Cisco, NetApp Downsize FlexPod Data Center Systems for SMBs

Vendors retrofit FlexPod design with new, pre-validated design architectures to accommodate smaller workloads.

Cisco Systems Inc. and NetApp Inc. said last week that they will pare down the FlexPod data center system with a series of new pre-validated design architectures suitable both in price and size for smaller workloads common to small- and medium-sized businesses. (SMBs).

Some 500 FlexPod channel partners handled the data center system. The companies said that more than 850 customers currently deploy FlexPod for their data center infrastructure, amounting to a 400 percent spike in customer adoption in the last year.

FlexPod, first offered by the companies in November, 2010, incorporates NetApp storage arrays with Cisco computing and networking and was initially framed for large workloads involving hundreds of servers.

However, in seeking new markets for FlexPod, Cisco and NetApp downsized the system to accommodate a broader set of customers, specifically aiming it at business application workloads with 500 to 1,000 users, officials said.

“With today's announcement, Cisco and NetApp have evolved the FlexPod architecture to address growing demand and deliver greater value to an expanded range of customers," said Chris Cummings, NetApp vice president, Products and Solutions Marketing.

The entry-level FlexPod combines NetApps’ FAS2240 with Cisco’s Nexus 5000 switches, Nexus 2232 Fabric Extender and 6200 Series Fabric Interconnects. The system, which scales to larger enterprises by adding incremental capacity, supports multiple hypervisors and business applications for development of private clouds, officials said.

Cisco and NetApp also said that they have validated a number of new data management solutions from software management vendors, including CA Technologies Inc., Cloupia and Gale Technologies, that fit into FlexPod design architectures.

“FlexPod has freed us not only from aging equipment but a 100% physical environment, which has allowed our infrastructure to take a huge leap forward,” said Omer Mushahwar, Torti Gallas and Partners Inc. senior associate.

TAGS: architecture,SMB,data center,Cisco,NetApp,FlexPod

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