HPE Nimble Storage Review

InfoSight has been the best feature so far.

What is most valuable?

InfoSight, for sure, has been the best feature so far.

What needs improvement?

I really would like to see synchronous replication. This is something that when we have multiple arrays in our environment and being able to do something like a zero RPO. Being a law firm, we really want our data to be protected all the time. Although, we are really rocking the Nimble snapshots and you'll hear them talk about the maximum snapshots that you can have; there's no performance impact and it's just really cool to have that kind of data protection. We're utilizing it but getting further, so as to get the knob all the way down to zero RPO, that would be a really cool feature. I hear that they're working on it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been incredibly stable. It has been so stable that when I started with the Nimble acquisition/purchase process for us, I was the senior storage engineer. However, after implementing Nimble Storage, I did a little bit of the setup, wrote the APIs for us to be able to work with it and then, I had nothing to do. So at the end of the year, when we're supposed to do our employer reviews and self-evaluations, I wrote this whole thing about why you don't need me anymore. Just told them, "Look, congratulations. You no longer need a dedicated storage engineer. Do what you want with that." They said, "Sure. We're going to promote you to become the senior manager of the network and infrastructure team." It's kind of a cool story, it is true.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've already added another shelf just because we saw another need coming up. It was just so simple, i.e., literally plug and play and very laid back.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've not worked with HPE support, only with Nimble support, which is right now separate and hopefully, it will stay that way.

Every time that I've worked with Nimble, I've had an absolutely excellent experience. Whether it be the automated, "Hey, we have solved this and already closed this ticket for you"; those are invaluable, i.e., 85% of the tickets are being closed just from InfoSight.

I'll give you an example where I saw the support really step-up, which was when we set up our DR solution. We're actually using DR from their Nimble Storage but it's not under our control. There's a little bit of a conversation that needs to happen and for whatever reason, that conversation wasn't working perfectly and I opened a ticket with Nimble Storage. That was the last thing I did. From then on, the technician who was working and looking at the auto-sups that were coming in. He was working with the other guy saying, "Okay, this is exactly what you need to fix or modify on your side. Let's try it again." I'm checking my email and then they're like, "Okay, we got it." That was it. It was literally a zero-touch fix for me.

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

We were using a different company before. There are actually several reasons why we decided to look at other vendors. One of which was that we had an unexpected outage with our older storage system for about 56 hours and it was significant enough that even though, we usually were loyal to that company we said, "Maybe we should start talking to other people." We brought in Nimble Storage as well as about three or four other vendors and we did a little bit of bake-off. We had conversations with the teams, asked for references and really when we started asking to put some of our workloads onto their appliance, that's when it really made a difference for us.

How was the initial setup?

They gave us so many options of what we wanted to do. What had happened was because of the company that they were replacing, was one of those big iron-type companies, so they really wanted to just have a picture with their appliance next to ours. Nimble Storage came out and they racked everything for me; they plugged it in, they did all the setup and said, "Here it is. Here's your password. Go ahead and start carving out some volumes." Within probably an hour, I already had my first volumes already mapped and masked to the posts, all ready to go.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We do actually have a certain set of criteria that we use and it's a weighted criteria set. One of the top criteria, for us, is the relationship that you have with the vendor because everybody hopes that things are going to go right, but the real question is when things don't go right, is your team going to stand beside you? I have worked with the sales team and have said, "Hey guys! Is this pillow talk or is this an after-the-sale conversation? Are you still going to stand by me?" This is me, the customer, talking to the vendor.

They stood by me, more than did prior to the purchase. I get constant updates from them checking in, "Hey, do you want to talk about whatever?" I always feel well-prepared. We never had an incident where I really had to hit that red button, but I am 100% confident that if I did, then they would be standing there right probably in the room with me, making sure that I've got everything I need to get through this situation. This is a huge thing, i.e., being right there for us, which is reliability from an array perspective. It has got to have at least 5 nine's and that's just starting the conversation. We absolutely need the critical uptime and from there, there's also the price-point. For us, it's the vendor relationship, product reliability, and then, probably, the price-point while selecting a vendor.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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