Introducing Nimble Storage
Nimble Storage just came out of stealth mode and will be trying to build a presence in the storage market with some very interesting technology. I just learned about them from Jason Boche’s informative post on their innovative new storage platform.
The challenge now is trying to describe it. The short answer is that it’s an iSCSI SAN with built-in DR and backup capabilities. It reminds me of Data Domain in the sense that they reduce the storage footprint and offer DR, but this goes a bit further.
Nimble Storage uses inline compression which they claim can reduce the storage by 2x – 4x without increasing latency. And by adding large amounts of flash cache in-front of low-cost high-capacity SATA drives, it can be used for production data. As I noted in an earlier post, cache can not accelerate large sequential I/O data patterns so keep this in mind. But this SAN will support the vStorage API (VAAI) and the de-duplication will also offer some additional benefit.
De-Dupe systems are popular because they can simplify backups and DR, but Nimble Storage has some unique advantages because it can also be your Tier 1 storage platform. Because of this, along with API interfaces for VMWare, Exchange, SQL and more, you can get nearly instant backups AND restores, and can efficiently sync deltas over the WAN for DR purposes.
In other words it’s WAN-friendly DR and instant backup/restore within an iSCSI SAN with application support for VMware, Exchange, SQL and Sharepoint.
Nimble Storage has been around for less than a week, but i think it will be worth keeping an close eye on their unique storage solutions.