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FlexPod is a relatively new innovation in data centers. Cisco and NetApp, along with a set of software vendors, have come together to create a converged infrastructure platform. Traditional data centers view its key infrastructure components such as server, network and storage in isolation. A converged infrastructure platform, such as FlexPod, integrates these three key components into one consolidated offering, thereby promising to reduce deployment times, lower operational costs and simplify administration and management procedures.
The FlexPod architecture is scalable and its main components are the UCS servers and Nexus switches from Cisco and the unified storage system from NetApp. Other features of this combined offering is the access to training and support that is seamlessly provided. There is also a network of over 600 partners that work with this platform and an open API that external vendors can integrated and orchestrate with.
Forrester did some interesting research on the economics behind opting for a converged architecture such as FlexPod. The research work involved working with a $1 billion plus organization that was struggling to keep up with a yearly increase of 30% in its storage requirements. The organization had 1500 VDI users, 1500 Microsoft Exchange and Share Point users and a SQL Server deployment of 1000 gigabytes. The total cost to the organization was in the range of $390,885 including software, hardware, hyper-visor and labor costs for the new platform. But, what was interesting is that the research showed a total saving of $1,186,796 over a period of three years. The savings were due to the following aspects:
- Lower cooling and power costs
- Savings by reducing storage hardware
- Cost benefit by not replacing physical servers
- Server automation efficiency gains
There are, however, risks associated with the solution, too, the main risk being the availability of trained staff that can fully work with the benefits that this sophisticated solution provides. The Forrester study therefore added a 15% risk adjustment factor to the results to bring down the adjusted cost savings to $858,185. The bottom line was a 120% ROI after risk adjustments and a nine month break even period, which is quite an impressive number in the data center industry.
While a converged infrastructure may not be the best solution for all organizations, organizations now can choose from a multitude of solutions, right from collocation to converged architectures. To find the best fit for your needs, do get in touch with the experts at LifeLine Data Centers today.