HPE Nimble Storage Review

Our applications are more responsive and InfoSight provides real-time reporting on volumes, array use, and I/O

What is our primary use case?

We use Nimble to virtualize all of our applications. For the hypervisor we use VMware. We use Nimble for the storage platform for the hypervisor.

It's been performing amazingly. 

How has it helped my organization?

Our organization functions very similarly to how it had operated prior to Nimble, but our applications are more responsive. The time it takes to produce some reports - specifically our year-end accounting reports which, sometimes, could take a half a day to produce - now, with Nimble on the backside, with the high I/O that it has, we're finding that we're reducing the time to process these reports by up to 70 to 80 percent. It's a significant improvement.

What is most valuable?

InfoSight provides real-time reporting, it gives you information about your different volumes, how the arrays are being used, I/O, performance in general. That's where we find value in it as well.

What needs improvement?

What I have seen so far has been sufficient for our needs.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is another reason we chose to go with Nimble: upgrading to another storage array. If we need higher capacity or throughput, we can just replace controllers, we don't have to replace or forklift-upgrade the whole chassis.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've used their technical support once. They contacted me, proactively. It was a positive experience. We were there doing some regular maintenance and accidentally pulled a 10-gig module and, while we were swapping it, and thought we had done it right, the array went offline for about 20 or 30 seconds. They let us know that there was something wrong pretty quickly. That was pretty awesome.

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

We were previously a Dell EqualLogic shop for some 15 years. In fact, we still have them in production. Since the acquisition of EqualLogic by Dell, the product doesn't seem to be increasing in technology as we would have hoped, as had happened previously. I had always had my eye on Nimble anyway and was waiting for the right opportunity. That opportunity came, and I already knew what I wanted. I jumped ship and we're going full speed ahead with Nimble.

We're transitioning everything over to Nimble because of the high performance we get out of it and the ease of use. From a supportability standpoint, it's a lot simpler. The Nimble people seem to detect when things have problems before we report that there's an issue.

We needed a vendor that would come in at a similar price point, which they did. But we needed to have a better way of doing disaster recovery. That was probably the primary objective, how we would handle that going forward. The way we did Snapshotting, the old Dell EqualLogic way, was somewhat bloated, took up a lot of space and required a lot of free array space. With Nimble, a lot of those limitations didn't exist. Also, obviously, compatibility with hypervisors was important, and Nimble is compatible with all of them.

What was our ROI?

We absolutely already see a return on investment. There's definitely value in it. Not only from the increase in productivity for the users using the applications that Nimble is hosting, but from an IT standpoint, expanding the volumes, regular maintenance, adding, it's just very simple to use.

We have only had it a short period of time, so it's hard to tell if it has affected our IT operation expenses yet. Maybe it has a little bit.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did consider other vendors. Ultimately, I had had my eye on Nimble for a long time, and I had already researched it, had done my homework on it, and was just waiting for the right opportunity.

What other advice do I have?

From a virtualized infrastructure standpoint, I would advise that, if you are looking for a high-performing storage array - not necessarily long-term storage because the price per gig is pretty expensive on an all-flash array. But, application performance, database performance, if you're running Exchange environments, SQL environments, If you're doing that type of stuff, then Nimble is a good match for that type of workload.

I would definitely and easily rate Nimble a 10 out of 10.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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