Around VMworld many new companies are “born”… well most of them have been around for a while, but fact is that they go public around VMworld. With SimpliVity it is no different. SimpliVity is a new storage company, although “storage” might be understating what they actually do.
I had an intro to SimpliVity last week, and yesterday SimpliVity publicly announced their product the OmniCube. The OmniCube is a 2U unit which combines Compute and Storage resources in a single node combining SATA and SSD drives.
Yes I can hear you thinking aahhhh another Nutanix-alike solution… well not really and I will explain why in the upcoming paragraphs. I guess the biggest difference from a physical perspective is that this is not a multi-node 2U unit like Nutanix is. This is a single node 2U unit, it can hold a max of 768GB of memory but comes with 128GB by default. It holds two 6 core 2.5Ghz intel procs and 2 x 10Gbe and 2 x 1Gbe. From a storage perspective it comes with 4 x 200GB SSD and 8 x 3TB SATA drives. With deduplication and compression, usable capacity is around 20TB. This was calculated using conservative estimates for deduplication (1.5:1) and compression (1.5:1). Depending on the use case this is more than likely a lot higher. Yes the OmniCube is a beast.
But SimpliVity / OmniCube is not about hardware, SimpliVity in my opinion is really about the solution. SimpliVity took a VM centric approach, or should we say VM aware (Not unlike Tintri). All operations / policies are on a per VM basis. So if you want to enable replication, this will be on a per VM basis. Not just replication but they have added a whole bunch of other cool features like:
- Global management
- Deduplication / Compression (global!)
- Cloud Integration
The cool thing of course that these features can be combined. Having your snapshots deduplicated will have an impact on the amount of data stored. Only replicating deduplicated and compressed blocks will lower your bandwidth requirements… and that especially comes in handy when you are replicating / storing data in a cloud environment as the dedupe / compression is on a global basis.
Combine all of that with a tight VMware vSphere integration and I believe we have a very interesting solution on our hands. Now I know some of you are skeptical about these new companies popping up, and I can also be skeptical but a quick search on linkedin reveals where these guys are coming from… and with most of their engineers having a strong storage and virtualization background you know they will be on top of their game.
Simplivity has a booth at VMworld, for anyone interested in new compute/storage architectures definitely recommended to stop by, or register for their session:
SPO3287 – Everybody Wants to Rule the World. 5 Steps to Successfully Building and Ruling a Virtual Infrastructure Empire
Cormac also posted a nice article on this topic, make sure to read it!
Ryan White says
I attended the VMworld session these guys did, and I was pretty impressed with the live demo portion of presentation. I have been looking for an NFS-based, all or hybrid-flash solution to multiply the size of my VMware infrastructure and decommission racks of hardware that still hasn’t been virtualized in order to massively shrink our datacenter footprint. We’re about 60% virtualized right now, I want to get to 90-95% in 1-2 years.
In our primary corporate environment, we currently have a NetApp FAS2040 doing ~10,000 NFS ops/sec to serve 60-70 VMs, running at about 75% CPU and 90% I/O saturation. We could buy another NetApp shelf, but would probably max out the CPU, and the cache hit rate is already very high, or buy a bigger NetApp, but I’m looking for something more specifically designed for VMware from the ground up. Before VMworld, I was primarily looking at Nimbus (all flash, NFS-based) because I thought I wanted a 100% flash solution that was NFS based to allow per-VM snapshots and such.
After VMworld, I now realize I likely want a flash/disk hybrid solution that has a lot of VMware intelligence built in. I was really impressed by Tintri’s demo as well, but Simplivity really made me jump up and take notice. As part of our virtualization project, I hadn’t considered also solving our backup problem. We’re still largely using Backup Exec to backup individual VMs as unique computers. With Simplivity, the option to both replicate dehydrated data at the VM level between OmniCubes *and* maintain snapshots in Amazon S3, with the simple click of a drop-down, is really cool.
I’m now waiting for 2 things:
1) To see if Trintri has a response feature-wise, because I’m guessing that with more SSD’s in their box, they’ll have better performance.
2) To see what Simplivity’s performance is when they go GA in November (claimed). I need at least 30,000 IOPS/sec sustained, no matter the marketing speak, to be able to migrate my existing infrastructure *and* virtualize the next 30% of my physical servers. I was hoping for something in the 100-200k IOPS/sec sustained range, but I’m not sure if they’ll be able to hit even close to that without having to buy a lot of OmniCubes ($$$).
I’m looking forward to seeing what the next thing to come out of these two companies is.
Ismanto Semangoen says
then can you please elaborate competitive comparison between Nutanix and this “Not-a Nutanike-alike” (feature, scale, IOPS, computing power, capacity, etc).
Appreciate your point of view.
Thanks and regards
I typically don’t do competitive comparisons to be honest,