innovation continues in the realm of AI. By integrating the latest advancements in AI-ready infrastructure, FlexPod enables your business to harness the power of AI for data analytics, machine learning, and more.

FlexPod AI has two new reference architectures, and several more are in the works. Be sure to check out the latest two:

These FlexPod AI innovations are adding new industry use cases and more workloads and use cases in the AI space. FlexPod is also built with your investment protection in mind. So with FlexPod, you can add AI use cases to your existing enterprise workloads (for example, Oracle, SAP, virtual desktop infrastructure, and healthcare apps).

Stay tuned for detailed announcements about our AI-specific enhancements for FlexPod. 

FlexPod security

Since its inception 13 years ago, FlexPod has been built on the secure foundation of NetApp and Cisco technologies. We maintain our commitment to full-stack security with a range of solutions that safeguard your data and operations. 

flexpod diagram

Recent security solutions include the following: 

  • FlexPod Datacenter Zero Trust Framework. This Cisco Validated Design (CVD) offers a comprehensive security approach, integrating Zero Trust architecture guidelines across the full stack. 
  • FlexPod security hardening (TR-4984-1123). The FlexPod security hardening guide serves as a critical baseline resource for securing your FlexPod infrastructure. It offers a collection of industry-vetted, and lab-tested, best practices and security measures that cover a wide array of protective strategies. This guide is essential if your organization wants to configure its FlexPod solutions to meet stringent security requirements. 
  • FlexPod ransomware protection and recovery (TR-4961). This proactive defense and effective recovery approach to ransomware includes machine learning–driven protection and detailed recovery procedures. And, to top it off, it’s all backed by the NetApp Ransomware Recovery Guarantee
  • FIPS 140-2 security-compliant FlexPod solution for healthcare (TR-4892). FIPS 140-2 began as a U.S. government standard for certifying and validating encryption implementations. This technical report walks you through how to configure your FlexPod system to use the built-in FIPS 140-2–certified components in a healthcare environment. It also broadly applies to any environment that can benefit from running in a FIPS 140-2–compliant mode. 

Find out more about how FlexPod and NetApp innovations can help you secure your data and turn a world of disruption into opportunity: 

Anand Louis

Anand Louis is a Principal Product Manager for FlexPod at NetApp’s Hybrid Cloud Group. He is currently responsible for FlexPod XCS, joint Cisco & NetApp solution, built on Cisco Intersight. Prior to NetApp, Anand has held positions in product management, sales enablement and marketing teams at high-tech companies including Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks.

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