HPE SimpliVity Review

The flexibility needs improvement and it needs an alerting system, yet it is stable and easy to install

What is our primary use case?

SimpliVity is used when a customer is looking to build a private cloud environment.

What is most valuable?

SimpliVity works well in a UAT environment.

What needs improvement?

They have made several technology changes. Compared to the previous version, SimpliVity was acquired by HPE and now the product has totally changed.

Initially, the response was great with SimpliVity. After the technology changed the feedback from customers was not good. As a result, we no longer focus on Simplivity.

Our focus is more on Nutanix Hyperconverged.

SimpliVity has very limited options for the virtualization layer. They may have to with VMware or something similar.

The flexibility should be present. It should be the customer's choice of what virtualization layer they will choose, and not mandated from the solution that you have to use VMware. VMware is not cheap. It comes with its own cost. 

If the customer has the option to go with the Microsoft Hyper-V then customers should get the flexibility to have Hyper-V in place of the hypervisor.

Ultimately, the hypervisor functionality by default when you go for the data center becomes more cost-effective.

It should have the intelligence, to alert you that a failure of the cache is about to happen. It should be able to give you the predictive alarm and it should create its own backup.

It should have some provision where the cache is being copied to another location. So when one copy has been deleted or a copy has been corrupted, we should be able to recover it from the other site to ensure the office data is secure.

It should have some provision wherein the cache is being copied to some other location so that even if one copy has been deleted or one copy has been corrupted, we are able to recover it from the other location which will keep the office data secure.

From a product perspective, it should be more flexible.

It should allow users to have more data control in areas such as the cache. It should allow the user to have more data reduction flexibility.

Data reduction is something that is completely missing in the current solution, once SimpliVity was bought by HPE. It was the primary reason customers were interested in it.

SimpliVity handles the data. HCI is about how RAID is maintained over the network, and how many duplicate copies have been stored, or whether you are going for RF2 or RF3. Those things have to be taken into consideration.

With VMware,vSAN, and SimpliVity they are more dependent on the cache. If the cache fails then I have to recover the data. It's complete downtown for me. Anytime the data is not recovered, it's business downtime.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been providing this solution to our customers over the last year, but overall, we have been working with it for between four and five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Now that the technology has been changed, the product stability will always be in doubt.

The more they are integrating and trying to match the flexibility that Nutanix has been providing, and it has become more complex.

The hypervisor is becoming the heart of the solution. It is controlling the complete solution. It is providing you the contour, the storage, and the configuration of the virtual infrastructure.  

This can be problematic when it comes to SimpliVity.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SimpliVity offers built-in scalability but there is an override with the data protection policy that they are providing, what kind of flexibility when it comes to managing the complete virtual machines. 

The cluster has its own limitation. You cannot go beyond 32 or 64 nodes.

You can have multiple clusters and you can share your application across the clusters, but, yes, there are limitations. Though the limitation is not small it allows you to have 32 or 64 nodes in a cluster. When it comes to managing it, the more you add, the more complex it becomes to manage.

We have given it to many customers. Few of the customers are running it for the highest number of possible nodes in the clusters.

How are customer service and technical support?

They provide good technical support.

If the solution has any fundamental challenges then it is not something that anyone can address.

How was the initial setup?

It will take less than one day to start with a basic three-node cluster.

It is simple to install but it is hard to maintain.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In terms of the licenses, customers do not actually get any benefit. They have to purchase the VMware vCloud Suite as a bundled solution.

There is no flexibility in terms of choosing what license the customer wants to use. Irrespective of the features that the customer needs, they have to pay more for fewer features they want to use.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The difference between the HCI and the basic traditional environment is that it mitigates the bottleneck of the traditional solution. 

Customers are looking to have an environment that is completely scalable. HCI is a platform that you can always choose. That is the flexibility that is in demand when it comes to the private cloud.

Whenever building a private cloud, scalability should be a built-in feature.

SimpliVity does offer it but there is an override in terms of the data reduction policy they are providing. What kind of flexibility in terms of managing the complete virtual machines.

Now when it comes to SimpliVity, they have very limited options for the virtualization layer.

They may have to go with VMware and that is something that I'll say not all the customers will be keen to consider.

What other advice do I have?

If someone asks me today which product to implement, I'll say that if you have a UAT environment, then you try to put it on SimpliVity. But when it comes to the production, or when it comes to a critical application or critical business need, you put it on the Nutanix Hyperconverged Infrastructure.

I only recommend this solution in a UAT environment, but not for production or critical environment.

SimpliVity cannot be deployed on the cloud.

The technical team is good because it is being managed by the HPE team only. The HPE technical team is always good.

It has various limitations and over time, rather than improvising, they have diluted the real essence of the product. I would rate HPE SimpliVity a five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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