For customers looking to implement a converged architecture in their branch office, the addition of the NetApp Ontap Edge virtual storage appliance to FlexPod is important, IAS' Woodall said.
"From the remote office with Ontap Edge through SMBs to the cloud, having a single architecture that scales is huge," Woodall said. "To be able to do secure multitenancy across that stack along with support for OpenStack and CloudStack speaks well for service providers."
Keith Norbie, vice president of Nexus, the Minnetonka, Minn. office of Stratos Management Systems, an Atlanta-based solution provider and FlexPod partner, said service providers are looking for all the types of enhancements that are coming to FlexPod.
Norbie said the integrated flash storage management could be one of the least-highlighted but most-important additions to FlexPod.
"Sometimes these things slip between the cracks in big announcements like this," he said. "But architecturally-speaking, this is significant. They're adding flash capabilities to FlexPod that weren't available before, giving it a full flash strategy."
One FlexPod partner who asked to remain unnamed called the addition of Cisco IAC management technology to FlexPod a big plus for channel partners and customers.
"While VMware takes a software-defined view of the data center, Cisco looks at the data center from the bottom-up," the solution provider said. "Everything with Cisco is built on the hardware. Cisco IAC integration is huge. It's Cisco's big play into the private cloud."
PUBLISHED JAN. 24, 2013