Hyperconverged infrastructure vendor SimpliVity has a new version of its Omnistack platform which improves data protection and multi-site operation. The company has also just signed an agreement for x86 server vendor Lenovo to sell its OmniCube hardware, and reports good results from an existing partnership with Cisco.

Like all hyperconverged products, SimpliVity’s combines storage, processing and networks, but is all about the storage. Version 3.0 of the OmniStack data virtualization platform includes a protected ROBO (remote office branch office) feature, adds more data protection including file-level resotre, improves performance and offers a “hyperguarantee”.

The Lenovo partnership will see the Chinese server vendor selling SimpliVity kit under Lenovo labels, with extensive training in the product. This follows a similar reseller deal with Cisco which sells SimpliVity within its UCS range - a business which SimpliVity CTO Jess St Laurent says has been growing “exponentially”.

Hyperconvergence 3.0?

SimpliVity was not the first converged appliance to the market, but St Laurent reckons its approach was a third generation of increasing convergence, following firms like VCE (convergence 1.0) and Nutanix (convergence 2.0): ”Convergence 1.0 came to market in eight months, convergence 2.0 took 18 months, but we took 43 months,” he told DatacenterDynamics.

That extra time enabled SimpliVity to converge the hardware more closely, going beyond shared storage and simple VDI deployment of earlier products, converging all IT infrastructure, management and services below the hypervisor, and simplifying infrastructure, he claimed. 

“Omnistack data virtualization is built from the device driver right up through the file system,” he said. “We threw out the standard NFS file system and got a performance boost.”

The new platform, available today, includes a unfied remove office feature which can discover multi-site networks and support complex management. St Laurent was quick to point out that Omnistack does not come with its own proprietary management screens. Instead it feeds into existing infrastructure management products. 

There is also a new, smaller, CN-1200 OmniCube optimized for smaller offices, whch St Laurent says is half the price of competing offerings. The new release has better management and a special deployment manager for getting SimpliVity implementations up and running quickly. 

The company’s “HyperGuarantee”, intended to persuade wary users that hyperconverged hardware is mature, promises that users will get 90 percent capacity savings across storage, a 1Tbyte VM backed up within 60 seconds, three clicks to back up or move a VM, and other performance promises.

Eventually, when users fully trust the backup within the OnniCube system, they can abandon existing backup products, said St Laurent. He also sees users deploying the system for more ambitious applications such as Oracle and Exchange, alongside the basic VDI installations where hyperconverged hardware was first used. 

The deal with Lenovo, like that with Cisco, is significant and a good fit, St Laurent said, “because they don’t have their own native storage business.”