SimpliVity's OmniCube Ties Data To VM, Not Hardware

Startup's new assimilated system packs server, networking, storage, and other resources in one appliance.

August 20, 2012

2 Min Read
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Startup SimpliVity came out of stealth mode Monday with the announcement of OmniCube, an all-in-one virtual machine system for mid-size businesses. The box assimilates server, networking, and storage arrays with snapshot, deduplication, server virtualization, replication, and compression technologies.

Each OmniCube is a 2U--1.75-inch high--rack-mountable system that contains both standard server and storage resources, in addition to the SimpliVity underlying customized hardware and software that power the system. OmniCube ships with two six-core 2.5GHz Intel Sandy Bridge Xeon processors, four 200GB solid state drives, and 24TB of hard disk drives. The underlying technology, called OmniStack, combines the OmniCube software with a specialized PCI-e accelerator card responsible for handling processing-intensive algorithms, hardware acceleration, and index-related functionality.

Two or more OmniCubes are linked with each other via 10GbE to create a federation of nodes and a shared pool of resources that enables much of the end-user functionality of the system. Storage is directly attached to servers via internal SAS connections.

OmniCubes are deployed in sets of two or more systems for high availability and writes are mirrored simultaneously to both assimilated appliances. Pairs of OmniCubes can be clustered or federated locally, remotely, and across geographically distributed locations, as well as in the cloud for disaster recovery and business continuity.

[ Read HP Tools Simplify VM, Private Cloud Chores. ]

Unlike other systems, OmniCube data is not tied to the storage hardware, but to the virtual machine itself. Each application or VM knows which data it needs in order to do its job. Although each OmniCube knows only what data it contains, it keeps a real-time index of all the data sets in the federation. When an application or VM needs data, it polls other OmniCubes for it and receives data from the closest node in the federation.

As data is ingested by an OmniCube, it is deduplicated and compressed at inception, and maintained in this state throughout its lifecycle. This global deduplication and compression yields not only capacity savings, but also improves the granularity and efficiency of caching and optimizes data transport across the WAN.

SimpliVity’s OmniCube competes with converged systems from VCE, HP, IBM and Dell. Unlike those systems, which are cobbled together with existing server and storage resources, the OmniCube is built from the ground up to optimize data center operations.

SimpliVity was founded in 2009 by Doron Kempel, formerly CEO of Diligent, which was acquired by IBM. The company is funded by Accel Partners and Charles River Ventures for $18 million.

The system is expected to be available in November.

New innovative products may be a better fit for today's enterprise storage than monolithic systems. Also in the new, all-digital Storage Innovation issue of InformationWeek: Compliance in the cloud era. (Free with registration.)

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