|What is FlexPod?|
FlexPod is a single unified, scalable, and prevalidated architecture that is deployed by customers who want to accelerate their path to the Cloud. FlexPod can accommodate a variety of mixed workloads, and can be used as a platform for both virtualized and non-virtualized environments. Regardless of where customers are on in their journey toward the cloud, FlexPod can be used as a base platform, and it can scale for future growth.
FlexPod consists of 4 layers:
HYPERVISOR LAYER – Firstly, the virtualization of servers. This is a well-established concept and the leader is by-far VMware. Flexpod introduces ways to further leverage the virtualization to date.
COMPUTE POOL – Physical machines are required to run virtual machines, and Cisco offers a revolutionary solution for server blades that is not only integrated with these other layers, but provides unmatched efficiency and datacenter footprint savings.
NETWORK POOL - Cisco also virtualizes fabric and can extend the network across multiple data centers. Cisco is the leader in Ethernet networking and is leading the convergence of front and backup end networks.
STORAGE POOL - Finally, NetApp is able to virtualize storage to abstract disks, volumes, systems (including non- NetApp storage) into a large pool of storage resources. This represents the leading "Unified Storage" solution on the market. NetApp storage has built-in efficiencies such as dedupe and thin provisioning.
This all comes together into a collaborative Support Model between Cisco, NetApp,and VMware. As one of the unique processes between the three vendors, Cisco, NetApp and VMware have created a Unified Support lab with co-located experts who have the ability to mix and match available product components to reproduce complex customer environments and expedite issues.