Not long after Fashion Week wrapped up in Paris, NetApp, along with Cisco, brought out its own new line… of FlexPod reference architectures ready to wear for Spring and throughout the year. The recent enhancements to the FlexPod solution delivered on the theme of greater performance, scalability and availability for business critical applications. A total of eight new validated designs were revealed with publication dates beginning in mid-March.
Spring line appeals to a breadth of tastes
The eight new FlexPod reference architectures span the breadth of customer segments and applications and maintain FlexPod’s position as the leading converged data center platform. The continued expansion of FlexPod speaks to the strategy of making FlexPod capable of handling any business workload – one or many together on the same shared environment. These updates to FlexPod are a mix of core platform capabilities and application-specific solutions delivering converged infrastructure benefits from the value-conscious end of the spectrum up to the largest enterprises and service providers.
In detail, we had an enhancement to the core platform, as well as the addition of a new more scalable network switch supporting FCoE and advanced Data Center Interconnect features. At the entry-level we delivered a new ExpressPod implementation, and Microsoft shops got a Fast Track validated update to their private cloud solution. And Oracle is embracing FlexPod, with our announced validation of four designs including JD Edwards and bare-metal options.
If you’re looking for pretty pictures of the Spring line, we have a presentation available on slideshare. Below is the list of the reference architectures, with links to the specific publications where available:
- ExpressPod with Windows Server 2012
- FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud
- FlexPod with Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
- VMware vSphere 5.1 on FlexPod
- FlexPod with Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches for IP-Based Storage
- FlexPod with Oracle and VMware
- FlexPod with Oracle Linux
- FlexPod with Oracle VM
Savings don’t fall out of fashion
FlexPod is known as the world’s more efficient Converged Infrastructure solution, not only because of the leading data efficiency benefits of NetApp storage, but because of savings realized throughout the platform stack. The total cost of ownership savings from FlexPod are not a short-lived fad like knitted legwarmers, but a perennial classic that has now been documented by industry analysts.
NetApp commissioned a study with Forrester research to quantify FlexPod’s financial benefits. It was based on interviews of a number of NetApp FlexPod customers – these happened to be running VDI and Microsoft business application workloads. The result was a 22 page report, “The Total Economic Impact of NetApp’s and Cisco’s FlexPod Data Center Platform”, available for free download, which includes key findings such as the benefits and savings of the average NetApp solution totals $858,000 over 3 years. Also validated: the average FlexPod customer realizes a 120% risk-adjusted Return on Investment. Customer savings from FlexPod are realized in the areas of labor from automated provisioning and automated management, hardware consolidation, data storage efficiency, and reduced power and cooling.
The fashion-forward are building on FlexPod
Along with the growing list of FlexPod validated workloads – now with over 30 published designs – is an even faster growing set of third party products and services built on FlexPod. A few of the attractive offerings that are dressing up data centers today include:
- CDW distributing FlexPod solutions as promoted in this recent “Charles Barkley IT Guy” spot
- F5 Networks enhancing FlexPod with WAN optimization and load-balancing technology
- Symantec NetBackup with proven interoperability and optimized performance for FlexPod
- Wipro hosting a VDI service on FlexPod
- ANS group leading in the deployment of FlexPod solutions in their geography
- Cirrity providing secure hosting services built on FlexPod
So if you’re shopping for a new infrastructure solution this season, please consider FlexPod. Share your thoughts about what’s really important when it comes to procuring IT infrastructure, a converged platform, and specifically a solution like FlexPod.
Start a discussion with the FlexPod Community at FlexPodCommunity.com