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Unified storage is the way forward

NetApp is a key partner in both the UCS launch and the Data Center Channel Solutions program. NetApp already has a very strategic relationship with Cisco. For example, we teamed with Cisco and VMware to announce support for the industry’s first (and still only) native Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) storage array; we resell the Cisco Nexus 5000 and MDS product lines; and we recently kicked off a nine-city “Virtualized Dynamic Data Center Roadshow” with NetApp, Cisco, VMware, and select solution integrator partners. This end-to-end virtualized data center roadshow highlights the “one architecture: three industry leaders” approach, which has proven successful with many customers.

NetApp IT is using Cisco Nexus and 10 Gigabit Ethernet in our Dynamic Data Center lab in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina. NetApp and Cisco have worked together to develop an Ethernet Unification Center of Excellence on NetApp’s campus in RTP that features Ethernet-based protocols running on a Cisco 10 Gigabit Ethernet backbone and have also worked together to provide similar demonstrations at Cisco’s Data Center Network Application Lab (DNA Lab) in San Jose, California.

NetApp and Cisco together provide unified storage and computing

With the UCS announcement, Cisco now provides the networking/fabric and server infrastructure for a dynamic data center. NetApp adds the storage platform that completes the offering. NetApp is a proven storage solution given its industry leadership in Ethernet-based unified storage and data management. Unlike EMC, NetApp and Cisco are the perfect marriage: NetApp with unified storage and Cisco with unified computing and unified networking, plus our mutual strong synergies with VMware, Oracle, and Microsoft.

The Virtualized Dynamic Data Center from NetApp and Cisco provides a solution platform that can be used across a broad range of application workloads.  NetApp has solutions for Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and Sharepoint, VMware, Oracle and SAP  – each taking advantage of NetApp’s  policy-based storage management capability.  Contrasted with EMC, which recently announced an Exchange solution based on Cisco’s UCS, NetApp creates the underlying foundation to provide greater efficiency and flexibility across many application areas on a unified storage architecture.

NetApp and Cisco joint value proposition:

·      Network unification and I/O consolidation with proven unified storage and fabrics

·      TCO reduction through data center simplification

·      Data center consolidation with investment protection

·      Increased business agility through VM-aware optimized solutions

·      Best practices 10 Gigabit Ethernet solutions

I think we’ll see more of unified storage and increasingly it could be the way forward, being able to send the network and storage down one patch could reduce the time to deployment significantly, be more efficient operationally, and bring the elements we need to bring our infrastructure to the next generation, a more dynamic and fluid IT ready for business. Interestingly, could the unification of storage and network be the ‘enabler’ for the small/medium businesses to join the virtualization concept?

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