In a continuing move to make data centre infrastructures more responsive to applications’ dynamic needs, Cisco and NetApp have broadened the FlexPod portfolio with new validated designs across the range, highlighted by the introduction of FlexPod Select for dedicated data-intensive workloads.
The FlexPod portfolio now includes FlexPod Data Centre (formerly FlexPod) for core enterprise data centres and service providers, FlexPod Express (formerly ExpressPod) for medium-sized businesses and branch offices, and FlexPod Select for data intensive workloads.

FlexPod supports the growing need to tie storage, networks, applications, and analytics (such as big data) into a more automated, responsive system that increases efficiency and lowers operational expense. The new offerings build on the joint vision and strategy of Cisco and NetApp to unify branch offices, core data centres, service providers, and dedicated application infrastructures.

FlexPod Select is the first family in the FlexPod portfolio to address targeted workloads, such as high-performance applications. Initially, the new category will target data-intensive requirements of Hadoop based big data applications in financial services, government, retail manufacturing, and other markets. Organisations will be able to deploy FlexPod Select easily and to scale seamlessly as application requirements grow.

The FlexPod Select family combines high-performance NetApp E-Series and FAS storage systems, Cisco UCS C-Series servers, Cisco Nexus switches and Cisco management software into an architecture that shortens time to insight and accelerates time to value.

FlexPod Select is the first solution in the FlexPod portfolio to feature patented NetApp E-Series platform as an option, delivering performance, density, and modular flexibility for a wide range of data-intensive workloads.

FlexPod Select with Hadoop, the first solution in the family, helps minimise the risk in deploying Hadoop by validating the open source analytics platform for storage, compute, connectivity, and management.

FlexPod Select with Hadoop includes two validated configurations: FlexPod Select with Cloudera’s Distribution including Apache Hadoop (CDH) and FlexPod Select with Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP). Both configurations enable the accelerated deployment of a highly available, enterprise-class Hadoop environment on the FlexPod Select architecture.

Cisco and NetApp continue to enhance the FlexPod portfolio with new solutions that integrate best-in-class technologies from both companies. The FlexPod Data Centre solutions now feature the Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switch.

The Cisco Nexus 7000 Series provides the highest levels of network availability with nonstop operations. It also provides industry-leading scale to the FlexPod platform with the highest density 10 Gigabit Ethernet system in the industry, supporting up to 768 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The Cisco Nexus 7000 FlexPod configuration enables end-to-end fibre channel over Ethernet (FCoE), delivering a unified Ethernet fabric, and provides DCI capabilities for multi–data centre deployments.

Additionally, the companies are introducing FlexPod Data Centre with SnapProtect to provide comprehensive disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) backup and recovery solution, with specific implementation guidance for popular uses such as with VMware, NAS shares, and Microsoft Exchange.