Cisco UCS (Unified Computing System, codenamed Project California during development) was introduced in 2009. It was originally developed as a data center server technology optimized for VMware virtualization workloads, but nowadays is used in many mid-size and large enterprises. One of the key advantages of UCS from a system administration perspective is the radical reduction in system management points to a single management point called the UCS Manager (UCSM) which is implemented as an NX-OS kernel module in a Cisco Nexus 6000 series Fabric Interconnect (FI) switch. A FI is essentially a Top-Of-Rack switch as far as UCS is concerned.
NETCONF (Network Configuration Protocol) is a network management protocol developed and standardized by the IETF Netconf Working Group. It was first published in December 2006 as RFC 4741 with a revised version published in June 2011 as RFC 6241. It provides mechanisms to install, manipulate, and delete the configuration of network devices. The same IETF Working Group also produced supporting RFCs for various transport mappings, including: RFC 4742 – Using the NETCONF Configuration Protocol over Secure SHell (SSH). Obsoleted by RFC 6242 (2011) which introduced a new framing mechanism to address some potential security issues with the initial design RFC
FlexPod was NetApp‘s response to the Cisco, EMC, VMware joint partnership announced in November 2009 to develop cloud computing platforms called Vblock Infrastructure Packages. The partnership was originally called the VMware-Cisco-EMC Alliance but the name was later shortened to VCE (Virtual Computing Environment) coalition. VCE sells products it calls Vblock systems as converged infrastructure that combine VMware vSphere, Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus switches, and EMC Symmetrix storage. It sells into VMware-specific markets. Vblocks are engineered systems whereas FlexPod is a reference architecture rather than a fixed hardware and software package. There are reference architectures, called solution configurations, for both virtualized