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Proof of FlexPod reliability for Epic

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Dr. Nikhil Joshi

I’m excited to announce that we now have a Cisco Validated Design (CVD), proving that FlexPod® is the best converged infrastructure for deploying Epic.

Epic is the market leader EHR

KLAS consistently ranks Epic as the best electronic health record system for acute care hospitals that have more than 200 beds, as well as for ambulatory clinics that have more than 75 doctors. Epic is the market leader, serving 58% of hospitals above 500 beds in the United States, and 33% of U.S. hospitals overall. Epic is an EHR on a growth trajectory, winning more customers yearly.

FlexPod is not new to Epic

FlexPod takes pride in being the best-suited infrastructure solution for Epic. Solutions for Epic have been a key component of the FlexPod go-to-market strategy for the healthcare market since 2018, when the first FlexPod validated architecture for Epic was published.

Many Epic customers, such as Tucson Medical Center and UMC New Orleans, have deployed Epic on premises using FlexPod. And some Epic customers, such as Mercy Technology Services, have deployed Epic on a FlexPod based private cloud and are providing Epic as a service to their customer hospitals.

FlexPod is the best solution for Epic

Our new CVD for FlexPod for Epic EHR shows the reliability of FlexPod with a NetApp® AFF A400 all-flash storage system and Cisco UCS X-210c M6 for Epic’s simulated workloads. Epic requires all operational databases to be on flash arrays, so the AFF A400 suits its needs. Epic publishes a quarterly document called Storage Products and Technology Status (SPaTS). AFF was the first all-flash array to achieve the Epic high-comfort rating. As the only vendor with a high-comfort rating for both NAS and SAN on the same platform, NetApp is the only true option for Epic to consolidate on an enterprise-class, single storage platform.

Epic Flexpod GenIO iops vs white Graph

This graph shows that FlexPod can serve a write-cycle of 45 seconds with a submillisecond latency and more than 130K IOps, surpassing Epic’s storage performance requirements.

The performance tests were performed on a FlexPod unit with the following components.


  • Cisco UCS X9508 Chassis with up to eight Cisco UCS X210c M6 Compute Nodes
  • Fourth-generation Cisco UCS 6454 Fabric Interconnects to support 10GbE, 25GbE, and 100GbE connectivity from various components
  • High-speed Cisco NX-OS-based Nexus 93180YC-FX3 switching design to support up to 100Gb connectivity
  • NetApp AFF A400 end-to-end NVMe storage with Fibre Channel connectivity and NFS storage with high-speed Ethernet


  • Cisco Intersight platform to deploy, maintain, and support the FlexPod components
  • Cisco Intersight Assist Virtual Appliance to help connect NetApp ONTAP® and VMware vCenter with Cisco Intersight
  • NetApp Active IQ® Unified Manager to monitor and manage the storage and for NetApp ONTAP integration with Cisco Intersight
  • VMware vCenter to set up and manage the virtual infrastructure as well as Cisco Intersight integration

And that's not all!

We're now working on documenting our hybrid cloud solution automating Epic’s data protection strategy and the 3-2-1 rule. Under this rule, Epic customers are required to maintain a total of three copies of production data, on two different operating systems, and at least one copy of the data should be off site or in the cloud.

To learn more, contact me at

Dr. Nikhil Joshi

Dr. Nikhil Joshi is MBBS (degree for physicians in India) and M Tech in Biomedical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India. Prior to joining NetApp, Nikhil has worked for solution management and development of multiple healthcare applications for over a decade, and observed how healthcare products and the underlying IT infrastructure can influence lives of physicians, clinicians, and non-clinical staff as well as their ability to deliver care to patients. Nikhil is a senior product manager for FlexPod at NetApp, responsible for the FlexPod business for the enterprise applications and healthcare verticals, and for the security and sustainability use cases.

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