SimpliVity CEO: We Can Beat Amazon Web Services On Price

The CEO of SimpliVity said customers can save money and get better protection by using his company’s hyper-converged infrastructure rather than moving to Amazon Web Services.

"[SimpliVity's OmniCube] is a viable alternative to the public cloud, to Amazon," said Doron Kempel, CEO of the Westborough, Mass.-based vendor. "If you're an end user and you're considering what goes to AWS and what stays onsite, we're going to make an argument that … it's cheaper for you, from a [total cost of ownership] perspective, to keep workloads onsite."

AWS didn't respond to a request for comment for this story.

[Related: Insight CEO: Microsoft Cloud Relationship Taking Off, AWS Slower To Launch]

Sponsored post

Kempel told attendees of the Raymond James Technology Investors Conference on Tuesday that businesses typically send nonsensitive applications and workloads to the public cloud with the understanding that they will end up spending less and be able to scale up and down more efficiently.

But Kempel said the economics and performance of the OmniCube, which was unveiled in 2013 and combines compute, storage, networking and virtualization on x86 server hardware, have turned that assumption on its head.

"We go to the CIO and show them that there's an opportunity to keep the applications in-house with all the benefits of enterprise capabilities -- the performance, the security, the protection, etc. -- at a lower TCO," Kempel said at the New York Marriott East Side.

OmniCube's data virtualization technology can also deduplicate and compress data on production storage systems and reduce the frequency of writes to and from disks. The third iteration of OmniCube was introduced earlier this month and enables SimpliVity to support large enterprises for the first time.

Kempel broke down the costs associated with supporting a medium workload on the OmniCube CN-3400 versus supporting it through an AWS system with one virtual CPU, 100 gigabytes of storage and daily backups. On AWS, Kempel said, users would pay $81 per month to support a workload of this size.

But the workload could be managed for just $77 a month with SimpliVity, with users spending $63 monthly on equipment -- which includes the OmniCube, VMware license, rack space, power, cooling and maintenance -- and $14 monthly on a virtual machine administrator who can run 1,500 machines.

The savings become even more pronounced as the size of the workload grows, according to Kempel, with large workloads costing $20 less each month on SimpliVity ($141 on the OmniCube versus $161 on AWS) and extra large workloads costing $55 less monthly on SimpliVity ($268 on the OmniCube versus $323 on AWS).

"This changes the calculus a little bit," Kempel said. "[SimpliVity] is very agile IT, and you can keep it in-house."

Dave Wright, CEO of SolidFire, agrees with Kempel that on-premise infrastructure is often cheaper than public cloud, but argues that cloud adoption isn't being driven primarily by dollars and cents.

"When [clients] are moving to the cloud, it's almost always for agility reasons," said Wright, CEO of the Boulder, Colo.-based company, during a Raymond James panel of next generation storage vendors (which also featured SimpliVity). "Business is demanding that IT move faster than they can when they have to control the infrastructure."

The pressure on corporate IT departments today is tremendous, Wright said, as they are expected to support everything from security and big data to mobility devices and line-of-business applications.

"The numbers of initiatives that [IT departments] are being asked to do … is demanding that they take a different approach," Wright said. "The old approach of taking six months to stand up a stack of hardware to run an application just doesn't work."

Kempel countered that it's very easy for SimpliVity customers to add more systems, as they already have an IP address on the directory and can introduce themselves automatically to the rest of the federation.

"Once you have two or three of our systems across sites, adding another one is a matter of minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, once you have the cabling," Kempel said.

SimpliVity and AWS aren't an either-or proposition, though, since Kempel said customers can, through SimpliVity, both send virtual machines up to AWS or another public cloud and bring them back on-premise.

"We've tried to bring the promise of Amazon into the data center," Kempel said. "The idea is to radically simplify IT."