SimpliVity Debuts OmniCube Integrated Storage and Compute Systems

By Pedro Hernandez

Westborough, Mass.-based SimpliVity emerged from stealth Monday with new IT hardware that doesn't merely bridge the technical and management divides between storage and compute, but collapses it entirely, says the privately held startup. To date, the firm has attracted $18 million in funding from Accel Partners and Charles River Ventures.

Aimed at VMware vCenter environments, the company's system is a departure from other IT vendors' piecemeal approach to filling up data center rack space. It's a strategy that adds management complexity and a fair amount of legacy bloat to virtualized environments, argued Doron Kempel, SimpliVity's CEO.

Kempel was formerly the CEO of deduplication specialist Diligent Technologies, which IBM acquired in 2008.

"Marketing hyperbole about convergence, and repackaging of legacy products will not suffice," said Kempel in a statement.  "Three years ago we embarked upon the development of a new IT infrastructure stack that's optimized around the VM admin. It is now debuting and will radically simplify IT Infrastructure."

SimpliVity's OmniCube combines storage, data processing and networking services into a single rack-mount system. Governing the system is the firm's OmniStack software, which provided storage management, data protection, flash cache acceleration, deduplication and compression, across the entire OmniCube environment, including those parts that touch the public cloud, according to SimpliVity.

Two or more OmniCube systems form an OmniCube Global Federation, a scalable computing and storage platform that enables resource pooling under a consolidated management scheme under vCenter.

The first OmniCube, the CN-3000, is a 2U system packing four 200 GB SSDs and eight 3 TB hard drives with an effective capacity rating of 20 TB to 40 TB, depending on the levels of deduplication and compression.

Dual, Intel Xeon E5-2640 CPUs (6-core, 2.5 GHz) provide processing power -- none of which is devoted to the system's capacity-boosting features. In-line data deduplication and compression is handled by the OmniCube Accelerator, a PCIe module that offloads these tasks.

The CN-3000 connects to the network via two gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and two 10 GbE ports. OmniCubes can be outfitted with 48 GB to 768 GB of RAM.

All told, OmniCube is meant to free VM administrators from a hodgepodge of IT hardware and management solutions, writes Kempel in a company blog post. "60 Engineering years and 10 patent applications later, OmniCube is the resulting product. It includes server, storage and networking resources, as well as numerous advanced functionality that otherwise requires up to 10 different products," he writes.

And don't forget the cost savings, he added. "IT infrastructure can now be delivered in fully-assimilated cubes, at a fraction of the acquisition and operating costs relative to the incumbent topology."

OmniCube prices begin at $54,990.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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This article was originally published on August 20, 2012