I love my work and spend a lot of time talking to people about converged infrastructure (CI) with friends, colleagues and customers. While almost everyone I talk to gets the value of buying a pre-built, pre-tested IT infrastructure platform that can be online supporting business applications in hours instead of weeks or months – every now and then I run into a skeptic.
They stop me while I am talking – some may say preaching – about the greater business agility, the lower total cost of ownership, the better availability and most of all the confidence that comes from buying an outcome instead of buying components that need to be integrated before they can start supporting business workloads.
And their objections are inevitably the same. “But,” that rare skeptic interjects, “why should I buy a pre-integrated solution, when I can assemble it myself? I have the skills to be my own systems integrator. I have many years of doing this type of server, storage and network configuration. I want to know exactly what the various settings are. I want to turn all the nerd knobs myself.” Ok, they never say the last part, but that is really the gist of their objections.
After a few failed attempts to challenge these doubting Thomases directly I hit upon the best way to get them to quickly see the real value of converged infrastructure. “What does it say on your resume?” I counter. “Do you describe your job accomplishments as ‘built servers, racked and stacked storage and switches, cabled systems together, verified configuration, scoured the internet to determine compatibility of patches?’ Or, do you say you achieved things like ‘scaled infrastructure to support 2x business growth, reduced time to market by 83% for new application deployment, implemented efficiencies leading to 62% cost savings, and increased uptime to drive incremental revenue?’ Converged infrastructure lets you stop doing the former so you can focus on the latter. CI in essence, helps emphasize the value of business results on your resume.” And then they get it.
Cisco and Pure Storage can help you have a more compelling resume with FlashStack™, a modern converged infrastructure (CI) solution that is virtual machine-aware and hybrid cloud-ready, yet retains the predictability and efficiency advantages of dedicated compute and storage tiers. With FlashStack, customers can modernize their operational model, stay ahead of business demands, and protect and secure their applications and data, regardless of the deployment model on premises, at the edge, or in the cloud. With thousands of deployments in over 30 countries around the world, FlashStack continues to grow significantly year over year.
And this week we announced enhancements to the FlashStack family that extend its benefits to more use cases and more resumes.
Data warehouse deployments can be extremely complicated in nature and customers face enormous challenges in maintaining these landscapes in terms of time, effort, and cost. These databases are often the mission critical components of a customer’s business. For best performance, data warehouses need a system that is architected for the bandwidth to deliver multi-dimensional query performance. Ensuring availability and lowering TCO are also top priorities – making this a perfect use case for converged infrastructure.
To address these challenges we have expanded the FlashStack™ family to include new configurations with Pure Storage FlashBlade™. FlashBlade is architected to be massively parallel and eliminating serial bottlenecks that hold data back. FlashStack with FlashBlade is the converged infrastructure solution for delivering both the performance and capacity needed for a modern data warehouse with Oracle databases. It is a fully integrated solution that delivers industry-leading performance for Oracle Data warehouses and is validated by Cisco and Pure Storage. FlashStack with FlashBlade can optionally be integrated with a Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) software defined network for greater data center automation and application agility. It is also a converged infrastructure solution to address other other use cases that require data parallelism such as modern analytics and AI.
FlashStack for Oracle Data Warehouse
|Capacity efficiency*||1.5 PB in 4U*|
|Writes||Up to 3.9GB/s|
|Database load rate (ETL)||Up to 13TB/hr|
|*1.5PB Effective capacity based upon 3:1 average data reduction|
Organizations are looking for turnkey outcomes for more than infrastructure. They want to confidently and quickly onboard users, optimize workloads, and deliver secure, rich content to a broad and geographically diverse user base. With FlashStack, they can leverage a large portfolio of Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) to simplify deployment and management of workloads such as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, VDI, and more.
Using this validated design customers can quickly and reliably deploy FlashStack with Cisco ACI and FlashArray//X to support today’s dynamic applications. ACI leverages a network fabric that employs industry proven protocols coupled with innovative technologies to create a flexible, scalable, and highly available architecture of low-latency, high-bandwidth links. This fabric delivers application instantiations using profiles that house the requisite characteristics to securely enable end-to-end connectivity. FlashStack in ACI environments provides centralized, policy-defined automation management, multi-tenancy, seamless networking infrastructure for running both modern and traditional applications, and optimal network security and operational efficiency without the need to manually create and maintain policies or learn new programming languages.
Although virtual desktops are inherently more secure than their physical predecessors, they introduce new challenges. This new Cisco Validated Design based on VMware Horizon 7 provides demonstrated scalability and performance alongside quick and predictably deployment Horizon 7 for up to 5000 desktops. FlashStack helps maintain data availability and optimal performance during boot and login storms as part of the Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solutions. And FlashStack’s disaggregated architecture allows you to scale all of your components extremely efficiently and non-disruptively as your VDI environment grows.
We are also providing a preview of FlashStack™ SmartConfig which will simplify the deployment and maintenance of the extensible and continuously available, Cisco validated FlashStack solution so customers can move to a modern, flexible data centric architecture with confidence. FlashStack
SmartConfig will make it easier for customers to deploy, expand and maintain FlashStack solutions. It is the easiest way to deploy FlashStack all-flash converged infrastructure, automating hardware configuration and software provisioning so you are ready to deploy workloads in minutes.
This preview of FlashStack SmartConfig automates the Day-0 deployment and initial configuration of all FlashStack components and configures hardware and hypervisor to adhere to best practices to ensure compatibility. It minimizes risk by configuring the hardware and hypervisor components following Cisco Validated Design foundation to ensure that the system uses the latest supported firmware and hypervisor software reducing implementation risk and providing a proven delivery of infrastructure.
FlashStack converged infrastructure delivers maximum performance and reliability for business-critical applications, DevOps, and modern analytics – right out of the box. It has helped thousands of customers globally in over 40 countries reduce the infrastructure sprawl and complexity kept their IT teams from being able to focus on innovation and business growth. And, it gives them a more compelling resume!