Flexpod Features :
While Shared infrastructure has been heralded as the future of IT, the best possible way to reach there is a challenge for many of the users. The integration of heterogeneous entities like server, network, and storage components to create a shared infrastructure providing a high efficiency and balanced performance followed by the enabling of business-critical applications over the infrastructure has to be managed well to avoid serious risks.
The points below have been summarized to explain the key features of Flex pod and its advantages:
• Flex Pod™ for VMware® was created by Cisco, Net App and VMware to address these difficulties. Flex Pod™ for VMware® is a pre-sized, validated, standardized data centre architecture design which is distributed through a few channel partners. This solution provides a shared infrastructure which is built from the best-in-class components. It is designed to reduce risk, maximize the efficiency of the data center, and to enable the users to easily roll out a new data center infrastructure or provision new services. Providing flexibility was a key consideration while designing Flex Pod. A user can scale up a Flex Pod configuration in any dimension or even scale it out with multiple Flex Pod installations which are identical. To ensure a successful deployment, the processes for Flex Pod sizing and deployment processes are fully documented
• All the Components associated with Flex pod are standardized and integrated to ensure fast, repeatable, consistent deployment. Flex Pod ensures that there is minimal guesswork involved in capacity planning, provisioning and operations, resource procurement and sizing of data centers.
• Scaling out / Scaling up: Net app Flex pod ensures that the user can easily scale out the infrastructure by adding additional pods. Alternately, the infrastructure can be scaled up by using additional components within a single pod. For organizations which run mixed workloads, Flex pod is an ideal starting point for shared infrastructure. The architecture of Flex Pod allows all the resources to be scaled in the same design and implementation.
• Resource pools: This is a fundamental concept to which all Flex Pod components adhere to. The user allocates resources as per the requirements from a pool of available resources instead of searching and selecting specific resources for an application. This can result in accelerated common provisioning and management tasks.
Security and Flex Pod
The first generation solution for secure multi-tenancy and quality of service was rolled out by Net App, Cisco, and VMware a year ago with security of shared infrastructure in mind. To provide greater security and more deployment flexibility, secure multi-tenancy was recently updated. The update includes features like load balancing, SSL offload, and intrusion prevention and detection.
Flex Pod for VMware has storage features like Net App Flex Clone, and protocols for supporting development and test environments. For creating clones of production virtual machines for dev/test which are space-efficient, the Net App VSC provisioning module can be used.
In order to isolate Dev/test environments from production environments, you can either group Cisco UCS server blades so that the pools of blades can be allocated to dev/test environments which are physically isolated from production environment or put dev/test resources into a separate VMware ESX cluster.
Cisco UCS supports replication of service profile templates for deploying large-scale test environments. Before the actual physical hardware deployment, these environments can be “pre provisioned”.
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