Nimble Storage Keeping It Awesome
June 16, 2016
Nimble Storage Keeping It Awesome
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Nimble Storage
We use Nimble Storage for all of our data storage needs. We have 155 virtual servers running off of our array. We have Cisco UCS blades running our hosts that connect to Nimble Storage. Our Nimble has 2 10GB network ports that we have aggregated on each controller. We are getting 20GBs network throughput. On average we are using about 3,000 IOPS, but our system can handle around 21,000 IOPS according to our tests. Our SQL servers all run on Nimble Storage. They are fast.
- Storage Compression - Get more space for your money. We are saving about 4TB right out now using 20TB of space.
- Caching - Built in SSD caching works well. 75% of our data is hitting cache. It would be more, but our application code limits that.
- Latency - Latency is very low. Reads and Writes are always below 1ms.
- Usage Reporting - Great web portal to see how much space you are taking up and your expected growth pattern.
- Easy Setup - Easy to set up new volumes and expand volumes.
- Infosight (Web interface) has some neat free features. With VMware and maybe Hyper V you can see your performance on your VMs from the interface. You can see IO, latency, times, etc., that is useful for troubleshooting and performance planning.
- Rack Space - One of the main reasons we went with Nimble Storage was for rack space. We had 12U of space being taken up by HP Storage. With only 4U we could double and triple our storage space and save 8U for other things. This prevented us from adding another rack at our data center. Which isn't cheap. It saved us around $1200 a month.
- Power Button - The power button is easily accessed on the front chassis. This button should be covered, or concave to push, not sticking out.
- Web interface (InfoSight) could have more real-time information. Currently it is a few hours to last 24 hours of data.
- Weekly reports - Would be nice to see weekly reports and trends emailed.
- Consolidated space in our rack at our data center. Legacy storage was 12U. By switching to Nimble we only had to use 4U and saved 8U for other expansion needed. We didn't have add another rack saving $1,200 a month.
- We haven't had any issues with Nimble in 3 years. Our up time has been 100% with the SAN. Firmware updates have been flawless.
Comparing Nimble Storage to the top three players EMC, NETAPP, and HP was hard to do. Everyone had their own special perks. Those companies have been around a lot longer. Three years ago when we made our purchase with Nimble, the company was only 3 years old. We were skeptical about the future. As we learned more about Nimble Storage we found out the creator/owner moved from NetApp. He developed code and a new way of thinking for SAN infrastructure to use compression. We found it useful that the company wasn't fresh out of the water, but enhancing. When it came down to price it stacks up about the same as the top three players. You do get more storage for your money. You get compression which can save 5%-20% depending on the data you have. It works great and doesn't have any kind of performance impact. You also get a smaller foot print. I know to get some of the performance and features from HP you have to have two or three arrays. That is at least 12U. One Nimble array is 4U.
Nimble Storage works well for storage of anything. It is fast and reliable. Nimble storage is great for virtual machines, SQL databases, exchange, backups, and anything else you would put on a SAN. Nimble is especially good at compression and consolidation. If you have a rack now with 24U of storage, you can most likely knock that down to 4U with Nimble. You get more space for your money on both storage and rack space.