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What is FlexPod?

FlexPod is a converged infrastructure option developed by NetApp and Cisco. FlexPod is available in streamlined and simplified Express version, and the FlexPod Datacenter edition for enterprise private clouds, VDI, scale-out infrastructure, or software defined data centers.

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Recent Reviews
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Product Demos

FlexPod Docker Demo


DC vlog #7: live demo inloggen in het virtuele FlexPod Datacenter


Short FlexPod Registration Demo


NetApp AR FlexPod Demo

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Product Details

What is FlexPod?

FlexPod Video

FlexPod Overview

FlexPod Technical Details

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Reviews and Ratings



(1-2 of 2)
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Wesley Harris | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
FlexPod is the backbone of the city. We use it for all departments and services within the city. It gave us a single point of management for our servers and the ability to move or migrate physical server profiles from one server to another. [It gives] us a very consistent and reliable experience.
  • Single Pane of Glass Server Administration.
  • Ease of firmware upgrades.
  • Incredible support when you have an issue. The Cisco/NetApp/VMware FlexPod support teams work together and drive your issues down to the root cause.
  • Initial setup and config. You won't do it by yourself without going to a class. No wizards here. Very complex till you get used to it.
  • iSCSI boot could be easier. Lots of ways to implement it, but no real definitive guide.
  • Could use better documentation with specific examples. Would be nice if it had an initial setup wizard.
  • Scenarios where downtime isn't possible.
  • Being able to move a physical server config to another physical server within the FlexPod is a god send.
  • Hardware fails, we all know that.
  • It happens, by being able to move a profile from one blade to another, it allows you to quickly and easily restore service while waiting for hardware to arrive onsite to repair/replace the failed component.
  • Positive ROI, being a city we only have funds for server replacements every 5-7 years and this allows us to spec out our capacity and order a cost effective solution that will last that time period.
  • CIsco and NetApp and VMware have been very competitive in accommodating our budget.
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Service Manager
Being a Cisco shop already it was a natural fit to go with a solution based on their technology. Then add in VMware which we are were already using - that was two out of the three for the FlexPod. Then factor in NetApp's de-duplication technology and flexibility in configuration and options and it's a match made in heaven. Not to say we haven't had some stumbles and some issues but it works and it works well.
Microsoft Office 365, SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
Joel Sprague, CCIE | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We utilize FlexPod with VMware for both virtual and physical hosts in our data center. Our primary usage is a private cloud offering via the VMware hosts. My team sells back hosting services to other departments within the company, allowing them to get 24/7 support and hosting without having to pay for IT staff out of their own budgets, while ensuring that the support team, being members of the same company, have a vested interest in providing up time and service that an external provider might not have.
  • Service profile portability - Utilizing san boot, if we have any issues with a physical blade, it is simple to move that Service profile to a new blade. This is also useful when moving chassis between racks or migrating service profiles to new hardware.
  • Single point of management - we are able to get all VLANs and VSANs trunked to the FlexPod fabric interconnects and then the server etam can handle mapping whatever VLANs are required to each new server as it is built without having to open a new set of tickets with networking.
  • Performance - We are able to run a massive virtual load on these blades as we have 256 cores and 6TB in 6RU in our current configuration (and can go up to 352 cores and 12TB with larger processors and DIMMs). This type of CPU and memory density, backed up by 40GB based backplane, allows for high density virtualization.
  • KVM control of the blades still requires Java. Avocent is using HTML5 now, and it would be nice if the KVM console for these UCS blades could too.
  • Price - Like any Cisco product, there are cheaper options. They aren't nearly as fully featured, but at times, it would be nice if UCS could be a bit cheaper.
FlexPod is great for mid to large size companies, where the flexibility and depth of a traditional SAN and high performance servers is required. For smaller companies, it might make more sense to go with a hyper converged solution such as Hyperflex or Nutanix (both of which can still run on Cisco UCS servers, but would not be making use of Netapp storage), to meet the requirements in a smaller footprint.
  • FlexPod has allowed our team to be extremely quick to resopnd to new VM build requests. The amount of RAM, CPU and backplane offered by B series blades allows us to go with very high VM density. The quick deployment of service profile templates also means that when we have to add new hosts, it is done quicker.
  • FlexPod and the service profile portability (along with VMware) has allowed for full upgrades and migrations from M1/M2 series hardware to M4 hardware without any downtime or outages to the clients. Blades can be moved into new chassis, or service profiles moved to new generation blades, with no impact to the customers' ability to work.
  • Smartstack, vBlock and Flashstack
I have made use of Smartstack, vBlock and Flashstack, as well as other mixes of storage and virtualization hosts, and FlexPod is probably still my favorite. While something like a Nimble Smartstack or Pure Flashstack is easier to maintain, I love the in depth information and control that a SAN such as Netapp offers us. There is more knowledge and skill required to manage it, but the maturity of the product helps make up for that.
BladeLogic Automation Suite, PRTG Network Monitor, WhatsUp Gold
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