At the recent Microsoft Management Summitt 2012 in Las Vegas, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and storage/data management firm NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) announced its FlexPod shared infrastructure now is enabled for Microsoft System Center 2012. Additionally, FlexPod is the first data center solution to be validated by Microsoft for the updated Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0, a program by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) that vets cloud hardware and software to reduce infrastructure and application deployment time and help achieve greater use of physical and virtual resources, according to Microsoft.

Simultaneous to the Microsoft announcement, Cisco and NetApp also released a Microsoft-validated private cloud with Citrix XenDesktop on the FlexPod infrastructure. With the XenDesktop addition, businesses can support new applications, migrate to new operating systems, and deliver corporate resources to new devices used by their employees, according to a Cisco/NetApp joint announcement.

FlexPod uses Cisco’s UCS compute platform, Cisco network switches, and NetApp unified storage systems utilizing ONTAP software. FlexPod is a pre-tested architectural design that combines networking, computing, and storage in a shared infrastructure and supports multiple applications and workloads to help customers as well as partners speed up their transition to the cloud.

"As virtualization gains greater adoption, customers are increasingly turning to multi-hypervisor environments to gain greater efficiencies and keep pace with the demands of their business,” said Phil Brotherton, VP and GM, Microsoft Business Unit at NetApp, in a prepared statement. “We've seen strong interest in the FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution among attendees at the recent Microsoft Management Summit. Working together, Cisco, Citrix, NetApp and Microsoft continue to innovate and bring differentiated solutions that offer outstanding efficiency and flexibility to customers as they implement Microsoft private cloud solutions."

Talkin’ Cloud readers can click here to read about the Cisco Channel Partner program. Additionally, click here to visit the NetApp partner program page.