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FlexPod thinks inside and outside the box

Bruno Messina
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FlexPod Blog: FlexPod thinks inside and outside of the box.Thinking outside the box is a phrase that means seeing beyond what is front of us. We look at something and see it a new light. In other words, we think unconventionally as opposed to seeing whatever it is in only one way.

Thinking outside the box can be applied to the software that is everywhere in today's world, penetrating and transforming multiple industries and vertical markets.

Software has moved far beyond the earlier confines of computers—to watches, Internet of Things (IoT), games, and hardware abstractions, to name a few examples. Over time, industry by industry, software is changing and altering every organization’s competitive advantage and long-term positioning. Each industry vertical is seeing the increasing importance of software to its business. A small example that has had a big effect is an application that lets you order from your favorite restaurant online. FlexPod DataCenter In a similar manner, FlexPod® technology, from its beginning, had a big software-based competitive advantage with the Cisco UCS Manager. Cisco UCS Manager abstracts and automates the compute layer in a Cisco network, and industry-leading NetApp® ONTAP® data management software abstracts data services so that details don’t obscure what’s most important.

An IDC survey of organizations of all sizes who use FlexPod found many benefits for all of their IT teams:

  • 65% more time spent on innovation and new projects
  • 61% improvement in application performance
  • 60% decrease in number of unplanned downtime incidents
  • 34% decrease in data center floor space
  • 29% reduction in power and cooling
  • 24% savings in software capital expenditures (capex)


These benefits explain the widespread appeal and business value of FlexPod software and hardware.

IDC-paper-flexpod In addition, FlexPod provides a vast, deep, and rich portfolio of data center applications providing software that is inside the box and exciting new solutions like artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) or EPIC and Meditech electronic health records (EHR).  FlexPod is constantly evolving, adding new reference architectures—Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) and NetApp Validated Architectures (NVAs)—to its family of more than 195 reference architectures. This constant modernization ensures consistent performance of modern enterprise applications—the largest and most complex, mission-critical enterprise applications like Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC), Microsoft SQL Server, and SAP and SAP HANA.  FlexPod is also continually adding new applications, workloads, and technologies to ensure that you have the application and technology improvements you need for your organization.

FlexPod also thinks outside the box and gives you:
  • A data fabric powered by NetApp
  • Cisco Intersight, a cloud operations platform
  • Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer, a multicloud application resource management solution
By thinking outside the box, FlexPod has increased its combined Cisco and NetApp software content, which increases your options. Since December 2020, Cisco and NetApp have added even more intellectual property(software) to the FlexPod portfolio.

You can try out the ONTAP integration with Cisco Intersight; this integration is now available in a technical preview release. Read these two blogs by Sree Lanka and Carol Chan to learn how to get started on this remarkable FlexPod Intersight, full-stack management. Also, read about the full orchestration capabilities of the ONTAP Integration of Cisco Intersight: cisco intersight Cisco and NetApp have published a technical preview paper describing the ONTAP integration with Cisco Intersight and the FlexPod integration with Cisco Intersight Workload Optimization Manager: Cisco Intersight Workload Optimization Manager Read how Cisco B-Series blade servers in FlexPods are now connected to Cisco Intersight with the latest technical preview release of Cisco Intersight Managed Mode for FlexPod.

Watch and listen as Cisco and NetApp executives talk about the increasingly greater alignment and partnerships between Cisco and NetApp and the growing FlexPod software portfolio of customer solutions.

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