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By | Simon Sharwood 20th May 2015 12:17

SimpliVity opens its doors to KVM, OpenStack

Hyper-V also on the roadmap for hyper-convergence evangelists

Hyper-converged infrastructure company SimpliVity has announced it now supports the KVM hypervisor and OpenStack.

SimpliVity's schtick is that everything below the hypervisor – especially data compression and de-duplication for back-up, networking and cloud-tiering storage – should be handled by a hyper-converged appliance. It therefore offers to pop a dedicated PCIe card into its 2U “OmniCubes” to handle those chores without bothering the CPU and degrading application performance, because it assumes you buy servers to run apps and not to do boring background chores like dedupe.

Until now, SimpliVity has assumed apps get to live in the virtualised paradise that is ESXi. But the company's now decided to support KVM too.

One reason is that supporting KVM means SimpliVity plays nice with OpenStack. As the two entities share an ambition to change the way large-scale IT gets done, supporting KVM makes a lot of sense.

But the company's CEO Doron Kempel has another reason in mind: lowering the cost of OmniCubes to take them downmarket. SimpliVity currently targets organisations with annual turnovers below $2bn. Kempel today told The Register that to reach smaller companies it will need to make smaller and cheaper boxes. And one way to reduce costs is to offer the free KVM, instead of the pricier VMware.

Virtzilla's costs are thought to be behind Nutanix's flirtation with KVM, too.

But back to SimpliVity, which Kempel said is working to build better links to Cisco's UCS Manager and also plans to open a new support centre in Asia.

The CEO also made some remarks on recent speculation that Cisco is poised to purchase Nutanix. If such a sale went ahead, it would be something of a slap for SimpliVity, which runs on UCS and works with Cisco's channel. Kempel kept his cards close to his chest, but indicated SimpliVity has been designed as a company capable of standing alone for quite some time.

Hypervisor-agnosticism is one tactic expected to make that possible, as KVM and Hyper-V support will make a SimpliVity purchase easier for many users. ®

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