Cisco, NetApp Expand FlexPod Partnership

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Networking giant Cisco (CSCO) and storage specialist NetApp (NTAP) announced an expanded partnership to deliver new converged infrastructure under the FlexPod architecture. Cisco and NetApp are looking to present a shared vision of the unified data center, connecting enterprise clouds to service providers, enterprises to branch offices and clouds to clouds. The expanded partnership will provide deeper integration for the more than 2,100 FlexPod customers.

FlexPod is a Cisco and NetApp validated data center platform for hosting business applications on virtualized or bare-metal servers. The set of solutions will bring together NetApp Clustered ONTAP and NetApp FAS storage systems with Cisco UCS servers and Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches to create dynamically provisioned pools of server, storage and network resources that can be scaled up and scaled down by service providers depending on application requirements.

To enhance architecture integration, FlexPod will provide the ability to manage up to 10,000 servers, allowing organizations to aggregate several FlexPod racks and enable multihop Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCOE).  Support is also being added for Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (Cisco IAC) to allow cloud management solutions for FlexPod customers. To accelerate momentum in the service provider market Cisco and NetApp are developing flexible, massively scalable FlexPod solutions capable of handling multi-data-center service provider architectures.

ExpressPod, with support for VMware vSphere, will also soon include support for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, and will be extended to meet the compute, network and storage needs of branch offices. Cisco and NetApp are expanding solution coverage to add more mission-critical applications and private cloud solutions for the datacenter. Mission critical solutions include Oracle Database and applications, SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence and the SAP HANA platform, and private cloud offerings include Microsoft private cloud and Citrix CloudPlatform.

“The past 10 years of partnering with NetApp have proven to be successful in bringing a Cisco validated, FlexPod architecture to our customers,” said Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco. Building on that success, we’re now expanding our partnership to deliver deeper technology integration and broader solution development across the unified data center for an open, scalable, multicloud infrastructure. Together we can help our customers use their current data center investment to address the challenges of a mobile-cloud era.”

“NetApp and Cisco share a common vision for the future of the data center and will continue to collaborate on innovations that connect organizations under a holistic cloud architecture,” said Manish Goel, executive vice president, Product Operations at NetApp. Our development, sales, and channel teams will work even closer to deliver new solutions that broaden the market opportunities for both companies and our partners, and help customers gain a competitive advantage from their flexible and efficient agile data center infrastructure.”

About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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