Like the aforementioned Scale Computing, SimpliVity is a hyper-convergence player. Perhaps I should have defined hyper-convergence…
Aside: Hyper-convergence is the idea of putting all the building blocks needed to create a virtualized infrastructure into fixed-size building blocks that can be added on the fly in order to scale linearly. A bit of software magic on top of commodity hardware is typically what makes this possible.
Okay, back to SimpliVity… They offer a “building block” called OmniCube which is your run of the mill compute, networking, and storage in one box. There are two things that make their product stand out in my mind:
- They offload a portion of the workload that makes this scale-out magic possible onto a PCIe card dubbed the OmniCube Accelerator. This essentially gives compute power back to the VMs that will be running on the OmniCube.
- As of VMworld 2014, they have a partnership with Cisco that allows OmniCube technology to be deployed on Cisco UCS hardware. This is HUGE in my opinion and I will elaborate on why.
Justin thinks that this partnership is a trial-run of sorts in preparation for Cisco to acquire SimpliVity. The Whiptail thing doesn’t seem to have panned out quite yet, and maybe he’s right. But I think in the short term this is a huge win for SimpliVity in terms of getting potential customers comfortable with their solution. When I bring up Nutanix, a customer might say “Too new; never heard of them; don’t want to wind up stranded when I have a failure.” Whether or not that perception is correct, it does exist. Partnering with Cisco is a way for SimpliVity to say “Look, you run Cisco hardware in lots of other areas in your environment. Our solution will be no different. You’re still covered by Cisco.” Leveraging Cisco’s brand will unlock potential deals that never would have had a chance before this partnership!
More on SimpliVity and VFD4: