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SimpliVity slips Hyper-V into its hyper-converged party

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The “V” in SimpliVity now stands for Hyper-V as well as virtualisation, with the startup adding Microsoft hypervisor support to its existing vSphere and KVM use.

Its OmniStack is a hyper-converged product, combining and integrating compute, network and storage with ASIC-accelerated X86 server base hardware, and, up to now, the vSphere hypervisor.

SimpliVity product strategy veep, Jesse St. Laurent, said: “we’ve broadened our portfolio with OmniStack for Hyper-V, in addition to increasing productivity with sophisticated automation and predictive analysis, and delivering greater availability and risk mitigation through expanded multi-site deployment options.”

OmniStack supports Hyper-V environments within Microsoft Windows Server 2016, with Simpliviuty saying it provides the same benefits as vSphere-supporting OmniStack; namely “accelerated data efficiency, global unified management, and built-in data protection for Hyper-V based virtual machines running on SimpliVity hyper-converged infrastructure.”

The OmniStack v3.5 software release also adds:

  • An Intelligent Workload Optimizer which integrates storage performance and data locations with vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler, and can move VMs to dynamically balance workloads
  • REST API to help the development and integration of third-party products and custom applications,
  • Expanded multi-node stretch cluster support supports hyper-converged infrastructure spanning several sites,
  • Web-based OmniView tool providing predictive analytics and trend analysis for optimising performance, resource utilisation, and managing future growth.

A SimpliVity blog post says: “Intelligent Workload Optimizer’s integration with DRS does not require any data to be transferred as the VM moves to where the data is, which is much quicker and less resource intensive.”

Concerning the REST API, it says: “This API is based on our existing CLI, and therefore offers a very rich set of features, including native clone, backup, and restore functions. This allows customers to automate more of their workspace.”

The enhanced stretch cluster support “enhances our native data protection feature set by helping customers design for entire site failure with zero data loss and vSphere high availability recovery.”

Our understanding is that the stretch cluster enhancements and Intelligent Workload Optimiser are vSphere-specific.

The OmniView tool “allows customers to … diagnose issues by offering the ability to drill down and compare multiple data points within their environment. SimpliVity hyper-converged infrastructure and hypervisor-level data is captured within the customer’s environment and sent to SimpliVity’s support cloud for analysis. Customers can easily access the resulting dashboard through SimpliVity’s support portal. Initially, OmniView will be available as part of Mission-Critical support agreements, but availability will be extended to other support tiers over time.”

Nimble Storage set this predictive analytics flavour of support ball rolling with its Proactive Wellness feature, later rebranded as Infosight. It has been universally lauded as a great idea and is being widely imitated/adopted around the storage array and HCIA industry.

SimpliVity has accumulated $276m of funding, with $175m coming in last year. It is determined, well-funded, focussed and growing. This v3.5 OmniStack enhancement will please its customers and extend its market out to include Hyper-V users, heaping competitive pressure on GridStore, a hyper-converged player only supporting Hyper-V.

There is strong competition for SimpliVity from mainstream incumbents Cisco, Dell/EMC and HPE and fellow hyper-converged player and IPO-hopeful Nutanix. If SimpliVity can grow while these four players grow as well then it will be doing well. Cisco and Lenovo both offer some partner support to SimpliVity by the way.

There is one incumbent storage player without an effective hyper-converged strategy; NetApp, and El Reg's storage desk is wondering when George Kurian’s company will enter this market, if it does, and then how it will do so. It has no server platform to use as a base and will need a soup-to-nuts hyper-converged offering that can play inside its Data Fabric umbrella.

OmniStack 3.5 and OmniView will be generally available on April 18, The timing and availability of OmniStack for Hyper-V is aligned to the planned release of Microsoft Windows Server 2016. ®

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