Gestalt IT Tech Field Day – Nimble Storage

July 15th, 2010 by jason Leave a reply »

7-15-2010 11-31-48 AMNext up at Gestalt IT Tech Field Day is Nimble Storage who comes out of stealth mode and officially launches today.  Nimble Storage provides a unique iSCSI storage platform by eliminating traditional backup windows using efficient snapshot technology coupled with high performance flash drives.  A handful of use cases have already been identified for both virtualized and bare metal OS and application platforms.  I’m baffled as to how much competitive room there is in the storage realm, particularly with giants like NetApp, EMC, Hitachi, and others.  I believe this is a compliment to each of the players as it takes incredibly bright minds and innovation to stake and maintain a claim.

The secret sauce is in Nimble’s CASL (pronounced “castle” Cache-Accelerated Sequential Layout) Architecture which can be thought of as a reincarnation of VMware co-founder Mendel Rosenblum’s Log-Structured File System.

  • Inline Compression
  • Large Adaptive Flash Cache
  • High-Capacity Disk Storage
  • Integrated Backup

Resulting advantages provided are:

  • Inline compression (2:1 – 4:1 ratio)
  • High performance
  • Low cost SATA disk stores both primary data as well as 90 day snapshot retention
  • WAN-efficient offsite replication for cost-effective DR
  • Storage and Backup Optimized for VMware/Microsoft environments
  • Benefits for Sharepoint, SQL, and Exchange as well

From the Nimble Storage website:

Storing, accessing, and protecting your data shouldn’t be so complicated and expensive. Nimble’s breakthrough CASL™ architecture combines flash memory with high-capacity disk to converge storage, backup, and disaster recovery for the first time. The bottom line: High-performance iSCSI storage, instant backups and restores, and full-featured disaster recovery — all in one cost-effective, easy-to-manage solution.

Benefits for VMware Deployments

•Dramatic VM Consolidation and Cost Reduction
Groundbreaking CASL architecture includes innovations that enable dramatic consolidation of Virtual Servers and desktops. The hybrid flash and low-cost HDD-based architecture deliver very high random performance for demanding workloads at very low cost. Built-in capacity optimization and block sharing capabilities provide large capacity savings for both flash and disk. The net result is a single array that can easily serve the performance and capacity requirements for hundreds of high performance virtual servers, dramatically reducing cost, rackspace, power, and management expense. Further consolidation and cost savings come from the built-in capacity optimized backup capability, which eliminates dedicated disk backup devices, while enabling 90 days of efficient backup.

•Backup and Restore VMs Instantly
Nimble arrays enable instant Hypervisor consistent backup and restore of datastores and VMs, while eliminating backup windows. Nimble Protection Manager integrates with vCenter APIs to simplify management of Hypervisor-consistent backups, replicas and restores for VMware environments by leveraging Nimble’s instant, capacity optimized array-based snapshots. This converged solution enables dramatically better RPOs and RTOs compared with traditional solutions.

•Automated, Fast Offsite Disaster Recovery
WAN-efficient replication and fast failover enable quick, cost effective disaster recovery. Combined with instant backup capabilities, this enables rapid restore and very granular recovery points in the event of a site disaster. The entire failover process can be automated via management tools such as VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) which leverages a Nimble SRA to control the storage level failover capabilities.

•Simplified Virtual Infrastructure Management
Using predefined ESX performance and data protection policies, storage for new datastores can be provisioned and protected in just three steps. The Nimble Protection Manager integrates with vCenter APIs to simplify management of Hypervisor-consistent backups, replicas and restores for VMware environments, by leveraging Nimble’s instant, capacity optimized array based snapshots. A vCenter plugin simplifies and accelerates the task of cloning datastore or VM templates, by leveraging Nimble’s instant, high space efficient zero copy clones.

Two 3U capacity offerings available, both of which are served by an identical configuration of Active/Passive controllers, large flash layer, multicore Intel Xeon processors, and 2x quad GbE NICs (10GbE ready and available soon):

  1. CS220: 9TB primary + 108TB backup
  2. CS240: 18TB primrary + 216TB backup

7-15-2010 1-24-01 PM

Follow them on Twitter at @NimbleStorage.

Introduction to Nimble Storage at Tech Field Day Seattle from Stephen Foskett on Vimeo.

Note : Tech Field Day is a sponsored event. Although I receive no direct compensation and take personal leave to attend, all event expenses are paid by the sponsors through Gestalt IT Media LLC. No editorial control is exerted over me and I write what I want, if I want, when I want, and how I want.

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