FlexPod: The Momentum Continues

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NetApp is a Platinum sponsor for Cisco Live Melbourne, one of the premier annual conferences focused on sharing high-level visionary insights and deep-dive technical education, presented by Cisco executives, subject matter experts, and technology partners. At the end of this week I will begin my travels from the United States to Australia to support the event. In preparation I asked for an update on FlexPod that I can share in customer, partner, and press engagements. I was blown away with what the team provided me. The momentum the FlexPod platform is experiencing is so impressive that I simply had to share it with you.

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Looking Back…

FlexPod is a highly efficient shared infrastructure platform provided by Cisco and NetApp. It is a highly flexible architecture designed to standardize datacenter operations and infrastructure components (fabric, compute, and storage). When FlexPod launched in 2010 we knew there was a market demand for such an offering; however, we didn’t know was how well a true ‘unified platform’ would be received.

I have tried to share with my readers the momentum as it has grown. In March of 2011 I authored a post sharing observations and feedback from FlexPod partners on the benefits of FlexPod. This post originated from a number of conversations I had at VMware Partner Exchange. The enthusiasm shared by a number of our channel partners around the ability to deliver flexibility and efficiency while reducing risk was overwhelming.

In November of 2011 I authored a post to celebrate the first anniversary of FlexPod. Back then I shared that we had 450 FlexPod customers and discussed some of the benefits that differentiates the platform from other ‘stack’ solutions in the market. Analysts also picked up on the value of the platform.

“FlexPod is one of the most complete private cloud architectures available”

– IDC, July 2011

 

The State of the Union

Today we have over 600 customers deployed in 33 countries and dozens of them have or are in the process of deploying their 2nd, 3rd, 4th… and some their 7th FlexPod! We are seeing the install base growing at a staggering rate of 1.5 new customers per day!

Worldwide we have 130+ certified partners, all who have access to our cloud-based, FlexPod Demo Lab. No matter where you are in the world, you can experience a FlexPod. In 16 months we have published 62 public references and 13 Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs), with many more in development. The library includes solution architectures for critical Microsoft, Oracle and SAP applications and VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and Red Hat virtualized infrastructures. Of late we’ve spent a significant amount of resources completing security testing including PCI Compliance, FISMA and ICSA certification.

For our partners whose teams seek additional support from their technology partners, we’ve launched a single FlexPod sourcing service to provide a turnkey capabilities including quote generation to integration and shipment. In the U.S. this capability is delivered via Avnet FlexPod Services. I expect we will have a similar solution supporting ANZ in the near future.

2011 included the launch of the FlexPod Unified Support Center in Research Triangle Park, NC. Since opening we have been able to provide the world-class support for the jointly developed and validated solutions deployed on FlexPod. The standardization one receives from deploying validated solutions on a unified platform results in significant reductions in support cases opened and the time and resources required to resolve them. Based on their call volume, the Unified Support Center staff can confidently state FlexPod is a rock solid mission critical platform!

 

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Looking Forward to Cisco Live, Melbourne

With all of the data points that I’ve shared in this post you might be tempted to think there isn’t more to share next week. Oh not so fast, for example…

Cisco and NetApp have recently launched the Validated FlexPod Management Solution program. We have an unmatched depth of alliance partners who provide management solutions for the FlexPod platform. This program is designed to verify the ability of our partner’s tools to deliver joint Cisco and NetApp recommended points of integration, use cases, and prescriptive design specifications. The Validated FlexPod Management Solution program ensures customers receive the highest level of assurance with their management vendors and currently includes the following partner solutions:

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The NetApp booth will feature demonstrations of the FlexPod platform and will include a number of iPad apps such as FlexPod Tech Specs and Cloud Genie from Cloupia. Need simplicity in configuring or managing a FlexPod? Then stop by the booth!

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Wrapping Up this Post

As you can see, the FlexPod platform has been a massive success with customers, partners and industry analysts. It introduces a new datacenter model for those looking to gain the operational and infrastructure savings as a result of running validated application architectures on a standardized, unified infrastructure platform.

I’m very excited to be supporting Cisco Live again. If you are attending you should attend our breakout presentation with ING Direct. Trust me, what they have achieved with Cisco, Microsoft and NetApp is next to amazing! You should also consider stopping by the NetApp booth. On Wednesday from 1:00 – 1:45 we’ll have Q&A sessions with our customers RSL Care & ING Direct. If you cant find time on for the Q&A you should still stop by. We have our best and brightest talent in ANZ prepared to discuss FlexPod and our broad set of datacenter solutions. I hope to see you there.

Visit our Cisco Live ANZ page for additional information on what NetApp has in store for the show. I’ll see you there!

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