How has it helped my organization?
The biggest thing from when they have replaced the old storage is that they have not had to touch it. That once it is set up it, it dynamically understands what data is being stored on it and where to store it, because they have got a flash array at the front, then obviously the standard style of storage at the back. There was not a lot of configuration needed to make it understand what their business was about and how it worked. It was just a big plus that once it was in, they more or less could forget about it.
It allowed them to concentrate on other projects that were obviously important for growing their business rather than having to worry about managing the storage, which is what they used to do with all their old storage.
What is most valuable?
Before HPE bought Nimble, we had a couple of customers that use it quite extensively, not just for storage of data, but also as their backup solution as well. So, we have found the advantage of it is the easy, rapid setup, but also that it is very easy to manage.
Their remote management and understanding when things are starting to go wrong and their ability to fix them before the customer even knows, this has been a big positive when a customer makes the decision to go with Nimble.
What needs improvement?
The backup solution that they are using now probably has not been deduped. I think this is probably sort of one area that the customer is a little bit concerned about. It is a timing issue for them, though it is still working at the moment. It is just not giving them enough header space that they thought they would have because the dedupe does not seem to be working as well as it could. So, it is something that needs to be reviewed and to make sure the customer has not clicked a certain feature.
I know for a fact that once they get in touch with HPE or Nimble, they will obviously look at the box remotely, see where there are potentially fine tunings, and if it is just a question of the customer having time to allow them to come online and review it, hopefully it will get solved.
Apart from that, everything else has been positive.
For how long have I used the solution?
Three to five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The occasional disk here and there goes. However, they turn up and swap the disk before you even know it. So, stability has been very good in that sense.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have added a couple of shelves over the years to the product already. We still have capacity to add one more shelf to it, but obviously the product changes and develops all the time and allows the expansion, then you still have the ability to pull out the main engines and replace the controller cards on the actual box itself. You know you have a growth area forward in the product. It is not as if you have to throw it away and start again, when you hit the capacity. That was another advantage, it was easy to upgrade.
How is customer service and technical support?
I can only really sort of comment when it was Nimble, because obviously HPE has only owned them for a few months now. From both a pre-sales and post-sales, I have always found them really good. They are very professional, know their products, know what they do, and very informative in terms of keeping the customer updated. For me, it is always just been a positive, which would be why I would always recommend them on to other clients, because of that.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Our customers have been looking at 3PAR, but:
- It is too expensive.
- It was not automated enough, in the way that Nimble is.
It is sort of one of those decisions that it is quite easy to make in terms of the Nimble solution for money for storage size regarding which is more cost effective. Also, the ability to set it up and more or less leave it alone to run itself. It is a big positive.