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Agile Computing Authors: Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Pat Romanski, Tim Fujita-Yuhas, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

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Cisco and NetApp Expand Partnership to Unify Branch Office, Data Center and Public Cloud With FlexPod Architecture

Expanded FlexPod Architecture Driven by Deeper Technology Integration and Broader Solution Development

SAN JOSE, CA and SUNNYVALE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/24/13 -- Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced an expanded partnership to deliver new converged infrastructure innovation to unify branch office, data center and public cloud infrastructures under the FlexPod architecture. The partnership expansion includes efforts in technology integration, solution development, and continued go-to-market collaboration -- all designed to make it easier for customers to deploy and access next-generation cloud infrastructure solutions.

Current IT architectures comprise a fragmented combination of infrastructure along with public, private and hybrid clouds offered by different organizations and addressing distinct customer needs. Through a shared vision of a unified data center, Cisco and NetApp offer the ability to simplify deployment, management and orchestration -- connecting enterprise clouds to service providers, enterprises to branch offices, consumers to enterprises, and clouds to clouds.

Deeper integration across computing, networking, storage and orchestration components of FlexPod, combined with broader support for its open ecosystem of partners, will greatly simplify data center deployment and management, deliver greater budget efficiency, reduce risk, and increase agile business responsiveness.

Cisco and NetApp now boast more than 2,100 FlexPod customers across more than 35 countries and over 700 channel partners. Cisco and NetApp are building on this momentum by expanding their successful decade-long partnership to deliver greater innovation, including:

  • Deeper FlexPod Architecture Integration: Cisco and NetApp are forging deeper integration across Cisco® Unified Data Center solutions, NetApp FAS Storage Systems, and FlexPod ecosystem technology partners to create a common foundation for data centers and service providers, from branch office implementations to cloud-scale, multi-data center deployments.

    FlexPod solutions will provide the ability to manage up to 10,000 servers, allowing organizations to aggregate several FlexPod racks and enable multihop Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCOE). These solutions, tuned for service providers and distributed enterprises, enable infrastructures to be scaled with predictive performance and support.

    FlexPod continues to lead on the integration of infrastructure management tools and will support Cisco UCS® Manager 2.1, UCS Central and Cisco's recently acquired Cloupia products. In addition, support for Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (Cisco IAC) allows cloud management solutions for FlexPod customers. Deeper integration across FlexPod at the platform level, as opposed to at the component level, will enable FlexPod to be seamlessly orchestrated by partner solutions, including Microsoft System Center and Citrix CloudPlatform™ powered by Apache CloudStack™.

    Cisco and NetApp will also integrate Flash technologies at the host and storage levels, to accelerate performance across all areas of the converged infrastructure. At the server level, applications running on Flash-optimized Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS) servers can be further accelerated with NetApp Flash Accel, while at the controller and array levels, technologies such as NetApp Flash Cache and Flash Pools can be used to access cached data faster.

  • FlexPod for Cloud Service Providers: To accelerate momentum in the service provider market Cisco and NetApp are developing flexible, massively scalable FlexPod solutions capable of handling multi-data-center service provider architectures. The set of solutions will bring together NetApp Clustered ONTAP™ and NetApp FAS storage systems with Cisco UCS servers and Cisco Nexus® 7000 Series Switches to create dynamically provisioned pools of server, storage and network resources that can be scaled up and scaled down by service providers depending on application requirements. These solutions will use Cisco's Virtualized Multiservice Data Center (VMDC) architecture and will include management and orchestration solutions from Cisco and from ecosystem partners such as BMC Software and, in the future, from open source providers.

  • Branch Office Solution: Cisco and NetApp are partnering to extend the capabilities of ExpressPod to meet the compute, network and storage needs of branch offices. ExpressPod shares a similar converged infrastructure approach as FlexPod, and as a result, it is ideally suited to branch office deployments with an easy upgrade path to FlexPod as the needs of the branch grow. This easy-to-deploy architecture can be configured to offer greater interoperability with the core organizational data center, enabling branch locations to take advantage of some of the biggest cost-saving trends in IT, such as virtualization and cloud computing. ExpressPod includes support for VMware vSphere® and will soon include support for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

  • FlexPod Application Validation: Cisco and NetApp are expanding solution coverage to add more mission-critical applications and private cloud solutions for the datacenter. Mission critical solutions include Oracle Database and applications, SAP® BusinessObjects™ business intelligence and the SAP HANA® platform, and private cloud offerings include Microsoft private cloud and Citrix CloudPlatform.

Supporting Quotes:
Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer, Cisco
"The past 10 years of partnering with NetApp have proven to be successful in bringing a Cisco validated, FlexPod architecture to our customers. Building on that success, we're now expanding our partnership to deliver deeper technology integration and broader solution development across the unified data center for an open, scalable, multicloud infrastructure. Together we can help our customers use their current data center investment to address the challenges of a mobile-cloud era."

Manish Goel, executive vice president, Product Operations, NetApp
"NetApp and Cisco share a common vision for the future of the data center and will continue to collaborate on innovations that connect organizations under a holistic cloud architecture. Our development, sales, and channel teams will work even closer to deliver new solutions that broaden the market opportunities for both companies and our partners, and help customers gain a competitive advantage from their flexible and efficient agile data center infrastructure."

Simon Aspinall, chief of global markets, Virtustream
"With the FlexPod solution from Cisco and NetApp, we can deploy private and public cloud solutions tailored to our enterprise customers' individual requirements for mission-critical applications. The ability with FlexPod to dynamically integrate compute, memory, network and storage is unique in the market, giving our cloud and IaaS solutions a clear advantage."

Additional Resources

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to

About NetApp
NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) creates innovative storage and data management solutions that deliver outstanding cost efficiency and accelerate business breakthroughs. Our commitment to living our core values and consistently being recognized as a great place to work around the world are fundamental to our long-term growth and success, as well as the success of our pathway partners and customers. Discover our passion for helping companies around the world go further, faster at

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may be deemed to contain forward-looking statements, which are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, among others, statements regarding expansion of Cisco's and NetApp's strategic partnership, launching of a new solutions, Cisco continuing to lead the industry in partnership with NetApp, and bringing significant value to joint customers. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are only predictions and may differ materially from actual future events or results due to a variety of factors, including, among other things, the ability of the companies to partner successfully, the ability to achieve expected benefits of the partnership, business and economic conditions and growth trends in the networking industry, customer markets and various geographic regions, global economic conditions and uncertainties in the geopolitical environment and other risk factors set forth in Cisco's most recent reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q filed on September 12, 2012 and November 20, 2012, respectively and NetApp's most recent reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q filed on June 19, 2012 and November 30, 2012, respectively. Any forward-looking statements in this release are based on limited information currently available to Cisco and NetApp, which is subject to change, and neither Cisco nor NetApp will necessarily update the information.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further, faster, Data ONTAP, and FlexPod are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such.

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