SimpliVity Review
Cross-site federation and integration with vSphere are valuable.

What is most valuable?

  • Redundancy
  • Cross-site federation
  • Data virtualization
  • Integration with vSphere

How has it helped my organization?

We introduced OmniStack as a tool in helping effect a datacenter migration and its ability to execute rapid backup and migration of VMs across geographically distant sites was integral in the success of the project. By placing OmniCubes at both datacenters and federating them together, we were able to pre-populate the destination site's nodes with the unique 4K blocks composing our VMs and make the final production move in a matter of hours instead of days.

What needs improvement?

There are some maintenance features (replica copy load-balancing) that could stand to be automated and/or streamlined for customer execution. Also, the ability to scale compute and storage independently of one another would be a way to add value to the entire product line.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 18 months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We encountered some deployment issues as part of the complexity of hardware refreshes and datacenter moves; none related to SimpliVity's technology itself.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is excellent. Deployment and turn-up was a white-glove experience, with dedicated technical staff (Richard Gay) and very attentive account managers (Ryan Huhtala).

Technical Support:

Technical support is excellent. Support staff are responsive and knowledgeable, and we have had all concerns about which we've called in resolved to our satisfaction.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We wanted the advantages of HCI versus legacy stacks as a means of expanding our capabilities, as we are a VMware-based environment and make heavy use of cloning and templates which OmniStack can deduplicate efficiently.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was more complex for us than for many, as we had to integrate it alongside our legacy equipment and perform a multi-stage transition from legacy gear at our old DC --> legacy/SVT hybrid at old DC --> legacy/SVT hybrid at old DC with SVT at new DC --> SVT at old DC with SVT at new DC --> SVT at new DC. There was some network expansion required, as well as coordinating planned outages in production systems as we migrated from server to server and site to site.

Customers integrating OmniStack at a single datacenter and gradually retiring old equipment will have a more straightforward implementation.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation was a partner effort between SimpliVity and our own IT. Their expertise was unparalleled, with every point addressed and handled without issue.

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

HCI is going to be expensive compared to legacy architecture or converged stacks. However, in the case of SimpliVity, the benefit is worth the cost in terms of ease of management and efficient use of storage resources. Licensing is the standard VMware pricing model; no different than with any other solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we evaluated Nutanix, Scale HC3, Nimble SmartStack, and Maxta.

What other advice do I have?

It is well worth seriously considering for any operation that makes heavy use of VMs, particularly clustered servers, VDI, and other highly-redundant data sets. Once installed, OmniStack performs beautifully, integrates painlessly, and can improve virtual datacenter performance magnificently.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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