The small vendor is offering enterprises a way to incrementally scale their storage capacity and performance capabilities based on their businesses demands.
Nimble Storage officials are offering hybrid
scale-out storage solutions that are flexible and affordable, necessary
requirements for enterprises that are adopting virtualization in the data
center and trying to get their arms around big data.
Other storage vendors are offering their own
scale-to-fit solutions, but officials with Nimble said their strategy lets
businesses more finely scale up their storage infrastructures as their needs
dictate, whether those demands are around capacity, performance or both, and at
low incremental costs. Nimble is doing this through new scale-out storage
arrays, new storage expansion shelves and an upgraded operating system that were
unveiled Aug. 6.
The result is a scale-out storage environment
where enterprises can use multiple approaches to scale single storage clusters
to hundreds of terabytes and hundreds of thousands of input/output operations
per second (IOPS), according to Nimble executives.
"Traditional scale-up systems and more
modern scale-out systems are rooted in an era when storage capacity and storage
performance were tethered together," Nimble CEO Suresh Vasudevan said in a
statement. "Our scale-to-fit architecture delivers an unparalleled ability
to independently scale the controller performance, cache capacity or storage
capacity of any node while also allowing multiple nodes to become part of a
Businesses can start with a small footprint
and grow as their storage needs demand, in incremental steps, across a range of
workloads, and using a combination of high-performance hard-disk drives and
flash solid-state drives (SSDs), Vasudevan said.
This is a change from current scale-up
architectures, which he said are inflexible and require IT administrators to
estimate their storage needs three to five years out. Given the rapidly
evolving environment, fueled by virtualization and convergence in the data
center and the ramp of the big data trend, estimating needs over such a long
term is increasingly difficult, forcing businesses to have to overprovision
their storage capabilities. In addition, tying performance and capacity
together make adding a new storage node an expensive proposition, according to
The company is offering businesses three
different paths for scaling their storage infrastructures, according to
officials. For those IT administrators who are looking to only increase their
capacity, Nimble is offering a new line of ES-Series storage expansion shelves.
The new offerings let businesses grow capacity without impacting performance,
keeping the costs down and not requiring any downtime, according to the
For businesses looking to scale only
performance, new CS400 series arrays let customers running
performance-intensive applications like online transaction processing (OLTP)
and virtualized desktop infrastructures (VDI) do so without downtime. Each
CS400 array can support hundreds of virtual machines or thousands of VDI users.
In addition, customers with existing
CS200 series array controllers can upgrade to CS400 arrays with no
disruption in performance. At the same time, businesses can upgrade from disks
to SSDs without downtime.
Enterprises also can scale capacity and
performance via the new Nimble OS 2.0, which enables businesses to array
clusters together. Through the clustering capabilities, businesses can grow or
shrink their storage environment as business demands, and migrate or upgrade
data, without any downtime.
Nimble uses its Cache Accelerated Sequential
Layout architecture (CASL) as the foundation for the scale-to-fit solutions,
leveraging high-capacity disk and SSD technologies to boost performance and
Through the cluster capabilities, Nimble
enables businesses to scale performance and capacity linearly, create storage
pools in a single cluster, add or remove arrays in a cluster and migrate data
across pools of storage resources within a cluster, all without disrupting the
environment, officials said.
What we are bringing to market today is the
ability to scale any dimension, and only that dimension at the
lowest possible cost, without ever disrupting applications, Vasudevan said in
an Aug. 5 post on
the company blog.
Businesses also can mix and match existing
and new Nimble storage arrays within a single cluster.
The CS400 Series arrays, ES-Series expansion
shelves and SSD expansion options will be available in the third quarter,
according to company officials. The upgraded operating system, Nimble OS 2.0,
will be available in the fourth quarter.