In 1905, Albert Einstein published four groundbreaking papers in physics on the following topics:

 

  • Photoelectric effect
  • Brownian motion
  • Special relativity
  • Mass-energy equivalence

Einstein’s fourth paper derived perhaps the most famous equation in physics:

 

Mass x (Speed of Light)2 = Energy

or

mc2 = E

 

The equation is not only groundbreaking, it’s also truly incredible. It says that energy and mass are essentially equivalent. These two seemingly different things are fundamentally the same. A small amount of mass can produce an enormous amount of energy. A historical corollary to this theory is that for all human history up until 1905, humans looked at mass and saw only mass, no one saw energy.

A Similarly Expanded View of FlexPod

The FlexPod® platform, like mass before Einstein, has been viewed as an on-premises solution. Most folks look at FlexPod and see an on-premises-only platform. It is true that the FlexPod standard is an on-premises solution that supports nearly every data center workload.

 

However, FlexPod can also be your on-premises on-ramp to the public cloud. The benefits of the public cloud (E in my metaphor) are reliably available with FlexPod. FlexPod can be your on-premises gateway (m) or your on-ramp to a hybrid cloud strategy (mc2).

How FlexPod Helps You Deploy Hybrid Cloud

Each of your FlexPod units can be connected to the cloud. NetApp® AFF and FAS storage arrays in FlexPod inherit the attributes of a data fabric powered by NetApp technology, which is how FlexPod connects to the cloud. The data fabric is an architecture and a set of data services that give your storage consistent capabilities across your choice of endpoints, spanning on-premises, edge, and multiple public cloud environments.

 

To help you accelerate your digital transformation, the data fabric simplifies and integrates data management across edge, on-premises (core), and cloud environments. It delivers consistent and integrated hybrid cloud data services, so you get optimal data visibility and insights, data access and control, and data protection and security.

 

As a FlexPod customer, you can also use Cisco Cloud Center software to securely deploy and manage your applications in multiple data center, private cloud, and public cloud environments. With the CloudCenter software solution, you can modernize and automate your data center, or you can add public cloud application deployment to your service offering.

 

Look around you now. Do you see the energy in Einstein’s equation or do you see mass? The likely answer is that you don’t see the energy, but it is there. Now look at a FlexPod unit. Do you see that it is cloud connected, an on-premises on-ramp to a hybrid cloud strategy? Your answer is perhaps no, but now you know that it is indeed cloud-connected converged infrastructure.

 

Einstein’s equation changed our view of the world. We can “derive” a new “equation” for FlexPod that helps to change our view of FlexPod—to see that it is far more than just an on-premises solution:

 

FlexPod = Cloud-Connected Converged Infrastructure

or

FlexPod = C3I

 

What are some of the implications and benefits of FlexPod = C3I? Here is a sample:

 

  1. Backing up to the public cloud
  2. Tiering to the public cloud
  3. Disaster recovery to the public cloud
  4. Putting the right data in the best place: public cloud, private cloud, or multiple clouds
  5. Moving data to and from the public cloud
  6. Moving data between public clouds
  7. Orchestrating Kubernetes among multiple clouds

Learn More About FlexPod Without Complicated Scientific Equations

At the NetApp Insight™ conference, NetApp and Cisco will introduce some new solutions that extend FlexPod = C3I to cloud tiering and to preview NetApp NKS Kubernetes orchestration on FlexPod. These solutions add new cloud-connected features and augment the current cloud-connected properties of a FlexPod unit. To find out more, attend sessions about the following topics:

 

NetApp is also introducing new enhancements to its Converged Systems Advisor (CSA).  CSA configuration assurance and lifecycle management now include support for Cisco ACI networking, end-to-end NVMe, and NetApp MetroCluster™ software awareness.

 

To learn more about this announcement, please read Cisco also concurs with NetApp in a wonderful Cisco blog written by Steve Cooke.  For a list of the areas at NetApp Insight where you can learn more about these solutions, read a previous FlexPod blog post.

 

And if you would like to learn more about FlexPod as a foundation for your hybrid cloud, visit:

Bruno Messina

Bruno Messina joined NetApp in 2018 and works in product marketing for FlexPod. His previous experience includes a career in product marketing of UCS servers for Cisco Systems and Solaris server marketing and competitive analysis at both Oracle and Sun Microsystems, where he joined in 2000. Bruno spent ten years in various roles of competitive analysis and product management at Sun Microsystems, leading analysis in both the workgroup and enterprise servers. Prior to Sun Microsystems, Bruno spent time finishing his MBA education and worked for two years at Cadence working on product marketing for both board-level and board timing tools. Bruno holds both a BSEE and MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y..