VMware Solutions Discussions

NetApp | Cisco | vmware - Solid Foundation for Small & Medium Sized Enterprises


I support the commercial sales district in Georgia for NetApp and I often hear that the dynamic data center belongs to large enterprise organizations or service providers. I would like to argue that small to medium sized enterprises can also benefit by building a foundation to deliver efficiency, scalability, and resiliency. By doing so, these companies can avoid the path that their larger counterparts have already chosen: building solutions in silos that become too complex and costly to support over time.

Case in point: ExamWorks (www.examworks.com). I have had the pleasure of working with Brian Denton, CTO, Coleman Technologies, Cisco, and vmware to deliver a best-of-breed solution for ExamWorks. To see what we have been able to achieve as a team, check out the following links:



I would welcome any feedback or additional examples of small – medium enterprises that have deployed similar foundations and the benefits they have derived.

Dennis Walczak




Hi Dennis,

Welcome to the forums any thanks for sharing this!

Anything around Cisco UCS is very interesting for me, as this is arguably innovative, yet still 'bleeding edge' technology (only a handful of UCS deployments in a production environment worldwide). The only competitive offering in the terms of virtualised fabric / connectivity is HP Flex-10 / Virtual Connect, but this for whatever reason has never got substantial friction in joint NetApp implementations (see my old post here: http://communities.netapp.com/thread/4572?tstart=0)

And BTW - any customer being able to afford FAS3140A (& UCS on top) in my opinion couldn't be classified as small. Medium - yes, but not small

Kind regards,




Thank you for your comments!

In terms of competitive products, I have not seen the HP Flex-10, let alone connected to NetApp; but it may exist out there somewhere. Have you deployed this solution? If so, how is it working for you and how might you compare it to what you know about UCS?

Today, Cisco and NetApp have complementary products that, when combined, deliver unparalleled cost savings and flexibility for virtualized environments large and small. NetApp's approach to the market has always been cooperative with application providers, server manufacturers, and switch manufacturers to deliver the widest amount of options for customers. We are a best-of-class provider for our market segment and would likely be well suited to complement other technologies such as the HP Flex-10.

I would be interested to get your thoughts on how HP and Cisco stack up with their offerings.




Hi Dennis,

No I haven't deployed so far HP Flex-10 connected to NetApp storage - but apparently there is ongoing project led by my US-based colleagues, coupling together these two building blocks.

As to competitive comparison - it is a very tough call. Each vendor will tell you they are the best , albeit personally I see a lot of similarities in both offerings. One may say that Flex-10 is more mature (which is true) & UCS is more innovative (which is also true), so take your pick.

Well, and don't forget about politics: Cisco haven't got their own storage, so this immediately makes it easier to partner with them!




As it turns out, I did not have to look long or hard for a customer of mine leveraging Flex10. The customer has a FAS3020A fiber connected to the network using HP Flex10 for converged fabric. Is there anything specifically that you wanted to learn from their setup?


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