Empowering Modern Operations: Unleashing the Potential of FlexPod

FlexPod is a comprehensive converged infrastructure solution, uniting industry-leading storage from NetApp, networking from Cisco, and compute resources from Cisco UCS. Each component individually is best-in-class, but FlexPod transcends this by integrating them into validated designs suited for over 170 deployment scenarios and delivery models.

With FlexPod, your traditional on-premises technology silos evolve into a versatile, cloud-like infrastructure, underpinned by resource pools that can be dynamically allocated and reconfigured. FlexPod delivers more than just combined components and resources, however. It enables automation, effective policy management, and advanced risk protection. It offers the complete toolkit you need to simplify, streamline, and secure your data center environment.

What is Converged Infrastructure?

Converged Infrastructure (CI) combines compute, storage, and network components into a single, preconfigured, optimized package. CI is not the same as Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) which couples these resources into a preconfigured package and is most often used for virtualization environments. HCI environments are comprised of blocks that create a type of Lego building blocks environment in which additional blocks are added for expansion. But what if just need more CPU or disk space rather than an entire block of couple resources? That is where the flexibility of CI comes into play as you can add more disks or CPU power to address a performance problem. This ability to manage and scale just one type of resource can be more cost efficient because it allows for independent scaling of resources or an environment that has specific hardware requirements.

FlexPod Component Architecture

Validated FlexPod packages provide a selection of servers from Cisco’s UCS line, allowing optimal resource allocation for your workloads. These high-performance servers leverage the current Gen4 Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and AMD EPYC processors with up to 28 cores, and GSU accelerators for AI/ML operations. The platform unifies diverse storage media and technologies with a key focus on data protection and security, offering features like snapshot-based backups, replication, and disaster recovery orchestration. Cost-efficient data handling is ensured by deduplication, compression, and thin provisioning. FlexPod’s foundation on Cisco fabric interconnects supports  , ensuring ample bandwidth for latency-sensitive tasks.

Benefits of the FlexPod Solution

IT professionals know all too well that implementations don’t always go smoothly. Even installing a printer with an untested driver can prove frustrating and consume valuable time. That isn’t the case with NetApp FlexPod. FlexPod reduces deployment times and costs because all the components were carefully selected for their conformity and system collaboration. They are teamed together because they are known to work together. What’s more, faster deployments mean that your IT staff can get back to their more important duties to create and cultivate innovation for the business.

A research study carried out by IDC highlighted that organizations utilizing FlexPod reported experiencing the following average benefits:

  • 43% fewer staff were needed to manage their environment
  • A 34% reduction in data center floor space
  • 29% less time spent on monitoring, troubleshooting, and remediation
  • A 28% savings on services, outsourcing and consultation
  • A 24% savings on power and cooling

With FlexPod you can purchase and scale your systems to the needs of today because it is so easy to add additional resources when you need them without interrupting operations or purchasing other packaged components. Reduced management and maintenance hours along with reduced power consumption translates into reduced costs.

Streamlined Support

If you do need support, FlexPod support engineers can identify and address the issue in quick succession because they have experience in all FlexPod packages. This familiarity and mastery of the product along with supportive integrated telemetry data means that issues are quickly mitigated so that your business operations are not disrupted. Simplicity of design matters.

You also never have to worry about managing multiple vendors because all your components are under the same support umbrella. It is one more aspect of how this streamlined converged infrastructure solution can simplify your environment and give you greater agility. NetApp FlexPod isn’t just a solution from an IT engineering perspective, but a financial engineering one as well.

Evolving Solutions and FlexPod

As an NetApp partner, Evolving Solutions has significant experience with the NetApp FlexPod solution. We’ve seen it work successfully in a variety of different environments and we have witnessed the realized value that our clients experience from initial deployment through the entire lifecycle of the product. That accumulated experience allows us the ability to recognize opportunities for it within the right environment.

The Evolving Solutions team can engage with you to define the benefits FlexPod can provide to your organization and help you size it correctly. We can either assist your implementation as an advisor or take the reins and implement it according to our established best practices that optimize it for your particular environment. We can also provide supportive services, when needed. Like FlexPod itself, our services are validated and flexible to effectively serve your needs. There is a comfort in knowing that something is going to work out of the box. Let Evolving Solutions show you how this solution can work for you.

Jim Pross

Sr. Solution Architect - Open Systems

Jim is a Senior Solution Architect at Evolving Solutions and joined the company in 1999. Connect with Jim on LinkedIn here.

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