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SimpliVity OmniStack hyper-convergence moves beyond VMware

SimpliVity's hyper-converged OmniStack platform now supports Hyper-V, intelligent workload optimization and multinode stretch clustering.

Hyper-converged pioneer SimpliVity Corp. today upgraded its OmniStack platform by adding support for Microsoft Hyper-V, improved workload balancing and metro stretch clustering.

SimpliVity OmniStack 3.5 now features a workload optimizer to help applications run at their peak level. The capability works with VMware's vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), which manages resources and balances workloads in a virtual environment.

"DRS moves virtual machines based on resources in the virtual cluster," said Jesse St. Laurent, SimpliVity's vice president of product strategy. "We tell it the most optimal way to run virtual machines when it comes to accessing data. Our view is it is much easier to move the virtual machine than that the data. It's a much lighter weigh operation. When data flows to the virtual machine, it's more resource-intensive."

SimpliVity also added support for Microsoft Hyper-V, with Windows Server 2016. Until now, SimpliVity OmniStack only supported VMware hypervisors. OmniStack still does not work with prior versions of Hyper-V.

"We are seeing Hyper-V continue to grow in the marketplace," St. Laurent said. "It's made tremendous drives in the latest releases. Customers want the option to use Hyper-V, and we want to make sure we give them that option."

The multinode stretch cluster function provides high availability and load balancing to systems located in different facilities. The stretch cluster allows migration of virtual machines across geographic locations, while maintaining network connections with the other servers within the cluster.

"We tend to see this mostly deployed in Europe," St. Laurent said. "We see a lot of these deployments around banking and business requirements. With stretch clustering, the disaster recovery is already built in, so customers do not have to go through the complicated disaster recovery process."

SimpliVity also added OmniView Predictive Insight Web-based analytics to help forecast and troubleshoot problems. OmniStack now also supports the REST API to support third-party applications, such as orchestration automation, backup and restore, and general infrastructure tasks.

Arun Taneja, consulting analyst of the Taneja Group Inc., in Hopkinton, Mass., said the enhancements to SimpliVity's OmniStack are signs that hyper-converged products are becoming ready for enterprise deployments.

"These are all necessary functions if you want to sell these technologies in broader enterprise environments," he said. "I basically see this as evolutionary, not revolutionary. I see this as an evolution of hyper-convergence. All these enhancements are important in their own right."

Taneja said the workload optimizer capability is essential for environments that operate multiple workloads. Hyper-converged vendors all started by supporting single workloads, but now have evolved beyond that.

"They have all gradually moved to multiple workloads," he said. "So, you must have some form of optimization to keep things running in a sane fashion."

The support for Hyper-V is another important addition, because the Microsoft hypervisor is gaining in popularity, Taneja said.

"They started out with VMware, but it's clear you have to recognize the world is no longer pure VMware anymore," he said. "The stretch clustering is another evolutionary step, if you want to cater to enterprise-caliber customers."

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