FlexPod – Your On-Prem, On-Ramp to the Public Cloud


As you may know, FlexPod is a platform perfect for bringing innovation to the data center in a reliable, well-supported and efficient way. After almost ten years, FlexPod is trusted by over 9,000 customers world-wide and is backed by over 250 engineering-years of design and testing resulting in over 170 validated designs to date. We’ve been busy, and that work hasn’t stopped! At this week’s NetApp Insight event, Cisco and NetApp are pleased to share several innovations for FlexPod that extend into the hybrid cloud environment – and more. Explore this news either with us at the Insight show (check out our recent Cisco at NetApp Insight blog) or through your partner, NetApp, or Cisco teams.

FlexPod As Your On-Prem, On-Ramp to a Hybrid Cloud Strategy

You may know FlexPod as a reliable infrastructure to support your core enterprise applications on-premises. What you may not know is that the benefits of public cloud connectivity are now always available with FlexPod. That means that FlexPod’s underlying components, for instance, NetApp storage arrays – inherit the attributes of the data fabric technology (how FlexPod becomes cloud-connected). This gives rise to an architecture and set of data services that offer consistent capabilities across endpoints spanning on-premises, edge and multiple public cloud environments. It does this consistently and with integrated hybrid cloud data services for data visibility and insights, data access and control, and data protection and security.

Another area where FlexPod makes it easier to implement a hybrid cloud strategy is Cisco’s ACI Anywhere (check out Srinivas’ blog for a deep dive). Cisco ACI Anywhere delivers a true hybrid multi-cloud capability, taking a holistic, policy driven abstraction on top of cloud native APIs , regardless of the type of workload – physical, virtual, or containerized, across on-premises and/or public cloud. This means that all the on-prem blueprints and policies you built can be leveraged and synchronized across your private/hybrid and public clouds.

While always of prime importance, manageability becomes even more critical when implementing a hybrid cloud strategy. This is where Cisco Intersight shines. Cisco Intersight, the SaaS-based management framework, supports infrastructure at the edge and remote locations as well as data center so scales easily, and frequent updates are implemented without impact. Of exciting note is that Cisco has now extended the reach of Intersight with the introduction of the Cisco Intersight Mobile App allowing users to keep an eye on what’s going on in their data center or cloud no matter where they are or what device they use.

FlexPod allows for set of capabilities that are vitally important in implementing any hybrid cloud strategy without which your strategy becomes a non-starter. These core capabilities now available for FlexPod include:

  • Backing-up and DR’ing to the public cloud
  • Tiering to the public cloud in a way that makes efficient use of time and resources
  • Moving and managing data back and forth (or between) the public cloud(s)
  • Capturing business and user intent, translating them into cloud-native policies

So, not only can you think of FlexPod as perfect for your traditional enterprise data center – it’s now a ‘Cloud Connected’ solution helping you modernize and automate your data center and add public cloud application deployments to your existing service offering.

We’re Surrounding the Public Cloud On-Ramp with Additional Innovation

In addition to the new hybrid-cloud strategy FlexPod offers, Cisco and NetApp continue to offer additional capabilities that surround this strategy with new, practical, fully-supported innovations that include:

  • FlexPod with Cisco ACI Anywhere, delivering true hybrid multi-cloud capability
  • FlexPod with FabricPool (On-prem storage tiering to the pubic cloud)
  • FlexPod for SAP HANA solution: New SAP solution with the latest A-Series arrays and UCS servers with Intel Optane memory
  • FlexPod hardening and best practices against Ransomware
  • FlexPod Datacenter VMware solutions with the latest A-Series storage array and UCS servers
  • FlexPod Mid-Size VMware solutions with the latest C190 storage array and UCS C220 servers

As I usually say in this series, please check out my friend Bruno Messina’s companion blog over at NetApp for some further insights and links (and see how he is able to tie-in Einstein and the mass-energy equivalency, of all things!). For more information, take a moment to drop by the Cisco booth if you happen to be at NetApp Insight this week, and, check out these links below:

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