Proven across a broad range of environments Flexpod has been pretested and jointly validated with popular hypervisors, operating systems, applications, and infrastructure software, including:

  • VMware® View and vSphere™
  • Citrix XenDesktop
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux® (RHEL)
  • Oracle®
  • SAP®
  • Microsoft® Exchange, SQL Server®, and SharePoint®
  • Microsoft Private Cloud built on FlexPod

Flexpod can be optimised to support several of these workloads simultaneously. NetApp and Cisco have also jointly developed reference architectures—several of them Cisco Validated Designs, with prescriptive sizing guides—to help you integrate and flex the solution to meet your specific requirements for the following critical environments:

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Flexpod is an easy-to-deploy, self-contained virtual desktop solution in a rack. Its modular design facilitates rapid, repeatable deployment of thousands of virtual desktops. Flexpod integrates with, and is optimised for, VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop. A virtual desktop solution built on Flexpod provides unmatched price/performance. You gain extreme efficiencies by deduplicating up to 90% of redundant user and OS data, and I/O performance can be accelerated by up to 50% with NetApp® cache acceleration technology (Flash Cache). The extended memory technology of Cisco® Unified Computing System™ provides the industry’s greatest number of VMs per core density.

Development and test

Flexpod enables rapid provisioning and deprovisioning of virtual resources, making it an ideal platform for development and test environments. NetApp FlexClone® software facilitates rapid dev/test setup with cloning technology that lets you deploy thousands of space-efficient VMs for new projects in minutes, accelerating time to production and time to market. Resources can be easily cloned and redeployed, reducing preparation time for other initiatives such as DR testing. Flexpod high compute and storage consolidation ratios and utilisation levels also enable you deploy development and test environments on a denser infrastructure that reduces space requirements and capital costs.

Business and disaster recovery

Flexpod can be configured with integrated data protection software to provide fast recovery from system, site, and regional outages for business continuity. The combination of NetApp MetroCluster™ and SnapMirror® with Cisco UCS™ Manager and WAAS offers automated monitoring and failover, as well as cost-effective replication to a secondary site for continuous protection against unplanned downtime. Our solution also lets you move virtual server and storage resources and data nondisruptively across hardware to eliminate planned downtime.

Secure multi-tenancy and secure separation

Flexpod leverages the Cisco SAFE architecture and NetApp MultiStore® technology to deliver the industry’s only secure multi-tenancy architecture1. Secure multi-tenancy enables each tenant – application, business unit, or customer – to be securely isolated within the Flexpod environment. Secure multi-tenancy provides the data separation and service-level guarantees offered by application silos, while delivering the efficiencies of a converged, virtualised infrastructure. Flexpod also securely separates nonvirtualised workloads across the data centre. 2SMT has undergone and passed several security compliance tests PCI Compliance validation, FISMA certification and ICSA Audit.

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