Cisco and NetApp drive Software-Defined Infrastructure

By Vaughn Stewart, Director, NetApp. Originally posted to Virtual Storage Guy.


Prior to taking a break to celebrate the July 4th holiday, NetApp wrapped up an fantastic week at Cisco Live where the topic of software-defined infrastructure emerged as top of mind and was prominent in breakout sessions and keynote presentations. Interesting announcements from Cisco around their software-defined networking strategy and a focus of driving towards and application-focused infrastructure drove many of these conversations. The emergence of the software-defined trend is rather exciting as it is engaging technologists of different disciplines to engage in conversation around technologies that enable the ability to automate workloads and operate environments based on service level policies. The conversations ran amuck spanning open programmable APIs to integrate applications with the underlying infrastructure to deploying a model that is complementary wether components reside on-premises or in the cloud.


To date FlexPod is the only converged infrastructure platform that was designed around a standardized set of APIs that are richly integrated into the platform management and application layer. Don’t take my word for it. FlexPod recently won the Best of Microsoft TechEd award specifically for the integration with the Microsoft Private Cloud. NetApp was also named Microsoft’s Server Platform Partner of the Year for 2013 for the depth of our storage integrations into the Microsoft management, orchestration and application stack. It’s a strong statement when a storage company wins ‘Server Platform Partner of the Year!’


This momentum continues with the addition of clustered Data ONTAP to the FlexPod platform and a number of solutions highlighted by FlexPod for Oracle, which includes deep integrations into the Oracle stack with Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Virtual Machine and Storage Connect.


I really like the term ‘software-defined infrastructure.’ It works rather well in summarizing the strategy of many IT vendors, like VMware, Cisco, NetApp, EMC and others. While the term is new, the strategy of NetApp & Cisco was established several years ago and is demonstrable in the solutions that are delivered via FlexPod. With that said, one thing is clear, Cisco and NetApp have a tremendous amount of synergy and momentum around delivering on the promise of a software-defined infrastructure.