Nimble Storage Review

Some of the features are high IOPS, replication, and compression.


What is most valuable?

  • High IOPS and a relatively low price
  • Low space and power requirements: We are seeing a 75% reduction in rack space usage by replacing the previous storage with Nimble. The power requirement is also down by about 75%, which is very important to lengthen the UPS usage time.
  • Cheap snapshot and clone: We have hundreds of snapshots in Nimble with no perceived reduction in performance, used as backup.
  • Replication: We are building a DRC and will use this feature heavily.
  • Compression: We are seeing more than a 15% savings in storage space with compression.

How has it helped my organization?

With snapshot, we achieve better IT operation as we have a snapshot before any major IT admin work takes place. This is good fallback if anything goes wrong with upgrade, modification, etc.

What needs improvement?

We heard from the Nimble pre-sales in 2015 that an inline deduplication feature is forthcoming (2016). What I know now is that this is not the case, dedup is only for all-flash array only, something to do with computational constraint. Well, we are a little unhappy with this news but because almost all the competition (VMware VSAN etc.) is also doing the same thing (inline dedup only on all-flash) I guess it’s not yet feasable with current technology.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues. It has been rock solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

The level of technical support is good.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were using EMC 5200. We switched because there was a forklift upgrade to EMC 5300 that cost almost three times as much compared to Nimble.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

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

Licensing is very simple and everything is included.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other options. We received a competitive offer from NetApps, but they lost on size. They are still a traditional solution, relying on the number of spindles and performance.

What other advice do I have?

Please test first, i.e., get a PoC. The product relies on cache, so streaming data, such as CDR and logs, may not be a good fit, IOPS-wise.

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