FlexPod Innovation Grows with New Cisco UCS Technology

By Adam Fore, Director, Virtualization & Cloud Solutions Marketing at NetApp

The pressure and pace of change subjected on enterprise data centers seems unprecedented. Much of the pressure is driven by disruptive new technologies such as cloud services, open source software, flash media, and the increasingly pervasive connectivity of people and devices. Data center architectures must rapidly evolve to keep pace, but implementing new technologies comes with no small amount of risk.


A successful approach to maintaining a state-of the art data center is FlexPod. FlexPod, based on Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure and NetApp storage, has proven to be an effective platform (four years in the market with over 4200 customers in 100 countries) to implement new technologies while minimizing the design, implementation and support risk. NetApp and Cisco rapidly incorporate new technologies into the FlexPod design and then integrate, test and validate the design to ensure optimal operations, reliability and scalability. This provides customers a proven and validated upgrade path for existing FlexPod deployments.



The rapid pace of innovation can be seen over the last four years of FlexPod’s existence with the number of new technologies and capabilities increasing each year. In the last six months alone, we’ve added new FAS 2000 and 8000 capabilities, enhanced secure multi-tenancy, all-Flash designs, MetroCluster, OpenStack support, deeper management integration with UCS Director, Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), as well as Microsoft and Citrix added to Cooperative Support.

All of these sophisticated technologies typically take years for their value to be realized but FlexPod has provided the platform to bring them into data center operations faster, and with reduced risk.

Cisco’s new announcements this week will continue this trend. NetApp and Cisco are focused on rapidly integrating these latest Cisco’s technologies into FlexPod. Here’s how you will benefit.

  • The new Cisco “UCS Mini server achieves a new level of economics for our mid-size business and remote office customers. The FlexPod design leveraging the Cisco UCS Mini will provides a lower price and smaller footprint - but with the complete features of FlexPod.  And, it can scale from this smaller footprint, all the way to a 10’s of PB’s and 1000’s of compute nodes. 
  • The New Fourth-generation UCS Servers and UCS Director products deliver power and control to accelerate intensive data analytics and a wide range of applications for improved business outcomes. The UCS B200 M4 Blade Server, C220 M4 and C240 M4 Rack Servers will power FlexPod with  Cisco’s tradition of world-record application performance, across a diverse range of workloads.


These new Cisco technologies will be rapidly incorporated into FlexPod allowing customers to realize the value of these innovations much faster. And, the innovation won’t stop here. Expect to see FlexPod increasingly incorporate public cloud resources while retaining the advanced data services and management that people love about FlexPod.