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FlexPod After Three Years: The Leading Cloud Platform Gets Even Better

By Patrick Rogers, Vice President of Solutions and Integrations at NetApp

This month marks three years since Cisco and NetApp announced the FlexPod® platform and our success with it in such a short period of time has been amazing. I’m proud of what we’ve built around FlexPod and excited to share some significant updates.

First and most exciting, FlexPod has been recognized as the #1 integrated infrastructure platform by IDC for Q2’ 2013 -- more about that shortly. Additionally, we are announcing major enhancements to the FlexPod portfolio across enterprise or service provider clouds.

FlexPod is the #1 Integrated Infrastructure Worldwide
IDC recently released the results of its new quarterly research tracker, “IDC Worldwide Integrated Infrastructure and Platforms – 2013’Q2”. In this research, FlexPod was identified as the worldwide leading integrated infrastructure platform. The IDC tracker recognized two categories of Integrated Systems. First, the Integrated Platforms, infrastructure stacks, are optimized to a single application. The second is Integrated Infrastructure, which is infrastructure stacks designed to support multiple applications. FlexPod was designed as a shared infrastructure platform and we are extremely pleased to be recognized as the #1 Integrated Infrastructure worldwide.

FlexPod Enhancements for Enterprise and Service Provider Clouds
FlexPod is being widely deployed for the cloud. An integrated infrastructure provides a standardized and easy way to scale and FlexPod provides a highly virtualized infrastructure that can be easily automated. Some great examples of companies that use FlexPod include Cirrity, which builds cloud services that are resold by system integrators; and Virtustream which is moving its customers’ mission critical SAP® applications into their cloud service.

In January 2013, NetApp and Cisco expanded its FlexPod partnership with a major focus on cloud infrastructure. Our announcement today focuses on another milestone that showcases Cisco and NetApp’s commitment to FlexPod.

There are five new FlexPod enhancements. Our friends at Cisco have written a great blog post [link to Cisco blog here] outlining two offerings: validated designs for IaaS cloud providers and the UCS Director. Below I will highlight the rest of the solutions.

  • Technology for multi-data center cloud infrastructure
  • Validated designs for IaaS cloud providers
  • New proof of concept for new open source cloud technologies

Technology for Multi-Data Center Cloud Infrastructure: NetApp MetroCluster Now a Validated Option for FlexPod
Cisco and NetApp have validated FlexPod Datacenter with NetApp MetroCluster™ software. This brings a unique continuous availability and zero data loss capability to the FlexPod platform. This architecture newly incorporates OTV support with Cisco Nexus® 7000.

Validated designs for IaaS cloud providers: Enabling a new generation of Service Providers
Cisco and NetApp are introducing FlexPod Datacenter with Cisco Virtualized Multiservice Data Center design. FlexPod Datacenter with Cisco Virtualized Multiservice Data Center 2.3 enables a scalable, highly secure and resilient infrastructure to enable service providers to build clouds. FlexPod has been integrated into the VMDC reference architecture, which helps cloud providers better design and implement systems to deliver cloud services. This architecture demonstrates best practices for bringing network design together with the integrated infrastructure while leveraging service provider scale and requirements.

New Proof of Concept for New Open Source Cloud Technologies: Deploying Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform (RHEL-OSP) on FlexPod FlexPod expands the choice of cloud orchestration options, with a new proof of concept designs for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform (RHEL-OSP) on FlexPod. This extends FlexPod with the broadest IT and cloud management choices, including Microsoft® System Center, VMware vCenter™ Orchestrator, CA and BMC.

FlexPod has grown dramatically over the last three years and I see it continuing to accelerate. I am very excited about all of these new enhancements and what 2014 has in store.