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SimpliVity cozies up to Microsoft, Hyper-V

Hyper-converged pioneer SimpliVity has opened a research and development office in Seattle near to Microsoft, a sign that it is close to adding Hyper-V support.

SimpliVity’s OmniCube appliances combine storage, compute and virtualization. SimpliVity has supported VMware hypervisors since its start in 2013 and added KVM support in 2015 but still lacks support for Hyper-V.

SimpliVity chief marketing officer Marianne Budnik said OmniCubes will support Hyper-V in early 2016. She said the vendor will have around 30 developers in Seattle “working day in and day out to advance all things Microsoft.”

SimpliVity’s goal is for its OmniStack data virtualization platform to support any hypervisor, x86 server, cloud provider and management tool.

Budnik said SimpliVity would not follow rival Nutanix in developing its own native hypervisor, though. Nutanix last June launched its Acropolis hypervisor. That alleviates the need for an outside hypervisor, and also can help Nutanix customers move workloads across different vendors’ hypervisors. Nutanix also supports VMware, Hyper-V and KVM hypervisors.

“We haven’t heard customers ask for yet another hypervisor,” Budnik said when asked if SimpliVity would develop a hypervisor. “We’re focused on simplifying and lowering cost below the hypervisor level. We look forward to working more closely with VMware, Hyper-V and KVM.”

Microsoft has also accepted SimpliVity into the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance program. That will help SimpliVity integrate faster with the Azure cloud as well as future Hyper-V releases.

“We will develop alongside Microsoft instead of waiting for them to make a major release and then follow later,” Budnik said.

When SimpliVity adds Hyper-V support, customers will be able to manage OmniCubes through Microsoft System Center, similar to how they manage VMware hypervisors through vCenter.

Budnik said more than 80% of SimpliVity customers run Microsoft workloads such as SQL, Exchange or SharePoint on OmniCube appliances.