What is our primary use case?
We use Nimble for our virtualized workloads.
We have been using it close to three years. Therefore, it was even before the HPE acquisition of Nimble that we started using it.
It has been performing well so far. Initially, we purchased Nimble for low-end or less critical workloads, and it has started to evolve. Now, it is right up there with our Tier-Two storage for CO3 and CO4 level workloads.
How has it helped my organization?
We have lost that dependency with traditional data center architecture where you have your storage team and server team. Now, our virtual admins are able to take control of Nimble and know how to allocate the storage, whenever it is required, thus reducing time.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is InfoSight, and the ability that InfoSight gives you, from insight within your environment to what is going on at the storage layer. Also, since we use this product integrated with VMware, we are able to have a view of our virtual infrastructure segregated up to the VM level. We are able to see where the most IOPS are located, etc. Therefore, we are able to prevent and predict where things are going well or badly.
What needs improvement?
The solution that I have is a hybrid, not a full flash. The hybrid version could be improved.
For how long have I used the solution?
One to three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability has not been an issue at all. We have not had a major issue nor downtime which has occurred with Nimble. Whenever we have code updates, you have high availability between your controllers, which is good.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
With scalability, we had to replace one of our controllers to upgrade CPU in cache. In the case of something like this, as long as the team is able to manage it within a scheduled downtime window, it is pretty simple.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support is good. We recently use them. There was a bug on the latest firmware release. So, we had to call and see what was going on. There were some features that were enabled recently that were affecting read IOPS or how the way read IOPS are managed. It was simple fix. They just gave us what we needed to do and what we needed to change, then we applied the changes.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were looking for something where the cost would not be as high as what we were used to with traditional storage arrays. Even so, it has been on par in terms of performance, even though the price was lower, with what we had with other arrays.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was straightforward. The initial setup took a little bit over a week because we were in the learning phase.
We have other arrays, like VNX or HDS from Hitachi. Complexity-wise, this product (Nimble) is simpler and nimbler to set up.
What about the implementation team?
We recently implemented smaller Nimble boxes or arrays for an isolated environment, which was set up by me, within one or two days.
What was our ROI?
We have not quantified it. However, with the capabilities on compression, we have seen a lot of VMs running because probably 80 to 95 percent of the data is the same. Therefore, we are able to get a good compression ratio. Because of this, I think we have saved a lot compared to a traditional storage array.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We had also shortlisted EMC. We initially went with Nimble because of price, but later figured out the other benefits.
What other advice do I have?
It is a good investment, especially on virtualized workloads. We have seen a lot of benefit there. We have not used it for other types of virtual workloads, both mixed workload applications and databases.