ChalkTalk Video: Nimble’s InfoSight – Using Big Data to Solve Virtualization’s Storage Problems

Virtualization is making things tough on storage. Companies are expanding the use of server virtualization from business critical applications to full virtualization of mission critical applications. And they’re increasing VM density, expanding the number of virtual machines supported by each hypervisor in order to improve return on investment of these projects. In this ChalkTalk Video join Storage Switzerland Founder, George Crump and Rod Bagg, VP of Support for Nimble Storage, as they discuss the challenges this imposes on the storage infrastructure and how to overcome them.

More than Monitoring

Managing this situation requires more than just monitoring performance or latency at the storage array. IT needs to know how these things affect users and applications. They need a view from the end user’s perspective, from VMDKs, data stores, networking, all the way through to the LUNs and the storage system, so they can pinpoint what’s really the root cause. Without this depth of knowledge all they can do is throw more resources at the problem – and more money. Instead, they need to add intelligence to the system to get a more comprehensive view.

Systems like Nimble’s InfoSight can provide this intelligence by running complex analytics on millions of data points each day captured through the storage array to create a comprehensive picture of the entire storage environment. This includes the network elements and even the virtualization layer, as InfoSight pulls data from ESX hosts to further enhance understanding of storage issues that originate outside of the storage array.

Big Data Analytics

In addition to this kind of problem resolution, Nimble is using InfoSight to deliver its “proactive wellness” philosophy. By combining data captured from the arrays across its installed base InfoSight is applying data sciences technology and big data analytics to create best practices principles that can benefit all Nimble array owners.


Troubleshooting storage infrastructure problems is an activity that has historically required input from many groups within the organization, networking, application owners, database admins, virtualization, etc. Solutions like InfoSight can provide the cross-disciplinary information to help storage administrators resolve these issues faster and with less involvement from others.

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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