Nimble SAN revew
August 16, 2014
Nimble SAN revew
Score 8 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Nimble
We needed small SANs, each to support VMWare HA clusters at different sites. We needed ease of use, good data/reporting, minimal rack space and lastly, while our performance needs could have been met by a wide range of products, we didn't want that to be a limiting factor down the road. While we have a range of server types running on the Nimble arrays, MS SQL servers and application servers are the most important.
- The data available from the dashboard/UI is really great.
- Nimble's tech support, not only for their product directly but also digging well into VMWare and working with VMWare tech support on one particularly difficult problem was impressive. They didn't draw a line and begin to ask that we contact another vendor.
- The performance is really quite good. While our applications don't push the array at all, I was able to drive impressive IOPS using SQLIO. The numbers were particularly impressive considering ours is 1GB iSCSI.
- One of our arrays has had no hardware failures at all while the other has had a failed power supply and controller. Both caused alerts to be generated and Nimble contacted us to ship the replacement components, so I suppose that's a weakness and strength in one.
- While compression is a great thing, it does cause some confusion in terms of capacity when looking at vCenter and the Nimble web based UI. Somewhere between thin provisioning, multiple VMs per partition and compression, I sometimes find it difficult to know exactly where one might be tight on space.
- In our environment the financial impact is really in terms of time we don't spend managing the storage. Nimble gives us quick access to useful information allowing us to focus on the servers, applications and networks.
- As stated before, our applications don't cause our Nimble arrays to begin to sweat, but if our application environment becomes more demanding, we have lots of headroom which should eliminate the need to move to another platform.
- Compellent and EqualLogic
With the offerings available at the time in a similar price range, we perceived Nimble to offer better performance, better UI resulting in ease of configuration and ongoing access to information about the array and a minimal rack space requirement. Those were the differences we focused on.
Nimble is doing its job well and any issues that do come up cause the Nimble support team to alert us before we would potentially see an impact to our production environment. I do wish we could expand into the unused space in the CS210 shelf which is limited by what I assume is a marketing/sales strategy, but we will likely add shelves moving forward.