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How FlexPod changes the mindset and method of the management department

13th March 2015
by Kees Boot

FlexPodUsing Flexpod has many technical advantages for an organization, but it also has some consequences for the way the management department is structured. As managing FlexPod differs significantly from the managing of traditional systems.

How to manage FlexPod? And what does an organization have to do to make sure that managers are ready for this new way of working?

About FlexPod

FlexPod is a data center solution that has been tested in advance. The solution is built upon a scalable infrastructure by Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus and NetApp Unified Storage.

Physically a FlexPod is delivered as a unit. All components are located in one rack, reduced wiring to a minimum, which will reduce the used energy and heat development. Click here for a document that describes what FlexPod is and also lists the advantages and possibilities one by one.

There are many validated designs that are frequently available for FlexPod. Virtualized environments include: VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange and SAP. Using these validated designs it is possible to react faster and with less risk on business needs.

Validated designs

In a validated design it is possible to build systems that are based upon existing techniques and common user applications. The design consists of a set of technologies, solutions and applications that are tested and documented in advance. This way specialists are able to design and implement a more reliable and predictable solution, which will reduce company risks and implementation times.

FlexPod and management

The management of a FlexPod is significantly different from the management of for instance traditional systems. A FlexPod manager has to deal with the central management of the lower three layers of the stack: storage, network and server. The manager also uses Unified Management, with UCS Director for instance, that creates the possibility to manage the whole environment. All this ensures that a manager will need a different mindset than the traditional one.

NetApp and Cisco have assembled a common FlexPod training program for these managers. The program concentrates on the management of FlexPod as a whole. Naturally a manager can afterwards specialize in one of the components storage, network and server. The manager will develop a T-profile: a broad base in storage, network and server with a specialization in one of these components.

What does an organization have to do to be ready for this change?

It is important that an organization makes the transition from a management system in which the management of storage, network and server are separated to an integrated management system.
The following step will making sure that managers do not only have expertise in the management branch that they were previously responsible for, but they will also gain expertise in storage, network and server as well. It is only then that an organization will be able to manage FlexPod successfully.

Is your organization ready?

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