Breaking Away From The Hybrid Storage Pack

Nimble Leverages Cisco UCS Partnership To Differentiate Itself

Nimble was one of the first hybrid storage appliances on the market (hard disk capacity and SSDs in the same purpose built chassis) and they’ve shown impressive growth since their inception. Currently Nimble has over 800 customers, 1300 deployments and close to 300 employees. They also have established successful partnerships with VMware, Microsoft and CommVault, enabling users to deploy a Nimble solution that’s tested and certified to work with a variety of applications.

Scale to Fit

Recently, Nimble announced the ability to scale in multiple ‘directions’, not just by adding storage modules. Solving the “scale-up or scale-out dilemma” Nimble now allows for the upgrade of processors or flash capacity within each storage node to increase performance or the addition of disk drive shelves to expand capacity. This combined scale-up and scale-out architecture enables even more flexibility to configure storage systems to match the workloads they’re supporting.

SmartStack

Nimble just announced a partnership with Cisco to provide a high performance storage capability for the Unified Computing System (UCS) platform. Called “SmartStack” this is a reference architecture for a 1000 VDI seat infrastructure in 3U of rack space using Nimble’s CS2220G-X2 array, Cisco’s UCS B-Series blade server and VMware View. Fully tested and certified, users will be able to deploy this solution without having to configure individual storage, compute and networking components. Nimble expects to have SmartStack bundles available in the future, including one for virtual server configurations.

According to Nimble, this is an economics play. At a projected storage cost of $43 per desktop this solution is designed to save money over traditional VDI implementations. Given the performance requirements typical with VDI deployments, storage can get expensive quickly, even those using ‘affordable’ storage systems. Having to buy the high end configurations to get more processing power in a scale-up system or to over-buy storage modules in a scale-out system can push costs out of the affordable range.

Storage Swiss Take

Nimble is breaking away from the hybrid storage pack. Their product line is maturing as they’ve announced innovative solutions for scaling capacity and performance independently. With a solid customer base and now a partnership with Cisco their strategy to plow revenues back into the business instead of producing profits sooner seems to be paying off.

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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