VMware EMC partner Cisco inks reselling deal... with Simplivity

Exocet for EVO: RAIL?

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Cisco has fired a ship-killer of an Exocet missile at VMware’s EVO:RAIL by doing a server reselling deal with Simplivity.

There are two hyper-converged server/storage/networking system leaders, both startups – Simplivity and Nutanix.

VMware's EVO: RAIL is hyper-converged system software running on the hardware of certified partners – with Cisco not being one of those partners.

Dell struck an OEM deal with Nutanix in June, giving it access through Dell to its channel.

Now Simplivity has set up a partnership with Cisco that does not cause any conflict with its existing channel.

Intriguingly Simplivity’s own OmniCube appliances use Dell hardware.


Cisco 2U rackmount UCS C240 M3 server

Simplivity resellers supply OmniCube software running on Cisco UCS C240 M3 servers and Cisco reps get paid for the UCS deal, but the Simpivity VAR fronts the deal. The deals are registered by the Simpivity VARs and, Simplivity CEO and founder Doron Kempel says, “There’s no way round the registration,” and hence no way Cisco could take the deals direct.

We will have, as soon as VMware EVO: RAIL partners deliver kit, direct competition between the OmniCube/UCS system, called an OmniStack Integrated Solution (OIS) and, for example, a Dell-based EVO: RAIL system. That competition will be include the hardware and the software stack.

Simplivity’s 2U OmniStack has a range of models and its hardware includes:

  • Xeon X86 server with 16 - 24 cores using up to two E5-2600 and E5-2600 v2 processor product families
  • 256GB - 651GB of RAM available to VMs
  • PCIe Accelerator card with NVRAM and FPGAs to dedupe and compress data
  • 6 x 400GB SSDs = 2.4TB of flash
  • <li.18 x 1TB disk drives = 18TB of disk
  • 4 x 1GbitE (RJ45) plus either 2 X 10GbitE (SFP+) or 2 x 10GbitE (10GBaseT)

The effective storage capacity is 12TB- 25TB depending on the data reduction ratio. The networking supports IP protocols and FCOE. Capacity and performance scales out by adding more OmniStack appliances.

The software features:

  • Global virtualisation
  • VM-level backup and replication
  • All management actions, policies and actions are on a per-VM basis
  • Global, unified management

The EVO: RAIL HCIA (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance) hardware, meaning each server node in the base 2U 4-node appliance, will include:

  • Two Intel E5-2620 v2 six-core CPUs
  • 192GB of memory
  • One SLC SATADOM or SAS HDD as the ESXi boot device
  • Three SAS 10K RPM 1.2TB HDD for the VMware Virtual SAN datastore
  • One 400GB MLC enterprise-grade SSD for read/write cache
  • One Virtual SAN-certified pass-through disk controller
  • Two 10GbitE NIC ports (configured for either 10GBase-T or SFP+ connections)
  • One 1GbitE IPMI port for remote (out-of-band) management

That’s a combined total of at least 100GHz CPU resources, 768GB of memory resources, 14.4TB of storage capacity and 1.6TB of read/write flash cache capacity (storage acceleration services) = 16TB of VSAN of which 13.1TB appears to be usable. That’s 52.4TB scaled out to four appliances.

Its software includes VMware’s vSphere, Virtual SAN, vCenter Log Insight, the EVO: RAIL engine and an HTML-5 intuitive user interface. We understand Each node runs vSphere and Virtual SAN, configured as a single vSphere cluster with a single distributed Virtual SAN datastore.

EVO:RAIL has no deduplication or replication, and no PCIe accelerator card but it has more server nodes and hence higher resiliency.

The Simplivity design enables consolidation across data centres. It also provides backup to and restoration from another Simplivity OmniCube.OmniStack appliance or to Amazon.

Get a Simplivity/Cisco-based OmniStack datasheet here (PDF) and its Reference Architecture here (PDF and registration). ®

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