Cisco and NetApp Expand the FlexPod Portfolio with New Offerings Supporting Data Intensive Workloads

Cisco_Netapp_394x296In a continuing move to make data center infrastructures more responsive to applications’ dynamic needs, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) today broadened the FlexPod® portfolio with new validated designs across the entire portfolio, highlighted by the introduction of FlexPod Select for dedicated data-intensive workloads. The FlexPod portfolio now includes FlexPod Datacenter (formerly FlexPod) for core enterprise data centers and service providers, FlexPod Express (formerly ExpressPod™) for medium-sized businesses and branch offices, and FlexPod Select for data intensive workloads.

FlexPod supports the growing need to tie storage, networks, applications, and analytics (such as big data) into a more automated, responsive system that increases efficiency and lowers operational expense. The new offerings build on the joint vision and strategy of Cisco and NetApp to unify branch offices, core data centers, service providers, and dedicated application infrastructures.

Introduction of FlexPod Select

FlexPod Select is the first family in the FlexPod portfolio to address targeted workloads, such as high-performance applications. Initially, the new category will target data-intensive requirements of Hadoop based big data applications in financial services, government, retail manufacturing, and other markets. Organizations will be able to deploy FlexPod Select easily and to scale seamlessly as application requirements grow.

Solution Highlights

  • The FlexPod Select family combines high-performance NetApp® E-Series and FAS storage systems, Cisco UCS® C-Series servers, Cisco Nexus® switches, and Cisco® management software into an architecture that shortens time to insight and accelerates time to value. FlexPod Select is the first solution in the FlexPod portfolio to feature patented NetApp E-Series platform as an option, delivering performance, density, and modular flexibility for a wide range of data-intensive workloads.
  • FlexPod Select with Hadoop, the first solution in the family, helps minimize the risk in deploying Hadoop by validating the open source analytics platform for storage, compute, connectivity, and management.

Hadoop Integration

  • FlexPod Select with Hadoop includes two validated configurations: FlexPod Select with Cloudera’s Distribution including Apache Hadoop (CDH) and FlexPod Select with Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP). Both configurations enable the accelerated deployment of a highly available, enterprise-class Hadoop environment on the FlexPod Select architecture.

Updates to the FlexPod Portfolio

Cisco and NetApp continue to enhance the FlexPod portfolio with new solutions that integrate best-in-class technologies from both companies. The FlexPod Datacenter solutions now feature the Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switch. The Cisco Nexus 7000 Series provides the highest levels of network availability with nonstop operations. It also provides industry-leading scale to the FlexPod platform with the highest density 10 Gigabit Ethernet system in the industry, supporting up to 768 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. The Cisco Nexus 7000 FlexPod configuration enables end-to-end Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), delivering a unified Ethernet fabric, and provides DCI capabilities for multi–data center deployments.

Additionally, the companies are introducing FlexPod Datacenter with SnapProtect® to provide comprehensive disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) backup and recovery solution, with specific implementation guidance for popular uses such as with VMware, NAS shares, and Microsoft Exchange.

To learn more about enhancements to the portfolio, visit NetApp 360 or the official Cisco blog.

Market Momentum

  • Through a shared vision of a unified data center, NetApp and Cisco have rapidly grown FlexPod. Since its launch in 2010, FlexPod has grown to more than 2,400 customers and 900 channel partners across more than 35 countries.

Jim McHugh, vice president, Unified Computing Marketing, Cisco

“Cisco and NetApp are committed to constant innovation in our joint FlexPod platform to address the business needs of our mutual customers. This portfolio expansion delivers broader flexibility across the unified data center for an open, scalable, multicloud infrastructure that can now also support some of the world’s largest datasets. Together we can help our customers simplify their data center infrastructure deployments and transform IT from a cost center to an asset for innovation and success.”

Brendon Howe, vice president, Product and Solutions Marketing, NetApp

“NetApp and Cisco are looking to drive FlexPod further by tailoring the platform to address today’s data-intensive environments. As more organizations look to incorporate powerful data management tools such as Hadoop into their environments, customers will need solutions that greatly simplify infrastructure deployment and management, deliver budget efficiency, reduce risk, and increase IT agility to create enterprise-class environments.”

Tim Stevens, vice president, Business Development, Cloudera

“Apache Hadoop datasets have grown far beyond what traditional infrastructure can handle. Because of this, our customers need a targeted, scalable architecture that can process and analyze hundreds of terabytes of data without batting an eye. The FlexPod platform is able to store and process some of the largest datasets in the world and turn high-volume, data-intensive workloads into high-value, business-relevant insights.”

Shaun Connolly, vice president, Corporate Strategy, Hortonworks

“With the introduction of FlexPod Select to handle resource-intensive Hadoop workloads, customers that are concerned about performance can finally have their datasets processed by a next-generation enterprise-class platform. FlexPod Select has the added benefit of providing a highly available infrastructure that can launch faster, more interactive queries, which will result in deeper and more meaningful analysis of their data.”

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