Nimble Solves The Scale-Up or Scale-Out Dilemma

Nimble has recognized the challenge of growing storage systems in a performance-critical environment. With traditional, scale-up storage architectures, as more disk capacity is added storage controllers can become the bottleneck, causing performance to suffer. In scale-out storage systems, an appliance formant where each node includes capacity, processing power and connectivity, growth is achieved by adding storage nodes. While this addresses the controller bottleneck issue, it essentially ties performance to capacity, since each node includes a fixed amount of processing power.

Scale to Fit

Nimble has combined the scale-up and scale-out architectures to create a system with the best of both technologies. Nimble storage appliances now provide the flexibility to upgrade the controller, doubling the number of CPU cores from 12 to 24 per system, and scaling performance independent of disk capacity or SSDs – without downtime. This addresses the flexibility issues faced by fixed-CPU scale-out systems.

Nimble also announced external storage shelves which can be added to existing Nimble appliances and scale-up the hard disk and cache capacities of each node. Each 3U shelf can provide up to 45TB of raw HDD capacity and up to 600GB of SSD cache, using dual 6Gb SAS connectivity from the controller, with multi-pathing supported. With these new capabilities, users can create a storage system with a performance/capacity profile that scales to fit their current workload – and upgrade it when those workloads change.

As one of the first hybrid storage solutions (SSD and HDD combined in a single system), Nimble has been experiencing some significant growth of late. Their installed base is now over 600 customers and they have over 1100 systems deployed. As part of their growth, Nimble is announcing partnerships with established vendors like VMware and CommVault to simplify the management of Nimble storage and improve performance in environments that are using these solutions.

Storage Swiss Take

With these new scaling capabilities Nimble is helping users address the performance – capacity compromise. This flexible, purpose built hybrid storage system can be a good choice for those considering the options in a scalable flash architecture.

Nimble Storage is a client of Storage Switzerland

Eric is an Analyst with Storage Switzerland and has over 25 years experience in high-technology industries. He’s held technical, management and marketing positions in the computer storage, instrumentation, digital imaging and test equipment fields. He has spent the past 15 years in the data storage field, with storage hardware manufacturers and as a national storage integrator, designing and implementing open systems storage solutions for companies in the Western United States.  Eric earned degrees in electrical/computer engineering from the University of Colorado and marketing from California State University, Humboldt.  He and his wife live in Colorado and have twins in college.

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