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Cisco, Pure Storage Expand FlashStack Converged Infrastructure Partnership With New CVDs

Joseph F. Kovar

Cisco and Pure Storage Thursday unveiled an expansion of their FlashStack converged infrastructure offerings to included the first Cisco Validated Designs featuring the two technologies.

The new Cisco Validated Designs, or CVDs in Cisco parlance, target virtual desktop infrastructure and Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC) environments, said Satinder Sethi, vice president of data center and cloud solutions at Cisco, San Jose, Calif.

The new CVDs represent the latest in the Cisco and Pure Storage FlashStack converged infrastructure partnership, which was first unveiled in 2014.

[Related: Q&A: Pure Storage CEO Dietzen Talks About NetApp/SolidFire, Flash Storage Future]

The first new CVD is the Cisco Validated Design for FlashStack with VMware Horizon that certifies specific FlashStack configurations for enterprise virtual desktop infrastructure deployments of up to 5,000 seats, Sethi told CRN.

The second is the Cisco Validated Design on FlashStack Data Center for Oracle 12c and RAC, which Sethi said were tested in four-node and eight-node versions.

Cisco also has seen FlashStack deployments with SAP HANA, and will eventually have a Cisco Validated Design for that solution, he said.

FlashStack is already generating interest from various customers, said Kevin Prahm, vice president of sales and operations at ACS, a Huntington Beach, Calif.-based solution provider and channel partner of both Cisco and Pure Storage.

"The unique aspect of FlashStack is that it unites a dominant company like Cisco and a strong storage innovator like Pure Storage and creates a solution that customers are looking for," Prahm told CRN.

The market is looking for Google-like performance, and Pure Storage offers it with FlashStack, Prahm said.

"Customers want something efficient, is simple to operate, and offers high performance," he said. "They see it in the FlashStack approach."


Putting the Cisco Validated Design label on a solution is always a good thing, ACS' Prahm said.

"CVDs are important," he said. "They bring multiple vendors together and demonstrate the unification of a solution. CVDs validate the overall offering for the marketplace."

Cisco also works with other storage vendors on converged infrastructure offerings, including with NetApp on FlexPod, Nimble Storage on SmartStack, IBM on VersaStack, and Dell EMC with VCE, Sethi said. The company used to work closely on VSPEX converged infrastructure solutions with EMC, but those offerings are no longer available, he said.

Michael Sotnick, vice president of channels and alliances at Pure Storage, said the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has participated in thousands of joint deployments of FlashStack, and has taken Pure Storage to more than 2,300 customers as of the end of the last fiscal quarter. However, it has not participated in any other converged infrastructure offerings, he told CRN.

"Across the board, we're seeing wide adoption of Pure Storage for customers who have adopted Cisco UCS," he said. "Cisco's easy, elegant UCS solution works well with Pure Storage."

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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