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​Pure Storage, Cisco tighten converged infrastructure links

Cisco and Pure Storage are offering more validated designs for their solid state converged infrastructure. The partnership is worth watching given the merger of Dell and EMC.

Pure Storage, a specialist in all-flash solid state storage systems, said that Cisco validated designs for its FlashStack converged infrastructure.

The combination of Pure and Cisco is worth watching amid the merger of Dell and EMC to form Dell Technologies. Dell EMC is the enterprise technology brand of the massive tech provider.

Cisco and EMC had been partners on the VCE converged infrastructure venture along with VMware. Cisco is still a partner with Dell EMC, but the compute portion of converged systems going forward are likely to run on Dell servers.

See also: Dell EMC adds to flash storage system lineup, touts more than 3,000 XtremeIO customers

Given that consolidation, Cisco's partnerships with independent storage providers such as NetApp and Pure become more critical. For Pure, the win with validated designs from Cisco is that it'll get more sales throughput with large deployments in companies moving to solid-state data centers. Pure also gets a big partner to do battle with rival Dell EMC.

Michael Sotnick, vice president channels and alliances at Pure, said the links between his company and Cisco have become stronger since the partnership was announced in December 2014. "We started with a reference architecture and the relationship has evolved over time to co-innovation and co-creation," he said. "These validated designs come at a time when there's a lot of disruptions and changes in the industry."

The FlashStack Cisco validated designs can combine Pure's FlashArray//m systems with Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) and Nexus switches. Here's a look at the validated designs:

FlashStack Mini, which combines the FlashArray//m10 with Cisco UCS mini compute and fabric interconnect hardware. Virtualization options include VMware or Microsoft.

FlashStack with VMware Horizon for enterprise virtual desktop deployments to 5,000 seats. Cisco has validated the design.

FlashStack Data Center for Oracle 12c. This Cisco validated design covers Oracle's 12.1.0.2 database and Real Application Cluster in 4- and 8-nodes.

Pure Storage and Cisco are also offering one-call support for joint customers. Cisco's Solution Support for Critical Infrastructure service will cover Pure gear too. The companies added that they will also build out channel support, leasing and incentive options, and marketing strategies for FlashStack.

Satinder Sethi, vice president of data center and cloud solutions at Cisco, said the aim is to "offer customers choice and partner as we see momentum in the converged space." Sethi added that it will have validated designs with more storage vendors and stand behind its VCE infrastructure with the former EMC.