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 because server components have bugs. Yes, it’s true; not every server component operates the way it was intended. It may not always be clear at the application layer that the hardware was the cause of an issue because it is challenging to root cause this class of issue after the fact. If a VM will not boot, then where did the problem originate? It could be the guest file system, the guest drivers, the hypervisor, the storage system, the drive controller, the HDD, the SSD, etc.
Is this testing really necessary? It is absolutely necessary. Why do I feel so strongly about this topic? Our engineering team was recently testing disk controllers and ran into unexpected behavior. “Unexpected behavior” is a nice way of saying that the disk controller threw the bits in the trash and never wrote them to the storage media. We did not find this by accident. We found this issue during our platform test phase because we have a world-class engineering team and because we have a comprehensive platform test phase.
It is concerning to find that type of defect in an extremely common industry component. It is even more concerning, that when we explained the issue to the manufacturer, they decided not to fix the bug. Yes. You read that correctly. They decided not to fix the bug. Clearly, we decided not to move forward with this particular controller.
This is why comprehensive hardware QA is not optional. It is a requirement. SimpliVity tests every component in our systems because the end result is a highly reliable, enterprise-class platform for running core IT infrastructure. Customers trust us with their data and there is no greater responsibility in IT. We take this responsibility seriously.