SimpliVity is Vimply Vedding no Valty tears over Visco's HyperFlex

Relationship will continue, it's whispered

Cisco Partner Summit Has the Cisco HyperFlex announcement delivered a hammer blow to SimpliVity and its UCS server-based partnership?

We talked to a person familiar with SimpliVity and its channel to get their sense of how SimpliVity's hyper-converged product offering compares to Cisco's HyperFlex product with its OEM'd SpringPath software. This is what our source said.

Protection economics

SimpliVity is more economical capacity-wise than HyperFlex in data protection terms.

In Resiliency Factor 2 (RF2) schemes, two copies of data are written to persistent storage before being acknowledged as a finished I/O. It means a single storage unit failure can be tolerated, an N+1 level of redundancy, and RF2 provides usable capacity of ~50 per cent of raw capacity.

Resiliency Factor 3 (RF3) covers two concurrent SSD/HDD or node failures, with three copies of data written to persistent media, an N+2 redundancy level, and providing a usable capacity of ~33 per cent of the raw capacity.

Our understanding is that SimpliVity RF2 data protection requires 2 nodes. HyperFlex requires 3 minimum for RF2, 5 minimum for RF3. Its SpringPath software has recommended 5-node RF3 because 3-node RF2 risks catastrophic (100 per cent VM loss in cluster) if you lose just 2 disks/nodes in the cluster.

For RF3 compared to SimpliVity, HyperFlex has an additional 50 per cent storage overhead.

HyperFlex snapshots are basic and full backup is a third-party add-on expense. SimpliVity's built-in backup features single-click data protection and disaster recovery.

Efficiency and processor overhead

SimpliVity has publicised 30-40:1 typical data efficiency results reported by its customers, and it guarantees 10:1 data efficiency in customer production environments. There aren't any SpringPath published data efficiency results. The Cisco HX220C and HX240C datasheets specify capacity with no reference to efficiency gains related to data deduplication or compression. It looks like early-generation Nutanix or VSAN.

HyperFlex incurs a minimum 8 vCPU processor overhead per node; SimpliVity is 2 vCPU (typically) to 4 vCPU (maximum). For a minimum enterprise production, that's 4 vCPU for SimpliVity vs. 40 vCPU for HyperFlex, a huge reduction in vCPU overhead.

SimpliVity also has a global self-service workload mobility; one-click operations can move workloads across continents in seconds, with technology using SimpliVity IP integrated with Cisco's UCS-D and ACI.

Channel partners and outcomes

Channel partners register deal opportunities with SimpliVity, which ensures they get the deal if they win. Partners are also supported by what's described inside SimpliVity as a market-proven, pre-sales organization with deep hyper-converged infrastructure expertise that will help them win business.

SimpliVity, with its 3rd-generation product, is the only hyper-converged infrastructure with outcomes backed up by its SimpliVity HyperGuarantee. For example, there is a 10:1 data efficiency guarantee and guaranteed 60-second restores.

It's delivered 1,000 SimpliVity/Cisco UCS systems to hundreds of customers over the last 12 months, whereas Cisco's channel partners and channel support are all new to HyperFlex and will take time to get up to speed.

Overall, SimpliVity and its channel, and Cisco channel partners in the hyper-converged area, can sell a more efficient, economical and proven SimpliVity appliance or sell a version 1.0 HyperFlex with the attendant risk that entails.

For SimpliVity, the HyperFlex launch changes nothing. The Cisco/SpringPath partnership doesn't change SimpliVity's commitment to collaborate with Cisco in this space. Just as EMC and NetApp continued to work with Cisco after the Whiptail acquisition, so too will SimpliVity continue to work with Cisco after this HyperFlex announcement. ®

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