Local technology distributor Westcon has applauded vendor partners Cisco and NetApp, with the announcement that NetApp is joining the Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track Programme with Cisco and Microsoft, destined to bolster the efficient delivery of IT services and applications to business.

Through the combination of NetApp’s storage prowess and data management software integration with Microsoft and Cisco’s unified computing server family, the companies believe they are now in a better position to assist customers with building a foundation for entering the private cloud.
“The announcement that NetApp has joined Microsoft’s Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track programme comes at a time when South African business are seriously exploring the adoption of a private cloud infrastructure,” says Jacques Malherbe, CEO of Westcon SA.
“We believe that by taking advantage of this partnership their entry into the cloud will not only be that much easier, but that they will immediately be able to take advantage of cost reductions, increased agility and the ability to improve and better manage their technology investments.”
Benefits will include time reduction of infrastructure and application deployment from days to hours, in turn freeing up both physical and virtual resources and improving productivity.
In addition, the partnership now sees the use of a common management platform by way of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V R2 and Microsoft System Centre, this will enable easier management and enable automation and self-service provisioning of the entire private cloud infrastructure.
According to the companies, features that this brings to the fore include automated self-service provisioning via native Opalis Integration Packs. The combination of the technologies from the three vendors will also ensure that the systems will be able to scale vertically and horizontally.
“By making use of a common management framework, businesses will now also be able to support larger multi-tenant deployments without the need to throw physical resources at the solution. Additionally, the integration with Cisco UCS and Microsoft Hyper-V will see the realisation of better scalability that will in turn deliver resources to the right users at the right time,” adds Malherbe.
As per the agreement, the architecture that makes up the technology design includes: Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) servers and Cisco Nexus switches; Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V R2 and Microsoft System Centre components, including Microsoft System Centre Virtual Machine Manager, Microsoft System Centre Operations Manager, Microsoft System Centre Service Manager, and Opalis Integration Server; as well as NetApp unified storage systems running Data ONTAP, with a software bundle that includes the NetApp OnCommand 3.0 plug-in for Microsoft.
“The future of business systems and the reality of the cloud ultimately lies in collaboration between vendors and their technologies,” states Malherbe. “We believe that this announcement will now help customers achieve high levels of efficiency and density per rack as well as lower the cost of operations.
“By adopting this core technology, users will be able to accelerate the provision of flexible and efficient services that will not only assist them in reaching the cloud, but also with the simplification of their IT infrastructure, while ensuring they remain competitive.
"For Westcon it means we will be able to accelerate our own success and further establish our reputation as a provider of leading technology solutions,” ends Malherbe.