NetApp and Cisco have expanded their FlexPod modular datacentre architecture with an entry-level offering aimed at offering a low-cost option for smaller-scale cloud computing and datacentre deployments.
Due to be available from system integrators from May, the new reference architecture is based on NetApp storage combined with Cisco servers and network kit, offering customers a pre-validated configuration to quickly and easily build out their datacentre infrastructure, especially when implementing a cloud computing strategy.
The FlexPod joint venture was first introduced back in 2010, but the new reference architecture is a scaled-down version aimed at smaller customers, according to the two firms.
"What basically we have done is build the integrated stack environment here with some of the smaller parts from the portfolio of Cisco and NetApp," explained Wendy Mars, senior director for Data Centre & Virtualisation at Cisco in Europe.
This includes NetApp FAS2240 storage arrays, Cisco's C-Series rack-mount servers, along with Cisco network kit such as the Nexus 5548 switches and UCS 6248 Fabric interconnect.
However, although this architecture is described as an entry-level FlexPod configuration, Cisco and NetApp were unable to offer any guidelines on pricing. NetApp's John Rollason said that prices depended on the exact configuration, and also varied from one integrator partner to another.
The two firms claimed that FlexPod is gaining momentum among enterprise customers, with more than 850 customer deployments worldwide serviced by upwards of 500 partners.
"Organisations are able to derive the benefits of flexibility, scalability and rapid deployment of these solutions into their environment to run and support multiple workload types with lower TCO and reduction of risk," said Mars.
Cisco and NetApp said the FlexPod reference architecture is vendor agnostic as far as cloud computing platforms go, with support for VMware, Red Hat, Hyper-V and Xen-based cloud stacks.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.