The Secret to FlexPod’s Success

May 7, 2021

In today’s business world, adaptability is key. Can your IT infrastructure keep up with the pace of change — and if so, for how much longer? FlexPod will help.

Data is everywhere, and as the world throws more and more challenges at businesses around the globe, it is only growing in importance.

Data holds the key to innovation, enabling organisations to thrive in adversity. It differentiates businesses in increasingly saturated markets. Most of all, it gives business leaders the insights they need to make quick, confident decisions at a time when decisiveness could not be more valuable.

But it is also fundamentally changing the demands we place on our IT systems (and the people managing them):

  • Our appetite for data is driving the need for new and emerging applications
  • We expect to be able to connect to and optimise our systems regardless of infrastructure and location
  • As the way we access and manage data changes, so too has the importance of confidentiality and security.

For many enterprises, these challenges will sound all too-familiar. In the wake of the global health crisis, organisations are looking ahead to new digital services, leveraging AI and machine learning, and embracing the hybrid cloud to better cope, putting greater emphasis on solutions that enable multi-cloud management and wider digital transformation initiatives.

FlexPod is one such platform. Purposefully designed to enable these changes, it provides organisations with the converged infrastructure they need to accommodate new apps and data centre consolidations, manage new workloads and future-proof their systems.

To find out more about this innovative new solution, the secret behind its success and how it could help your IT infrastructure adapt to changing business demands, read on.

Overview: what is FlexPod?
At its core, FlexPod is a converged infrastructure platform. A child of Cisco and NetApp, it leverages industry-leading technologies from both these IT powerhouses to provide a secure, reliable foundation for digital transformation — particularly in organisations looking to embrace private/hybrid/multi-cloud environments now or in the near future.

As you might expect from a solution with its parentage and range of apps (185+ validated designs for modern applications/databases/VDI/AI, including VMware, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Citrix, Nvidia), FlexPod is already trusted by over 9,500 organisations globally. And its users span almost every market; there are many advantages built into FlexPod’s converged infrastructure that make it an appealing choice across multiple industries:

  • Pre-tested IT architecture concept
  • Freedom in scalability
  • Reduction of operating costs
  • Connection to the NetApp Data Fabric
  • Increased efficiency for backup and recovery
  • Industry standard
  • Forefront of customisation

The secret to FlexPod’s success is baked into its solution offerings. What are they and what do they mean to you?

Innovation runs deep in the FlexPod architecture
Combining Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) servers, Cisco Nexus switches, next-generation NetApp storage systems and virtualisation software into one innovative solution, FlexPod joins the dots between your organisation’s siloed technology, supporting a swathe of new functionalities:

Performance
By taking advantage of the broad Cisco UCS server product line, FlexPod makes the process of matching servers to workloads straightforward. A choice of servers allows you to achieve the best balance of CPU, memory, I/O, internal disk and external storage-access resources using the blade or rack server form factor that best meets your local storage and GPU acceleration requirements.

Scalable storage
On the subject of storage, FlexPod’s NetApp all-flash and NVMe storage systems scale up and out to store and manage your growing volumes of data. This scalability allows you to take advantage of storage improvements to accelerate apps and reduce the burden on both your IT staff and your budgets. With NetApp AFF and hybrid-flash FAS storage systems, you can use different types of storage media for different workloads, all within a unified platform that is designed with data protection and security in mind. You can even deploy end-to-end NVMe solutions to further accelerate data access and keep apps working to deliver results in less time.

Unified management
A self-aware system and built-in automation make it easy for you to deploy, monitor, and manage IT and support your business.

Every aspect of server identity, personality, and connectivity can be applied through software, meaning your IT staff defines profiles and the solution automatically configures the infrastructure as needed. By automating the repeatable configuration that your IT staff would normally undertake manually, you can consistently deliver the data center resources that your applications need in less time and with end-to-end security.

Simplified automation and management makes it so you can deliver on-premises private cloud capabilities, rapidly and consistently deploy resources in local and remote locations and automate IT workflows — providing a firm foundation for hybrid IT.

You can even determine when, where, and how to move workloads, maximise elasticity with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure public cloud resources, and quickly model infrastructure and workload growth scenarios to determine your requirements with Cisco Workload Optimisation Manager.

Customisation
All of FlexPod’s infrastructure components are pre-configured and tested, with over 180 designs. Your organisation can select the suitable reference architecture on which to set up the configured components, like databases or web apps, for example. In addition, the system configuration can then be customised to your requirements. These customisation capabilities make FlexPod a highly flexible solution for Vmware or HyperV, SQL Server or Oracle databases, SAP apps, analytics or DevOps.

“Customers across all industries are always impressed with Flexpod’s reliability, versatility and scalability, which is why they support their digital future with this data centre building block.”

Find out more about how FlexPod could benefit your organisation.

Helping you to unlock the FlexPod Advantage

By this point, you may be feeling that FlexPod is ticking a lot of boxes for you:

  • It adapts and grows around your mission critical applications and data centre consolidations
  • It has the agility to run any data centre workload with unmatched versatility
  • It’s a secure, trusted solution with a battle-tested IT infrastructure
  • It’s cost-effective, offering enterprise organisations in particular an affordable way to future-proof their digital transformations.

But a system is only ever half of the solution. With over 30 years of experience in the design, deployment and support of technical IT Infrastructure and data management software,
Q Associates is on hand to help you get the most out of FlexPod and ensure it works for your organisation.

We have committed and invested in NetApp technologies for over 15 years now to help our customers evolve their IT systems around the needs of their businesses. In that time, our team has qualified to the highest level for implementation, professional services and support, as well as technical specifications in FlexPod and Hybrid Cloud.

We are also qualified to the highest level for implementation, services and support of all Cisco technologies and are counted amongst an elite group of Cisco partners who have achieved their ‘Advanced Datacentre Architecture Specialisation’ recognition. How does this benefit you?

  • We will help you to understand your business needs and pain points, so you can see if, and how, FlexPod is the right IT infrastructure for your data center apps (now in the future)
  • We’ll explain exactly how FlexPod can solve your IT growth, sprawl, and consolidation — again, today and in the future — so you can deliver the cloud at your own pace
  • We’ll demonstrate how FlexPod incorporates and evolves to handle both your current enterprise workloads and newer apps
  • We’ll also demonstrate how FlexPod is a forward-looking, strategic investment and a sound architectural decision, if you are looking toward a hybrid cloud strategy.

Data is everywhere, but so is FlexPod. As the new industry standard, organisations ready to adapt in the future – to grow and change as their business and technology evolve — need look no further. In these times of uncertainty and change, a firm foundation for adaptability and future growth is the IT investment many of us have been looking for.

To find out more about FlexPod and how your organisation could benefit, get in touch today.

 

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Get In Touch

Contact Q Associates today if you have any questions or would like to discuss your IT requirements in more detail.

Tel: 01635 248181
Email: netapp@qassociates.co.uk

Donna Robinson

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