OmniCube: Will the Data Center Be Assimilated?

A first look at the OmniCube, a 2U appliance from startup SimpliVity that promises an “assimilated” approach to IT management. (Photo: SimpliVity)

On Star Trek, whenever the huge cube emerged onto the screen, the Borg made their intent clear: “You will be assimilated.”

SimpliVity Corporation came out of stealth mode today with the launch of OmniCube, a data center appliance promising “the world’s first assimilated IT infrastructure.” Its mission: to automate the management of storage, computing, and networking resources in VMware virtual environments.

OmniCube is a 2U rack-mounted appliance that can be deployed together to form a scalable pool of shared resources, known as the OmniCube Global Federation. SimpliVity’s vision is backed by $18 million in capital raised from Accel Partners and Charles River Ventures. The company launches its offering just eahead of the annual VMworld conference.

VM-centric Approach to Management

SimpliVity aims to bring a VM-centric approach to managing data center resources, allowing more freedom and flexibility for virtual resources. OmniStack’s differentiators include an architecture in which all data is deduplicated and compressed at inception, and the OmniCube Accelerator, a PCIe module that handles intensive algorithm processing to ensure that the deduplication and compression can run inline with no impact on performance. SimpliVity’s solutions and services are available through resellers and partners, with pricing beginning at $54,990.

“We can finally dramatically simplify IT infrastructure by assimilating all functionality, performance, protection and availability into a single, automated platform, at the hands of the VM administrator,” said Doron Kempel, Chairman and CEO of SimpliVity Corporation. “Revolutions require a transformation of the underlying technology. Marketing hyperbole about convergence, and repackaging of legacy products will not suffice. 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.”

The Battle for the Converged Data Center

There’s no question that convergence is a major trend in the data center ecosystem, offering the potential to simplify increasingly complex environments combining specialized hardware and software. It’s a focal point for some of the industry’s largest vendors, including HP, Cisco, EMC and VMware.

“For 50 years we have architected infrastructure to fundamentally support a single application environment to the best of its abilities,” said Steve Duplessie founder and senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “We’ve made each piece faster, cheaper, and bigger – but basically always in support of silo’d applications. That simply is not the way virtual environments need to operate.

“SimpliVity recognized that in order to deal with the mixed and mobile workload application environment of the virtual world what is required is the delivery of a new architecture, and that’s just what they’ve done,” Duplessie added. “SimpliVity has delivered a new assimilated IT infrastructure stack inclusive of all compute, storage, data protection, and network optimization functionalities all at the VM level within vCenter.”

SimpliVity has made a splashy market entry. But the assimilation of IT silos is a lofty ambition in a competitive arena. It remains to be seen whether “resistance is futile.”

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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