CiscoLive is Cisco’s flagship annual technical training, networking and education event, it’s also a great place to catch up and network with companies offering solutions which utilise Cisco technologies. Schneider Electric has recently introduced an infrastructure wrapper for Flexpod and Flexpod Express converged compute, networking, and storage solution developed by Cisco and NetApp.
At CiscoLive 2014 Milan I spoke to David O’Coimin, Solution Offer Manager at Schneider Electric to ask him how FlexPod and FlexPod Express with Schneider Electric can help organisations deliver more efficient IT. David explained that in order to make good choices about how you’re using your energy and to be more efficient, you firstly need to have good data or information. The Schneider Electric equipment that is being brought to the FlexPod solutions is able to show exactly where energy is being used and how much, including what’s happening in the Virtual Environment. This extends to providing useful guidance on how operators could move the load around to spread energy use better.
Schneider Electric brings further intelligence to the FlexPod Express solution by helping deliver a system designed to reduce the amount of energy required right from the design brief – even before you look at the actual applications delivered during operation. More specifically, using a forced air environment, such as that found in FlexPod Express by Schneider Electric, reduces the amount of work the Cisco and NetApp equipment needs to do to keep their CPUs cool. By then locating the FlexPod Express in an office environment means you don’t need the costs or space of a server room or chilled environment to cool the equipment.
This design for the FlexPod Express with Schneider Electric may in fact mean that companies can completely eliminate server room in branch offices and enable them to transform IT space back into more meeting or office space as well as removing the cooling costs that a server room incur. In summary, Schneider Electric bring two significant benefits to the FlexPod offers through a firstly infrastructure designed allow the Cisco and NetApp equipment to operate more efficiently via optimised cooling. By then adding monitoring and management toolsets that enable operators to remotely track energy usage and efficiency and better manage IT loads within the Flexpod to further enhance energy use and operating costs – all managed remotely eliminating the need for on-site or local IT support staff.
The combination of Schneider Electric’s infrastructure and management toolsets helps make an already compelling offer of the Flexpod and Flexpod Express even more attractive.