FlexPod XCS, the newest version of Cisco and NetApp’s FlexPod converged-infrastructure platform, will prioritize hybrid cloud services, according to Network World. The new product, which is expected to enter general availability by the middle of the year, offers improved automation and management of cloud-native applications thanks to its closer integration with Intersight, Cisco’s primary cloud operations management platform, which grants users advanced orchestration, visualization and optimization of applications and infrastructure. The launch comes as more users undertake major efforts to modernize their infrastructures, evaluating each tool, including software-as-a-service and hybrid cloud services, according to Cisco’s Senior Director for Computing Platforms, Siva Sivakumar. “The goal is simple: Use whatever is available to supercharge IT productivity and agility to drive better operational results while lowering operational costs,” Sivakumar said. The tool gives users a single dashboard from which they can view and manage all FlexPod components, or switch to specific FlexPod views displaying current statuses of their FlexPods, including inventory, alerts and lifecycle advisories. Users can also perform actions including configuration, expansion and optimization without needing IT support by utilizing NetApp automated scripts and Intersight Cloud Orchestrator.