Enterprise IT administrators find themselves immersed in a world of multiple clouds. Rapid shifts in technology are placing new and evolving applications in a combination of public, private, and hybrid clouds. As more of these applications become business critical, it’s crucial to deliver trusted platforms with resilience and scale to meet increasingly stringent performance and availability requirements. IT administrators also need to consider new ways to address data sovereignty, elastic capacity, and location flexibility. The FlexPod® data center solution from NetApp and Cisco continues as the market leader in converged infrastructure through cloud agility. FlexPod solutions offer an array of options to connect your data to multiple cloud environments with the NetApp Data Fabric.

NetApp and Cisco: A Partnership for Evolution

The FlexPod partnership between NetApp and Cisco combines the latest groundbreaking technology of two IT leaders for trusted platforms in multiple cloud environments. As data center platforms evolve, FlexPod designs keep options open for IT administrators. Designs with the Cisco UCS Mini are ideal for edge locations that require a compact, high-performance data center platform. 3D Visualization solutions make it possible to place high-performance infrastructure closer to end users. OpenStack solutions show deployment of public-cloud-compatible private clouds. NetApp® AltaVault™ solutions demonstrate an ideal way to use cloud archive and backup with a FlexPod platform. One of our newest designs combines Cisco CloudCenter with NetApp Private Storage for a simple, agile hybrid cloud solution.


The FlexPod Datacenter for Hybrid Cloud with Cisco CloudCenter and NetApp Private Storage validated design demonstrates the use of secure colocated storage with advanced management to deploy applications across private and public clouds. The use of Cisco CloudCenter enables application-centric deployments that are abstracted from the cloud to help ensure that infrastructure requirements meet application needs when using multiple cloud resources, including AWS and Microsoft Azure. Tying together on-premises FlexPod solutions with NetApp Private Storage delivers secure, reliable data for hybrid cloud applications. Cisco CloudCenter management abstracts applications so that they can seamlessly gather compute, network, and storage resources from multiple cloud locations. NetApp Private Storage provides colocated storage for secure, synchronized data that can be accessed from multiple clouds, such as AWS and Azure, through a direct connection to the NPS controller. All of this is made possible with a FlexPod foundation of storage, compute, networking, and virtualization.

The Promise of Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid cloud presents a powerful promise to extend IT data center resources beyond the physical premises of the traditional enterprise. Benefits of this promise include the ability to obtain elastic compute and storage resources on demand, to extend the reach of new applications beyond core sites, and to enable off-premises disaster recovery. This new FlexPod design enables repatriation of applications that were developed or tested in a public cloud. In this way, applications that are developed beyond core sites can be repatriated back to core data centers for greater control over customer data, performance, and business policy.


The new FlexPod design demonstrates the development and testing of OpenCart, an open source e-commerce application. This example illustrates the flexibility and controls provided by a FlexPod solution when deploying applications. Application blueprints, defined in Cisco CloudCenter, make it possible to deploy application instances in just minutes on either public or private infrastructure. NetApp Private Storage uses secure SnapMirror® connections to ensure that select copies of application data in private clouds are synchronized with application data available to compute resources in public clouds.


For repatriation, public cloud instances can be removed with Cisco CloudCenter once the private cloud instances are completed, releasing resources that are no longer needed. In this design, because the data in the public cloud was repatriated to the private cloud via SnapMirror, public cloud access to the data can then be restricted or even removed. The movement to a private cloud can help certain applications better meet compliance and policy requirements. CloudCenter is also integrated with Cisco ACI for simplified implementation of network and data policies.


IT administrators may want the option to create application instances back in the public cloud. Application templates can also be used to redeploy public cloud instances to provide elastic, public cloud extensions of compute resources for peak demand. In this case, public cloud access to the data could also be restored with the use of application templates. With this new FlexPod design, IT managers can build an effective hybrid cloud strategy without concerns about being locked in to a particular cloud provider, or an on-premises location, by abstracting the storage layer and adding cloud orchestration for ultimate data mobility.

Visit Us at VMworld

The NetApp team will be at VMworld in Las Vegas, August 27 through 30.  If you are attending the show, please stop by booth #421 to talk about this and other solutions. Visit NetApp.com to learn more about other FlexPod validated designs

Nathan Antons

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