It’s incredible to think that Cisco and Pure Storage® originally announced FlashStack™ back in December 2014 — which means we’ve been in partnership more than five years now! (I found the original FlashStack announcement from December 11, 2014.)

So I thought that with the current remote working climate — and the first-ever ‘virtual’ Cisco Live! is but one example — why not reflect on the recent highlights we’ve achieved with FlashStack. 

Bringing Flash to the Data Center

As the name suggests, the focus for FlashStack was really all about bringing flash to the data center and up the stack to benefit the wide variety of applications in use by businesses.  

We launched with internal reference architectures covering key use cases around server and desktop virtualization, both of which continue to help customers consolidate their workloads, simplify their infrastructure lifecycle management, and enhance the end-user technology experience in the <remote> workplace. (You gotta love the impact of low latency!)

FlashStack’s key benefit is really around the product architecture that makes up the solution, bringing stateless technologies together. (Think UCS and Pure Storage® FlashArray™/ FlashBlade). This architecture is what provides game-changing benefits, including: 

  • We can non-disruptively upgrade components in FlashStack without impacting the applications relying on the infrastructure. Say goodbye to out-of-hours upgrades!  
  • We can scale those same components in a disaggregated fashion. That is, we can scale components in the stack (compute, network, and storage) on the vertical and performance/capacity on the horizontal. That way you can start small and grow big without the constraints of other converged technologies. 
  • We can also add new innovation into the platform without the need to re-architect or revisit the original solution design. You can upgrade older models of UCS or FlashArray completely non-disruptively! Check out this joint white paper from Cisco and Pure Storage covering this use case. 
  • We can repurpose existing resources for new use cases through automation tools and open APIs. By leveraging the same stateless architecture, we can redeploy infrastructure resources for new application use cases like increasing your VDI footprint, providing data analytics via business intelligence/machine learning and AI to gain business insights, and increasing the resiliency/availability to business-critical applications (like SAP, Oracle, SQL, and Exchange) during heightened times of need.

A History of Innovation

In this time, we’ve released more than 24 CVDs covering a lot of the use cases mentioned. These also include the introduction of new technologies like NVMe, increased bandwidths for Ethernet (100GbE) and Fibre Channel (32Gb), High Availability with ActiveCluster, and data pipelines with FlashStack for AI (leveraging GPU technologies from NVIDIA). Here’s the library of Cisco/FlashStack reference documents 

FlashStack End to End NVMe over Fabrics

We’ve also released programs to help you quickly adapt to the changing business conditions in our current climate. With the VDI Quick Ship bundles, you can grow your VDI environment quickly and simply. (Read more about VDI bundles.)

FlashStack Quick Ship VDI Bundles2020 Highlights

One of the highlights of this year was bringing our Cisco Intersight integration to GA. The move to cloud-based management products to support infrastructure offers customers a cloud-like experience when it comes to simplifying infrastructure management. This can be achieved by removing the need to maintain on-premises management tools/integrations and consolidating disparate licensing for multiple infrastructure products. 

The results: The challenge of validating/updating device firmware with vendor HCLs for compliance has been drastically simplified! Plus, we, automated common admin tasks via the use of workflows. And we increased visibility of the infrastructure device inventory across multiple technologies and geographical locations. (Yes, I’m excited! I blogged about it!)

Final Word

So to wrap up… FlashStack is a mature solution that provides the disaggregated flexibility you need in your infrastructure. It offers you the ability to scale in line with your business non-disruptively, while allowing you to innovate and introduce new technologies without the need to re-architect. 

The big benefit is FlashStack helps you focus on the initiatives that are most important to your business. The bottom line is this. With FlashStack, you know you have the infrastructure that will adapt and grow to new challenges/business requirements without compromise.

Check out our webinar to learn more about FlashStack. 

 

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