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Network storage provider NetApp Inc. (NTAP - Snapshot Report) and Cisco Systems (CSCO - Analyst Report) recently stated that their FlexPod solution has generated over $3 billion in combined sales. FlexPod has gained in popularity since the companies came together to launch the series in Nov 2010.  Flexpod shipments have registered staggering growth of 81% year over year coupled with an average demand of $2 billion on an annual basis.

NetApp and Cisco collaborated to introduce this product, which is expected to accelerate the transition to the cloud. The FlexPod integrated infrastructure solution is built on a flexible, scalable, shared infrastructure that combines computing, networking and storage solutions.

FlexPod is available worldwide through more than 1,000 FlexPod channel partners. There are more than 4,100 customers that use the solution for their data center infrastructure. Moreover, it provides an efficient infrastructure that can be scaled up to meet the growing demands of different businesses.

It is also worth mentioning that its technology partners such as Microsoft (MSFT - Analyst Report), SAP (SAP - Analyst Report), Oracle, Citrix, F5, BridgeHead Software, Eaton, and Splunk have also contributed to the uptake by enhancing applications to run on a FlexPod integrated infrastructure.

Given the popularity of integrated infrastructure and an increase in the demand for services to ensure data protection, there is a need for a sound data center infrastructure. NetApp is doing its bit to make this possible through the FlexPod solution.

According to Gartner, the integrated systems market is expected to grow at a four-year (2012-2016) compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 56.3%. We believe that such collaborations would help NetApp to build and support its cloud services network and remain a key player in the virtualization and network storage market

Moreover, we believe that NetApp’s innovative product line-up, frequent updates and shareholder-friendly activities will boost profitability, going forward. The company’s partnership with Oracle and Verizon and rapid adoption of its ONTAP system are the other positives.

However, soft demand from U.S. federal agencies and constricted IT spending in general remain headwinds. Competition from EMC Corp. also poses a challenge for the company.

NetApp currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).


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