What is most valuable?
The vCenter integration is very good. I can not only see what each of my iSCSI presentations look like from a performance standpoint, I can see the snapshots, I can shrink, grow, modify, or delete them as well. In addition to that, InfoSight is a great tool to look at the "big picture" when planning what you want to do next with your Nimble Storage.
How has it helped my organization?
The visibility and power of the vCenter integration allows me to troubleshoot, diagnose and rectify most issues before anyone notices. I can also deploy new virtual machines much more quickly because I don’t have to bounce between different tools to do it.
What needs improvement?
Honestly, the only thing that could really get better is the price. Although, the price on these units isn’t too bad at all.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've used it for 11 months.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
There have been no stability issues on our Nimble Storage arrays thus far (we have five of them). Nimble is VERY specific about testing to the extent that if a release of the software has a known major bug, they won’t release it for your array (or at least they haven’t so far).
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Each one of our arrays can connect to four storage shelves. That gives us the possibility of around 240TB per array with the h90T storage shelves. In addition to that, you can federate Nimble Storage arrays as well.
How are customer service and technical support?
Customer service most certainly gets a 10/10. Not only do they resolve my issues when I call them in, but with InfoSight they also watch my storage for me and alert me to potential issues that may be upcoming. An example would be the one time I had a bad power supply, and they had one on the way to me before I called it in. Technical Support
Technical support also gets 10/10. See above.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We used HP EVA Fiber Channel SANS before. The HP EVA SANS were starting to show their age and were very expensive to run and maintain. In addition to that, they didn’t perform as well as the current day machines.
How was the initial setup?
It was straightforward looking back. At the time it seemed difficult, but it was almost all networking and VMware work. It seemed difficult because we weren’t used to iSCSI. It’s really not that much different from Fiber Channel when you really look at it.
What about the implementation team?
When we deployed this we were totally new to an iSCSI environment. We actually called in some professional services. They did such a good job, I’m relatively confident that I could deploy a Nimble Storage array on my own.
We implemented our first array with a Nimble engineer onsite. Our second array was done via a vendor. Both experiences were excellent.
What was our ROI?
We couldn’t be happier with our ROI on this product. It has made managing both storage and VMware simpler and more efficient.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The tendency when spending the kind of money you have to spend on storage is to get the minimum you need. I’d suggest that you think in terms of purchasing something you can grow into instead. We made the decision to purchase CS240 units. If I had it to do over I would have purchased a 400 (which today would be a CS500).
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at
- HP Lefthand
- HP 3PAR
What other advice do I have?
Nimble Storage array is a good buy no matter which way you slice it. I’m thinking it fits into anything but the large enterprise arena and they are making progress on that with some of their offerings.