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Your 5 Biggest FlexPod Questions Answered

Natalia Eichinger
Natalia Eichinger

Whether you’ve just begun exploring your converged infrastructure options or you already have the FlexPod® converged infrastructure solution from NetApp and Cisco in your data center, you may have some fundamental questions about what FlexPod is and what it can do for you and your business. Wherever you are in your converged infrastructure journey, welcome. You’ve come to the right place.

Let’s take a look at FlexPod.

1. What is FlexPod? How does it work?

Before we can begin talking about FlexPod, we need to explore how to build applications today. You probably know the answer, of course: Applications today are built pretty much the same way they’ve been built for years, on a foundation of three layers—compute, network, and storage. Simply put, the compute layer talks through the network to a storage system.

Package those three layers together, and you’ve got a FlexPod system. Well, almost: The next and final step is to wrap the compute, network, and storage layers in a framework called a Cisco Validated Design. This framework is the end product of a series of tests by Cisco and NetApp engineers, tests to ensure that you get the most out of the resources in your environment.

2. How does FlexPod ensure that I get the most out of the resources in my environment?

Here’s where our intelligent management portfolio—including the NetApp® Converged Systems Advisor (CSA), the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Director, NetApp Active IQ®, and Cisco Intersight— enters the picture.

For example, the CSA enables you to look across your entire stack so you know that it’s constantly configured to follow best practices. The UCS Director gives you the ability to preprovision portions of your applications and even choose templates out of your hypervisor to allow self-servicing. And cloud-based monitoring and AI-powered predictive analytics from Active IQ and Intersight enable you to monitor the health of your FlexPod system and ensure that it’s operating at peak performance.

3. What kinds of businesses is FlexPod best suited for?

We were hoping you’d ask. As the name implies, FlexPod is flexible, making it a perfect fit for any and every business. As a reference architecture, FlexPod lets you choose the specific components that best suit your business’s needs.

Say you’re looking at the compute side of things. Would your business be better served by a blade architecture or rack components? Or what if you’re starting a new project and you need an option optimized for machine learning or artificial intelligence? Or do your business needs call for a combination of all three? With FlexPod, you can do it all.

4. My data doesn’t live solely in the data center. How does FlexPod leverage the cloud? What about the edge?

Remember, FlexPod is an integrated reference architecture. That means you can choose your components, easily scaling up or down depending on your requirements, all while maintaining a simple runbook.

Do you want to take your data out to the edge, using a smaller set of servers or storage components? Or move your data to the cloud, where you can use software-defined models? FlexPod makes both possible.

5. Where can I learn more about how FlexPod works?

Right here! Just press play on the video, and Solutions Architect Michael Hommer will answer all your questions.

Do you have additional questions for us? We would love to hear from you!

You can contact us here, or find out more information at or

And don’t forget to keep checking back here on for more helpful blogs.

Natalia Eichinger

Natalia is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Enterprise Storage at NetApp. She is primarily responsible for the planning and execution of the on-premises product portfolio, playing a crucial role in bringing products to market. Before joining NetApp, Natalia worked at Microsoft, where she performed various roles in marketing, engaged with technical audiences, and managed multiple product portfolios.

View all Posts by Natalia Eichinger

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