flexpod and ontap integration into cisco intersight

The human autonomic nervous system (ANS) is a control system that acts unconsciously and regulates bodily functions, such as the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, and pupillary response. It’s fascinating how much work is done by a human ANS in the background. It’s almost overwhelming to consider how much thought and work it would be to handle the ANS workload in the foreground, in conscious thought.

An autonomic look at FlexPod

The integration of ONTAP® software into Cisco Intersight for FlexPod® can add tremendous value to IT customers. As with an ANS, FlexPod with NetApp® ONTAP® integration into Cisco Intersight can assist you with a huge amount of work done in the background. This new integration increases the ever-growing value of your FlexPod management estate from the edge to the core to the cloud.

NetApp and Cisco celebrate their 10 year FlexPod partnership.

Why should Cisco and NetApp engineer this FlexPod integration? The idea is that as your IT systems management workloads increase, you progressively turn to IT cloud systems management software like ONTAP integration into Cisco Intersight.  And as your FlexPod and UCS systems increase in number and management complexity, so does the amount of systems management time and the number of personnel needed to administer this infrastructure. Without assistance, the task might eventually become too much for administrators to handle — as if humans had to consciously run their own ANS.


Also, today’s digital transformation demands always-on infrastructure, so any disruption to the business has an immediate and profound impact on customer experience.  Today, small outages, can mean large amounts of money and the stakes in the future are growing ever higher.   In addition, as IT organizations’ requirements increase, IT is being asked to do more. The IT landscape faces challenges such as:

  • More applications
  • Dramatic, sudden, inflection points, as with the current pandemic
  • Larger data and data volumes
  • More complex data lifecycles
  • Newer workloads like DevOps and artificial intelligence/machine language (AI/ML)
  • New security requirements
  • Changing governance landscape
  • Updated workflows that connect to the public cloud and include hybrid cloud
  • Continued support and versioning of traditional enterprise workloads
  • Increase of computing and storage in nearly all locations — at the edge, core, and cloud

If you move to FlexPod with ONTAP integration into Intersight, you’ll find that FlexPod can now deliver:

  • Improved application resilience
  • Decreased business risk
  • Consistent management user experience
  • Increased staff productivity
  • Better IT adaptability to business needs
  • Consolidate management into one single pain of glass

NetApp ONTAP integrated into Cisco Intersight

Cloud-based systems management as-a-serviceNetApp ONTAP integrated into Cisco Intersight (infographic)

As with a human ANS, it’s the background automation provided by the ONTAP integration into Intersight that is the key to unlocking these benefits. And this capability increases over time, further easing overburdened IT staff.  ONTAP integration into Cisco Intersight is like an ANS that evolves.

NetApp and Cisco celebrate their 10 year FlexPod partnership.

A contrast between past and future FlexPod management

In the past, you might have viewed FlexPod as an on-premises-only platform managed by ONTAP for storage arrays and the UCS manager for UCS. Fast forward to the present, one has the option to manage a FlexPod with a Cisco Intersight software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud management platform.  It’s a natural, cloud-based evolution of FlexPod management, just like the evolution that made FlexPod a lynchpin in hybrid cloud workloads through the data fabric powered by NetApp. To learn more about why FlexPod integration of ONTAP into Cisco Intersight can benefit you, please take a look at this video that is a quick review of ONTAP integration into Cisco Intersight:


You can now use the Intersight management platform to handle monitoring and orchestration of workloads on your FlexPod storage arrays. FlexPod integration of ONTAP into Cisco Intersight affords many new and increasing benefits. You can run these common ONTAP tasks and custom workflows from Intersight:

  • Provision virtual machines using NFS and SAN datastores
  • Monitor datastores
  • Resize datastores and/or adjust igroups and export policies
  • Initiate custom workflows
  • Enable Intersight to initiate workflow orchestration on ONTAP storage

Beyond the technical benefits, with the ONTAP integration into Cisco Intersight, you gain an even stronger alignment between Cisco and NetApp for FlexPod and its continuing evolution. The FlexPod integration of ONTAP into Intersight is the next step in a long-term drumbeat of innovation between Cisco and NetApp. Together, Cisco and NetApp have:

  • Added a cumulative investment of more than 250 person-years of engineering and growing
  • Created more than 175 validated designs, including nearly all data center workloads
  • Added new technologies, products, and software to FlexPod for example, end-to-end NVMe, Cisco ACI, flash, hybrid and private clouds
  • Added, changed, and evolved new technologies, solutions, and innovations (like Cisco Intersight) — which will continue far into the future

Cisco Intersight, like an autonomic nervous system, is an intelligent level of management that enables IT teams to simplify and automate IT operations. FlexPod customers can now gain this insight and assistance to automate their IT management. The advantages from Intersight are numerous and are increasing in the background. If you’re a FlexPod customer, consider adding Cisco Intersight as an option to manage your FlexPod systems. Perhaps take a moment and “think about it” in the foreground; it will be a critical time saver and productivity boost for your FlexPod and UCS landscape.


To learn more about these announcements and FlexPod, visit FlexPod at NetApp INSIGHT®. Registration is free, and FlexPod sessions can be viewed on demand or view a sister technical blog entitled: Introducing NetApp ONTAP Storage integration with Cisco Intersight. The session numbers are shown here:

FlexPod sessions and resources

Register for INSIGHT here!

Speed Break Out Sessions (20 Minutes)
SPD-1147​-2 Learn why FlexPod has the best integration with Cisco Intersight​
SPD-1144​-1 FlexPod Infrastructure Innovation and End-to-End NVMe ​
SPD-1470​-1 FlexPod solutions for Private and Hybrid Multi Cloud use cases​
SPD-1152​-1 Learn Why FlexPod is Perfect for Private, Hybrid and Multi-cloud​
SPD-1149​-1 Enable Healthcare Digital Transformation with FlexPod​
SPD-1150​-2 Digital Transformation with SAP HANA and DATAHUB on FlexPod​
SPD-1154​-2 Why it is vital to move to SQL Server 2019 on FlexPod​
SPD-1471​-2 Migrate to Oracle RAC 19c on FlexPod, while you still have time! ​
SPD-1153​-1 Work or Learn from Anywhere with FlexPod VDI​
SPD-1446-2​ Accelerate your AI Journey for the data driven enterprise with FlexPod AI


Short Presentation or Demonstration (10 Minutes)
DEM-1478-1 Protect Your IT Assets Against Ransomware Using FlexPod
DEM-1479-1 FlexPod for Medical Imaging in 10 Minutes
DEM-1481-1 FlexPod for OpenShift  in 10 Minutes
DEM-1504-1 Improve FlexPod Management with Cisco Intersight (10 Minute Demo)
DEM-1542-1 Learn About the New and Innovative FlexPod Consumption Model


Customer Presented Sessions
BRK-1062​​-2 Support Real Time Mission Critical Oracle Workloads with FlexPod Lawrence Livermore Labs​
BRK-1469 ​-1 How LCMC Health delivers best patient carewith Epic on FlexPod​ LCMC Health​
BRK-1528​-1 How Cannon Design drove collaboration & innovation globally​ Cannon Design​


For more information, please 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..

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