FlexPod goes SolidFire: FlexPod SF

Being at Cisco Live in Las Vegas last week I was glad that I had the chance to join the FlexPod SF launch happening on June 22nd. Unfortunately, I forgot to make some pictures but I want to tell you some details on the new FlexPod.


According to IDC, FlexPod® is the #1 worldwide fastest growing integrated infrastructure and certified reference (source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker 2017 Q1) with a revenue growth rate of 26.1%. The other two vendors in the top three of market share saw their revenues decline. FlexPod SF is the first scale-out converged infrastructure solution in the industry, allowing customers to incrementally add storage as they consume it.

Since FlexPod was started in 2010 the validated Cisco + NetApp solution had great success and shows some amazing numbers:
2017-06-30 04_33_27-FlexPod_SF_Winnning Together June 15 PARTNER WEBCAST.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Reader .jpg

In 2015 NetApp then acquired SolidFire to grow their All-Flash Leadership and to offer a Scale-out storage system for the Next-Generation, Application-Centric data center.

And now, 2 years later FlexPod & SolidFire get together and the FlexPod SF is born.

2017-06-30 04_38_55-FlexPod SF partner deck_Final.pptx [Schreibgeschützt] - PowerPoint.jpg

The new FlexPod comes with Cisco UCS B-Series M4 Blades and Nexus 9k switching and contains the SF9608 storage nodes which can get up to 300000 IOPS in a 4-node cluster.
The design is fully validated and can be implemented like the regular FlexPod installations. 2017-06-30 04_41_56-FlexPod SF partner deck_Final.pptx [Schreibgeschützt] - PowerPoint.jpgLooking at the high-level design picture it is similar to what we already see and install since years so there won’t be a big need to learn everything from scratch again which is another plus point here.
The backend runs end-to-end iSCSI and depending on the B-Series Blade configuration you can run a 10G or 40G environment.
2017-06-30 04_45_43-FlexPod SF partner deck_Final.pptx [Schreibgeschützt] - PowerPoint
The SF9608 Node itself runs on Cisco UCS C220 M4 Hardware and comes with the following hardware:
– CPU: 2 x 2.6GHz CPU (E5-2640v3)
– Memory: 256 GB RAM
– 8 x 960GB SSD drives (non-SED)
– 7.6TB raw capacity (per node)
2017-06-30 04_51_42-FlexPod SF partner deck_Final.pptx [Schreibgeschützt] - PowerPoint
As mentioned before the solution runs iSCSI all the way and offers all benefits and features SolidFire had build-in. Esp. the QoS policies to define min. as well as max. performance for dedicated data streams is one of my favorite feature. It also helps to avoid “Noisy Neighbors” by setting limits for these workloads. Below you can find a performance chart before SolidFire QoS was enabled and after it was enabled:
QoS disabled:
Bild2QoS enabled:

Overall I like the fact that the FlexPod Family is growing, not only in revenue but also with new family members. I’m looking forward to see the FlexPod SF in action (ok I saw it at Cisco Live already) and to talk to customers using it to get some feedback.
2017-06-30 04_53_14-FlexPod SF partner deck_Final.pptx [Schreibgeschützt] - PowerPoint.jpg

That’s me done for now, need to board the flight back home. I hope you like the post and look forward to see u again on my blog or receive your feedback.



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