FlexPod Discussions

A shift in how we architect?


Hey folks,

Way back in the day, I used to carefully look at the resources on Mainframes, and schedule jobs to fit the availability of resources on the frame.  In many respects, I was fitting the work to the infrastructure architecture. This approach had some notable attributes:

  • Inconvenient job scheduling
  • High asset utilization
  • Closed environment for applications

Then came the client server revolution.  The infrastructure was less expensive, but it was also less capable.  So we needed to carefully study application requirements and fit the infrastructure architecture to the work.

  • Open environment for applications
  • Low asset utilization (because infrastructure was designed for peak load)
  • Convenient job scheduling

About ten years ago, everyone got interested in virtualization as a means of consolidating workloads and driving up asset utility.  This is great, but it also created a lot of questions about application support.  I think we've matured past many of these uncertainties, but we are left with a lot of technology to integrate.

  • High asset utilization
  • Low predictability for infrastructure consumption
  • Complex integrated environment
  • Convenient and open application environment

What occurs to me is that this has led us to the Cloud, or IT as a Service where we must deliver

  • High asset utilization
  • Open application environments
  • Rapid provisioning
  • Easy management
  • Agile, whole infrastructure allocation and management
  • The ability to pre-provision infrastructure, knowing that it can meet most requirements

Do you think we need a flexible, whole infrastructure solution?




There is a relevant webcast coming up Feb 3rd. We've got customer Princeton Insurance to talk about their key objectives when designing an IT as a Service architecture which includes a blend of NetApp, Cisco, VMware, and other technologies that we now call FlexPod to build its private cloud.

register here


Princeton Insurance suffered from all-too-common server sprawl and a siloed architecture already at capacity. The company's vision was to create a secure private cloud with shared resources that could be rapidly provisioned, increasing business agility while reducing IT overhead.

Nicole Gadbois, director of Network Operations at Princeton Insurance, along with technical experts from NetApp, Cisco, and VMware, will be online to answer your questions about the Princeton Insurance IT deployment or your own journey to IT as a service.

Participate in this interactive session and learn how you can:

-     Protect your investment with unified support for FC, FCoE, ISCSI.

-     Perform a non-disruptive, data-in-place upgrade.

-     Respond to business opportunities with flexible and cost-efficient technology.

Feel free to submit questions ahead of time or to discuss FlexPod here in the NetApp Community or via Twitter with #flexibleit.

Thanks so much!
Terri Peluso
Senior Community Program Manager


Hi Garcia,

With respect to the cloud, there will be service providers and consumers. For service consumers, they don't need to worry about the infrastructure or solutions. They pay to get the services. For service providers, they do need to architect the solutions to ensure flexibility, availability and scalability, etc. Are you thinking along the line of service providers?




To answer your question Iwei, yes, I'm thinking that service providers need a whole infrastructure solution.  The trick is that every IT practitioner is now a service provider.

What we need is a building block approach to infrastructure.  Something that lets us maintain flexibility, while delivering the efficiency of a standardized pod approach.


I'd agree with you. I think that's why scale-out is getting more popular than, say,  scale-up.  -Wei


Well there you go,

And today we announced FlexPod (shameful plug.)  We've been working on solving the problem of meeting the challenge of pre-provisioned, shared infrastructure.  Collaborating with Cisco and VMware, FlexPod for VMware solves the challenge of shared infrastructure in a way that is unlike any other solution in the market. 

Unlike other solutions, it is flexible and allows the IT practitioner to deliver agility and high asset utilization.



There is also a great article explaining FlexPod and its benefits - good detail and seems to be getting a lot of views/interest.


Thanks so much!
Terri Peluso
Senior Community Program Manager
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