John McAbel, Senior Product Manager, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Senior Product Manager, Cisco Systems

This post is coauthored by John McAbel, Senior Product Manager, Cisco Systems, Inc. Mr. McAbel is currently managing the VDI, Healthcare, Microsoft and Oracle solutions across Cisco’s Compute infrastructure offerings.   His responsibilities cover a wide range of areas including charting solution roadmaps, determining benchmark and proof point focus, providing sales and customer education, and being the primary subject matter expert. 


The world is constantly changing. And 2020 presented us with some pretty seismic changes. Many workers were used to daily commuting to an office. Today, many of them still may commute only a few feet to a workspace in their home. 

Technology has enabled people to work from almost anywhere, using almost any device. For IT departments, however, enabling this remote connectivity for the business raises numerous questions, such as: 

  • How are system resources partitioned to provide each user the performance required?
  • How do you ensure that each user can access only the applications they need?
  • How do you maintain the necessary security policies and data access authorizations?
  • How can you identify the best practices of the system and the application stack that runs on it to enable access to the applications?
  • How do different job functions impact system infrastructure design choices? 

Cisco and Pure Storage® joined forces in 2014 to address similar challenges. In 2017, we released the first Cisco Validated Design for FlashStack®, a dynamic converged infrastructure. This year, we revised previous FlashStack designs to bring a new solution model to market. 

FlashStack now supports VMware’s most popular hypervisor and a leading virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) application that sets up and “brokers” remote user access to various applications. This VDI broker, VMware Horizon is tested for Versions 7 and 8. It can scale up to 5,000 concurrent knowledge workers (the main user type for most professional workers) or 6,000 task workers. Task workers need access to only a few applications and don’t require a customized desktop interface. FlashStack enables you to support these different types of users with the manageability that it’s known for.

Additionally, two new Cisco Validated Designs are hot off the press and ready for you to implement: 

Each was tested in Cisco’s lab and incorporates Cisco, Pure Storage, and VMware best practices. The result is a powerful combination of technology that leverages the power of each partner in a cohesive whole addressing the many challenges that come up when delivering remote connectivity.

Cisco’s server management capabilities augment Pure’s Purity data-management features, such as file capabilities tied to user profiles and home directories. With VMware’s partitioning technology, you can easily set up, manage, and grow an infrastructure to meet your current needs and future challenges. And you can work with Cisco’s Rapid Deploy service to implement FlashStack.

It’s hard to believe how easy it is to use this technology support teams to work at home, on the road, in the office, or even on a sunny beach.