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HPE Nimble Storage Alternatives and Competitors

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Read reviews of HPE Nimble Storage alternatives and competitors

Jeff Dao
Infrastructure Lead at Umbra Ltd.
Real User
Top 10
With the SCM memory, it has been set it and forget it

Pros and Cons

  • "PowerMax NVMe has made it a lot easier to understand how much we are able to provision. It has made it a lot faster to provision new things. 90% of my time for provisioning has been reduced. Also, it has made it very easy to understand and see everything behind it versus the older heritage, where Dell EMC was very convoluted and hard to get working. Things that used to take an hour, probably now take five to 10 minutes."
  • "Firmware updates are a bit painful because you have to involve their support, as opposed to having the ability to do it yourself."

What is our primary use case?

We currently use PowerMax NVMe for our file server and all our VMs. It is a SAN, so all of our storage or data sits on it. It is just a great storage appliance.

How has it helped my organization?

With the SCM memory, it has been set it and forget it. It is being used as a cache drive. There is very little configuration for us to do. We just know that it is working.

PowerMax NVMe's QoS capabilities give us a lot of visibility into taking a look at what could be a potential performance issue. However, because it is so fast, we haven't really noticed any slowdowns from the date of deployment even until today.

It is a very good storage appliance for enterprise-level, mission-critical IT workloads because of its high redundancy, parity drives. It gives us the ability to not worry about our data. Or, if something were to go wrong, e.g., a drive pops, then we have our mission-critical warranty. We get a drive the same day, then get it swapped by the next business day at the latest.

PowerMax NVMe has made it a lot easier to understand how much we are able to provision. It has made it a lot faster to provision new things. 90% of my time for provisioning has been reduced. Also, it has made it very easy to understand and see everything behind it versus the older heritage, where Dell EMC was very convoluted and hard to get working. Things that used to take an hour, probably now take five to 10 minutes.

What is most valuable?

  • The cost of the entire solution
  • Their dedupe rates
  • Ease of use
  • Simplicity

Data availability is very high. Data security is also very good. There are a lot of encryption methods available.

We use the solution’s NVMe SCM storage tier feature. There is almost no overhead or management time involved. It was kind of set it and forget it.

What needs improvement?

The visibility within the storage resource tools or understanding the utilization of the SCM memory have been pain points. We know they are being used, but it is hard to actually see them within the actual GUI.

Firmware updates are a bit painful because you have to involve their support, as opposed to having the ability to do it yourself. This is probably for the best because you don't want something to go sideways while being the only person working on this and not having external support for it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the physical appliance for a year and a half.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very robust, stable machine. We have had no worries whatsoever.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

At this time, scalability is not applicable. I understand it is very easy to scale up. You just add on the drive shelf, then connect it in. That is really it. Now, you have all these drives available to you.

It is being used every single minute of every single day. The IOPs, the throughput data, is about 525 megabytes per second. So, it is actively being used at all times of day.

As time goes on, the usage of it will increase. That is just the nature of it being our primary storage array.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support was very good. There have been no real issues. Any questions we have had, they were able to answer and assist with. There have been no problems whatsoever.

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

Because it is NVMe, it is extremely fast. It is a lot faster than our old SAN. It is hard to compare it to others in the market, only because we have never owned other products within the same generation. We switched to PowerMax NVMe because of aging hardware.

Prior, we were using a regular 7200 RPM disk. As a result, it was extremely slow. The upgrade to NVMe has been much appreciated by the company. Things that used to take four to five hours are now taking 15 minutes, if that.

How was the initial setup?

It was a pretty complex process in the beginning: migrating data, verifying everything is good to go, standing up our volumes, and things of that nature. Once everything got going, it was a lot easier to understand and manage.

Deployment took about two weeks’ time, not including transfer times. With transfer times, it was closer to a month.

We set up our PowerMax, attached the source to VMware, and then migrated all of our VMs off of our old storage array into the new one. Once we verified everything was good, we turned off the old storage array and went from there.

What about the implementation team?

We did it through Dell EMC ProDeploy, which is their professional services for this type of work. Our experience with them was very good. There were a couple of hiccups here and there, but it was more related to what was shipped to us, opposed to an actual hiccup with the implementation process.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI based on time saved by being able to use a faster storage array versus our really slow, old one.

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

In terms of price-performance, it beat out other competitors when we were taking a look and comparing it to the market. That was one of the biggest driving points for us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at HPE Nimble Storage as well as Pure Storage. Pure Storage was probably the biggest competitor. At the time, we just wanted something that was a little bit more tried and true versus a new player in the storage array game.

Pure Storage did offer a couple of very niche tools related to SAP. PowerMax NVMe just came in very aggressively with their pricing, and that ultimately won them the business. 

What other advice do I have?

PowerMax NVMe is very energy intensive, in terms of electricity. You need to spec that out properly. Just because it can fit in the rack doesn't mean it will work by sitting in the rack. You will probably need additional power, specifically just for PowerMax NVMe.

It isn't important at this very specific moment that the solution provides NVMe scale out capabilities. However, it will be once we decide to add more drives into this and expand our storage.

I would rate this solution as a nine (out of 10). There are definitely areas of improvement, but everything comes down to time and cost.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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CS
IT Manager at a agriculture with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good features with an easy initial setup but technical support is slow

Pros and Cons

  • "It performed great originally, and when it performed great, it was awesome."
  • "Technical support is bad. It'd grade them at 30% or 40%. The response time is terrible."

What is our primary use case?

We used the solution basically for all operations. We got our ERP, Citrix, email (there was about a two wall to 18 terabytes with email), et cetera, that we had on the hybrid and we had our ERP system, which demands performance. We had that on the solution's all-flash.

How has it helped my organization?

It improved a lot of our processes and especially our ERP. Our reports were taking from six to eight hours to do. Once we got this solution in there, we were able to get the reporting down from eight hours to under 20 minutes. Ultimately, we were able to deploy to get the reports in under five minutes, which was a huge accomplishment.

What is most valuable?

There were some good features. It did provide the call home, which was a great feature when it worked. 

It performed great originally, and when it performed great, it was awesome. 

The initial setup was fine.

What needs improvement?

Once you started pushing it, it would start to not respond properly and then we would have to reach out to support, to try to figure out where these issues came from. They couldn't tell us where the problems were. Their advice was simply to take some load off and then it would work fine. 

Sometimes there was imprecise information. If there's an issue with the system, to kind of pinpoint where the issue was coming from, for example, if it was network latency or a load link to a VM or load link to some kind of switch, it would have been helpful to know. 

I know they can't look at all the networks, however, as the solution is connected to VMware and the SAN and the switch, there should be more information on the system. I can't pinpoint anything, which is a problem. Their reporting needs to be much better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution as it is right now is not very stable. The stability seems to have eroded. It's gotten to the point we are concerned about crashes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scaling is okay. We can scale it up, however, the problem with our scaling is how do you scale up something that, when it was sold to us, was already on the way out at an end of life. Therefore, while we can scale up, we're going to scale up an unsupported product. 

Their approach is "Hey, listen, let's just buy a new product. And then you scale of the new product even better." 

With the scalability of the product when I purchased it, I was able to add four flash arrays, and we could add four hybrid storage drives.

We have 300 to 400 people on the solution currently.

How are customer service and technical support?

When we first got the product, support was amazing, however, that is no longer the case. 

Technical support is bad. It'd grade them at 30% or 40%. The response time is terrible. I had a major issue with things that were not working. I'd asked them for an ETA and they would make it more about them than us. It would be more than six hours before anybody would get back to me. That was unacceptable, especially when it's slow when it doesn't take it all the way down, yet slows everything down to the point where it's not working. While we're down they're treating the situation as not important enough to do a response time within an hour. I just find that unacceptable.

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

We're using HP. We moved over due to the fact that the product was declining, and we could get much better support and reporting elsewhere. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward, however, when we received this version, we had a lot of problems. They had to replace the controller at least twice within the first three months. The guys did a great job, however, we might have gotten a bad batch of controllers, as we seemed to have many problems within the first six months.

The deployment was fast and on the first day, it was up and running, ready for our support.

We have two people that handle maintenance. It's pretty easy to take care of and they've found it easy to learn. They are network systems admins. They are just junior admins and they are able to handle everything with no problem.

What about the implementation team?

We did the integration and installation in conjunction with an Intelliflash support engineer. They're good. They're above average. Originally, when Intelliflash was Tegile, the support engineers were knowledgeable of whatever they ran, and they had the patience to assist and were very helpful.

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

I'm not sure of the exact pricing. Over three years, the support might have been in the ballpark of $15,000. We bought the solution itself outright.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before we purchased this product, we were actually going to go with the HP brand called Nimble. We're familiar with the all-flash array technology. This solution was a good fit when it first came out. However, some of the politics and the management of the system that can support it are no longer there.

What other advice do I have?

We are a customer and an end-user.

The solution is now out of support, however, we were using the most recent version of the product.

I tell my guys when they're looking for a solution, is focus on the technology, of course, and focus on the SLA and the response time. The difference between what I have now and the current solution is the response time. If I made a call now, in less than 10 minutes we get a level three engineer. That's important. As much as I have great IT sys admins and they can resolve anything, sometimes it's just about being able to call at any time and have somebody there that knows what he's talking about and is able to help us from a level three perspective.

I'd rate the solution at a seven. It's a good product, however, their technical support is very bad.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MS
Infrastructure Team Lead at a pharma/biotech company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Enables us to have have a multitude of environments without having to worry about having spaces deployed

Pros and Cons

  • "Multi-protocol is the most valuable feature for us. It does everything in one system: sifts, EBES, ISCSI, and fiber channel. Other systems don't do all that."
  • "The procurement process could be improved. It takes a long time for us to receive stuff. The product is good. It's not the product, it's just that it takes forever to get it. It's not our reseller's problem; it's usually held up at NetApp."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for NAS and SAN.

How has it helped my organization?

NetApp helped us with its ease of deployment and ease of use.

The solution's data protection and data management are also easy.

AFF has improved our response time by about 30%.

We have enough storage, especially with the enhanced deduplication and compaction. It is good to be able to have a multitude of environments without having to worry about having spaces deployed. We always have a good amount of space. We do have multi-performance, with different performance layers for slower and quicker storage.

What is most valuable?

Multi-protocol is the most valuable feature for us. It does everything in one system: CIFS, ISCSI, and fiber channel. Other systems don't do all that.

What needs improvement?

The procurement process could be improved. It takes a long time for us to receive stuff. The product is good. It's not the product, it's just that it takes forever to get it. It's not our reseller's problem; it's usually held up at NetApp.

Waiting for equipment is one of our biggest hiccups. I live in Pennsylvania and we flew out to Washington state to do an install. We were there for three days, but the product didn't show up. We left and the product came the next day. Then we had to send somebody else out. That's because things were getting held up in shipping and stuff like that. The shipping is my only beef with NetApp.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to deploy and it's scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am happy with their technical support. It's not bad. We haven't had to use it very much, but I think they're proficient.

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

We had an AFF already there. We just upgraded. In my previous company, where I was for five years, we used NetApp extensively. So I had a lot of experience and interaction with it.

How was the initial setup?

We found the setup straightforward. I've been using NetApp for a long time, though.

What about the implementation team?

Our partner is a good friend of mine. I've worked with them for a long time. They work with a lot of other companies. They're huge NetApp distributors.

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

The price of the upgrading of the solution is high. I could buy a whole unit of All Flash FAS 300 with a shelf for around $285,000. Yet if I want to add one additional shelf, it'll cost me $275,000. So they want you to upgrade by replacing it. It's cheaper to buy a whole new unit than to just scale-out. The upside is they last. AFF lasts us three or four years. So that's a good investment. 

I don't think it's cost-efficient for a lot of people. Their pricing structure is not competitive at this point with other companies. Support is a fortune on it. Every three years you need to do a rip and replace for an upgrade. It's not an in-place upgrade.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Pure Storage and Nimble. I've used HPE 3PAR and Tintri as well. We've looked at a lot of different vendors. Most of them were better in terms of their upgrade process. Nimble and Pure have a hot upgrade process, which NetApp does not have. Although the cost of Pure is a lot more. Nimble was a good product, but they were bought by HP I think, so that will probably go away. I don't see it as much as I did before. We chose NetApp because of its speed and stability.

What other advice do I have?

I think it fits a multitude of needs. For someone who doesn't know how to provision storage, it gives you, SIPS and NAS storage. NAS storage gives you a SAN protocol so you can provision ISCSI fiber channel one, depending on what you're using it for. It's basically an all-in-one solution. It does everything for you.

I would rate this solution as nine out of ten. There have been a few times we've seen buggy releases on some of the ONTAP software upgrades. Nine is good, though. I never get a ten when we get our reviews. If you get a ten, there's no room for improvement. Nine gives you room to improve. If you give it a ten, they're not going to have any reason to improve.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Abdullah Mahmood
Network and System Administrator at TWD Technologies Ltd.
Real User
Top 5
User-friendly with good documentation and the capability to scale

Pros and Cons

  • "We've found the solution to be very stable so far."
  • "The design is a little old-fashioned and could be updated. The rack is very primitive and designed in an older style."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily a file infrastructure. It contains all the virtual machines for our company.

What is most valuable?

The solution is still new to us and needs to be explored more.

The documentation is excellent so far. 

The solution uses all flash. The connection to the server is a fiber connection. It's very fast. 

The possibility of expanding is very good. It offers very good flexibility.

The price point is pretty decent. 

The product is user-friendly. The setup process is easy.

We've found the solution to be very stable so far.

What needs improvement?

We need to spend more time with the solution in order to detect any shortcomings. So far, we haven't really seen any.

The design is a little old-fashioned and could be updated. The rack is very primitive and designed in an older style. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've only been using the solution for two months. It hasn't been that long just yet. It could be maybe less than that, as we just recently installed it and we decided to go for it about three months back. About one and a half months ago the implementation was completed and we started using it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. We haven't detected any bugs or glitches. it doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution has the potential to scale quite well. If a company needs to expand it, it can.

However, it is a hardware, and you do need to take scaling into account early on. We can grow with the hardware we have and put on new drives, et cetera.

We have approximately 200 employees, and anyone that's connected to the network, those files are stored on this particular solution. Therefore, even if they aren't aware they are using the product, they, in fact, are.

How are customer service and technical support?

Personally, I haven't directly dealt with technical support. That said, apparently, it looks like it is quite good. The support is proactive. My system is already connected to IBM tech centers. They can highlight predictive failures, for example. My assumption is that they are quite good, although I can't yet peak from personal experience.

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

We previously used Dell EqualLogic. We switched, as we had used it for close to six years and it needed to be replaced. Initially, we thought to replace it with another Dell EqualLogic product, however, after comparing different brands, we landed on this.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is definitely not complex. It's not difficult. They make it straightforward and user-friendly. A company should have no problems implementing it.

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

The price is quite good. We find it to be rather reasonable overall. When you compare it to other brands especially, the price is quite good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at other solutions, including and updated Dell EqualLogic and HPE.

What other advice do I have?

We are just a customer and an end-user.

We are using the latest version of the solution at this point.

I'd recommend the solution. Everything is fiber from start to finish. I don't need to use a fiber switch. It's an expensive component. However, IBM says I don't need it and I can do I direct line from my own source. It's a supported solution. It's very good.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten so far.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Manager, Enterprise Infrastructure at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy to administer with good performance and great stability

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support is good."
  • "Beyond a certain amount of petabytes, you have to have a separate system. Basically, it's not infinitely scalable."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for storage. 

What is most valuable?

The administration is very easy and quite minimal.

The performance is very good.

The installation is pretty straightforward. 

Technical support is good.

What needs improvement?

Beyond a certain amount of petabytes, you have to have a separate system. Basically, it's not infinitely scalable. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution in two places. We have used it in Washington for six months and London for six months as well. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have found the solution to be stable. We've not had any performance issues and not have any stability issues with it. The performance is good. there are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable to an extent. Its deduplication ratio is quite good. You don't actually always need the full amount of physical storage, as opposed to the deduplicating amount of space.

Its scalability beyond a certain amount of petabytes makes it so that it is a separate system if you scale to that much storage. If you're a normal enterprise where you don't scale that much, it's fine. The X90 goes beyond a certain amount, and you have to have a new system that works as a separate system.

Across two locations, we have about 800 people. 

How are customer service and technical support?

From the feedback I've gotten, for the most part, the technical support has been quite good. They know their product quite well and they've been quite responsive. We are satisfied with the support.

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

We previously used EMC VNX.

How was the initial setup?

The solution is pretty straightforward. It's not too complex or difficult. 

I haven't personally deployed it, however, from the team's feedback, they had very little issues with regards to the deployment and bringing it up and then setting up. The deployment was within days or a week at a maximum. That was for the migration time. For migrating from the old storage to new, it might take a while, however, in terms of getting it up and running, it was days. It didn't take that long at all.

It's easy enough that the normal system administrators can take care of the storage. There's no one dedicated to managing the storage and it's not that complicated that it needs someone dedicated just to manage it all.

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

You do have a license that is required and you also have to pay for support.

The license we have is not a monthly subscription model.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

For London and Washington, we had EMC VNX. At the time we were transitioning from the EMC to a mid-tier flash storage, and they didn't have anything in the market. We did look at others. We looked at the Nimble from HPE. When we were looking to purchase, EMC just came out with EMC FlashSystem. We didn't get to the IBM FlashSystem. 

What other advice do I have?

We're a customer and an end-user.

We are using the latest version of the solution at this time. 

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

I would recommend the solution to other users and companies. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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