Data ONTAP 8.1.1 introduces several new features including Flash Pools, Infinite Volumes and an increase in the number of SAN nodes with Cluster-Mode to six (6). You may not be familiar with Flash Pools or Infinite volumes so we will take this opportunity to describe these features and their benefits. Read the rest of this entry »
Data storage has grown at exponential rates within the last decade. This is evidenced by the success of data storage companies such as NetApp. In many organizations, data growth is out of control. There is also a significant need to deal with server sprawl. Environmental concerns are also prevalent as many organizations are running out of power and cooling within the datacenter. According to a report published by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2007, data centers across the US have almost doubled their power consumption. One of the reasons for this exponential increase is the high demand for data storage. Thus, there is an ever-increasing need to find an effective solution to the increasing demand for data storage.
One of the biggest challenges faced by IT departments today is the management and complexities associated with disparate systems within their datacenters. Additionally the constant economic pressures have only succeeded in magnifying these challenges as businesses face lower budgets and higher operational costs.
These conditions have led to a shift towards cloud environments. Successful move into a cloud infrastructure will require a cost efficient and tested virtualization solution that is easily managed, highly available, scalable and improves deployment timelines significantly. FlexPod from NetApp is one such revolutionary datacenter solution. Developed jointly in collaboration with VMware and Cisco, NetApp’s FlexPod is based on a shared, flexible infrastructure which can be easily scaled for a variety of application workloads, configured for server infrastructure, virtual desktop and cloud environments. Here in this article we will take a look at the key features of NetApp’s FlexPod.
FlexPod for VMware: Key Features
Cisco Validated Design – FlexPod is featured within several Cisco Validated Designs (CVD). CVDs solutions are system tested designs documented in a way that outlines consistent, streamlined, repeatable deployment methodology. Example CVD’s solutions include FlexPod for VMware, SAP, SharePoint and Hyper-V. FlexPod can be tweaked and modified to meet the workload and requirements of the current infrastructure, it is a scalable solution rather than a specific set of hardware.
Tunable Infrastructure in the Reference Configuration – FlexPod features Cisco UCS Blade servers, Nexus family switches and NetApp storage controllers. Although the base FlexPod features specific models such as the NetApp FAS 3210A storage controller, customers have the flexibility to swap components within FlexPod to meet their workload requirements.
Scale Up and Out Capabilities – As organizations grow and additional workloads need to be supported, FlexPod can be scaled out by adding additional racks or can be scaled up by upgrading individual components. The key to the scalability is that it is an extension of the existing FlexPod infrastructure and the entire infrastructure should be managed as a single unit.
These key features enable FlexPod to provide a highly scalable, unified packaged architecture with an unrivaled flexibility in the solutions it provides. It is important to remember that because FlexPod is a reference architecture, the potential use cases for FlexPod are endless and only limited by the imagination of the design engineer.
What’s your opinion? Do you think FlexPod will change the way infrastructure is implemented within the datacenter?
The NetApp Insight conference will be held next week in Las Vegas. The conference is dedicated to NetApp employees and partners and features over 100 breakout training sessions focusing on NetApp storage and related technologies. I am honored to be a guest speaker at Insight and will be leading a discussion on Secure Multi-Tenancy (SMT). Cisco, NetApp and VMware have partnered to create a Multi-Tenant solution that has been validated as secure.
Secure Multi-Tenancy is the enablement of a shared infrastructure including storage, network and compute resources using outlined implementation standards. These standards include maintaining secure separation and high availability of tenant assigned resources while maintaining service level agreements. Another key component of Secure Multi-Tenancy is the simplification of administration which allows for rapid provisioning of resources and greater control of those resources for the tenant administrator.
If you are interested in Secure Multi-Tenancy, Fast Lane has developed the first multi-vendor SMT course based on the Cisco Validated Design document. The course features Cisco UCS, NetApp MultiStore and VMware ESX. You can learn more about the Implementing Secure Multi-Tenancy course by visiting this link: http://www.fastlaneus.com/course/fl-ismt?hl=smt.