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FlexPod XCS speaks a language of IT productivity

FlexPod XCS

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Bruno Messina
Bruno Messina

Language is a productive, useful part of everyday human life. It enables humans to move forward by building ideas upon other ideas. It’s difficult to imagine a path for a modern world without language and its written form. Many languages have building blocks (letters) that form words (combinations of letters) that combine into sentences (complete thoughts) and higher forms of written language like stories, plays, and poetry. Language can also be personalized, and everyone combines sentences differently in their personal form of communication.

Language for your IT Workloads

FlexPod® XCS performs a similar task for your IT workloads. It automates them by combining the analogues of letters (workflows) into words and sentences (orchestrated workflows). The following chart shows some of these ONTAP storage workflows for FlexPod XCS.
orchestrator built in NetApp tasks

These workflows are combined in words and sentences that can dramatically increase your IT productivity. FlexPod XCS and its Cisco Intersight Cloud Orchestrator enable an IT enterprise to use out-of-the-box storage and compute workflows or design their own specific workflows. You can even amalgamate these workloads into more powerful aggregates (words and sentences) to increase IT productivity, lower costs, and serve the needs of your business. Another major advantage of this automation is that these workflows will increase over time. So, the benefit from FlexPod XCS will accrue and increase as you combine these workflows and customize them to your specific IT tasks.

The next diagram (Cross-domain workflow designer) shows these workflows, like words and sentences, combined into larger tasks.  For example, NetApp® storage in FlexPod XCS has built-in, granular operations on the discovered NetApp ONTAP® controllers, and a set of NetApp tasks has been added to Intersight. These tasks are used to build end-to-end workflows.

Some examples of FlexPod XCS automation use cases are:

  • Day 1: IT operations such as expansion of virtualization and storage
  • Creating a secure tenancy by using virtual LANs (VLANs) across virtualization, networking, and storage
  • Application deployment and infrastructure as a service through Intersight value-added services:
    • Virtualization Service
    • Cloud Orchestrator
    • Ansible playbooks
    • Windows PowerShell
    • Web API requests
    • Kubernetes service
    • HashiCorp Terraform

This screenshot of a FlexPod XCS system shows an example of the sentences (workflows) being put together.

cross-domain workflow design

Benefits of FlexPod XCS

One of the best parts of FlexPod XCS is that it’s built on the robust, industry leading FlexPod framework. So, you get all the benefits that made FlexPod a converged infrastructure standard. You gain:
  • Certainty that all your workloads are tested. Some workloads enable a return on investment of 125% and payback period of 13 months when they’re moved to standardized infrastructure.
  • The strategic option to benefit from the first and only converged infrastructure that’s natively integrated into three leading cloud providers—Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud. Hybrid access enables lower costs and faster access because these services are sold, managed, and supported by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
  • The ability to lower costs and increase IT productivity with automation, lifecycle management, and full-stack visibility for all your FlexPod XCS systems.
  • The capability to move faster and to align to business needs. You can choose out-of-the box workflows or combine workflows to suit your customized needs, using ONTAP and UCS workflows through Cisco Intersight Cloud Orchestrator software.
  • An increase in client choice and options. You can set up your hybrid cloud to a leading public cloud provider in 5 minutes, so any FlexPod or FlexPod XCS system can become a hybrid cloud quickly.
  • Assurance through the longevity of the FlexPod and FlexPod XCS platform with a growing, diversified choice of workloads. The platform has added new applications like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), electronic health records (EHRs), picture archiving and communication system (PACS), and imaging. Over 200 reference architectures (the “appliances” of the standard) have already been tested.
  • Alignment of costs to usage, lower up-front costs, and operational and financial flexibility with FlexPod-as-a-Service or current consumption models for FlexPod and FlexPod XCS
The automation, lifecycle management and deep, full-stack visibility that FlexPod XCS offers cross the entire FlexPod XCS stack, including compute, storage, networking, and hypervisor from edge to data center to cloud. In addition, both FlexPod XCS and FlexPod offer industry-leading hybrid cloud connectivity (FlexPod XCS offers automation for hybrid cloud as well).  Humans have made remarkable progress with the help of language. It allows us to teach, learn, disseminate knowledge, and combine ideas. Your data center and hybrid infrastructure can also benefit from the “language of productivity” offered by FlexPod XCS.

Learn more

To learn more, visit:

And take a look at what our partner Cisco is saying about FlexPod XCS.

Bruno Messina

Bruno Messina joined NetApp in 2018 and works in product marketing for FlexPod. His previous experience includes a career in product marketing of UCS servers for Cisco Systems and Solaris server marketing and competitive analysis at both Oracle and Sun Microsystems, where he joined in 2000. Bruno spent ten years in various roles of competitive analysis and product management at Sun Microsystems, leading analysis in both the workgroup and enterprise servers. Prior to Sun Microsystems, Bruno spent time finishing his MBA education and worked for two years at Cadence working on product marketing for both board-level and board timing tools. Bruno holds both a BSEE and MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.

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