Developers Club geek daily blog

5 years, 5 months ago
Many of you, probably, hear this word from IT of news. What did it mean and why it should be interesting? I will try to answer both these a question.
FlexPod are architecture for TsOD.



FlexPod are the approv architecture who within the limits of an infrastructure of collective use gave necessary means for net surfing, computing means and means of data storage, and also supported operation of set of applications and working jobs that helped to simplify extreme passage to "cloud computings".
There are nearby 60 prevalidirovannykh of decisions and it are number will increase only.
The architecture included the following components:


Network part: Cisco of Nexus.
Computing part: Cisco UCS Platform.
Storage system of g (SHD): NetApp FAS.
Software: a row of applications (the appropriate section see).
Orkestratsiya: optsionalno, as a rule it are intend for the virtualiz environments (the appropriate section see).

Each of the enumerat subjects difficult enough and deep, therefore in this article is necessary to me will be restrict to the surface description.

In more details in the following sections.

Network part

As a rule, consisted of two Nexuses 5500 who was connected with fail safety. As devices convergent, on them the basis can construct as SAN and NAS of a network. The circuit of connection depending on tasks could vary a little. Most common case of the circuit of privedyon in a picture are higher.

Computing part

The unitized computer system of Cisco (UCS) incurred control of all server resources of programming layer, than provided the complete independence of applications of the equipment of FlexPod. The Cisco of UCS completely virtualized the server equipment, a network infrastructure, and as access to storage by means of usage of the virtual MAC and WWN of addresses. In case of failure of the server the role will be more its it are transfer to other bleyd-unit without any realignment of the virtual LAN or switchboards.


Could be appl as the chassis with bleyd-servers, the rivers-maunt of the server, and the combination are more their. A mandatory component was Ciscos Fabric Interconnect (FI) UCS 62xx are as a matter of fact the manager for control of the chassis with bleydami and the rivers-maunt servers.
For connection to FI special FEX adapters ports of the adapter was us was outlin green in a picture with the chassis. These are two boards interpos into the back panel of each chassis, and in a case with the rivers-maunt servers the role of the FEX adapter fulfilled Nexus 2232 (and only it!). On one FI it are possible to connect, at present, 20 chassis (and this purely program restriction).

Storage system

Here models of NetApp FAS 2240, a series of FAS 3200 and FAS 6200 could be appl. Also SHD mandatory should be in two kontrollerny execution — for fail safety (since it are possible to acquire in one kontrollernom). Both type of operating systems could be us for SHD NetApp FAS: 7-Mode and Cluster-Mode. Will familiarize with SHD from NetApp I offers in a good Russian-speaking blog in more details.


The virtual fayler (further vFiler) — it some kind of the virtual machines. The main resource transfer to them in control are a part of space on SHD. They had a separate configuration from other vFiler’ов and could be mov on other SHD. vFiler’ы could be add with ease on system, was remote, or was mov. Within the limits of one physical SHD it are possible to create to 130 virtual. There are FlexPod of architecture us these technology one of decisions. Multifunction of MultiStore at present unique SHD in the market, not ha analogs also are a part of a paradigm of Secure Multi-Tenancy (SMT). About MultiStore'e are more detailed on Russian yazye in the same blog.

Secure Multi-Tenancy

This unique decision in the market, pritvoryonnoye in life thanks to an alliance of Cisco and NetApp. The essence it consisted that ha, for example, one TsOD, it can be divid into units and to give under different administration management with the guarantee safety. For example, to different departments of the one organization or generally different organizations. Each of such customers will have the dial-up of physical servers, the virtual SHD, and the network part which he could adjust voluntarily and to needs.


FlexPod for VMware, which now well all over the world thanks to 120 official trading partners were the first present decision. Along with them decisions was already accessible to Microsoft Hyper-V and applications, to Citrix, FlexPod with support of SAP applications in a cloud, Oracle of RAC and others.

FlexPod supported set of the approv applications and types of working loading. The system can be adjust according to the requirements show to each specific development environment and testing, to the virtual desktops (VDI), protection of the data and the safe multiple user environment.
The approv working decisions result further and configurations was develop on a platform of FlexPod for TsOD. They test during several thousand clocks and was recommend to usage as the best an expert.


  • The decision of FlexPod of initial level — architecture on the basis of iSCSI, calculat for working loading of the small and average enterprises.
  • FlexPod with the private cloudy environment of Microsoft — this in advance check up decision, in which Hyper-V functioned on the basis of architecture of FlexPod and Systems Center 2012.
  • FlexPod with the private cloudy environment of Microsoft with Citrix XenDesktop — this in advance check up decision, in which Hyper-V worked over architecture of FlexPod with Systems Center 2012 approv for Citrix XenDesktop.
  • VMware® vSphere™ on the basis of FlexPod — this in advance check up decision consist of VMware vSphere, vCenter™, Cisco of UCS and Nexus, and also SHD NetApp FAS for the virtualiz environments.
  • Applications of Microsoft® on the basis of FlexPod — it beforehand the approv decisions based on Microsofts SharePoint ® 2010, Microsofts Exchange 2010, computing and network decisions of Cisco, SHD NetApp and the decision of virtualization of VMware
  • Applications of SAP® on the basis of FlexPod — it beforehand the approv decision for the environments of the SAP, provid mobility of applications and the data, accelerat control of life cycle of SAP with the reliable integrat protection of the data on all stack
  • Citrix ® XenDesktop on the basis of FlexPod — this floppy and safe decision for an infrastructure of the virtual desktops in whom dominant technologies from NetApp, by Cisco and Citrix was us. This simple decision in development are adjust practically under any gipervizor.
  • RedHat® Enterprise Linux® (RHEL) on the basis of FlexPod are construct on the basis of the approv decision. To it the operating system of RHEL, scalable file system and floppy SHD, and also high availability was add.
  • The protect multiple user environment (Secure Multi Tenancy) gave possibilities of creation unique service - the orient infrastructure to minimize necessity for cloudy services.
  • The Oracle of RAC on the basis of FlexPod combined NetApp NAS, Cisco of UCS and Nexus, Oracle of RAC and VMware vSphere for virtualization business - critical applications.


Orkestrator are a software which automatically allocated, coordinated and controlled difficult computer systems and services, showed the uniform console of control of an infrastructure. The spectrum of decisions from partners of an alliance for control of an infrastructural platform of FlexPod can be divid into two categories: Validirovanny FlexPod Management Solutions which transit all checks and tests for a wide range of tasks in laboratories of Cisco and NetApp. And yet last.
Validirovannye it:
  • CA Technologies.
  • GALE Technologies.
  • Cisco Cloupia it are possible to familiarize in this habrotopike more in detail.

The following in queue on validatsiya:
  • Cisco of CIAC (Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud)
  • BMC Software

Orkestrator was able to control a kompyyuting a part (UCS), a network part of Cisco of Nexus 5000/7000, SHD NetApp FAS and the virtualiz environments. And as became clearly, without virtualization all these orkestrator lost the majority benefitov.


Architecture of FlexPod high-modular "pod-like". Each unit of FlexPod of the customer could vary from an initial configuration when the unit are construct by FlexPod, it could be easy izmenyon in the size on need of the customer. It could be increas (adding of resources) or are reduc (deleting of resources for example for adding eshchyo an one unit).


Scaling of FlexPod

The decision of FlexPod could be scal as vertically, for performance gain and a disk space, and are horizontal, for support of the several coordinat developments.


Vertical scaling

One of the singularities which are favourably distinguish FlexPod from similar decisions — it are possibility of scaling. In a case with tuned decisions much beforehand you should carry the expenditure connect with essential restrictions whereas the configuration of FlexPod are not the fixed. The reference architecture of FlexPod served as an optimal start point, simultaneously allow to scale various resources (computing, network, SHD) at complication of requirements. The basic component elements of FlexPod was develop just taking into account necessity of scaling.

Computing systems

The server framework can be scal, add bleyd-servers UCS C, UCS-B or both that and others together. Additional servers become a part of the one domain of control of UCS.

Storage system of the data

If it are necessary to exceed restrictions of initially install SHD, on capacity or input-output, probably some variants.
Upgrade «on a place» at initial usage of FAS2240. The FAS2240 chassis will be transform to a standard disk shelf. After adding of the NetApp FAS controler all services will work in a former mode. There are no necessity completely to replace system or to transfer the data that demanded serious efforts and the considerable temporary expenses. It are known that many managers of NetApp considered such possibility as the big advantage.
Adding of second SHD. In an us configuration of FlexPod it are possible to add second SHD NetApp. As second SHD it are possible to select FAS2240 or any model of an average (a series of FAS3200) or corporate (a series of FAS6200) a class.

Unitized connection

The equipment support a unitized network infrastructure of FlexPod, are intend for support of the considerable possibilities of scaling in a basic configuration. To two units of the extension approv in the decision of initial level, it are possible to add to 16 rack-mount servers of a series of the C. To expand a network infrastructure for even bolshy scaling, it are possible to add units of the extension, switchboards of internal connection and switchboards for connection of servers.

Decision of FlexPod of initial level

Cost and scale of the decision of FlexPod of initial level was optimiz for the enterprises where are available from 100 to 1000-1500 users. The decision protected investments of the customer, g the chance to it to acquire only really necessary infrastructure, and then easily and quickly to increase it to level of the large enterprise, gradually connect to it all new resources in process of growth of needs and magnification of working loading.
The decision of FlexPod of initial level including for the first time in the composition of system of initial level of NetApp FAS 2240, the device of Cisco of UCS of a series of the C, Cisco switches of Nexus 5500, extenders of a matrix of Cisco of Nexus of 2232 Fabric Extender and the decision of Cisco of UCS 6200 Series Fabric Interconnect.
Ports and throughput of the network infrastructure unroll by means of the first configuration of FlexPod, supported to three setting of FlexPod. In other words, in an infrastructure it are possible to add to two additional setting of FlexPod (total three setting) before you will need to expand possibilities of a network.

Technical support and warranty

Circuit of joint support

The companies of Cisco, NetApp and VMware creat uniform center of support, where experts could play back this or that environment, diagnose problems and operatively solve questions of customers. It strengthened globally - joint model of round-the-clock support even more, which were develop to offer customers effective interaction for detection and resolution of the potential problems connect with the decision of FlexPod for VMware and projects of safe multiple user architecture.
So the circuit of joint support are intend for an exception of transfer «the marksman on another» and «games in Ping-Pong» in case of origin of problems at the client, provid open uniform support. Thus joint support in a case of reversal of the client in one of the companies sozdayotsya one «a global case» whom experts of all companies jointly solved. It allowed to service the client from «an one place», virtually creat uniform entry point. Thus any of three companies could be such entry point: Cisco, NetApp or VMWare.

Order, purchase, testing and commissioning

To buy FlexPod it are possible as an one ready, tuned and checked box. After such purchase it are necessary to place only in operation.

Self-made FlexPod

Again taka architectural decisions was accessible all and everyone could collect just like the circuit who are debug also ottestirovana in laboratories of Cisco and NetApp. It depended on you, - whether you was ready to waste time on collection and adjustment or to you to buy the ready decision more simply. It are necessary to collect and check up on the ready documentation.


FlexPod, including the decision of initial level, simplified development of a divid infrastructure. Components was integrat and standardiz for the fast, repeat and coordinat development. A part of more large reference architecture of FlexPod, the decision of initial level eliminated the majority of uncertainties at execution of the following actions:

  1. acquisition of resources;
  2. scheduling of a disk space and sayzing;
  3. passage to virtualization and a cloud;
  4. maintenance and selection of resources.

FlexPod reduced time necessary for a choice and development of a new infrastructure. After setting new applications and services could be quickly g on the basis of checked configurations.

It are the decision possessed nizheperechislenny advantages.

Acceleration development at the lower risks. In advance approv decision meant that FlexPod can be connect and launch quickly, accelerat development of applications at a smaller amount of problems. On statistics on the industry – on 50 % more quickly.
Corporate possibilities at the price of initial level. The decision of FlexPod of initial level used the components best in the class and offered the possibilities which are normally miss in other decisions of initial level. It are not required to sacrifice productivity, possibilities of scaling and effectiveness.
Protection of investments. Painless scalability and flexibility of the decision of FlexPod extended period it services. Components can be reorient easily according to changes of needs.
Simplicity of vertical and horizontal scaling. Unlike other decisions "on a turn-key basis", the decision of FlexPod of initial level can be increas and adapt according to the increas needs.
Extensibility. Unlike competitors, FlexPod could extend as horizontally, and vertically. The architecture of FlexPod served reference, but it did not mean that you could not deviate it — opposite. I.e. you could add or delete components from system both without the functional problems, and without loss of a warranty in a case of «Official FlexPod». If needed to deviate reference architecture, it are necessary to receive formally validatsiya that are not a problem.

Question of the price

As it were mention above there was 60 reference architecture, but it are possible to "deviate" them, in this connection there are no ready configuration of FlexPod as there are too much variants. Nevertheless the company of Cisco had certain «predeskontirovanny bandla» for an "average" and "small" configuration of FlexPod. The "big" and "small" organization for the USA and the CIS absolutely different, it it are necessary to mean concepts. So it are considered that «small FlexPod» began with 1000 users (for example VDI). It are necessary to understand also that when comparing decisions it are necessary to consider not only «it are uniform - the single price», «cost of possession» but also possibility of the extension. Also in case of FlexPod it are possible to buy in addition missing parts and a software us already b equipment that in appropriate cases could play large role.

Licenses and technical support

For acquisition of FlexPod, from NetApp the complete set of a software (Complete Bundle) for SHD FAS + 4th hour delivery or changeover of the equipment should be mandatory switched on. From Cisco this mandatory switching-on of support of SMARTNET.


Decisions of FlexPod gave to the customer huge flexibility and a freedom in choosing, support set of gipervizor and business applications. All it allowed to accelerate propagation of private clouds.

Remarks by errors in the text and sentences I asks to direct to a LAN.
This text of perenesyon in a blog of the company of NetApp from other habratopik were more its the owner.

This article is a translation of the original post at
If you have any questions regarding the material covered in the article above, please, contact the original author of the post.
If you have any complaints about this article or you want this article to be deleted, please, drop an email here:

We believe that the knowledge, which is available at the most popular Russian IT blog, should be accessed by everyone, even though it is poorly translated.
Shared knowledge makes the world better.
Best wishes.

comments powered by Disqus