FlexPod Achieves Epic Heights with Symantec

When it comes to scalability, size isn’t everything. 


But I was just on a call with a customer who reminded me that they, like many other enterprises over the past couple decades, have been working hard to standardize and consolidate their IT environment. And that’s where the issue of scale becomes important. It’s that concentration of resources and focus on a single area that creates the operational leverage which in turn produces savings.


On the FlexPod business, we’ve prided ourselves in having strategic partnerships with the world’s largest ISVs. We have validated designs with 4 of the top 5 – Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and VMware – with the exception being Symantec. Granted we have shared solutions with Symantec, but it always seemed like we were ‘one Wheatie away’ from our potential in this relationship around FlexPod. Until now.


I am excited to share that Symantec just went public on how they built one of the world’s largest private clouds on FlexPod. Using NetApp FAS storage, Cisco UCS servers and Nexus switches, and running on a VMware vCloud Suite, they’ve provisioned more than 680,000 VMs to date. Symantec consolidated its 25 different lab facilities in the U.S. down to two, saving both physical space as well as time spent provisioning virtual lab capacity. They tabulated the efficiency gains in a number of ways:

  • Reduced time to deploy a test environment from two weeks to 15 minutes
  • Reclaimed 70 percent of engineering time from infrastructure support to customer satisfaction
  • Saved a total of 37,000 weeks of effort, or the equivalent of 700 years
  • Over the first three years expect to have saved 10s of millions of dollars



This success speaks both to the scale achievable with FlexPod, as well as the net savings that come from consolidating on a single, shared and virtualized IT infrastructure. This is important to keep in mind with the temptation of new single function IT products on the market. They may promise a lot, but they will certainly result in a new siloed resource, at odds with your standard build, requiring new procedures, training and perhaps even staffing, which all increase operational costs that offset any potential upfront savings.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be the vendor preaching ‘sole sourcing,’ because I understand no one product can do everything. That’s why NetApp accommodates choice, especially in applications, management, and in enabling interop in general.


With Symantec as a FlexPod customer, as well as a continued technology partner, I’m certain we’re going to continue to enable more success for partners and customers who continue to evolve their data centers from do-it-yourself, to converged, and to the cloud.


More info on the Symantec Granite Labs engagement, including a customer video and a 7-page Technical Case study, are now on the web.