The SimpliVity OmniCube hyper-converged infrastructure appliance product set brings together core data center functions such as hypervisor, compute, storage, backup, replication, deduplication, WAN optimization, cloud gateway and more.
OmniCube combines compute, storage and networking resources to consolidate IT infrastructure and services below the hypervisor level. It runs the OmniStack Data Virtualization Platform, which provides efficient data access, native data protection and unified management. OmniStack offers a software-only version of what runs on the SimpliVity OmniCube appliances; customers must supply their own hardware. Policy-based, virtual machine (VM)-centric backup and WAN-optimized replication for disaster recovery is also included with OmniStack. Management occurs at the VM level using tools such as VMware vCenter and vRealize Automation.
The OmniCube hyper-converged infrastructure appliance family also includes a PCIe accelerator card that handles data deduplication, compression and inline optimization. This allows customers to achieve 40:1 data efficiency while increasing application performance; according to SimpliVity, half of them see performance improvements of greater than 50%.
Simplicity and complexity
SimpliVity does everything it can to simplify hyper-convergence. Products are clearly differentiated and well-explained. The vendor also offers video and text material to appeal to visitors' varied learning styles. Its architecture and approach is simple to understand, though it does offer numerous options with products to match.
Clarity and intelligibility
SimpliVity does a good job of laying out resources and references to help prospective customers understand its hyper-converged infrastructure appliance offerings. The company offers a free e-book entitled "Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Dummies, SimpliVity Special Edition," as well as numerous other infographics and e-books. The company's site is well-organized and includes ample wayfinding tools.
There are four product series within the SimpliVity OmniCube hyper-converged infrastructure appliance family. These vary by CPU, storage (a combination of solid-state drives and conventional hard disks), effective capacity and power supply, although all occupy roughly the same form 2U factor.
CN-1400, best used in SMB environments and remote or branch offices, has up to eight cores, with 3 TB to 6 TB of storage capacity.
CN-2400 has eight to 44 cores with up to 12 TB of storage.
CN-3400 also has up to 44 cores, but has up to 36 TB of storage. The CN-2400 and CN-3400 models work for smaller IT organizations as well as larger enterprises.
CN-5400 and CN-5400-F can have eight to 44 cores and 16 to 44 cores, respectively, each with 20 TB to 40 TB of storage capacity. The 5400 models work best for large enterprises and cloud providers with high-performance workloads. The primary difference between these two units is their level of workload support. In addition to its OmniCube product family, SimpliVity offers OmniCube components for Cisco UCS, Dell PowerEdge and Lenovo System x enclosures.
Overhead and efficiency
As with other vendors, it's best to evaluate the offerings in the context of a proof-of-concept implementation that models characteristic workloads and usage scenarios of your choosing and design. This effort is best expended on a short list of final candidates.
Pricing and licensing
SimpliVity OmniCube hyper-converged infrastructure appliance pricing varies, so only those customers with well-defined workloads will be able to get pricing information.
SimpliVity provides customers with four enterprise support plans: Basic, Production, Business Critical and Mission Critical. These include varying options, hours and number of valid users who may initiate support contacts. The most important differences between the plans are the number of users (two or six for Basic and Production, unlimited for the top two tiers), access hours (8/5 for Basic, 24/7 for all others) and response time guarantees (24 hours for Basic, two to eight hours for Production and one to four hours for the top two tiers).
SimpliVity also offers added cost Premium Services that include designated engineer support, remote deployment services, technical account management and service delivery project management.
Special features and capabilities
As mentioned earlier, SimpliVity offers special modules for the Cisco UCS C240 M4 enclosure and the Lenovo System x3640 M4. Each module includes four levels of capability: Remote Site, Small Enterprise, Midsize Enterprise and Large Enterprise. These are similar to the numbered series for the OmniCube product family in CPU, storage and memory, although they are subject to form factor and power considerations for the parent enclosure.
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