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Next generation FlexPod moves your data center into the hybrid cloud

Kris Cornwall
Kris Cornwall

Smartphones, especially iPhones, are commonplace today—they’re everywhere. They’ve been propelled to must-have status by various attributes and capabilities, such as cloud-connected services, consumption models, applications, and automation ecosystems. Smartphones combined, aggregated, and improved on technologies that already existed: operating systems, applications, cameras, internet connection, capital expenditure (capex) or operational expenditure (opex) payment, and GPS software, to name a few.  Over time, these attributes have vaulted the smartphone to near ubiquity worldwide.

Smartphone Smartphones are now undergoing a 5G upgrade cycle that will enable new interaction, use cases, and applications. Similarly, next generation FlexPod adds to the foundational FlexPod advantages with five groundbreaking capabilities—all of which bring you more of the cloud-connected experience: Next Generation Flexpod for hybrid cloud

  • Cloud connection. Connect to a hybrid cloud with a data fabric powered by NetApp.
  • Automation and observability. Industry-leading NetApp® ONTAP® integration into Cisco Intersight software enables new-levels of automation and observability. Next generation FlexPod also provides NetApp Cloud Manager, which gives IT experts and cloud architects a centralized control plane for managing, monitoring, and automating data in hybrid cloud environments. Cloud Manager provides an integrated NetApp Cloud Volumes experience in all major hyperscalers.
  • Flexible as-a-service consumption. You choose opex or capex for your next generation FlexPod, depending on your preference.
  • Optimization. Optimize compute and storage usage across your hybrid cloud to improve performance and lower costs with Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer. 
  • Innovative base for more next generation FlexPod® solutions. Next generation FlexPod with its ONTAP integration into Cisco Intersight forms a platform for adding additional Cisco and NetApp software components overtime like Cisco AppDynamics software. The general availability of this ONTAP software integration is crucial as more workflows (automation), software technologies (from both Cisco and NetApp) can be added to FlexPod over time to further bolster the security, data protection, hybrid cloud, visibility, compliance, monitoring and automation to name a few.
This new video from Cisco and NetApp executives does a wonderful job of explaining the advantages of next generation FlexPod:

Next generation FlexPod benefits

The next logical question is: How do these new next generation FlexPod features help end users—what are their benefits? Let’s take them one at time.
  • You can now use next generation FlexPod to connect to a hybrid cloud through your data fabric. The data fabric is powered by the industry-leading ONTAP® software in FlexPod. A next generation FlexPod can also include the NetApp Cloud Manager, which enable you to manage your full stack and connect to the hybrid cloud. You can connect to any hypercaler in minutes, or two minutes to set up cloud backup of your on-premises data with the next generation FlexPod and have a hybrid cloud.
Cloud hyperscalers
  • Next generation FlexPod now enables full-stack observability, automation, visibility, and lifecycle management. You can now have a full-stack view of your entire infrastructure, compute, storage, hypervisor and networking.You can also have a holistic view at the edge, core or into the cloud.
cisco intersight
  • Next generation FlexPod is now available in cloud-like consumption models that match costs to usage, simplifying operations with flexible consumption. You will be able to purchase FlexPod with capex or opex. Next generation FlexPod combines the Cisco Plus1 program, which gives you the benefits of Cisco as a service, with NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription. You can align cost with resource consumption, giving you the speed, agility, and scale of the cloud to better match your business needs.
Optimization icon
  • Next generation FlexPod optimizes resources through ONTAP software and the UCS-based servers. ONTAP software optimizes your storage environment to increase efficiency, protect against unplanned outages, provide end-to-end, hybrid-cloud, data protection, and strengthen your overall security posture. With ONTAP, you can quickly set up a hybrid cloud for backup, disaster recovery, caching, and tiering to any of the major hyperscalers. In addition, the Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer breaks down operational silos and gives your teams the visibility, insight, and actions they need to improve and optimize business decisions.
  • Soon next generation FlexPod will allow full-stack lifecycle management including firmware and operating system updates.
Smartphones beautifully brought together existing technologies, connections, and subscription models, vastly improving on the experience of rotary phones. Next generation FlexPod does something similar for your data center. Next generation FlexPod can run a deep, growing, portfolio of reference architecture solutions (analogous to apps for smartphones,), a true data fabric that runs in all major hyperscalers (internet connections for smartphones), consumption models (pay-per-month cloud storage for your phone), and optimization (one elegant, tested, and optimized experience).   Next generation FlexPod like smartphones is a leap forward in data center architectures. iPhone Consider next generation FlexPod today!

To learn more, visit To be considered for the upcoming next generation FlexPod technical preview, contact

1 – available later this year

Kris Cornwall

Kristine Cornwall is responsible for product marketing strategy and execution for the company’s enterprise storage portfolio. A 25-year storage veteran with positions at Sun Microsystems and EMC/Dell Technologies in roles of increasing scope and responsibility, Kris is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds an MBA from The Wharton School.

View all Posts by Kris Cornwall

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