HPE Nimble Storage Review

We can run our VMs on a single array and not have contention.

What is most valuable?

  • Extremely low write latency (for SQL Server)
  • High performance
  • Automatic QoS (~60 VMs on single array)

How has it helped my organization?

  • No more RAID/pools/disk/LUN management
  • Our storage administrator got to focus on the virtualization stack 99% of the time (good for him)
  • We can run all our VMs on a single array and not have contention/bottleneck
  • We consolidated three different storage platforms onto a single, entry-level Nimble resulting in less management and faster migrations

What needs improvement?

The admin GUI is pretty ugly. It works, but it requires a plug-in. I never had to use it since the VMware vCenter plug-in is so good.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this product for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no stability problems at all. We have had 100% storage uptime for three years straight.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no scalability problems. I’ve scaled once in three years. I bought a new generation array with more performance and capacity and I migrated my volumes while the VMs were still running.

With Nimble, I can scale in three ways:

  • Upgrade controllers in the same generation array for more performance
  • Add an array and cluster it with the original one for more performance AND capacity
  • Add on capacity via expansion shelves

How are customer service and technical support?

We made one support call in three years and it was resolved in less than ten minutes. It is absolutely the best support I’ve ever used.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had local SSD, PowerVault MD3200, and EqualLogic arrays. We were not happy with EqualLogic’s performance and scale, so we consolidated it all into Nimble.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was super simple compared to every other storage array I’ve used. Tips are easily accessible. Nimble’s forum, “Connect”, is very active and useful. The guides/wizards to create volumes and grant access were thorough.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

All-inclusive licensing (encryption, compression, replication, etc.) is very nice.

The initial cost is high in the entry-level market, but worth it for features and performance.

Performance is on par with all flash arrays if you have 20% of your total data “hot”. Size the cache correctly and it will scream.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Pure Storage, Compellent, and Tintri.

What other advice do I have?

Run a competitive PoC with your favorite arrays. Nimble will come out on top in performance AND price/performance.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I am biased, as I recently moved to a Nimble Channel Partner. My answers are from the perspective I had when I was only a customer. Nimble is a product I’ve become passionate about, so I made a move to work with it more often!
More HPE Nimble Storage reviews from users
...who work at a Financial Services Firm
...who compared it with Pure Storage FlashArray
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