FlexPod and the rise and rise of Converged Infrastructure

At the Ovum Industry Congress 2014 event in London this week I heard that they expect Converged Infrastructure (CI) to rise to 8% of IT infrastructure spend by 2017. Pretty impressive given that 4 years ago, it was near zero! Ask any of the other big IT industry analysts and they broadly agree. CI has grown fast and will continue to grow. I often get asked why? More and more people understand there are good reasons to adopt validated, converged infrastructure designs from industry leaders, rather than integrating it yourself. It will save you time – they are pre-integrated. It lowers your risk – they are pre-validated. And it will save you money, so long as you chose the right approach. One that is open, flexible and continues to include the latest market innovations.

FlexPod from Cisco & NetApp is one of the world’s leading converged infrastructure solutions. Innovation is the priority, bringing to market solutions to help organisations manage their IT more efficiently, save time and reduce risk. Today, more than 4000 organisations across the world have chosen FlexPod. An impressive 100% growth since last year! Some of the many new customers in Europe include GATX Rail Europe, Boerse Stuttgart, WGZ Bank, CYTA, Aegis Media, Salford City Council, Enovos, CIS Valley. Typically, they have slashed design, planning and testing times from months to weeks.

Today, we have some exciting new FlexPod announcements. The latest FlexPod releases include first validations with NetApp FAS8000 Unified Scale-out Storage and Cisco ACI-enabled designs with Nexus 9000 switches.

Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure strategy was announced last year to help organisations automate their application deployment and cloud infrastructure. By including Cisco ACI into the FlexPod architecture, we are jointly accelerating deployments of the industry's most advanced network programmability and policy-based automation.

We are also announcing FlexPod Datacenter with Cisco Secure Enclaves. For those of you that don’t know what an Enclave is (apart from being a great word), in this case it is a “distinct logical entity that encompasses essential constructs including security along with application or customer-specific resources to deliver a trusted platform that meets SLAs”. This new design builds on this Cisco technology, and creates a flexible and secure application environment to make you even better protected from those nasty hackers and cyber threats.

There are six new Cisco Validated Design guides for FlexPod:

  • FlexPod Datacenter with Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 and VMware vSphere 5.1U1
  • FlexPod Datacenter with Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 and Citrix XenServer 6.2
  • FlexPod Datacenter with Microsoft Private Cloud FastTrack 4.0
  • FlexPod Datacenter with Cisco Secure Enclaves
  • FlexPod Datacenter with VMware vSphere 5.5 and NetApp FAS8000 Series storage
  • FlexPod Datacenter with VMware vSphere 5.1U1 and Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches 

New and enhanced FlexPod tools include Config Advisor 4.0 to ensure deployment quality plus a new FlexPod filter in the NetApp Interoperability Matrix Tool (IMT).

I have been involved in FlexPod since the start. I still find it amazing to see the growth of this part of the market and the success of FlexPod. Now around a $1.5bn business. With 1000 partners invested to sell it. Not bad in less than 4 years.

For more details see here: www.netapp.com/flexpod