Nimble Storage Review

Increases reliability, flexibility, availability and reduces administrative time


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use of this solution is to host business-critical applications in the cloud for customers.

How has it helped my organization?

We can have fewer resources manning and monitoring the storage and we can reallocate resources to work on other things while maintaining confidence in our storage solution.

We have successfully integrated various applications such as SAP Business One, Microsoft Dynamics GP, any of the ERP systems we have tried work.

The Nimble Storage solution has enhanced performance over the previous system.

I haven't got the details of the IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) so I don't know it exactly, but definitely performance on the service is much better.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for our organization is that the solution provides us access to the storage we need without having to have multiple storage experts on staff to address changing storage needs.

What needs improvement?

As far as what future versions of the product should include, I don't have any experience with what it is lacking. It is really up to the technical guys to determine what is potentially missing from the solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The uptime for the solution is excellent. So far, so good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

While we have not had the need to scale yet and we haven't utilized it, it does seem like the utility should scale up quite easily.

The storage capacity efficiency is decent. We get about 2.1 dedupe capabilities using the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our experiences with technical support have proven to be excellent so far.

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

We previously used a different solution and knew we needed to change our solution to provide storage for our virtualization. The storage solution we had previously could not provide this and so it was not adequate. It was a rented system from another company and we were not happy with the performance.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly straightforward. However, we did need to ask some questions to understand how they do the LANs and other technical details of it. There were no major stumbling blocks.

What about the implementation team?

We didn't use a vendor or reseller to deploy. We implemented the solution ourselves.

What was our ROI?

Our return on investment appears to be excellent. The product delivers a lot of return to our company in various ways.

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

We purchased the solution for something in the $80,000 range. It was a fixed-price option.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had a couple of options that we were considering before going with Nimble. We also looked at some of the offerings from Dell. I think those were the two main ones. There was a third one, Tintri, which we were not happy with because of their bankruptcy filings. Nimble was the leading option coming out of the gate and ended up being the solution we selected.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale of one to ten, I would say this product is a nine. I think it does what it promises and support is decent. The only drawback I find is the size of the components. They never told us that the hardware has a large form factor and we were barely able to squeeze it into our older racks.

Storage is a critical piece of our business and, with a small team like the one that we have, Nimble ends up being a pretty good system that fits our need while lowering administrative needs.

For anyone considering this solution seriously, I would suggest you do your research with other competitors out there and look at what you are using, what type of infrastructure you have, as well as resources you have to support your system. Based on that, I would do a small POC (Proof of Concept). The flash version is more expensive, but I think you can get away with this with a hybrid model. The solution we chose is a hybrid system which we found to be just as good as the flash system. We have another system that is flash-only and the hybrid appears to behave just as well. We accomplished that by just adding 20% or so SSDs and doing that gave us what we needed to achieve similar performance.

We have feeds into HP that give us the Infosight analysis. However, I'm not sure if we're doing it proactively.

The all-flash solution could be considered as positioning our organization for growth, but we also have a hybrid system which we find just as good as the flash. Either would position us for growth compared to previous solutions.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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