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FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation
A converged infrastructure solution for enterprise remote offices


FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation

NetApp Products
NetApp Software
NetApp FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation
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Overview:

Maximize IT responsiveness. Minimize risk. Leverage prevalidated FlexPod solutions from NetApp and Cisco.

Ready to accelerate business evolution? FlexPod data center solutions redefine the way your IT department delivers value—simplifying operations and delivering superior application performance. Groundbreaking all-flash technology from NetApp and Cisco gives you the FlexPod Advantage:

  • Performance. Deploy high-speed, all-flash architectures to deliver application performance that drives business outcomes.
  • Agility. Anticipate and respond to business demands. Deploy new services fast. Simplified, automated tasks increase productivity and slash time to service for IT customers.
  • Economics. Cut capex and opex. With Flash memory approaching disk pricing, you can deliver high-performance, cost-effective solutions.

Integrated and standardized FlexPod components let you scale up or out to meet the demands of your enterprise applications. You can plan the power, floor space, usable capacity, performance, and cost of each FlexPod deployment with accuracy.

FlexPod in the Data Center

In today’s data center, IT management focuses on procuring converged infrastructure platforms that provide architectural flexibility and enterprisegrade performance. The FlexPod® platform delivers on both counts. As the leading converged infrastructure platform for the data center, FlexPod offers a combination of innovative network, compute, and storage building blocks that have enabled its ever-growing presence in the modern data center. Today, FlexPod has been successfully deployed by over 7,000 enterprises worldwide.

Unique needs of remote offices, small data centers, and the edge

Enterprises are now looking to extend the benefits of converged infrastructure from the central data center. They want to expand the architectural richness and simplified management into remote office or branch office (ROBO) locations, small data centers, and the edge. However, there are several critical differences between centralized data centers and remote locations. Remote offices and edge environments are often space and power constrained. In addition, remote locations typically do not have access to the same level of technical personnel, whether in-house or vendor assigned.

If left to grow organically, ROBO and edge environments often end up deploying a diverse set of platforms and management practices that can result in higher operating costs for the enterprise. In addition, business units are increasingly turning to public cloud services as they attempt to bypass the operating complexities of deployed infrastructure.

New FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation

Enterprises need a converged solution for ROBOs, small data centers, and the edge environment that maintains architectural consistency with the central data center infrastructure. But this solution must be more compact and easy to deploy and manage. To meet this need, Cisco and NetApp have extended the FlexPod family with the introduction of the new FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation solution.

Tailored to ROBO and Edge Requirements

The FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation solution is optimized for ROBO, small data center, and edge deployments. This converged solution provides the following optimizations:

  • Well-defined configuration.
    Although FlexPod Datacenter can be tailored to precise requirements, FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation is prescribed in its form and function, resulting in minimal architectural decision making within the remote environment.
  • Easy and consistent procurement.
    FlexPod technology partners can procure FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation from a single source, confident that all the components will be in the stated configuration, prevalidated for virtualized infrastructure and VDI workloads.
  • Simplified configuration.
    FlexPod Datacenter customized deployments can take several days. By leveraging Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) Director scripting, FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation can be readied for enterprise workloads in less than 60 minutes.
  • The strengths of FlexPod.
    Although this new FlexPod solution differs in important ways to meet the unique requirements of remote environments, it retains the commonality of FlexPod components. It also still offers the confidence that comes from leveraging the intellectual property that is embedded in the FlexPod prevalidated architecture.

Infrastructure automation

The FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation solution comprises Cisco Cloud Services Platform, Cisco Nexus 9300 switches, Cisco UCS Mini servers, and NetApp FAS2500 storage, all mounted in a 24U rack for fast deployment. It can be provisioned in less than 60 minutes after the platform has been powered up. This 90% reduction in provisioning time is the result of software enhancements within the FlexPod components, coupled with the powerful management capabilities of Cisco UCS Director.

Cisco UCS Director facilitates a seamless experience in managing infrastructure across the data center and remote locations. Policies that relate to network, compute, storage, and data management as determined by IT professionals at the central data center can be implemented at each remote location. Service profiles promote consistency and reduce the time required to configure the platform.

VDI and Virtualized Infrastructure

VDI and virtualized infrastructure are important workloads for remote environments. VDI workloads and virtualized infrastructure such as Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft applications can be hosted very efficiently on FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation. The base platform supports up to 500 VDI users with high-availability capability, easily expandable to 700 users by adding computing power to the available slots within the UCS Mini component.

Clustered Data ONTAP

The NetApp clustered Data ONTAP 8.3 operating system addresses the needs of modern IT departments with a unified clustered architecture for storage systems. It scales and adapts to changing needs, while reducing risk and costs. Key benefits include nondisruptive operations, proven efficiency, and seamless scalability.

These benefits become evident when multiple FlexPod units are deployed across the data center and remote locations. Enterprises can move data between storage systems without interrupting the application. Clustered Data ONTAP supports different generations of NetApp controllers, preserving and extending the investment in storage infrastructure. NetApp copy, replication, and cloning technologies provide additional cost savings that more than offset the additional capital outlays within remote environments.

Clustered Data ONTAP is the foundation of the Data Fabric, NetApp’s vision for the future of data management. It is the world’s #1 open networked branded storage operating system*, providing a clear path to the cloud.

Avnet Accelerated Procurement

Avnet provides considerable experience and expertise in integrating FlexPod components and delivering the result to customers expediently. FlexPod partners across the globe stand ready to provide sizing, deployment, and management assistance.

FlexPod Datacenter:

FlexPod Datacenter integrates best-in-class NetApp and Cisco components into a validated enterprise-class IT platform.

Deliver cloud services faster and with minimal business disruptions.

FlexPod Datacenter validated solutions combine storage, networking, and server components into a single, flexible architecture for enterprise workloads. Use FlexPod to speed the deployment of cloud-based data center infrastructures and business-critical applications while reducing costs, complexity, and risk.

The FlexPod Datacenter converged infrastructure includes validated designs for enterprise private clouds as well as software-defined data centers (SDDCs), unified scale-out storage, virtual desktop infrastructure, databases, secure multi-tenancy, business continuity, and data protection.

Achieve nondisruptive operations. Solution components include:

  • NetApp clustered Data ONTAP and MetroCluster software
  • NetApp traditional and All-Flash FAS unified scale-out storage systems
  • Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) servers, including UCS Mini
  • Cisco Nexus 5000, 6000, 7000, and 9000 Series Switches
  • Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure

Optimize the FlexPod Datacenter converged infrastructure for a variety of mixed workloads in both virtualized and non-virtualized environments. Manage it using any system management platform.

FlexPod Express:

Reduce costs and complexity by consolidating your entire IT infrastructure on a single, easy-to-manage platform.

As a small or medium-size business, you need cost-effective, easy-to-deploy solutions that consolidate your application and data requirements. NetApp and Cisco have teamed up to deliver FlexPod® Express—a single, convenient, converged platform to manage your entire infrastructure.

Consolidating and virtualizing your environment with FlexPod Express saves money, simplifies management, and enhances data protection using innovative systems you won’t outgrow. This affordable solution lets you streamline your servers and storage to build a cost-effective IT infrastructure that reduces expenses, centralizes management, and automates operations.

The FlexPod Express solution leverages best-in-class components, including Cisco UCS C-Series servers and UCS Mini, Cisco Nexus 3000 Series switches, and NetApp FAS2500 Series storage. This lets you:

  • Reduce the number of servers and the storage capacity needed for applications.
  • Gain operational efficiencies using virtualization, which allows your staff to manage more systems and storage in less time.
  • Standardize your environment to more easily predict budgets and support growth.

FlexPod Select:

Pretested NetApp and Cisco configurations for dedicated high-performance workloads speed your time-to-value.

NetApp FlexPod Select solutions are built for your dedicated, high-performance workloads: big data, HPC, databases, and data warehouses. These preconfigured, scalable solutions combine storage, networking, and servers—all validated with analytical and database applications.

You gain flexibility. Speed deployment. Reduce risk. And accelerate time-to-value for all your data.

FlexPod Select components include:

  • NetApp E-Series and EF Series storage systems
  • Cisco Unified Computing System servers and fabric interconnect
  • Cisco Nexus fabric extender

NetApp works with Cisco for infrastructure support, Cloudera or Hortonworks for Hadoop support, and Oracle for Oracle Database support. You’ll find technical support on all interoperable technologies.

FlexPod Select Reference Architectures

Validated configurations FlexPod Select with Cloudera's Distribution including Apache Hadoop (CDH) and FlexPod Select with Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) are designed for high-availability, enterprise-class Hadoop environments on the FlexPod Select architecture.

FlexPod Select for high-performance Oracle RAC reduces user and application wait times by delivering up to 2 million IOPS at microsecond latencies for business-critical workloads running on Oracle Database.

Documentation:

Download the FlexPod with Infrastructure Automation Datasheet (.PDF)