Simplivity was founded in September of 2009 and developed their product for 43 months before releasing in April 2013. Doron Kempel, founder of Simplivity, has always had a vision to create a single platform that fully integrates with the hypervisor management platform (eg vCenter) and provides storage, deduplication, WAN optimization, replication, backup & restores as well as DRBC. Simplivity has not missed a mark and has developed every aspect and feature on time as promised.
Kempel is no novice to startups – Founder and CEO of Diligent, which was purchased by IBM and the main competitor to Data Domain, he understands Data DeDuplication very well.
According to Morgan Stanley, Simplivity is growing three to four times faster than competing companies, including Data Domain, EqualLogic, Nimble and 3 Par.
Let’s look at how Simplivity compares to EMC’s offerings in that space.
VxRails – VSAN on Whitebox from EMC. EMC has fuddled around for number of years trying to figure out how to go to market with a hyper-converged solution. They understand that hyper-converged is a very distributive force in the market which is part of why they allowed themselves to get sold. The monolithic storage business in the mid-tier is dying , partly due to the cloud and also in part by these technologies.
EMC has been trying to cobble a bunch of products together for a while and call them hyper-converged. This was Vblock. This product is not hyper converged- it’s fancy marketing for three different products sold under one name.
Then they started working on EVC:Rail under the VCE name. This is their first attempt into using VMware’s native VSAN technology and bundling it with white box hardware. In Aug 2014 they launched, but VSAN was immature and there were many issues with early implementations that hurt the product . EMC marketing was a mess. Also at the same time VSAN ready nodes become available so VMWare partners like HP & Dell could also start selling what is basically the same product. So who do you buy VSAN from???
VSAN is missing key functionally that the competition Simplivity, Nutanix and Maxta all have built into their product. VMware’s product forces you to shell out more cash for these functions. In the case of EMC they do what they always do and try and bolt on more products to accomplish what companies like Simplivity can do within their core product.
With the release of VSAN 6 EMC decided to try it again and rebrand VSAN- this time it was Vspex Blue, but again it was short lived and they decided to rebrand again and call it VXrail which is built on VSAN 6.2.
All of this means a lot of disruption in this space for EMC and VMWare. Add to that mix the Dell / EMC acquisition and level of confusion and risk skyrockets . There are so many speculations about the acquisition that can put fear, uncertainty and doubt into a prospects mind- but from our vantage point this puts Simplivity in an excellent position.
Here is why: If Simplivity had the EMC name on the front of it and VXrails was sitting next to it I am almost 100% confident that anyone would choose Simplivity over the VXrail – It’s simply a better platform. With that said they are not part of this big mess with EMC & Dell and are somewhat sheltered from what the real outcome will be . VMware is not going away, they are not going to cut off all of their partners when it’s such a huge part of their revenue stream.
Then you add Nutanix into the mix with the Dell/ EMC acquisition. I would say that Nutanix’s product is still better and provides more of what Hyper-converged should then VXrails does, so what happens to them? Remember Michael Dell has a large chunk invested as a part owner in Nutanix. Then you also have the VSAN ready nodes which Dell sells. What happens to that offering? My point again is that Simplivity is in a great place because they are not affected by this huge merger with competing offerings from the same corporation.
Simplivity is planning their IPO, growing very fast and have a solid technology. What will happen to them long term is not completely known, but again we can look at the market and see big companies like Cisco, IBM, Hitachi, NetApp who have very weak offerings in this space. The point is that Simplivty is in a good position to continue to grow like they have been. Maybe they do become part of one of these larger organizations offerings someday, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. My last point will be this: With a platform that is this solid they are not going out of business and closing their doors.
Other true Hyper-converged solution benefits that Simplivity brings to the table that the competition struggles with.
Simplivity provides a single interface for all aspects of the management & protection of your VM’s and data all through vCenter plugin. No need for multiple products and add on’s – EMC’s solution uses multiple products which are added in the form of VM’s to provide functionality. For example, backups through Avamar. When the VM performance gets over run, EMC will say you need to purchase more hardware which equals more expense.
Simplivity provides Global Deduplication which allows very effective replication and movement of VM’s This means with mergers or acquisitions, a single appliance can be deployed at the new site and all data can easily be imported and then moved to the primary site. Since Simplivity has global DeDupe, very little data needs to actually be move over the WAN. EMC/VSAN does not provide this capability.