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back to article HP Simplivity buyout rumours: Could it be worth HALF a BILLION?

HP is said to be in talks to buy Simplivity, a startup whose main offering is the Omnicube converged server/storage/networking systems. The Omnicube is a so-called hyper-converged system, designed from the ground up to eliminate the data centre chaos of independent server, storage and networking products that have to be …

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Anonymous Coward

What?

An article without the spelling "BEEELLION"? Scandal!

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HP need to employ an accountant to review the Simplivity financials before committing to a buy offer.

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FAIL

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Given HP's aquisitions team obviously can't find their ass with either hand expect them to pay $4bn or so. They have form for an 8x overvaluation, and these bubble days wont help.

HP M&A - made of fail since 2010

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Anonymous Coward

I don't understand...

I really don't get this "Omnibox" thing. I looked up the datasheets on the CN-2000 product http://www.simplivity.com/images/OmniCube_Datasheet_CN2000.pdf ...

How is this not just a server, with loads of directly-attached disks and RAM, running some simple software which carries out de-dupe and replication functionality? The datasheets don't even give you the actual CPU specifications, all it says is "8 cores". How is this better than a cheap server running whatever Linux variant with whatever choice of open source, shared storage management services?

Really, I don't get it. How is this worth half a billion? I'm honestly asking for someone to enlighten me...

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Re: I don't understand...

"Really, I don't get it. How is this worth half a billion? I'm honestly asking for someone to enlighten me..."

Each box runs RAIN sw inside, so each one behaves like, a RAID a conventional array, but with the ability to utilize the majority of the servers CPU, (8 cores), for compute. The number of parity stripes determines the # of servers that must fail before you can't access the storage. e.g one of these vendors, Seanodes has 32 parity stripes, so much more resilient than a conventional FC-AL array

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't understand...

The h/w is nothing special. It's just an x86 server with SSD+SATA drives. The only proprietary h/w is the storage accelerator adapter that offloads the storage I/O from the CPUs (making it different than Nutanix which uses virtual appliances). The secret sauce is the software that does the storage dedupe/compression and clusters the hosts over 10Gb NFS. You can then present that 10Gb NFS storage to other non-SimpliVity ESXi hosts in your cluster if you want. Also has some really good backup and replication software built-in that uses journaling instead of VMware snapshots. And everything is managed from vCenter. Good luck piecing that together with your open source stuff and getting support.

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Anonymous Coward

Ridiculous!

EVERY ACQUISITION THEY MADE HAS FAILED!

What the hell are they doing? Why are they constantly choosing the wrong company to acquire? This has been the case since Apollo computers (80s) and Bluestone software (90s) and possibly even earlier. Why aren't they hiring either from Cisco or IBM's M&A/corp dev teams? The team doesn't entirely have a good history in this space.

Simplivity seems like a SMB play, requires custom HW (vs. a Proliant), seems like it isn't scalable beyond a certain point. I am really interested to see if HP does the Audi giveaway on Simplivity's behalf at VMworld if the deal goes through. A person's got to drive an Audi.

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Bronze badge

Re: Ridiculous! - indeed...

EVERY ACQUISITION THEY MADE HAS FAILED!

Every? Please explain how Compaq, Lefthand, 3PAR and 3COM acquisition failed. Was buying EDS a failure too?

Yes, HP has made ludicrous, astoundingly monumental acquisition mistakes most notably with Palm and Autonomy.

There's a handy list of acquisitions by HP and I certainly can't recognize most of the companies HP has bought even recently.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ridiculous! - indeed...

I think the big fail was buying Compaq. Not that I think it was a bad idea, but the execution was a big fail. HP was doing $90B at the time and Compaq was doing $47B in business and now HP is doing $111B. I would call that a $26B in revenue fail taking $137B in business and turning it into $111B in business. That is what happened when Carley fired all of their engineers trying to turn them into Dell alienating customers and employees alike and all of their smart people went to work for their competition. Laying off 5000 to 30,000 people a year doesn't help either.

Since Carley they dropped from #1 to #2 in PC Share, from #2 to #4 in storage share and will probably lose #1 server share to Cisco within the next year. This doesn't even consider EDS was doing $22B in business, and we won't even talk about the Autonomy acquisition. Just seems like the more companies they acquire the less revenue they generate. "HP the place where revenue goes to die." The only acquisition that seemed to pay off is Lefthand for $360M. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes. But they are going to kill off LeftHand with the baby 3PAR, so even when they do good they still tend to screw it up. I used to be an HP customer in the mid to late 90's. They had great products then, been all down hill from Carley forward.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ridiculous! - indeed...

How is Lefthand a success? Equallogic ended up being more lucrative for Dell even with its larger price tag. If they want to acquire the tech there is maxta, coho, and some other startups. The magic is the cluster file system that can scale. Bring back polyserve?

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WTF?

Re: Ridiculous! - indeed...

Saved me a ton of typing. There must be something of a unique corporate culture there. I used to swear by their products going back through to the '80's, and I still come across some that are still surprisingly indestructible. But when they try to do the post M&A incorporation, only negative revenue & valuation results. Weird.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this a joke from a TV show?

Simplivity? Isn't that a made-up word from an episode of How I Met Your Mother? Should it be (TM) Barney Stinson?

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Looking at a pair of these as our off-site DR hardware, but I'm not sold on these as for production yet.

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WTF?

Someone fluffing Simplivity stock?

So they offer a one-node appliance that mixes storage and processing in the same box. Ooh, whoopydoo. Want to build your own? Hp can already do better with their own tech. Simply take a Proliant (or a blade) server and load a virtualisation tech (such as Hyper-V or VMware); create four VMs; load an hp VSA instance on each of two VMs; load a clusterable server OS on the other two VMs. Voila! - storage with better capabilities (such as remote replication) and processing power in a 'one-node appliance'.

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Anonymous Coward

snake oil

they created their own rumor to get so free airtime. There will be a lot of software defined carcasses in a couple of years so they've started laying traps. But the established vendors are no dummies in this "demand" generation game...

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