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SimpliVity Blog

SimpliVity Announces Support for VMware vRealize Automation

July 28, 2015 |

SimpliVity is pleased to announce the availability of the SimpliVity OmniCube with VMware vRealize Automation Reference Architecture – a private cloud reference architecture featuring “out of the box” compatibility between SimpliVity OmniCube and VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) and vRealize Orchestration (vRO). VMware’s vRA accelerates the delivery and management of IT infrastructure, applications, and custom services by employing policy-based governance and logical application modeling. This ensures private cloud services are delivered at the right size and service level for the task that needs to be performed. Full lifecycle management for virtual machines is achieved by enabling a multi-tenant approach, leveraging VMware’s…

Data Center Transformation To Achieve Productivity and Cost Savings

July 24, 2015 |

Operational run rate expenses are most often the lion’s share of an IT budget. These are the fixed and constant costs, such as staff salaries, outsourcing, facilities costs, power and cooling, maintenance fees, and the like. These fixed costs are often referred to as “keeping the lights on.” Then there’s the rest of budget—more likely a smaller percentage of the overall IT allocation—that is used to fund IT investments in new projects and innovation. High fixed costs means that organizations have less flexibility to be responsive to market conditions, so changing the ratio of fixed and variable costs is key….

The Evolution of Hyperconvergence

July 23, 2015 |

So you’re interested in hyperconvergence – what is it and why should you care about the “hyper” part? Let’s take a step back and look at how we got here. There are three phases of convergence, all of which started in 2009 in response to the glaring need for a simplified and consolidated datacenter infrastructure. As I discussed in my last blog, the collection of point products in the datacenter acquired over a decade creates several challenges. It became clear to industry experts that the ideals of cloud (i.e.: agility, scalability, control, and self-service) could not be achieved without taking…

Webinar Poll Reveals Data Protection Challenges

July 21, 2015 |

SimpliVity had the pleasure of hosting guest speaker Henry Baltazar from Forrester Research on a webinar, “Hyperconverged Infrastructure: The Intersection of IT Evolution and Backup Modernization” last week. In the 45-minute session, SimpliVity and Forrester looked at the typical pain points and drivers in the market fueling changes with data protection, and how SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure is actually addressing backup, and disaster recovery issues. Forrester analyst Henry Baltazar shared some insights about challenges in the market, including: limited backup windows, data growth, increasing recovery demands, greater complexity, and remote/mobile workers, and the increasing criticality of applications and data. During the…

Data Center Consolidation with Hyperconverged Infrastructure

July 18, 2015 |

Today’s IT organizations generally buy and integrate numerous point solutions, from a plethora of vendors, each with its own training courses, licensing, refresh cycles, and mode of operation. These point products are the result of years of planning and investments to support business applications. We hear the same story time and time again: You virtualized about 5 to 8 years ago and naturally a data protection strategy project came directly after that. The SharePoint implementation project for your marketing organization took eons to complete and required purchasing a new SAN. It feels like you just bought that SAN yesterday but…

Hyperconverged Infrastructure at Midmarket Companies: What’s Cost Got To Do With It?

July 14, 2015 |

Challenges at Midmarket Companies Midmarket organizations are challenged by infrastructure complexity, often impacting their ability to address business and IT requirements in a timely fashion. They also strive to improve service delivery while reducing costs. According to ESG’s 2015 IT Spending Intentions research report, the average expected net increase in 2015 IT budgets is 3.33% for midmarket organizations; as a result, budget constraints often limit midsize organizations’ ability to stay ahead of the innovation curve. That means midmarket companies look for savings in other places to fund innovation and improved service delivery. A Computerworld 2015 Forecast Study supports this. The…

The Intersection of IT Evolution and Backup Modernization

July 10, 2015 |

It’s no wonder that improving backup/recovery and disaster recovery are on the top of annual IT priorities lists! Your data center is continually changing. Virtualization proliferation, cloud models, expansion with remote and branch offices, and sheer capacity growth, coupled with the ongoing challenges of managing legacy backup and replication products, are creating pain points in organizations of all sizes. At the same time, initiatives to reduce complexity, consolidate data centers and disparate IT components, integrate management consoles, create efficiencies for operational staff via automation, and scale to keep pace with growth are dictating changes in IT infrastructure. For some, these…

NY Hospital Optimizes App Delivery Performance and Data Protection

July 9, 2015 |

Many IT organizations are hindered by siloed data center architectures and legacy data protection solutions that are inherently inefficient and inflexible. St. John’s Riverside Hospital in New York is a perfect example. St. John’s was running a mix of applications including Oracle, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, and Pyxis medication inventory tracker across its fractured IT infrastructure. The hospital also used Citrix XenApp VDI to provide a standard, centrally controlled workspace to thousands of distributed healthcare workers. St. John’s aging IT systems were running out of capacity and becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and extend. Ensuring high availability and performance…

Gartner: Hyperconverged Infrastructure (like SimpliVity) is a great fit for the mid-market

June 30, 2015 |

Gartner analysts Mike Cisek and Jeffrey Hewitt have just released a new report focused on the challenges that are specific to the midmarket, recommending hyperconvergence to simplify the data center. “Midmarket I&O leaders spend nearly 70% of their IT budgets to “run the business” — Mike Cisek and Jeffrey Hewitt, Gartner, “Simplify the Midmarket Data Center With Hyperconverged Infrastructure Solutions.” 24 June 2015. At SimpliVity, we see this as a consistent challenge across the thousands of customers, executives and administrators we speak to: they are spending too much time “keeping the lights on.” Our IT environments are only getting more…

Introducing the EMEA-focused 2015 State of Hyperconverged Infrastructure Insights Report

June 30, 2015 |

Hyperconverged infrastructure has become a major force in the modern data center. Books are being written, informational sites are popping up, and the data center market is burgeoning with solutions labeled as hyperconverged. This trend is unlike many that impact IT pros. Whereas the market often sees trends fizzle out as the hype level increases, hyperconverged infrastructure as a market segment continues to see explosive growth and interest. The reason is simple: hyperconvergence finally helps IT begin to make good on many promises that have been made over the years, such as simplifying what has become a complex IT operational…

Game-Changing Backup and Disaster Recovery for Microsoft SQL Server

June 27, 2015 |

As a recent infrastructure architect at NewPage Corporation (now Verso Corp), I had first-hand experience in running Microsoft SQL Server on SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure. NewPage runs more than 30 SQL databases, including a 3.4TB Microsoft SQL Server Data Warehouse. In most cases, these were business-critical, so performance was always a top consideration when selecting IT infrastructure equipment. One of the key challenges for our organization was the backup and disaster recovery of Microsoft SQL Servers. For years our database administrators (DBAs) have relied on Microsoft SQL’s built-in tools, such as SQL Management Studio, for mining logs and backing up data….

Advantages of Deduplication: WAN Efficiencies

June 26, 2015 |

There are several efficiencies SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure customers gain by deduplicating all data once and forever: reduced CPU consumption, reduced disk IOPS, reduced capacity consumption, improved utilization of cache, faster backups and restores and optimized data mobility across the WAN. Data Mobility over the WAN Is More Efficient When Deduplicated Deduplicating all data once and forever includes data moved to remote data centers. One of our solution architects had a great blog using a Lego analogy to describe how we intelligently execute remote backups between data centers. This opens up a world of geographic data movement that has never existed…

Native Data Protection in Hyperconverged Infrastructure

June 24, 2015 |

The saying, “The more things change, the more things stay the same,” applies well to one area that continues to top the IT priorities list for organizations year in and year out – data protection. The Enterprise Strategy Group’s (ESG) 2015 IT Spending Intentions Survey found that improving data backup and recovery was the second highest IT priority, just behind information security initiatives. This doesn’t look much different than the 2010 survey, which had improving data backup and recovery in the third spot, just behind increasing the use of server virtualization and information security. The source of the data protection…

Hyperconverged Infrastructure and Operational Efficiency

June 19, 2015 |

ActualTech Media recently surveyed 500 IT professionals to learn about the State of Hyperconverged Infrastructure. Operational efficiency came out as one of the report’s key themes – it was listed as an IT priority and one of the main reasons why enterprises are turning to hyperconverged infrastructure. The report defines operational efficiency as “the measure of IT’s ability to achieve its objectives with minimum allocation of run-rate resources, including staff, budget and time.” Operational run-rate expenses make up a large chunk (sometimes the largest) of the overall IT budget. These are the constant expenses, such as staff salaries, facilities costs,…

Making Time for IT Innovation

June 18, 2015 |

I hear it all the time – midmarket customers today are frequently facing the same big challenge – they do not have time to innovate or focus on aligning IT with the business. They spend most of their time managing day-to-day operations or near-term projects, even though IT leaders want to focus on new innovation that can help transform their businesses. According to Gartner, they recommend aligning “data center initiatives with the Run, Grow and Transform (RGT) strategy and the business momentum.”* Run the Business – Is all about keeping existing operations and infrastructure running to serve the business. This…

SimpliVity’s Technology Showcase at Cisco Live

June 17, 2015 |

The SimpliVity team recently returned from Cisco Live in San Diego, where we introduced attendees to the power of hyperconverged infrastructure. Although this was our first time at the event, SimpliVity has been partnering with Cisco since last fall, and companies from around the world have already simplified IT through SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure with Cisco UCS, including Land O’Lakes, Assured Guaranty, Francis Drilling Fluids (FDF), and Ville d’Issy-Les-Moulineaux. Customer demands largely drive our product development, and their enthusiasm for the SimpliVity OmniStack Integrated Solution with Cisco UCS led us to announce support for Cisco UCS Director. With SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure…

The Secret Sauce of Hyperconvergence

June 11, 2015 |

What’s the real “secret sauce” behind SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure and just exactly how does SimpliVity do it? The Data Virtualization Platform and its three main ingredients 1. Data Efficiency – SimpliVity’s OmniStack Accelerator Card deduplicates, compresses, and optimizes all data, at inception, once and forever, across the entire data lifecycle. What this really means is that all data is deduplicated immediately and stays in its most optimized state forever. Period. With this approach, the need for purpose-built deduplication and WAN optimization appliances are gone. It’s what’s enabling SimpliVity customers to achieve, on average, 40:1 data efficiency. And yes, the rumors…

SimpliVity and Cisco UCS Director

June 8, 2015 |

Today, SimpliVity announced that it will integrate the OmniStack Integrated Solution with Cisco UCS Director to automate infrastructure management and orchestrate the provisioning of virtual machines (VMs) with native data protection and mobility across all global sites. UCS Director is an orchestration and automation solution that abstracts hardware and software into programmable tasks that are tailored to the customer’s specific business needs. Traditional IT infrastructure requires the orchestration of multiple steps, involving eight to 12 different components to accomplish a task on a single application or virtual machine (VM). The workflow and error handling is complex because operations – such…

FDF cures VM server sprawl & improves DR with SimpliVity and Cisco

June 8, 2015 |

Francis Drilling Fluids, Ltd. (FDF) is one of the oldest drilling fluids companies on the Gulf Coast and a true American success story. The company, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, started with one truck in 1977 and has grown into the largest drilling fluids supplier on the Gulf Coast and a leader in logistics operations for the fracking industry. FDF offers a full range of high-quality fluid products and services to its customers. However, last year, FDF’s legacy infrastructure was starting to hold the company back, Steve Schaaf, CIO for FDF, needed a solution that could solve several challenges: 1. The…

SimpliVity Introduces New OmniCube Hyperconverged Infrastructure Platforms

June 2, 2015 |

Today, SimpliVity is pleased to announce the release of two new OmniCube hyperconverged infrastructure platforms, the CN-3400 and CN-5400. Tracking the latest enhancements in x86 architectures from Intel, the new SimpliVity platforms take advantage of the new Haswell CPUs and the latest enhancements in the SimpliVity Data Virtualization Platform. Like the rest of the SimpliVity portfolio, the CN-3400 and CN-5400 platforms are hyperconverged systems that assimilate eight to 12 datacenter functions below the hypervisor, with a “pay-as-you-grow” building block approach. If hyperconverged infrastructure is a new concept for you, you can learn more by taking a look at the 2015…

Green IT and Data Protection in the Hyperconverged World

June 2, 2015 |

Green IT – it’s a trendy buzzword that most vendors claim, but what does it really mean? In 1992, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced the Energy Star Program, which was meant to enable businesses and individuals to save money and protect the environment through energy efficiency. Nowadays, Energy Star is the norm. The real issue in the 21st century is not the energy efficiency of internal devices, but instead the volume of devices. According to a survey conducted by TechValidate, more than half of midmarket customers used at least seven different devices before turning to hyperconvergence and…

Transforming the Credit and Investments Ombudsman Service with Hyperconvergence

May 29, 2015 |

Matt Grech from the Credit and Investments Ombudsman Service (CIO) recently spoke at the Sydney stop on SimpliVity’s “Get Hyperconverged” Global Tour. He discussed the data protection and operational efficiency gains that CIO has seen from implementing SimpliVity’s hyperconverged solution. CIO provides Australian consumers access to fair external dispute resolution services. The organization partners with more than 18,000 financial service providers to give consumers an alternative to legal proceedings. The company did not have a VMware or shared storage solution prior to implementing SimpliVity. CIO’s physical environment consisted of general-purpose servers with built-in storage, and the physical stack consumed multiple…

SimpliVity Supports OpenStack and KVM

May 26, 2015 |

In a recent post, we provided a glimpse into the architecture of SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure and discussed its ability to easily support different hypervisors. This week, SimpliVity announced that, in addition to supporting commercial hypervisors, like VMware vSphere, SimpliVity now supports KVM-based environments using the OpenStack cloud management platform. KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a free, open source virtualization architecture for Linux distributions. Since it’s embedded in the Linux kernel, it comes standard with Linux, and supports almost any guest OS within Linux. It’s robust and it’s free. Win-win. KVM is also the default hypervisor for OpenStack open source cloud…

Pain Points on Protecting Microsoft SQL Server – A DBA’s Perspective

May 23, 2015 |

To my DBA brethren, I understand your pain. Before I took a job with a vendor in 2006, I was a DBA for close to 20 years. Database administrators (DBAs) are the guardians of corporate data. Applications have service level agreements (SLAs), so DBAs are mindful about maximizing security and data availability, and minimizing performance impact on their servers’ hosting the application. They’re also persnickety about the database environment—very careful and particular about how their data is protected and how to minimize data corruption and downtime. It’s a lot of responsibility. One part of this tall order is data protection….

2015 State of Hyperconverged Infrastructure Market

May 20, 2015 |

Still sorting through the basics of hyperconverged infrastructure? Well, there’s a new report that will provide some insight into what your peers are up to—all 512 of them—and commentary by vExpert Scott D. Lowe. ActualTech Media recently conducted a survey via its hyperconverged.org site, polling IT professionals about their use of and interest in hyperconverged infrastructure. They released the results of that survey today in the 2015 State of Hyperconverged Infrastructure Market report. There’s a few ways you can consume the data: Download the full report Check out this eBook on SlideShare for a synopsis Attend the author’s June 10…

The Neenan Company Improves Data Protection and Boosts Application Performance with SimpliVity

May 13, 2015 |

The Neenan Company is one of Colorado’s top design and construction firms. Like most architecture firms, the company relies on a variety of design automation tools, construction and project management programs and office productivity and collaboration suites to carry out their day-to-day business activities. Prolonged system downtime or lost data can lead to project delays, budget overruns, dissatisfied customers and financial penalties. The company’s aging IT infrastructure was becoming a growing liability to their expanding business; full disaster recovery from a hardware failure could take as long as 48 hours using outdated tape-based backup and recovery tools. After evaluating several…

SimpliVity Demonstrates its Midmarket Leadership at MES

May 5, 2015 |

The SimpliVity team returned from the Midsized Enterprise Summit (MES) East in Orlando last week. The Midsize Enterprise Summit brings together 220+ CIOs and senior-level IT professionals to meet with top technology vendors and seasoned Gartner analysts about the latest and greatest opportunities for their business. After surveying midmarket attendees in our sessions, we found that attendees’ IT environments mirrored the overall market trends – 84% are more than 50% virtualized and close to 70% are greater than 75% virtualized. As much as these participants have seen the benefits of virtualization, challenges still remain. Our survey found three top challenges…

The Path To Hyperconvergence

April 24, 2015 |

SimpliVity has been on the road around the world (literally … we’re partially through our “Get Hyperconverged” 23-country/50-city road show). One of the things that we consistently hear is, “I’m interested in hyperconvergence, but where do I start?” Well, the nice thing about hyperconvergence is that it can address a variety of use cases in any size company. SimpliVity has examples and references across all 10. Remote/branch office implementations is one that spans the largest of multi-site organizations to smaller companies, such as a manufacturing company with its primary data center and the handful of plants it operates. Data Migration…

Customer Validation: Simplifying IT & Operations

April 17, 2015 |

With 70% or more of x86 workloads virtualized, many IT organizations are looking for ways to gain further efficiency in IT. Some are enabling the same level of abstraction (and the accompanying speed, automation, and efficiency) in other areas of the data center via software-driven infrastructure. Software-defined “X” decouples the software from proprietary systems and enables delivery of IT services on standard components. This is just one reason why hyperconverged infrastructure is gaining momentum. Simplifying IT and operations ranks right at the top too. A recent TechValidate survey shows that many of SimpliVity’s customers grappled with unnecessary complexity prior to…

Tech Refresh Hamster Wheel

April 9, 2015 |

Is it time for your triennial, quadrennial or quinquennial tech refresh? Many customers these days are looking at about a three- to five-year lifecycle on most data center equipment—server refresh cycles tend to be a bit shorter; while network switch refresh cycles tend to be a bit longer. That means that the overlap of purchase and deployment processes for major infrastructure components, including storage, servers, networking, backup (hardware and software), replication, WAN optimization and more, is likely an annual event in most IT shops. When it comes to IT infrastructure refresh cycles, are you running as fast as you can,…

Data Efficiency: Hardware-Assisted Deduplication

March 31, 2015 |

One of the key components of SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure solution is data efficiency: deduplication, compression and optimization of data before it hits the disk. Inline deduplication and compression are critical to providing efficient usage of hyperconverged infrastructure resources. When the processing is done inline, the amount of data being written to disk can be dramatically reduced. Eliminating the write (or the read) before it impacts the HDD is one more way SimpliVity improves efficiency. Although they are processor-intensive activities, SimpliVity is able to provide hardware-assisted deduplication and compression inline with zero impact to performance. To achieve deduplication, compression and optimization…

SimpliVity Supports Mission-Critical Applications

March 25, 2015 |

Mission-critical applications are mission critical because, without them, business operations will cease or fail. The apprehension with virtualizing mission-critical applications has always been performance, since server consolidation means multiple workloads will share server resources. The good news is that today’s CPUs offer the compute power to handle critical workloads. More recently, most of the worry has been about IO. Can the infrastructure handle IO-intensive workloads like Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, Oracle, and others? SimpliVity’s data efficiency is the keystone to our hyperconverged infrastructure’s ability to deliver improved performance. Many of our customers tell us that running applications on SimpliVity…

Data Efficiency: Deduping IO

March 24, 2015 |

“The best IO is the one you don’t have to do.” That’s famous advice from American computer architect and high-tech entrepreneur Gene Amdahl, and it’s words to live by in today’s IO-intensive virtualized infrastructure. A previous blog in this series detailed the data problem: random IO exposing IOPS as one of the most expensive resources in the data center due to the IO density issue with HDDs. Capacity and performance increases have not been in lock step, resulting in the decline of IOPS per GB. The data problem has been the catalyst for innovation, such as SSD (SSD arrays, SSD…

A Hypervisor Agnostic and Portable Platform

March 20, 2015 |

The core technology of SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure products is the OmniStack Data Virtualization Platform. This platform was written from the ground up to provide true hyperconvergence with multiple layers of data protection, enterprise-class features, data efficiency and excellent scalability—all managed from a centralized, global, VM-centric interface. It was also designed to provide these services to multiple hypervisors and to be portable to any x86-based hardware. The Data Virtualization Platform is separated into presentation and data management layers. The presentation layer is responsible for presenting datastores, virtual disks, ISOs and other virtual machine files to the hypervisor. Meanwhile, the data management…

Windows 2003 EOS in July 2015 … Now What?

March 18, 2015 |

Hopefully this blog post brings no surprise that Windows 2003 is soon coming to its end of support (on July 14, 2015 to be exact). With the run up to the end of support (EOS) of Windows XP last year, many businesses faced a similar situation—forced migration off of an aging Windows OS and on to the latest and greatest. There are many good reasons to complete an upgrade to Windows Server 2012, in addition to the end of receiving security updates: Despite all the security woes over the years, Windows Server 2012 is a pretty solid system. The latest…

The True Hyperconvergence Ticker Explained

March 13, 2015 |

On the home page of our website, you will notice a new ‘ticker’ with numbers scrolling across the screen. If you have wondered what is that all about, you have come to the right place for an explanation of what the fuss is all about and why it matters to current and future customers of SimpliVity. The SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure product architecture is unique in the market due to the combination of inline deduplication and compression, VM-centric management and native backup and cloning capabilities. Why do these things matter? Because when these capabilities come together, our customers are able to…

Data Efficiency: Deduplication

March 12, 2015 |

In my previous blog, I wrote about the trade offs made when considering different approaches to compression. In this blog, we will consider the same trade-offs for deduplication. At the highest level, deduplication and compression are both technologies that can be used to make data more efficient. Let’s drill down into what deduplication does and what resources are required. Deduplication is a technology that, as the name suggests, eliminates duplicate data patterns within a set of data. It became common in the early 2000s in backup-to-disk (B2D) devices. Several vendors, like Data Domain and Diligent Technologies, brought products to market…

SimpliVity Raises $175 M in Series D Funding; Positions for Category Leadership

March 10, 2015 |

SimpliVity today announced the results of its Series D funding round, raising $175M, at a valuation of over $1 billion. Thank you. I’d like to use this opportunity in order to thank our customers, partners, investors and the SimpliVity team; as well as shed some light on what this means for SimpliVity and our ecosystem. First, I’d like to thank our customer and investor, Waypoint Capital, who deployed SimpliVity systems across 5 global locations, and moved 100% of its applications to run exclusively on SimpliVity OmniCubes, all managed globally from a single site and from a single screen. Waypoint Capital,…

What Is True Hyperconvergence?

March 5, 2015 |

Infrastructure convergence has been evolving over the last few years. We’ve seen several waves of solutions up until now. Converged infrastructure only attempts to address the acquisition and delivery issues brought on by virtualization and cloud adoption. Converged infrastructure doesn’t focus on the problems that customers are trying to solve, such as the data efficiency, data protection, performance, and global management issues for workloads running in the post-virtualization data center. SimpliVity delivers a hyperconverged infrastructure solution. We believe that our solution stands apart from others in the market, which is why we distinguished our offering with the “hyper” prefix, meaning…

The True Measure of Scale in Hyperconverged Infrastructure

February 26, 2015 |

What is the true measurement of scalability within a data center platform? Obviously the number of building blocks or nodes that can be placed in a cluster is one measurement (and that’s the one most often cited). But is it actually the best measure? Hyperconverged infrastructure changes things: with hyperconverged infrastructure, storage is running alongside the business applications. Therefore, there are other factors to consider besides just the number of nodes in a cluster. CPU and Memory Resources Available To Business Applications The first is the amount of CPU and memory resources available to business applications. VMs sharing a host…

Hyperconverged Infrastructure Demo Video

February 19, 2015 |

For those of you looking to simplify your virtualization management experience, I think this recorded demo of the SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure management will be of interest. Hyperconverged Infrastructure Demo Video Table of Contents While reviewing the hyperconverged infrastructure demo video, if you’d like to jump to specific functionality of the SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure platform, you can use this breakdown as a guide: 1:10 – Policy management 3:51 – SimpliVity datacenter view & data efficiency metrics 5:30 – Virtual Machine management 7:20 – SimpliVity VM actions 7:38 – Manual SimpliVity backup 9:10 – SimpliVity clone 10:22 – SimpliVity restore 12:47 –…

Hyperconvergence and Deduplication … Child’s Play?

February 11, 2015 |

During a recent visit with a prospective customer, I was discussing how simple SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure is to deploy and use. While “child’s play” might sound far-fetched, it’s actually not. In fact, when I was explaining concepts of our hyperconvergence and deduplication, I found myself using a child’s toy in my analogy … in this case, Legos. For those of you who didn’t play with Legos as a child (or adult), Legos are colorful interlocking plastic “bricks” used to construct things. Today, Legos may come by the bucket—a mix of bricks, gears, mini figures, etc.—or come in sets with guides…

VMware Partner Exchange 2015

February 10, 2015 |

Lots to talk about after an exciting week at VMware Partner Exchange 2015 conference last week. SimpliVity kicked things off (pun intended) with a half-day boot camp for our partners, as well as a very fun Super Bowl party (my Massachusetts-based colleagues will want me to show some enthusiasm about the Patriots’ win). Thank you to all who came out to make these two events so VERY successful. It’s amazing to have so many excited and dedicated partners. We were also very excited to help support the VCDX candidates who were defending last week with lunch and a small “survival…

Don’t Believe The Hype: Efficiency Matters

February 5, 2015 |

At the VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) conference this week, there was a flurry of vendors using the term “hyperconverged,” including some taking baby steps forward regarding storage layer. However, these solutions are still only “Convergence 2.0” solutions. In contrast, SimpliVity simplifies IT by hyperconverging everything “below the hypervisor.” While the distinction might seem subtle, SimpliVity’s approach delivers unprecedented efficiency. And efficiency matters. Let me explain. When developing a hyperconverged infrastructure solution, both the scope of the functionality and the overall efficiency need to be considered. At SimpliVity, when we talk about hyperconverged infrastructure solutions, we often show an image of…

Data Efficiency: Compression

February 4, 2015 |

In a previous post, we referenced the importance of delivering data efficiency as a core part of the solution and not as a bolt on. The first data efficiency technology we will review is compression. There are two types of compression: inline and post-processing. This post will review both types. I have attempted to create formulas to help clarify the differences and make it simpler to compare compression options, as well as other data efficiency technologies. Let’s set the formulas aside for a moment and come back to them later with a discussion about how they impact hyperconverged infrastructure. Compression…

Data Efficiency: Defining The Data Problem

January 29, 2015 |

What is the data problem? There’s a common misconception that the data problem is the result of having too much data to manage. While data growth is a problem, it’s not the biggest problem IT organizations are facing today with virtualized workloads. Over the last 20 years, IT organizations have been focused on the problem of relentless data growth—trending at a 40-50% increase per year, according to IDC, and expected to reach 50x the amount of information by 2020 (an estimated 40 zettabytes!). With all of the innovation in the storage industry in the last decade and a half, one…

Data Efficiency for 21st-Century Data Centers

January 27, 2015 |

Storage efficiency has typically referred to the processes resulting in reduced storage and bandwidth capacity requirements. Compression, thin provisioning, data deduplication and even storage virtualization have had a huge impact on storage, IT efficiency and, ultimately, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of enterprise storage. These technologies are pervasive in data center services, such as production storage, backup, WAN optimization, and archiving. In today’s post-virtualization data center, virtualized workloads with different IO streams are sharing the physical resources of the host. This results in random IO streams competing for resources—and the emergence of new efficiency requirements as the IOPS required…

Introducing OmniCube CN-2200

January 21, 2015 |

SimpliVity recently introduced an upgrade in the OmniCube hyperconverged infrastructure portfolio. With the introduction of the OmniCube CN-2200, an upgraded replacement for the CN-2000, broader scalability allows our smaller configuration in the OmniCube family to solve more customer needs—at a lower price point! The CN-2200 now comes with several configurations of Intel Ivy Bridge processors: Single 8-core Dual 8-core Dual 10-core Dual 12-core In addition to CPU choices, CN-2200 hyperconverged infrastructure also provides a wider range of memory choices: from 128GB (71GB usable) to 512GB (455GB usable). The storage configuration stays the same with an effective capacity of 5 to 10TB,…

SimpliVity Backups Are Better Than “Snap and Replicate Backups”

January 19, 2015 |

By offering deduplication and backup functionality as core functionality in the SimpliVity platform we gain many advantages for saving disk capacity, eliminating unnecessary disk IO and improving data movement across WAN connections. Many people incorrectly think that our backup capabilities are similar to backup-like functionality offered in traditional storage arrays. Our method for performing backup provides better data integrity, faster backup and restore, and better utilization of bandwidth across WAN connections. Oftentimes, a storage array will provide backup-like functionality by taking a LUN/share-level snapshot and replicating that snapshot backup offsite. SimpliVity backups do not use snapshot technology. Instead, our backup…

It’s All In The Details: Why Hardware Matters

November 24, 2014 |

SimpliVity delivers our intellectual property, OmniStack, to market in a 2U form factor called OmniCube. From time to time, we get requests regarding selling OmniCube in piece parts: our software stack and our OmniStack Accelerator Card. SimpliVity developed a complete system in OmniCube because it allows us to deliver the highest quality product to our customers. We test every component within our system to confirm it meets our specifications. This may sound obvious, but it is not a simple undertaking. It requires committing a significant amount of technical expertise, time, and infrastructure. Why do we test so thoroughly? We test…

SimpliVity Progresses Towards a True “Datacenter in a Can” OOBE

September 17, 2014 |

There are a lot of moving parts to modern datacenter infrastructure. Beyond the metal boxes that make it all go, there are software components and services that have become so fundamental as to be part of the baseline consideration for any new deployment. Unless you have all the pieces you cannot assemble a datacenter efficient enough to be competitive. The march of progress has moved us far beyond mere FLOPS per watt (power efficiency) or watts per square metre (power density). In today’s world the measure of efficiency is more ephemeral, with Operational Expenses (OpEx) mattering more at scale than…

Hyperconverged Defined

September 12, 2014 |

If you were watching social media or blog/media coverage of VMworld two weeks ago, you’ve heard a lot about hyperconvergence.  Not unlike “cloud” was 5 years ago (and to some extent still today), it’s a word that is applied loosely to many different technologies and platforms.  Now that it’s achieved a buzzword status, the industry must narrow down the definition of the term. Clearly the IT industry is going through a major change.  It started with the integration of the entire stack, including all the same infrastructure pieces you’re used to, delivered and supported in a rack-level appliance (what SimpliVity…

OmniStack Inside of Cisco? Yes You Can!

August 24, 2014 |

For my first official post for SimpliVity, I have the distinct privilege of announcing the technical details of our new offering: OmniStack Integrated Solution with the Cisco UCS C240. With this announcement, you can easily purchase both Cisco’s C240 M3 server and SimpliVity’s OmniStack technology and have them factory integrated and configured. That’s right! You can now purchase SimpliVity’s ground-breaking technology in a Cisco-based appliance. Before joining the SimpliVity team, I worked for a Cisco reseller and did a lot with Cisco UCS. It was difficult to come to terms with no longer working on a platform I have watched…

Cloud economics with Enterprise capabilities — now provided by SimpliVity with Cisco

August 24, 2014 |

We’ve heard from our customers loud and clear. They’re being asked to do more and more, with less and less. Their CFO is asking, “why can’t our data center to be more economical — like Google’s and Facebook’s?” Their CISO is asking, “while you’re at it, can you please make sure our company’s critical data has the highest levels of protection?” Lines of business are asking, “can you help us get our new customer-facing applications to market more quickly?” Everyone is asking – can you improve the performance of our tier 1 applications – Microsoft Exchange, SQL server, Oracle, SAP,…

“No Limits” To Why You Should Attend VMworld

July 15, 2014 |

There’s a little over six weeks until VMworld 2014 in San Francisco. If you haven’t figured out if you’re attending yet, you might want to get going. Whether it’s your first or fifth (this year will be my eighth), there are plenty of things to do—and learn. Why should you go? In keeping with VMworld’s theme this year, there are NO LIMITS to the reasons to attend, but here are 10 to consider: It only happens once a year. Sure, you can download sessions online or attend a VMUG at other points in the year, but it’s not the same…

Kudos To Gartner…And Predictions Regarding The Future

June 27, 2014 |

Kudos to Gartner for intellectual integrity and courage in the face of rapid and analytically puzzling evolutionary progression and pressure from incumbent leaders. However, this so-called Integrated Systems category—the subject matter of a new Magic Quadrant—is an already fading category. By integrated systems, I am referring to a collection of disparate products that were stitched together in a single container under common management. By definition, each of the stitched products were not originally intended to be part of a unified whole. This is a clever, rapid packaging/marketing response to the demand for simplification and cost reduction by enterprise customers (more…

The Software-Defined Data Center Myth

April 23, 2014 |

I am writing this blog as I return home from the Software-Defined Data Center Symposium (thanks to Gestalt IT for a great event!). Attending and presenting at the symposium gave me an opportunity to speak with a lot of folks who are thinking about Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) and how it fits into their environments. Okay, so the title is a little over the top. However, there is an important point that is getting lost in the SDDC hype: Virtualized does not equal software-defined. Virtualization is only part of the story. The SDDC must also provide policy-driven automation, hardware abstraction,…

Delivering Infrastructure Convergence 3.0

December 23, 2013 |

SimpliVity is pioneering the next generation of converged infrastructure, Convergence 3.0. This is the first in a series of posts in which we provide an overview of the convergence landscape and demonstrate how SimpliVity is able to provide benefits and customer value far beyond all other offerings in the market. Click here for my presentation at the Gartner Data Center Conference 2013 in which I introduced Convergence 3.0. The IT infrastructure market is undergoing unprecedented transformation. The most significant transformation is reflected by two narratives: “Convergence” and “Software-Defined Data Center” (SDDC). Both are responses to today’s IT realities of infrastructure…

New Approach To Data Protection And Replication, Part 2

October 9, 2013 |

In “New Approach To Data Protection, Part 1″ we cut down the amount of VMs being replicated by separating the VM from the underlying storage array. Now that we are at the VM level, we have to solve two other issues. These issues go hand in hand. In order to effectively remove data from the wire, the receiving system must be intelligent enough to reproduce the VM from a given set of blocks and receive only the blocks of data that it doesn’t already have. To explain these issues, we return to our friendly neighborhood online retailer. Our retailer has…

New Approach To Data Protection And Replication, Part 1

October 1, 2013 |

Roughly 10 years ago, two major storage infrastructure companies merged. The smaller of the two companies, a storage manufacturer and a registered CLEC, acknowledged that one of the most painful customer complaints was the recurring cost of bandwidth. They recognized the fact that most customers wanted the ability to easily move data between sites, but couldn’t afford the fat pipes required to complete the task quickly. They capitalized on this by coupling the bandwidth with the infrastructure. Fast forward to now. The bandwidth available to customers and the costs for bandwidth have remained relatively fixed. However, the amount of business…

Summary of OmniCube’s Second Generation Release

August 19, 2013 |

We are excited to announce new OmniCube platforms today. The CN-3000 is getting a refresh and it is being joined by the CN-2000 and the CN-5000. We have spent a tremendous amount of time with customers over the last year and these new platforms are a direct result of their feedback. The OmniStack Global Federated Architecture allows a distributed Federation of OmniCube systems to be managed with vSphere Client. This unified management is combined with our ability to apply a policy to individual virtual machines to create a deduplicated, compressed, optimized backup. The backup can be stored both locally as…

VMUG User Conferences In San Diego And Silicon Valley

May 5, 2013 |

In our last post here at the SimpliVity blog we mentioned how much we love VMUGs, and how the feeling was mutual. A follow-up post was warranted to highlight the two recent day-long VMUG User Conferences in San Diego and Silicon Valley. San Diego – April 30th 2013 The West Coast SimpliVity team spent a very busy Tuesday, 4/30, meeting with the attendees of the San Diego VMUG End User Conference in La Jolla, California, where over 400 attendees were treated to a day full of virtualization technology presentations and discussions around the challenges, opportunities, and themes within virtualization. One of the growing trends is infrastructure convergence, which was…

Why We Love VMUGs (And Why The Feeling Is Mutual)

April 5, 2013 |

The SimpliVity team was in Palm Beach this week as the Gold Sponsor of the South Florida VMware User Group (VMUG) Conference. This was the first of many VMUG Conferences that we will sponsor this year, and for good reason—(click here for the full list). These are special events that bring together the user community that is shaping IT today—the VMware and infrastructure teams. We love the opportunity to engage directly with these professionals to better understand their environments, their challenges, and their various initiatives. That’s why we are hitting the road in 2013 to meet and engage with as…

2013 VMware Partner Exchange Review

March 7, 2013 |

Last week, we were honored to participate as sponsors of the 2013 VMware Partner Exchange (PEX), an event that drew 4000 VMware partners from around the globe. During the 2 ½ day event, we were able to meet and interact with over 600 VMware solution provider partners who came through our booth, participated in OmniCubeTM product demonstrations, participated in our breakout session, and learned more about SimpliVity’s world-class partner program. With a high demand for OmniCube demonstrations throughout the conference, our team of technical experts were running demos non-stop! If you were unable to view OmniCube in action at PEX, please…

VTUG Winter Warmer 2013 Synopsis

January 19, 2013 |

SimpliVity kicked off the New Year well by sponsoring the annual VTUG (Virtualization Technology User Group) Winter Warmer, on Thursday January 17, 2013 at Gillette Stadium, where 1300 virtualization users gathered for presentations on the latest technologies and trends in virtualization today. SimpliVity again stood out amongst the crowd as it demonstrated OmniCube, its revolutionary “data-center-in-a-box” platform to hundreds of event participants. The message of simplicity and powerful functionality continues to resonate with our most important audience—the users of virtualization technology. Visitors to our booth as well as three packed breakout sessions were able to see first-hand how OmniCube is…

Deduplication—It Is Not Just For Capacity Anymore

October 16, 2012 |

Popular wisdom holds that the primary value of data deduplication is in storage capacity savings. This is not surprising given that the first generation of data deduplication companies were focused on a single use case: backup to disk. It was the right solution at that time. Disk drives were getting larger and less expensive, and deduplication was the enabling technology that allowed backup to disk to become price competitive with backup to tape for many customers. The deduplication engine for these devices was designed to reduce the amount of disk capacity required to store weeks or months of backup data….

Cutting Through The Convergence And Software-Defined Data Center Noise: What Metrics Should Apply?

September 24, 2012 |

I’ve been working within and studying the IT market for decades, and have seen many technology hype cycles.  The current noise surrounding the emerging market segment sometimes called “infrastructure convergence” seems historically high.  Within just the last two years, every large infrastructure vendor, as well as a slew of early stage companies, has launched products that claim to converge IT elements.   And while many over-hyped technologies quickly flame out before gaining significant market traction, this emerging market has staying power, as the underlying need driving the interest is real.  What are the drivers? Simply put, the tremendous interest in convergence…

VMworld 2012 Wrap-Up: The SimpliVity Message Of Infrastructure Assimilation Is Resonating

September 6, 2012 |

SimpliVity™ held our coming-out party at VMworld 2012 (August 26-30), leveraging the opportunity to introduce the company and our flagship product—OmniCube™—directly to the most important audience in IT today.   The reception was extraordinary.  During the 3 ½ day show, we recorded more than 6,000 visits to our booth and provided product demonstrations to over 700 visitors.  Our message of simplifying the IT infrastructure with a comprehensive, assimilated platform is clearly resonating.  See our VMworld summary here. The selection of VMworld as our stage for the company launch was not a mere coincidence of timing.   At SimpliVity, we believe the VM…

The Pendulum Has Swung Too Far

August 17, 2012 |

In the 70s, IT infrastructure topology was fully integrated, but closed. Customers liked the integrative nature of the systems, given its simplicity.  However, they didn’t appreciate the so-called “vendor lock-in” that resulted from the proprietary operating systems. In the 90s, the “open systems” revolution gave rise to new market dynamics, whereby numerous vendors offered different, open, layers of the IT infrastructure stack: server, storage, and networking. VMware’s debut early in the new century marked yet another step in the direction of openness and flexibility. However, in conjunction with a myriad offering of appliances that emerged during the past decade, the IT…