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Cisco Ships Consumption-Priced Hybrid Cloud Storage Solutions

FlexPod-as-a-service, offered in partnership with NetApp, and FlashStack-as-a-service, offered in partnership with Pure Storage, are the latest additions to Cisco’s growing family of usage-based infrastructure offerings. By Rich Freeman

Cisco, in partnership with NetApp and Pure Storage, has added two new storage solutions to its Cisco+ Hybrid Cloud line of consumption-based infrastructure offerings.

The first is an as-a-service edition of FlexPod, a converged infrastructure solution that combines networking and server technologies from Cisco with storage systems from NetApp in pre-validated architectures.

“NetApp congratulates Cisco on raising the bar again with the Cisco+ Hybrid Cloud solution,” said Mike Arterbury, vice president and general manager of hybrid cloud infrastructure and OEM solutions at NetApp, in a media statement. “FlexPod-as-a-service is now available as an integrated offer allowing customers to buy what they need, when they need it. FlexPod-as-a-service gives customers more operational and financial flexibility by allowing them to focus on business outcomes instead of procurement cycles. Customers can now choose the FlexPod consumption model that matches their needs while leveraging our full portfolio of validated designs.” 

Introduced in 2010, FlexPod supported nearly 10,000 organizations and almost 200 reference architectures as of a year ago. The debut of an as-a-service version comes a little over two months after the introduction of a hybrid cloud version of the solution named FlexPod XCS.

The second usage-based storage product unveiled today is an as-a-service edition of FlashStack, a converged infrastructure offering first released in 2014 that combines servers and switches from Cisco with storage platforms from Pure Storage. 

“We are excited to combine our own Pure Storage as-a-service (STaaS), the industry’s most mature STaaS offer, with Cisco+ Hybrid Cloud to create FlashStack as-a-service (FSaaS),” said AJ Kapase, vice president of the Cisco Strategic Alliance at Pure Storage, in supplied remarks. “FSaaS is a robust software-defined infrastructure that enables observability across on-prem and hybrid cloud landscapes. Our joint customers can scale capacity up or down as needed, and only pay for the IT services they consume.”

Like other members of the Cisco+ Hybrid Cloud family, which include solutions for virtual desktop infrastructure, edge computing, virtualization, and bare metal computing, both FlexPod-as-a-service and FlashStack-as-a-service are available in a “pay as you use” model designed to scale up or down on the fly as needs change and a “pay as you grow” model that lets high-growth organizations flexibly add resources on demand to an initial service capacity they commit to upfront.

Over 50% of newly deployed storage capacity will be sold as a service or on a subscription basis by 2024, according to Gartner, up from less than 15% in 2020. IDC, meanwhile, expects 60% of businesses to fund line-of-business and other IT projects through OPEX budgets by 2025.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s GreenLake platform, Dell’s APEX platform, and Lenovo’s TruScale purchasing program are other examples beyond Cisco+ Hybrid Cloud of offerings from major infrastructure vendors designed to accommodate those trends.

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