Since the 'Ask the Expert' session ended kind of quickly back in the Fall, here are a number of additional FlexPod and ACI questions that have been coming up in one form or another. And for related reading, check out the full Tech OnTap article on FlexPod and ACI.
Q. What will adding ACI to a FlexPod environment achieve?
A. FlexPod Datacenter with Cisco ACI delivers network virtualization, management, and automation that complements the capabilities provided by Cisco UCS servers and NetApp FAS storage for end-to-end automation.
Q. How does Cisco ACI differ from other SDN products?
A. In software-defined networking (SDN), the data plane is separate from the control plane. ACI takes SDN a step further, viewing network provisioning and management from an application perspective. This creates additional ease of use and applies policy in a relevant application-centric way.
Q. What is the FlexPod ACI solution?
A. The FlexPod ACI solution combines NetApp FAS storage with Cisco UCS servers, the Nexus 9000 switch along with the APIC software. This combination delivers on the traditional data, space, energy and management efficiency benefits of FlexPod, and then adds to it automation capabilities for enhanced admin efficiencies along with improved operational agility.
Q.What are the available FlexPod ACI designs out already?
A. We have now published a number of ACI-related FlexPod designs: FlexPod Datacenter with VMware vSphere 5.1 U1 and Cisco ACI Design Guide (publication here), FlexPod Datacenter with Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and ACI Design Guide (publication here) and FlexPod Datacenter with Microsoft Exchange 2013 and ACI Design Guide (publication here).
Q. Are there more on the way?
A. Yes, we have plans for another popular Microsoft application validation on top of the ACI stack, as well as designs that utilize packaged and open source orchestration tools. More news should be out in the Spring.
Many FlexPod with ACI Designs have been published for your use, including "FlexPod Datacenter with Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and Cisco ACI Deployment guide" available here. For the latest FlexPod design publications visit the FlexPod Validated Design web page.