News Release

FlexPod Is First Validated Data Center Infrastructure for Private Cloud Enabled by System Center 2012

Customers Gain Speed and Flexibility with Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0
Apr 19, 2012

Las Vegas – Microsoft Management Summit 2012 — April 19, 2012 — For customers who are looking to benefit from the latest version of System Center 2012 and the technologies that enable Microsoft's private cloud, Cisco and NetApp today announced that the FlexPod™ shared infrastructure is the first data center solution to be validated by Microsoft for the updated Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0. Through the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0 program, Cisco and NetApp have collaborated with Microsoft to help customers reduce infrastructure and application deployment time from days to hours while helping them achieve greater utilization of their physical and virtual resource pools.

Additionally, for desktop virtualization deployments, Cisco and NetApp released a new validated design architecture running Microsoft private cloud with Citrix XenDesktop® software on the FlexPod shared infrastructure. By delivering desktops, applications, and data as a cloudlike service with XenDesktop, enterprises are able to quickly support existing and new applications, migrate to new operating systems, and deliver corporate resources to billions of new devices coming into the workplace.  

Key Facts and Highlights:

FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud Solution Supports New System Center 2012

  • FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud builds on Windows Server 2008 R2 and System Center 2012 and is the first design validated by Microsoft for the updated Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0 program.
  • The Cisco UCS™ Management Packs and NetApp® OnCommand™ plug-in for System Center 2012 allow customers to monitor and manage FlexPod and any applications running on top—from a single interface. Customers can comprehensively manage NetApp storage systems and Cisco UCS from within System Center 2012, and they can automate compute and storage workflows across their cloud infrastructure.  
  • Cisco offers comprehensive infrastructure management under the control of Windows PowerShell by providing a user-friendly command-line-interface-based UCS management tool, called Cisco UCS PowerTool. Operations teams can use the UCS PowerTool to more easily tie together the management of storage components, compute components, and software applications into a custom, end-to-end management solution that is easy to use and easy to script.
  • The validated design combines the recently announced Microsoft System Center 2012 with NetApp FlexClone® technology and Windows PowerShell automation to provision desktop virtual machines at scale as much as 25 times faster than VDI designs built with traditional storage solutions. The validated design also takes advantage of NetApp Flash Cache to support simultaneous booting of desktop virtual machines at a scale unmatched by traditional storage technologies—up to 2,000 in less than 25 minutes.
  • Additionally, for desktop virtualization deployments, Citrix XenDesktop on Windows Server Hyper-V is the first workload validated by Cisco and NetApp to run on top of FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud. This combined solution helps customers embrace mobile work styles for their employees, allowing anywhere, anytime access to Windows desktops, applications, and associated data.

About FlexPod:

  • The FlexPod solution features the Cisco UCS compute platform, Cisco® network switches, and NetApp unified storage systems running on Data ONTAP® software. 
  • FlexPod is a pretested architectural design that combines networking, computing, and storage in a shared infrastructure, which helps organizations increase speed of deployment, reduce risk, and lower the cost of ownership.
  • FlexPod supports multiple applications and workloads to help customers and partners accelerate and simplify their transition to the cloud. The flexible, scalable shared infrastructure is pretested to lower deployment risk, increase data center efficiencies, and create a flexible shared infrastructure.
  • Cisco and NetApp collaborate with partners to enhance their success in accelerating FlexPod business by providing extensive training to help them grow their business, increase profits, and help their customers succeed.

Supporting Quotes:

  • Satinder Sethi, vice president, Data Center Group at Cisco

"We are pleased to be the first private cloud to take advantage of the new private cloud capabilities of System Center 2012. This comprehensive management integration on the FlexPod shared infrastructure helps our customers more easily deploy and manage private cloud infrastructure, resulting in lower operational costs and higher ROI."

  • John Fanelli, vice president of product marketing, Enterprise Desktops and Applications at Citrix

"As organizations of all sizes are moving from the PC era to the cloud era, they are looking for solutions that will enable them to more rapidly and easily make this transition. The new Microsoft private cloud validation for FlexPod combined with Citrix XenDesktop helps these customers to build a private cloud desktop infrastructure with greater manageability and scalability. By delivering cloudlike desktops to employees, companies can enable new mobile work styles by delivering centrally managed, secure enterprise desktops, applications, and data anywhere and on any device."

  • Brad Anderson, vice president , Management and Security at Microsoft

"Working together, Microsoft, Cisco, NetApp, and Citrix developed the FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution, which is built on Microsoft's proven virtualization platform and extended by the Cisco UCS infrastructure, NetApp technology, and Citrix VDI capabilities. The foundational Microsoft technology includes System Center 2012, Windows Server, and Windows Server Hyper-V. We are pleased to be able to give our mutual customers an integrated, agile, and efficient data center environment based on the FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud architecture."

  • Phil Brotherton, vice president and general manager, Microsoft Business Unit at NetApp

"As virtualization gains greater adoption, customers are increasingly turning to multi-hypervisor environments to gain greater efficiencies and keep pace with the demands of their business. We've seen strong interest in the FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution among attendees at the recent Microsoft Management Summit. Working together, Cisco, Citrix, NetApp, and Microsoft continue to innovate and bring differentiated solutions that offer outstanding efficiency and flexibility to customers as they implement Microsoft private cloud solutions."

Additional Resources

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