Customers Gain Speed and Flexibility with Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0

Las Vegas – Microsoft ManagementSummit 2012 – April 19, 2012 – For customers who arelooking to benefit from the latest version of System Center 2012and the technologies that enable Microsoft’s private cloud, Ciscoand NetApp today announced that the FlexPod™ sharedinfrastructure is the first data center solution to be validated byMicrosoft for the updated Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0.Through the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0 program, Ciscoand NetApp have collaborated with Microsoft to help customersreduce infrastructure and application deployment time from days tohours while helping them achieve greater utilization of theirphysical and virtual resource pools.


Additionally, for desktop virtualizationdeployments, Cisco and NetApp released a new validated designarchitecture running Microsoft private cloud with CitrixXenDesktop® software on the FlexPod shared infrastructure. Bydelivering desktops, applications, and data as a cloudlike servicewith XenDesktop, enterprises are able to quickly support existingand new applications, migrate to new operating systems, and delivercorporate resources to billions of new devices coming into theworkplace.


Key Facts andHighlights:
FlexPod with Microsoft Private CloudSolution Supports New System Center 2012


  • FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud builds on WindowsServer 2008 R2 and System Center 2012 and is the first designvalidated by Microsoft for the updated Microsoft Private Cloud FastTrack 2.0 program.
  • The Cisco UCS™ Management Packs and NetApp®OnCommand™ plug-in for Microsoft allow customers to monitorand manage FlexPod and any applications running on top-from asingle interface. Customers can comprehensively manage NetAppstorage systems and Cisco UCS from within System Center 2012, andthey can automate compute and storage workflows across their cloudinfrastructure.
  • Cisco offers comprehensive infrastructure management under thecontrol of Windows PowerShell by providing a user-friendlycommand-line-interface-based UCS management tool, called Cisco UCSPowerTool. Operations teams can use the UCS PowerTool to moreeasily tie together the management of storage components, computecomponents, and software applications into a custom, end-to-endmanagement solution that is easy to use and easy to script.
  • The validated design combines the recently announced MicrosoftSystem Center 2012 with NetApp FlexClone® technology andWindows PowerShell automation to provision desktop virtual machinesat scale as much as 25 times faster than VDI designs built withtraditional storage solutions. The validated design also takesadvantage of NetApp Flash Cache to support simultaneous booting ofdesktop virtual machines at a scale unmatched by traditionalstorage technologies-up to 2,000 in less than 25 minutes.
  • Additionally, for desktop virtualization deployments, CitrixXenDesktop on Windows Server Hyper-V is the first workloadvalidated by Cisco and NetApp to run on top of FlexPod withMicrosoft Private Cloud. This combined solution helpscustomers embrace mobile work styles for their employees, allowinganywhere, anytime access to Windows desktops, applications, andassociated data.

About FlexPod:


  • The FlexPod solution features the Cisco UCS compute platform,Cisco® network switches, and NetApp unified storage systemsrunning on Data ONTAP® software.
  • FlexPod is a pretested architectural design that combinesnetworking, computing, and storage in a shared infrastructure,which helps organizations increase speed of deployment, reducerisk, and lower the cost of ownership.
  • FlexPod supports multiple applications and workloads to helpcustomers and partners accelerate and simplify their transition tothe cloud. The flexible, scalable shared infrastructure ispretested to lower deployment risk, increase data centerefficiencies, and create a flexible shared infrastructure.
  • Cisco and NetApp collaborate with partners to enhance theirsuccess in accelerating FlexPod business by providing extensivetraining to help them grow their business, increase profits, andhelp their customers succeed.

Supporting Quotes:


  • Satinder Sethi, vice president, Data Center Group atCisco
    “We are pleased to be the first private cloud to take advantage ofthe new private cloud capabilities of System Center 2012. Thiscomprehensive management integration on the FlexPod sharedinfrastructure helps our customers more easily deploy and manageprivate cloud infrastructure, resulting in lower operational costsand 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 thecloud era, they are looking for solutions that will enable them tomore rapidly and easily make this transition. The new Microsoftprivate cloud validation for FlexPod combined with CitrixXenDesktop helps these customers to build a private cloud desktopinfrastructure with greater manageability and scalability. Bydelivering cloudlike desktops to employees, companies can enablenew mobile work styles by delivering centrally managed, secureenterprise desktops, applications, and data anywhere and on anydevice.”
  • Brad Anderson, vice president , Management and Securityat Microsoft
    “Working together, Microsoft, Cisco, NetApp, and Citrix developedthe FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution, whichis built on Microsoft’s proven virtualization platform and extendedby the Cisco UCS infrastructure, NetApp technology, and Citrix VDIcapabilities. The foundational Microsoft technology includes SystemCenter 2012, Windows Server, and Windows Server Hyper-V. We arepleased to be able to give our mutual customers an integrated,agile, and efficient data center environment based on theFlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud architecture.”
  • Phil Brotherton, vice president and general manager,Microsoft Business Unit at NetApp
    “As virtualization gains greater adoption, customers areincreasingly turning to multi-hypervisor environments to gaingreater efficiencies and keep pace with the demands of theirbusiness. We’ve seen strong interest in the FlexPod withMicrosoft Private Cloud solution among attendees at the recentMicrosoft Management Summit. Working together, Cisco, Citrix,NetApp, and Microsoft continue to innovate and bring differentiatedsolutions that offer outstanding efficiency and flexibility tocustomers as they implement Microsoft private cloudsolutions.”

Additional Resources


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