FlexPod Expands Leadership with Greater Support for Microsoft, Cisco Nexus and Cloud

FlexPod expands its leadership with six more validated designs including an update to the award-winning Microsoft Private Cloud now with Clustered Data ONTAP 8.2, and an industry first ACI-ready solution with the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series switch. Plus we’re adding the world’s largest software company, Microsoft, to the Cooperative Support Model, and rolled out an innovative FlexPod Unified Financing program that reduces the cost of financing a FlexPod.

FlexPod Leadership in Perspective

It’s been said leaders have the willingness to confront the major anxiety in their time.  And that’s what we did with FlexPod. We reduced the cost and complexity of IT infrastructure by doing the upfront partnering, designing, testing and documentation of popular business-class solutions. FlexPod has allowed customers to reduce cost, resellers to reduce time to solution, and both have gotten a product with better performance and availability.

FlexPod being a leader in the market is also important because IT professionals need to know they are making the best investment decision for their organization’s money.  Being #1 means a solution has been vetted by more people, it’s more established in the market, and is ultimately a safer bet for companies whose business relies on its IT infrastructure.

Here are some FlexPod leadership proofpoints:

  • FlexPod has over 3,300 customers around the world, with 100% annual customer growth
  • FlexPod has over 100 public references, most captured within Success Stories in the NetApp Customer Showcase
  • FlexPod won the "Best of TechEd" award for FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud
  • FlexPod won the Windows IT Pro Silver award for Best Hardware appliance
  • FlexPod has the broadest selection of validated hypervisor-based and bare-metal designs, including VMware vSphere, Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, RedHat KVM, and Oracle VM
  • FlexPod has a leading ecosystem with validated designs with 4 of the 5 world's largest software vendors – VMware, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle – along with Citrix, Red Hat, Cloudera and Hortonworks
  • FlexPod has a growing list of over 1,000 resellers in 84 countries
  • FlexPod has leading resellers including 9 of the top 10 Federal integrators, and 13 of the 15 world's largest System Integrators
  • FlexPod delivers leading business benefits with 120% ROI and breakeven in 9 months
  • FlexPod has leading Savings with documented reductions in time, cost, equipment, space and energy, and comes with a 50% storage savings guarantee

Investing in Leading Innovation

One of FlexPod’s key differentiators is our growing library of Validated Designs, which we make freely available to customers and resellers.  Whereas the competition has “designs” that are really just 2-20 page spec sheets, we take the time to design, build out, test, document, and then enable Cooperative Support, for each of our reference architectures. An example is the 650 page guide for FlexPod Datacenter with Microsoft Private Cloud.  So far we’re up to 54 publications with the newest ones available online for free

This quarter we’ve announced another half-dozen validations, including designs to enable Cloud and broadened support of the Cisco Nexus Switch line.  Here they are at a glance, with links to the initial publications:

  1. FlexPod Datacenter with Microsoft Private Cloud – This award winning design now has faster performance and non-disruptive operations with NetApp Data ONTAP 8.2x, ODX and SMB 3.0 support. It also achieved Microsoft Fast Track validation status.  The Deployment Guide and Design Guide published November 18th.
  2. FlexPod Datacenter with Citrix CloudPlatform powered by Apache CloudStack – A validated design incorporating Citrix’s cloud orchestration for enterprise workloads that delivers Amazon-style scale, elasticity and operational efficiency. The design guide published December 13.
  3. FlexPod Datacenter with VMware vSphere 5.1U1 – This is an update to the FlexPod core architecture adding vSphere 5.1 Update 1 along with CDOT 8.2x P4, UCS Manager 2.1 and support for new Intel Ivy Bridge microarchitecture-based UCS servers. The design guide published December 24.
  4. FlexPod Datacenter with Cisco Nexus 6000 Series Switches – Adds a validation for the new Nexus 6000 switch, sporting more ports and ultra-low latency. We expect this to be a popular design for customers moving to 40GbE, or a shared infrastructure that can support HPC workloads. The design guide published January 9.
  5. FlexPod Express with VMware vSphere 5.1U1 – This newest FlexPod Express design updates the state of the art Converged Infrastructure for mid-sized businesses, with validation of vSphere 5.1U1 and NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP 8.2P4.  The Implementation Guide with details on deploying a VMware vSphere environment is targeted for February 28.  A Hyper-V version is planned for next quarter.
  6. FlexPod Datacenter with Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches – This is an industry-first converged infrastructure design that sets the stage for the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure vision. The solution uses the Cisco Nexus 9300 Top of Rack switch, which is ACI-ready for customers refreshing their infrastructure in preparation for an ACI fabric.  The Design publication is targeted for February 28.

Expanding FlexPod Leadership with New Programs

FlexPod is expanding its well-regarded Cooperative Support Model to include a truly leading partner, Microsoft, the world’s largest software company.  Cooperative Support provides simplified and streamlined support for resellers and customer, across a solution stack that includes best of breed products from multiple, independent vendors.  Adding additional partners deepens this streamlining across more of the stack and/or across workloads.  The inclusion of Microsoft does both. The Cooperative Support service now extends its coverage to a number of Microsoft offerings:  Windows Server Hyper-V hypervisor, Windows Server operating system, System Center management, and Remote Desktop Services VDI; other Microsoft apps are covered as in the past through the TSANET.org multivendor support community agreement.  For FlexPod, Microsoft is engaged with reference architecture support readiness, joint escalation procedures as needed, and is a member of the FlexPod Cooperative Support Lab in RTP, North Carolina

FlexPod Unified Financing is a single Financing program created by NetApp and Cisco, in partnership with De Lage Landen, a worldwide leader in asset-based leasing.   It’s a combined program that allows the financing of NetApp and Cisco gear, along with third-party software and technology, vendor services, support and education, all on a single agreement. Whereas in the past a reseller or customer had to choose between either a NetApp or Cisco lease agreement, this is an alternative that removes overlap between the programs, and makes for simpler, more consistent proposals.   There is no size limit on deals, from small ticket to over US$250,000, and users can even expect a better rate from this integrated offering.  Because of increased scale efficiencies and improved residual valuation, we expect this program to deliver the lowest rates for FlexPod financing available anywhere in the world.

Winter Leadership Summary

FlexPod announces another winning season with six new validated designs including an industry-first ACI-ready design.  We added the world’s largest software company to Cooperative Support while introducing a FlexPod Unified Financing program to deliver the lowest financing rates on the planet.  Look for new executive and partner blog posts from NetApp, Cisco and Microsoft, Webpage updates, new Collateral, Sales Tools, Social media and other communications.  You can see and learn about FlexPod at upcoming events including CiscoLive! Milan and VMware PEX. FlexPod info is available on the web at NetApp.com/FlexPod with exclusive partner content available at FlexPodPartners.com, and a Community site for all users, partners and interested parties at FlexPodCommunity.com.  Follow us on Twitter at @mhardi01