Out first meeting of the 2012 ExecEvent in San Jose, California this week was with Nimble Storage who gave us an update on their progress as well as a roadmap of where their product is going. The company is currently on a rapid growth pace, beating a first year goal of growing faster than EqualLogic did in their first year. And they’re well on the way to beating a second year goal of growing faster than NetApp did in their second year. What’s the core to Nimble’s success in what should be a very challenge market?
In our opinion Nimble Storage was one of the first companies to leverage solid state disk (SSD) for something other than just performance. Prior to Nimble entering the market most companies put SSDs in their storage solutions solely to improve performance. Nimble is using SSD to enable high capacity hard disk drive (HDD) storage, through the use of caching, creating a solution with enough performance to make it suitable for primary data, and focusing that solution on the mid-range market.
Most of the inquires to our site about SSD are about how to best use the technology. Nimble was one of the first to integrate SSD into their core storage software instead of treating it as an afterthought, an approach which has led to an efficient use of the technology. It’s also simplified SSD implementation. Users can install the Nimble system, turn it on and automatically see a performance gain on the workloads that need it. This is eliminating the painstaking tasks of performance analysis and storage system tuning that other SSD implementations require.
The rest of the conversation we can’t write about yet. Let me summarize by saying that Nimble has some very interesting plans for their technology that we will detail in a future briefing note.