At NetApp, we always strive to improve customer experience. As we double-clicked on our customer experience data, we found the following challenges for a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) implementation:
Over a decade ago NetApp and Cisco partnered to build a converged infrastructure product called FlexPod® with a mission to help organizations streamline their IT operations, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. FlexPod allows organizations to quickly scale their IT resources up or down as needed without worrying about compatibility or interoperability issues between different hardware and software components.
As a result, FlexPod can help organizations reduce costs and improve efficiency by allowing them to better align their IT resources with their business needs. And to address VDI challenges, FlexPod® offers subscription and usage-based services, so VDI customers get financial flexibility with a seamless hybrid cloud experience.
FlexPod hybrid cloud deployment allows your organization to take advantage of both on-premises and public cloud computing. For example, a VDI deployment on FlexPod for backup or disaster recovery to hyperscalers helps you deal with unpredictable events that might otherwise interrupt business or jeopardize the operations. With FlexPod, you can deploy NetApp® Cloud Volumes ONTAP® software in the Microsoft Azure cloud, AWS, and Google Cloud by using NetApp BlueXP™ services and the NetApp SnapMirror® feature. SnapMirror lets you create a replica, or mirror, of your operational data in Cloud Volumes ONTAP, from which you can continue to serve data if a catastrophe occurs at the primary site. To control the frequency of the replication updates, you can select a replication schedule ranging from minutes to hours or weeks.
To automate infrastructure deployment with FlexPod, you can take advantage of Ansible for configuration management and orchestration. After the Cisco Nexus switches, NetApp storage, and Cisco UCS are physically racked, cabled, powered, and configured, you can use the prebuilt Ansible playbooks to configure these components and to install VMware clusters as described in the latest validated designs for VDI on Citrix and VMware Horizon. And with Cisco Intersight Cloud Orchestrator, you can carry out day 2 configuration tasks such as adding datastores or ESXi servers.
With its as-a-service consumption model, FlexPod offers financial flexibility through subscription and usage-based services, all built on a seamless hybrid experience. This model lets VDI customers bundle compute, network, and storage for a single $/TiB/month price. You’ll receive one invoice for all on-premises and cloud data services with faster deployment and adoption time which beats spending weeks or months procuring on-premises infrastructure.
Sriram Sagi is a principal product manager for FlexPod. He joined NetApp in 2022 with 15+ years of experience in enterprise products. Before NetApp, Sriram led product and technology teams and shipped multiple products. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering and an MBA from Duke University.