Storage killer, SimpliVity, is closing in on market leader, Nutanix, in the booming hyper-converged infrastructure business.
The company, which crams everything below the hypervisor into its Omnnicube, with the support of x86 servers, has hit a $US1 billion valuation nine months faster than its bigger rival and is growing at three to four times year over year, in terms of sales.
It has also grown its staff from 100 to 460 in just two years.
Nutanix and SimpliVity were both founded in September 2009. However by April 2011, Nutanix had shipped their first product.
Simplivity spent two more years developing an accelerator card, a new file system and a global unification system.
It shipped it first box in April, 2013 and since then has sold 2,000 systems to its target market of mid-market enterprises with less then $US2 billion turnover.
The secret of its success is that it deduplicates, compresses and optimises the data at inception or at the earliest point in the stack. This means there is no need for storage deduplication, WAN optimisation or backup deduplication.
It also means the backing up, cloning or recovering of VMs is much faster.
SimpliVity also now supports the KVM hypervisor and OpenStack, along with VMware's ESXi, which could open the way for a smaller cheaper box for smaller businesses.
But while SimpliVity attempts to rein in the runaway Nutanix, challengers are also making headway in what is becoming a crowded market. They include Pivot3, VCE, Maxta, VMware, Scale Computing and EMC.
However, SimpliVity chairman and chief executive, Doron Kempel, told ARN he was confident his company's technology, which he describes as "convergence 3.0", would stand up to rivals and anticipated readiness for an initial public offering in the first half of 2016.
"The evolution of convergence starts with the legacy stack," he said. "The world spends $US107 billion on that stack every year and of that 57 per cent is in the midmarket.
"So that midmarket, with companies below $US2 billion is 57 per cent, is about $US60 billion. That's a huge market and in that market we're going very fast."
Kempel said VCE, Flexpod and Pureflex did "wonderful things".
"They took the server and the switch and sold about $8 billion of that, however you still need to buy protection, efficiency, performance and global unified management separately," he said.
"Convergence 2.0 inlcudes Nutanix and Evorail, they put the storage inside the server without the accelerator card.
"This is great for VDI, but you still need to buy efficiency and global uinfied management. We put all of this into the cubes and we call this convergence 3.0.
"If this is true, this is an architecture which delivers the best of both worlds.
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