FlexPod Performance

By Mike Harding, Product Marketing Manager, NetApp

FlexPod continues to roll out innovative new designs, moving customers from cutting costs to the cutting edge. We have a full line-up of new validated designs, solution updates and program enhancements for FlexPod, coming out over the next few months.

flexpod_360.pngFlexPod Business Performance

Delivering Performance through All-Flash and Software-defined technology

The big news for Fall are the new levels of performance being delivered through All-Flash and from our new Software-defined capabilities via Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).

A number of new validated designs with All-Flash arrays let customers experience the benefits of integrated infrastructure, now with the optimal level of performance. Note the use of the term “optimal”, not “highest”. The NetApp portfolio of All-Flash and Hybrid flash capabilities are a unique differentiator vs. the one-trick-pony All-Flash start-ups. This season we are publishing designs that include the new All-Flash FAS8000 as well as the EF550 Flash array, but that also can be customized to include a mix of flash and spinning disk. FlexPod using the continuum of disk and Flash can meet the specific performance requirements of a workload or the budget requirements of a customer, while still delivering the efficiency savings of a single, shared IT infrastructure platform.  

The growing FlexPod portfolio of ACI designs expands the ability to realize the software-defined datacenter which is the next new wave of IT administrative efficiency. Last summer we published the industry’s first design for an ACI-ready integrated infrastructure – adding the Cisco Nexus 9000 as a top of rack switch for the FlexPod. We updated it for the latest version of VMware vSphere, then followed it up with the world’s first ACI-enabled integrated infrastructure design, documenting how to use the ACI software for the “APIC” or Application Policy Infrastructure Controller which is what actually delivers the software-defined ACI fabric.

We expect the combination of FlexPod with ACI to become highly valuable for enterprise data centers. ACI brings enhanced automation and management through a Software Defined Datacenter approach. Customers have come to value the policy-based management that comes with Cisco UCS server, so with Cisco ACI, it extends that concept to application profiles, and pushes these into the network, and across the data center, amplifying their IT administration time-saving benefits.

Fall at a Glance

We are promoting our new solutions featuring All-Flash and Cisco ACI, within a total payload of 10 new validated design efforts. And we’re aligning with Cisco as they promote the newest ACI offerings, with blogs and promotional efforts.

Big program news for FlexPod is that Red Hat is joining Cooperative Support.   They join the ranks of Cisco, VMware, Citrix and Microsoft in teaming to deliver a coordinated and streamlined support experience for FlexPod customers. We expect the addition of Red Hat to be especially helpful for customers using OpenStack to manage their infrastructure. They will be engaged in ensuring the supportability of new designs and are sharing a physical presence in our Cooperative Support Lab in RTP.

FlexPod can be seen in a number of big conferences this season, starting with VMworld in San Francisco this past summer. FlexPod is part of the NetApp presence at Oracle OpenWorld this week, and is making news with a brand new FlexPod Select for High Performance Oracle RAC solution that we expect to become the go-to solution for realizing performance on Oracle databases vs. pricey ‘engineered’ alternatives.   Next month we will have a large presence along with Cisco, at the upcoming NetApp Insight show in Las Vegas.

How FlexPod Helps You Perform

I’d like to share a few of our recently published FlexPod customer successes. We have over 100 of these today, and the most exciting part for me is seeing the evolution of customer value, moving from cost savings – which is still essential to IT – but now more so to more examples of delivering Business value.

  • University of São Paulo created a cloud on FlexPod and realized cost savings of close to $100k per IT project, reduced energy consumption and improved overall performance, availability and security
  • Children’s Miracle Network consolidated servers onto FlexPod to support greater scalability – increased data access speeds, improved website performance and uptime, and are ontrack to meet donation & business growth objectives <link>
  • The iconic US manufacturer WD-40 deployed FlexPod in primary and secondary DCs, accelerating app performance, provided 24/7 app availability, and improved business continuity by recovering data in just minutes from snapshots

For more information on FlexPod this Fall, check out our website as we update the pages at NetApp.com/FlexPod, or look for specific updates and conversations on the community page, ConvergedCommunity.com