Converged infrastructure clouds and data centers

Converged tech to unify branch offices, data centers, public clouds

Cisco and NetApp are expanding efforts to offer government agencies and businesses “converged infrastructure” technology to unify branch office, data center and public cloud systems under a common architecture.

The companies are offering their FlexPod platform, an integrated data center system that includes Cisco Unified Computing System blade servers and Cisco Nexus switches, NetApp’s unified storage system and VMware virtualization technology. 

Government agencies and municipalities are using the technology to consolidate and unify data centers and to build private clouds.  For instance, FlexPod is the underlying technology that allows the City of Melrose, Mass., to provide IT services to internal city agencies as well as other municipalities within the state via a secure, multi-tenant private cloud.

Cisco and NetApp plan to forge deeper tech integration within the FlexPod architecture to make it easier for organizations to deploy and access next-generation cloud systems, officials from the companies said.

Current IT architectures consist of a combination of infrastructure, public, private or hybrid clouds from different organizations, company officials said.  Cisco and NetApp’s unified data center will simplify the orchestration of all of these infrastructures, connecting enterprise clouds to service providers, enterprises to branch offices, consumers to enterprises, and clouds to clouds, the officials claim.

FlexPod has the ability to manage up to 10,000 servers, allowing organizations to aggregate several FlexPod racks and enable multihop Fiber Channel over Ethernet.

The companies plan to provide deeper integration across computing, networking, storage components of FlexPod, combined with broader support for its partners.  Cisco and NetApp now have more than 2,100 FlexPod customers across more than 35 countries and 700 channel partners.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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